[K12OSN] Making K12LTSP "school friendly"

"Terrell Prudé, Jr." microman at cmosnetworks.com
Wed Feb 9 00:48:08 UTC 2005

Jim Kronebusch wrote:

>>>Yes, but we still know what clay tablets ARE.
>>Books will be remembered as a biodegradable material that was 
>>used before rechargable batteries were perfected.  That is, 
>>if reliable batteries for portable devices are ever 
>>invented...  There may even be a historic record of various 
>>quaint means used to search for interesting passages 
>>contained in paper books that were used before the invention 
>>of google.
>I hate to futher this type of debate on a technical list but....
>I think Les drives an excellent point.  You have only failed as
>educators if you fail to educate.  The tools for educating will
>constantly evolve, change, etc.  
>Sorry for starting such a debate, I just wanted to make the point that I
>am not familiar with the software and what each of their specific
>functions are.

That's just it.  The education system that does this apparently *is* 
failing to educate.  In addition to Les's remark being snitty in my 
opinion, I've observed that sitting kids in front of a computer all day 
does in fact not teach them anything except how to point and click.  
They don't actually learn what they're doing.  They have shorter 
attention spans.  They can pass the SOL's, but not their college exams.  
They have trouble visualizing, for example, taking a definite integral 
using the discs, rings, or shells methods, let alone 3-D and vector 
calculus.  They sure can't take a computer home with them and read it in 
bed without risking cracking the screen when they fall asleep with it, 
unlike a book; many is the time I've fallen asleep with my Chemistry 
books, studying late in the night.  The, by my standards, shoddy writing 
ability of the kids I see is scary.  By contrast, I, a "techie" engineer 
who supposedly shouldn't be able to write, can outwrite professional 
technical writers.  That's because I actually learned how to *write*.  
In short, having Reader Rabbit, etc. babysit our kids obviously isn't 
doing the job.

Computers should certainly be taught as tools, for example, for doing 
Web-based research for a paper you're assigned to write.  They're also 
pretty good for teaching typing (e. g. TuxType).  However, I don't 
believe that sitting a second- or third-grader in front of a CRT all day 
is good for that child.  Computers are great tools, but they are only 
tools, to be used in addition to other methods of education.  What I'm 
hearing here is such a strong teacher dependence on and attachment to 
the computer, and worse, to certain specific applications, that I see it 
compromising actual education in the classroom.  It's preventing so many 
of you from going forward with a truly useful, not to mention economic, 
*computer* tool like K12LTSP.  What's wrong with books, pencil, and 
paper along with the computers?  Why are you so against them?

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