Basically what the title says. Both techie and teaching views would be great :D
Basically what the title says. Both techie and teaching views would be great :D
Is Kent that bad that you have to leave the country? ;)
IMO Nz has too many Orcs and the like running round...
Also I'm a Warcraft player so the more Orcs the better....For the Horde!! (though they would be LoTR Orcs, but I can compromise...)
For the Horde! - I've got an Orc Warrior Kharazan (at least I think that's how it is spelled).
I am so glad you aren't an alliance :censored:... I'd have to (try) to kill you. :D
Well I can give you my self admittedly jaded view.
We have an active Microsoft deal which is great supplying all signed up schools with the latest versions of Windows and Office for free. There is also an Apple software deal providing OSX and the iWorks suite. AV is also centrally avalible in the form of Symantec Endpoint Protection and there is also a Novel deal floating around somewhere for supported access to corporate supported Linux.
There is an active Laptops for Teachers program (TELA) which provides subsidised leasing of laptops for all teachers in the country, you can choose between hp (currently ProBook 6550b), Toshiba or Apple laptops and these are leased out for 3 years. Currently they still ship with XP on them and I suspect the people running it still travel to work on horses and carts, this is due to change shortly thankfully.
Filtering is also supported by subsidy allowing you to pick from various providers (if you signed up eairly enough). The current offerings are Websence (which we use), Watchdog (a managed provider with low speeds and draconian filtering) and SchoolZone (which is massivly expencive and ties up a lot of the MoE offered services like video conferencing into their network, they effectivly take control of your allowed network setup).
The country itself is alright, not to mental and not too sane. I like being half an hour drive from a forrest/bush and about 20 minites from the coast in either direction and being able to just randomly go on a 8 hour hike if I wanted to.
There are currently programs (thanks to the new government) that are tasked with bringing 100mbit/s fibre connectivity to schools within five years. This is a huge step foward as according to MoE (Ministry of Education) surveys the average internet connection for schools currently sits around the 2mbit/s mark and costs $1.09 per student. There are even thirteen schools who refuse to connect to the internet at all. Unfortunatly the goal seems to be to host all services externally over this 100Mbit link which is simply not going to work with such a small amount, we have 4GB trunks in each of our servers (what do they expect to happen when they force it all over 1/80th of the bandwidth especially in 5 years).
There is another program (the network upgrade program) which is rather poorly conceived, basiclly they will pay 80% of the cost of upgrading a schools network to 'their' requirements with gigabit switching (AT switches, ick), propper 20 year warrentied Cat6 structured cabeling etc. This is all well and good but they can only do 200 schools a year and schools who upgrade their hardware now will not get re-embursed. This has lead to almost total stagnation in some places where all investment has simply stopped because they are wating. As there are 2600 schools this shortsighted approach is going to lead to much more damage than progress in many places. Sure if you are one of the schools lucky enough to be chosen (one of the criterial is actually current fibre access which pushes investment towards already affluent areas or areas that the MoE has already picked out for special treatment in the past).
Schools are rather disconnected and are in a constant battle for more students and hence more funding. This leads to many schools carefully guarding any great new plans for education or resources as sensitive compeditive information.
Imagine the UK 5 - 10 years ago in terms of IT and then project that to the present as most of the iniatives are slightly altered copies of what the UK was doing back then. As to hardware just look at last years catalogues, add 60% to the price, remove half of the major brands and you will have the current hardware avalibility.
As to teachers, they are the same everywhere, you have some really good ones who are interested in what they do and want to learn then you have some which still amaze me each time they manage to successfully navigate a door handle as from their dealings with IT you would never beleive that they had it in them.
Hope that answers your questions wand was not too gloomy :)
Thanks for that it was great, more opinions from other schools would be welcome. I am actually quite serious about learning more, as we are currently 1/4 way though our application.
What are the average equipment amounts, eg. ICT Suites? Random Computers? I know it won't be anywhere near the over 2/1 we are use to here, but what are the provisions?
Is it true you can have up to 40 in a class? and that some schools have 10 computers to teach ICT because they teach mainly theory?
Also if there are any ICT teachers on here, it would be great to hear your views on teaching the subject and the provisions you have, as it won't be me who is working(to thick!), but my OH as an ICT teacher.
I will look at some random school websites but they all seem to be very quiet when it comes to talking about ICT, but obviously Sport, Drama and Art are the main things promoted, but that is understandable!
From the MoE presentation that I was at a couple of days ago the average ratio is 1 pc to 6 children accross the country. I don't know of any schools with 40 students per teacher I think the max I have heard of lately is 30-32. Again I can't speak for all schools but if they have only ten computers than it is usually by choice or need and they are not bothering to teach the theory either.
My high school had six suites when I was there and I think has more now (1200 pupils), when it comes to primary schools it varies per school and provider and is largely dependant on the principal as to where their focus lies. Managed service provided schools in my experience will often have a lower ammount of computers in comparison to somewhere managed by someone like me. These are also older somewhat due to the MSPs comparitivly huge costs and the fact that many just take their advice blindly from their MSP.
I work in primary and integrated (primary + intermediate) schools mostly and with the ones that I manage there are some with a computer suite and around 2-3 decent pcs per classroom all running Vista or 7. Some don't have a suite but hav an average of four reasonable pcs per room again running Vista or 7.
There are about 4-6 digital whiteboards/projectors per school (in these examples) in around 23-27 classroom schools. I have been to one that got charity funding to install a projector in every room (I even helped setting them up) but this is not the case everywhere.
From a technical standpoint we run gigabit switching to the edge with ISA servers and Windows 2008 R2 boxes to serve out the content. Again from a comparitive standpoint these primary schools are probably on the better side of provisioning but the others aren't massivly far behind. Maybe less computers and older OSs/networking standards.
I did spend a short time working for one school that (5 years ago) did not have one PC per room as they had all been damaged and due to managment there was no budget ($600 for the school for the year) for anything regarding the computer hardware. Given the attitude of managment there I left and that school was later put into statutory managment.
As such it very much depends on the school as to what kind of provisioning they have. I know that the high schools have much greater funding for ICT stuff and are more likely to have MLEs etc.
I would direct you to one of our sites but would preffer not to publish the URL directly so PM me if you want links, I take no responcibility for the quality of the sites as these were deligated to teachers to handle with varying results.
Some places that you might want to look at though are www.tki.co.nz which is the online curriculum platform and has a (lightly trafficed) forum for teachers on it which may be handy. You can get a bunch of information about the curriculums/funding/current ICT policy (dreams) from Ministry of Education - Home
Here are some blogs that I stumbled across that may be handy:
NZ School Computer Technician
I know about computers