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





On 1/18/08, cobaco (aka Bart Cornelis) <cobaco@skolelinux.no> wrote:
On Friday 18 January 2008, José L. Redrejo Rodríguez wrote:
> Teachers are the weakest point of using the computers in the classroom.

agreed that teachers are currently a weak link

though I think the weakest point is that it's currently considered okay
(even normal) to a have job that uses computers routinely, while remaining
completely clueless as to what you're actually.

It's what I call the curse of the recepy monkeys, and sadly it's currently
pandemic to desk jobs everywhere.

> I'm not worried about kids. My sons can use many more electronic devices
> and desktops that most teachers.

I very much am:

compared with most adults kids _seem_ knowledgable about computers.

BUT

in my experience that's not because they actually have a better grasp of
what they're doing, but simply because they've memorised more computer
recipies [*].
 
My observations suggest kids seem more knowledgable because they are less intimidated by and more open to (even excited about) learning how to use computers.
 
After all, being a geek is mostly about having the accumulated experience of trying out (and frequently breaking) new technologies. The stubbornly computer illiterate invariably exhibit an utter reluctance to try something new out of fear of breaking "it" or the computer.
 

to put it shortly: In the land of the blind one-eye is king.

[*] e.g. My sister, now in college, is considerd a computer wiz by her peers
   because she understands how to create directories and shortcuts for
   herself

> 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.

I'm talking mainly schools not civil servants, though I realise LinEX is
used for both

(and in the case of the civil servants, sticking with the default is the way
to go as 'ease of support' trumps any choice argument in that setting)

> 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.

You're not seriously suggesting that 'hate technology' and 'hate making a
new effort to learn' are valid reason not to do something in a school
environment?

(though again civil servants are a different matter)

> 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.

I can imagine, in fact I think it's a classic sympton of lack of computer
literacy.

I'd like to avoid that in the next generation, so we should do everything
possible to ensure schools turn out computer literate users, and not recipy
monkeys.

My argument is mainly that offering students experience with different
desktops (and browsers, and word processors, and ...) is something that'll
help immensly in reaching that goal, and should thus be encouraged, and we
should support

> I would like to include both desktops in the installation of the
> computers,

very much agreed :)

> but one has to be the default one, and I only see problems if
> we dare to change it.

Agreed there needs to be a default (preferably choosable by whoever does the
system install)

As to the dare change it:
- for schools that should be encouraged (though not enforced)
- for civil servants sticking with the default is just ducky

> 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.

on the contrary, I think that's the perfect reason to _demand_ that schools
ensure their students (and prefarably teachers) reach functional computer
literacy.

> That's not optional for the principal or the teachers. Nobody can "escape"
> from
> to evaluate or fill attending lists, now every teacher must use them.

If they can't escape using computers any way don't you think it would make
sense to invest the effort to get them to a level of functional computer
literacy?
(and yes I realise this can be a very hard sell to the actual users)

In the long run it'll save everybody (teachers and support personel) heaps
of frustration and effort. Though in the short run recepie learning is
easier.

> 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.

So one scheme (and by no means the only one) would be to:
- have the math teacher use Gnome and the chemistry teacher KDE.
- that lets both the math and chemistry teacher keep there comfortable
recepies [*], while still giving the kids experience with different
desktops.

[*] well at least untill the next version of whatever software they're using
comes out, as your example amply demonstrates, but then that's the
unavoidable consequence of lacking functional computer literacy
--
Cheers, cobaco (aka Bart Cornelis)



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