Will a Mac confuse the kids?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Zisa, Mar 18, 2009.

  1. Zisa macrumors member

    Feb 10, 2009
    I have been a mac convert since 2004 and have had my fare shar of mac.

    The kids are now 8 and 7 and are learining how to use the computer at school, with homework on the computer (all be it on a secure school site).

    If I get them a second hand mac (still dilema whether to get them two second hand iBooks or one second hand iMac, as the cost is very similar), will they get confused? Will the miss out at the school projects?

    I am just loathed to put a Windows machine at home, that's all. But, I feel that they do need access to a computer.

    Also - any other parents here who bought their kids a mac? was it a laptop or desktop? I am kinda worried that the laptop might cause them neck and back pain,

  2. Dmac77 macrumors 68020


    Jan 2, 2008
    I don't think that they'll have any issues. I would get them an iMac. After all they are only 7 and 8, and it's likely that they'll end up dropping iBooks, and cause damage to them. IMO, Macs are easier to use then PCs. I don't see any issues arising.

  3. Kirjava444 macrumors member

    Jun 8, 2008
    They are 7 and 8 - kids learn really fast. They may be a little confused at first but I'm sure in no time at all they will be perfectly comfortable using a Mac.
  4. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    Sometimes kids are better than adults at figuring things out. I wouldn't expect too many problems.
  5. robo456 macrumors 6502


    Mar 3, 2008
    New Jersey
    Just a thought... keep your flamethrowers to yourselves, please!

    You might want to find out what the school uses. It might be easier for the kids if it's the same or similar looking interface. (that way you don't have to get into file conversions, or "why can't I do this the same?" type stuff)

    I guess school has changed alot since I went, 7/8 seems a bit young for a laptop to be carting around??

  6. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Aug 13, 2006
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    They'll know more than you in a month and a half of playing with it. Kids learn far more quickly than adults do, because of the way their brains are wired.

    Several of my clients joke about how, if I'm not available, they'll ask their kids how to do something on their computers. :D
  7. Sambo110 macrumors 68000

    Mar 12, 2007
    They are young, they won't know the difference between a Mac and Windows computer. But then in the future hopefully they will be Mac users :).
  8. Jisuo macrumors 6502

    Dec 4, 2008
    They will be able to switch between the windows interface and os x without any problem. I've been a kid myself and using different kind of computers was a child's play. :p
  9. bigjnyc macrumors 603


    Apr 10, 2008
    I don't think the issue here is whether the kids will learn how to use a Mac but whether they will get confused learning two different systems at the same time. So if they are learning on windows at school and then coming home to OSX that could be a problem in my opinion. I think you should have them learn windows first then get them Macs later on, because lets face it even the more hard core Apple fans have to admit... the world runs on windows, Large corporations, schools, etc...... You don't want your kids growing up on OSX and never learn windows only to go out in the corporate world and have to work on a PC, they would be at a disadvantage. Until the 95% windows market share changes i think its important for every kid to learn windows first then discover the joys of Mac later as many of us here have done.
  10. notjustjay macrumors 603


    Sep 19, 2003
    Canada, eh?
    Kids are smart, they'll learn fast. And they won't even consciously realize they know how to use two different computing platforms. They just will.

    I know some Chinese kids who were born in France and lived there for about 10 years before the family moved to Canada. They speak both Cantonese and Mandarin at home with their parents, and grew up speaking French while they were in France. Now they're learning English. They're doing just fine, and can easily switch between any of the four languages at will.

    Just like switching languages, you'll learn to adapt to the computer you're using. I use Windows XP, Centos and Ubuntu at work and OS X at home all the time and I never think about it anymore.
  11. Eric5h5 macrumors 68020

    Dec 9, 2004
    Not at all...kids can learn multiple languages at the same time and not get confused. Kids are much better than adults at learning. In fact learning different systems is a good thing, because they don't get mentally stuck in the rut of "One Way" to do things, and will subsequently be better at learning computer stuff in general. In much the same way that a kid who learned two languages when young will have a much easier time learning more when an adult.

  12. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
  13. Cabbit macrumors 68020


    Jan 30, 2006
    My aim with kids is to give them as many experiences as possible as the younger the more the sponge up.
    If you can get them involved with different types of computers and explain to them the pro's and cons of each and never take for granted that because there young they wont understand because the will.
    A child of my father friend has just hit 12 and currently can speak French, English, and Arabic well and has done since she was 6 and the point here that there is really no limit at young ages children push to learn everything they can.
  14. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    Yup. With an intel mac it's easy to boot into a different OS, be it OSX, windows xp, windows vista, or linux. So definitely a good computer to learn different OS.
  15. aross99 macrumors 68000


    Dec 17, 2006
    East Lansing, MI
    My kids have had Macs at home forever, and never had issues with the Windows machines at school. I did find that I needed to have Microsoft Office loaded so that they could work on the Word/Excel/Powerpoint files from their school projects.

    Other than a few snags on Powerpoint compatibility, everything has always worked out fine.
  16. Jisuo macrumors 6502

    Dec 4, 2008
    I knew how to use a windows computer (3.11 and 95) years before I even had my own or even used a computer myself. I had learned everything by just watching others use computers. So when we got our own I just sat down and was installing games in a matter of seconds. Kids are like that.
  17. jaw04005 macrumors 601


    Aug 19, 2003
    Personally, I would want them to know that there are different platforms out there. In their adult life, they are probably going to encounter software other than Windows and Office and have to deal with it (whether that's proprietary database software or content management systems, etc).

    The only thing that might become an issue down the line (particularly if you have boys) is games.

    My family owns a fairly large preschool/daycare center. I purposely populated our computer labs with both Macs and PCs to give these kids (ages 3-13) exposure to some variety.
  18. instaxgirl macrumors 65816


    Mar 11, 2009
    Edinburgh, UK
    I went the other way round, I got given an iBook in school aged 10 and had had a pc at home since I was 7. I never struggled with it. I'd only really used the pc for games and then got loads of computing classes (word processing, power point etc etc) on the iBook. I adapted to using the pc for all that stuff when I was home.

    Tbh I didn't even really grasp the concept of different operating systems. I just knew what buttons to press on each machine to do what I wanted.
  19. NewGenAdam macrumors 6502

    Jun 29, 2008
    For kids, using tech is like second nature - especially with Mac which is more intuitive than Windows. I think they'll be fine. Better, in fact, they'll be able to use both.

    I'd buy a shared computer for them at that age, rather than their own.
  20. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    I told the grandchildren "On this computer, Word is called AppleWorks, and Internet Explorer is called Safari". That was all they needed to know.
  21. Zisa thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 10, 2009
    good point. I still want to control their useage, as I do not want them to go onto dangerous sites. Plus, the laptops will encourage bad posture.

    Now, will a G4 iMac be good enough? I am thinking, the do not really need Leopard, do they? (OK - selfishly, I like their look, and might be able to convince the Mrs that it fits with the decor)

    Yes, i guess, as long as I have Office 2004, they should be OK.;)
  22. seb-opp macrumors 6502

    Nov 16, 2008
    When I was 8 we got our first family PC with windows. At school we had All in one power macs, then G3 iMacs. I had no problem back then, Im sure your kids wont either. macs and PCs interfaces are not that different really, they both can do the same basic functions. Im sure they will work out that some things may be in different places but will achieve the same result.

    Regarding back problems, that only really happens when you use a laptop for hours on end. It would be no worse than them lying on the floor playing with toys
  23. sawmaster macrumors regular

    Why get an iBook, anyway? The macbook's are much smaller and lighter and easier to carry. You should get a macbook if your getting a mac laptop.
  24. kolax macrumors G3

    Mar 20, 2007
    Exactly! It isn't as if Mac OS X is completely different to Windows - the concept is the same. It is a desktop based OS. Applications might have different names.

    But as others have said, kids learn really fast. If you stick Office 2004 on it, you won't even have to tell them how to change font size etc if they are learning the PC version of Office. They are intelligent and will experiment! They'll probably muck up a PC, but with a Mac, you're safe (until they learn Unix commands or something).
  25. sawmaster macrumors regular

    Nah. I got an iBook from my first grade teacher after 1st grade. I'm fine now. That was when I was about their age. The iBook still works 100% great! I guess an iBook is pretty tough, it has a nice body to keep the inners protected. A few weeks ago, somehow it fell off my desk, and what a crash that was! Still on that desk, staring at me, working 100% great. (although i'm on my macbook)

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