My district is exploring Open Source solutions as a cost saving measure. We are using Microsoft Office at this time. I have looked at Open Office but don't know where else to go. I need a solution that is supported on some level. We are using Drupal to redesign our district website and would like to explore more solutions for our productivity software. I have looked at Google Docs and Zoho also but I am told they don't want a web-based solution at this time.

We are also looking at Linux as a possible OS solution. The version we are looking at so far is Ubuntu. We have to have a solution that works with Windows products, we use Lexia and Read 180 reading software and have a variety of other products that we have to use that are Windows compatible.

What other solutions or ideas can you give us, is anyone out there using Linux in their district now? What are some good versions for a district such as ours?

Tags: Linux, OSS, Software

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Be sure to check out the CoSN k12 Open Technologies site: www.k12opentech.org. Great article on making the switch from Office to OpenOffice.org. Also look up www.edtechlive.com interview I did with Randy Orwin on their conversion--and many others on Open Source.

A great email list for K12 Open Source is www.redhat.com/mailman/listinfo/k12osn. As well my wiki www.k12opensource.com, and www.schoolforge.net.

We are also holding the K12 Open Minds conference in Indiana again this fall--www.k12openmind.com. Might be worth checking out!

Steve
Thank you so much for the replies. We do run some Windows based applications that would be too expensive to replace if there were a linux version. However these are on a limited number of computers, the main 2 are Read 180 and Lexia. We are looking at the idea of running linux where we can, like our laptop carts which are generally used for research and classroom activities and other labs. We seem to be able to find open source software for most of what we want to do on those computers. Then we would limit windows to the areas where it is absolutely necessary. We are fighting a seriously Windows house here but the costs are making everyone reconsider that viewpoint. I have looked at enough productivity software to think that Open Office is a good solution there for now. I love the idea of a web-based solution but many of our students don't have internet access at home so it is not the best solution.

How do you think using linux and Windows together on the same network will affect us? We are totally new to this so it is a learning curve. Our head tech has just started exploring Linux and is totally new to open source. I am on a laptop running Edubuntu right now. How do you feel about that version?

Your input is so appreciated, we are flying blind right now and have slightly over a year to explore our options before our next buying cycle.

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