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Re: Doubts and question about the merging of LinEx in Debian Edu

El vie, 18-01-2008 a las 18:37 +0100, cobaco (aka Bart Cornelis)
> On Friday 18 January 2008, nigel barker wrote:
> > Andreas Tille wrote:
> > > On Thu, 17 Jan 2008, cobaco (aka Bart Cornelis) wrote:
> > >> That's a very interesting video, that I hadn't seen yet :)
> > >>
> > >> but it only reinforces the need for basic computer skills, it shows
> > >> the computers as a basic tool used in every class, replacing things
> > >> like encyclopedias, and reference books
> > >> -> if those kids lack a basic computer literacy at this point, there
> > >> would
> > >> be something seriously wrong with those schools
> > >
> > > Sure.  I agree with you that pupils should be able to cope with
> > > different desktops as they should with say different textbooks.  But I
> > > do not think that exchanging a textbook in the middle of the year is a
> > > good idea and thus I think sticking to something you are used to is not
> > > really a bad idea.
> bad analogy: the textbook is more akin to the specific educational app being 
> used (say kalzium, or gcompris), the desktop in that analogy would be the 
> classroom. 
> You don't become confused because one class room has a blue bookshelf, and 
> the other a green one, or because the light switch is to the left of the 
> door instead of the right.
> Similarly you shouldn't have any problems because the panel is on the top 
> instead of the bottom, or the menubutton having a different logo, or the 
> window decorations looking different.
> > > You just become distracted by unimportant things like different optics,
> > > different shortcuts etc.  The fact that you should be able to cope with
> > > different desktops does not mean that it makes sense to switch your
> > > working environment frequently.
> The human mind is extremely good at extrapolating essential characteristics 
> from examples. But you can't generalise from a single example. 
> Which is why confronting kids to different desktops is 'A Good Thing'. It 
> gives them a basis of reference that allows them to separate the important 
> elements from the purely cosmetic differences (without requiring actual 
> computer classes, which would be the alternative and/or complement).
> In today's world basic computer literacy is as important as being able to 
> read, and do basic math. You might be able to get along without it, but 
> it'll be a serious handicap. 
> -> Any school not adressing this now basic skill in some way is fundamentaly 
> missing the mark.
> > At my school we have used icewm, gnome, then KDE in successive years,
> > but that is not the point. The point is that Linex is used by all the
> > civil servants in Extremadura. Those are the people who shouldn't have
> > unnecessary GUI changes, and who will complain when things don't work
> > the way they used to. 
> The goal of a school is to teach, the goal of a civil servant is to get his 
> work done. That's an entirely different set of parameters.
> In the case of the civil servant I'll agree that changing things around 
> makes no sense what so ever (though offering choice for those that want it 
> still does). That assesment does not carry over to a school environment.

Sure, in an ideal world, but we don't live in Utopia. Teachers are the
weakest point of using the computers in the classroom. I'm not worried
about kids. My sons can use many more electronic devices and desktops
that most teachers. 
I'm afraid this thread is not going anywhere. We must make a total
distinction between what we (maybe as geeks, parents or teachers) would
love and what a part of the civil servants would like. When we are
dealing with a human mass of some thousands of people you can be sure
that an important rate will hate your decissions, or hate technology, or
hate making a new effort to learn where in the hell is now the applet
that allowed him last week change the speaker volume. In the last years
I have had to learn to live with all these things: you can not even
imagine how many people complaint because we changed from openoffice 1.1
to openoffice 2.0. That's something a techie can not understand, but we
have to live with it. Don't misunderstand me: I'm not saying everybody
is like that, there are also many people who like learn new computer
things, but I work also for those who only love learn new math,
geography or history things and don't know what most of the buttons of
their tv remote control are for: they just care about some of them and
want them there.

> > Linex is probably the world leader in widespread linux adoption. We should
> > listen to their advice. 
> no disagreement on that, there's lots to be learned from LinEX, but as whith 
> everything, there's also lots of room for improvement.

Sure, that's one of the reasons to be here, but I'm not going to ask
Debian Edu use GNOME nor ask my users use KDE. I would like to include
both desktops in the installation of the computers, but one has to be
the default one, and I only see problems if we dare to change it. 

Andreas Tille pointed the EuroNews video out to a better understanding
of our model. I'm afraid that you didn't notice that every classroom in
the region has one PC in every desktop. That's not optional for the
principal or the teachers. Nobody can "escape" from having the computers
in the classroom and, with the new applications to evaluate or fill
attending lists, now every teacher must use them. So, think of those
teachers who 5 years ago never has used a mouse and have learnt the few
things they need for their subjects. It's not the same as having several
computer classrooms where teachers go with their pupils sometimes. When
we had that model many teachers did never go to those labs, and teachers
who went were much more like us, who like learning and explore the
possibilities of our technical world. 

José L.


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