Back in September 2008 we launched AccessApps, an initiative developed by the Scottish JISC Regional Support Centres in cooperation with JISC TechDis. This consisted of over 50 open source and freeware assistive technology applications which can be entirely used from a USB stick on a Windows computer as known as portable software.
The huge advantage of portable software is that it can entirely run from a portable storage device (e.g. USB pen/thumb drive, memory card, mp3 player) without the need for installation or configuration on the computer being used (particularly useful for students working on locked down machines on campus).
The video below prepared for the IMS Learning Impact awards nicely summaries what AccessApps is and the philosophy behind it.
Portable software is nothing new and sites like portableapps.com have been going for a number of years. AccessApps is probably unique by highlighting assistive software that is open source and freeware, making it freely available for anyone to download.
Building on our success so far (which has included winning a Scottish Open Source Award) we are now expanding the AccessApps brand with two further software bundles, LearnApps and TeachApps. We are collectively calling these three strands as EduApps.
As well as updating the existing AccessApps software we’ve been trawling the net for new applications to include in the two new packages. Notable inclusions include the popular open source VLE, Moodle, and two a learning object creators/editors, eXe and Xerte.
In total we’re hoping to make 86 applications both freeware and open source available via EduApps (here is the complete list of software we are hoping to distribute).
UPDATE – We’re busy putting the final polish to EduApps. We want to make sure we get it right, rather than putting out a rushed version. Please bear with us, it’ll be worth the wait – we promise! EduApps is here!