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Sunday, April 15, 2018

Rogo – An e-Assessment Management System

One of the objectives in teaching is to have a reliable assessment of students. Students and parents too would like to know the true level of students.

Can open source help in this area? Of course it can! Today we are presenting Rogo. Rogo is a leading e-assessment system that is scalable, secure, useable and extensible.

If you’re interested in quickly seeing a demo, then go to:

If you want to download the open source license go to:

For documentation please go to:

If one prefers Youtube videos then go to:

If any educator would like to see any case studies, please go to:

Monday, April 2, 2018

Going for open software in schools

We’ve been writing about open source software for some years now. We’re making more popular, programs or operating systems, which otherwise would have been unknown by the majority of our readers. This is because other companies have lots of money which could be spent in advertising. Open Source does not have enough money to do the same kind of advertising. Hence it relies on the good will of those who have tried it and were satisfied 100%

What about changing completely and going for open source? In some countries it’s still not possible as it is centralised by government or an education department. In other countries they are truly free to roam about and go for a different choice as long as it helps the education of students.

We are presenting the case of a school which was very successful in going for open source but a simple google search would lead to more examples. In all cases, there is no need of a consensus from a large majority. In many cases it all started with just one single person who was totally convinced of the need for change in our IT choices! Read this.

In a summary we are going to outline some advantages for open source.

Open source gives the power to students, teachers and parents to change, fine-tune or re-program according to the school needs. This has two aspects: it gives students the power to change programs according to their wishes. In the meantime they would be preparing themselves for the working world as they would have some practical experience to when it comes working in the IT department. Lastly, any program used would be more efficient, because if not changes can be made.

Open Source gives the students the opportunity to study programs and learn how they are programmed as nothing is hidden! On the other hand students will only learn as long as they have a hands on experience. Open Source provides enough hands on experience. Propriety programs would not allow anyone to tinker with their program! Besides, if the company goes bankrupt, nobody can continue their work. This is the typical case of being locked out! In contrast, Open Source programs can be continued or adapted by anybody in the world!

As an educator, I hate to use programs which are costly or which are not available to students. We use open source, so if the student wants to use the same program, there are no restrictions (financially or legally)! Students can download open source programs for free and as many times they wish to. Practically it’s useless to keep an extra copy because most of them change frequently and there is no limit as to how many times one can download.

The biggest hurdle is that when it comes to IT most people are very lazy. They are used to some programs and they feel threatened if the IT department changes their favourite programs! Others, never thought that a pc could work without their famous operating system! It was a truly complete surprise if other unknown operating system run their pc!

Another hurdle would be that the teachers responsible for change would need a lot of time to select the right programs and to become familiar with. Ideally they would be financially compensated.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Encrypting your files on the cloud

Teachers would like to use the most popular programs for their teaching. They do this because students are already very familiar with them. Hence it cuts down on the learning curve of how to use a program.

On the other hand, both teachers and parents are concerned about privacy. Today we’re presenting a program which can guarantee privacy though using popular programs.

Everybody has heard about the cloud. As students, teachers and parents are travelling nowadays, they would like to be able to fetch their files wherever they are. There are various clouds solutions out there, but the cryptomator will ensure that one’s files are encrypted as soon as they leave the pc/laptop/mobile phone towards the cloud.

Same wise when one is downloading a file, one is sure that the file is secured and cannot be read by third parties!

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Downloading challenge in some schools

Internet speeds in schools are normally painfully slow! How many times teachers and/or educators would like to show something online to students and get frustrated with the speed of the internet?

It’s one thing when a teacher is preparing a lesson at home and it’s another when one is doing it in class. Although some websites can be downloaded from home, others need a direct link especially when involves live data or a situation which is changing really fast.

Today we present Xtreme Download Manager (XDM). Works with all modern browsers (Firefox, Chrome, Chromium, Opera, Vivaldi etc.,) available in Mac, Windows, BSD and Linux. It downloads 5 to 6 times faster!!!

It is beneficial to take over downloads and saving streaming videos from web. XDM has built in video converter which lets you convert downloaded videos to popular MP4 and MP3 formats.

It resumes broken/dead downloads caused by connection problem, power failure or session expiration. XDM can save video from YouTube, Dailymotion, Vimeo, Facebook and thousands of popular video sharing sites.

If one wants to download it, simply go here. If one prefers some help via videos, then here is the link. Here are some pics.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

weeWX: open source software for your weather station

  • Some schools did experiment with a change in methodology ie how to teach students today. They are going for project based teaching. One of them could be the setup of a weather station! Obviously it involves the collaboration of several teachers and students but that is a great asset for students today as nobody can work all alone. They see the example of teachers helping each other. They see various students giving their input,comments, questions…..and that makes teaching and learning real fun!  It could be the best preparation for their future when they would be called to work with different type of people!

    Today we are presenting an open source program called weeWX. On the same page one can: download; read documentation; go through the users’ group; learn how to publish readings etc…...If one prefers youtube videos in order to learn, here is the link. An interesting factor is that most schools are using the raspberry pi 3 in order to maintain the weather station!!

    The weeWX program can do several things:

  • Support for many popular weather stations;
  • Uploads to popular weather sites including WeatherUndergroundPWSweather.comCWOPWOW, and AWEKAS and others;
  • Uploads to your website using FTP or rsync;
  • Extensive celestial almanac;
  • Ability to create or modify skins (the look and feel of your weather site);
  • Support for localization;
  • Simple, but extensible templating system;
  • Native support for US or Metric unit systems;
  • Support for sqlite or MySQL databases;
  • Calibration corrections;
  • Filtering of anomalous values;
  • An easy to understand, simple, extensible micro-kernel architecture;
  • Ability to extend weeWX with new services and reports.

    Sunday, February 4, 2018

    Creating and maintaining projects in school : GanttProject

    Some schools are leaving the lecture lesson type and moving towards the hands on experience. Not only students need to work directly on a project but they need to work with others, collaborate and change throughout the experiment. It’s the learning process where students learn to edit all the way through, as they interact with other students and teachers.

    The world they’re going to work in one day, is based on projects. Hence it makes sense if they start preparing for the future. Today we’re presenting another tool in the hands of educators in order to help their students write their projects: GanttProject. Some functions done by GanttProject are:

    • Create tasks and milestones. Aside from the start date and duration, every task may have priority, cost New in 2.7, color and fill pattern, text notes and user-defined custom fields.
    • Organize tasks in a work breakdown structure. Hierarchical tree where progress, dates or costs of lower level tasks is summarized on the higher levels. Summary tasks can be collapsed to hide tasks which are not important at the moment.
    • Draw dependency constraints between tasks, like "start X when Y finishes" and GanttProject will take care of enforcing these constraints. You can add a lag or use other types of constraints.
    • Create baselines to be able to compare current project state with previous plans..
    • PERT chart for read-only view can be generated from the Gantt chart.

    Sunday, January 21, 2018

    Avoiding too many emails: SpamAssassin

    The use of ict in schools should have given more free time to students, teachers and parents. Alas in some cases it did not happen! One of the reasons is that when one opens up his/her email account, there are so many emails! Email marketing is still being used. Some companies do sell our information. In other times we do give our information for some free goodies….yet in the end we are overwhelmed by the amount of junk mail we receive. I’ve heard people saying that they have hundreds if not thousands of emails in their inbox!! The overall result will be that such people will not open their email account as they see it as an impossible task even though they receive urgent emails!

    Is there a solution? Well first of all working in a school we should all be educated to start thinking before giving in our information. Will they share our information? Please do take some time to read the information before signing in!

    Secondly we have an open source program in order to train our email program to know what’s spam (unwanted emails) and what’s not. We introduce SpamAssassin. On that page one has where to download; wiki; forum; documentation and FAQ.

    If one prefers YouTube videos then one should visit: YouTube