[K12OSN] Making K12LTSP "school friendly"

anthony baldwin anthonybaldwin at snet.net
Tue Feb 8 02:50:30 UTC 2005

Jim Kronebusch wrote:

>>Of course, you could simply move away from titles like Reader Rabbit,
>> Oregon Trail, etc.  If these companies care about the lost sales, 
>>they'll get in line.    Besides, the way I learned to read was by 
>>reading actual books, and I'm not all that old.  Is reading actual 
>>books not considered "good" anymore?
>Funny you say that.  I myself have installed this software on a few thousand
>machines, but can honestly say I have never used the software myself.  So I
>personally have no idea what the big deal is with the software.  And I really
>get a kick out of when the libraries argue for more money for books, when I
>just about never see a student reading a real book anymore.  In fact, I'll bet
>in a couple years some students won't know you you mean when you say the word
>"book" :-)
>And more ironic thing is that I have tried to get around the need for specific
>software by asking teachers/admins to document the computer skills the are
>attempting to teach the kids at each grade level, but come to find out no one
>knows what they are trying to teach, just that they have a curriculum with
>lesson plans setup by someone else and they just teach what they have.  So if
>you don't know what you are teaching, what the heck is the point?
Some really valid points there.
Some of the software mentioned is useful, though.  Inspiration can be 
used for a variety of things,
such as developing outlines from graphical webs, etc.  For some 
students, the graphical web
is easier to conceptualize, but, then seeing it transformed to a linear 
outline helps them to make sense of outlining.
Etc.  It is a very useful product.
I'm an English teacher, myself, and have made much use of it.  I've 
never used any  computer games as a teaching tool,
but I have allowed children to play games as a reward, and made 
educational games available.
(Sure, Kbounce is VERY educational, isn't it?)
I've used computers extensively in my own curriculum, but what I was 
teaching was not computer skills
(okay, some may have learned computer skills "viacriously"), but 
research skills, writing skills, organizing skills, reading skills,
critical thinking skills, even logic.
Having software available for various multimedia projects allowed 
students room to be creative in expressing what they'd learned, too,
and did afford some the opportunity to develop new computer skills along 
the way.
(And I still send children to the library to research in books, too, and 
require that they read.
I have to say, though, that I've found the libraries in the schools 
where I've worked very meager, and, accordingly,
much more information was available through online sources.)
But I can do all of that on a Linux box without proprietary software.
There are even tools to do much of what Inspiration does, as far as 


Freedom to Learn!

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