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General Chat Thread, An EduGeek 'Free' School - What would you do? in General; Originally Posted by stevenewman Yes, I agree on C so do you think that setting up VMs on a VLAN ...
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    tmcd35's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevenewman View Post
    Yes, I agree on C so do you think that setting up VMs on a VLAN is essential knowledge? For whom?
    May bad - I see the essential part for the kids as installing an OS from scratch, and some very basic networking - connecting to the internet, shared printer/files - sort of thing they might need to do at home one day. The VM/VLAN business was more the tools we could employ to teach the children these basics. After all you hardly want a class full of kids reformating your nice new ICT suite or have open access to your network now they've installed their blank OS?



    Neither, but using the technology simply for its own sake is a waste of resources.
    I think, as an answer to Dos_Box's original question, the VLE is an extremely powerful and much under used resource. If we were setting up an "Edugeek Free School" surely the VLE should be the heart and soul of the school? IMHO the only way a VLE will ever really work is when it is ingrained in the classroom teaching. As in the teacher projects their lessons using resources directly on the VLE. Rather than ending the lesson with "Oh, and you may find something about this on the VLE".

    As for the iPad type device, that's something separate but again I don't see it as technology for technologies sake. I think there is a lot of potential in that little device - firstly ready instant access to the VLE, but also eBooks, Podcasts, other web resources (wikipedia, how stuff work, mymaths, etc), and then there's the whole app infrastructure. I think there is a lot of untapped potential there. In a forward looking ICT orientated "Edugeek Free School" I'd envisage every pupil having such a device - maybe an Android based alternative, but a pad/slate none the less/

  2. #32

    tmcd35's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gibbo_ap View Post
    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
    How about, assuming we wich to keep ICT as a discreet subject, we require ICT teachers to hold an ICT related degree and have ICT as their specialist subject at PGCE? You know how Maths, English and Science teachers generally hold relevant degrees and specialised in their subjects at PGCE. Just a thought.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dos_Box View Post
    The focus of the school would (obviously) be in teaching real world IT skills to secondary age children.
    "Real world IT skills", i.e. problem solving. Secondary-age pupils should be getting a broad education, not attending an IT training college from age 11. It doesn't matter what industry thinks it wants now, education's job is to provide a broad base on which people can build their own skillset. A school's job isn't to train workers to industry leader's specifications, schools should be turing out people who want to be the next set of industry leaders - we should maybe take that quote from the original St. Trinians film a bit to heart: "In other schools girls are sent out quite unprepared into a merciless world, but when our girls leave here, it is the merciless world which has to be prepared."

    Actual hardware and systems wise, I think others in this thread have it about right - iPad-alikes for all, supported by a managed wireless infrastructure. No need for specilised IT rooms, and the tablet PCs need to be able to run just a web browser, mainly for using the VLE. If the application or content that you want to use isn't available on the VLE, write it. Projectors or large LCD/whatever screens in classrooms, controlled by the teacher's tablet PC. The IT department should exist to support this infrastructure, not decide the curriculum - looking after the tablet PC hardware and maintaining and creating VLE content should be the two main tasks.

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    Last edited by dhicks; 25th October 2010 at 10:17 PM.

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    tmcd35's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    Actual hardware and systems wise, I think others in this thread have it about right - iPad-alikes for all, supported by a managed wireless infrastructure. No need for specilised IT rooms, and the tablet PCs need to be able to run just a web browser, mainly for using the VLE.
    David Hicks
    Funny, with the exception of iPad syle devices and teachers laptops I'm more of the opinion that there should be dedicated bookable ICT suites rather than laptops/PC clusters in departments. And I'm still tempted to say scrap ICT as a discreet subject.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tmcd35 View Post
    Funny, with the exception of iPad syle devices and teachers laptops I'm more of the opinion that there should be dedicated bookable ICT suites rather than laptops/PC clusters in departments. And I'm still tempted to say scrap ICT as a discreet subject.
    Maybe replacing ICT with Computing and Networking, or a similar subject? ICT always seemed to me to be made up of the techniques which should be taught in other classes, whereas Computing would be more appropriate to teach the actual foundations behind the technologies involved and wouldn't be covered under other subjects, even under a well-integrated curriculum.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tmcd35 View Post
    I'm more of the opinion that there should be dedicated bookable ICT suites rather than laptops/PC clusters in departments.
    I figured this was a new school we were talking about setting up here, so I'd skip the communual PCs and just have everyone get a tablet PC, either one each or enough per classroom to go round. Note that this is a theoretical, near-future, as-yet-fictional tablet PC that's been well desgined for use in a classroom - under 200, decent touch screen capable of acting as a good keyboard, webcam, capable of web browsing, Flash, Java and video, sensible battery life and external battery charging facility, maybe even two batteries so you can swap one while the device stays on. Facilities for a docking stand for if you really have to use a hardware keyboard, and an identical larger-sized screen device for office staff to use. Could possibly have one of those laser keyboard devices in the casing and a stand at the back so you can prop it up on a desk and type as if using a hardware keyboard.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    I figured this was a new school we were talking about setting up here, so I'd skip the communual PCs and just have everyone get a tablet PC, either one each or enough per classroom to go round. Note that this is a theoretical, near-future, as-yet-fictional tablet PC that's been well desgined for use in a classroom - under 200, decent touch screen capable of acting as a good keyboard, webcam, capable of web browsing, Flash, Java and video, sensible battery life and external battery charging facility, maybe even two batteries so you can swap one while the device stays on. Facilities for a docking stand for if you really have to use a hardware keyboard, and an identical larger-sized screen device for office staff to use. Could possibly have one of those laser keyboard devices in the casing and a stand at the back so you can prop it up on a desk and type as if using a hardware keyboard.

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    If we're going for sci-fi, why not just say all the kids have brain implants which allow direct access for the teacher's computer to the child's visual cortex?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesb View Post
    If we're going for sci-fi, why not just say all the kids have brain implants which allow direct access for the teacher's computer to the child's visual cortex?
    A tablet PC as described above is perfectly technicaly possible right now, it's just a case of getting a physical product mass-produced. This seems to be what the OLPC project is hoping to achive - it's about using existing technology and adding product and software design. Give it six months and I reckon we'll have something similar to the above, although probably without the twin batteries.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    A tablet PC as described above is perfectly technicaly possible right now, it's just a case of getting a physical product mass-produced. This seems to be what the OLPC project is hoping to achive - it's about using existing technology and adding product and software design. Give it six months and I reckon we'll have something similar to the above, although probably without the twin batteries.

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    People said, back in the fifties, that AI would be possible in two months. I have my doubts.

    More importantly you cannot touch-type on a touchscreen, the tactile feedback isn't sufficient and I still feel that being able to touch-type is an essential (or very beneficial) skill for anyone using a computer.

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    Real world IT skills", i.e. problem solving. Secondary-age pupils should be getting a broad education, not attending an IT training college from age 11. It doesn't matter what industry thinks it wants now, education's job is to provide a broad base on which people can build their own skillset. A school's job isn't to train workers to industry leader's specifications, schools should be turing out people who want to be the next set of industry leaders - we should maybe take that quote from the original St. Trinians film a bit to heart: "In other schools girls are sent out quite unprepared into a merciless world, but when our girls leave here, it is the merciless world which has to be prepared.
    There still will be a broad curriculum including heavy influences from maths and English backed up with music, sciences and languages (Java, PHP and VB ), and it is not in anyway 'trainign for industry' as such. BTW, you will find that many 'industry leaders' started in sales and marketing (says it all really) whereas the industy leaders in high-tech companies were almost all techy innovators from an early age and created the companys they are (or were) heads of. What we should be doing is givign children a good grounding in practical abilities and innovation, as well as the ability to think orgionally and exploit gaps in the market.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jamesb View Post
    People said, back in the fifties, that AI would be possible in two months. I have my doubts.
    Fortunatly, tablet PCs have nothing to do with AI. The actual technology is available in consumer devices right now, there just isn't neccesarily something around quite yet that will fit well in to school use - you'd hope that the new RM tablet would fill that gap.

    It makes you wonder - what, exactly, is involved in getting a physical consumer device made these days? Just finding enough customers to make mass-producing a device worth the while? If, say, 10,000 devices is a good number for a short manufacturing run, then that isn't really all that many devices - a half-dozen schools maybe, if all pupils had a device.

    Just in case building a tablet PC is like AI, XKCD has that problem solved, too.

    More importantly you cannot touch-type on a touchscreen, the tactile feedback isn't sufficient and I still feel that being able to touch-type is an essential (or very beneficial) skill for anyone using a computer.
    I'm not convinced touch-typing is all that useful, but you could have a bunch of docking stations with keyboards ready for pupils to use for specific touch-typing lessons.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dhicks View Post
    I'm not convinced touch-typing is all that useful, but you could have a bunch of docking stations with keyboards ready for pupils to use for specific touch-typing lessons.
    Just one question I have to ask here, and I mean no offense whatsoever by it, but can you touch-type?

    I'm only asking because if you can I find it a little odd that it wouldn't be useful to you. I find it invaluable whenever I'm trying to copy or edit a document, write e-mails without constantly glancing up and down, do any sort of scripting, programming, or in fact any typing I do at all.

    I've heard the same argument put forwards about shorthand (I can use Teeline and do regularly) where people can't see the use in it, mainly as they don't actually use it themselves.

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    Why not have free lessons for the students let them decide what they want to do with the computers or digital devices?
    Let them learn from the internet which is what they do now?

    Students will find their own level and work collaboratively towards a central goal and will devise ways and means to learn what they want and to find the research materials they need.

    Why do we need to have a curriculum which teaches the students skills which in 5 years time are irrelevant!

    Students need to feel they are in charge of their teaching and learning and only guidance should be proffered towards their end goal like directions on a map.

    As has already been stated on here lifeskills are what the students need.

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    tmcd35's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dos_Box View Post
    There still will be a broad curriculum including heavy influences from maths and English backed up with music, sciences and languages (Java, PHP and VB ), and it is not in anyway 'trainign for industry' as such.
    I think the curriculum is probably the hardest thing to get right. I'm not sure of the value of teaching Java, PHP, etc at this level - some Scratch and maybe some basic BASIC is probably all that's needed to give the essence of 'how computers really work' backed up with some binary and hex in maths lessons .

    I'd like to see a move away from a national curriculum and empower teachers to teach what interests them in their subjects so long as they tick off some basic minimum knowledge requirements. I'd also like to see a move away from GCSE and A-levels towards more of a 'high school diploma' type system. I think the International Baccalaureate effectively gives that kind of curriculum/qualification?

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    Quote Originally Posted by tmcd35 View Post
    I'd like to see a move away from a national curriculum and empower teachers to teach what interests them in their subjects so long as they tick off some basic minimum knowledge requirements. I'd also like to see a move away from GCSE and A-levels towards more of a 'high school diploma' type system. I think the International Baccalaureate effectively gives that kind of curriculum/qualification?
    I always thought the idea of teaching a group of students all the same skills at the same age was fundamentally flawed, and that more of a vertical system would be appropriate. So everyone gets 'base' skills across the board, but from there you work on more advanced skills in your chosen areas. Interested in physics more than biology? Fine, you get basic science (science changed to be more methods, experimental design and ethics based rather than actually 'teaching' the random factoids) and then you extend that into studying different aspects of physics, building on the modules as you get more advanced. Less interested in science? You still get basic science as a base skill, but then rather than taking four physics modules next year you might take Classical and Modern literature.

    Of course for all this to work schools need to be able to offer a huge wealth of subjects, tiered appropriately so that you complete the prereqs before moving on. Specialist schools where students can attend any of the schools for individual subjects would probably be the best way for this to happen, but there's all sorts of logistical and organisational difficulties in play.

    I'm not really describing it very well of course. It's been a long day.

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