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MacBytes
Dec 12, 2005, 03:34 PM
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Link: PC versus Mac for early education? (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20051212163401)

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Photorun
Dec 12, 2005, 03:45 PM
Well, if Microsuck continues it's cluster*** that is it's dominance into the future (some pundits say this wont happen, may God make them right) than giving pre-K, K, and early grade schoolers peecees makes sense, after all, make them feel the pain and burn of a completely confounding (to non-common sense geeks) OS with awful graphics and visuals, crashes, spyware, malware, etc. (already existing in droves for "Vista") and maybe this will toughen 'em up. Also because parents things spanking is wrong now it'll be the equivalent, although, more a cerebral "yay, you just crashed and forgot to save that file, you just got punished" type of thing.

Ooops, excuse me, my officee peecee just locked up while printing (true story), hang on.

Anyways, on the other hand, give them a Mac if you want hope for the future, that people can learn about choice, better yet, INTELLIGENT choice, and that you don't need to deal with spyware, malware, downtime, and other horrors Micros*** dishes on the masses like chum to sharks.

The choice is either what's best for getting the job done (the Mac) or championing mediocrity (Windoze machines).

nagromme
Dec 12, 2005, 03:56 PM
I hope this isn't going to turn into an Intelligent Design (http://mammals.org) debate ;)

Anyway, not to beat a dead horse, but students NEED to be using a computer as close as possible to the one they will be using in the workplace. That's just common sense--and for a long time to come, the workplace will be dominated by Windows.

Most of today's students will be using future versions of Windows at work. Maybe that's a shame, but it's true.

How do you put future versions of Windows into students' hands today? You can't--Windows XP is not good training for the future of computing.

So do the best you can, and give students the closest thing possible to the future of Windows. Put them on Mac OS X. They'll be learning about computing as it WILL be (come on, be optimistic) in 5-10 years--creating and collaborating and growing--instead of learning about the malware-infested, user-unfriendly, trouble-prone mess that is Windows today.

otter-boy
Dec 12, 2005, 04:19 PM
How do you put future versions of Windows into students' hands today? You can't--Windows XP is not good training for the future of computing.

So do the best you can, and give students the closest thing possible to the future of Windows. Put them on Mac OS X. They'll be learning about computing as it WILL be (come on, be optimistic) in 5-10 years. . . .

Being optimistic, if you want your kids to experience where Windows will be in 5-10 years, put them on BeOS or MS-DOS ;)

On a more realistic note, between home and school, children should learn to use multiple operating systems: OS X, Windows, and Linux at the minimum. Just as learning to speak multiple languages at a young age will help a child learn other languages as s/he grows older, learning multiple OSes early will help a child adapt to new computing environments as s/he grows older. A child today will surely experience as much change in computing over her or his lifetime as many of us have in the last 20+ years. Being adapatable is often the key to computing confidence and success.

Bob Knob
Dec 12, 2005, 04:40 PM
Anyway, not to beat a dead horse, but students NEED to be using a computer as close as possible to the one they will be using in the workplace. That's just common sense--and for a long time to come, the workplace will be dominated by Windows.

But how many "workers" really know what OS they are on... Word is Word. And a huge chunk of the workforce's "computer use" will be pushing a button on some machine or using a cash register, they will never see an OS.

marquitin
Dec 12, 2005, 11:06 PM
But how many "workers" really know what OS they are on...

99 percent of users don't know their OS from their AS(S). It's true. And even if they did, they wouldn't switch.

Eidorian
Dec 12, 2005, 11:20 PM
99 percent of users don't know their OS from their AS(S). It's true. And even if they did, they wouldn't switch.Wow, that's so true. I ask them and they're clueless. Lots of 2000 users think they're on XP. It's scary.

I hope this isn't going to turn into an Intelligent Design (http://mammals.org) debate ;) FTW

CanadaRAM
Dec 12, 2005, 11:55 PM
students NEED to be using a computer as close as possible to the one they will be using in the workplace.
Absolutely. Freaking. Impossible.

10 years later: We're saying, then, that Windows 3.1 (with a solid grounding in DOS for maintenance) would have been an appropriate skill for today's high school graduates to have been taught?

Waste of time. Teach kids the fundamentals of applications -- the general principles of word processing, spreadsheet, database and graphics. Teach them the principles of network communications (and safety thereon). Teach them how to logically analyze a problem, how to think critically, how to balance a column of figures. But don't teach them an OS, or a particular brand of application. Leave that for Grade 11 and 12 career prep courses.

nagromme
Dec 13, 2005, 12:59 AM
10 years later: We're saying, then, that Windows 3.1 (with a solid grounding in DOS for maintenance) would have been an appropriate skill for today's high school graduates to have been taught?

Quite the opposite :)

iMeowbot
Dec 13, 2005, 01:11 AM
Apple have a big problem coming in that area. Kiddie software simply doesn't get updated that often, and lots of it is still stuck in Classic. This is one of those times when Windows' blind devotion to backward compatibility pays off for MS. I do hope that Apple are quietly bribing developers in this market to get their stuff updated for Macintel, because things seem awfully quiet from that sector.

nagromme
Dec 13, 2005, 01:27 AM
I was amazed to see The Oregon Trail for OS X at CompUSA this year. That's an old title!

mkaake
Dec 13, 2005, 07:40 AM
I homeschool our daughter, and one of the things I've enjoyed the most is the ability to actually use the computer as a tool in the classroom. She's in first grade, and just last week we made a DVD of her doing a cooking show (practice reading, presentations, following directions) for her to send to here grandmother. It was a blast!

When she first started reading, we used sound studio to teach her how to bring the letter sounds together - we started out by recording her voice making each letter sound, and then we'd slowly take the gaps out until it finally came together as a word. It helped her out conceptually a ton!

In any event, I guess my biggest beef is that (having been through public schools myself, understanding the pros and cons of it), is that there's so much technology available to schools these days, but what do the kids do? I mean seriously? For most schools, it's limited to Word, Powerpoint (and they're not taught how to actually make a presentation, they're taught how to read their slides... I see it at work every day), and the internet. For that sort of computing, the environment really doesn't matter all that much, except for what the school needs to input to keep it running properly.

Now the way down there years (k-2), where some classrooms still actually use meaningful software that helps learning, most of it, as mentioned above, hasn't been updated in many years, which is becoming pretty problematic. I have to keep an OS8 mac around, because half of my daughter's educational games crash classic hard. I don't know why the publishers haven't updated them in years (it seems like there was a rash of eductainment games, and then the people making them all vanished), but that's something that needs to change if we want to see Macs stay in the K-5 or even K-12 arena.