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General Chat Thread, Unfriendly Article vents at Edugeek and its members in General; What's an "i-Phone" and "Lion OS"? ( iPhone and OS X Lion ?) I must admit I have difficulty understanding ...
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    somabc's Avatar
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    What's an "i-Phone" and "Lion OS"? (iPhone and OS X Lion?)

    I must admit I have difficulty understanding the article, is he saying that schools face spending cuts and that they have the choice of adopting new 'open' technologies or heavily subsidised MS Options because I think we already knew that.

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    Hmmm. I have to admit it takes a couple of readings does that. It's a bit like one of the questions for my PC Advisor column where I'd write out a long and complex answer to a problem only to read it back to have it make no sense whatsoever. This is all pre-editorial of course.
    Anyway the comment directed at us:

    If you do (i.e. you are a member of Edugeek) consider that by as early as the end of 2011, 3D displays will be as commonplace as gesture-driven interfaces, HTML5, or Silverlight will be in place and to top it all everyone, students included, will carry i-Phones or Androids and live and breathe ‘apps’.
    Is, I feel, so far wide of the mark to be almost provocotive. I'm pretty sure that whilst we all loved our time with XP, most of us have now either moved off onto 7 or Vista (not actually that bad since the service packs it must be said) or are deep into the planning for this step. As for 3D displays and alll of the other bumf he's mentioned, well, judging byte responces we got from our members and teachers etc at BETT over the past 2 years where they have featured heavily I can't see them being employed in schools at all.
    Still, it's nice to know some people do think about us.
    Last edited by Dos_Box; 19th February 2011 at 09:22 PM.

  3. #33


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    Quote Originally Posted by somabc View Post
    What's an "i-Phone" and "Lion OS"?
    Also what's a Chome-Android (sic)

    How can anyone take his article seriously when he can't even use the correct product names or spell!

  4. #34
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    Past topics for EduGeek on the site:

    UK education ICT is in a terrible hole - Spannerman's Edublog - Apparently he wants to euthanise the lot of us.
    The Windows School Network... - Spannerman's Edublog - And he likes to bait us. Deliberately. All because of Windows networks?

    Spannergirl, get your man-socks and show your face in here you coward.

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    Oh a windows network how crap with AD and Group policies <sarcasm> I think I should go with MAC's that flood traffic to network and also the great apple who has pulled alot out of the server market

    Linux is good, great security, web and file servers but what in Linux comes close to domain services? how do I stop kids fiddling with linux clients? how do I install photoshop? love to see exampro try and install on Linux it hardly runs on windows! I know this can be done but its re-inventing the wheel

    Its not knowing what you know its knowing what tools are best fit. The teaching at our school is good but I think it should mould abit more with electronics/ pure computing

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    blimey he doesnt like school ict or edugeek does he. Im sorry there is a reason we mainly use a windows domain its easy to set up, manage and maintain linux is getting there but as far as im aware no equivalent to gpo's for settings (ignoring the fact he seems to want everyone to be a domain admin) even simple ones like proxy server (which are a necessary evil) or simple automated ways for deploying apps. Its also easy to create a consistent interface so wherever someone logs in they get the same experience which i would suggest is a good thing.

    Im not against adding devices like ipads (apart from my reservations about apple in general and i like how they are the ultimate "lockdown") but he keeps touting them) , linux boxes, android tablets or anything else that has a use/relevance. But im not going to add ipads just because i can just because its shiny and new dosent mean its necessarily good or genuinely useful.

    Student devices is a tricky one on several points
    1. social standing. so kid a is from an affluent background and always has the latest apple shiny thing tm kid b is from a family that has little spare cash so has a 2nd hand device at best that is years out of date but works now thats a recipe for issues including id guess bullying in the same way kids get teased about not having say big brand (so addidas etc) trainers
    2. functionality. with such a wids range of devices out there how on earth are you supposed to test things esp with the speed of change i assume that what works on android 2.0 works on 3.0 but i dont know. How do you get the material on them and who writes it. Id suggest most school techs arnt programmers we can code in some or all of vbs/bat/powershell/shell so among our other duties we have to learn to program for android/apple etc ive done programming before and got out i learnt so many different languages i start a c++ program and end up using c++ command, pascal syntax and the odd bit of basic
    3. Infrastructure. Most schools i work in are only just having managed wireless deployed (or in a lot of cases have no wireless/the odd ap on a trolley. To go to a system that supports a separate "dirty" wifi may require a new system even in those with managed systems (and to keep the server "clean" may require an extra server (ok probably vm'able but still needs licences) all of which requires money something not in abundant supply at the best of times and all this to provide an untried/untested system that may be great but then again just because tablets look like the future dosent mean they are they have after all been around for a decade or more ditto with phones dont nokia still sell more than apple/android combined?
    4. privacy/dpa etc. Just the fact kids have devices that can take stills/video on them at all times is worrying what happens if someone manages to remotely access someone phone (or just borrow it) and set say sound recorder / video recorders running when the kids are talking about sensitive things (so kid a sets an alarm on kid b's phone to start it voice recording while they are talking to the school nurse for example or sets it to start recording video in the changing rooms) and thats without kids being vindictive and just doing youve been framed type pranks etc on other students. We all know of teachers that leave sensitive data visible / open so teacher leaves say sims open on their pc kid goes in and takes pics of someone details so they then potentially have as much info about a kid as the school has.
    5. Limited programs. Id suggest after school in the world of work most people will only use a limited range of apps anyway so up to a point school is there to prepare you for life after so it dosent seem unreasonable to teach the mainstream software thats likely to crop up and try and teach enough skill they can cope with a firms own bespoke systems. As an example while im not a big fan of textease it does teach kids there is more than one way of writing a document word isnt the only solution and should hopefully give them the skills needed to adapt to new software.

    im not saying its a bad idea, but i am saying it needs to be tried tested and like any it solution its not a one size fits all either and will require a lot of work/time/money. Personally i already do support macs/linux as well as windows (granted im much more comfortable with windows but ive spent a decade with that but its not the first os i learned i started with acorn electrons and have moved up via Atari, Amiga, Acorn risc os (possibly still my favourite os for sheer simplicity it just works) so im open to change but not change for the sake of change there needs to be a valid reason for it and oh look its shiny and new is not in my opinion a valid reason for choosing anything more complicated than a kettle.

  7. #37

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    He's a teacher - 'nuff said...... [ Those who can't etc.... ]

  8. #38

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    Spent a little time over the last day or so reading as much of his stuff as possible. Slightly scarily, he does make a fair few good points especially regarding open source software in schools, but just appears to be barking up the wrong tree when it comes to pushing that subject. The ideas are there, but the means to reach them are not.
    I've implemented a fair bit of "FOSS" (I hate using acronyms!) in my brief time so far in education and it's gone rather well, but never without foresight and thorough testing. I am still very anti-cloud as a person so I won't comment on his opinions there. That's not anti because it means any jobs will be lost, or that our input as technicians/managers will be less valued, but because I don't see it replacing locally managed systems for the forseeable future. There have been steps in pushing real time rendered content over live connections but all still require a platform to run on - a platform which typically needs maintenance and setup.
    I will however retract my comment of "moron" in an earlier post, and perhaps replace with "slightly misguided or idealistic".
    After all, argument is the way change gets made - if everyone agreed with everyone else, nothing would change for the better or worse. This is why we should be striving to work closer with this sort of person. Compromise can often be a good change.

  9. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by synaesthesia View Post
    Spent a little time over the last day or so reading as much of his stuff as possible. Slightly scarily, he does make a fair few good points especially regarding open source software in schools, but just appears to be barking up the wrong tree when it comes to pushing that subject. The ideas are there, but the means to reach them are not.
    I've implemented a fair bit of "FOSS" (I hate using acronyms!) in my brief time so far in education and it's gone rather well, but never without foresight and thorough testing. I am still very anti-cloud as a person so I won't comment on his opinions there. That's not anti because it means any jobs will be lost, or that our input as technicians/managers will be less valued, but because I don't see it replacing locally managed systems for the forseeable future. There have been steps in pushing real time rendered content over live connections but all still require a platform to run on - a platform which typically needs maintenance and setup.
    I will however retract my comment of "moron" in an earlier post, and perhaps replace with "slightly misguided or idealistic".
    After all, argument is the way change gets made - if everyone agreed with everyone else, nothing would change for the better or worse. This is why we should be striving to work closer with this sort of person. Compromise can often be a good change.
    One thing about the cloud is getting rid of the exchange

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    my main problem is cloud is who owns/controls data and as its off site how secure is it? It could just take one person to leave a guessable password or write it down to seriously compromise you whereas local storage they at least need to get into the building (or within wifi range at worst)

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    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    Very true, and even if they did get access to an internal network, I'd hope it was set up in such a way as to minimise risk - i.e. the accounts most likely to be compromised are pupils who's account should never pose any risk other than any personal information that pupil has therein. Then it's teachers, who would typically have more access to teaching resources and maybe very limited (i.e. attendance) parts of the MIS.

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    [QUOTE=sted;636351]my main problem is cloud is who owns/controls data ....QUOTE]

    Don't you know? Between Google and Facebook they own all of your data! :-)

    On a serious note though, I am pondering giving Staff some 'Control' back. I'm looking at having VM's on all of there laptops so that they can trial software if they wish too. It's not that I enjoy locking down my network, but it needed to be done 5 years ago. When I came to this school there were no policies on ICT at all, except for a small AUP for students. Now I have policies coming out of my ears and hopefully SMT will back these up when the time comes (we have not had any instances yet). Essentially the combining of both admin and school networks along with our legal requirements has caused NM's to lock down networks, and this would be no different within a business (In fact having worked for EDS I think that we are miles ahead)

    I would embrace Linux more if it had less fragmentation, more documentation and some better administration tools. At the moment I reserve it for a couple of web servers that I run in school.
    I would also embrace it if I had some training!

    I also look at the iOS way of locking things down - to the average user they are happy that it work all of the time, with no confusing options or things that they do not understand to bother with - thats why they are so popular. I'm a techy, so I find those lockdowns annoying, but only because I have an interest in it. Most people do not.

    Finally to directly answer Spannerman - W7 is on my Roadmap for Easter!
    Last edited by Mr.Ben; 20th February 2011 at 01:19 PM.

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    Student devices is a road that we are tentatively treading, as a means to embed ICT into teaching and learning. I thought I'd reply to your points, as it is something we are actively tackling.

    Quote Originally Posted by sted View Post
    Student devices is a tricky one on several points
    1. social standing. so kid a is from an affluent background and always has the latest apple shiny thing tm kid b is from a family that has little spare cash so has a 2nd hand device at best that is years out of date but works now thats a recipe for issues including id guess bullying in the same way kids get teased about not having say big brand (so addidas etc) trainers
    Isn't really an IT problem (that I need to worry about) it happens in school anyway as some kids will always have the expensive iphones (or trainers), my job is to help integrate those devices into our network, so they can at least use them for learning. We're probably going to offer netbooks to our yr 9 group next year, so even those that don't have a device will get a free one.

    Quote Originally Posted by sted View Post
    2. functionality. with such a wids range of devices out there how on earth are you supposed to test things esp with the speed of change i assume that what works on android 2.0 works on 3.0 but i dont know. How do you get the material on them and who writes it. Id suggest most school techs arnt programmers we can code in some or all of vbs/bat/powershell/shell so among our other duties we have to learn to program for android/apple etc ive done programming before and got out i learnt so many different languages i start a c++ program and end up using c++ command, pascal syntax and the odd bit of basic
    You don't need to set them up, just rely on some sort of standards, for example make everything web based, or remote applications via java/rdp/citrix. It's all about the infrastructure.

    Quote Originally Posted by sted View Post
    3. Infrastructure. Most schools i work in are only just having managed wireless deployed (or in a lot of cases have no wireless/the odd ap on a trolley. To go to a system that supports a separate "dirty" wifi may require a new system even in those with managed systems (and to keep the server "clean" may require an extra server (ok probably vm'able but still needs licences) all of which requires money something not in abundant supply at the best of times and all this to provide an untried/untested system that may be great but then again just because tablets look like the future dosent mean they are they have after all been around for a decade or more ditto with phones dont nokia still sell more than apple/android combined?
    yes. it is all about the infrastructure. you don't necessarily need a new server to do it. We created a 'dirty' network with VLANs and a firewall. We're looking into automatic VLAN allocation based upon the device so students can use our wired network as well.
    Combine this with a good/well used VLE, a smoothwall proxy, Application deployment from Citrix, google apps and other web services and you have an infrastructure that can cope with (pretty much) any type of device


    Quote Originally Posted by sted View Post
    4. privacy/dpa etc. Just the fact kids have devices that can take stills/video on them at all times is worrying what happens if someone manages to remotely access someone phone (or just borrow it) and set say sound recorder / video recorders running when the kids are talking about sensitive things (so kid a sets an alarm on kid b's phone to start it voice recording while they are talking to the school nurse for example or sets it to start recording video in the changing rooms) and thats without kids being vindictive and just doing youve been framed type pranks etc on other students. We all know of teachers that leave sensitive data visible / open so teacher leaves say sims open on their pc kid goes in and takes pics of someone details so they then potentially have as much info about a kid as the school has.
    It's all about the school policies you have in place


    Quote Originally Posted by sted View Post
    5. Limited programs. Id suggest after school in the world of work most people will only use a limited range of apps anyway so up to a point school is there to prepare you for life after so it dosent seem unreasonable to teach the mainstream software thats likely to crop up and try and teach enough skill they can cope with a firms own bespoke systems. As an example while im not a big fan of textease it does teach kids there is more than one way of writing a document word isnt the only solution and should hopefully give them the skills needed to adapt to new software.
    again, put the infrastructure in place and this isn't an issue. you can still run the software you need as well as cutting edge stuff like google docs

  14. #44

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    We should sue him for Slander!!

  15. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by CyberNerd View Post
    You don't need to set them up, just rely on some sort of standards, for example make everything web based, or remote applications via java/rdp/citrix. It's all about the infrastructure.

    yes. it is all about the infrastructure. you don't necessarily need a new server to do it. We created a 'dirty' network with VLANs and a firewall. We're looking into automatic VLAN allocation based upon the device so students can use our wired network as well.
    Combine this with a good/well used VLE, a smoothwall proxy, Application deployment from Citrix, google apps and other web services and you have an infrastructure that can cope with (pretty much) any type of device

    It's all about the school policies you have in place

    again, put the infrastructure in place and this isn't an issue. you can still run the software you need as well as cutting edge stuff like google docs
    Dosn't Smoothwall have licensing based on a device count, I'm sure the school will be great with paying for each of the students phones, replacment phones, netbooks, borrowed netbooks when their break etc.

    Also this assumes that the web is actually standard, everything works on all variations of browsers all the time and won't cause any complications at all.

    This also assumes that there is no cost to the information in in delivery method (ie how well it works/conveys information) when shoehorning everything and its kitchen sink into the 'cloud'/'web'/'app'. Just ask the mighty and previlant Apple about its fantasticly open platform with respect to Flash, you know, the thing that much of the resources are made in.

    Sure you can rebuy some stuff in the latest package that may or may not support this generation of devices enough to be useful but lots would need to be redeveloped.

    As to Google Apps being cutting edge, yack, its a slight variation, office programs have existed for years, Google apps is just the same thing implemented on a different platform. You want cutting edge at least pick something vaguely original, GPU accelerated gene folding, massvly distributed grid computing, real time 3D environment processing. A word processor on the modern version of an old school terminal line server is more like bellbottoms comming back rather than something actually truely new.

    The cloud is just the latest term for people with short memories to use to describe a server centric model of doing things with the extra frills that can now be cheaply added thanks to 40 years of fat client development.

    Don't get me wrong, I do agree that resources should be as universal as is practical but this reaks of shoehorning education into the latest pretty box in the hopes that it will provoke people to learn. This is the sole biggest problem in ICT for education, people relying on the gimic to teach rather than putting the work and effort into propper teaching and resources.
    Its jack and the beanstalk with magical digital beans, they may manage something but it is rare that what happens is what you actually want.
    Last edited by SYNACK; 20th February 2011 at 01:55 PM.

  16. 3 Thanks to SYNACK:

    AngryTechnician (20th February 2011), jamesb (20th February 2011), teejay (20th February 2011)

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