Sunday, September 26, 2010

Alternatives to microsoft...

I had an interesting conversation with a couple of students in my French 9 class last week. We were in the library, working on their Francophone country project and most were still at the research stage. I had shown the class some samples from last year; one of which was hand drawn by a former student and it was by far the most visually appealing of the lot.  I was speaking with a few of the boys in the class about the samples and they were shocked to learn that another boy had done that sample.  "I can't draw like that! What am I supposed to do?".  I suggested to them that they type up their sentences/information and then cut and paste into their brochures. A couple of them responded "but I don't have Word (or Office) at home! I can't type it up!".  Firstly, I was more than a little surprised that they didn't have MSOffice on their computer at home and secondly I was surprised that they didn't have the alternative or hadn't heard of it.  It is really that unusual to be using OpenOffice?  None of them had heard of it before.  I have only been using it on occasion over the past year or so, but I know that our school district is planning on switching over to Ubuntu in the next year or so, and therefore we will all be using OpenOffice at work then too.

I guess I'm always a little surprised when I am a little ahead of the 14 year old set when it comes to computer programs!

Have you heard of OpenOffice/Ubuntu before?  Do you or do you know anyone using it regularly, at home or at work?

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