18 KDE Edutainment Programs – Great free Linux kids Tutors & learning tools

Free Babysitter and Tutor rolled up into one

Linux is just one of the great things that everyone should know about.  If you ever experienced one of your kids saying “Daddy, what should I do next, I’m bored”, then you’ll appreciate the great number of free and wonderful educational programs available on Linux.  The apps shown here are KDE based but should work in most if not all Linux distros and desktop environments.  My recommendation – You can install Edubuntu and get many of these apps, or if you’re just looking to add a kids ‘section’ install Kubuntu or your favorite KDE desktop (Debian, Mandriva are excellent choices, see our reviews in the Linux tools section).  Then jump over to your package manager and select these games to install.

KDE Edutainment Tools

Khangman

khangman-screenshot

Simple to use hangman program for kids.  Comes with a hint prompt to make it easier for the youngsters to get the correct answer.

KLatin

klatin screenshot

Klatin has three parts – vocabulary, grammar and verb testing sections.   The purpose is to revise latin through translation and grammar checking.  Development has been stopped as of KDE 3.5, however we tested it to work on Gnome as well.

Klettres

klettres alphabet learning snapshot

This nifty learning tool teaches you alphabet and phrases in English and these other languages as well – Czech, Brazilian Portuguese, Danish, Dutch, English, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Kannada, Hindi Romanized, Low Saxon, Luganda, Spanish, Slovak and Telugu.

kanagram

kanagram screenshot

This tool mixes up the letters of a word (creating an anagram), and you have to solve what was the word.  It’s a lot of fun.

kverbos

kverbos screenshot

Learn Spanish and have fun at the same time.  This tool has several different options, and with over 9,000 verbs in the language database, your kids will surely be kept busy.

Kvoctrain (KDE 3.5)  KWordQuiz  (KDE 4)

kwordquiz screenshot

These tools are pretty straightforward flash card games that teach your kids spelling, verb conjugation, and vocabulary in English, French, or German. This game is also a great learning tool for businessmen and travellers who need to brush up on popular phrases before and during a vacation/business trip.

kbruch

kbruch screenshot

Practice your math!  Practice calculations, fractions, algebraic formulas, conversion, and more.  This little program kept my 8th grader busy for hours.

kpercentage

kpercentage screenshot

Kpercentage is a nice simple tool for kids to practice their skills in calculating percentages.

kig

kig snapshot

This program is for more advanced math students, high school (even college!) and for math teachers.  You can practice geometry, sine curves, and other things that we’ve all forgotten after passing the last test for that subject.

kmplot

kmplot screenshot

For the advanced students, this math plotter has a built-in parser too with a function library too!   Plots can be printed in scale with a great degree of precision.  There are some very smart people out there…

kgeography

kgeography_screenshot

This new geography learning tool is a great way to brush up on country capitals, political borders, flags, etc…

kturtle

kturtle screenshot kturtle 2 screenshot

Kturtle is a teaching & learning environment with several modules.  Your older kids can learn how to program, math, language skills, and more, all in a fun educational interface.  The programming language skills are a great way to start your kids off on a career of programming.  The application was ported to KDE4, but some have commented that it works better in KDE 3.5.    We had no problem running it in Ubuntu/Gnome.

blinken

blinken screenshot

Let’s have some real fun!  Simon-Says…  This memory learning tool is great for the younger and older kids.

keduca

keduca screenshot

This educational tool enables teachers and parents to create tests and questionnaires with a whole assortment of helper modules.   This project was abandoned when KDE moved to 4.x, but it still works on my KDE 3.5 and on Gnome.  Get it while it’s hot.  Hey, maybe you want to continue development for this tool?

ktouch

kktouch screenshot

Learn touch typing the fun way.  I wish we had (free) programs like this when I was learning how to type.  By the way, I hit 70 words on my practice test.  I think programmers generally type faster.   Well anyways, this program will help you get ahead.

kstars

kstars screenshot

Kstars is easily my favorite application from those listed on this page.  Explore the universe.  This app is best viewed in a dark room with the lights out, and a Pink Floyd tune (preferably Shine on you crazy diamond) playing in the background.  This app is billed as a KDE planeterium, and it certainly lives up to its calling.   If you look closely, you can see up 100’s of millions of stars, planets, asteroids, etc…  There are also tools for amateur astronomers such as a sky calendar, observation plans, etc…  Not to be missed!

kalzium

kalzium_screenshot

Periodic table of elements, right on your desktop.  Very cool as a learning tool and as a reference.  How many times a day do you need to know the mass of barium and just get to the numbers fast enough!?  I also wish I had this tool while studying science in high school.

More in depth notes, screenshots, and reviews for all of these tools can be found at http://edu.kde.org


Next – we’ll review about 35 free arcade, card, and board games for your KDE desktop.

Turn your Ubuntu into Edubuntu “Lite”

If you’re like me, you want the best of all worlds 🙂

I want my Ubuntu to have all the great educational tools that are on the Edubuntu Distro, but I don’t want a separate environment.  I want to let my kids on my Ubuntu computer for an hour to play math and spelling games, but then jump right back to my work environment.

Edubuntu has a vast selection of educational programs.  You may not want (or don’t have room) to install over 500MB of new packages.  Instead, here’s the top educational tools that by adding them to your Ubuntu, your kids will certainly enjoy.  These packages will give you a good taste of the Edubuntu suite of programs before you decide if you want to add the rest.  All of these tools can easily by installed in Synaptic Package Manager, or on your terminal command line (e.g. sudo apt-get install kalzium , etc…)

kalzium screenshot
kalzium screenshot

Kalzium – Periodic table of elements

Kbruch – A great math game / skills test.  The kids (and adults) will have a lot of fun with this.  This is a KDE tool, but it works great on my Gnome Ubuntu

Khangman screenshot
Khangman screenshot

Khangman – A simple but effective visual hangman game to encourage your kids to practice their spelling. Comes with nice background choices and hints.

Tuxpaint – Tux Paint is a drawing program aimed at younger kids.  It includes audio sounds integrated with the actions being drawn.  For example, you can “stamp” a frog on the screen and hear the sound that a frog makes too.

Tux Typing – A nice typing tutor that adds a space-invader type arcade game.  You save the Linux penguin from being smothered by the falling words by correctly typing them.

Tux Math – A nice game / math learning tool integration.

Tux4Kids – Another great learning tool from the Tux group.

Gcompris – Kindergarten aged kids will love this learning program.  There are many different modules, including spelling, math, telling time, etc…  (Gnome based tool that works in Kubuntu as well)

It’s amazing that all these tools are open-source.  Grab then now and make Ubuntu that fun learning tool you always wanted for your kids.