[Author Prev][Author Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Author Index][Thread Index]

fixe date ;-)Re: [school-discuss] Educationally Impoverished Computing [was Korea brings ...]

The previous message was date May 31, 2001.  Batteries on laptops.  Original
message below.  Sorry for the duplication.


----- Forwarded message from dbucknell@xxxxxxxxxxxxx -----
    Date: Thu, 31 May 2001 13:22:04 +0700
    From: David Bucknell <dbucknell@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Reply-To: schoolforge-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
 Subject: Re: [school-discuss] Educationally Impoverished Computing [was  Korea
brings ...]
      To: schoolforge-discuss@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Good observation re typical setup and use, Les.  Two quick comments:

* What comes around went around: I'm sure others remember previous
cycles/iterations/incarnations, but as recently as 1995 "state of the
art" meant a shiny new lab of IBM OS 2's at my school, all carefully
locked down and isolated from the classrooms.  This is what drove the
anti-lab/pro-classroom computer thing (_The One Computer Classroom_) and
me to bring my own Mac and lots of other stuff into my English classroom.

We who are in control and need to protect ourselves and others from
confusion and chaos and ... viruses ... need to keep in mind your point:
the tools must make learning possible and be open to (at least some)
exploration themselves.

The point that Alex? made about locking a system into a single solution
is also well-taken: more than one OS and file type is a good thing in a
world where innovation needs encouragement except among virus-makers.
And speaking of viruses, more than one OS and file type is the best way
to slow down their travel from one host to another.

* A counterweight to this "lockdown" trend comes from FLOSS: in the
typical proprietary environment we find one of each kind of tool.
That's because there is no longer any competition in the "real"
commercial world: winner-takes-all (sic Thomas Friedman's _Lexus and the
Olive Tree which was so popular a few years back) battles result in
killing off possible alternatives.  For that reason we are stuck waiting
for the "next big thing" rather than incremental improvements resulting
from competion.  In the FLOSS world, however, we are not stuck:
competition ("forks") thrives.  Even if Korea goes with a single
solution in its schools, if that solution is Linux, there will be three
word processors, three photo editors, two wanna-be video players, all
the great edu software our friends and colleagues on this list are
making, etc., etc., etc.   Another thing about OSS which you point
toward in your comment is its scalability for users.  If all they want
to do is the equivalent of Paint, then Linux allows them to do that, but
if they get curious, there's a world "down there."

So, although the worries about a)locking into a single solution and
b)software that locks users out of learning are entirely justified, it
is clear why both of you are on this list: FLOSS offers the only viable


 Les Richardson wrote:

> Hi,
> Frankly teachers, by and large, are pragmatic. They want their
> students to grow in their skills, understandings, knowledge, etc. (as
> do I as a teacher and parent).
> In light of this, teachers will use whatever springs to hand.
> In a computer lab 'fully equipped' with the latest dummied down XP Pro
> locked down by registration keys of every ilk and loaded with the
> latest "microSoft Office XXX", there isn't much to play with. Once
> they're typed a few friendly letters, done a mail merge, drawn a
> picture with MS Paint (if available), students are done. (usually by
> about Grade 8-9).
> Nothing much "springs to hand" here, although most administrators and
> division boards are very proud of the 'new, state of the art, labs'.
> What's a shibboleth? (It just popped into my head...)
> What might be a solution to this problem of computationally
> impoverished pedagogy? (grin)
> Les Richardson
> Late Friday afternoon while marking final exams....
> On Fri, 24 Jun 2005, Alec Couros wrote:
>> Phil Carinhas wrote:
>>> On Fri, Jun 24, 2005 at 11:43:21AM -0600, Alec Couros wrote:
>>>> I am not talking about MOST cases ... note this is about South
>>>> Korea, where it HAS been mandated, and my original concern is that
>>>> is IS being mandated.
>>>  It isn NOT mandated. Its part of a project they are rolling out.
>>>  I see nothing the article that indicates a global mandate.  Every
>>> project needs to have a platform. If you had bothered to read the
>>> article, you'd see that the system was
>>> designed to keep track of student records. It certainly does not
>>> appear to be any type of teaching platform.
>> Actually I read the article well and information on the S.K. gov
>> website, and related articles. I've done a lot of research on this,
>> actually. In the article you are reading, you see a CNet synopsis,
>> not a comprehensive document.
>> It's not a"teaching platform" per se, but most schools in North
>> America don't have a specific "teaching platform" either. These are
>> the tools given to the teachers ... whatever desktop distro you have,
>> related software, etc. Sure, not a "teaching platform" but the tools
>> which teachers have to use.
>> Anyways ... my point obviously was not well-taken by some of you as
>> all OSS must have to be innately GOOD news I suppose. I'll try not to
>> raise such obvious critiques in this forum.

----- End forwarded message -----


This message was sent using IMP, the Internet Messaging Program.