I’ve always been a PC girl and rode the upgrades from black screens to, well, black screens (less power hungry, right?). I’ve lived through many blue screens of death and marvelled at how Microsoft Office has evolved.
Then a couple of years ago, my daughter went to high school – a mac school. She strutted around the house with her uber-cool white macbook while I remained chained to my PC running Windows XP (with SP2, ok?) and dual processors which took 10 minutes to boot. It was time to upgrade. I said no to macs. “I know PCs, it’s what I use at work and I have to stay good at it.”
First came the iPod Touch – a birthday present. Nice.
Then came the iMac – a Christmas present. Nice squared.
Then, finally the iPhone – a Mother’s Day present. Nice cubed.
The upgrade is now complete. I cannot deny the generosity of my husband but I know that deep down, this was his way of tipping me over to the i side (so far no sign of iPad…yet). I still have my PC (laptop) at work and really loving my mac products and how well everything integrates….who knew?
So, what has all this got to do with my learning blog?
There’s a lot of talk about students driving curriculum and student-centred learning and pursuing student interests, etc. (you get the drift). I wasn’t interested in having Apple products at all though the interest did grow as I got a taste bit by bit. Having been exposed and challenged to learn them, I find myself finally a convert. I did not know I could like these things; I’m sure the Apple guys predicted this result but really, it could have gone the other way!
The full curriculum especially in secondary schools is full – and more things get added – because curriculum designers put in things that students might never hear about otherwise. This is almost as bad as saying “one day you might find it useful”, I know. The reality is, most teachers feel powerless to change the curriculum, accountable as they are to deliver content. )Fight for change, by all means, but until then….)
The point really is not to view education in a utilitarian way – not everything we learn is useful or fun – but that education is about opening eyes to new things, ideas, experiences, places, people, etc. and in so doing, grow.
As educators (parents and teachers alike), we have to help students view their education as such. As learners ourselves, we model what it means to learn. Sometimes it’s useful. Sometimes it’s fun. Sometimes it’s painful or embarrassing. Learning is becoming better than if we never learned at all.
Mac or PC? It really doesn’t matter all that much. That I’ve learned both and someone cared enough to push me, now that matters.