PDA

View Full Version : Are computers being 'wasted' in schools?


MacBytes
Oct 11, 2005, 10:44 AM
http://www.macbytes.com/images/bytessig.gif (http://www.macbytes.com)

Category: Opinion/Interviews
Link: Are computers being 'wasted' in schools?
(http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20051011114447)

Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)
Approved by Mudbug

nagromme
Oct 11, 2005, 11:13 AM
Using standardized tests to show that computers make no difference? :rolleyes:

Obviously computers should be used in the best way possible, and obviously there's a lot of growing and evolving to be done on that front. So keep improving, don't scrap computers. I can think of a million ways to let kids find creative and valuable new uses for their iBooks, while not letting them get away with skipping homework. But I'll let the teachers make that call.

mklos
Oct 11, 2005, 11:20 AM
I think that a lot of schools buy all of this technology, and then have no idea how to use it, or implement it into an educational area. I think this is a fault of the IT Dept. of the school. Its the Technology Director's (or Tech Coordinators) job to find the technology and implement it correctly through out the entire school. We can't leave it up to the teachers to do this. They are the ones that need the training on how to use this wonderful technology thats usually provided to them. Give them some ideas about the different programs that can be used for a Science class, Math class, etc... There are software developers that make some great, and entertaining software to help kids learn. Kids learn in all different ways, some pick up things easily, while others it takes a few tries. I just think the school districts need to better implement the technology available to them.

I think the Henrico County VA school district is an classic example of how poorly the technology was implemented, and of course, that was Apple's fault!

nagromme
Oct 11, 2005, 11:34 AM
There does seem to be a trend of IT departments acting as though the institution exists to serve them, rather than the other way around.

NAG
Oct 11, 2005, 12:17 PM
I'm more of the idea that teachers should be the ones coming up with the ideas on how to use technology. Too often the IT department (or big company that starts with an M and ends in a icrosoft) mandates the schools use such and such a computer with such and such a program in their assignments or else something bad will happen (various different threats). So yes, the way it is now the computers are nothing more than powerpoint machines or ways for the kids to mess around on the net than actually learn.

solvs
Oct 11, 2005, 02:50 PM
With all due respect to the Simpsons:

You know an IT department with money is a little like the mule with a spinning wheel. No-one knows how they got it and danged if they know how to use it!

Jerry Spoon
Oct 11, 2005, 03:17 PM
I'm more of the idea that teachers should be the ones coming up with the ideas on how to use technology. Too often the IT department (or big company that starts with an M and ends in a icrosoft) mandates the schools use such and such a computer with such and such a program in their assignments or else something bad will happen (various different threats). So yes, the way it is now the computers are nothing more than powerpoint machines or ways for the kids to mess around on the net than actually learn.

True to a point, but many teachers in the classroom today, I'd say the majority of them, don't know how to effectively integrate technology into the educational environment. Training was mentioned in the article, but that only goes so far because time becomes a factor. It is too simple for a teacher to open a textbook where everything has been organized and is focused (although it doesn't always have the focus that the state or district requires) instead of finding resources on line or through other technological means and organizing them for his or her students. Similarly, it's much more time consuming to have students use some sort of presentation software instead of just writing (or typing) a paper.

What is really needed is some sort of teacher/tech expert hybrid. While they exist and can be effective, I don't think there are many of them out there at this point.

Abstract
Oct 11, 2005, 05:54 PM
I don't think it's about improving grades at schools.

I think it's about keeping up with the rest of the world so that what you're learning isn't irrelevent.

mklos
Oct 11, 2005, 07:16 PM
I'm more of the idea that teachers should be the ones coming up with the ideas on how to use technology. Too often the IT department (or big company that starts with an M and ends in a icrosoft) mandates the schools use such and such a computer with such and such a program in their assignments or else something bad will happen (various different threats). So yes, the way it is now the computers are nothing more than powerpoint machines or ways for the kids to mess around on the net than actually learn.

No, it shouldn't be up to the teachers to get these ideas. That is exactly what the job of a Tech Director or Coordinator is. They're job is way more than just keeping track of the technology in the building, but also implementing it correctly through out the school district. Thats why usually this is an Administrative position. So they're required to have a School Administration degree (Masters in School Administration).

Like Jerry Spoon said, most (as in not all!) teachers aren't computer savvy, so they have no idea what technology is out there for their subject. It should be the Tech Director that meets with the science teachers to discuss the technology thats out there that the school district can afford. Overall, I think the US educational system does a terrible job of this. One reason why education in the US is falling behind other countries, which is sad if you ask me. Were one of the most richest countries in the world, yet we have a ****** education system.

ham_man
Oct 11, 2005, 07:18 PM
A deck of cards is so much cheaper... :rolleyes:

ReanimationLP
Oct 11, 2005, 07:20 PM
I see Pentium 4s at the school. Running Windows 2000 Pro, and just being used for word processing and light internet. Gee, what was wrong with the Pentium IIIs that were there? x_x

mkaake
Oct 11, 2005, 08:10 PM
I see Pentium 4s at the school. Running Windows 2000 Pro, and just being used for word processing and light internet. Gee, what was wrong with the Pentium IIIs that were there? x_x

I think the point is that there's nothing wrong with P4's, but there's a problem when they're only being used for word processing and light internet...

ReanimationLP
Oct 11, 2005, 08:22 PM
I think the point is that there's nothing wrong with P4's, but there's a problem when they're only being used for word processing and light internet...

It makes me sad to see all those GHz go to waste. :(

mkaake
Oct 12, 2005, 09:42 AM
It makes me sad to see all those GHz go to waste. :(

Me too. I could do word processing on my Mac Plus (and it was even faster than word on some 2 ghz machines!). As for the internet (which I personally think has driven most of consumer's speed wants) - the desire for more speed has come mainly from sloppy coding. If people followed standards and made compliant pages, browsers would be crazy fast compared to what they are today...

Eventually we're going to hit a wall where proc speeds are going to remain nearly constant (or maybe not), and speed gains will be made by optimizing what's already out there...

jefhatfield
Oct 12, 2005, 10:03 AM
Like Jerry Spoon said, most (as in not all!) teachers aren't computer savvy, so they have no idea what technology is out there for their subject. It should be the Tech Director that meets with the science teachers to discuss the technology thats out there that the school district can afford. Overall, I think the US educational system does a terrible job of this. One reason why education in the US is falling behind other countries, which is sad if you ask me. Were one of the most richest countries in the world, yet we have a ****** education system.

i think the usa is definitely falling behind in math and science but i think technology via computers, if properly implemented, can help stop that slide

some middle class and upper middle class people i know have simply given up on american public education so they send their kids to private schools and those graduates tend to go to private colleges so they can be shielded from some of the bad parts of our public education system

many talk about improving public education, like bill clinton did, and then he sends his child to stanford university and to many people here where i live, that was a slap in the face

many a liberal would have loved to have seen her go to a state funded university...but then again, has any president ever been a product of a public university?