Intel said school kids need computers, not e-readers, as it kicked off the Cebit computer show in Hannover this morning. Apart from the pre-teen crowd, the vendor made a grab for everyone from desk jockeys to data centre managers as it tried to get round the fact it's already made most of its announcements for the quarter. The …
Intel are really worried about children's education. How sweet. There's no hidden agenda here at all. Nope. Any school related units with Intel chips are going to be organisational donations... right? uhuh.
Think of the children? Ok.
This is a book. Learn how to read them. Learn how to maintain a stream of thought for longer than 30 seconds. Learn how to use an index and bibliography.
This is a pencil and paper. Learn how to do basic arithmetic, algebra etc. No, really; it's important. You'll thank me when your bank screws up.
That is the outside world. Go make some actual friends and learn some actual social skills. Get some exercise, lower your risk of heart disease and an early death.
Kids DO NOT need laptops. They need to know how to drive a computer, sure. But there are many more way, way, WAY more important skills than pressing buttons.
Also, last time I checked, my pencil and paper has a better battery life than any laptop. They were cheaper too.
But then we all know that companies like Intel have our children's best educational wishes at heart, don't we?
Mind you, blaming Intel isn't the complete answer since they are in the business to make money, after all. It is noticeable, from years of observation of this market, that many of the worst decisions about technology come from high-powered yet uninformed people who make decisions based on their own ignorance.
Acorn's RISC OS, for example, was a classic tale of a product designed with classroom use in mind yet was pushed out by governers that insisted that, as the business world ran on Microsoft, so should all our classes. They didn't take into account that not every class is about teaching word processing (spelt with a capital W) or kids training to be future MCSAs, nor that, at the time, the Microsoft platform for education was woefully inadequate (some might say that this is still the case, but I'll leave that to people with a more recent view of that particular situation).
So, I suppose, Intel and company have nothing to worry about. As long as the suckers are in charge, they can turn out as many VHS-type failures as they like, knowing that the badge will always lead them to profit.
Try giving them books ... and making sure they're literate enough to read them...
The curse of cut and paste...
That about sums up educational computers, cut and bloody paste!
- Speaking as an IT lecturer here, who has to mark piles of BTEC assignments that are clearly cut and paste patchwork quilts and who then gets moaned at when I hand them back for redoing in the students own words.
Personally I would want to give out tests but we're not allowed to do this because it might disadvantage the poor little (16+) children. At least we'll be able to see who has actually been reading the Wikipedia pages (and don't get me started on that!).
Personal opinion? Readers for all, not PCs. Make them read the stuff and then copy it the long way, at least some of it will get lodged in the brain that way.
I don't care if I do sound reactionary over this but it's true, as you get older you do become your parents and maybe they had a point!
Choosing to remain anon as some of my collegues are known to read these pages occasionally and this might start something off in the staff room.
Online flames from younger readers expected.
Good idea. Let kiddies have PCs, as well as books.
Now all we need is a new generation of ARM-powered desktop and laptop PCs. Thanks for the suggestion, Intel.
I've got a Classmate tablet. No buttons to press.
I assume that my "Fizzbook Spin" (with Windows XP, from Argos, yes Argos) is the UK edition of the previous Classmate tablet design. With Windows 7 you get speech recognition, too - if the machine has the horsepower for it, and if equipment and environment are suited. Someday I want to see lipreading or sign language handled. I also, yes, am the guy who goes on about the Fitaly on-screen "keyboard".
A personal catch is that so far I haven't managed to set the disk format the way that I want - I suspect it was partitioned with Vista then loaded with XP, and if I resize partition with Linux then it goes to hell and I have to restore - so I've been mainly running Knoppix 6.2 on an SD card and using it as a video player, with pretty good battery life - not a full day, however. I suspect a new model will run longer but slower, not faster.
i need a laptop
Oh wait. I already have one here in my lap...
Need to stop dumbing down the world
Instead of giving kids new gadgets and dumbing down the world, teach them how to read and get out into the world and socialise.
While they are at it, they can also teach them how to accept responsibility for their actions by actually punishing them when they do something wrong instead of just slapping them on the wrist lightly.
Only 55 of the worlds children have access to a PC!
Am I bothered?
Is this my bothered face?
That should of course have read 5% of the worlds children
But I'm still not bothered.