While we're scraping the barrel of old technology, why not Telegraph Pi?
Schoolchildren should be given simple radio kits to build so they can learn basic electronics, communications minister Ed Vaizey said yesterday. "It would be great to get amateur radio kits in schools like we have with the Raspberry Pi," he added, referring to the cheap PC that's sneaking into classrooms to promote computer …
Radio doesn't just mean AM/FM
And this isn't a suggestion to learn "how radio works" (not compeltely anyway) It's to learn about electrical engineering, something that's fucking hard (a lot harder than general computing for most people).
There's a massive lack of actual hard skills taught at school level in this country which means kids don't start learning the basics of stuff until later life unless they're hobbyists.
I really wish I'd been taught more about electrical engineering as a kid, instead we got a PCB and got told to solder some bits onto it, this didn't really teach me much outside of "You are bad at soldering".
more than likely something in the underlying technology works based on the principles of radio transmission. My best guess would be how the laser reads a disk. Although the mediums are different, the underlying concept is similar... at a stretch.
DVD = radio waves ( since this is what's being read)
Laser = antenna (used to read the data)
Processor = the stuff I dont know the name of ( translates the data from unreadable waves, to a readable / listenable / visible format)
Yes, slight conflict in Government thinking here. The Home Office seems to take a somewhat dimmer view of young people getting interested in amateur radio transmitting equipment. Is it cynical to wonder if the drive to DAB is also aimed at cutting off the pirates?
Be a pity if it happens - there are some wonderfully laid back reggae stations in London that aim to ease you gently into a Sunday morning!
Is it cynical to wonder if the drive to DAB is also aimed at cutting off the pirates?
I think it is. No one in gov is that switched on!
DAB was actually conceived as a method to circumvent the problem of multipath interferance especially in cars (and not as a means of high quality transmission). Perversely it was adopted by the hi-fi fraternity first and didn't appear in mobile form for many years after.
That goes a long way to explain why it is so inadequate.
Stephen Fry once said rockets work on aerodynamic lift. It could also be, perhaps, that Tories tend to be a) a bit arrogant, and b) quite blessedly unburdened of knowledge in regard to technical things. I don't know if you're a Pratchett reader, but his phrase for it is lovely: "He wasn't interested in machinery; he thought of a spanner as something which had another person holding it."
".....he thought of a spanner as something which had another person holding it."
Well, these days I tend to think of a spanner as something with Agatha Heterodyne holding it. Does that count?
NB: This also applies to screwdrivers, drills, hammers, ludicrously powerful death rays and other stuff like that.
I'm all for them pushing to get these topics into eduction,t hey're kinda glossed over a lot or completely ignored. But for god sake don't cram any more in until you clear out some of the crap we don't need.
Or at the very least have a bigger choice of elective classes earlier. I and a lot of people I know, had decided we had absolutely no interest in geography, history and RE, but I still had to suffer 3 more years of it before I could drop them. That's three years I could have been focused on topics I actually enjoyed, rather than killing my urge to learn with stuff I found boring as hell.
Yes these topics are interesting and some kids will love them, but at the same time for a lot of students it's another load of work they won't want to do and it'll only water them down when they reach what they want.
I repeat once more, get rid of, or at the least strip down the courses we don't require. So while we'd keep English, PE and Maths all year round, perhaps only give them two terms on history / geography etc so we can fit in more choice early on in school and let kids learn a wide variety to find out what they actually enjoy.
Then the moment they hit senior school, let them select what classes they enjoyed. Don't waste their last 5 years of eduction with pointless rubbish they have no care for. Hell that way we might actually want to learn.
I would imagine that a radio network engineer would require at least a good basic grounding in geography. It's not implausible that teenage pupils will find something boring, only to develop an interest in later on. If the subjects I had studied had been completely up to me, I wouldn't have the skills I do today (even though I have forgotten many of them)
Regarding history, it has been the trend to use it as a course in critical examination of sources and documents (arguably a 'transferable skill') centred on disconnected periods, such as Henry VIII and Adolf.. rather than actually teaching them a rough overview of how we came to be where we are, from the dawn of Mankind to the 20th Century.
Over here in Brittany, my (retired) mother taught French to some ex-pats via a voluntary scheme. They couldn't point to themselves on a map. They didn't know what direction to take for Paris, only the road that goes to the ferry. And best of all they couldn't stand up and point the direction to the UK (from Brittany, it's like a 50-50). Ignore geography at your peril. Perhaps better to drop the requirement for lessons that don't build your knowledge. R.E. for example...
At 8 or 10 you may be able to follow a simple radio circuit and get it to work, but there is no way any but the most gifted is going to be able to design one - it's just join-the-dots-with-a-soldering-iron!
I would expect that an intelligent 8 or 10 year old could grasp the basics of programming in many of the simpler systems and write their own code from scratch.
No, it's poke-your-friend-with-the-soldering-iron. I actually teach a group of children electronics once a week, in an after-school club, and I have two observations:
- They are all thick as two short planks.
- They have the combined attention span of a goldfish.
Maybe their attention span reflects your teaching ability.
I went to school. I remember that some teachers would hold the class attention for the most boring of subjects, and some couldn't for the most interesting.
Some kids (not many in my experience) may be unable to hold their attention on something for long and some may take a little longer to pick things up, but the clue is that you said "they are all", which makes the teacher the only common denominator.
Finally, HOW DARE YOU call any child "thick"!
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