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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Treading the Tech Trek, part 3 This will make more sense if you start with the first Technology Trek entry dated 12/6/11

This disparate existence, this competitive crawl forward of technology was a negative example of how competition hurts rather than helps progress. While we were teaching students of the eighties to collaborate, to support, to share ideas and seek the synergy that we believed they would find, Gates and Jobs continued to make individual progress, at our expense.

At one point, an elementary principal sent another teacher and me to IBM, to assess the educational software being designed and promoted for PC users. The schools were then fully in Apple / Mac mode, and to be fair, the software developers were targeting the Apple/Mac platform, as they were buying. PC marketers were more in line with businesses and software that met the needs of businesses. My colleague and I found PC software cumbersome, lethargic, and more powerful than our students could appreciate (or so we thought.)

However, our minor assessment of the status of PC educational software did not hold sway with the powers that be. While the elementary buildings in our district continued to work with Macs, the secondary buildings were gradually switching over to PC format. Laptops had made the scene, and they were primarily and affordably PC in format.

I had moved, at home, from the Apple IIGS to a Mac Performa, a powerful computer with a color monitor and color printer, on which I could use Clarisworks and Appleworks, and so coordinate more effectively with the classroom computers at the elementary level. There were glitches: Clarisworks was constantly updating its versions, and Claris 4 would not read Claris 3 data diskettes, but eventually Claris 5 resolved that issue (shortly after I had manually transcribed all 3 data to the new 4 specifications.) I grumbled through all these arbitrary changes, looking at my old record player which generously played records whether they were RCA, or Motown in production. But I will let Andy Rooney (rest his soul) explain the confusion
click here

The year I moved to middle school was the year the district decided to go PC at that level. Sixth grade teachers had received PC laptops and rudimentary training on them the year before. And though I was a year late for the laptop bonanza, I was given one because the middle school needed a webmaster for their new website. More on that unexpected adventure to come~

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