Cheap Mac Apps for Students and Teachers

I’ve been thinking about compiling one of those “favorite apps” posts that we mac users like to do (too often no doubt). But in keeping with the tradition of mac-lovers I thought it would be good for someone to have a limited list of apps useful for educational purposes (i.e. cheap and easy to use). Here areemos especially useful for students, teachers, and teaching assistants.

The Free Mac Programs

Open Office – For Editing Documents
A free open source document editor that works like Microsoft Word and costs $150 less. You will need to install X11 but it’s not that hard to do.

Gimp and Seashore For Image Editing
Gimp is a free image editor that also works on Mac’s X11, but it works well and is great for getting images ready for papers, presentations and blogs. Seashore is based off of Gimp but doesn’t require you to install X11, it has a limit to what you can do but if you need something quick and easy the check it out.

Flock – For Blogging, Web-Browsing, Online Bookmarking, RSS and Image Hosting
Flock is an amazing app that will make it easy for you to do online research with its tagging system built in. It also does blogging and image hosting super easily. If you need a simple RSS app then it also has that built in. Flock is a great asset to my as a student and professional.

Skype and Adium – Stay in Touch For Free with Friends and Family Back Home.
Skype is a great application that let’s you talk to other skype users for free over the internet. Once installed it’s very easy to use and the best part is you can talk to anyone anywhere for free. It’s a perfect way to call home or talk with friends. Adium is a chat program that makes it really easy to keep up with all the different instant messenger programs. Though it isn’t as beautiful as ichat, it is way more powerful.

ibackup – An Easy Way to Backup School Documents to Your Ipod or other Disks
If you’re writing papers and have other infor you can’t afford to get lost in a hard drive failure, don’t buy a backup program just use this and backup to your favorite external disk.

Mac Programs with a Cost (but worth it)

Delicious Library – Library Cataloging Program – Cost $40


As you build up your library you will need to have this program in order to keep track of your books, search them, and for insurance purposes. It even exports to Library Thing an wonderful online library catalog. The great thing about Delicious LIbrary is that it integrates your calendar, address book, and even your digital camera which allows you to scan barcodes of books for easy input.

Voice Candy – Audio Recorder Cost $12.95

Do you need to record your classes or record notes to yourself? Voice Candy is a simple app that makes this really easy and fun.

Accordance – Mac Bible Software
Up until a few months ago accordance had the corner market on Bible software, but I think it is still the best one on the market. If you need softwaree for School that has exegetical tools.

Endnote – Bibliographic Reference Tool – Cost $239.95While I think $240 is a bit high for this program, you should check to see if your school has a free copy for you I know my library gave me one for free. Even still this program is a powerhouse, it connects to just about any library you need to pull down bibliographic information from. I can compile huge bibliographies, and allow you to make extensive notes on titles. I know I am going to be using it to keep track of all these books I will be reading for my dissertation.

Published by

Wess

...is the William R. Rogers Director of Friends Center and Quaker Studies at Guilford College in Greensboro, NC., PhD in Intercultural Studies from Fuller Theological Seminary, served as a "released minister" at Camas Friends Church, and father of three. He enjoys sketchnoting, sharing conversation over coffee with a friend, listening to vinyl and writing creative nonfiction.

5 thoughts on “Cheap Mac Apps for Students and Teachers”

  1. Thanks Wess. I have used several of these apps. I thought, since I have recently been a student and am currently a teaching assistant and a professor, that I would commennt on a few.

    Open Office – I downloaded and installed it a few weeks ago. The program itself is nice and it felt good to stick it to Microsoft, but I found it difficult to install fonts (I need my Greek fonts!) and did not have the patience to learn it all. So I uninstalled it to free up disk space on my packed iBook.

    GIMP – Don’t use it much, but it is an awesome app! ANd the price is right.

    Flock – Becoming dependent on it. RSS reader, Flickr viewer, blog writer, del.icio.us intergrater and more!

    Skype – I’ve been a Gizmo Project user for several months. Just this week the net was all abuzz about how it could be a Skype killer, especially now that they offer free Gizmo to landline calls and not just Gizmo to Gizmo calls!

    Library Thing – Paid for lifetime membership in March, but I have only input about 200 (maybe 10-15% of total) books. I like the idea, but it is labor-intensive if you already have lots of stuff to enter. I recommend starting to use it before your library gets too unwieldly. I suppose the same goes for Delicious Library.

    Accordance – I have known people who switched to Mac just to have this bible software. It is the best, no doubt. I recommend it to all my Greek students. Others are catching up though, particularly BibleWorks. They are all expensive!

    Endnote – Love it! So many ways to use it – searching, formatting, organizing, etc. Saved me a lot of time on the dissertation. One word of warning, if you plan to integrate Endnote with your word processor (I did while writing the diss. It’s a wonderful way to insert footnotes!), you will want to see if it is compatible with Open Office. I would guess it is not.

    I am going to give ibackup a try. SOunds helpful. I don’t IM much and don’t like the sound of my own voice, so I am not sure Adium and Voice Candy are necessary.

    Thanks again!

  2. Chris thanks so much for your input! You really need to check out Delicious Monster it is super easy to put books in by scanning barcodes and now that you have a nice new imac with a camera it would be no problem. Then you can export it to library thing, something I’ve already done.

  3. hey wess, a nice alternative to open office is neoofficeJ. its a javascript version of open office it runs a bit slow on booting up but it doesnt require the use install X11. people really should just get away from word docs all together, they are enormous, a security threat and generally not that useful as far as im concerned. Seems like a good ole’ fashioned .rtf or .txt does the trick.

    an alternative to voiceCandy (which i have never used) is audacity. A completely free opensource audio recorder that supports the LAME mp3 codec natively. I actually recorded an entire ep on it once its nice because in addition to being a nice recorder its actually a multi-tracker as well.

  4. Oh, I forgot about audacity. I put it on my work computer to play around with it. It seems cool enough. Not sure what I’ll ever do with it, but the price was right on it!

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