I can see your point
I guess I was thinking more from the mac platform side
I do agree that kids really dont need a laptop to do schoolwork
Tell me folks , what exactly do elementary school teachers teach kids about computers?
My freind was a computer teacher for grade six level, he doesnt understand much beyond troubleshooting windows and maybe ms word and html.
I really have to wonder what is being taught.
One day I talked to him about a javscript he was trying to edit and he didnt know what a string variable was or a function or what was a key syntax word and what was defined by the programmer.
I didnt learn a thing about computers until I was 30, and my frind gave me his old mac, and then I started studying programming, that makes it about 6 years of learning computer stuff, and I feel like I learned a minute fraction of knowledge compared to some of the folks Ive met who have been around this stuff for years
I feel like I have a good foundation of concepts that should do me well in future , but I am still at the beginning of my journey.
Anyway, I agree you dont need a laptop, few people at the college I attended had one , even in engineering . , but at least its not more Dells.
I certainly am not an expert on school computers, but I think there is more to this issue of computers in schools.
When I was learning about computers years ago, I had training by computer, -called "programmed learning" or "self-paced learning". It was far better than sitting down with a book, manual, or in class, and I was able to learn easily, going back to review or repeat something I missed and test myself as I went along. To me it was a wonderful learning method.
How many of you prefer using the net to find information in preference to going to a library? I sure prefer finding stuff on the net. Both child and teacher can be more efficient when there is a computer available to each student.
Teachers have been using computers successfully for many years in some communities. Current computers progress from this base, and open up all the possibilities of the web.
This initiative is a positive step complimentary to efficient teaching and learning. And positive for Apple also!
I agree that having a computer doesn't make for better learning. Tbere's nothing about computers that will help someone decide that this idea or concept is more valuable than another. People spend a lot of money to go to private schools to get a good education, which usually means a lower student to teacher ratio. Not laptops in every students hands. That's where the money should be spent. The more contact students have with good teachers, the more they will learn, computer or no computer. My own experience of them was that they made me feel stupid. They still do.
How do I learn best?
I am starting to think that 99% of all real learning is independant, solo study and sweat and trial and error, and searching for answers anywhere you can.
I like to be exposed to the material first on my own, then hear someone breeze over the important stuff, read a little of the details on my own in books, internet, powerpoints, or any other form helps
However I find I learn best when I have a specific goal to strive for. For instance I didnt fully understand objects in java until i needed to use that knowledge in a card game and treated the cards as object variables.
The web is full of all kinds of educational help, some of it is really great others are less so but it is tool to have in your arsonal.
i have nothing against computer in education , just lousy educators
I also learn better if I have a genuine interest, like I do in art, science and technology
Throughout my career as a student in the Alberta Learning education system (Beat that for sounding bigger then you are ) I've always found computers as a helping tool, not as a replacement. They may replace textbooks in the future as such things like the Tablets become popular and cheaper to produce. Computers have possibility but it really depends on who is using the computer and what for. Do you think that the students aren't going to figure out how to put games on their iBooks and only play games in the name of education?
I know I am one that is able to learn on their own, and a computer would help in that I can have everything in one place but it won't replace a textbook for a while... I still prefer reading a book to reading a PDF...
I think that minnes makes a valid point when he writes that "I am starting to think that 99% of all real learning is independant, solo study and sweat and trial and error, and searching for answers anywhere you can." An effective teacher is helpful if he/she models to a student how to learn effectively, and how to find information to solve problems and how to create new knowledge.
Problem solving is the skill that is the most important
All bounderies can be overcome if you keep trying different solutions.
I still have the aded issues to put up with, a lot of bias and negativity due to my disability, but we have to keep on trying
I went to the eye doctor 2 weeks ago and I started reading the chart...E... and Im done after the first line. I should memorise the chart and really wow them next time.
But in everyday life, I generally dont feel different, except in fast food places, I cant read menu boards where they probably think Im illiterate when I ask them to read it to me.
there was at least a couple of high schools around Hamilton or Burlington that Taught Visual Basic and C in grade 11-12, I came to this stuff cold and several people were alrready on their way
As for classroom computer teaching, I just have the feeling that most kids over 7 years old today can use a computer better than I could at thirty-something.
Locally they teach Windows, and word.
i guess what Im geting at is that I dont see the point of teaching kidss something they already know and that doesnt leave much if you leave out specialized apps and programming.
Find me a kid who doesnt know windows?
I doubt their is a single non windows machine in any Local public school.
On top of that, most Hamiltonians absolutely love Windows and will try to get me to at least think about dumping my mac.
I wouldnt be so upset if schools, libraries and public institutions used Linux, that is doable at least thats free.
Does this bother any of you? Do you think our government or public institutions should use a free OS? They have IT guys anyway so they wouldnt be laying anyone off, and we could stop the windows blood money.
minnes wrote: Does this bother any of you? Do you think our government or public institutions should use a free OS?
Not really, no. Most people who have used a computer are familiar with Windows (one version or another), so using it in libraries and such is probably a good idea; you don't have to worry about teaching people how to use a different operating system.
They have IT guys anyway so they wouldnt be laying anyone off, and we could stop the windows blood money.
Ah, but you'd have to retrain the IT people, which costs money....
Having worked in the education field myself, I did a fair bit of Mac Evangelism whenever it was possible; I did not care to see kids struggling with a Windows environment when they could use that time more effectively and of course more fun with Macs! Or not even having access to computers at all...
I do like the idea of Macs making it into Quebec schools, but I don't know if handing out iBooks to each kid is the answer. I think that starting off with a mobile computer lab is a better beginning, and one that is certainly less expensive. A cart with a dozen or more iBooks that can be wheeled into a classroom is more time efficient than trying to move a classroom of active kids to a separate computer lab and getting them settled in again -- trust me, I know from experience!
Combined with an airport system, this mobile lab can be used throughout a school, without the need for expensive rewiring, or even "sacrificing" an entire room for a computer lab -- particularly handy for smaller schools that are always at a premium for space.
I do strongly believe in teaching computer usage to kids, its a bit like learning a second language, the earlier the better because it really sinks in with no real effort. When they are in elementary school, their brains are like little sponges and things sink in much easier. Once you reach a certain level in Jr. High, there is a definite difference in absorption levels, as there are also many more interests competing for their attention by then.
When one considers that so many jobs require some level of computer usage, even the "McJobs"; such as a salesperson with a computer cash, a car mechanic that uses a computer interface for diagnostics, secretaries, receptionists, warehouse inventories, etc.
I don't think that learning the basics of actual computer programming is appropriate, as some have suggested; I do however believe in teaching the kids how to type on a keyboard -- if anything they will be better able to deal with essays and term papers when they get older. Secondly, typing often allows some people to write fast enough to "keep up with their thoughts", something I personally could never do when I was writing manually. Thirdly, computers often allow students with various disabilities (learning or mobility) to stand on a much more even keel with their non-disabled classmates. And seeing how the slowest classmember can often slow down the class as a whole, this can benefit the entire class, not just the slower moving students.
Teaching computers should be a "whole" experience, from understanding how information can be organized (and therefore organize themselves more efficiently), to more effective communication (by learning to write more often), to long distance communication (by learning how to email or chat with other students from around the globe).
One of the most important aspects is learning how to research for themselves; don't we all benefit from technology such as Google? When was the last time you went to your local library and searched the card catalog to find a book on the topic you needed to research? Right? Yeah, I thought so... A student can become a more effective student because they become more empowered to do things for themselves because they have the right tools at their hands.
By learning how to search and research, when the time comes, they will be better equipped to get into the job market by typing their own resume, looking for job postings online, sending off their resume to prospective employers through email, etc. When is the last time any of you went to "manpower" and discovered that most of the processes, from applying for UI, to looking for jobs was done by computer now?
It does not mean that overall computer technology (and OSes) will not change drastically by the time these kids grow up and actually enter the job market; however they will have developed a comfort level with computers enough to adapt to whatever the future holds and hopefully be able to lead a fuller life as a productive member of Canadian society.
That's what computers in schools should really be about..
Just my 2 cents worth from someone whose been "in the trenches"...
Chemist, you would be surprised to see how many ADULTS cannot use computers to their full potential, let alone kids. But to add to what Capucine said, I would hope that they expose the kids to all that is computers - but something that they could grasp depending on their level. Exposing kids to programming early may not be the best way to get them aborad - just like getting them to do Calculus early to expose them to Math. However there are plenty of things - notably design - that can peak their interest early. It did with me years ago (while the teacher was talking about some Pascal, I was doodling and drew a Sony Walkman on the screen. Fairly detailed one. He saw it, freaked and gave me bonus marks - he was that impressed - called the class to come see. That was VERY encouraging!). So a little jumbalaya of computing curriculum must be created. Something that the kids will like, respect and understand. So much out there to make that work too... Keynote, let alone all the MacroMedia apps out there... Just more of my 2¢.