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2014-04-18 15:03 GMT+02:00 Virgil Arrington <>:

On 04/18/2014 05:35 AM, Tom Davies wrote:

Hi :)
The courses seem to be entirely about MS products and their own languages
and stuff like silverlight.  They even seem to expect you to use Internet

There are Open Source and other alternatives to almost everything they
to teach you.  Do you really need to engage with those people and go back
into the MS lock-in?
Regards from
Tom :)

This is the ongoing struggle that we have in teaching computer technology.
I teach a technology class for paralegal students. My students want and
need to learn the technology that they will actually use in their careers.
In my professional and geographic areas, that unfortunately remains MSO,
so, that's what I teach them in my class. It would do my students no good
to teach them how to use LO when no legal office I'm aware of uses it for
their work.

I focus a lot of my office suite teaching to the teaching of styles. I
teach from MSO, but since all decent word processors use styles, I allow my
students to use any program they want for their work, as long as it
supports styles.

I do teach my students that there are alternatives. Although my textbook
doesn't mention open source software, I have a small section on it. I also
have them do a project comparing and contrasting the relative virtues of
Windows, Mac OS, and Ubuntu Linux. I figure I'll at least expose them to
the "free as in freedom" world even if they never use it at work.

All that said, I do allow my students to use any OS or office suite they
like. I have had Mac users, and LO and AOO users.


​Bravo, Virgil ! Your experience mirrors the fact that Microsoft has been
extremely successful in establishing a quasi-monopoly with regard to office
packages. By making your students aware of the fact that there do exist
alternatives to MSO and comparing their advantages and disadvantages, you
are helping to breach the walls. We can only hope that more and more
instructors and teachers will follow your example and that will help to
lead to better competition which benefits all users !


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