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Monday, March 18, 2013

Educational Linux Distro provides Tech Bundle for Kids and Educators

This new Educational Linux Distro, called Ubermix, looks interesting (see article below). Although, Educational Linux Distros are not new. Such as the Linux Distro's, Apps and Computer Kits in these links (just to name a few that I had in my Bookmarks)...

Educational Linux Distros, Apps and Computer Kits

Linux Today - The Linux Desktop: Rich with educational software
The Linux Desktop: Rich with educational software
Overview | Adafruit Raspberry Pi Educational Linux Distro | Adafruit Learning System
Occidentalis v0.2 | Adafruit Raspberry Pi Educational Linux Distro | Adafruit Learning System
Linux Today - Educational Linux distro provides tech-bundle for kids and educators
The Linux Desktop: Rich with educational software | ZDNet
SIGs/Education/Spin - FedoraProject
SIGs/Education - FedoraProject
Linux Today - 75 Open Source Replacements for Popular Education Apps
Linux Today - 65 Open Source Apps That Replace Popular Education Software
Mandriva Provides an Educational Solution for Schools and OEMs - Softpedia
DonsDeals: Beginners Guide to The TI MSP-EXP430FR5739 Experimenter Board
Linux Today - The Linux Desktop: Rich with educational software

Raspberry Pi $25 to $35 PC Board Kit for Education and Experimentation

Raspberry Pi Foundation
YouTube - Raspberry Pi - the £15 computer
Questions remain over $25 Raspberry Pi -
The Raspberry Pi Computer Is Finally Being Manufactured ~ Web Upd8: Ubuntu / Linux blog
Raspberry Pi Lands eBay Bidding Up To $2,700 USD
$25 Linux PC 'Raspberry Pi' to Go in Production Early Next Year ~ Ubuntu Vibes
Build the 2006 prototype of Raspberry Pi's $25 PC – Computer Chips & Hardware Technology |
Simple 3d graphics on a microcontroller - YouTube
RaspBerry Pi on DonsDeals Blog - Google Custom Search
DonsDeals: XBMC running on Raspberry Pi
DonsDeals: Raspberry Pi's Gertboard expansion board already works (video) – Computer Chips & Hardware Technology |
Group: Raspberry Pi - element14
Arch Linux ARM available for download | Raspberry Pi
Register here to express an interest in Raspberry Pi
Raspberry Pi sells out within one hour | Linux User
Raspberry Pi gets Arch Linux | Linux User
FAQs | Raspberry Pi
Group: Raspberry Pi - element14
About us | Raspberry Pi
Farnell / Electronic Component Distributors / Suppliers / Electronics, Electrical Parts, Electrical Components and Wholesale Electronics.
RS Components | Electronic and Electrical Components
Export | Electronic Components | Electronic Parts
Register interest for your @Raspberry_Pi.
Raspberry Pi | A revolution in low cost computing. Brought to you by Orbits IT
Raspberry Pi - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
PCH Search & Win: Raspberry Pi
Don't bring this teacher an apple, he prefers Raspberry Pi |
Overview | Adafruit Raspberry Pi Educational Linux Distro | Adafruit Learning System
Occidentalis v0.2 | Adafruit Raspberry Pi Educational Linux Distro | Adafruit Learning System
DonsDeals: Raspberry Pi - Seneca Fedora Remix 14 Release

This one called
Ubermix, may be good for those Teachers and Kids who like a Mobile Phone GUI Interface...


Educational Linux distro provides tech-bundle for kids and educators

Interview with Jim Klein, founder of Ubermix -

Image by

How are we going to teach the next generation about open source and Linux? More importantly, how can we get the right technology into classrooms to empower our educators to teach our children the open source way?

The opportunities that open source presents to education and academics is growing each day. highlights individual tools like Scratch and TuxPaint that are starting to make an impact—but, what about an entire education distribution? How do we make it easier to get an entire toolset into the hands of school systems, teachers, and students? How can we really move the needle and present a revolutionary open source operating system designed for kids and education?

Enter Ubermix.

Ubermix is a Linux distribution built by educators, for educators, and for students, "with an eye towards student and teacher empowerment." That's why the "desktop" looks like a mobile phone. And it comes pre-installed with tons of open source applications that are geared toward education and creativity.

We caught up with the founder of Ubermix, Jim Klein, to find out more about this Linux-based operating system and how the project aims to create a turn-key installation process, reducing the complexity and deployment often associated with installing a Linux distro. We also wanted to hear some of the stories from the people already finding success with Ubermix.

Takeaway sneak peek: You can make a difference for the next generation. Just tell someone you know in education about Ubermix.

Tell our readers about Ubermix and your target audience.

Ubermix is designed to bring the power and flexibility of free software and an open operating system to kids and the education community. While there are a number of general purpose Linux builds out there, few have made significant inroads into schools, due in large part to their complexity and general purpose design language. What Ubermix brings is an easy entry point and sensible design decisions, having been assembled with a real understanding of the challenges education technologists face when attempting to implement something new. Features such as a five minute install from a USB key, extraordinary hardware compatibility, and a quick, 20-second reset process make it possible for understaffed and underfunded school technology teams to scale up significant technology access without increasing the need for technical support.

For kids, Ubermix brings a far more approachable interface to Linux, virtually eliminating the traditional "desktop" paradigms in favor of something similar to a cell phone that's far easier to use. Couple that with more than 50 carefully selected applications across a broad array of subject areas and that quick reset function, which enables a student to solve their own problems without losing any of their work, and you have a powerful tool for learning.

What are some of the open source applications included with Ubermix?

Ubermix comes pre-loaded with a number of applications for education, productivity, design, programming, Internet, and multimedia construction. Education oriented applications like Celestia, Stellarium, Scratch, VirtualLab Microscope, Geogebra, iGNUit, and Klavaro, as well as educational games like TuxMath, TuxTyping, gMult, and Numpty Physics all bring with them plenty of opportunities to learn.

Internet applications we all know and love, like Firefox, Thunderbird, Chrome, Google Earth, and Skype are all there. Common productivity apps like LibreOffice, NitroTasks, Planner Project Management, VYM (View Your Mind), and Zim Desktop Wiki are too. Kids interested in design will find the GIMP, Inkscape, Scribus, Dia, Agave, and even TuxPaint for the younger ones. And apps like Audacity, Openshot, Pencil, and ffDiaporama help round out the media offerings. These, and many more, make Ubermix a powerful launchpad for student creativity and learning.

What does the future hold for Ubermix?

I'm constantly amazed and humbled by the growth of Ubermix, and continue to work towards making it better, easier, and more powerful for kids, teachers, and technologists. I think touch will certainly play a role in the future, as will alternative devices and form factors. It will be interesting to see just how the recent hardware renaissance plays out, and where Ubermix fits into the future needs of schools. I also plan to work with the community to build some sort of a web-based management interface that would make larger deployments even easier to manage.

What is the most interesting way Ubermix has been used so far?

People always find ways to do amazing things with Ubermix. A team of middle-school students have built a number of computer labs in the central valley using government surplus machines. Kramden Institute is planning to deploy Ubermix on 3000 computers given to needy kids to help bridge the digital divide.

A retired education technology leader is not only building and donating Ubermix machines to needy families, but is also touring the country, sharing Ubermix at conferences in several states. And I once heard from an activist who shared with me that he was giving Ubermix netbooks to kids in Central America. It's truly amazing and inspiring.

Where does someone get started with Ubermix and how can someone get involved?

You can find all things Ubermix at As with any open source project, the bigger the community the better! New ideas and code are always welcome, as are translators, writers for the wiki, and anyone willing to help out answering questions in the forums. And, of course, help spreading the word!

Bonus: What's the best "feel good" story from the Ubermix community?

The best thing about Ubermix is seeing an empowered student do something amazing with it and then share how they did it, both within their classroom and school, and the online world. From that geeky kid who struggled with relationships until his peers found out what he could do with a computer... to the special day class kids who get to shine as they teach the regular ed kids how to build something... to the teams of fourth graders writing apps and deconstructing code... to the creative, outgoing kid who makes and makes and makes things that he shares online. It's always incredible to behold.

It's the power of community driven by open source, writ large for the world to see.


Want to get kids to use it? Make it run MineCraft. They'll be less interested in an array of applications of which a fair few look worse than Windows shareware from 1998.

"Finally, a version of linux designed for kids": I'm confused about this article's position towards the longstanding educational distro Edubuntu. Are you aware of it? Would you consider it not fit for students and educators? The wording here acts as though Linux has never produced an education-oriented bundle, and that doesn't seem accurate.

And, agreed about Minecraft. That seems like an obvious one to include for kids... although currently, Minecraft is only free for the Raspberry Pi platform.

Yeah, Edubuntu has been around for a long time.

My daughter's PC runs Edubuntu 11.10 and it comes with A LOT of educational software already installed. It also changes some (maybe a lot) of settings to make it more accessible and friendly to kids.

Not to mention the awesome software (oh wait, I already did) like Scratch, Celestia, and the primary, secondary, and tertiary educational bundles!

Good stuff.

But I am always glad to see MORE opportunites to expose kids to open source software and linux.

Edubuntu seems to be made for younger kids. Kids tired of it very quickly since those programs were mostly made for 3-6 year olds. Ubermix seems to offer programs for slightly older kids. By the time they're 10, they'll mostly be outgrowing ubermix as well. By 11-13, they better have learned how to touch type already and should be working beyond scratch. Some of them should already be learning python or Java.

Minecraft does already run on linux. So does Steam (on Ubuntu) which is a gaming platform. But you need to be sure there is good support for your graphics card otherwise you may not get great results.
I think that a list of needed apps be placed on the site - you may get interest from a lot of programmers looking for a hoby project or recognition or even an avenue to get new apps for the Ubuntu on phones which will be compatible.

Ubermix is a much improved desktop using the base provided by unity 2D. But it has a big flaw: no iso image is provided, not allowing for an easy installation in more machines than the one it targets

Go there...

Ubermix is an all-free, specially built, Linux-based operating system designed from the ground up with the needs of education in mind

Interview with Jim Klein, founder of Ubermix |
Kids learn to program by making cool games |
Open source creative tools like TuxPaint loved by many at the library |
About the ubermix
ubermix Home
ubermix Download & Install
ubermix Download Files
ubermix Basics
ubermix Customization
ubermix Blog
ubermix Wiki
ubermix Forums - Index

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