Saturday, January 19, 2002

Fairfield parent: Why buy Macintosh?

PCs make more sense, he says

By Sue Kiesewetter
Enquirer Contributor

        FAIRFIELD — At least one parent questions why the Fairfield Schools continue to purchase Macintosh computers in what he says is a PC-based world.

        Fairfield High School graduate and parent Mitch Rhodus queried the school board at Thursday night's meeting on the decision to use part of a $250,000 technology grant the senior high school received to purchase additional Macintosh computers. The school is buying 100 Macintosh computers for teachers' desks and three Macintosh-based portable wireless laptop labs that can be wheeled from classroom to classroom.

        “The real world out there is PC-based,” Mr. Rhodus said.

        He backed his comments with research he said showed that only a handful of Macintosh computers are used worldwide by Procter & Gamble Co. employees, and that the vast majority of computers at the General Electric plant in Evendale and at Miami University are PC-based.

        Only those in graphic arts or publishing use Macintosh on a regular basis, Mr. Rhodus said. Another parent pointed out that students can't complete school assignments at home because most home computers are not Macintosh.

        Superintendent Robert Farrell said the computers were being used to enhance classroom instruction, not to teach the students how to use computers. Mr. Farrell also said a committee is looking at future purchases.

        "It is a dilemma for us. We are working on it,” Mr. Farrell said.

        Board president Anne Crone said she was not a computer expert, but says the quirks of program differences between computers shouldn't be a major barrier.

        “I think a lot of time we underestimate our children,” Mrs. Crone said. "I am assured by people in the real world that it's real easy to go from one platform to another.”


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