Wednesday, May 01, 2013

A Spoon is not a Fork.

This hosts this week are Jared and Chandler.

The question covered this week: 
"What do you think of the proposal for Maine's 1to1 laptop initiative?"

This weekend the Maine Department of Education announced the next device for the Maine Learning Technology Initiative.(MLTI) The MLTI program has operated since 2002 and offered Apple devices to 7th and 8th grade students across the state of Maine. This year for the first time the DOE has gone with Windows PC, the HP ProBook.  Here is the full article in the Portland Press Herald.

We discuss some of the implications of this shift for students, teachers and the state at large. It's important to note that as of the latest information, districts will still have the option of buying into the other hardware choices (iPads and MacAirs) if they foot the cost of the difference.

My personal feelings is that I know it matters what platform you use, but less and less than ever. If the web is your production platform, then the devices just become the conduit to your content. That said, there is undoubtably a trade off. There are local programs and features that do not have the equivalent in cloud services yet. A spoon for soup and fork for spaghetti. But that's changing, and all the major players know it. Microsoft's latest version of Office saves your files in their Skydrive (cloud storage) BY DEFAULT. That's a huge shift in functionality and assumptions about users. One of drawbacks of this is how each company is building their own digital fiefdom, and not playing well with others.
iCloud vs. Google vs. Skydrive vs. Dropbox, etc.

We don't want them to build these artificial digital ecosystems where you have to choose one closed garden over the other (think AOL circa 2005.) Facebook is pushing this, they are the one service to rule them all, the difference is there's no cost to changing social networks. Hardware costs money and all the apps we buy for them will not transfer. Right now when I buy music, I buy it on Amazon which downloads a copy to iTunes which syncs with Google Music. Yes, I now have the song in each service, but it's quite a Rube Goldberg way of accomplishing this.

Hopefully it will get better.
Spork anyone?

We will be back Tuesday, May 7th at 3:00 EST

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