Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Open Source, Linux and Language Labs

Our school will be moved away from a Windows/PC environment at spring break this year and into a ThinClient/Linux system.  There has been a huge amount of uproar by some of our staff because of the impending change.  (Personally, I'm looking forward to it).  The main reason people are citing for being up in arms is software access.

Cries of "But, but, but, I won't have WORD!"  have been heard around the school on multiple occasions, and despite reassurances that OpenOffice will meet the needs of your basic word processor (and then some), there are still some very anxious and (dare I say) pissed off staff around.

However, one of the programs that 'may' not work in the Linux environment is our language lab program - CAN8.  Now, the version that we have at school is at least 15 years old (although built in Windows, looks like it's DOS based on screen) and did cost a big chunk of change.  And as much as I find it useful for students to practice on, I can't help thinking "Isn't there something better out there?"

So I've been trawling the internets tonight trying to find a) alternatives to Can8 that run natively in Linux and/or b) some open-source options.  I've found a few possibilities, but I'm not sure how they would work for French or Spanish as most of them seem to be geared towards ESL learners.

Anyone have any suggestions? Anyone running Can8 in a Linux OS?

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