(For those new to the column, Forward Migration is our term for companies moving from Wintel machines to Macs — or at least adding or increasing the number of Macs they use. A Forward Migration Kit is an overview of Mac OS products for a particular occupation, such as photography, optometry, etc.)
Last summer the teacher education department at Johnson Bible College in Knoxville, TN, installed 30 iBooks in their new educational technology building, along with 12 iMacs and 12 G4s. (They also installed 12 PCs, so it’s obvious which platform they prefer.) And they’re recommended iBooks to incoming freshmen.
“We are asking parents of prospective teacher education students to purchase iBooks if they are buying a computer for their students,” Dr. Chris Templar, chairperson of the Department of Teacher Education, told MacCentral.
The new, US$4 million educational technology building, which has 31,900 square feet, opened last August. The education department — which has a total of 138 undergraduate and graduate students — operates an AirPort wireless network throughout the new building for the iBooks.
The department began planning a technology upgrade a year and half ago. Templar and the department faculty decided they would like a resource hub with wireless networking and a computer lab with plug-ins for even faster Ethernet speed. They originally requested some Wintel laptops and 12 of the original, bulkier iBooks. However, before the purchases were made, the revamped “snow” iBook came out, and the department bought one to play around with.
“We liked it very much,” Templar said. “The ease with which can put Macs onto a network and the ease of implementing a wireless network is very convenient. In fact, as we played with the new iBook, we decided it did everything we wanted. And it was easier to use and less expensive than its PC counterpart. This was a large purchase for us, and we decided to use the savings on books.”
She said that Apple was very helpful in configuring the iBooks in the way the school wanted. The portables were purchased last summer and were used almost immediately in graduate courses. Students can checkout the Apple laptops and use them in the vicinity of the educational technology building. There are also four iBooks just for use by the faculty.
“Students like using iBooks while in class and while sitting in bean bags in the center,” Templar said. “They’re spending hours on them every day.”
Another benefit of using Apple technology is in the power of the AirPort network. When they bought one of the “old” AirPort base stations, Templar said they thought more would be needed to offer the range they wanted. However, the one base station allows the iBook users to be online anywhere in the new tech building — and even all the way down to a nearby pond (a popular place to sit and relax).
“Needless to say, we were pleasantly surprised,” said Templar — who, by the way, has a PowerBook of her own.
The school also has a computer lab with 26 Macs (a combination of Power Mac G4s and older iMacs) and 22 Wintel systems. The Macs are used for taking notes, research, information sharing during group work, and making iMovies.
Johnson Bible College has been a totally wired college for over five years. All faculty members have had desktop systems for that long.
The college was founded by Ashley Johnson in January 1886 as a correspondence Bible school. During the next few years, thousands were enrolled. By 1893, the Johnson’s opened the doors of The School of the Evangelists, which was later renamed Johnson Bible College.
A stronghold of Macs now, the number of Apple systems may multiply even more in the future. Templar said that the teacher education department recently bought a new flat panel iMac to play around with. And you know what that means.
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Requests for help
Now it’s time for our weekly requests for help from folks who need your advice and/or assistance in forward migrating — or at least being able to keep the Mac platform alive and thriving in their businesses. Contact the requesters directly at their e-mail addresses.
Roger Soffer: “I’m a new parent at Marquez Charter School in Pacific Palisades (Los Angeles Unified School District.). They’re open to converting to Macs, but I’m going to have to raise the money from outside to do so. Does anyone have any suggestions on ways to do this or people/corporations to contact?”
Greg Mills: “I am doing a project for my church and we need to translate a book, which is a word document into the Arabic and Arabic text. Is there Mac software to do that?”
Ed Patrick: “I have been looking on the net for extra dictionaries to integrate into the Apple Spell Checker built into Mac OS X. I have not able to find anything on the Apple site or elsewhere. In particular I am looking for British English, German and Arabic ones. Can anyone help?”
Zinneken: “Our company is looking into acquiring an ERP system. They are very much looking into Navision AXAPTA — which is Windows only, but which seems to be the leader. However, we all agree on the fact that it is preferable for us to use the Mac OS rather then the buggy, security issues prone and viral Windows. Are there any other ERP apps for that Mac that are around? Are there any that can be run on Mac OS X?
Egon Zippel: “Does anyone know of any application that makes it possible to ‘voip’ between a Mac and a PC?”