Computers, Homework, The Internet, And The Great Falls Public School District

Editors note: The folks at CTR Computers sent this information to us and we thought it would be helpful and informative for local parents of GFPS students.



Here at CTR Computers, where we service, clean , repair and sell quality refurbished systems, I would like to address an issue that has come to my attention on more than one occasion.

I have had parents come and tell me they are looking for a computer so that their student can send their homework in via the Internet. I say, okay, we can help. I show them what we have. At that time, or beforehand, they say that the school told them they have to have a Windows 10 system to work with their system.

After scratching my head and giving them the deer in the headlight look, I tell them they do not need Windows 10. I explain that the Internet is the Internet, and that IE (Internet Explorer), Firefox and Google Chrome all work in Windows 7, 8.1 and 10.

After scratching my head and giving them the deer in the headlight look, I tell them they do not need Windows 10. I explain that the Internet is the Internet, and that IE (Internet Explorer), Firefox and Google Chrome all work in Windows 7, 8.1 and 10.

I further let them know that whatever email platform they send their work from, it goes to the address given (sender to recipient.) The recipient can then retrieve the message from their email system on whatever Windows they are using.

Knowing that Microsoft has and probably still partners with schools for various reasons, such as student versions of MS Office (Word), the possibility of a financial assistance to them could be in the mix, in return for saying a certain program or system is needed to work with them. Also, may I mention there are free alternatives to Word?

So don’t be taken in or made to believe you need, or must have Windows 10. Windows 10 has been problematic to this day, even though it is 3 years old.




  1. After several years in the GFPS district I have yet to have a teacher tell us that we need a specific operating system…and we are on our 4th covering 20 years.

    Also, while there are many opinions out there, Windows has the market share of the business world under their control. So if we are to give our kids the best education we need to give them the best tools to go with it. Forget that new gaming system upgrade and those $5 a day Starbucks habit and invest in your kids future.

  2. They use Moodle, a learning management system, to send in homework (not email). Are you sure this isn’t for online classes taken through Montana Digital Academy? I understand trying to do a public service and clarifying a misconception, however, as someone that also works in the tech world, you haven’t completed a root cause analysis. You are making an assumption without attempting to find out more information. Third, fourth, fifth party information is rarely 100% accurate, and those of us working in tech know it rarely as simple as “So and so said…”. You don’t know what publisher products are being used that may be incompatible with other versions of Windows. And, for the record, GFPS is a Google district, not O365. Please do more research before claiming Microsoft is giving the district a kick-back.

    Added: Also, with O365 (Office 365), which they use as well, students get O365 for FREE on up to 5 personal devices. This is how most education licensing for O365 operates.

  3. Oh for Pete’s sake – the above article says nothing about Microsoft actually giving the school district a kick back, the article says that Microsoft has been known to partner with schools. Using the word possibility is not a claim of actually happening.
    Twisting words to make a statement against someone or something is just poor journalism.
    Name not required- you said …”for the record, GFPS is a Google district, not O365…” then you say that they DO use O365
    (Microsoft Office 365)
    Sounds like they do, but they don’t, but they actually do.
    Now that I’m confused………

  4. I’m not real sure that schools get a kickback, but they do get incentives — School districts across the country are constantly on the lookout for who might offer the best deal. Our Son’s school over in western Washington last year flipped mid-term, from Apple to Google – Some schools also mix and match – Grades 1-3 might be using iPads, whilst grades 4-6 might be using Chromebooks (our Son’s school used Chromebooks last year). At the end of the day it doesn’t make a difference. Nearly every portal on the net will write to DOCS – Year before last our Son used the Office 360 at school, but used Open Source at home – Both loaded neatly into the school’s designated portal nicely. And as far as Windows? Well, lets just say that at our house, we’ve moved beyond the internet stone age to more productive and secure internet solutions like Linux and Linux based Android.

  5. Ask ANY I.T. guy who works for the school district to tell you some stories about the insane things teachers believe or just don’t understand about technology. A lot of teachers know what they’re talking about, but plenty don’t. It’s not far-fetched at all to think some teacher told a family that Windows 10 was somehow required. Heck I remember years ago when a fellow teacher flipped out that I was using Google Chrome. Why? “Chrome puts tons of viruses on your computer.”


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