The Mac can be a great organization tool for your kids. It will make them smarter.
Once they read this, they’ll have plenty of ammunition for that new MacBook Pro they’ve been bugging you about. No, I’m not on a commission with Apple.
What I am is a serious mother who wants to help my child do well in school. Of course, mine is a few years away from school, but there’s nothing like a little preparation.
Last week I was into an all day session of Skype chat with Carol Miller, Mac360’s other mother, and our only licensed, accredited, non-union, non-tenure, experienced teacher, so I trust her opinion.
So, I’m like, “Carol, are there any Mac software bargains to help kids in school?” And she’s like, “Alex, your kid is still months old. Why the rush?” Hey, I like to be prepared.
What Carol came up with is a 5 star Mac utility for students. It’s called Schoolhouse. It’s free.
I know what what you’re thinking. Free? Can it be any good? I’ll let you know how it works for my daughter in another five or six years; assuming she can type by the time she starts first grade.
Logan Collins’ Schoolhouse is one of those rare Mac applications that could easily be remodeled for adults. Why? It’s a near perfect organizational tool, simple enough to students, powerful enough for adults. Since it’s simple, adults can use it, too.
If you have kids in school and they use Macs, make sure to get them a copy of Schoolhouse. Did I mention that it’s free?
Schoolhouse opens to a dialog box which lets you view the Introductory Guide and click to a link to the Schoolhouse web site. The Guide is a PDF which walks you through the Schoolhouse. Clever, huh?
What’s becoming the Mac interface standard for the rest of the world, Schoolhouse opens to a very familiar interface. Toolbar on the top, left column of folders, center column of information, right column of detail.
In other words, it looks like a student classroom version of iPhoto or iTunes or any one of a dozen Mac applications using the same look and feel. Nothing scary to see here. Let’s move along.
Clicking the Assignment icon on the top gets a blank assignment in the middle—Title, Course, Kind, Start Date. The details column adds extra notes, and Project and Files tabs.
Click Project tab, add new Task. Click Notes, add new notes. The left column has folders which can track projects, details, due dates, very important and anything else.
The tool bar also toggles between a line listing and a calendar view, which gives an instant display of what’s coming up and when. It’s always important for students to know when an assignment was due yesterday. Or, in an hour.
Schoolhouse creates multiple documents, either for different classes or different students. It even tracks grades; by assignments, papers, projects, and course. The advantage there is for parent’s snooping eyes, right?
Schoolhouse is also a click away from emailing notes or assignments or attachments to teachers or other students. But that’s just the beginning of the fun.
Classcasting lets students subscribe to assignments from teacher via the web using FTP, SFTP, WebDav, and synchronization with .Mac.
Not only does Schoolhouse give your students a quick and easy organization tool to track their progress in class assignments, projects, and tasks, it allows two way interaction. All the teacher needs to do is provide a URL for the student to subscribe.
Schoolhouse is one of those Must Try™ Mac applications we’re famous for digging up. It’ll help your kids learn personal organization, become more responsible, track their projects and assignments, track their grades by assignment, project and course, learn to use a Unix-like computer, and enhance typing skills.
Got kids? Try Schoolhouse. I’ll let you know exactly how it works on my daughter as soon as she’s out of kindergarten and learns to type.
Do your kids use Macs? What Mac applications help to make their school work easier, more attractive? Share your experience (just the school part) with Mac360 readers in the Comments section below.