[K12OSN] advice needed: Moving to Open Office

Graham yorick at xtra.co.nz
Wed Jun 14 23:21:08 UTC 2006

john wrote:

> Hi all,
> This is not a K12LTSP question, but I hope you can help anyway.
> We're looking into moving all of the computer labs in our district to 
> Open Office next year.
> The tech department brought together the teachers who manage these 
> labs and after several hours of exploring Word and OO side by side the 
> teachers felt comfortable enough to give the o.k. to move forward. Now 
> we are trying to plan this rollout.
> This rollout is is going to happen on both Windows boxes and LTSP 
> nodes, with the majority being on XP/SP2 under Active Directory. Could 
> folks who have gone before give me some ideas of what to expect in 
> terms of teacher and student needs, complaints etc. I'd love to be 
> able to anticipate problems and solutions ahead of time. Are there any 
> case studies from schools for OO that anyone could point me at?
> TIA!!

Excellent to hear John,
A few points to help you along from experience.

    1)  It is invariably easier than anticipated.

    2)  Have printed copies of the OOo Migration Guide available at each
    school as well as on the network in PDF.
           (Available from
    http://documentation.openoffice.org/manuals/index.html or in
    editable form [ODT files] from the OOoAuthors project at

    3)  Identify early adopters at each school and make them your
    friends and part of a Migration Support Group. Support them with
    poweruser level training, they will reward you by making your life
    real easy.  Teachers often respond better to face to face assistance
    from a local "expert" than they do from email or support desk.

    4)  Set up a Wiki so that users can share experiences of cool things
    that OOo can do as well as solutions to small gotchas.  Over time
    you'll get a picture of the types of inservice training that your
    teachers will need.

    5)  Never stop communicating.  Weekly tips and tricks emails are a
    good way of teaching people and keeping them involved in the migration

    6) Don't use the version of OOo that comes with the distro
    download.  Get the latest version from
    http://downloads.openoffice.org.  At present the latest stable
    version is 2.0.3 and it is significantly better than 2.0.2  

Some things that some will find annoying at the start.

Registration and licence agreement request Window at first launch from a 
new account. 
Endusers sometimes are unsure what to do with this.  I tell them to 
Agree to the licence then check the "Already Registered" radio button.  
There is a way to disable this on a Terminal Server system but 
unfortunately I've forgotten right at the moment.

Some people don't like the standard toolbar icons.  Since 2.0.2 you have 
Go to tools>options>Openoffice.org>view  and the User has various 
options of Style and Size

And NEVER, EVER.. that's NOT EVER show anyone how to get to the Starwars 
Game!   :)


ISO 26300 compliant

Graham Lauder,
OpenOffice.org MarCon (Marketing Contact) NZ

INGOTs Assessor Trainer
(International Grades in Office Technologies)

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