Pupils do better if they have better computers

  Forum Editor 11:09 24 Jun 2007
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What surprises me is that so many people seem to find this a bit of a revelation.

  interzone55 11:21 24 Jun 2007

I think there should be a proviso on this story

"as long as the computers do not have the dreadful RM software installed"

I recently did a college course in a new build college, the entire network was managed by RM and it was appalling, half the time the network was down, if it was working we may or may not have access to our documents on the shared drive, and using a USB key for document storage wasn't an option as the USB ports had been locked out to prevent virus infections.

In the end I had to resort to using my own laptop for the duration of the course.

  spuds 12:37 24 Jun 2007

Around our way, we tend to find the kids have better equipment at their disposal in their own home environment. The council did equip the local community centre with rather expensive equipment a couple of years or so ago, as a community project. Was mothballed on installation and wasn't used for 12 months, then used for a few months and finally removed. Not enough trained and skilled tutors for the classes was the councils response.

Perhaps that equipment is still in storage somewhere, gathering age and dust!.

  lisa02 12:47 24 Jun 2007

My daughter's teacher commented on her report about my daughter's "super mouse control" and general IT skills which where above that of class members.

Our kit (hardware and software) at home is by no means top of the range but it is much better than the IT provided at the primary school.

I guess even now some kids do not have access at home and so what ever the school can offer is better than nothing.

  johndrew 12:50 24 Jun 2007

Back in the `good old days` we didn`t have computers in schools and strangely enough we learned to read, write and do mathematics without the use of any such technology. It was probably harder for teachers as they had no way of communicating but through voice and chalk board.

Computers would have been placed under `Technology` as a subject, had we heard of such things, and we would have been taught of them as a tool rather than as a teaching method.

Similarly, government and its departments used paper systems and still achieved results; probably in similar time frames.

Could it be that people find it impossible to do anything without the aid of a computer these days? They are, in my humble opinion, an excellent tool for business and communication but appear to bear an excessive load when it comes to the basics of education. Perhaps schools should make chalk, paper and the written word (real pen and ink!) exciting again.

  Forum Editor 13:01 24 Jun 2007

to talk to school classes about computers and the internet, and the feedback from the children is interesting.

Many people don't seem aware that almost all of the children currently in our schools have grown up with computers - they aren't surprised to find them at school, they're an accepted part of life. Children view school computers as just another part of school equipment, like climbing ropes and desks, something to be taken for granted, and used routinely. Often there are problems with older teachers not having much in the way of IT skills, but that's something that will cease to be an issue as those people retire, and younger, more IT-aware teachers come into the system.

I see children who are eager to learn more about computing, and about the internet in particular, and some of them are remarkably skilled - it's not difficult to spot those who have access to computers and the internet at home.

IT spending in the educational system is not sufficient by any means, and I doubt if we'll see much of an improvement in the short to medium term - there are simply too many other demands on budgets.

  TopCat® 15:38 24 Jun 2007

are extremely beneficial to teachers and students alike. In many of our schools today, however, I would prefer to see a much higher standard of achievement in the basic 3Rs well before any introduction to computing. TC.

  Bob The Nob© 15:56 24 Jun 2007

When I was at school, the internet was just starting to be big. I never have a modern PC, Win 3.1 or Win 95 was what I used at home, depending on which crashed the most etc. I was and still am eager to learn about the internet and website development etc but while I was at school, I wasn't allowed the surf the net to research on my own things (until my last 2 years) as it wasn't on the syllabus and so I learnt myself in a restrictive way and so I learnt very slowly on how to make and construct webpages by hand, not using word or publisher which were 'what you made websites with' but over the past year or so, I have got better at it and did so very quickly, I always wonder what I could do now if I had been allowed to play about more in my first years of school.

Anyway I am building myself a new PC for my next year in HE.

  rezeeg 16:11 24 Jun 2007

"What surprises me is that so many people seem to find this a bit of a revelation"

FE what surprises me is that it took a four-year study and £34m - how many computers would that have bought for the schools!

  Jak_1 16:32 24 Jun 2007

I'm all for them having good quality computers in school but at the same time they need to be taught how to to simple maths without them! In pubs bar staff can not add up a round of drinks without relying on the till to do it for them and the number of times I've seen kids use plastic in the supermarket because they could not add up the total cost of the items in the basket is amazing. One lad even had to get the cashier to select the right amount out of a handfull of change that he had because he could not add up the coins!

  Stuartli 16:37 24 Jun 2007

Youngsters' brains are like sponges - they soak up as much information as possible given the opportunity - and it's the best time to learn, whether it's computer technology, a language, be good at sports etc.

An exceptional instance of early learning power was the story the other day about the two-year-old with an IQ of 154; she's been accepted as a Mensa member, whilst her mother revealed she was crawling at five months and walking at nine months.

I couldn't match her ability, but I did use to read a book a day on average from about the age of four and could also tell the time accurately.

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