(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.)
The Brothers School in Brothers, OR, proves that you don’t have to be a big school to have big technology. The one-room schoolhouse in a small cattle ranching community has 20 iBooks that take advantage of Apple’s AirPort wireless technology.
Students use the laptops to do reading, writing, and math drills, using CD-ROMs from the Computer Curriculum Corporation. They scan in pictures via a digital camera. They keep science journals. Fifth through eighth graders log onto the Internet to get information on Washington, DC, attractions (they’re going to the nation’s capital for a spring field trip).
Teacher Ann Pirruccello told the Associated Press that the iBooks make it easier to have students do individualized study, as well as getting individualized assessment. She said grading software used on the Apple portables saves her 20 hours a week. And the teacher loves the possibilities of education and the Internet.
“When we had the Seattle earthquake, the kids logged onto CNN immediately and started researching earthquakes and fault lines on the Internet,” Pirruccello told AP.
Brothers School, though very rural, even has high speed Internet access, thanks to fiber optic cable. The level of technology in the little school is amazing when you consider that it’s definitely off the beaten path.
The Brother community is located close to the geographical center of Oregon. It’s “sagebrush country” with just a gas station-restaurant, highway maintenance station, a post office, the school, a cattle chute, and some vacant buildings. (In fact, it sounds a lot like the community this reporter grew up in — Leach, Tennessee, in west Tennessee.)
The iBooks, which cost US$41,000, were made possible through grants and help from the Crook-Deschutes Education Service District. (Thanks to MacCentral reader Keith Boone for helping us gather the info for this story.)
Frey Vineyards, makers of organic and biodynamic wines with no added sulfites, are all Mac (including a custom FileMaker seller tracking program yet be released), according to MacCentral reader Christopher Koveleski. (Organic and biodynamic methods of food production seek to minimize damage to ecosystems and create a stable agriculture into perpetuity.)
The Redwood Valley, CA, business is the oldest (since 1980) and largest organic winery in the US. It’s also the first in the country to produce biodynamic wines. All grapes for the organic wines are grown in accordance with California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF). The wines are made with no added sulfites.
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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.
Saul Hasranah: “I am interested in opening a music/record shop in Trinidad. I would like to know what is the best software that will be most useful to my business, regarding accounts, salaries, inventory, etc.”
Paul Hesser: “I am a current user of CAT software from Chang Labs. I have been using it since 1990 or before and it is a great piece of software. Well, CAT III was on my Mac IIsi, and I needed a version to work on System 9 and my Power Mac. I found someone who sent me the latest version 4.2.2 and that has been working fine. However, it just gave me a message to enter serial number and password which I don’t have (I have my original serial number from CAT III but no password). Any help would be appreciated.”
Greg Gardner, K-12 account executive (NorCal), Apple: “I have a principal in Salinas, CA looking for a Mac program to do mass calling to parents, or to make selected calling to parents and others. For instance, he needs to be able to call parents of all the students who are absent on a specific day to let the parents know we have noted that their child is absent and to please notify the school as to why there child is absent. We might also want to call parents of all of our children to let the parents know that there is an open house, etc. But the only solution
we have found
is PC only. Suggestions?”