I'm very pleased to see that LEGO have now made the retail version of their NXT-G v2.0 software available as a free download. Because this is the retail version, it won't have the Robot Educator tutorials or the graphical data-logging capabilities of the education version, but it's still great for situations where students who do have their own kits want to be able to do some programming at home.
I know that it costs a lot of money (and time!) to create a piece of software, but I've been very keen to see LEGO make the software freely available for quite some time - especially for schools. When it comes to robotics in the classroom, I find that each of the dominant programming languages for the NXT have their own strength and weaknesses. Considering the breadth of students I teach, I like to have a range of programming options available, but the cost of licenses needed to have a full range of software adds up quickly. For some students, NXT-G is perfect, but for others (e.g. those who have already completed pre-tertiary Computer Science) either RobotC or LVLM will be more appropriate. (I'll even be breaking out Robolab this week for a student who has decided that he wants to program a swarm of RCXs for his final project!!)
(Thanks to Damien Kee for passing on this news via the 'Robotics in Education' mailing list.)