Troubleshooting is higher order thinking. Comparing new software with older software has students thinking at a high level too. So, when new software is released, I use it to teach. Three recent software releases give you a great way to teach technology:
- Announced this week — Windows 10 is free (as a technical preview until October 1, 2015), for consumers.
- With it Microsoft releases a new web browser — SPARTAN to replace Internet Explorer
- The creator of Opera releases another web browser — VIVALDI — out for download.
Here’s how to teach with these three new software programs (without having to install them).
Windows 10: RAM, Consumer Upgrades, and Processors
If you are a beginner or novice — the Windows 10 upgrade is NOT FOR YOU. BUT, you can still teach with it.
Remember that Windows 10 is still in early release, so beginners won’t be ready to install it now. Wait a little but not too long if this appeals to you – it expires on October 1, 2015. Looks like the charms bar is gone and that the tiles are less prominent. Desktop is back too!
Teach Using the Windows 10 Release
- Teach 32 vs 64 bit processors ( see my microprocessor pizza video and lesson.)
- Give students a scenario where someone has a 32 bit processor running Windows 7 and ask them to research and write recommendations if they should upgrade.
- Have students research and explain what an ISO is.
- Have students examine Windows 10 — or even better install it on a machine and ask them to test and write about it.
- What is a technical release? Why would Microsoft give away this operating system?
Two New Web Browsers: Spartan and Vivaldi
Windows has a new web browser: SPARTAN. Some are reporting big performance gains with this web browser. Others say that Spartan is Microsoft’s answer to Windows Chrome. Spartan will also support extensions — something Internet Explorer has not.
The coolest thing I’ve seen about Spartan is the ability to write directly on the page (think Skitch) and collaborate with others inside the browser. It looks like Diigo-type behavior but in real time. It also automatically downloads items in the web browser to read later. (think Pocket)
Vivaldi: a new web browser from the original creator of the Opera Web browser. With notes inside the web browser and a fresh innovation called “tab stacks” – whether you use this web browser or not Vivaldi will impact you. There are some new cool features in the technical preview (although extensions aren’t supported yet). This is designed for power users and will even have a mail client built into the browser.
Teach Using the Release of Spartan and Vivaldi
- Interestingly, many students don’t know what a web browser is. All students should understand that there are various web browsers: Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer (being replaced by Spartan). More advanced students can compare and contrast Opera, Safari, and Vivaldi with other web browsers. Have students test new web browsers and put them in Venn diagrams to compare them.
- Discuss and have students install extensions. (If you use Chrome, Extensity should be the first one you use as it is the extension to rule all extensions. Yes, I’ve blogged about Extensity and made a YouTube video.) Extensions are mentioned in both of the browser release press coverage — why are extensions such a big deal?
- Download Vivaldi on a machine and ask some students to test it. You can have them screenshot or screencast a guide to help others get started.
Remember that innovation is an opportunity to teach. When software is new, students have to use their brain and form opinions because there is so little they can look up online!
I want my students on the leading bleeding edge all the time — not so they can bleed but so that through the struggle, they can learn to lead.