[K12OSN] Making K12LTSP "school friendly"

richard ingalls aslansreturn at yahoo.com
Wed Feb 9 18:12:56 UTC 2005

--- "Terrell Prudé, Jr." <microman at cmosnetworks.com>

> Jim Kronebusch wrote:

> 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?

At my school, my teachers are NOT that dependent upon
specific software apps.  They ARE however, looking for
ways that technology can SUPPLEMENT their existing
non-technology-based curriculums.  For example, as we
prepare for state-wide MAP tests, we are looking at
using some web-based software apps, like BrainPOP.com.
 This would be great since it is cross-platform.  BUT,
I still don't have sound working in my linux labs, sot
that's a bummer...

Another example, we are looking into a grant for
Reading First to help get students reading at grade
level by grade three.  There are several curriculums
that don't involve computers in any form at all, which
if fine by me.  BUT we also want some SUPPLEMENTAL,
tech-based options.  Here is where things like Reader
Rabbit and other programs come into play.

Until we can make things like this work on LTSP, there
will be a big uphill battle into the American
Education System (at least at the Elementary level).

In Missouri, we have a program called eMINTS which has
just gone nation-wide.  Mizzou University and the
State Dept. had partnered for several years, putting
computer labs into classrooms, training the teachers
on the technology AND inquiry-based learning and
letting them collaborate.  The results?  Just as we
would expect, test scores are higher, student
achievement is higher, teacher satisfaction is higher,
even attendance is higher.

The problem?  This model is based on the stand-alone
PC running Windows XP, MS Office,
Kidspiration/Inspiration... etc.  Very specific
software (all MS-based).  Very specific training to
the teachers (all MS-based).  Not even
MS-Terminal-Server stuff!

So you can imagine my frustratio n.  I KNOW we can
make the same things happen in our classrooms in
Open-Source, but it AIN'T EASY!!!!!  I'm a teacher,
not really a techie (but it IS my job description).  I
WANT the technology to do all that it promises.  I
DON'T want to be tied to MS or any other proprietary
format.  BUT, my tech dreams are coming true in other
schools in my state and they've got the money and
they've got Microsoft stuff and they've got the
training on that stuff and the software they use runs
on it ONLY.

Whaddya say to that?  What can we do?

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