[Gllug] open source centric ICT in Schools from Sept 2012 ?

Philip Hands phil at hands.com
Wed Jan 11 14:23:46 UTC 2012

On Wed, 11 Jan 2012 12:58:14 +0000, Alain Williams <addw at phcomp.co.uk> wrote:
> On Wed, Jan 11, 2012 at 12:41:48PM +0000, Andy Millar wrote:
> > That said, you can do pretty much anything in Excel, so if someone's bored out of their mind learning how to use Excel it's their own fault :-)
> The problem is not the pupils - many of who will pick up how to use a word processor, spreadsheet, ...
> as taught to them quite quickly.
> The problem is the teachers - many of who struggle and what they teach is at the limit
> of their abilities ... the pupils could go much futher.
> Hopefully that will get better with time as younger teachers come in, but many of
> those will have been taught bad habits by the previous set of teachers
> :-(

We should listen to Sugata Mitra, and just kick the teachers out of the
classroom. (see his TED talk, and the Hole-in-the-Wall project)

My nieces were supposedly taught Logo when about 15 -- sadly I only
discovered this was going on as they ended the course, by which time
they'd still not got as far as learning about looping, functions or
recursion.  In fact, they were still being told to draw rabbits by saying
forward 100 right 90 ...

That teacher was obviously _way_ beyond their depth.

I taught them all three of those things in half an hour, but sadly, by
then they'd already had it pummelled into them that computing is
basically for the spotty boys, and nothing they should be spending any
time on.

TBH I doubt that they were a great loss to computer science, but if the
time is going to be spent on that, the least that the kids should get
out of it is a feel for the idea of recursion, because that's not
something most people are going to inevitably pick up in their lives,
and it can be an interesting way of thinking about some things.

Cheers, Phil.
|)|  Philip Hands [+44 (0)20 8530 9560]    http://www.hands.com/
|-|  HANDS.COM Ltd.                    http://www.uk.debian.org/
|(|  10 Onslow Gardens, South Woodford, London  E18 1NE  ENGLAND
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