Can’t We All Just Get Along?

Who will win?… Mac vs. PC in schools. I have taken the side of the Mac since I started using computers. I loved the Macintosh when it came out and I loved how easy it is to find things, get things done, and I don’t have to search for much. It is all there and it works. I used the PC during college and found it discouraging at times. It got better with each OS output and I had my first PC with XP. It worked. It had one program I could not use on a Mac and it was a wonderful program, Publisher. I still use it to this day. My Macbook Pro has OS 10.6 on one side and, with Bookcamp, Vista on the other. They both work. I choose to use the Mac side, but I use both, depending on the need. One is not better than the other, we are just comfortable with what we use.

So what does this have to do with anything? Does the platform mean much in this web-based-program-world? I think not. Kids are not going to notice much of a difference. The programs work the same on a PC as they do a Mac. The word processors are similar and, depending on what is being used, look similar and do the same basic thing. In my classroom we use Open Office for the students and I use Microsoft Word, Apple’s Pages, and Open Office. They all do the same thing and the students will figure out what they do and what they need.

This is where we get a bit off subject. Will the platform keep the students from learning? No. Most of the programs I am using in my classroom are web-based and will work no matter what platform it is used on. Students will make the change. They are amazing in the fact that they can assimilate better than we think and much better than we can. Do we have to know the computer inside and out? No. The students can help us. They can teach us. We as teachers need to know the basics of safety and we need to set guidelines.

So does it matter what we use? No. The fight will still go on, but it will only matter to those on each side of the fence, not to the students. They will sit by and wonder, “Why all the fighting? Let’s get to creating and learning.”

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