Software We Use

Student computers are PC’s and currently have the following software:

  • Operating System: Windows 10
  • Applications:  Microsoft Office 2016 (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, etc.) and Office 365; Mavis Beacon Typing Tutor; KidPix; open source applications such as GIMP, Google apps, etc.
  • Web browsers:  latest versions of Microsoft Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox

Our Microsoft educational agreement allows students with Microsoft accounts to download and install Microsoft Office 2016 on up to five devices.

Free alternatives:

In recent years, open source software or “in the cloud” applications are providing students with free alternatives to purchasing Microsoft Office products like Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, & Excel.

Google Drive (formerly called Google Docs)

If you already have a Gmail account for your email needs, you’re set! Sign in at Google to access Google Drive, which offers students the ability to type papers, create slideshow presentations, work on spreadsheets, and even create drawings!  If you don’t have a Google account, you can sign up free.

For some easy to follow tutorials about Google Drive and how to create files that can be accessed from any Internet connection and even from smartphones or can be converted to Microsoft formats, visit Alexander Anson’s videos on YouTube, beginning with the Introduction at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M0ZvYRU1Y5Y .

OpenOffice

Apache OpenOffice suite is very similar to an older version of Microsoft Office. With this choice, you download and install the free software to your computer. When you create documents, you have the choice to save them in Microsoft formats like Word docs, PowerPoint presentations, etc., which means they open seamlessly on computers at school.  Visit https://www.openoffice.org/ to read more about this product. (Note from Mrs. Choplin, a computer teacher: My husband uses OpenOffice for his shop’s spreadsheets and invoices and loves it!)

  • 100% Free.  Compatible With MS Office 2000/2003/2007/2010/2013
  • Supported Operating Systems: Windows XP/Vista/7/8/2000

For tutorials on both these alternatives, one website that is easy to understand is the Goodwill computer training site: GCF LearnFree.org. Check out OpenOffice products specifically here: http://www.gcflearnfree.org/openoffice.  These tutorials are very good, although sometimes you have to adjust for versions — they may be older than what you have.   You can always do a Google search for “video tutorials for X” for whatever you need help with.