Nonprofit laptop setup

Setting up some laptops for a non profit school in Sierra Leone Africa. Internet connectivity is limited…
What apps would you recommend I load onto these?

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Assuming Mac OS X, but if Windows, something similar. Since internet access is limited, you should probably avoid cloud-based dependencies.

Pages (word processor) FREE
Numbers (spreadsheet) FREE
Keynote (presentation) FREE
Mail (email client) FREE
Content Filter for Internet Access (even if limited)
Antivirus (configured to scan files prior to opening/copying/saving) several options are FREE
Anti malware
Remote access software (something free like Back to My Mac or, etc.) FREE

Other free software included with MacBooks:

And perhaps some cloning software to allow you to use the limited internet access to periodically bring a single laptop up to date with patches, upgrades, etc. and then just clone the remainder of the systems locally.

I am sure others will offer additional suggestions to consider.

I am personally a Mac guy however the provided hardware to use is Windows.

I’d use Microsoft Security Essentials if Windows 7 or 8 and I’d use Windows Defender if Windows 10 for antivirus as it would probably be sufficient for their needs.

OpenOffice is a free Office Suite that would provide Word, Excel, and PowerPoint type applications.

K9 Web Protection if you need free content filtering.

I’d recommend a web-based email client so you don’t have to find some other open source option although I’m sure there is something that will work.

I went to Africa in November to the Ivory Cost and other than larger cities, Internet was definitely sketchy!

Also in terms of connectivity does anyone recommend any specific aircards
for use over there?

Why not consider something like Ubuntu? All the apps it comes with are free already, and as far as I’m aware, none of them depend on an internet connection. Lower cost of entry because the OS is covered as well. You could send a few thumb drives with ISO images loaded on them in case anyone at the destination needs to reinstall.

Ubuntu also has a very small learning curve with many free resources available for training. A huge user community to lean on for support. Less risk for virus exposure.

One item I’d add is some tools for programming! I don’t know about everyone else, but my intro to programming cam from BASIC interpreters included with older computer OS’es (e.g. Apple II, Commodore 64, DOS). I think it is a real shame something similar isn’t bundled with Windows these days.

There are a lot of options here - Microsoft’s Visual Studio Community / Code editions might be a good place to start.

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I totally agree. The Raspberry Pi (well, Raspbian, more accurately) is really great at providing a lot of tools for a wide use base, especially focusing on education. Scratch is included, and there is an offline version that does a great job teaching a wide range of ages the basics of coding. I highly recommend checking it out!

Thanks everyone! In suggestions in terms of alternatives to Word/Excel/PPT?
Our office365 licenses work great however when the device is offline for
30+ days the licenses go haywire

LibreOffice/OpenOffice seems to be a bit of a de facto non-Office standard.

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