Open Source Text Editing Options

Here at Synergy we use Microsoft Office 2008 on all student Macintosh computers in 4-8 classrooms and it’s worked well. But what happens at home? Do you need to buy a full version of Office for school work? The short answer is no. There are many “Open Source” software programs that are available at low cost or no cost on the internet. And you can use a basic Text Editors, included in Mac and Windows PCs to do most writing assignments. If you’re a Google/Gmail user, the build in text editor does a great job for most writing assignments.

Here’s a starting list:

LibreOffice: http://www.libreoffice.org (Free, donation encouraged)

Open Office: http://www.openoffice.org (Free)

Google Docs: http://docs.google.com (Free)

Neo Office: http://www.neooffice.org/ ($10 payment)

Simple text editors: TextEdit (Apple) and Note Pad (Windows) are built into each Operating System

More Alternatives: http://www.investintech.com/articles/tenwordalternatives/

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FTC moving to tighten rules on kid’s online privacy

With the explosion of Mobile Apps for tablets and smart phones, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is poised to overhaul rules that will protect children’s online privacy:

The current federal rule, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998, requires operators of children’s Web sites to obtain parental consent before they collect personal information like phone numbers or physical addresses from children under 13. But rapid advances in technology have overtaken the rules, privacy advocates say.

Some of the new proposal includes making sure parental consent is obtained before children under 13 can submit photos of themselves.

Please read more in the New York Times