This is actually a question that I am dealing with right now, but since I just helped the real life school get a $500,000 grant this is a little smaller scale.
First of all I am assuming that the computer already in my room is loaded with all the software currently available on every student machine in my district. (XP, Office 2007, Compass Odyssey, and AR). I would spend a whopping $59.95 to purchase Kidspiration. I think it is an awesome tool.
Polk County has drunk the Max Thompson LFS Kool-Aid so we are all about graphic organizers and summarizing thinking. Kidspiration helps kids build their own graphic organizers and is simple enough that first graders can master it. With the remaining money I would buy another computer and copy of Kidspriation. I would also have enough left over to cover the $100 to Microsft for the XP license as well as the Office license.
After looking at the specs for Kidspiration I am fairly certain that my iPod Touch could run it.
Processor: Pentium II 266 MHz or faster
Operating System: Windows 98, ME, 2000, XP (including XP Tablet PC Edition) or Vista; 128 MB of RAM; 75 MB of available hard disk space; 250 MB for full install
Display: 800x600; 1024 X 768 recommended, 16-bit color or higherCD-ROM drive (for installation only)
Maciacintosh (Notice how they spelled Macintosh? Where was the spell check?)
Processor: Macintosh G3 300 MHz or faster
Operating System: OS X, version 10.2.8 or newer; 192 MB minimum RAM75 MB of available hard disk space; 250 for full install
Display: 800x600 minimum; 1024 × 768 recommended, thousands of colors or higher; CD-ROM drive (for installation only)
The computer I am currently using
Celeron M 150 GHz = to a lower Pentium 4
2 GB of Ram (.13 of which is being used by the graphics card)
104 GB of free space (Original HD would probably had 36GB left)
The ATI Raedon Express 200M graphics card is currenly running at 1024 X 768, 32 bit
3 USB 2.0 slots
1 PCMI card slot
The Mac I was using earlier
OS 10.5 Leopard
Intel CoreDuo 2.16 GHz
2GB of RAM
96GB available HD
Raedon Express1600 Graphics Card
5 USB 2.0
1 Firewire 400
Additional Monitor connector
Super Drive CD-RW, DVD-RW(DL)
On my own I went and got an A+ Certification. A+ is the IT industry standard for PC repair and diagnostic for both hardware and software. This is a part of my job so this assignment was not a stretch for me. I was going to find a server based application and see if pick one of the server's specs against the application for compatibility but I went with the MAC option instead.
One of the downfalls of this weeks reading in my opinion was the ommition of formatting. Storage formatting is something that I think is very important. MAC uses one kind of formatting and Windows uses another. MAC can read Windows formatting but Windows can't read MAC. (MAC's are great, I can sync my plain LG cell phone and my MAC can read the files in it). Formatting is how data is organized. While in theory both are formatted similarly, they don't act the same in practice. The how and why is not important. What is important is that if you go back and forth between MACs and PCs as I do you need to have the storage device that you are sharing between the 2 in a format that both MAC and PC and read and write to. FAT32 is the file fomat that can be read and written to by both MAC and PC. Think of it as O+ and O- blood types in one. I have a couple of flash drives that I carry around that are formatted in FAT32 so that no matter what computer I am on they can be read and written to.
You don't want to format your computer's hard drive in FAT32 because Either FAT32 only recognizes up to like 32 GB or it can't save a file larger than like 4GB (can't remember which but it has size limitations) Smaller storage devices are fine with FAT32.