6 comments
  1. More random:

    I am bothered that the debate is often set up as a false binary between Apple and Google. What about Linux? What about students being involved in their own coding? If we want innovation, critical thinking and creativity, along with a democratic framework, doesn't Linux actually present that best? And, in the case of Linux, we need to recognize that there are down sides as well, in terms of functionality, politics, etc.

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    1. When I was about nine or ten, we got a new computer teacher (who happened to be my dad). We went from endlessly playing educational games to learning about computers themselves. We spent a lot of time working in DOS shells. We talked a lot about RAM and file types. It's a foundation that's served me well ever since.

      You don't get to play with the inner workings of a computer when everything is preprocessed into an app. There's definitely something to be said for giving kids the opportunity to put their feet on the pedals and twiddle the steering wheel.

      On the other hand, sometimes you just want to get a paper typed up and printed out. ;)

      My point is, I think it's okay to acknowledge we have two different educational goals. We want students to work with computers themselves. But we also want them to be able to use computers to do other useful and interesting things. Fortunately, you can pretty much accomplish both- for free- by running Chromium on Ubuntu. ;)

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    2. I wish we had more classes like that!

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  2. My comment will echo that of John to an extent. As educators we need to allow for an ecosystem of tools that suit the purpose and the individual. We need those tech giants who claim to be serious about supporting education to accept that we will not necessarily go with any one system for everything.They need to work together - LTI compliance should help this. Google have some great products for our needs, using an apps for ed account should deal with your data mining concerns, the ipad brings great functionality (although personally I prefer the ethos of the android systems) I wouldn't be without my chromebook and my nexus! We all have a tendency to get religious about our tech preferences but let's remember that our first priority is to our students who deserve great learning experiences.

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    1. I love your comment here. We want schools to be democratic. Our tech needs to be democratic and open as well.

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  3. In the education sphere, many of these concerns are moot. I'm a Google Apps admin for a K12. Google doesn't serve us ads. They "mine" data, but because we are serving minors, the limits of that mining are very strict. Finally, although Apps EDU doesn't generate direct revenue for Google, Apps itself *does* bring in over US$1B per year for them and is an important part of their long-term strategy.

    The constant updates are nice from an admin perspective and a nightmare for training. A lot of our teachers refuse to move off of Office 2003 -- that's how averse to change they are. Changes to the interface happening regularly puts them into a tailspin.

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