by Jason Karol, Kathleen High School
This WebQuest has students research and discuss/debate whether or not Microsoft is a monopoly, and if it is a monopoly, whether or not it has been beneficial or harmful to the world.
If you're a computer science teacher, you'll likely have noticed by now that Microsoft seems to be everywhere. Perhaps you're advanced enough that you use alternative software, such as Linux, Firefox, or Netscape.
In any case, it's obvious from looking around yourself that Microsoft isn't going to be going anywhere anytime soon. Is that necessarily a good thing or a bad thing?
The hope with this WebQuest is to get students to gain an appreciation and understanding of the delicate balance that has to be drawn between a company being widespread and being overpowering. The students will have to consider if there's an advantage to a company being able to take a diverse (and difficult) situation and make it simpler (and uniform) - or if there's a disadvantage to a company forcing everyone else to adopting their standard.