I promote the use of OpenOffice in my schools but it can't be defended on the basis of functionality!
It is inferior once you move beyond simple office requirements. e.g multimedia insertion into documents/presentations is diabolical and thats a prime requirement in KS2.
I only ever attempt to do this in schools with very high tech teachers - its not for the faint hearted (if you don't believe me - try recording a sound and inserting it into Impress - its 6 clicks in Powerpoint and all the menu options make sense )
With the greatest respect, how reliable, how high is the TCO and in REAL practice how available is it to everyone.An online community/ webspace for submitting work is much more flexible than using an application such as MSOffice or OpenOffice, it deals with images, movies, chat and all the things that you cannot do in a word processor alone.
Don't get me wrong - I'd love to be able to have the sort of facility your talking about but I believe the facilities (Servers / high bandwidth connections) are not available to normal schools.
Online movie uploading - in the real world ?????
Or are you gigabit to the desktop with terrabit backbones
Name you platform
We are using Office 2003 here. We've had Software Assurance upgrades for 3/4 of our licenses for Office 2007 since before it came out. However, I doubt we will be performing this upgrade anytime soon because the Head of IT says it will mean they'll have to change all their worksheets and that the kids won't know how to use it!
Little does he know, that almost all the kids here have it pirated at home and some even have portable Office 2007 apps on their pen drives!
I just think he's too scared of the ribbon!
well Office 2007 is rubbish for the education environment. The extras that they have implimented onto it have forced it to be rubbish and too extensive for what is required. IF they did a version aimed at the educational sector then I may be inclined to get a copy, but until then, Open Office wins for us hands down as it does what we want, when we want it too.
Why not install OO in addition to what you have already? Even if this is only done in 1 IT suite you can request a willing teacher to trial it for you and see what feedback you get. If it gets a negative one then you pretty much have your answer. If the teacher has positive results then you can use them as an example to the other more reluctant teachers for the transition.
As you said ealier, moving to 2007 is different to ealier versions (when I had this problem it was looking at installing 2003 as we couldn't afford licences for the whole school for 2007). OO is a real alternative, but you will need to test it with the course content to ensure you can complete the pupils sylabus.
since we are on the schools agreement we have deployed office 2K3 everywhere. a select few teachers have 2K7.
2K7 is a pain to deploy unlike 2K3 hence I haven't done it. we use GPO and MSI deployment method for everything we can.
I have deployed Open Office 2.2 and now 3 everywhere too since it to is easy to deploy.. though not found a good way of getting round the pesky registration... easily
Unfortunately OO isn't used all that much, though I have started to use it more and more myself. I guess the staff and students tend to stick to what they know which is MS word. I wouldn't like to take MS office of people as I know apart from just being used by everyone it also forms a large part of the ICT carric at present. Though i would dearly like people to use OO more but its just never really happened.
If you are having problems, read this thread... Office 2007, Unattended Setup & Fine-tuning - MSFN Forums
I don't get why they broke the setup though so you cant just through computer settings, software settings, deployed apps, attach the MSI and then give the the Transform you created... but that's another issue really...
I got as far as making the deployed folder and MSP and i do like the way you can slap the patches in one folder and they get deployed too.. but what logic do you use to test to see if its been installed and if not install it... i read if you use startup scripts to push the setup you could (especially if you just ghosted a whole room) end up with the start-up script terminating because it took to long... and then office doesn't get deployed correctly.. would be interested to know how you initially push the setup... and the logic for it to auto deploy if the machine was ghosted and therefore not installed..
Still on the open source cost reduction bandwagon although the more I research it the more I feel uncomfortable about moving the wholeschool (apart from Admin with SIMS) over to Open Source apps.
We are a secondary with 6th form and when I talk to teachers, mainly IT, I get words from them which say the curriculum is so geared around M$ Office products they couldn't get on with Open Office. In addition they say Publisher and Access are vital products in delivering the curriculum.
Firstly if you are a secondary with Open Source applications (we use Windows XP PCs and 2003 server) do the teachers have problems with the heavily M$ Office biased coursework and support material, and, secondly, what products do you use instead of Publisher and Access.
Teaching primary age children I have found that context sensitive tool ribbons have lowered the accessable age range of Mediator and Corel Painter by one and two years respectively so I can now consider using Matchware Mediator with Year 5s and I can use Painter in a limited way with Year 4s. It's all about exposing functionality to the user.
On the basis of this experience I am putting in a bid to have Office 2007 installed in the ICT suite. Open Office does have its own little context sensitive tool ribbon that pops up underneath the main toolbar but with young children the size of the icons makes a big difference so my vote goes the MS Office way.
I've not read all the posts ( so appologies if I missed anything )
Anyway - Not sure on if SIMS requires MS Office for some of the functions however if the curriculum side needs vba ( for macros then ) it would be ms office as I dont think open office supports VBA - could be wrong there.
I do know that open office uses other languages for doing its macros which may or may not be an issue.
Open Office imo is better at recovery of documents and I also like the convert to pdf function of it.
Open Office has its own version of Basic and both VBA and Open Office Basic have a lot of good tutorial pages and forums on the net.
Yes unfortunately those nice people at Capita will only support M$ products for their most reliable and stable application.............
We deployed OO into our IT suites and found that the students loved it, even a few die hard teachers use it, but I guess that's because they have an option rather than me forcing it upon them.
If its free why hide it?
A very good thread, thanks guys, I found it useful and fun..
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