Open source software means that the code for the software is available for anyone to download. What open source really means to the user is that it is free. Our district utilizes quite a bit of open source software. Things like iBlog (WordPress) and iLearn (Moodle) allow our district to provide great service while saving money.
We are implementing another piece of open source software. Beginning with the new computers currently being installed, we are including LibreOffice. LibreOffice is an alternative to MicroSoft Office. LibreOffice contains Wordprocessing (Word), Spreadsheet (Excel), Presentation (Powerpoint), Drawing, Painting and Database applications. LibreOffice doesn’t include an email client. However, our recent upgrade to Exchange 2010 means that the web version is completely full featured. We have been using LibreOffice for a couple of years in certain areas of the district.
- LibreOffice is completely free.
- All documents are completely compatible with MicroSoft Office.
- Teachers can download LibreOffice at home for free.
- The learning curve for adjusting to LibreOffice is less than adjusting to MicroSoft Office 2010.
MicroSoft Office 2010 is very different from the 2003 version that we currently have on computers. As you know, time to do training is at a premium. LibreOffice is much closer to the 2003 version. You can try out LibreOffice yourself. Download by clicking on LibreOffice or get it here: http://www.libreoffice.org/ .