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IT News Thread, An iPod for each pupil in Other News; Originally Posted by GrumbleDook If it costs a bit of money but changes things enough so that the kids get ...
  1. #16

    bossman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    If it costs a bit of money but changes things enough so that the kids get a better chance in life is that a bad thing? Discuss!
    Hi Tony,
    It is not the new technology which I find threatening it is the way in which it is percieved to be the answer to everything and each schools inovation is anothers downfall as people become more disillusioned with technology and the way in which our children have become more and more dependant on it. Students these day's really don't think for themselves without being given the answers all the time and this is even the simplest of tasks.

    Yes the students love this as it puts them in touch with everybody in the school but what about outside the school in society where they have to communicate with spoken words, will they all have the use of the technology then.

    I find young people facinating in the way they adapt to technological changes but i do feel that commercial gain is at the forefront and profit always comes at a loss.

    I am not a half empty glass just the opposite but the answer will out in a couple of years time when these BSF contracts have ran out, what then, will the schools be able to maintain all this new technology as well as purchase new.

    And will the kids get a better chance in life, just like in India where all the graduates are stuck behind call desks, I don't suppose they thought for one moment that they would end up there but they do with no future.

    I too have seen a lot of changes in my life not always for the best but we are losing to commercialism in a big way as business has found a new route to profit via the educational path (easy money) yours and mine.
    Last edited by bossman; 13th November 2009 at 05:03 PM.

  2. #17

    broc's Avatar
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    I think it's a great idea to give kids technology, in principle. I just want to see how staff will keep students on task when they all have iPods to play with. How many schools today have to invest time, effort and money in software to monitor & control students activities using PCs? How much more diificult will this be with iPods?

    On a daily basis, I monitor students logging onto our network. The first thing they do is open up a browser, navigate to Google (or similar search engine) and start looking for games, music videos, proms dresses...... then you see them minimise their browser windows & open up word/powerpoint/publisher excel or open a tab and navigate to the site the teacher has told them to go to.... then you watch them all lesson as they toggle between windows when the teachers back is turned. Some of our staff now routinely disable internet access in their lessons unless absolutely necessary because of the distraction it presents.

    Imagine a class of 30 kids huddled over their iPods.... how do staff check what they are doing?

    On a slightly different note, how long do you think an iPod battery will last in a school? What happens when the battery goes flat... or worse when it dies totally. They are not customer replaceable....

  3. #18

    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    So, you want a device which could be mobile, long battery life, has an internet connection that can be run through a filter and controlled / monitored, which has enough ease so that it doesn't take a rocket scientist to get up and running and use.

    As for kids needing spoon feeding, is that the fault of the kit or the teachers? On a few mailing lists the following item sparked much more heated discussion between noted education technologists ... quite funny to watch. Learn 4 Life What happens when you give a class of 8 year old children an iPod touch each?

    If anyone followed any of the handheld learning conference you can find lots of examples of learning that goes on with stuff like this, but it all relies on quite big changes to how education works. Usually it is the teachers that are a big blockage as it means more work, having to learn a heap more stuff ... but if it is going to work then IT staff have to accept change too, but not on our terms!

    After that then we can sit down, look at old ways of doing things, new ways, and see if we can sort out what is affordable, what makes a difference and whether it is worth it. You never know ... there might be the glowing satisfaction that you are all right to say it is not worth it. So far a fair chunk of stuff done on a small scale say you aren't but you never know.

    I do understand you positions though ... and often fight that corner myself.

  4. #19

    broc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    As for kids needing spoon feeding, is that the fault of the kit or the teachers?
    This is a very interesting question.

    My feeling is that the blame lies with the overburdened curriculum our schools have to deliver, coupled with an education system that is so obsessed with measurements that many students don't have time to 'learn' & have to rely upon being spoon fed; the result is students become bored, staff are bored & large numbers of students become disaffected & badly behaved.

    Many subjects have been dumbed down & kids aren't allowed to do anything that may carry risk. We in ICT are guilty too, with all our filtering & blocking....

    How many people can remember 'playing' with beads of mercury on the bench? Nowadays it is a major chemical alert needing the fire brigade & breathing apparatus if any gets spilled.... kids can only do 'safe' experiments in science now.

    When I did 'technology', I learned how to weld, braze, work at a forge, operate milling machines & lathes, cast molten aluminium........ now all they do is butcher MDF....

    Sorry... wandered off the point. iPods would be a great idea in schools if only you could persuade the students to use them in a way which enhanced their learning experience....... I doubt this would work in my 'bog standard' state secondary school.

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    flyinghaggis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ahuxham View Post
    Public or Private?

    If public, I think I'm a bit outraged that my tax money is being spent on a situation like that. It makes communication so inter-personal.
    Looks like it's a public/state school so the money's coming out of the UK tax pot. Disgraceful that it's being squandered on something so useless IMO. If you're going to buy a 200 quid device for each pupil at least get them a laptop which would offer some flexibility and educational benefit. Buying them Ipod's is just a pathetic attempt to try any look 'trendy'
    Last edited by flyinghaggis; 13th November 2009 at 08:58 PM.

  6. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    So, you want a device which could be mobile, long battery life, has an internet connection that can be run through a filter and controlled / monitored, which has enough ease so that it doesn't take a rocket scientist to get up and running and use.
    Who says we want them at all? As previously suggested by some, I'm of the general persuasion that it's a gimmick - for PR or other reasons.

    I'd love to hear of a story (good or bad) where this technology has been in use for a number of years already - how it was implemented, at what total cost, what real educational benefits have been realised (if any), how many devices have been replaced and so on. Like BSF, a potentially good idea conjured up with heads in clouds, but realistically it's just a huge mess that hasn't been thought through properly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ahuxham View Post
    Public or Private?

    If public, I think I'm a bit outraged that my tax money is being spent on a situation like that. It makes communication so inter-personal.

    What ever happened to the library, the canteen, tutor rooms, common rooms and communication along those lines.

    What if they're lost, stolen (sold on eBay), smashed and devoid of warranty due to ill happenings, I'd have no problem if this was in the Private sector, using their own money, but why public funds.

    1500 for 10 Students.
    15000 for 100 Students.
    135000 for all Students.

    Absolutely appaling. In my own opinion

    The funding was from Sponsors I believe, the devices are insured also I believe. What I would like to point out is that this is engaging the pupils interest in learing through pod-casts, homework allocation and more interactive learning, the devices are much less cost than a full laptop which under directives soon to be deadline each student must have a device, this is nothing but an innovative learing solution.

  8. #23

    tmcd35's Avatar
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    Got to say I'm a little surprised at the negativity running throught this thread. I read the article and my first thought was - wow, what a great idea. Then again I'd had similar thoughts before with the Palm - would make a great replacement to the old homework diary.

    Part of me questions if the iPod Touch is the right device - but I suppose the number of apps and iTunesU answer that really. Both certainly can outway the fact that it's an MP3 player.

    I do share others sentaments on cost. Not because it's coming out of the tax payers purse, but because initially I think of other things (network upgrades, servers, new suites, software, etc) to do with the money.

    As an idea though - first class!

    (Seriously, 130 AP's?)

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    After fully reading all of the posts, I definately think that there is a full misunderstanding of how this technology is used, it is used for learning - it is used purely for planners, pod-casts and other learning apps. It was a carefully planned project of which i was involved with personally myself. I think it is as i mentioned before cheaper than a laptop and the school did not want to endanger their children and make them a target, iTouches were much less cost than a laptop and not as easily seen. This if you see the full picture is a fantastic way of engaging the childrens interest, as they are for learning in controlled circumstances I understand how it could be seen as a gimmick but clearly school put a lot of thought into the best solution for their students. If over all their grades are improving I fail to see how this can be seen as a negative.

    This is not a view of my employer or the school themselves,

  10. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by tmcd35 View Post
    Got to say I'm a little surprised at the negativity running throught this thread. I read the article and my first thought was - wow, what a great idea. Then again I'd had similar thoughts before with the Palm - would make a great replacement to the old homework diary.

    Part of me questions if the iPod Touch is the right device - but I suppose the number of apps and iTunesU answer that really. Both certainly can outway the fact that it's an MP3 player.

    I do share others sentaments on cost. Not because it's coming out of the tax payers purse, but because initially I think of other things (network upgrades, servers, new suites, software, etc) to do with the money.

    As an idea though - first class!

    (Seriously, 130 AP's?)
    sorry I didnt answer this - yes 130 aps, it is a full n deployment which is in the 5ghz band so the propogation is smaller there are appoximately 10 buildings for the school so that obviously was unfortunate that they were not in one building. There are secondarys with a similar solution but much less on aps they also covered the external areas ie picnic areas and playing fields. This was to allow the children flexible collaborative learning, they may not use the iTouches for certain studies but ie a revision class can sit in the picnic areas and use collaborative learning to revise. Also the high bandwidth system will allow for online exams in the hall eventually when the exam system is capable.

    (again my views from working on the project)

  11. #26
    Hollie1985's Avatar
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    I use an iPhone and have been for over 18months now. I often connect through wireless at home and work. Since I have had my iPhone i have noticed a change in the way i work, much more productively and hittng my goals set by my managers. I have been able to work more productively accessing my applications on the move I wouldn't want it any other way.

    The company i work for encourage it's employees to use latest technologies to help with our work, not sure why some people are so anti-innovative technology. It is good to see some of the schools are adopting these kinds of technologies to prepare them for when leaving school.

    This is the digital revolution whether we like it or not..
    Last edited by Hollie1985; 16th November 2009 at 05:28 PM.

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    somabc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hollie1985 View Post
    I use an iPhone and have been for over 18months now. I often connect through wireless at home and work. Since I have had my iPhone i have noticed a change in the way i work, much more productively and hittng my goals set by my managers. I have been able to work more productively accessing my applications on the move I wouldn't want it any other way.

    The company i work for encourage it's employees to use latest technologies to help with our work, not sure why some people are so anti-innovative technology. It is good to see some of the schools are adopting these kinds of technologies to prepare them for when leaving school.

    This is the digital revolution whether we like it or not..
    Fair enough, but does your employer provide you with all this technology or do you do it yourself? Most firms do not give their staff an iphone or even a generic smartphone. It seems unfair for an employer to reap the benefits of your mobile working via an iphone or VPN from home but not to contribute to the cost? If it is your iphone what happens when it breaks? You also have the problem of being expected to answer emails or remotely login and fix problems 24/7. What if you don't want to work on the train home, or when you are out with your kids at the weekend?

    Why You Can't Use Personal Technology at the Office - WSJ.com
    Last edited by somabc; 16th November 2009 at 07:55 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by somabc View Post
    Fair enough, but does your employer provide you with all this technology or do you do it yourself? Most firms do not give their staff an iphone or even a generic smartphone. It seems unfair for an employer to reap the benefits of your mobile working via an iphone or VPN from home but not to contribute to the cost? If it is your iphone what happens when it breaks? You also have the problem of being expected to answer emails or remotely login and fix problems 24/7. What if you don't want to work on the train home, or when you are out with your kids at the weekend?

    Why You Can't Use Personal Technology at the Office - WSJ.com
    Good point. At first it was my own from home device iPhone -It just made my life easier i wasn't thinking "this is unfair" my work are benefiting from me bla bla bla -my work pay me to do a job to the best of my ability. Then about 12 months later the employer i work for noticed how much of a difference this was making to my produtivity to the point where they said to me have an iTouch for nothing!!! So If my iPhone breaks then I have my new iTouch whilst my colleagues are still using generic standard.

    The point i was trying to make is that I am a young lass and have not long left full time education and would of really loved it if we had new technologies to help us with studying. It is a positive that the young people of today have the technology available to them to help them achieve their goals in life, like this technology is helping me to achieve mine now :-)
    Last edited by Hollie1985; 17th November 2009 at 11:16 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by somabc View Post
    Fair enough, but does your employer provide you with all this technology or do you do it yourself? Most firms do not give their staff an iphone or even a generic smartphone. It seems unfair for an employer to reap the benefits of your mobile working via an iphone or VPN from home but not to contribute to the cost? If it is your iphone what happens when it breaks? You also have the problem of being expected to answer emails or remotely login and fix problems 24/7. What if you don't want to work on the train home, or when you are out with your kids at the weekend?

    Why You Can't Use Personal Technology at the Office - WSJ.com


    Thats interesting, looked at this link - this is a difficult argument actually but the link refers to business rather than education. The business point of view will always be not to adopt new technologies until they are proven to be a stable environment, which is obv reference to the link rather than itouch scenario. You will sometimes see a business with cutting edge views, this is the reason that your equipment at home is sometimes seen as better or faster than the work environment. The reason is very important for a business they will not choose the shiny equipment you have at home they will buy something that is fit for purpose, something that is more durable and hard wearing. They will often have chosen a standard of equipment for their policies and often a standard image that they roll out which will mean that they will have a standard specification. The cost of not having a standard image to business can be immense. Usually if you can convince an employer that there are benefits to having a smartphone they will not normally object in a business environment, education is a completely different ball game with very unique requirements

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    This does indeed seem like quite a negative thread at first... however, IMHO, this sort of project sounds amazingly exciting.

    Ignore all the drawbacks about ropey wifi, filtering, policing policies, etc.

    Imagine that every pupil has a device that they can view the VLE with in ANY lesson. How much easier does that make it to integrate your VLE acrosss the curriculum. Think about an IT theory lesson... you might not have access to computers but diagrams, etc. might be needed for the lessons.

    Now think about a non-IT lesson (English is mentioned in the article)... you could allow the students to use online encyclopedias, dictionaries and the like. It's just genius!

    Just think how much you use your smartphone every day... checking the odd bit of news, finding out the weather forecast, etc. It's all finding little nuggets of information in the quickest time possible - the kind of thing that students need to do in lessons.

    Now for the policing and restricting thing...

    1. Anybody who's buying a couple of hundred iPods isn't going to be paying anything like 150 a piece and the insurance is probably subsidised too.
    2. It's pretty simple to apply a harsh filtering level to the iPods via the wifi infrastructure.
    3. If you don't allow earphones in lessons (i.e. confiscate them if they are seen), then you don't get the whole distraction thing.

    It's easy to find problems but solutions aren't far away

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