ESL etc.

Global Issues and Activism in English Language Teaching

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Useful Free Software

In the course of preparing materials and trying to save money, I’ve come across a variety of open source software packages that are really useful. All of the materials that made for this site were created using this software.

OpenOfficeOpenOffice is a complete office package with word processor, spreadsheet, presentation software and so on. It’s easy as pie to open and save documents in .doc format.

EngradeEngrade is a free online gradebook. It allows for weighted grades and also has attendance and calendar features.

DropboxDropbox is a great tool for keeping files synchronized across multiple computers. It’s free for up to 2 gig of space.

GIMPGIMP is a full-featured image editing software package, comparable to PhotoShop. I’ve only used the basics, but it looks good so far.

InkscapeInkscape is an open source vector graphic editor.

DiaDia is an easy to use diagram / chart creation tool.

AoA Audio ExtractorAoA Audio Extractor is an easy way to pull audio from video files. The free version lets you process three video files at a time, and export as either WAV, MP3 or AC3.

AVG Free Edition – Grisoft offers a free edition of both their anti-virus and anti-spyware programs.

ZoneAlarm – For a great free firewall, ZoneAlarm can’t be beat.

Mozilla FirefoxFirefox is a great alternative to Internet Explorer.

AudacityAudacity is a sound recording and editing program. Used to record the podcasts, this program can be used to create all manner of audio material.

FileZillaFileZilla is a free FTP client.

WinkWink allows you to create animated tutorials using by capturing screenshots and mouse movements, and adding pop-up explanations. It is a very useful tool for creating websites or presentations explaining how to use a certain piece of software. / and (one and the same) offer free, lifetime hosting of media files. All of the mp3s for my podcast are hosted there, saving me valuable bandwidth.

EdxorEdxor is a free, lightweight text editor.

Notepad++ – After years and years of using simple text editors to do my web design, I finally installed Notepad++. It’s lightweight, but it still manages to highlight HTML tags and format your code with indentations and all that good stuff.

AutostitchAutostitch has nothing to do with English teaching, but it is fantastic. It stitches photographs together (automatically) to make panoramic shots. Here are two examples: Diamondhead & Halemaumau Crater

MozyMozy is a free online backup service offering 2 GBs of space.

WordPressWordPress is a PHP-based content management / blogging system.

Zilla Data NukerZilla Data Nuker is useful for permanently deleting files from your computer. It can sweep all blank areas of your hard drive, perfect for when you are selling a computer or returning it to your school.

HTTrackHTTrack is an easy to use program that copies entire websites to your hard drive. Good for grabbing a lot of resources at once, or backing up your website.

FlashGotFlashGot is a Firefox plug-in that lets you grab all the files on a page, helpful if you want to download a bunch of images or audio files from a site.

PeerBlockPeerBlock (based on PeerGuardian 2) blocks an extensive list of governmental and anti-P2P computers from connecting to your computer. It is a must-have if you use any peer-to-peer file sharing software, and a recommended privacy tool even if you don’t.

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