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<title>Educational Frequently

<title>Frequently Asked Questions About Free Software and Education
- GNU Project - Free Software Foundation</title>

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<h2>Educational Frequently Asked Questions</h2>

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<h2>Frequently Asked Questions About Free Software and Education</h2>

<p>Many Free Software advocates encounter difficulties when talking to 
the administrators of educational institutions about the advantages of 
using and teaching Free Software. Often school administrators have never 
heard of Free Software or have heard only about Open Source, “open source”, 
so they raise many doubts. Here we put together some of the most common 
questions and the best possible answers to eliminate uncertainties.</p>

<dl>
  <dt>As a teacher, I've been trying hard to explain to the school's 
  administrators the advantages that Open Source open source software can bring to our 
  school, but they don't  seem to be interested.</dt>

    <dd>
				<p>Open Source
      <p>“Open source” refers only to the technical advantages 
      of software. Schools may not be interested in that aspect since most 
      probably technical requirements are already satisfied by the 
      proprietary software in use. You need to talk to them in terms of 
      Free Libre Software, not Open Source, “open source”, so that you can 
      explain to them the philosophical and ethical reasons why educational 
      institutions should reject proprietary software.</p>

      <p>See the reasons <a href="/education/edu-why.html">Reasons 
				Why</a> href="/education/edu-why.html">why educational 
      institutions should use and teach exclusively Free Software.</p> Software.</a> </p>
    </dd>

  <dt>I would love to see all schools migrate to Free Software, but I think 
  it's hopeless. Proprietary software companies have too much power, even 
  over schools. The situation is discouraging.</dt>

    <dd>
      <p>While it is true that proprietary software corporations have
      managed to impose their products on society by using schools as
      propaganda agents, it is also true that many schools around the world 
      have adopted Free Software with excellent results.  See our
      <a href="/education/edu-cases.html">Case Studies</a> section for some 
      examples.</p>
				
      <p>When we started the GNU Project back in 1983, the situation was 
      very discouraging for us too. We started from zero, and today 
      millions of people around the world use Free Libre Software.</p>		
    </dd>

  <dt>I am the head of a technical institute and I would like to teach our 
  students the use and administration of a Free Libre platform, but I have 
  to comply with the curriculum established by the Ministry of Education, 
  which requires the teaching of proprietary platforms and programs.</dt>

    <dd>
    <p>If you are literally forced to teach nonfree software, you should
    tell the your students that you consider this software unethical, that 
    you are doing this only because you are being forced, and that you 
    will do as little of it as possible so that you can move on to 
    freedom-respecting software.</p>				

    <p>We must not forget that schools have a great influence on society, 
    so making our students aware of the advantages of Free Software is a 
    way of putting pressure on decision makers. You can start by telling 
    your students about Free Software and its ethical values, as they might 
    never have heard of it. With your endorsement and support, this may 
    lead to the formation of a Free <a 
    href="http://libreplanet.org/wiki/Group_list">Free Software Group Group</a> 
    in your school. Then the group can make its voice heard by writing 
    letters to the Ministry, holding events to promote Free Software, and 
    other similar activities.</p>

    <p>When computer users will start demanding their rights, Governments 
    will have to issue their laws accordingly. That is why political and 
    social awareness are is a fundamental aspects aspect which cannot be left aside 
    when talking about Free Software.</p>
    </dd>
</dl>

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<p>Please send general FSF & GNU inquiries to
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There are also <a href="/contact/">other ways to contact</a>
the FSF.<br />
Please send broken FSF.  Broken links and other corrections or suggestions can be sent
to <a href="mailto:education@gnu.org"><education@gnu.org></a>.</p>

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<p>Copyright © 2011 Free Software Foundation, Inc.</p>

<p>This page is licensed under a <a rel="license"
href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/3.0/us/">Creative
Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License</a>.</p>

<p>Updated:

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<p class="unprintable">Updated:
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