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Steve Jobs and Michael Dell were both headlining a technology forum, at which Jobs opened his big mouth and trampled on Apple's history and the life-blood that allowed it to be the only, early computer company to weather the 8, 16 and 32 bit computer processor transition war, into the robust company, now, that has taken the world with the iPod.

How did Apple lead the way to today's market? Niches. That is where Apple solidly is entrenched in the computer business. Their move into the Intel market puts them into the race with the Big Boys. This is being done on an old PowerBook 1400C and then will be transferred onto my Intel Mac Mini. I have not had one crash since I bought the Mini, and I have 4 hard drives on it. I have not installed Windows on the machine, but I could.

In the early days of "computerism," Apple owned the educational business. Apple IIe's were found in every class in every school in the United States. I own a virtual history of the Apple Computer, starting with an Apple IIe and a Macintosh KE to the MiniMac. Jobs has set the paradigm in modern computers, but I think the man is bitter about losing the educational market.

Steve needs to look into a mirror if he is blaming public education for losing his strangle hold on the education market. Jobs could have maintained the educational advantage if he had packaged with their newer computers, software made especially for classroom management and given teachers a 50% off deal.

First of all, computers are not the panacea for modern America's public schools. I have adopted out many of my Macintoshes to needy families. Though the computers are a bit old, they work. It makes my heart skip a beat, when I return to visit and see that the computer has become a integral part of the family. One middle-school Mexican-American girl was using her computer to work on her 15 year old, coming-out party. Cool!

But, as technology advances, our students are losing. Early computers forced students to type in the programs that they wanted, and the early games were text-pictured based. I can remember when my nephew and my son won "Bug Hunt!" Boy were they excited! As they read the text, they had to make choices to win. Jobs changed all of that with Macintosh's GUI OS, which means that all a user has to do is click the mouse.

With the iPod and the iPhone, Jobs is still setting the paradigm, but he doesn't know dip-stick about education. He sends his children to an expensive private school and is no authority on anything public education.

"'What kind of person could you get to run a small business if you told them that when they came in they couldn't get rid of people that they thought weren't any good?'" Jobs asked to loud applause during an education reform conference."

"I believe that what is wrong with our schools in this nation is that they have become unionized in the worst possible way," Jobs said. "This unionization and lifetime employment of K-12 teachers is off-the-charts crazy."

"Steve, buddy, ... as principal, it would be your job to make sure all of your assigned teachers grow as a teacher, ... not suspending them permanently. When you do that, your successful. When you can't, ... kiss your principal's job goodbye."

Michael Dell, far and away, slam-dunked Steve Jobs, which you would think would be hard to do, ... but maybe that is why Dell is now the main choice of computers in the US's public schools.

"Dell responded that unions were created because ' ... the employer was treating his employees unfairly and that was not good.'"

"So now you have these enterprises where they take good care of their people. The employees won, they do really well and succeed."

Dell also blamed problems in public schools on the lack of a competitive job market for principals. Neither one of them brought up the fact that every child is different and come to school with different experiences and different abilities. No choices in power or space options. Forget, build on demand! None of the sweat-houses in Asia that starts with all, exactly the same quality materials.

Schools take all student, green card or not, and every child, no matter the handicap. Any teacher knows that "unions" play little part of a teacher's success. The fact is, teaching is the hardest job in the world. While a company like Apple makes one huge decision over several months of deliberation, a teacher must make a hundred decisions in a day. Every child must bond with their teacher and there teacher to them.

One of the teachers blew me away, when she talked to me about her most difficult student she ever had.

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Is a 34 year retired educator with a Masters Degree in Counseling - a free-lance writer with articles in Spanish and English Guideposts, Mothering, Oklahoma Observer, Oklahoma Gazette, Westview, Oklahoma Reader, The Lookout, Christian Standard, (more...)
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