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Le 2010-10-17 08:40, Marc Paré a écrit :
I am interested in the marketing of LibO as an effective tool in
education. In particular JK (kindergarten) to the end of High School (or
comparable to this internationally as well).

Is LibO, in your opinion, a good and effective tool for educational
purposes? If we were to "project" target the educational establishment
(School Boards, Educational governing bodies), would LibO have any
attractive selling points or is there any missing functionality in the
suite that should be considered to make it a better option for its
adoption by these organisations?

We know that the obvious price advantage is one selling point.

Support is perhaps one the largest consideration for these
organisations. They normally want both support at the IT level and
support at the student level.

I am neither student nor teacher, but I have to offer support to my daughter and her friends. I find that OpenOffice (and most likely LibreOffice has a few problems to solve before it penetrates the market. What are the main problems that need to be addressed?

– College, universities and large high schools have some IT personnel, but smaller high schools and elementary schools don't have any. They will get support from the school board for computers used in administration... and they will get wiring for computers used in the classroom. So it needs to be plug and play.

– Computers used by students typically have the software they were bought with. Until the personnel who prepares the documentation for tenders write that they ask for a computer with Windows and a free Office suite, computers will continue to be stocked with Microsoft Office. So these administrators are the first people we need to address.

– Installation has to be simpler. One just have to look at the tutorial on "how to install -- or upgrade -- OpenOffice on a Windows platform" to be totally discouraged about the process. And the French version is even worst than the English one (as in more steps to go through). Fortunately, I did not read the tutorials before, installed the usual way (double click), and things went well.

– In the same line, installation needs to be closer to the so-called "silent install" that can be done with some know how. The way it should work: Double-click and it automatically creates its temporary folder and installs itself; registration should disappear. Why not replace that with a link to the help forums in the "?" menu?

- Whatever may be said – in theory – about the beauty of open formats, Microsoft Office 2003 formats have become the de facto standard. Students need to be able to prepare a homework, send a resume or show a presentation saved in one of these formats without any loss of data or presentation.

- Pricewise, OpenOffice and LibreOffice are cheaper (obviously), but not that cheap when we consider that Microsoft makes its Home and Student version fairly affordable.

- Finally, the Windows platform has often been an orphan of OpenOffice, and now LibreOffice. For instance, I haven't installed the new LibreOffice because it removes my working installation of OpenOffice 3.2 and because there is no French language pack. I don't care that much for menus in French, but my daughters do, and I really want a French dictionnary. I hope the upcoming Beta 3 will solve these shortcomings.


Michel Gagnon
Montréal (Québec, Canada)

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