Educational Software Thread, Edugeek Award for Competent Program Design? in Technical; I just had a thought, sites like download.com and such have an award (approval really) for software that is virus ...
24th January 2008, 12:02 PM #1
Edugeek Award for Competent Program Design?
I just had a thought, sites like download.com and such have an award (approval really) for software that is virus and spyware free. Given the usual 'high' quality of educational software I thought that it might be a good idea to reward those that do the job right. This in addition of course to slating the ones that do it wrong.
Perhaps Edugeek could have a list of education software that is done right along with one of those little approved by icons. This may encourage some software makers to clean up their act and provide things like:
- MSI installers that work with AD
- that do not try to write to everwhere on the system drive for fun
- that can be configured by Group policy
- that do not require a bank of Cray 5s to run
- that save files in the my documents folder
- that don't require quicktime 2 to run
This would also reward those that already do this and possibly bring more people to the site.
What does everybody think and do you know of any software that is already deserving?
IDG Tech News
24th January 2008, 12:13 PM #2
Sounds like a good idea to me. At least if it is used I know where to come and yell if it doesn't work
Can also really annoy publishers by asking "Is it EduGeek certified? No? Ohhh sorry, bye."
24th January 2008, 12:16 PM #3
I like idea what would be criteria to get the award.
24th January 2008, 12:22 PM #4
Criteria should include packaging quality - i.e. cds with stuck on labels that are already lifting.
Proper Support - not an aol email address.
Must have been tested on a modern OS - no Windows 3.11/95/98 compatability stickers.
Tech support must have a clue - if I have to tell you why your software is misbehaving and tell you how to provide the fix, you've failed.
Must be able to overwrite a file of the same name on a networked drive. I'm looking at you Techsoft.
Evaluation copies available.
Ease of deployment and upgrades.
Site or concurrent use licenses should be available.
Should not require admin rights.
Documentation should mention dependencies - i.e commonly (in schools) disabled components, don't make me find out later.
Decent documentation should exist.
Ooh - bagsy on naming the Wooden Spoon prize. "The $crapsoftware prize for Disservice to Education".
Last edited by pete; 24th January 2008 at 12:31 PM.
Reason: extra stuff
24th January 2008, 12:26 PM #5
There could be a three star system or something:
deploys with MSI through AD
Uninstalls properly from deploy
Saves stuff to My Documents
No security tweaks needed
Manageable liscencing one code once on the MSI deploy
registers all necessary Dlls
Above and includes dependencies in the MSI
runs on slower hardware without 2GB of RAM
Upgradeable by MSP through GP
Good support documentation
Configurable with group policy
Downloadable installer for when the disk has been lost
Last edited by SYNACK; 24th January 2008 at 12:30 PM.
Reason: Included more information
24th January 2008, 12:40 PM #6
Ok ... looking at some criteria
This would need to be tested on 5 different vanilla systems, at least 3 CC3 systems, 2 classlink and 2 'other' systems. I think that would be a reasonable start for 'minimum requirements'
* MSI installers that work with AD
I think a full list of files and a listing of files that are placed in anywhere other than ~/program files/<application> would be the best option ... including required permissions for those files so that the program can run.
* that do not try to write to everwhere on the system drive for fun
Clear instructions on the editing of config files or the creation of transform files.
* that can be configured by Group policy
It is difficult to start detailing the computer specs ... some schools may run the software on a machine capable of using the software or running the services, but if you are also running VMware with 3 virtual machines on there, a botched install of IIS / MS-SQL, etc ... then it will still run like a pig. Better to have a 'minimum requirements' and suggested requirements ... where the suggested requirements means that it will also run at the same time as 3 office documents, 5 separate browser windows, a high level AV solution (ie a memory hungry one) and a connection to a server based product (having SIMS open would be a good example)
* that do not require a bank of Cray 5s to run
I would personally prefer that you can specify which is the default save folder ... this allows for those that want to specify saving to an alternative location (networks share by either UNC or mounted drive letter).
* that save files in the my documents folder
I think at this point we might need to create a document with a standard desktop build in it. This could specify what the 'minimum' specification would be for software to be installed on a machine. This would be a base-line, not a limiting specification.
* that don't require quicktime 2 to run
How's that for a few ideas? Feel free to expand.
24th January 2008, 01:01 PM #7
My bad, the My Documents location item was a minimum requirement, we redirect our MyDocs to a UNC so that would be sufficient as a base level however as you say having it fully configurable would be much better
Originally Posted by GrumbleDook
I think regarding the plug in stuff the criteria could be that it does not require a certain version of something like quick time that is out of date to run. The best implementations would be mostly version independent other than a minimum version to run it. We should not have to limit the plug in version to allow the software to run.
And for software that stores its config in the registry I think ADM files would be quite a nice gesture from the software companies involved. This is of course a high level criteria for like an A+ or something though.
There is an application that would probably meet most of the minor requirements mostly as it is quite a simple app that we use at one of my primary schools. PivotStick Animator its free and getting the fully deployable MSI out is just a case of running the installer and copying out the MSI and CAB from the temp directory. Runs fine without admin rights and even saves to the My Documents location be default.
This is the only educational software that I don't need to repackage, well this and Photostory.
Last edited by SYNACK; 24th January 2008 at 01:32 PM.
Reason: Addition of Nomination
24th January 2008, 01:55 PM #8
The smart learning is a good example of this. I have the server-side running on the AD and the client installation on both the XP and OS X side connecting to it. Works really well.
24th January 2008, 01:57 PM #9
hahaha. I can't access pivotstick animator here. It's been blocked by RM.
24th January 2008, 02:16 PM #10
It'd be good to have a voting system on the key criteria and then a rating: 1 to 6 perhaps in a list of applications.
Great idea though. May prompt companies to improve to win that Edugeek gold standard, and those with very low ratings to at least try to improve in what WE feel are their key weaknesses.
24th January 2008, 02:28 PM #11
Could also be nice to have levels as someone else mentioned from the point of view that it may not have somethings but that is acceptable to some people. So a bronze, silver, gold type level.
24th January 2008, 02:48 PM #12
How about a simple voting system?
Someone nominates a product, and you need x "Yes" and less than y "No" votes - people will vote "No" if it is missing many of the features they requre in that particular product. Strikes me that you guys use so many different types of product, a set list of criteria would never fly.
Evilly commercial idea: Companies would have to opt-in, there would then be a thread created in the "Edugeek Certified" forum and the forum decide on a yes/no. This costs the company £x donation towards edugeek running costs - non-refundable even if they don't get it.
Process is *totally* transparent, so you cant be accused of favouritism toward advertisers, for example, and anyone anting to know about the award can read the archived thread.
Edit: should be free for Open Source products.
24th January 2008, 03:44 PM #13
... except commerically-available and paid-for versions of open-source products course
Originally Posted by tom_newton from smoothwall
24th January 2008, 04:28 PM #14
Indeed - was looking for a loophole for others rather than one for ourselves
Originally Posted by webman
24th January 2008, 05:23 PM #15
Other criteria I would like added:
Doesn't require software to be running on the server, be it for licensing, saving progress or whatever. (goodbye heinneman)
Doesn't require a pesky dongle in the server (i'm looking at you solidworks)
Doesn't have some daft non-perpetual license - why would I want to "subscribe" to a CD of powerpoints.
Has more than 1 paragraph of text per GB of pointless 3d video/animation/video of an animation (die Birchfield RS software! die! die! Die!) i.e. some educational value.
I would like to nominate the "Focus on..." range of technology software. Easy to install and share out, amazingly lightweight 3d simulations/demos, reasonable price, lots of educational content in there.
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