laptops

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J.R.
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Re: laptops

Post by J.R. » Fri Jan 04, 2013 1:31 pm

sejintenej wrote:
J.R. wrote:Arr, the good old fountain pen.

At my very first school in Farnham, (1950), we actually had a small hand-held black-board and chalk each ! Pretty tough for a three year old in nursery school.

However, it is one of my first recollections of 'life' !
I changed schools at the age of about 5 1/2: I can't remember the previous one but at the new one we were bank up to date with a bit of slate (old roof tile perhaps) and an oversized nail or something like that. The screeeeeeeeeech! Ow! Got pencils and paper a few years later. That was in Devon

Still, much the same today, so I'm told !!

:lol:
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lucylou2012
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Re: laptops

Post by lucylou2012 » Sun Jan 06, 2013 9:51 am

I would quite like to know why a school that purports to take a majority of its pupils from the very much less well off sector and which states that many of its pupils parents pay a very tiny contribution seems to be full of pupils with lots of hi tech and expensive gadgets? A mystery to me.

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Re: laptops

Post by AKAP » Sun Jan 06, 2013 12:35 pm

I'm not an expert on modern education, but it strikes me that it would be very difficult to prepare pupils for a future working life or higher education if they didn't have hi-tech gadgets.
Same would apply at the local state school down the road.

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Re: laptops

Post by Antinous1 » Sun Jan 06, 2013 1:14 pm

lucylou2012 wrote:I would quite like to know why a school that purports to take a majority of its pupils from the very much less well off sector and which states that many of its pupils parents pay a very tiny contribution seems to be full of pupils with lots of hi tech and expensive gadgets? A mystery to me.

Funny, I was thinking along those very lines as I read this information which the charity E-Learning Foundation had produced, using data from the Office of National Statistics's latest Family Spending Survey:
The data shows that while 99% of children in the richest 10% of households can access the internet via a computer, this dropped to 57% in the poorest 10% of households with children.

In the poorest households 29% had no computer, 36% had no internet and 43% had no internet connection via a computer.

According to the E-Learning Foundation this translates to a total of 750,000 school age children living in households with no internet, and some 650,000 without a computer.
I think, without actually checking the current figures, that our household has probably now dipped into the poorest 10% of families with children. We do have a computer, because we weren't always in this state, and for the moment we have internet access, because it is useful for the education of our non-CH child, but it is pretty much our one non-essential expense and as such it is constantly touch and go whether this is the month we lose it. My CH child has no mp3 player or suchlike, no laptop, no iPod/iPad and manages well enough with a £10 pay-as-you-go non-smart phone (payphones seem to be disappearing from houses so I guess a mobile phone is now more or less essential, but we got through the first year and a half without one ok), and by their own account (and from what I've seen) the child is very much in the minority. Up till this point I don't think being in this minority would have mattered a jot as far as the child's education went, but I'm now worried, as CH increasingly makes a shift towards an on-line virtual-learning environment to support their curriculum, that it will be a serious drawback. As a parent too, I now find that important documents such as reports will only be available to me online in future and wonder how on earth I'll manage if we do become one of the 36% of families in that bottom bracket with no internet access.

As a side note about the 'usefulness' of computer access while our children are researching topics for school work. I have had a computer and internet access for a very long time and worked in areas involving both education and internet and I would always rather that my child had access to a decent library (last time I looked at it the CH one was considerably better stocked than our main local one) and was encouraged to use that for primary research than that it was made to feel that the quick and easy option of consulting wikipedia was the ideal. All part of a society where yoghurt for children is now produced in easy slurp plastic pouches because spoons are just so messy and difficult!! Using books for research is messy and difficult too - you end up with a table covered in papers and books open at different pages as you try to organise some sensible notes made from them - but, just like using spoons, it's a useful skill to have.

Obviously children do need to be taught to use computers and get the best out of the internet, but a school like CH has the opportunity to offer them so much more than the easy slurp version of education and it's important that it always does so.

On the positive side I do think that being able to access a list of course topics covered, vocab needed for Latin or French and suchlike while the child is home from school, rather than them having to cart back a set of textbooks and folders each time, is very useful and has interesting potential.

Antinous

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Re: laptops

Post by Volupturaptor » Mon Jan 07, 2013 10:23 am

Firstly, schools in Devon have moved on somewhat, they have interactive whiteboards! :lol:

Secondly, my daughter has a multitude of gadgets, none of which have been bought by anyone in this house. To be quite honest, I am still not comfortable with my daughter having a smartphone or a computer of her own, but she has gone back to school with both, due to having received them as gifts from relatives. The world moves on, our ability to change that fact is limited.

Anyone know if a netbook running Linux is actually going to be compatible with anything at CH? :?

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Re: laptops

Post by eucsgmrc » Mon Jan 07, 2013 11:24 am

Volupturaptor wrote:Anyone know if a netbook running Linux is actually going to be compatible with anything at CH? :?
Well, I don't know that, but I would be very surprised if the school were to use features that Linux couldn't cope with. That might be a feasible inexpensive way to provide a laptop. If you can scrounge an elderly unwanted laptop from a friend, relative or workplace, then it's quite practical to erase all the old data from it and then install Ubuntu Linux for free. If it's really old, it might need a USB wireless dongle as well, but those are cheap.

Ubuntu comes with a good web browser, a perfectly serviceable document processor that's compatible with MS Word, and a spreadsheet package that can handle MS Excel spreadsheets. It can handle and display PDF files. It has competent media players. That covers just about everything that (in my opinion) the school could reasonably expect pupils to deal with.

I can see two issues:

1. I say "it's quite practical", but obviously for most people it isn't practical, because it requires time and geekery. You'd need to find a geek to help. I'd volunteer, but I'm a long way away.

2. The result might be effective, but I have no idea whether it would be acceptable to the pupil in "fashion" terms.
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Volupturaptor
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Re: laptops

Post by Volupturaptor » Mon Jan 07, 2013 11:36 am

Thanks for that. :)
A netbook running Linux is what she has. She's very pleased with it, but it was me wondering if it would be compatible. She'll find out for sure soon enough!

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Re: laptops

Post by J.R. » Mon Jan 07, 2013 11:56 am

Volupturaptor wrote:Thanks for that. :)
A netbook running Linux is what she has. She's very pleased with it, but it was me wondering if it would be compatible. She'll find out for sure soon enough!

Suzy.

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YadaYada
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Re: laptops

Post by YadaYada » Mon Jan 07, 2013 5:22 pm

I've said this before elsewhere, but the Ubuntu thing reminded me - Open Office is free, downloadable office-compatible suite that includes word processing, spreadsheets and presentation software. Or students could create a Google Drive account and use Google Docs.

There's no need to buy any software at all anymore. You can also get old laptops through such organisations as Freecycle.org, then install Ubuntu as an operating system, download the required software and you're off.

DS's 'old' netbook has been in use at CH for over a year now and has been perfectly adequate for the job.

I don't think anyone should be judged because they have a laptop or smartphone, any more than someone should be judged for not having them.

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Re: laptops

Post by pinkhebe » Mon Jan 07, 2013 6:59 pm

Son has also got open office on his laptop.

Being part of a geeky family with equally geeky friends we have 5 computers in the house, in various states of repair. None of which we have actually paid for, as people are always upgrading them and giving us the old ones (I wish they didn't!) However all the males seem to have lots of fun playing mincraft with each other (and friends).

We are very lucky that grandparents have issued all the grandchildren a laptop when they reach an age to need one, but I wonder if freecycle would have old laptops going?

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Re: laptops

Post by YadaYada » Mon Jan 07, 2013 8:48 pm

I've seen laptops on Freecycle - and we've got other computer equipment there too. :)

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Re: laptops

Post by Volupturaptor » Mon Jan 07, 2013 9:37 pm

The netbook running Linux is fine it seems. :)

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Re: laptops

Post by Volupturaptor » Fri Jan 11, 2013 8:44 pm

Volupturaptor wrote:The netbook running Linux is fine it seems. :)
WRONG!!

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Re: laptops

Post by J.R. » Fri Jan 11, 2013 8:53 pm

Oooops !
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Volupturaptor
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Re: laptops

Post by Volupturaptor » Fri Jan 11, 2013 9:50 pm

She was told by someone in the IT department on Monday it was ok. She's since found it's not, and has had no help sorting it.

Not only that, but today, a teacher told her class that anyone who had done their prep on a computer, must write it out in their books in time for tomorrows lesson. My daughter had other prep to do tonight, I'm sure the others in the class did too. Why get them to bring computers if they're not allowed to do their work on them? :x

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