Well, I'm still waiting for a company to offer up some outdated tablet pc's that I can use to put together a classroom environment. One of the reasons that I'd like to use a tablet pc is that I know that the digitizer works for the HP TC4200 in Ubuntu 9.10. Installing Xournal would give the students the ability to take freehand notes. Unfortunately there appears to be little in the way of instructional handwriting software or games for Linux.

In the meantime, to borrow from DeForrest Kelly, I'm a techie, not a teacher. So, I need to get a feel for what kind of educational software (open source) I can use to create a classroom environment that would be easy for a teacher to manage, useful to both the students and the teacher bearing in mind that they will probably be going to a heterogonous class ranging in grades from k - 12 possibly in a single classroom. I need to know if anyone here has done this sort of thing, if there are any guides of best practices for this sort of thing.

I remember going to a poor, church-run private school. Being thirsty for knowledge, I would regularly raid the boxes of donated books that would come in. Books that were in good shape would be selected for what they called our "library" which consisted of an old church hymnal shelf built in the shape of a church complete with steeple. Those that were not suitable we were allowed to rummage through. I remember triumphantly carrying home the first Shakespeare my fifth grade mind had ever experienced in the form of a tattered paperback copy of "Othello." I read it, not understanding most of what I read, however, thoroughly enjoying the fact that I was reading William Shakespeare and I had my OWN copy.

When I think about the thousands of book titles available today for free in electronic form I wonder how much more deeply my life might have been enriched. Sure, there were many students my age who would have been just as happy with an Archie and Jughead comic book, but what about the one student in a thousand, in a million, somewere out there that could be so much more enriched if they simply had access to something better?

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