Good day everyone.  This September  my lab will be switched to a Apple Laptops.  I've been teaching computers for 5 years but never with Mac.  Has anyone ever gone through this experience?  I recently switched to Mac for my personal use but teaching with them is giving me a bit of anxiety.  Does anyone have any suggestions for the switch, things to look out for etc.  Lesson ideas, programs you use etc.  




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If your students are used to Windows the biggest problem will using the COMMAND key instead of the CONTROL key. Cut, paste, save, etc. are done with the command key and it is located next to the spacebar instead of in the lower left of the keyboard. 


Unfortunately I don't have any lesson plans to share since we don't have Macs at school. I use a Windows machine at school and a Mac at home. 

Learn shortcut keys and system preference. They will allow you to be efficient and competent in troubleshooting. Use your built in iLife programs for projects they will do about everything you need for multimedia creation. Invest in ARD (apple remote desktop) for monitoring and maintenance of you lab machines. Good luck. You will find that your student will have a much easier transition than you think.


Shortcut Keys


Mac Basics

You will find that your students will adapt well to the Macs. Our school received a Mac lab last school year and the students just jumped right in.

Apple has a lot of tutorials that are great and you can even have your students watch some of them. You can also go on Youtube and find many tutorials. The thing you need to remember is that the students are not afraid of the computers. They are growing up using computers and they will figure them out quickly and probably teach you some things. I know my students did.

What grade levels do you teach?

Get Mice that have a right click button. There are plenty that work on Macs.

Familiarize yourself with the iLife suite. It has a lot of good uses.

Remember that there are lots of platform agnostic tools online that will run on PC or Mac.

Oh...and read this!



Best wishes on starting this year. Here are some thoughts on Macs

  • Get students used to quitting programs - not just clicking the red x to close them. If programs are not Quit, they remain running in memory and things slow down
  • Option-Command-Esc is a great shortcut to see all running programs
  • If the machine starts up and a program automatically starts, go to The Apple - System Preferences - Accounts and click the Login Items tab to disable the auto start
  • There are many free programs that you might find useful such as Open Office, Scratch, TuxPaint, Google Earth, and Gimp
  • Holding Command+Tab is a great way to shift through open programs
  • Command+Shift+3 will capture the entire screen to a desktop PNG file
  • Command+Shift+4 will capture an area of the screen you drag over to a PNG file on the desktop
  • iLife has amazing tools that are student friendly such as GarageBand, iMovie, iPhoto
  • If you hook a computer up to a projector and you don't see the image, go to System Preferences - Displays - click the check box to show displays in the menu bar AND when you have the projector hooked up make sure Mirror Displays is checked
  • Let me know if you have specific questions
I've been a Computer Lab teacher for 8 years... Gone through Linux, Windows and switched to Macs last year. I found that us teachers had a harder time switching than the kids.

I agree with the keyboard shortcuts, they are sooo useful.
Screenshots are a must (CMD 3, and CMD 4)
Trash (CMD Delete)

Direct your students the Tutorials on the Apple website, they are great!
Also the video tutorials for the gestures are very useful.



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