Article 46: How to Get Free Educational Software

Free Software for Students

There are so many cool things that you could do if you had unlimited software. If your computer is the toolbox, your software programs are the tools. Programming, designing, and creating great things all start with the software. If you are a college student, then there are some great programs that are available to you at no cost. This week, the Modern Nerd wants to bring you up to speed on all of the offers that you can take advantage of to get free, legitimate copies of some great packages for educational purposes that can give you a head start in the critical learning process that students have to contend with.

Programming: Microsoft and DreamSpark

Without any bad science fiction references, we are going to talk about your options to have a program to make a program. Coding and software programming is easier than ever with modern GUI’s (that’s Graphical User Interfaces). Microsoft has partnered up with a large number of colleges to offer their DreamSpark package for free for a year.

DreamSpark gives access to your choice of a VisualStudio package, which can write code for programs in several languages, including C#, C++, Basic, VisualBasic, and others. Help and support from the Microsft documentation will get you up and running quickly. The package has to be confirmed with your student information and personal information, so check with your school to see if they have a partnership to offer this. VisualStudio is a very powerful and versatile tool fort software creation for many different platforms, including Windows and Mobile devices.

Designing: AutoCAD and Inventor

AutoDesk has started a very similar program to allow students to access their powerful engineering software for free. AutoCAD 2013 allows for precision modeling in 3D with a dynamic camera, blueprint creation, and so much more. AutoCAD is an industry standard in technical drawing, and Inventor allows for mechanical part creation and assembly, and dynamic simulation. Besides the ability to gain familiarity with programs that are highly sought after in the field, the amount of cool things that you can do with AutoCAD is worth downloading to check out the features.

AutoDesk does not require a special partnership with your school either, merely a school email address, and of course an online profile. Google AutoDesk for Students to learn more.

Trials and Tribulations: Using the Free Trials

There are many other program suites out there that will allow you to have access for a limited time to check them out. Adobe Photoshop is a great example of this, as all of their software is available in full for a trial. Many more are available at deep discounts for students, because many software development companies know that investing in the skills of students is a good way to stay in business for the future, getting businesses to purchase the programs that their new hires are skilled with. Check with your school’s IT department to see where you can get discounts and free stuff. Thanks for reading. Check out our RSS feed and Facebook page for all of the weekly updates from the Modern Nerd.

Aaron Krick
Blog Contributor at The Computer Fixer


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