M.Sc., M.Ed., JRF & NET
Lecturer in Physical Science, Arafa Institute for Teacher Education
Edubuntu, previously known as Ubuntu Education Edition, is an official derivative of the Ubuntu operating system designed for use in classrooms inside schools, homes and communities.
Edubuntu has been developed in collaboration with teachers and technologists in multiple countries. Edubuntu is built on top of the Ubuntu base, includes several education-specific applications, and is aimed at users aged 6 to 18. It is designed for easy installation and ongoing system maintenance.
Edubuntu CDs were previously available for free through their Shipit service. As of version 8.10 (2008), it is only available as a download in a DVD format. The primary goal of Edubuntu is to enable an educator with limited technical knowledge and skills to set up a computer lab or an on-line learning environment in an hour or less and then effectively administer that environment.
The principal design goals of Edubuntu are centralized management of configuration, users and processes, together with facilities for working collaboratively in a classroom setting. Equally important is the gathering together of the best available free software and digital materials for education. According to a statement of goals on the official Edubuntu Website: "Our aim is to put together a system that contains all the best free software available in education and make it easy to install and maintain."
A large number of applications for Science Education including PhET, Celestia, Avogadro, Chemical Calculator, Gamgi, Ghemical, Gperiod, Kalzium, Kstars, Molecules Viewer, Periodic Table of the Elements, Rasmol, Stellarium etc are included in Edubuntu.
PhET: PhET is a suite of research-based interactive computer simulations for teaching and learning physics, chemistry, biology, maths, and other sciences. PhET simulations can be run online or downloaded for free from the PhET website. The simulations are animated, interactive, and game-like environments where students learn through exploration. They emphasize the connections between real-life phenomena and the underlying science, and help make the visual and conceptual models of expert scientists accessible to students. PhET simulations are primarily developed for and tested with university and high school students, but have been found to be educational and fun for students of all ages.
Celestia: Celestia is an application for real-time 3D visualization of space, with a detailed model of the solar system, over 100,000 stars, more than 10,000 galaxies, and an extension mechanism for adding more objects. The program allows users to travel through an extensive universe, modeled after reality, at any speed, in any direction, and at any time in history. Celestia displays and interacts with objects ranging in scale from small spacecraft to entire galaxies in three dimensions.