Saturday, November 28, 2009

If It Isn't Broken....


If you haven't yet read Who Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson, MD, it is well worth the hour or so it will take. Change is inevitable and healthy. However, when you have something that works, why change it?

Perhaps one of the most eye opening experiences for me in my new role as K-12 Technology Integrator, is the dedication teachers have to certain applications. As a third grade teacher I could not wait to try something new, which is probably why the Technology Director asked me to test out Palm Pilots with my students. Having said that, with the ever increasing demands of standardized tests, new reading programs, additional benchmark testing, etc... sometimes teachers simply do not have time to check out newer applications.

Many of our teachers have loved the legacy application, ClarisWorks for Kids. When this school year ends, the program will be pulled from our images, along with its older sibling, Appleworks. Teachers have argued that there just aren't replacements that do what these programs do. I beg to differ. It might take a little time, but with the Web 2.0 world at our fingertips, and a Technology Integrator ready to assist, replacements can certainly be found.

I held off on publishing this post, and have made many edits before publishing because my intent is not to upset people, but to educate them. I finally decided to post when the Technology Director was going through some old software licensing documents and uncovered a letter dated 2002, stating that ClarisWorks for Kids had been abandoned by Apple three years earlier. It "might" work on OS9, although that was not the original intent. We are in the year 2009, running OS X and beyond. It is time to seek alternatives and move forward.

Oh, if you haven't seen Kidspiration.... it is worth a close look.....

4 comments:

Chris said...

Lori,
I think we all probably have those people in our districts. Those people that will hold onto the familiar until they have no choice. It just takes somebody (above us) to make the decision that enough is enough and get rid of it. You're absolutely right that this is 2009; we should not be using clarisworks or appleworks. There are way better tools available, and I love that it's our job to show them. Hang in there and thanks for sharing.

Jim Gates said...

Appleworks and Clarisworks, eh? I've used them both, and I loved them both. They were excellent tools for kids. But, that was then. That was 15 to 20 years ago when I used them. I think we started in 1991. Yes, it's definitely time to move on. It is NOT an option. Failing to move on would be like the shop teacher failing to use power tools in favor of hand tools.

The biggest issue at this point is what to use next. Moving to Microsoft Word will be a nightmare for many, I'm sure. It's a nightmare even for those who love Word. Nothing is as easy as it is in those other programs, but it's partly because they're so familiar to the teachers. ANYthing new, at this point, will be harder. But, nobody is doing the kids ANY favors by staying with those defunct tools.

Ask those who are really putting up the biggest fuss, "If not now, when? WHEN do we make the change? WHEN is it 'time?'Five more years? After you retire? Ten more years? And, during that time, how can you justify to parents why you're hanging onto a program that hasn't been supported for already seven years?"

There IS a steep learning curve going to MS Word 2008, but it MUST be done - unless you move to Google Docs for that age group. This is what is known as being a lifelong learner, folks. Suck it up and face reality.

Good luck.

簡單 said...

nice job! waiting for your new artical...................................................

香水 said...

We could learn a lot from crayons. Some are sharp, some are pretty and some are dull, Some have weird names , and all are different colors, but they all have to live in the same box.............................................