Well, I write this from my new Toshiba Satellite laptop. Running Windows 7. Not my Macbook.
Our family had to step back and take a long, hard look at our technology needs and budget. Once we determined that three of our children would be joining me at my new school, we knew that we wanted to provide devices for each of them. The math looks something like this: 2 adults + 4 student children = 6 devices. Here’s the fun part….
6 devices * $1,400 for a Mac= $8,400. Replacement cycle of 3 years means the average monthly cost is $233.
6 devices* $380 for a Toshiba Satellite= $2,280. Monthly cost is $63.
It’s hard to fight those numbers, especially when the bulk of our technology use is web-based and there are comparable open-source applications available. So, we are now a PC family and I’ll be working in a PC school. So much for never going back, huh?
My thoughts so far:
- The numeric keypad-didn’t realize how much I had missed this!
- Having a backspace and delete key again.
- Arrow keys!!!
- Right click button instead of control click.
- Windows 7 themes rock- they change the music and everything!
- Picasa makes me happier than iPhoto ever did.
- Blio is an amazing ebook reader for my kids- download the free books w/o an account.
- Pretty much all my stuff looks the same… thanks to syncing, cross-platform apps like Google Chrome, TweetDeck, Evernote, and Kindle Reader.
- My children are all gleefully playing Age of Empires with each other.
- Lack of two-finger scrolling on touchpad. Had no idea how much I used this on my Mac.
- Zooming feature on the trackpad when two fingers are on it…. see above. It’s a constant zooming problem. ((I’m sure there is a setting for this, but I haven’t found it yet!))
- Not having a shortcut to take quick screenshots- there’s a Snipping Tool, but it’s not the same thing!
- Having to use Cntrl instead of the Command key- finger placement is weird.
- Where did my Command+Q go?
- How hard can it be to move iTunes libraries over? Answer: Fairly hard. Blech
All in all, I’m super pleased with the decision. We’re planning to go purchase another one so we have 4…. still two to go, but enough that each student who can bring a laptop to school will have one.
This afternoon, my 4th grader approached me and said he’d like to work on his schedule for this fall. ((School starts in two weeks, and is personalized per child so he gets to set his schedule during the school block with some guidance.)) Rather than grabbing paper, I just told him to grab his laptop and open a spreadsheet in his school Google Docs account. He titled it, created the headings, times, colored blocks, and shared it with me, his dad, his siblings, and the school admin before heading off to work on his chores. The whole sharing thing was a hugely exciting for him. Love that.
It’s this kind of stuff that makes me thankful that we are able to create a 1-to-1 environment for our children. Mac or PC- it doesn’t really matter. What matters is that they are connected learners who know how to use the tool to create and collaborate.
It’s not about the tech…. it’s about the connection.