Friday, July 25, 2008

Newer Web and Older Computers

I am getting a laptop! As part of my job, I am going to be helping manage a number of SharePoint websites. The public face of our school on the Internet, the secure staff-only sites, the virtual classrooms that teachers may need help starting - all of it is based on SharePoint sites.

When was told I was getting a laptop to use to help me do my job I was thrilled. I didn't know anything about this particular make and model, so I asked some of the people who work with computers and laptops for a living. They told me that the hardware while very good at the time was a little older, and I should invest my own money to get a recent model. I disagree.

1.) I don't want to spend the money

2.) Newer laptops have to be downgraded to XP from Windows Vista. My school and my district has not made the move to vista on any sort of a large scale.

3.)I think there is a possibility for the increase in web 2.0 use in schools to save schools money by enabling them to use older hardware longer.

By doing more of our work online, using web creating tools like SharePoint, there is less of a demand on our machines. I just have to keep my web browser up to date, and web browsers are free.

Some programs like those that work with graphics and video editing demand more memory. Why not use older programs, and save files at lower resolution? Many of the graphic editing tools that do basic graphic functions are found in older programs. Kids can learn the basics on software that is a little older, and that knowledge is still relevant when they use new versions of the same software.

I just think it's ironic that the evolution of web 2.0 may make it possible for some schools (or people like me) to use older hardware, longer. Time will tell.

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