(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 Tracking Centre is being used in conjunction with Macs at two schools in British Columbia, Canada.
The Tracking Centre is a school administration program from
Phoenix Info-Media in Duncan, BC. It’s aimed at self-paced or student-directed schools and is available for both Mac and Windows systems. It’s an administrative software package developed using FoxPro software, and is intended mainly for tracking student progress in a self-paced or individually paced school. Thomas Haney, Secondary in Maple Ridge and Frances Kelsey, Secondary in Mill Bay are heavily into Macs as they each track over 1,000 self-paced schools with reports being sent out once a month, and statistics galore from its database of information.
“The Tracking Centre runs on Windows 486 or better (Pentiums do make it run better) and Macintosh 486 equivalents such as the Mac 630 with 20 megs of RAM, but iMacs and PowerPC processors make it run better,” Wayne Loutet, president of Phoenix Info-Media told MacCentral. “As well as the large self-directed learning schools, I also have the program in an adult education site and a store front drop in schools. These are similar in that the students are working at their own pace and can be anywhere within a course on any given day. This is very hard to track by paper, or by any other existing School Administration Programs.”
The Tracking Centre is used exclusively by teaching and administrative staff in the school to track student progress in every course in which a student is enrolled. It is also used to generate a monthly report card for parents. It runs on the school administrative server over a Novell network. Each year, Loutet said he has successfully “tinkered” or upgraded the program to improve it and/or customize features in the program to meet the individual needs of the schools that use this program.
At Frances Kelsey Secondary School (FSKSS), over 60 staff members currently use the program. Approximately half the staff use a Mac and the rest use Windows/DOS platforms. It runs equally well on both platforms, according to Vice Principal Grant Foster.
“Phoenix Info-Media has successfully marketed this tracking system to other schools in this district (School District #79 Cowichan Valley), as well as Maple Ridge and Saanich School districts,” he added. “I have no hesitation recommending this program to other schools who use a self-paced model of curriculum delivery. The alternative — to track student progress by using non-electronic means — would result in a paper trail that would be an administrative nightmare.”
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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.
Kenneth J. Gill, publications/marketing specialist, Association of Alaska School Boards: “I need to get Mac OSX and a Power Mac G4 to run as Server for five-plus PCs. Can someone offer me some technical help/examples/training?”