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Lesson Plans

Re: the ideal multimedia lab

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Robert Alexander Fromme (rfromme)
Wed, 09 Dec 1998 04:31:19 -0600

At 05:07 AM 12/7/98 -0500, you wrote:
>I initially wrote out a long message stating my preferene for Macs -
>easy to use and maintain. deleted......
> Some people like all the techno-wizardry required
>to set up and maintain IBM/Windows machines (maybe I'm a littl biased).
>I like the ease of use and simplicity of the Macs. They're great for
>graphics software. However, it bothers me to hear how many teachers say
>their school systems will fund and maintain the IBM types, but anyone
>who gets Mac's has to purchase their own services. I sort of got that
>message at my school too - but my Macs have been so easy to take care
>of, I haven't required any outside service. My concern though is this -
>does IBM or MicroSoft or somebody have a little too much influence on
>educational cirles? Is there a little monopoly covertly growing here
>too? It seems to me that schools should be free to purchase the best
>equipment their budgets can afford, and at the same time serve the
>specific needs and requests of their teachers. There's no reason schools
>have to be all one computer system. Many universities have no problem
>running complex networks with both IBM/Windows and Macs.

My district technology administrator has been pushing MACs for years and now
the students who move up from the lower grades have problems with sloppy and
long file names and they pay no attention to file formats and they do not
understand how to add the file extension which is needed when they work with
other platforms. They try to take the work home to run on their family PC
clone or they move it form one of our Power MACs to one of the my homemade
PC clones in the art room and they discover that the iimage file name is
corrupted, and the software will not display the file because it needs the
extension for identification.

If these kids are going to be working in the real world where there are all
kinds of situations, Mac, PC Clones, UNIX, Silicon Graphics, Sun,
etc......and where theres are even more choices for image manipulation and
animation applications, it would seem that the best education for them would
involve an understanding of both PCs and MACs so that they understand how
to create a particular file in a specific file format which will be useful
on several platforms. So, I try to keep a few PC clones in the learning
environment in order to give the kids an understanding of these issues.

One can manipulate opinion for or against MACs and PCs. Using the position
of teacher, one can also manipulate student bias in both directions.
However, our reality is a situation where we must prepare our students for
the working world and they will seldom get to choose which platsforms the
busnisses have for their workers. They will need to have the experience to
survive and produce with the resources they are given. So, from our
perspective in public educaton, a quality education in the visual arts must
involve attention to the future needs of the students in an evolving
technological culture. This translates into giving them instruction,
experience and confidence using several platforms and assorted applictions.