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Re: [school-discuss] FW: OpenOffice in education

Tom Adelstein wrote:

cdmiller@adams.edu wrote:

Thanks for clearing that up Tom. I think the main issue is that in education, real value comes from the FLOSS nature of OO. Education is going to be more open to solutions that are, well, more open. I think SUN should concentrate big SO incentives for business and government sectors, while supporting OO penetration into education. Sure some school business programs and school administrations will opt for SO over MS Office or OO, but for many education uses SO and MSO are overkill, while OO is good enough and "free".

- cameron

Cameron, I respect your opinion, but it makes no sense to me. More open? Overkill?

Neither of those concepts apply here. The opportunity for educators to obtain a quality product like Star Office versus MS Office doesn't negate the Open Source roots of the former product. The products use the same code base and SO is far more polished. You'll also find educational templates available for SO. The So for kids site offers better educational materials. Also:

If my child brings Star Office home and I see it and go for it, then the community seems served. Getting Open Office from my child just says that I can get an inferior product for free, also.

Open Office has lots of positives and extends the availablity beyond the few platforms and localities of SO. But for the US and Western Europe, Sun obviously would prefer SO disseminated via the educational community.

Of course if you prefer to support Microsoft, that's another matter.
I think Cameron is saying he prefers Free.

I am new to the [school-discuss] list having transferred from the [seul-edu] list. When the [seul-edu] list closed, I read the schoolforge.net site slogan - "Working together to unleash the power of open source tools in education" so was happy to transfer and participate here.

I am a free/open source software advocate. Whilst my preferred platform is Linux, I use Windows as I can invite many more people to explore free/open source software on this platform. Linux can come later :)

One of the most interesting discussions is free as in beer vs free as in freedom, particularly in an educational setting.

With Free/OSS, students and teachers are empowered. They have the opportunity to participate and make a difference. A simple example of this wrt to OpenOffice.org is a student burning a copy of OpenOffice.org to give to a friend, designing a template or clipart for distribution with the next release of OpenOffice.org (on an individual or class basis), participating on the [users] list at openoffice.org and assisting others. And that only touches surface of how to participate in the community.

Also, I volunteer with a group called Computer Angels. We provide training and computers to people that often do not have friends, family or even acquaintances that have a computer. It's wonderful to see their surprise at finding a whole community of people out there that share their knowledge and interest. Here I am not talking about OpenOffice.org, but AbiWord, Gnumeric, Sylpheed, GIMP etc.

If we are just going to discuss $, then we are missing out on a whole lot more that is available with Free and OSS.

All the best
Jacqueline McNally

Community Contact, Australia/New Zealand
OpenOffice.org Marketing Project (www.openoffice.org)

Are you a computer angel? (www.computerangels.org.au)