Dear Otto is an occasional column where I answer questions I get from readers about teaching tech. If you have a question, please complete the form below and I’ll answer it here. For your privacy, I use only first names.
Mrs. V had this question:
We are switching to Windows 7 on all our computers at school that can work with Windows 7. This means a lot of “free” open source software will not work; so we are “losing” all those programs. My main concern is losing the drawing program TUX PAINT for the K, 1, 2 students. Paint is too hard for them to learn, I think. Are there any other programs/software that could replace that “free” slot?
I haven’t heard that TuxPaint doesn’t work on Win 7. Anyone have experience with that?
Nevertheless, what’s important is that in this particular case it doesn’t work. There is another fun paint program called Kerpoof. It is entirely online–no download–and has many of the tools TuxPaint provides to teach essential mouse skills–drag-and-drop, click and double-click, drag (to paint). You can make a card, a drawing, and/or a story. It has tutorials and tips, and provides lesson plans and cross-references them with state standards. You can also sign up an entire class so you can track them (although the standard Kerpoof drawing program is free). Many teachers use it in the classroom in conjunction with KidPix/TuxPaint.