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Swedish schools confused about document file formats and applications

Joinup - Björn Lundell - Sweden's schools teachers and students seem unable to separate the digital formats of their documents from the software they use to write and read such documents, concludes Björn Lundell, a researcher from the University of Skövde. Based on preliminary figures from a survey of schools in the country, he sees " significant IT vendor lock-in."

The researcher collected a first round of answers from an email-based survey sent to 290 municipalities that together support about 5000 primary and secondary schools. Based on these results Lundell shared some early conclusions, in a presentation during the ODF Plugfest in Brussels earlier this month.

Many of Sweden's schools expect their teachers and pupils to use a variety of proprietary file formats, Lundell summarises. He says that is exactly the opposite of the country's policy's. "Students should expect to be able to use open file formats in public sector schools."