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  Reply # 495714 20-Jul-2011 13:01 Send private message

freitasm: I'm just worried that people can leave a lot of the explanation and tutoring to automated means, expecting people will learn by repetition, when a bit of teaching is needed. Teaching is important because with that personal contact it's possible to find out what is causing the pupil to fail and specifically target it.



Ok, so the argument is 'don't give our kids the best technology because:

1.  We don't trust out teachers to empower the use of it properly - they should be using paper, which is safer
2.  Because the best technology has 'toy factor' that is also bad
3.  New Zealand kids should only be challenged to have low cost technology'

- yes, a very poor summary on my part, and not a direct reflection of the comments that freitasm made, I accept that. 

However it's a generalist over view of the noise I'm observing on the lists.

I read one very interesting post on the Akl Lug this morning about the FLOSS factor which was also a concern.

We need to trust out teachers more than we're showing here.

We need to understand how to use this technology to empower teaching and learning.

We need to education our selves as to how this technology is useful and should be used.

 




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  Reply # 495717 20-Jul-2011 13:09 Send private message

I hope I can add something to the conversation here, without letting my values get in the way.

Previous discussions I have had with primary school teachers (two of my good friends), and my learning from this site www.speirs.org (I am surprised that it hasn't been mentioned on here), lends me to believe that this is about integrating technology into the teaching of regular subjects like maths, english, reading and writing.

Historically there has been a notion that you need to "teach kids computers". So every week the kids go off to a computer lab to play games and goof off.

Unfortunately they aren't using technology in the way which we are adults are doing now. Which is to solve problems and think and share views and opinions (I will leave facts out of this as that is another story).

I believe that there is a lot of research into the beneficial effects that having a fun learning environment (online learning games) and the exposure to a wide variety of information can have.

I understand that people are concerned about which device to choose, and that they cost money, and that someone will steal it or they won't take care of it etc.

I have a couple of thoughts on these issues:

If you have a device with a browser, everyone can use the internet. If you all have the same device with the same software, you can spend a lot more time educating rather than troubleshooting someone's plugin/browser/firewall/system settings.

I wonder what the school currently spends on ICT already (probably too much). I also wonder what they spend on textbooks, and the library and librarians. If we change the model of information all scattered around to: I haz all the infoz, maybe the havenots become the haves.

Lastly theft and breaking goods is a way of life. If it wasn't we wouldn't need the police and we wouldn't need insurance companies. I for one am very interested in whether this is an opportunity to instill some respect for property into these children.

Lastly I implore you all to read this report and read these presentations as these make it plain that this initative and many others are required to improve the chances of our children for the future.

Remember health doesn't start at the GP or the hospital it starts with our children in our homes.

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  Reply # 495724 20-Jul-2011 13:19 Send private message

geekiegeek: The school did offer a payment scheme. If you choose to have kids you had best plan to pay for them to get the best education possible. and unless we are all taxed at 70% then parents are going to have to take some responsibilty in paying for that education.

The days of a free education in NZ are long gone my friend. Also what to you think these kids are going to be doing after they leave secondary school? I doubt you can go through uni without owning a device and a large number of jobs these days require some level of computer skills. And if other countries that we compeat with for jobs etc go down this path we will be left even further behind.


I'm taking a guess you've never experienced life in a family of four on a $400 a week income.  I have.

To say that "the days of a free education in NZ are long gone" and that parents should "take some responsibility to pay for that education" is narrow minded, arrogant, and a tad selfish.

Not every parent can afford to buy expensive things for their kids, and for you to say that these parents are somehow irresponsible because of that is, well to me I feel it's outright offensive.  Should they not be allowed to have kids?  Or should poor kids simply not be allowed in school?  "Sorry Timmy, your parents don't earn enough.  To the mines with you!"  It absolutely beggars belief that you could actually believe that.

To claim that children need to own these types of things to learn about computers is beyond rubbish as well.  For my childhood and teenage years (and need I add I'm only mid twenties) we had a 386 at home, with a whopping 1MB RAM and a 20MB RLL hard drive.  This was in the time when Pentium II computers with 128MB of RAM and 20GB hard drives were common.  I happen to work in IT nowadays because the school did what they could to empower students to understand technology, without requiring you go out and buy it.  If they had said "you can only do the computer classes if you supply your own computer" then I likely wouldn't be where I am today.

We're not talking about private schools here.  Private schools can mandate their students own Bentleys for all I care.  But I cannot stand by and be silent while people advocate for pricing basic education out of reach of the nation's children.  That's unacceptable.

(Edited: I previously said expensive toys.  That's not strictly true - I find that I use my iPad for a lot of non-entertainment purposes so referring to portable computing devices as toys is somewhat disingenuous.  The remainder of the point stands.  Also added a bit of historic background). 

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  Reply # 495727 20-Jul-2011 13:24 Send private message

myopinion: Macbook pro's apparenty have a battery life of up to 7 hours which would be plenty. Cost would be more of an issue.


my netbook i have can last upto 8.5hrs cost $298NZD

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  Reply # 495738 20-Jul-2011 13:41 Send private message

billgates: Don't like the idea of an iPad in schools. It's a good reading device no doubt but what about writting assignments and then printing them?


printing??

Why not just sync straight to google docs and the teacher can view them there.. No need to waste paper/etc on this stuff.
 

gjm

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  Reply # 495740 20-Jul-2011 13:54 Send private message

hey bro, giz a hold of your ipad....




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  Reply # 495745 20-Jul-2011 14:04 Send private message

tdgeek:
freitasm: 

I'm just worried that people can leave a lot of the explanation and tutoring to automated means, expecting people will learn by repetition, when a bit of teaching is needed. Teaching is important because with that personal contact it's possible to find out what is causing the pupil to fail and specifically target it.



Agree 100% 


I also agree 100%.

The students should be learning the basics first, taught by real people.




Michael Skyrme - Instrumentation & Controls

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  Reply # 495747 20-Jul-2011 14:07 Send private message

kyhwana2:
billgates: Don't like the idea of an iPad in schools. It's a good reading device no doubt but what about writting assignments and then printing them?


printing??

Why not just sync straight to google docs and the teacher can view them there.. No need to waste paper/etc on this stuff.
 


Sync straight to Google docs....?

Who will teach the teachers how to do this? Ok, seriously, are the teachers going to be able to support the many different products within the classroom? Will the students spend all day on helplines trying to resolve an application that is not running......?




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  Reply # 495755 20-Jul-2011 14:39 Send private message

gjm: hey bro, giz a hold of your ipad....


Which is exactly why the 3g version with GPS is important.  So if it does get stolen then it's much faster to find.

With the growing number of media articles showing how much easier these things are getting to track down, one would think that the theives might start to smarten up - see, iPad2's are good in education ;)






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  Reply # 495759 20-Jul-2011 14:48 Send private message

jonherries: I wonder what the school currently spends on ICT already (probably too much). I also wonder what they spend on textbooks, and the library and librarians. If we change the model of information all scattered around to: I haz all the infoz, maybe the havenots become the haves.


Nice post. :)

Should this equipment be funded on a student loan?

Between $300 and $500 dollars a year for a device that will last 4 years of high school, is that unreasonable?

Do we need to be reviewing the funding put in to the Library for new books and repairs to books?

Looking at my local public library, there is a growing number of computers (so I assume that there are less shelves, and less books).

20 years ago I was surrounded by paper in my workplace.  Today I have very little by comparison.

Is it important that we're doing more and more to prepare our kids for a world with more trees and less paper?






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  Reply # 495760 20-Jul-2011 14:52 Send private message

DonGould:
jonherries: I wonder what the school currently spends on ICT already (probably too much). I also wonder what they spend on textbooks, and the library and librarians. If we change the model of information all scattered around to: I haz all the infoz, maybe the havenots become the haves.


Nice post. :)

Should this equipment be funded on a student loan?

Between $300 and $500 dollars a year for a device that will last 4 years of high school, is that unreasonable?

Do we need to be reviewing the funding put in to the Library for new books and repairs to books?

Looking at my local public library, there is a growing number of computers (so I assume that there are less shelves, and less books).

20 years ago I was surrounded by paper in my workplace.  Today I have very little by comparison.

Is it important that we're doing more and more to prepare our kids for a world with more trees and less paper?




Are we actually using less paper now than say, 20 years ago? Is there a statistic on this somewhere? Only reason I ask is, I work in an engineering office and I am surrounded by people who print off data packs willy nilly. I would guess that with the ease of printing off from email / servers, we are possibly using more paper now...




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  Reply # 495762 20-Jul-2011 14:55 Send private message

kyhwana2:
billgates: Don't like the idea of an iPad in schools. It's a good reading device no doubt but what about writting assignments and then printing them?


printing??

Why not just sync straight to google docs and the teacher can view them there.. No need to waste paper/etc on this stuff.
 


so that students can go home and later edit their documents even after the official time has finished. and we should expect students to type out 1500+ word assignments using a touch screen?


ipad is a great consumption device but it's not a creation device. get a tablet that you can dock with keyboard and print from (windows 8) or get a netbook.




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  Reply # 495763 20-Jul-2011 14:58 Send private message

It does not seem to have been mentioned here but there are already many many schools that are at least trialing laptops/netbooks etc. This school is hardly the first although I am not sure how may of the trials have required the parents to pay for the hardware or as I am sure they are regretting now recommending iPad's. We have a ultra portable laptop which will realistically last all day and it is not a netbook so there are other real options out there that will run all day.

There also seems to be a belief that by introducing these devices suddenly the teachers will stop teaching and expect the kids to teach themselves or something. I don't quite see how this makes sense but IMHO teachers are still teachers and will still continue to teach, just because the tools are changing does not change that it just changes what ways they can impart that teaching. If we were to continue teaching the way we were taught our kids will be hugely disadvantaged. The world that our kids are growing up in as utterly different to the world that we grew up in. Yes they need to learn how to do maths and research and all those skills but how those things are done have changed, our children need to be taught how to do them in the world they are living in not the world we grew up in.

I do not think the issue should be if school kids start using laptops etc but how it is all paid for and how to use them effectively. I have two kids myself one in collage and one in intermediate. I would not relish the thought of finding money for IT hardware on top of what we have to find already unless the cost can somehow be countered.







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  Reply # 495775 20-Jul-2011 15:15 Send private message

DonGould:

Should this equipment be funded on a student loan?

Between $300 and $500 dollars a year for a device that will last 4 years of high school, is that unreasonable?



Tell me where I'm going to come up with a grand a year (2 kids)? Because there's no way in hell 14 year olds should end up with a student loan!

And 4 years? Seriously? I have a 4 year old laptop that struggles to surf the net (slight exaggeration)

And you think high-school students are going to walk into class with  "OHH LOOK, THAT KIDS COMPUTER IS SOOO OOOOOOLD!"

No piece of tech these days is going to last 4 years! I'm sitting here looking at a 4 year old phone that cost $800 when new... I'd be lucky if I got $5 for it today! And it certainly can't be used anymore!



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  Reply # 495780 20-Jul-2011 15:25 Send private message

Kyanar:
geekiegeek: The school did offer a payment scheme. If you choose to have kids you had best plan to pay for them to get the best education possible. and unless we are all taxed at 70% then parents are going to have to take some responsibilty in paying for that education.

The days of a free education in NZ are long gone my friend. Also what to you think these kids are going to be doing after they leave secondary school? I doubt you can go through uni without owning a device and a large number of jobs these days require some level of computer skills. And if other countries that we compeat with for jobs etc go down this path we will be left even further behind.


I'm taking a guess you've never experienced life in a family of four on a $400 a week income.  I have.

To say that "the days of a free education in NZ are long gone" and that parents should "take some responsibility to pay for that education" is narrow minded, arrogant, and a tad selfish.

Not every parent can afford to buy expensive things for their kids, and for you to say that these parents are somehow irresponsible because of that is, well to me I feel it's outright offensive.  Should they not be allowed to have kids?  Or should poor kids simply not be allowed in school?  "Sorry Timmy, your parents don't earn enough.  To the mines with you!"  It absolutely beggars belief that you could actually believe that.

To claim that children need to own these types of things to learn about computers is beyond rubbish as well.  For my childhood and teenage years (and need I add I'm only mid twenties) we had a 386 at home, with a whopping 1MB RAM and a 20MB RLL hard drive.  This was in the time when Pentium II computers with 128MB of RAM and 20GB hard drives were common.  I happen to work in IT nowadays because the school did what they could to empower students to understand technology, without requiring you go out and buy it.  If they had said "you can only do the computer classes if you supply your own computer" then I likely wouldn't be where I am today.

We're not talking about private schools here.  Private schools can mandate their students own Bentleys for all I care.  But I cannot stand by and be silent while people advocate for pricing basic education out of reach of the nation's children.  That's unacceptable.

(Edited: I previously said expensive toys.  That's not strictly true - I find that I use my iPad for a lot of non-entertainment purposes so referring to portable computing devices as toys is somewhat disingenuous.  The remainder of the point stands.  Also added a bit of historic background). 


We do have to remember that not everyone is on high wages.

With inflation the way it is, and wage stagnation, there will be more and more people unable to balance their home budget. 

To mandate compulsory ipads is crazy, unless the government assists.  

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