Tux Paint

Tux Paint is a simple to use, free downloadable Paint programme. It contains the basic features that traditional Paint programmes have, but also has 'Magic' effects that can be added to a picture, such as putting in grass, flowers, brick patterns or even pixelating (like faces on CCTV are to protect identities!).

Software Evaluation

Installing:
  • the programme is already iunstalled on most university computers. However, if it is not installed on your computer you can download it for free from the website.

Usability:
  • There is documentation on the website, but it is very easy to navigate and ' work out' how to use the programme for yourself. This is possibly a better learning experience for the children as they are exploring the programme for themselves rather than being told what to do.
  • The website states that the software is aimed at ages 3-12. The programme is therefore age appropriate for younger children, as there is no need to be able to read due to the sound effects that say what colour you are using, etc. Older children may get a little bored with the programme after a while because it is so simple to use and does not provide a great challenge to them.
  • The content is error free.
  • Tux Paint requires no additional add ons or plug ins, although there are optional stamps that ypu can download if you wish to
Performance

  • The programme seems to be free of errors and bugs, although there is a section on the site that hilights known problems such as slow loading and crashing.
  • The software loads very quickly and correctly. You do not have to wait when changing between coulours, styles or when opening a new page.
  • The website advertises that theire are sound effects, but we can't comment on this because there was no sound on our computer when we tried it.
  • All hyper links work correcftly and load quickly.
  • The programme is very easy to navigate, with no skills required other than being able to control a mouse.

Usefulness
  • Tux Paint relates well to the National Curriculum. For exampple in KS1: ICT 2d, 3b. In KS2, however, there are not many points of the National Curriculum that Tux Paint could usefully enhance, again down to the simpleness of it.
  • Tux Paint would successfully maintain the interest of younger children, as there is alot to experiment with and they will probably spend alot of time using one effect before trying another one. For older children, again, the simple nature of the programme may result in the children becoming bored easily as it would not take them long to explore the content fully.
  • The programme can extend learning to some extent, in that children who are used to simple traditional paint programmes will see by using Tux Paint that it is possible to incorporate several different effects into a picture. It is very good at saving time for children, as rather than having to draw features like brick walls and grass, the magic button lets thejm insert these at the touch of a button.
Support
There is documentation on the website that contains user guides and FAQ's for example, but it is quite a lengthy process to go through and it might be more helpful is this support was actually in the programme itself rather than on the website.