I want my students on the leading, bleeding edge not so they can bleed- so they can lead. Vicki Davis

Teaching with Windows 10, Spartan, and Vivaldi

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.

[callout]BEGINNERS SHOULD SKIP THIS PARAGRAPH: Of most interest to me is the ability to have more RAM than the 4 GB that Windows 7 32-bit supports. I did see on the System Requirements that some older 64-bit processors aren't supported. I am running 32-bit Windows on a 64-bit processor so I've been considering an upgrade for a while. I'll need to dig deeper on this one and may do this early summer. I also have all of my files in Dropbox so if I lose things, I won't really lose them.[/callout]

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!

[callout]Teach Using the Windows 10 Release [/callout]

  • 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?

[tweetthis twitter_handles=”@coolcatteacher”]Troubleshooting is higher order thinking. Vicki Davis[/tweetthis]

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.

Windows 10 spartan

Windows 10 Spartan can write on every web page, collaborate with others, and read items offline later. It is Microsoft's answer to the Chrome web browser and some report speed gains.

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 is from the creator of the Opera web browser.

Vivaldi is from the creator of the Opera web browser. It has a new innovation called stab stacks and lets you take notes inside the web browser.

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.

[callout]Teach Using the Release of Spartan and Vivaldi[/callout]

  • 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.

[tweetthis]I want my students on the leading bleeding edge, not so they can bleed– so they can lead.[/tweetthis]


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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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Scott Kent January 31, 2015 - 12:56 pm

Troubleshooting is higher order thinking. — I love this statement. I’m always trying to get my students, and often colleagues to try new things, but things not working is always a ready retort. Now I have a wonderful rejoinder for their retorts. Thank you!

Vicki Davis January 31, 2015 - 1:10 pm

Awesome, Scott. I always remind my students of this when they get frustrated. It is a skill to know when to jump in and help and when to let them search for the answers.


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