View Full Version : Arlington schools debate switch from Mac to PC

Jan 30, 2004, 10:29 PM
Category: News and Press Releases
Link: Arlington schools debate switch from Mac to PC (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20040130232918)

Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)

Approved by Mudbug

Jan 31, 2004, 12:10 AM
Sounds like a bit of sneaky political manouvering to me. Obviously the majority of parents out there would be more familiar with the PC platform so would be more inclined that way except that parents dont teach kids teachers do.

Jan 31, 2004, 12:30 AM
wow, why is it that school administrations are becoming larger then the schools themselves?

Yeah it really makes sense to have all the teachers, the ones on the front lines of education, switch to PC, so that all the office staff in the rear can feel homogenous and validated.

Jan 31, 2004, 12:56 AM
Wow, that last sentence was the best!

"We are going to try to see if it makes more sense to have a predominantly PC environment. The feeling is that it could provide us with better support and more reliable networks."
What a joke. Hope he understands the word virus. Reliable my ass.

Jan 31, 2004, 04:52 AM
The teachers and parents should demand to see a comparative "Total Life Cost" of Macs v PC. They say that if you want to bolster the local economy install a Windows network - it keeps so many people in work!

Jan 31, 2004, 07:46 AM
ha! a more reliable network. oh well. know that there is some funky program that the whole entire school uses for attendance and it's called ica or something like that. teachers call it sassy and it looks like windows, but all the classrooms (or at least most of them) have mac os x and a few of them os 9. the administration uses pcs (dell) and even the nurses' office has a dell. there are 2 or 3 labs of PCs, and they have PCs in the library, but there are 3 labs of eMacs. i think one of the pc labs is just for typing and another is used to make flash for computer animation. all of the stuff works together between the beige boxes and the dells running windows, the eMacs running os x and CRT iMacs running os 9. not to mention the laptops that some teachers use. i've seen a few iBooks around the school running 9 and x

they don't have to make any changes if in one school like mine there are a variety of computers that work together.

Jan 31, 2004, 09:52 AM
i'm a senior in arlington county, and i can say that they're making a serious mistake. We use 30 Dells in Computer Science class, and HALF of them don't work. They're only 6 months old. All the eMacs in the library, while they're only running OS 9, have a much easier time of logging into our (Windows-based) network than the Win-2000 computers themselves. Most of the teachers use Macs too, and like the article says, they would be very upset if they were forced to change to PCs. The school system isn't paying attention to how these PCs are actually performing. They're just looking at their funds (as usual).

Jan 31, 2004, 10:20 AM
Why don't they talk to the folks at Henrico County, VA. Im sure they can give them the pro's and con's of having Apple systems. Check their Web site. http://www.henrico.k12.va.us/iBook/ Sounds like the support concerns are again miss directed. Its not the administration needs to be efficient (thought they should wake up) it's the kids education that counts here.

Jan 31, 2004, 10:23 AM
If i'm trying to write a program in computer science, how am i supposed to do it if the computer crashes every 10 minutes (which is true)? If the administrators over in their fancy building were to come around and watch the classroom experiences, they'd find the PCs having serious problems all the time. Maybe it's easier for the admins to use the PCs, but us students aren't getting anything done.

Jan 31, 2004, 12:52 PM
Originally posted by Jimjiminey
"We are going to try to see if it makes more sense to have a predominantly PC environment. The feeling is that it could provide us with better support and more reliable networks."

Thre was article posted a couple of weeks ago about the computers on Apple's Cupertino campus. Bottom line was that there were only like 24 or 27 help desk technicians...1 for every 433 employees.

Jan 31, 2004, 01:38 PM
they may switch from "macintoshes to personal computers"

that right there told me that these people have NO idea what they are talking about!

on behalf of macintosh users, i'm sorry arlington!

Jan 31, 2004, 02:09 PM
``It gives me a headache just thinking about it," Dorman said. She finds Macs are more user-friendly for her students.

In this case they should definitely be listening to the teachers and students. Maybe if there are any members here that are qualified in the Mac & PC they could get a job in Arlington.

Feb 1, 2004, 01:37 AM
__The majority of computers in the Arlington school system are Macs, used by teachers in most of the county's elementary and middle schools, and some high school programs.
All administration employees use - and all data is stored on - PCs.

Does anyone known what programs the Admins are using? If itís MS Office why not just go all MAC? If its Access then a program to convert the data to MySql, for filemaker pro. OS X can use Samba or Dave to get access to PC data. Or conversely they could spend money on Xserves.

But teachers have hundreds of documents such as worksheets, templates and research projects, which would all be either lost or have to be redone if the PC platform was adopted.

The Educators should not suffer since education should be the primary focus of a school. If they have spend all of this time converting does that not mean they will have less time for the students., or will the small IT staff do this for them and be more over worked driving TCO up.

Macintosh is the preferred instructional technology; many programs are not available in a PC format, added Kris White, Arlington Education Association president.
But Carroll believes more programs are available for PC use.

Again what Programs does he think is there for the PC and at what cost?
For Comp SCI all the developer tools are free with Mac (C, C++, Objective-C, perl & java) while one has to buy them for Windows (Visual Studio) unless they use gcc ported to windows. ( Or may he wants to use Linux or FreeBSD.)

As we begin to look to the future, we have limited funds," Carroll said. ``We are going to try to see if it makes more sense to have a predominantly PC environment. The feeling is that it could provide us with better support and more reliable networks."

Wonder what support cost will be after a large Virus outbreak,DOS attacks and worms.

Also the build process on OS X is a little more elegant and less time consuming than build of Windows XP which should a consideration for a school.

The new MS license scheme has many companies and countries looking at alternatives so long term cost will go up for a school with limited funds.

Anyway if Caroll talked specifics it would make a better argument.

Feb 1, 2004, 01:26 PM
the school uses various programs, mostly Easy Grade Pro and some attendance program. Both of these are available for OS X. They also use Office. The school runs on a Novell network, and as I understand it OS X connects to these w/o additional software. Finally, the school does pay for programming software and my computer science teacher was very interested to hear that XCode does every standard language like Java and C++ and is free.