User talk:Drew/ed-21st-cent

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 I would try to add more facts of the suite that may
interest the group. For example

* templating and on-line templates for the different modules

* very strong form creating tool

* pdf tools and a pdf/odf hybrid file format

* very strong language support

* strong user support through forum/mailist/nntp

There should be enough to entice the group into backing the LibO
product. I am sure there are more but I just can't think of them right now.

We should have a worksheet listing all of the different modules
attributes and then, if a project needed a customized list, it could be
made up of the main list. Is there such a list somewhere? I imagine that
there would be.


How to approach education

Here would be some possible approaches I would take, just based upon 
my experiences in education.

1.  Try to find out if there are any teachers within the school 
district who are either a) already using open source software in the 
classroom  or b) have an interest in open source software such as 
LibreOffice.  If you are a parent yourself within the school district, 
asking your child's teachers for names of those who teach computer 
studies and then contacting them would be a good place to start.

2. If you find a teachers who is interesting in giving LibreOffice a 
try, first let them do so on their workstation.  Let them be convinced 
that LibreOffice is a great tool for educating their students.

3. Let the teacher ask the IT staff (perhaps with your assistance if 
they desire) if they would be willing to install LibreOffice on a 
select number of workstations, to evaluate its potential.   Giving 
more rational explanations for the desire to evaluate LibreOffice 
could help put IT staff in a less defensive posture and may warm up to 
the idea, depending on the person.  Reasons you could give include the 
software's generous licensing terms, the ability for low-income 
students to have a copy of the software for their not-so-modern 
computer at home to improve their studies, the possibility to squeeze 
a few more years of life out of the school's aging workstations, etc.  
Be sure to emphasize you wish to evaluate it, not immediately trying 
to make a district-wide move to the software in the immediate future.

The adoption of open source software, in my observations, has worked 
best when there is a genuine, organic interest from the teachers, 
administrators, students and/or IT staff.  Schools often have a number 
of mandates they have to comply with.  Figuring out a way to explain 
how open source software can help in meeting those mandates, and do it 
better than proprietary software, can go a long way toward helping in 
its adoption.  It won't be something that happens immediately.  Then 
again, like a lot of things in life, taking a slow, steady approach 
and building a solid foundation (ie people truly interested and 
convinced of open source software's potential in education) I think 
will win out in the end.

Best regards,

Gabriel Gurley
Educator and Author