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Discussion in 'Current Events' started by CubaTBird, Jan 7, 2005.
The elementary school i went to is still running windows 95 on some of their computers and the server was made in 1996.
It disgusts me the lack of funding that schools receive in today's society. In supposably the wealthiest country on earth! Every student should be equipped with a laptop with access to an online curriculum that they can access 24/7 for help or homework and tests even if the student is out sick. just look at some of the online courses for tech degrees with flash animation examples and study mock tests.
If the government spent a quarter on schools as they do with some redicious slush fund or pointless endevour then we probably wouldn't be one of the dumbest countries on earth.
And this comes as a surprise why?
Actually, funds are probably pretty good. It's the stupid stuff that the money is wasted on. Back when I lived in Phoenix, the High School down the way built a massive expensive new gym, of course they didn't have money for computers... Hmmm... related, I think so. In addition, think the lack of parental envolvement plays a major part.
Then you would end up with a million stolen laptops, and a million more broken a year. That would get expensive fast.
I think that if they all bought eMacs, and maintained them well... in 5 years they might have to be replaced. Might. They might need to up the RAM between now and then, but you get the idea.
That is one obvious point and I do like your point on the eMac but I would think 3 years would be a much better number. As for the laptops I would be very interested in knowing how the students in Maine are doing with theirs. The school board could always put a password specifically for that student and buy a few of those $20 apps that reports to the police the location and of the laptop via IP address if it was stolen. That would deter most thefts I would imagine.
True, but Macs can last for 5 easily. And Win95 is going on 9 years now. I was just making a statement.
They would still get stolen. It is impossible to avoid. A thief wouldn't know, nabs it, and the student doesn't get their laptop back for 4 months during the investigation, etc. Which would suck.
And do you really think giving all the 3rd graders at a school an iBook is a smart idea? I know you were thinking of high school, but it was a point...
eMacs are better for this school purpose, for being all-in-one, being Macs, being virtually indestructible, and you can leave them in a kindergarden and they are fine. iBooks, with those purdy LCD screens... not good.
my school has eMacs (soon to be a iMac G5 hopefully as long as the school district doesnt piss away all thier money)
we use the eMacs to edit vidoes with FCP, Photoshop, DVD Studio Pro, ect and every month we put out a video about what has happened in the past 30 days. Were are pretty up to date with all our computer stuff.... although we dont have a football field
It's not as simple as that, although your point DOES have merit.
I'm a tech director for an Illinois district. One of things that amazed me was the disparity between schools in my area. For instance my 4 feeder schools can barely get by, while I have the latest gear. (SEE THIS?)
How can that be? How can schools funded by the same communities have such a difference in level of technology? Two reasons. One is that my district saw technology not as a black hole, but as an integral part of learning. Other schools don't. There is ammo for both sides. Did you know that Japanese schools, while turning out some brilliant workers, doesn't have ONE computer in any of their schools? Same for Germany.
While we set aside a percentage of the overall budget for technology, others put it together piece-meal. Different philosophies by different school boards and administrations. Second, it has to do with assessed evaluation, and whether or not any given COMPANY is in the specific district. For instance some of our money comes from some huge factories, while right up the road another school gets nothing. Get this: For every student we get, we LOSE $5-6,000.00. That's correct. The rest is made up by corporate taxes. In my opinion the overall plan in place for funding is broken. Further, although I am a director, I have a nagging feeling that technology integration can and does get out of hand; that too much is wasted on gadgets. My school? We truly strive to incorporate tech and learning, and our scores prove we might be right... or mostly right anyway.
My last question is this: You want the latest stuff? Modern computers? Why? Be careful with the answer! The truth might sneek up and smack you on the back of your head like my Nazi-like first grade catholic school nun did to me!
According to my tech ed teacher my school has a "very good computer lab." When I actually saw it, it was about 30 beige PowerMacs running System 7.5. I guess they are about 200MHz. They also have old, blurry 15 in. sony monitors. These are the computers in the tv studio with the old analogue editing decks and ancient cameras. The dulls are starting to invade some of the classrooms now.
My sister's elementary school has an all-in-one beige G3 or two in every room, and there are a few scattered Windows PCs in none-too-good condition. Also a lab of Power Mac all-in-ones (plus two fruit iBook carts) monitored by a librarian who wonders how iMac G5s will hold up.
Not the best of situations -- I understand that the rich peoples' district here in Omaha has a better situation, with the high school students all having iBooks and assumedly the elementary schools are more recently equipped) -- but better than some, it could be Apple IIs or Commodores. Or 10-year-old Windows boxes, which are worse than comparable Macs.
Did not know that, but it does show that we have serious issues that no side wishes to address. We allow other factors to muddy the waters.
Add to that parents as pointed out are not involved with their children's education as they should. Many don't pay attention to the school board elections.
we have computers but not that early in schools (to be more correct: none at all in the 4 years elementary and few in the next 2 grades... after that computer educations starts)
and there are no apples in schools
in our 1000 pupil 85 teacher "gymnasium" with age groups from 11 to 19 we had one computer lab with 15 386s (in the first years untill the mid 90s) and later another one with 15 pentium IIs (and replaced the 386s luckily)
but today they are using them more than we did (if you didn't were in a computer course you _never_ used those labs )
I'd like to see more about your schools, but categorically refuse to read any thing with a black background. It's hard on the eyes and looks awful.
Well, here in Florida, they have been switching to PCs for quite some time. The level of tech integration into the curriculum depends on the financial wherewithall of any given school district. I've worked in this school district (I also attended it when I was a kid) and I can tell you that one of the biggest problems is that the teachers don't want to have to support the computers. They just want to treat them like toasters.
Also, finding people who are competent in computers who want to work for what the school board is willing to pay is another major factor in the use and maintenance of the computers.
I know that, on one level, computer knowledge has now-a-days become less of a speciality and more of a "basic job skill" and I also understand that for us to be competitive in the world marketplace, we have to become more saavy. However, there are days when I wish we didn't have computers in the classrooms because I think it's become more of a crutch than a blessing in many situations.
What's wrong with chalk boards? I grew up in an era when computer education and computer-assisted-learning wasn't a part of the curriculum, and I turned out fine. What's wrong with textbooks? Teachers need to be educators, not merely babysitters, which is what I see happening with schools these days.
I am glad that we have some education related threads.
I am a technology coordinator for a small district in NY.
We are very lucky to have the ability in our district to have an incredible new technology plan. Since it was written last year finally have moved into a dream world. We are planning in February to give every 7th grader an ibook and over the next 8 years every student, 4th-12th, will have a ibook to use 24/7. It is a very big task but we are very excited to start with this project. As we go along I will continue to post updates to this site since I get so much out of this site and I hope that some of the things we get out of this project will help out others here.
Wish us luck.
Thanks for that uplifting note! Try THIS OLDER SITE instead.
I actually designed that during my "dark period" when I realized that I had to quit smoking. As for the content, too bad you're going to miss it, because I know what the hell I'm doing.
(Better have that odd stubborness looked into by a professional)
Last year we had Henrico at our school along with the Apple big-wigs. We were ready to pull the pin, but things happened that made it impossible at this time. I still have 300+ laptops at the high school for the kids, but it sure would be nice to get them to them 24 hours a day. We will soon have a new freshman center school built, and the plan now (my plan, but I have SOME pull!) is to issue laptops to the freshmen there, then every year give them to new students, thereby having a 4-year lease where the kid takes it to college. (Okay, it might be a 4 year old computer then, but they would own it nonetheless.
Couldn't agree less/more. Take your pick. It depends on my mood!
Actually what I think computers are BEST at are: Content/site creation, like our web-design, newspaper, and yearbook classes. Multimedia, like our TV studio and video editing class. Music composition, like our music studio. Hard-core research, like our "Cybrary".
What it's USED for a lot is: iChat, iTunes, Game sites.
It sounds like your district is no joke. You probably have more students in your high school then we have in the entire district.
I think that we are lucky to be such a small district. It allows us to do things that large districts would have financial difficulties getting off the ground. I think that the freshmen center sounds like a great idea. Would the district provide them with a computer in 9th grade and then GIVE them the computer when they graduate? We have thought about selling the computers to the graduates at a much depreciated cost but then the district would get something back on the older machines.
That is the plan. See, we are going to add a monthly charge.
At the end of the lease they are worth one dollar. I can sell them, and maybe get a few hundred. Why not charge the student 50 a year on top of the regular student fees? That way they can walk out and we don't have the headache of disposing of 500-600 laptops.
A nice parting gift, eh?
BTW, we have 1700 high school students in a one-school Illinois district. Odd, but true.
My school is up to date. We're running 8 servers in the back, we have 10 G5's running in my Web Design class. My other classes have pentium 4's in their computers. The lowest clock speed is 1.6GHz, and thats for Desktop Publishing. We have 2.8 P4's in my Networking/Multimedia class. I think that's pretty upto date. Then again the grade school (1-5) is running 166MHz Pentiums, and still running the old Apple IIe's (is that right... IIe?) The Junior high got our old G3 B&W's.
EDIT - oh and next semester, we're getting a wireless laptop lab for English.
My school has 150 high school students. I win!
But our computers suck. Our IT department (well, they aren't an IT department more three people who can stare at screensavers) sucks. I can wipe out the server if I wanted to-- well, not the server, just all the student files residing on it. There are so many issues... they distributed a handout for the teachers so that if their computers didn't work, the teachers could do it. Mind you, these are basic Citrix settings that should have been fixed in the first place!
500 MHz Celerons running Win2K with 64MB of RAM, 4GB hard drives, and they try to run Word 2003... the hard drives are one giant swapfile...
I know that I could run the IT department better. I can defrag, apply security updates, and know that RAM is good!
(The computers are 5 years old, BTW, and soon to be replaced by something crappier)
Sort of fits in to the discussion here, there is an article in todays paper (Washington Post) about South Koreans splitting up families in order to educate their children here in the US.