I taught fifth grade for two years and third grade for eleven years. Starting in the fall of 2010, I will be teaching "computer" class to students in grades k- 8 at a Catholic School located south of Pittsburgh. PA. I have always been fascinated with new technology and enjoy learning about ways to use it in the classroom and share what I have learned with others. I am also interested in Ancient History and language. I serve as the Elementary Chair on the National Committee for Latin and Greek and as the Classics Club Chair for the Excellence Through Classics Committee for the American Classical League. I love using modern technology to learn about the ancient world!
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Have you taken a look at Open Office? It's compatible with MS Office, has word processing, presentation (powerpoint) and a spreadsheet. I used it in our Mac lab pretty successfully. Best of all, it's FREE! Depending on your computers and how they are setup, it may take a bit of time. OO requires(or did when I setup a few years ago) X11 be installed. It comes with all install disks, but often isn't included in original setup.
I'd recommend taking a look at it. I think it would beat running the multiple platform system.
I am no longer an active teacher, but I still have opinions on computers.
My questions is, "What do you want to run anything on a Windows platform for when the Mac side can do the same?"
I easily admit to being a Mac zealot, but I do try to see the whole of a problem. Seriously, if everything you want can run on a Mac, why run the multiple platforms? If you get Office for Mac then you won't have the multi-platform issue any longer.
Is there anything out there that you want to run, but is ONLY Windows?
I worked in Mac labs for a total of 17 years, I don't really ever remember wanting anything to teach with that I couldn't get (or a good enough substitute) on a Mac.