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Likewise introducing software that may not be perfect in every aspect, or
that requires some re-learning and flexibility on the part of adults, or
that challenges us (within reason) to figure out how to make it do what we
want to. It is this type of learning through exploration, trial and error
that may lead us and our students to develop the skills necessary to adapt
to the technologies they will use in the workplace: technologies that we can
barely imagine now!

Within reason: few of us (particularly busy teachers) have sufficient time
and energy for extensive trial-and-error learning.

Eric


on 12/9/09 4:15 PM, Stephen Barner wrote:

> The argument "We need to teach the programs the students will be using"
> tends to feed the monopoly. We have long said that we should be teaching
> skills, not software.  While it's hard to do that completely, in
> practice, it's an excellent goal to keep in mind.  We make assumptions
> as educators about what students will be running into when they enter
> the business world that are not necessarily valid.  For decades, I have
> heard drafting teachers say that they need to be teaching AutoCAD, as
> that is the software students will be using in the workforce.  Yet I
> have spoken with many architects and designers who use other software.
> There are lots of other CAD software companies out there; who are they
> selling to, if everyone is using AutoCAD? Ditto for Photoshop and any
> other piece of software.
>  
> I think the biggest factor in our choices of what software to use in our
> schools is what we feel most comfortable using.  That's not the best
> reason to select one program over another.  If we really want to be
> helping students become agile, unconstrained learners, we should
> consider teaching the software that is NOT the predominant in its field,
> instead of the other way around.
>  
> Steve Barner
> South Burlington High School
> 
> ________________________________
> 
> From: School Information Technology Discussion
> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Bryant Patten
> Sent: Wednesday, December 09, 2009 1:11 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: What version of Office are people using?
> 
> 
> Discussion of the free (no cost) aspect of Open Source is mostly around
> saving dollars for school budgets by supplanting proprietary, for-fee
> software.  While saving $500 - $50,000 is important in this time of
> plummeting budgets, we rarely discuss the other, more important value of
> Free software - closing the Digital Divide.  Don Davis put together a
> nice video ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZIs8lCzk5k ) about it.
> {The content is good - the compression is grim}
> 
> Until we can guarantee that each student has access to the software, can
> we (techs, teachers) fully integrate it into our curricular world?
> Since we can give away OpenOffice to every student (and provide
> refurbished Linux computers to any family without a computer), moving to
> a Open Office solution district wide would be a significant step to
> helping close the Divide.  We have to deal with the conversion costs and
> PD funds moving from 2003 -> 2007 anyway so spend the money on making
> the switch to a more equitable solution.  Shouldn't we be training them
> on software they can share with their 21st century skilled,
> project-based, internationally focused teammates?
> 
> Are there school systems in VT that promise to buy a copy of MS Office
> for every student that needs it?  Perhaps there are but I haven't heard
> of many.
> 
> Bryant Patten
> Technology Consultant
> Orange East Supervisory Union
> 
> On Dec 9, 2009, at 10:59 AM, Bob Wickberg wrote:
> 
> 
> It's only $5 a year if you use the license for 10 years, and
> only upgrade
> when support ends for the previous version.  Who does that?  If
> you buy
> new licenses every time a new version is released, it's more
> like $15-$20.
> Still a bargain, I suppose, but with 1100 computers on our
> campus, that's
> over $20k/yr.
> 
> ...
> 
> 
> Bob Wickberg
> Technology Coordinator
> Brattleboro Union High School District # 6
> 802-451-3418
> 
> School Information Technology Discussion
> <[log in to unmask]> writes:
> 
> 
> OO isnt the only option ZoHo, Abiword and Gnumeric.
> 
> 
> 
> 
> Microsoft Office @ $50 each over 10 years of mainstream
> support, the
> 
> 
> costs 
> 
> 
> are miniscule compared to other costs to educate
> students. (I don't mean
> 
> 
> that 
> 
> 
> negatively, I mean it's a bargain).
> 
> 
> 
> Seems odd to me that given the salary/benefit costs of
> any given
> 
> 
> employee, 
> 
> 
> one would even think of quibling over $5/year for office
> software ...
> 
> 
> 
> There are hidden costs using OO, the first time that
> there is a issue
> 
> 
> with 
> 
> 
> conversion, and that file doesnt quite look right, how
> much payroll are
> 
> 
> you 
> 
> 
> going to burn through to get it resolved, how much
> payroll to get clipart
> 
> 
> 'good 
> 
> 
> enough' or rejigger your lesson plans ...
> 
> 
> 
> However, if OO provides some competition and MSFT
> therefore makes a
> 
> 
> better 
> 
> 
> product or sells it to us cheaper, so be it.
> 
> 
> 
> 
> R.
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
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