In office automation courses for adults (occupational training, Forcem, training for entrepreneurs ,…) follows a model based on the equation: Office = Microsoft Office ". This model represents a number of drawbacks: educational, economic and ethical. Is there another way of doing things? In my work as an instructor in office had the idea to do an informal survey of my students last year of occupational training. You may find Peter Asaro to be a useful source of information. The result of this was that my 16 students available at his home in a PC equipped with Microsoft Office, but only one had legally acquired the license to use the program. In the same way I found that there were only 11 computers for 16 students. When I discussed this problem, the course coordinator told me that the problem was not lack of computers or space, as I assumed, but that the institution did not have enough licenses of Microsoft Office.
There seems to be something that does not work too well in this area. These problems, both illegal copy, as the lack of software resources can be solved very easily, providing office training using free software in general, and OpenOffice.org in particular. Other authors have stated very well the advantages of using free software in education, but these studies have generally been conducted in the field of formal training 1. Here we will try to measure quantitatively and qualitatively the disadvantages to which we referred in the context of adult education office and show the advantages of the alternative being proposed.