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General Chat Thread, An EduGeek 'Free' School - What would you do? in General; No IT classes ! They are outdated and a waste of time. an 'e-mature' school should have IT embedded throughout ...
  1. #16


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    No IT classes !

    They are outdated and a waste of time. an 'e-mature' school should have IT embedded throughout the curriculum and not taught as a discrete subject.

  2. #17

    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by timzim View Post
    A committee that actually makes decisions - in my experience in that's an oxymoron...
    A proper committee should have a chair. Ultimately they are the person who makes the decision, the other members should advise, help rate different options, and so on ... if you are talking about a group who has to vote on collective decisions then they are a Board, not a committee. Both have a place and both are abused by people who don't know how to run them.

    That is why a school has one Head / Principal and one Chair of Governors. It is not a democracy ... neither is the majority of the real world ... a free school still has to deal with governance issues and I've heard some interesting angles on it so far (some good, some just plain laughable).

    1 - The group which sets up the free school do so as a co-operative where all have a say, but they employ a management / leadership team to make ultimate decisions. If they don't like the decisions then they can give a vote of no confidence and get rid of them. The terms of the co-operative are key in this ...
    2 - The community all collectively decide on how the school is run and what is taught / what pupils learn. This can work in some communities (and has done in years past) and a limiting factor will be things like H&S more than having to follow a curriculum. However, it can go disastrously wrong too ... the lack of focus and in-fighting without a referee can rip such communities apart.
    3 - All teachers deciding what they are going to teach. This can be inspiring but it can generate a massive amount of work compared to if they work closer together ... good and bad points and experience.
    4 - The local community are happy to set up and run a free school (eg getting the local primary running again after the LA closed it) and are happy to support it ... whilst their kids are there... there is the worry that as children move to other schools there might not be the intake to keep the school viable, and this could waste a lot of money for very poor results. There are usually good reasons why schools are closed ...

  3. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by stevenewman View Post
    And just how much use do you think this will be to the majority of students? How many of them will be looking to take these skills out in the real world?
    I suppose that's a question of what you believe the role of the school is in teaching the young. Are they a) teaching to pass exams, b) teaching to gain employment, c) teaching to give the learner a broad knowledge base as a foundation for the rest of their lifes.

    I believe in (c) with FE and Uni taking up the mantel of (a) and (b).

    On this basis, since ICT is know deeply ingrained into our society, I'd say a good working knowledge of the technology is pretty essential now days. I'm not saying theres a need to go into great depth but think of how many support calls can be solved by the user actually having a clue?



    If the presentation is being displayed via a projector, why do they need to use an ipad device to view it as well?
    Are you against the projector or the iPad? I think the central use of a quality VLE is the main point here.

  4. #19

    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CyberNerd View Post
    No IT classes !

    They are outdated and a waste of time. an 'e-mature' school should have IT embedded throughout the curriculum and not taught as a discrete subject.
    Nope, IT lessons are not outdated. The same way that Sports Science is not outdated even if people think PE is. ICT/IT can teach very specific concepts and skills which are either difficult or impossible to get into other subjects. Other subjects can be fantastic places to introduce concepts or further develop them, but there is not enough time during english lessons to teach all formatting skills, not enough time in maths to teach the variety of formulae in spreadsheets and where do you stick relational databases?

  5. #20

    Dos_Box's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevenewman View Post
    And just how much use do you think this will be to the majority of students? How many of them will be looking to take these skills out in the real world?



    If the presentation is being displayed via a projector, why do they need to use an ipad device to view it as well?
    You forget, free schools are there to fill gaps in the education 'market' and do not have to be large establishments. In say a town the size of Preston (circa 60,000) there will be a gap large enough to fill at least 50 places with pupils with a desire to learn technology and IT, then take these skills into higher education. The point is there is a HUGE disconnect between high schools, colleges and the skills require when starting university courses. It is only a paper excersise remember, but bear in mind that the world is increasign computer relient and giving pupils with the right aptitude the righ knowlege to take further will benifit not only them but the UK technology industry as a whole. After all, the world games industry generates more revenue that the music and movie industry, and to not prepare children for this age is, IMHO, criminal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tmcd35 View Post
    On this basis, since ICT is know deeply ingrained into our society, I'd say a good working knowledge of the technology is pretty essential now days. I'm not saying theres a need to go into great depth but think of how many support calls can be solved by the user actually having a clue?
    How many of use know how to replace brake pads? Spark plugs?
    No ... we know how to fill it with oil (after checking), put air into tyres ... heck, many people don't even change their own tyres in the event of a flat anymore, but call on RAC or AA (other roadside recovery and maintenance services are available) and motor vehicles are pretty ingrained into society.

    How many of us do a regular check of our vehicles? even ex-forces types who are used to first-parading vehicles each morning are glad to stop having to do that and accept that the car will have a warning light to tell us if something is wrong ... is that any different to OS/App updates or AV issues?

  7. #22

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    The other advantage of free schools is that if you specialise then I suspect you will have more like minded pupils who want to be there and discipline and other areas that are often problamatical will not be such an issue. Also as they are treated as academies you can team up with local business for not only sponsorship, but with more relevant courses and access to levels of knowlege often denied to comprehensive schools.
    Imagine real world web design courses, coding, network setup and administration as well as industry level qualifications to accompany the more academic courses.
    My guess is that most of the peopel on this forum love technology, networking and all of the problems and problem solving that go with it. There are just as many teenagers out there who want to learn what we know, or even what we would like to know, ans a school specilising in these areas would be very popular. iOS and Android coding? Great, teach it, theres a huge developing market out there. The areas of web design and coding are expanding hugely as is the need for techies accross all areas, and the kids want these skills. It would be much better for them to lean them in a controlled and advised environment, than to struggle on their own at home and often get misguided or led astray.

  8. #23

    tmcd35's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    How many of use know how to replace brake pads? Spark plugs?
    No ... we know how to fill it with oil (after checking), put air into tyres ... heck, many people don't even change their own tyres in the event of a flat anymore, but call on RAC or AA (other roadside recovery and maintenance services are available) and motor vehicles are pretty ingrained into society.
    While I'm as guilty as most others on this one it almost proves my point for me. How many problems can be solved with a little basic knowledge before having to pick up the phone to the AA? There's a fine line between changing a tyre and rebuilding an engine but maybe changing a tyre is something basic that should be taught. In deed I'm sure a lot these basics are now incorporated into the driving test. I remember at least having to open the bonnet and point to the radiator, brake fluid, windscreen wash, etc, before they'd give me the license!

  9. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by tmcd35 View Post
    I suppose that's a question of what you believe the role of the school is in teaching the young. Are they a) teaching to pass exams, b) teaching to gain employment, c) teaching to give the learner a broad knowledge base as a foundation for the rest of their lifes.

    I believe in (c) with FE and Uni taking up the mantel of (a) and (b).

    On this basis, since ICT is know deeply ingrained into our society, I'd say a good working knowledge of the technology is pretty essential now days. I'm not saying theres a need to go into great depth but think of how many support calls can be solved by the user actually having a clue?
    Yes, I agree on C so do you think that setting up VMs on a VLAN is essential knowledge? For whom?

    Quote Originally Posted by tmcd35 View Post
    Are you against the projector or the iPad? I think the central use of a quality VLE is the main point here.
    Neither, but using the technology simply for its own sake is a waste of resources.

  10. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dos_Box View Post
    The other advantage of free schools is that if you specialise then I suspect you will have more like minded pupils who want to be there and discipline and other areas that are often problamatical will not be such an issue. Also as they are treated as academies you can team up with local business for not only sponsorship, but with more relevant courses and access to levels of knowlege often denied to comprehensive schools.
    Imagine real world web design courses, coding, network setup and administration as well as industry level qualifications to accompany the more academic courses.
    My guess is that most of the peopel on this forum love technology, networking and all of the problems and problem solving that go with it. There are just as many teenagers out there who want to learn what we know, or even what we would like to know, ans a school specilising in these areas would be very popular. iOS and Android coding? Great, teach it, theres a huge developing market out there. The areas of web design and coding are expanding hugely as is the need for techies accross all areas, and the kids want these skills. It would be much better for them to lean them in a controlled and advised environment, than to struggle on their own at home and often get misguided or led astray.
    Great ideas DB, but whose going to teach the teachers? How many people with that level of expertise are going to want to leave their fields and enter a world of lesson plans, marking coursework, objectives, parent evenings, differentiation, controlled assesment and Ofsted?
    Last edited by HarryMonkey; 25th October 2010 at 04:24 PM.

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    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevenewman View Post
    Great ideas BD, but whose going to teach the teachers? How many people with that level of expertise are going to want to leave their fields and enter a world of lesson plans, marking coursework, objectives, parent evenings, differentiation, controlled assesment and Ofsted?
    There are a goodly number of teachers out there with these skills already ... and quite often they are the people that some of us bash heads with because they want more access or things different to what is made available to them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by stevenewman View Post
    Great ideas DB, but whose going to teach the teachers? How many people with that level of expertise are going to want to leave their fields and enter a world of lesson plans, marking coursework, objectives, parent evenings, differentiation, controlled assesment and Ofsted?
    I think that could be a real problem - that's part of the reason we have so little technical content in school IT at the moment! Of course, it may not matter. We're trying to do this for one school, not 6,000 so we only need a small number of teachers.

    More critically, will you find parents who want their children to go to a school like this? Most of the schools that I've heard talked about are not really doing anything that different from the best existing state schools so is there any demand for this? As a techy I can say "well, of course pupils should learn programming" but as a parent I might see it as a waste of time.

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    It Would be multi site with teachers moving round to improve cost. Central basic ict at a good level no iwb's just projectors.

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    It would be a virtual school where you interact through a message board and instead of grades you gain rep

  15. #30
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    free schools should be germ free .... im very ill atm with gastroenteritis & glandular fever so im blaming kids lol

    but also drop them back to the basics, i have always believed my understanding and problem solving comes from messing with computers installing DOS to modern OS'

    teachers should also have to pass a higher level of it literacy (this should be tested every 4 years). new staff come into school not knowing how to do diddly and expext the kids to learn when they cba them selves

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