Monday night, I went to a conversation series with Mary Meeker, a fairly well-known internet analyst with Morgan Stanley. She was dubbed “the queen of the ‘net” by Barron’s during the dot-com boom. She proved an interesting speaker especially for Shantou University students who came by the hundreds to hear her speak. The place was so packed that I was sure that the conference room would turn into the running of the bulls if someone just sneezed. While I’m sure she is quite good at her job, I have heard a lot of what she had so say already from staying on top of news and technology especially in relation to China.
Mary mentioned Apple and the iPod several times and, at one point, I heard another student turn to another and say, “What’s an Apple iPod?” Apple is not open for business here with no iTunes store meaning no iPod sales. The truth is, China is a PC-dominated and Microsoft-dominated market. Everyone runs Windows with Office, Explorer, and Windows Media Player. Servers all run Microsoft’s dot NET. Obviously, this makes things a bit easier when transferring files and exchanging work. However, no one knows any different.
I proposed a bunch of ideas to the English Language Center for supporting their teachers using a few tools I’ve seen used at San Francisco University High School as implemented by Richard Kassissieh. I made recommendations of easy-to-use class websitesas well as the benefits of blogging along with community calendars. The technical folks had to do some research to find out what in the world I was talking about when I mentioned things like Apache and PHP. And I’m not even the IT guy!