domingo, 27 de enero de 2013

PicarOS: Linux Designed for Kids!

If you have kids, are involved in children's education, or somehow are curious about computing environments that offer kids opportunities for learning and leisure, then you should take a look at PicarOS.

PicarOS is a MiniNo GNU/Linux system that, while being fully packed with lots of applications, is easy on your computer's resources.  Since it is based on MiniNo Ártabros 2.0, it is able to run on systems with 1.0 GHz processors and 256 MB of RAM.  You will need at least 8GB to install it, but PicarOS can run off the DVD on live mode.

According to its developers, PicarOS (a word meaning "rascals" or "rogue" in Spanish), is meant for children in elementary school.  You can tell by its design and appearance that it was made with kids in mind.  While the system is loading, you'll hear a funny, cartoonish tune that will make you think: "here come the kids!".  Then, once PicarOS loads, its big, colorful icons will show the effort of its developers to make a system that children may find attractive.  If I had had a computer running something like this during my childhood, I would know a lot about computing right now!

If you think that appearance is not as important as what a system can actually do, then PicarOS does not fall short in that area, either.  It is, in fact, the most complete and amazing collection of learning tools I've seen.  It has nearly everything for children to explore and learn: music-creation tools, vocabulary drills, painting programs, educational even comes with simple 3-D tools!

Now, PicarOS is also a full productivity suite.  Believe me, I have no problems using it myself: it comes with LibreOffice, Jclic Author, DeVeDe, VLC, Xfburn, Firefox, Chrome and many other applications that I use for work.

In fact, exploring the system, I found Anki, a very handy tool for learning vocabulary.  For kids?  Not necessarily: I downloaded flashcards for reviewing my Japanese vocabulary and kanji (it includes resources for the Japanese Language Proficiency Test, all levels!)  I also downloaded resources for practicing my Korean and an intermediate French vocabulary drill.  Along with them, there are many many other resources waiting for you!

 Finally, since seeing is believing, here you can have a look at the official video on Youtube:

I must say that PicarOS really impressed me.  Among the systems made for kids that I've tested, this is the best one.  I will keep it and I will tell my students about it.  Hopefully, they will find a great educational ally in it.

If you want your kids to experience the power and fun of computers as learning and talent-fostering tools, let this little cat (MiniNO, in Spanish) play with them!

3 comentarios:

  1. It seems we are in sync again: I just finished my new blog entry on...PicarOS! :P

    Thanks for telling me about it!

  2. Thanks for downloading it and giving me a copy! This is a jewel OS indeed!

  3. I should have posted my comment about installing PicarOS to my laptop here instead of posting it on the AuralQuiz post. Gomen, gomen :P