pitching in: apple retail store field trips

This is slightly out of character for me but I think there’s an obvious point being missed here:

Apple Retail Store Field Trip: http://speirs.org/2008/11/01/apple-retail-store-field-trip/

Whilst at first glance this does make it seem as though “Media Awareness” should now become a pre-school activity, take a step back and ask what passes for ICT in the majority of UK primary schools right now. I freely admit that without children of my own in such a situation I might not know, but unsurprisingly it’s pretty much a Microsoft shop – there are some glimmers of hope (some variants of free software have finally been approved for ‘purchase’) but basically you will be taught the MS way of working.

That’s fine, as a start. What is less nice is the drone-like creation of Word and Excel monkeys – nice skills to have, but not one that I feel is the right approach for generic education in Computing. Keep that as an option in “Business Skills” or something similar – what I want is for my children to be exposed to as much generic Computing as practical, so I naturally oppose any monoculture. A mix of Windows, Mac OS and Linux would be great (although I’d prefer BSD, but that’s my own personal problem…) simply to show that there is more than one way of doing things.

So the crux of the matter is that I pay (indirectly) for my school to buy Microsoft products, and be taught on MS packages. Apple provide for free (to me) an alternative view of the world that is arguably more exciting for the kids (it’s a trip, afterall) and appears from Fraser’s post to be a well thought out tutorial.


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