Apple Mac software (iWork, others) to replace Microsoft Office in New Zealand classrooms

Apple Store“New software agreements for schools are riling some teachers who are required to remove Microsoft Office from all Apple Macintoshes used in the classroom,” Stephen Bell Wellington reports for Computerworld New Zealand.

“The schools are no longer licensed to use Microsoft’s popular Office suite under the new contracts negotiated between vendors and the Ministry of Education,” Wellington reports.

“The change is simply a matter of value for money and appropriateness, says ministry ICT spokesman Douglas Harre. Macs in classrooms have now been equipped with the Apple products iWork and Kidpix in place of Office,” Wellington reports.

“Since the majority of Macs in the classroom are in primary schools, the Apple software offers better educational value, says Harre. ‘The average seven-year-old is not worried about programming macros in Excel,'” Wellington reports. “Mac laptops provided to teachers under the TELA scheme will still be licensed to use Office, as will Macs used for school administration.”

Wellington reports, “Dorothy Burt, e-learning leader at Auckland’s Point England primary school, says the removal of Microsoft software from classroom Macs surprises her… But, she says, ‘It’s not so much of an issue in the classroom. We’re using Google Docs, Google spreadsheet and other open-source software anyway. We did use Office in the classroom, [but only] because we had it.’ Burt sees the adoption of Iworks and Kidpix as a very positive move. ‘But [it will] be interesting to see how the connectivity situation works out,’ she adds.”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Another Irish Dude” for the heads up.]

29 Comments

  1. iMaki,
    Yeah, right! I guess that’s why my audience shits itself everytime I give a Keynote presentation. I also guess that’s why all their questions afterward are not about the topic but about how I “did that in PowerPoint”. When they find out it is Keynote, they want to know more.

    Also, I guess it’s why Microsucks has copied extensively from Keynote for Office 2008.

    Yes, iMaki, you are perfectly correct.

  2. As much as I favour dumping Micro$oft bloatware, this is yet another “IT knows better than you” what you need to do. It rankles me everytime. They would have much better success bringing teachers into the decision process, rather than forcing it down their throats. Sigh.

  3. Bandit Bill,
    After they clean the shit out of their pants they do.

    No, in all seriousness, Keynote helps me be a more effective lecturer AND it keeps the audience awake!

    Can’t focus on the talk if you are asleep.

  4. I am looking forward to initial negative reaction and then a surge in creative ICT use in primary schools. We are not in the business of vocational ICT training so with Office gone teachers are once again challenged to think how their use of ICT will relate to broader learning outcomes, as opposed to kids learning how to PowerPoint

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