A Window into Education

By Rob Warner  //  Uncategorized  //  1 Comment

My 6th-grade daughter currently home-schools, taking her classes online with Florida Virtual School (FLVS). She started the school year using my wife's MacBook Air, but couldn't get the FLVS software working. My wife called Tech Support, and they told her they don't support Mac OS X. We tried her on a Linux desktop for awhile, but the wireless connection kept dropping at inopportune times, so I finally broke down and dropped $800 on an HP laptop that runs Windows 8. It's a little slow–I should have bought an SSD–but it's working.

My second son, a high school senior, is taking an FLVS class he needs to graduate. We've had to work out an uneasy time-sharing HP laptop schedule of daughter-in-the-day, son-in-the-evening. Good thing school is almost over for the year.

My oldest son just finished his first year in college and is starting his summer term classes. He's majoring in Computer Science, with a Business minor, and one of his classes–one that he started today–is an introduction to computer applications. In that class, he'll learn to use Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and Microsoft Powerpoint. Seriously? You have to take a class for that? A COLLEGE class?

Anyway, he has a MacBook Air that he received as a high school graduation present. It's been a great laptop for him. When he tried to log in to the website for this class, though, he learned that the class requires Windows, even though Mac OS X runs Word, Excel, and Powerpoint just fine. Not only does the class require Windows, it requires Internet Explorer: the interactive site that you must use for assignments, discussions, et al uses an ActiveX control. We're having to shove him into the HP laptop schedule: he gets the late-at-night shift.

In my house, I have a Linux desktop, two MacBook Airs, two MacBook Pros (both are mine–work and personal–and I admittedly don't share) an iPad 1, an iPad Retina (is that the 4? the new one), and an ASUS Transformer, and the education of 60% of my children is threaded through a single Windows laptop. Windows. We're relying on the former Metro for grades that count.

I'm aghast. It's another symptom of an ailing education system.


1 Comment to “A Window into Education”

  • Hey mate,

    I have plenty PC-s in my house , most of them are Windows 7 .I tried everything ,osX lion ,ubuntu ,debian for a period of 3 months, but never imagined I would be happy to get rid of them and get back to Win7 . I personally do not preffer a Windows 8 ,it’s a creepy OS ,and it should have never been created (my opinion) .If I was you I would rather try dual booting on that macbook Air (OS X and WIN 7/8),than spend 800$ on a HP windows 8 …

    Regards .

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I'm Rob Warner, and I'm a software developer. I live in Jacksonville, Florida, and work for Availity, LLC. The postings on this site are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Availity.