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

On Fri, 2004-02-27 at 23:45, Jacqueline McNally wrote:

> 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.

This is by far the most important educational aspect of using Free
Software. Its early days yet but the OpenOffice.org education project is
aimed at involving schools in the community so that children learn by
being an active part of that community. There are many spin-offs from
citizenship to internationalism. If we could mobilise even 1% of the
young people in schools to contribute to the OpenOffice.org community,
the effect would be huge. Imagine 1% of all the school age children
around the world contributing one item of clip art for them and their
friends to use. 

We are currently running a competition for schools to design the Mascot
for the Openoffice.org education project and we have enteries from
schools in several countries. We have a school in the UK burning
OpenOffice.org discs and sending them to Malaysia where there isn't
access to broadband as part of a vocational course. We have a group
meeting on the 8th April to plan improvements to the database facilities
in OpenOffice.org to make them more suitable for schools. So small
beginnings but a lot of potential. 

ian <ian.lynch2@ntlworld.com>