(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.)
In the middle of the Franklin Heights federal housing project, teachers of adults and preschoolers are connected to their colleagues in the Murfreesboro (TN) City School System through the Internet.
Students in the adult education facility and in the preschools are learning and becoming active participants in the future with the help of technology, including Macs and iBooks. (The preschool, adult education, family resource, police precinct, and more are located right in the center of the housing project.)
In the upstairs portion of what were once two four-bedroom apartments, adults are served by the GED preparation program of the Murfreesboro City Schools while their infant and toddler children are cared for downstairs. Four Macs and 10 Gateway computers allow the adults to surf the Net, learn basic skills, develop their vocabularies and reading competencies, become computer literate, and walk through Microsoft programs such as Excel and Access.
In the two preschool classes, 40 children use 10 iMac computers to assist learning. Linda Gilbert, associate Director for Instruction and Professional Development, Murfreesboro City Schools, said that technology is very important in the preschool curriculum. It introduces children to the computer and its components: the keyboard, the monitor, the mouse, etc. They learn how to turn the computers on and off and how to find games. This is a “jumpstart” for preschoolers because computers are used quite a bit in kindergarten, preschool teacher Kathy Bennett said.
“We use a variety of learning games on the computers for the children such as Mr. Potato Head, Winnie the Pooh’s Counting, Reader Rabbit’s Preschool and others to help reinforce the curriculum,” Bennett added. “Computers are used at center time, so each and every child gets at least 20 minutes daily at a computer.”
Computer technology is here to stay in our world and the preschoolers adapt to it readily, she said, adding, “sometimes they have better skills at pulling up games than I have.”
Requests for help
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.
Alvin Chan ( email@example.com ): “I’d like to help my school become an Apple computer equipped school because Apple is the best computer company today. It will be hard to convince them, though I’ve printed out some Apple products and have submitted that, in my own initiative. I think to convince them I need a list of curriculums on courses related to design so that they have an idea which design course to offer where Apple computers and OSX will be used. I tried looking for curriculums on the Internet but have not found anything that says they’re using Apple computers.”
Salimah Gillani ( firstname.lastname@example.org ): “I was really relieved to read the MacCentral article on a Virtual Mac for a PC. However, half the download component on this site does not work as the hosters cannot afford the bandwidth. Can anyone recommend other sources to download a ‘virtual mac,’ preferably free. Also, I came across another barrier recently with my Mac friendly clients. I couldn’t download NetMeeting or WS_FTP. Can anyone recommend equivalents, as well as a site I can go to get this info?”
Jake Reyna ( email@example.com ): “I need some assistance regarding Web site testing for Macs. Are there programs, sites, or individuals available to test Web sites? I have just finished modifying a popup calendar program for date input and would like to test it in a Mac environment.”