[ubuntu-studio-users] Is Libre an acceptable substitute for MS office for college student? (long; sorry.)

laurent.bellegarde at free.fr laurent.bellegarde at free.fr
Wed Nov 6 22:02:13 UTC 2013

Hi Pete,

I'm a biology and geology teacher in highschool, in southwestern France.

In my highschool and in many highschool now in France, we let the choice 
for students and for teachers to have MS office and Libre Office on the 
same computer.

Libre Office is installed everywhere and really used. MS office is 
disappering slowly because the headmaster just said that the teachers 
who want MS Office have to pay for the lastest licence by using 
pedagogicals credits.

For us, the main trouble is not to use free software under windows, but 
to use only free software by installing GNU/Linux.

As teacher, we propose to student several kind of exercices which are 
easy to do with both suite.

Hope it helps.


Le 06/11/2013 22:22, Pete Wright a écrit :
> I know what the answer to that question should be, but I am old enough 
> to know how ignorant I am (plenty), so this is a legitimate serious 
> question, not troll-bait.
> My 16-year-old high school junior is in a State of Washington program 
> (Running Start) that lets students start college early, which she is 
> doing, carrying a full load of college courses plus a couple of high 
> school classes.
> She is bright and reasonably computer literate, but she has been 
> writing for years and when the rest of the computer environment 
> doesn't let her work as fast as a word processor does, she gets 
> frustrated. She also has some health issues, so just letting her sink 
> or swim on her own is not the best option; hence my effort to help her.
> The most recent bump she has hit is a biology assignment to make 
> graphs out of data; the examples (samples) are provided as txt files 
> and the instructions are to use Excel. Our first attempts to do the 
> job with Libre calc and/or base failed.  Her instructor, via email, 
> just says "use the computers at school if you don't have Excel."
> We don't own MS Office and because of her health and living more than 
> am hour away from campus, using the school's computers are not often a 
> good option.
> So, should she be able to do in LIbre what she would be able to do in 
> MS Office? (I am assuming the college does not make much use of the 
> fanciest bells and whistles that probably differentiate the two suites.)
> I can and do teach kids and adults how to use Gimp and Libre Writer 
> instead of their high-priced counterparts, but when it comes to 
> spreadsheets and such I barely know a range from an operator, so your 
> responses can be basic to the point of primitive without danger of 
> insulting me.
> I am interested in broad general answers to the broad question in the 
> subject line, but would like to hear finer-grained answers about the 
> graph-generation issue, as well.
> I tried a few years back to organize a local organization to persuade 
> our schools to use Open Source software instead of proprietary stuff, 
> but the teachers were all either Apple-only or totally computer 
> illiterate. When the others gave up, I did too, and the effort 
> fizzled. But I remain dedicated to using and proselytizing Open 
> Source; just not very good at it.
> Helplessly yours, Pete

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