Hardware independent

Response to low resolution notion quoted below-

"I believe it is our responsibility to prepare students for 'the real
world'and the real world is PC-based."

I think this often heard and read reason for using PC boxes in High School
fails when scrutinized.

For doing a reality check on the comment above, I submit the following 3

  • After the first half a dozen word processors/databases/spreadsheets I do
not need to take a classes to effectively use new ones.
  • I dropped into an NT Lab for one month of training and work last
summer. It was a transparent transition with nearly zero acclimation time
  • Network space (LAN, WAN, MAN or the net) is the same no matter what box
you use for access.
  • I have now taught in several PC labs with no problem using the boxes
because Inside the window most apps have the same look and feel.
  • Tools are tools and all pixel level editors & object editors (PhotoShop,
AppleWorks, etc) toolboxes are similar enough to be transparent.
  • K12 technology is not funded at the same levels as for profit ventures
so modeling will be very difficult.

  • The Real World... of today is but a memory tomorrow (or in 5
years). All the jobs my 20/30 something friends and family have today
that use computers, use them simply as tools with no particular reference
to the OS. And it seems that each day convergence and transparency
becomes more and more the norm...dare I say, like the real world?
I quote text from the most recent RFP for NSFs Rural Systemic
Initiatives in Science, Math & Technology Education-
...understanding of science and math is essential to maintain a population
prepared to meet the need for a technically competent work
force. Technology tools in the service of Science and Math Curriculum
demands convergence and transparency. Whatever the real world looks like
tomorrow you can bet Windows, Mac or Linux version X.X will be less (not
more) mission critical to the tool users.

When asked to help shape policy, or generally deal with hardware/software
issues I rely on TOC. Total Cost of Ownership gives folks a chance to
examine (most for the first time) what is the total 5 to 7 year cost of
this tool set. Any K12 Technology Coordinator who does not engage some
version of this process of projecting and predicting costs will be flying

The Invisible Internet By Ed Zander SunMicro
Toward a human-centric Web: interview with Michael Dertouzos MIT
The Road Ahead by Bill Gates et al.
CoSN work on Total Cost of Ownership

Scott Coletti