January 2009


You use a word processor sometimes, but do you use the drawing tools of your office suite?

Our Curriculum and Lesson Plans page now has the link to a file that will help you teach the skills to your students. Of course, you want it NOW! The link is here, too.

http://www.runeman.org/mosssig/openoffice_draw_skills.odg

The file is the practice for the ButterBox Project which can also be downloaded from the Curriculum and Lesson Plans page.

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Digital Rights Management (DRM) is the effort to control copying and sharing or downright piracy. It was once very common for PC game software, and it is currently the rage in music (think iTunes) and movies (think MPAA).

Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_rights_management

Cory Doctrow is an author who generally gives away his work while also selling it. He is not a fan of DRM. You might be interested to read this post by Cory Doctrow from the blog “Boing Boing” about the childrens’ book The Pig and the Box which is about sharing vs. DRM.

http://www.boingboing.net/2009/01/28/pig-and-the-box-anti.html

You might also like to examine the site from which the book may be purchased AND from which it may be downloaded in PDF format (free).

http://books.1889.ca/pig_and_the_box

Be sure to click the “Home” link after you check out The Pig and The Box. There are more books with similar themes. I love the one about the crow.

Linux Journal has posted a nice tutorial on their Web site.

http://www.linuxjournal.com/content/openofficeorg-impress-preparing-slide-show

Don’t all of you use your computer/projector instead of an overhead and acetate sheets?

The Ubuntu Pocket Guide and Reference is a good book to buy (currently less than $10.00 from Amazon) and keep handy while you get started or expand your use of and knowledge about the popular GNU/Linux distribution. It can fit in your pocket, or sit easily beside your computer. What’s more, you can download the PDF ebook for free.

http://www.ubuntupocketguide.com/download.html

The Amazon link is included at the Web page above.

We want to provide a wide variety of useful classroom activities in the form of lesson plans and project templates as part of what we do here at MOSSSIG.

We are going to start the effort off with ButterBox, a template/project for OpenOffice Draw. Students, having gained skill with the Draw tools and methods will create a box to contain the “product” they design.

Click the link for “Curriculum/Lesson Plans” at the top of the page to check on new files. You can also click this link to get directly to the ButterBox project.

Your contributions and suggestions are the next step.

Here’s a link to a blog about files that generate random times table practice worksheets in OpenOffice Calc each time the file is opened. To use it, just download and open the file. Then print the file and duplicate it as needed. You can also use the PDF save function on the file menu to keep a particular version.

http://openoffice.blogs.com/openoffice/2009/01/times-tables-quiz-sheet-in-openoffice-calc-the-file-and-how-to-do-it.html

It should come as no surprise that Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) is an international effort. The Internet provides the path to cross national borders. Worldwide, Ubuntu is the current darling of the GNU/Linux distributions, and it started with Mark Shuttleworth of South Africa.

You might want to read this FOSS document, initially intended for Asian use, which gives a very good introduction to using free. open source software in education.

http://www.iosn.net/education/foss-education-primer/

Happy reading.

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