Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Mac or PC - the fight gets bigger



My 11yr old nephew shared this youtube video with me last night. I asked him and our niece which they preferred. It is true - the advertising machine of the Mac is a good one and worked once again with these children. And that's great with me.

Needless to say - I'm a Mac girl. I first used a Mac in 1982. A small cube at the back of our classroom. It was the first computer the school had bought for students. Students from other classes came to our classroom to use it. I'm not sure what they learnt. We were taught programming skills using 'turtle'. But it was during our lunch breaks that we learnt the most. We were allowed to 'just play' - and we did. Mostly we played PacMan and fought for position of top score. However, we also played with the programming capabilities and learnt to explore, push buttons, test our skills and knowledge and we were even allowed to take it home for weekends. There were about 5 of us who took up the opportunity to take the Mac home. We each spent most of the weekend trying to extablish the highest score in PacMan. Our families also had the opportunity to learn the Mac operating system from us - a huge boost to our confidence and learning.

I will always be a Mac girl. Since those days in the 80s, Macs have led the way in creating a visual interface that is ideal for children in the early years. The drag and drop of large pictorial icons, the dock, the integration of iphoto in all its applications, provides an easy platform for children to create their own pages of information and manipulate images. All with very little supervision from adults. Today the children of Manaia Kindergarten enjoy playing with KidPix, creating learning stories with ComicLife, and exploring photography with Photobooth and iPhoto. New teachers to the kindergarten are also learning the Mac skills and are excited about the possibilities.

What do the children in your centre use and how?
What is your preference - Mac or PC - and why?

4 comments:

NaketaNZ said...

Great post Beverly. I whole heartedly believed I was a PC girl. Up until I had to use a Mac then was whole heartedly converted. However, in my current role I see benefits of being conversant with both. Windows 7 has a lovely interface now and is nearly (but not quite) as smooth as a Mac. You can get Photo Story 3 on a Mac and you cant get iMovie on a PC. Benefits to both I believe, so our household has at the moment 2 of each :D

Treehouse Dwellers said...

Hey thanks Naketa. Yes I agree. I will always be a Mac girl - but there are benefits with both. At Manaia we have both and they are beginning to operate in similar ways (the PC world is seeing the light). I do really like how iphoto is integrated into so many applications via the media window. That is makes it so easy for children. And many of the applications have similar layouts so that once you have learnt one, it is easy to follow through with another application, ie the visual use of inspector, media, colour and fonts windows. Something PCs have not done yet as far as I know.

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Margaret said...

I am SUCH a Mac girl - have been for the past 10 years and love the way they integrate everything. This week I bought an Akai keyboard for the children as we have a budding musician in our midst and plugged it in, opened Garageband and hey presto I have a large group already getting excited and making music to play back. Can't do that with a PC!
Margaret