Faculty Platform Choices

It’s amazing how much platform choices still dominate discussions about educational computing. I thought that by now we would be discussing how to use the tools rather than the capabilities of the tools themselves. However, marketing being what it is, educators are constantly having to adapt to new tools with new capabilities, some needed and others gratuitous.

The discussion about Windows-versus-Mac-versus-Linux is especially vexing, since none are particularly well-suited to educational computing. The discussion got going on ISED-L last week. Greg Kearney proposed the idea that we spend far too much time and money living with Windows, and Jim Heynderickx reponded that the real investment for a user is in the time and effort it takes to learn and adjust to a new/changing operating system.

I am more firmly placed in the Heynderickx camp, though I lament the effort it takes to deal with the vulnerabilities of poorly designed and overfeatured operating systems. But we have reaped benefits from giving the people what they want, one user at a time.

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