Hugh John gets creative with Painter Essentials 4 and ArtRage Plus
Daunted by the price of high-end graphics tools? Don’t despair, there are still some inexpensive programs available and the good news is that their price bears little comparison to their performance (Painter artwork by Jerry Stinson, left and below). Two of the most impressive ‘natural media’ programs are ArtRage Plus and Painter Essentials 4 (From Corel, at BETT 2009), both of which can be bought for less than £50 (you can download a free version of ArtRage).
Becta is getting serious about Open Source software for schools. The Government ICT agency has just gone out to tender for a "School Open Source Project" and its Schools Interoperability Framework (SIF) is getting industry recognition for its implications for Open Source.
Google has made another significant inroad into UK education. The University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) has adopted Google Apps for Education for all of its email, messaging, calendar and collaborative document needs. It says it is the first UK university to take the step although it is understood that Leeds Metropolitan University is also well on the way.
Confusion among schools and local authorities (LAs) about how they spend their Harnessing Technology funding is thought to be behind a slow-down in schools purchasing. And the British Educational Suppliers Association is warning that schools and their suppliers need greater clarification on funding.