My local newspaper carried an article on Sunday that claimed that Google’s Chrome was a much better browser than the competition, particularly Internet Explorer. I don’t disagree with that conclusion, but there have been better browsers than IE around for a long time: Firefox, Opera, Safari and others. Yet IE still holds the majority of the market in its grasp.
If it cost extra to download Chrome or Firefox or Opera that fact might make sense. But the better browsers are free. Free. What holds people back? Here are a few possibilities, in no particular order:
- People don’t like downloading and installing apps they aren’t familiar with
- People don’t want to deal with more than one browser
- People don’t realize they can transfer all their bookmarks and settings into a new browser
- People aren’t sure what a browser is because they think Google is the Internet
- People don’t have any more room on their hard drives for another app
- People don’t care about web standards so concepts about superior standards compliant browsers are meaningless to them
- People are forced by their corporate management to use a particular browser
- People by Windows machines and accept the browser that comes packaged with it
I’m sure you could add a few more items to that list. It’s complicated, isn’t it?
I think educators can make a difference over time. If technology in the classroom supported and encouraged browsing with a better browser, it could create a lasting effect on students after they left the classroom. What browser do you have your students using?