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Resources for Teachers and Parents

Computers and Internet

  • Bottom-line is that hardware and network-access is not free and software for doing any task on the computer is free these days (free/libre/open-source software = FLOSS).   Software page has links for reliable sites where you can download freeware and shareware.  Textbooks and other educational content are also available freely on the inter-webs.  See the section below on OpenContent or look in the research category of useful links.

  • Don't cultivate the habit of pirating/stealing commercial software and content.  Buy software and content if you like the features or support offered by a vendor.
  • Understand what options you have for parental controls on computers and internet. Read about this topic in your computer's Help and Support (in the start menu). Search on the web about this topic.  Here are some links where you can educate yourself - Microsoft Windows 7, some video links on this page tell you how to keep your children safer.  Or you can start on the Microsoft's default security page. Google maintains a 'Family Safety Center' that you should visit and learn all the tricks before the kids figure them out.  If you do not want to be in this race with your kids, you already have a lead and play to your (social) strengths rather than play (technology) catch-up.  What we mean is that if you teach ethics and morals using traditional approaches and build their character with family/society support there is high probability that they would retain their character and avoid getting themselves into trouble on computers and internet.

If you are a school teacher for Computer Science, seriously consider these resources rather than sticking to outdated curriculum and written exams that do not make sense (especially if the current approach expects the child to remember some menu items in a specific software program).  You may look in the roadmaps for more resources.

  • Exploring Computer Science - Teaching Resources. Browse the main page for background and other useful information on why this is an excellent resource.

  • Computer Science Unplugged - Download the free book and use it in a classroom without computers!  This curriculum can be used along with Scratch or Greenfoot (see below) if you are using computers.

  • Ideas for Teaching Computer Science to Kids.
  • Mr. Steve's Exploratorium - Lot of topics (not just about computers) in the blog archives.  See the word cloud on right to see which topic is highlighted.
  • If you got onto the 'Visual Programming' wagon using Scratch (have you used CS Unplugged curriculum in classroom and Scratch Unplugged? to reinforce those concepts), there are older and more complex ones (in terms of user or programming interfaces) that are in use in quite a few schools across the world - eToys, Alice, Greenfoot. Consider these independently or after introducing Scratch to kids.  eToys 5 offers ScratchConnect that allows Scratch programs to be imported into eToys.  eToys Illinois is one of the best resources.  Alice offers 3D visual environment and here are some free materials.  Greenfoot can be used to teach Java programming and here is how you can use Greenfoot along with the CS Unplugged curriculum. Consider Python than Java. We hope to provide a dedicated resources page for Python soon. 

Open Content

Why do some entities (organizations or people) charge money and others give it away for free? Is quality a concern if the stuff is free? Good questions.  Find your own answers rather than trusting us.  We think free/libre/open content is good as long as it is peer-reviewed and there is an active mechanism to maintain quality.  Here are some resources (some others are listed in the research category of useful links).


Languages

Free on-line courses in various languages are provided by CDAC  http://ihg.cdacb.in:8080/eSikshak/

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Engineering

  • Teach Engineering - is a digital library of 800+ K-12 engineering lessons and hands-on activities.

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