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Mac Thread, iPad in schools in Technical; Originally Posted by broc There's a very good question..... I watched a bunch of kids this morning during a GCSE ...
  1. #61

    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by broc View Post
    There's a very good question.....

    I watched a bunch of kids this morning during a GCSE photography exam; I was impressed with their skill with Photoshop, less so with their ability to spell, punctuate, or follow verbal instructions given to them by the staff supervising the exam.

    The question I ask myself is, should we be teaching them how to behave, how to spell & punctuate (skills they will need in their adult life) or teach them how to manipulate images with photoshop... a skill for many that will be wasted?
    I'd be thinking that if a student has taken a photography course, and does it well, then why is that a problem? Their lack of skills in other subjects is for those subjects to address is it not?

    Your argument seems to indicate that our schools should cut back to the bare minimum and ignore the other aspects of life. So does that mean we should be purely English, Maths and Science education centres? How do you determine what is useful or not? Is Art useful? How about Geography?

  2. #62
    theeldergeek
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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    Ok, think of it this way. A child today can spend all their own time engaging life with technology adding in to it. They see flashy applications everywhere they go, making things fun. Now they come to school, an environment where such things are snubbed as they 'cost too much' and find the environment boring. This leads to lower attainment as children learn more when they enjoy the learning process. Why should school end up being associated with dullness and boredom?

    Why would you be replacing IT suites with netbooks? That makes no sense. What people are proposing is that personal devices such as netbooks supplement existing technologies in place. Eventually, it is likely those existing technologies will be supplanted with the personal devices, as their use increases.

    I suppose it really comes down to how you think children learn. Do you reckon children learned as much in victorian schools, with ultra strict school masters, chalk boards etc... or do you think they learn more in modern schools with engaging lessons, individualised learning etc...?
    Please tell me where I have disagreed with the supplementing of technology? All along I have stated that I do not agree with the addition of technology where perfectly adequate facilities already exist, i.e. progress for progress sake.

    For example : If an ICT suite of the latest technology exists, but a science teacher requires a netbook to go out in the field with for environmental studies, then I have absolutely no problem with that. Buy them a netbook. That's progress.

    However, if that same teacher then suggests that a netbook would somehow enhance their lessons when they have a perfectly good ICT suite available (with computers that do the very same thing as the netbook) then I would strongly disagree. Progress for progress sake.

    I do not agree with giving kids their own laptops for reasons I stated earlier, i.e. lack of respect for someone else's property, but this stems from the viewpoint of supporting such. However, I DO accept that this may be inevitable.

    What I don't want to see, is portable technology being pushed onto schools, and then reasons for doing so being thought about after the event. Let's have genuine and justifiable reasons to do so first, and then provide the technological answers. That takes me back to a point I made earlier about how the decision makers can be swayed to insist we need such technology because it has been demonstrated to them in such a way as to make out it would be useful, when in actual fact it will do exactly the same as the infrastructure already in place.

    As for kids enjoying learning, yes, it needs to be done in a way that produces academic excellence, and if technology supplements that, then for me, as you will have read above, no problem.

  3. #63

    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by theeldergeek View Post
    Please tell me where I have disagreed with the supplementing of technology? All along I have stated that I do not agree with the addition of technology where perfectly adequate facilities already exist, i.e. progress for progress sake.
    Quote Originally Posted by theeldergeek View Post
    I have spoken to teachers here today who recoiled in horror when I said we were going to be replacing the IT suites with netbooks. In each and every case, the question was "why?"
    See how I can think you wanted to replace IT suites with netbooks?

    Quote Originally Posted by theeldergeek View Post
    However, if that same teacher then suggests that a netbook would somehow enhance their lessons when they have a perfectly good ICT suite available (with computers that do the very same thing as the netbook) then I would strongly disagree. Progress for progress sake.
    Except for the time saved organising kids to go from their usual room to the IT room, or the ability to switch quickly, in lessons, between computers and non-computer related materials (showing a science experiment for example).

    Quote Originally Posted by theeldergeek View Post
    I do not agree with giving kids their own laptops for reasons I stated earlier, i.e. lack of respect for someone else's property, but this stems from the viewpoint of supporting such. However, I DO accept that this may be inevitable.
    How do you teach a child respect for devices without giving the devices to them?

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    Jamo's Avatar
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    I'd be thinking that if a student has taken a photography course, and does it well, then why is that a problem? Their lack of skills in other subjects is for those subjects to address is it not?
    And when said student gets told to 'draw their conclusions' on the project which they have been working on and type CONCLUSIONS over a photo becuase they cant understand English....

    Nothing can replace the fundemental core subjects, without them we are missing the point of education!

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jamo View Post
    And when said student gets told to 'draw their conclusions' on the project which they have been working on and type CONCLUSIONS over a photo becuase they cant understand English....

    Nothing can replace the fundemental core subjects, without them we are missing the point of education!
    How about the rest of that post? Why ignore it?

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    Your argument seems to indicate that our schools should cut back to the bare minimum and ignore the other aspects of life. So does that mean we should be purely English, Maths and Science education centres? How do you determine what is useful or not? Is Art useful? How about Geography?
    They are useful in their own right. I'm sure a course in iPad use would be great too, but lets not pretend that an iPad can replace books and be a wonder device which will make kids engage better in class.

  7. #67

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    The point I was trying to make was that it's all very well teaching the students a broad range of subjects (something I agree with in principle), but without the core skills in place are we doing them any favours? Maybe one or two will go on to become the next Bailey or Ansel Adams or make a living as a professional photographer but without the core skills the odds are stacked against them achieving this.

    We should not ignore the basics in the quest to get more and more technology into the classroom....

  8. #68
    theeldergeek
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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    See how I can think you wanted to replace IT suites with netbooks?
    No, sorry, I don't. Let me make it absolutely clear. I don't want to replace IT suites with netbooks. However, there is clearly talk of doing just this by giving each pupil a laptop in favour of the conventional IT suite, which I think is madness for all the reasons previously given.

    Except for the time saved organising kids to go from their usual room to the IT room, or the ability to switch quickly, in lessons, between computers and non-computer related materials (showing a science experiment for example).
    How often do you think this occurs? Would the frequency of such justify the mass purchase of a whole class of laptops??

    How do you teach a child respect for devices without giving the devices to them?
    I've already acknowledged that children may end up with these things as part of their education, but, as I have also mentioned, I do not relish the thought of supporting such. It's not about them not having them, period, it's what they will do with them when they do have them. That's a personal worry from personal experience, it's not an opinion.

    However, you seem to still be taking what I say completely out of context in that I am dead against the progress of technology in our schools.

    Let me clarify - I agree with the advancement of handheld technology in schools where there is justifiable cause to do so. I do not agree with the acquisition of new handheld technology where it mirrors existing technology unnecessarily or will not be utilised because a need for it to be in place has yet to be found, a.k.a that 'must have' scenario.
    Last edited by theeldergeek; 11th May 2010 at 03:54 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by broc View Post
    The point I was trying to make was that it's all very well teaching the students a broad range of subjects (something I agree with in principle), but without the core skills in place are we doing them any favours? Maybe one or two will go on to become the next Bailey or Ansel Adams or make a living as a professional photographer but without the core skills the odds are stacked against them achieving this.

    We should not ignore the basics in the quest to get more and more technology into the classroom....
    So other than working out apature, ISO and stops, what would an A* GCSE in Maths provide for a photographer? Or knowing the chemical composition of Au or something with a Science GCSE?

    My English at GCSE was appalling, (it probably shows lol), has it affected me?

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    Pete10141748's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by theeldergeek View Post
    Let me clarify - I agree with the advancement of handheld technology in schools where there is justifiable cause to do so. I do not agree with the acquisition of new handheld technology where it mirrors existing technology unnecessarily or will not be utilised because a need for it to be in place has yet to be found.
    I agree, and think that's a very valid point of view.

    We were victim of the "will not be utilised because a need for it to be in place has yet to be found" here, the school brought in (without even consulting me, of course) 24 PDA devices. After 2 meetings and lots of thinking by the Head and SMT, no-one came up with any decent use for them, even fewer people actually wanted anything to do with them, and currently they are occupying a cupboard with a very thick layer of dust on the handles. That money could have been put to such better use.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CHR1S View Post
    So other than working out apature, ISO and stops, what would an A* GCSE in Maths provide for a photographer?
    The ability to manage their accounts once they've set up business as a photographer?

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by theeldergeek View Post
    However, you seem to still be taking what I say completely out of context in that I am dead against the progress of technology in our schools.

    Let me clarify - I agree with the advancement of technology in schools where there is justifiable cause to do so. I do not agree with the acquisition of new technology where it mirrors existing technology unnecessarily or will not be utilised because a need for it to be in place has yet to be found.
    I don't think you're against the use of tech in schools, what I do think is that your level of justification required seems to be a lot higher than I would expect. Dozens of reasons to justify the use of personal devices have been given, and so far you've only really repeated your same objection claiming there is no justification as yet. That's how I see it anyway.

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    Quote Originally Posted by theeldergeek View Post
    How often do you think this occurs? Would the frequency of such justify the mass purchase of a whole class of laptops??
    Probably not very often, because of how long it actually takes. If, however, you could provide a quick and easy way of switching between computer-based and paper-based work, you would likely find it happening quite a lot. Technology can be used to ease existing practice, but it also serves to enable new practice - build it and they will come, to quote Wayne's World!

  14. #74
    theeldergeek
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete10141748 View Post
    I agree, and think that's a very valid point of view.

    We were victim of the "will not be utilised because a need for it to be in place has yet to be found" here, the school brought in (without even consulting me, of course) 24 PDA devices. After 2 meetings and lots of thinking by the Head and SMT, no-one came up with any decent use for them, even fewer people actually wanted anything to do with them, and currently they are occupying a cupboard with a very thick layer of dust on the handles. That money could have been put to such better use.
    That is just the thing. Someone said earlier that we need to find way to integrate these things into the curriculum. Madness! Buy them because you need them, not because you are going to have to find a way to use them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by enjay View Post
    The ability to manage their accounts once they've set up business as a photographer?
    But thats a job for an accountant, right? My mate is one of the best block pavers around and he employes one, when my mom was self employed, she had one.
    Being, sub par at maths wont and didnt stop anyone from earning a good living.

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