Consolidated Business & Enterprise Computing Rant Thread

Discussion in 'Business & Enterprise Computing' started by elvis, Jul 1, 2008.

  1. PabloEscobar

    PabloEscobar Member

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    "Technology" should be different from "Computing"

    Not all students have an iPad at home, so I think there is a case to made for them to get a chance to use one, so they do not leave school scared of technology.

    but, its not computing.
     
  2. hosh0

    hosh0 Member

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    How wrong you were back then, just ask Luke :p
     
  3. OP
    OP
    elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    More directly, Z helped me with dictionaries, lists, arrays, and all that sort of "day one" stuff of programming.

    I genuinely can't see how gorilla-arming at a touch interface offers anything to anyone.

    School needs to be about foundational skills and exposure, especially to methods of creating/producing things. Devices designed from the ground up to consume do not equate with the core concept of what education is about.

    Analogy: I would expect a school to offer woodwork. I wouldn't expect a school to do an excursion to Ikea to teach kids how to buy chipboard tables and chairs. The former is creative and productive, the latter is consumption.

    Woodwork is necessarily complex, and scare some people off. That's the nature of any skill. We can't not expose kids to useful technology things because "they're scary".

    Beyond that, one only needs to look at modern history to see the successes of what teaching core technology skills early on has done for economies around the world, whether developing areas like Brazil, or first world like the UK. The UK in particular is a great example, as they taught tech to school kids in the 80s and saw great rewards from it. They then stopped in the 90s, and it all fell apart. Only now are they learning from their mistakes and teaching it again (with a lot of that due to things like the Raspberry Pi, which is why I'm so pro the concept of it for education).
     
  4. Unframed

    Unframed Member

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    My ICT in highschool was a week of javascript and then identifying hardware based on pictures of hardware that was no longer used at that time.
     
  5. GreyWolfe01

    GreyWolfe01 Member

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    What's the point of making kids buy ipads for school? They've been using their parent's phones since they were six months old.

    Kids have a huge grasp on technology. How about you teach them useful realworld skills, instead of stupid concepts that will never get used?
     
  6. millsy

    millsy Member

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    I got a better database understanding in high school vs uni. Pretty sad state of affairs
     
  7. wintermute000

    wintermute000 Member

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    ICT in high school was MS access and basic RDB theory, visual basic, excel macros, some Acorn programming (BBC Acorns!). In hindsight that wasn't so bad compared to the cr@p you guys are talking about.

    That was in between trying to sneak in Doom 2 deathmatch sessions over serial
     
  8. OP
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    elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    Yeah, classic problem there. How do you get good quality people in to teach complex things to the next generation if you only offer peanuts?

    My thoughts exactly.
     
  9. leighr

    leighr Member

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    My school offered an unofficial CNA (Certified Novell Administrator) course back when Netware was popular. This only happened because the IT Manager/teacher needed assistance. We had to pay for the exams and sit them outside of school.

    Was a good starter.
     
  10. PabloEscobar

    PabloEscobar Member

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    It offers a familiarity with technology.

    I did woodwork at school... The amount of times I've needed to turn a wooden bowl on a lathe... Zero.

    I've assembled stacks of flat-pack furniture though... assembling flatpack furniture is a useful life skill that SHOULD be taught in schools.

    The curriculum should include life skills, and then offer other subjects as electives.

    Flatpack Furniture assembly is core life skill, Woodworking is an elective.
    Use of Technology is a core life skill, Programming is an elective.
    Balancing a budget - core life skill, Accountancy an elective.

    My kid sure as FUCK shouldn't be learning to speak and write Indonesian before he can speak and write English fully.

    Check your privilege dude.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2016
  11. Perko

    Perko Member

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    Maybe the teachers should. Not all people could buy their kid an iPad and put food on the table. If it's really necessary, what's the difference in terms of teaching the interface between an iSculpture and a $150 generic Chinese droid?
     
  12. GreyWolfe01

    GreyWolfe01 Member

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    Eh?

    I don't agree with kids getting phones before they can afford to pay for them themselves, but the fact is that parents give kids their phones and ipads to shut them up. Kids by 1-2yrs old can navigate around an iOS/Android interface, unlock, launch and play their games faster and more consistently than my parents could. Yet teachers think that crap iPad learning programs are going to be useful?
     
  13. OP
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    elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    Disagree. You're looking at this too directly. Fine motor skills and logic are all that's required. All flatpack furniture is is a basic large puzzle with detailed instructions. It's Lego for big people.

    I have zero struggles with flatpack furniture. In fact, I find it laughably easy, and am utterly stunned by people who are troubled by it. The fact that there are people who offer furniture assembly as a paid service shows me just how devoid of basic logic and the ability to follow simple instructions most people are.

    My wife is one of the most impatient people I know, and insists on assembling furniture because I'm "too slow". She'll screw it up and break things (like, snapped chipboard because she decided a hammer was a better/faster tool, not even kidding) in 10 minutes that take me 15 minutes to assemble with ease, because she doesn't have the patience to read every step, or the logic to think two steps ahead of what will be required.

    There are so many other things that can teach simple skills of patience, logic, following simple instructions, and visualising things in 3D. Hell, make Lego a compulsory subject. That would do the world more good.

    Again, disagreed. Teaching people multiple languages makes them better at their own. It exercises the parts of the brain that recognise linguistic patterns. There's a huge correlation in the downturn of the modern vocabulary and the death of Latin being taught in schools because people couldn't see the applied benefits or the fact that it's a huge part of the building blocks of our own language, and only saw the fact that it was a "dead language".

    I had a massive argument with someone studying to be a primary school teacher recently on this topic. She insisted that learning *any* foreign language was "stupid", and told me that my counter argument above was "the dumb point of view of a smart person". This from a person who literally can't figure out how to save a word document to a non-default folder, and has the vocabulary of a 10 year old. These are the people teaching the next generation.

    People need to stop looking at the thing being taught directly, and start looking at the types of skills the thing teaches. *Especially* in primary school, which is specifically designed to be the foundation for everything in later life.

    An iPad doesn't teach logic or problem solving. The tools available for it are trivial. There are far better, far cheaper (important for education) tools out there that are purpose built toward teaching core, foundational problem solving skills that are more broadly applied in the real world, even for jobs that don't exist yet.

    $500 iPad versus $50 Raspberry Pi, and I can guarantee you the latter offers orders of magnitude more useful things to any student looking at any future career path (not just technology either) for literally 1/10th the financial hit. And also considering that neither device will be around in 20 years time, so their value is *only* as a temporary learning tool, and has no value as a thing kids will ever use again, outside of sitting in some nerd's retro hardware collection.

    I did woodwork in a small country town school. Very cool.

    Then moved to a big city and did woodwork in school there. Jesus, that sucked.

    There's some things where country kids have it way better. Also, having built 6 arcade machines from scratch, I'm quite pleased with those skills. And to be fair, the skills my father taught me tool, because school didn't quite cover it all. Worth noting he's an industrial chemist, and not a tradie, and all of his woodworking skills were purely for hobby or home repair reasons also. Again, just a bloke with skills of logic and being able to follow instructions.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2016
  14. Unframed

    Unframed Member

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    iPads aren't the only technology and will become obsolete eventually. While it's handy in part, show students around the technology, it should not be a core focus though.

    Also 100% agree about life skills. Budgeting, understanding loans etc would have been invaluable to learn but no, I got advanced mathematics I will never use, an understanding of dissection of anatomy etc etc.
     
  15. GreyWolfe01

    GreyWolfe01 Member

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    This. It should be part of the basic math core at HS.

    Algebra got me a headstart in programming: it's the one part of HS math I ever use haha.
     
  16. Luke212

    Luke212 Member

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    teaching young kids how to program is the fastest education.
     
  17. theSeekerr

    theSeekerr Member

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    I'm sure, at some point before turning a bowl, you were taught the usefulness of a centrepunch and how to tell one end of the hammer from the other, how to read a plan and measure and cut accordingly, how to identify the right tool and how to use it.

    If you can't take that skillset and assemble IKEA furniture without a 3 day workshop on flatpacks, you're doing it wrong.

    Similarly, it's completely reasonable to teach programming in a course that would run up through some general computer literacy first.
     
  18. ex4n

    ex4n Member

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    Sounds like I did alright in high school. In primary school we even spent about 6 weeks making websites in Publisher 95? There was only 1 PC in a class of around 25 so we got about an hour a week each on it to make websites. I had already started learning to code html out of a website making magazine I had convinced my parents to start buying prior to that though.

    In high school it depended largely on which subjects you took, I picked as many of the It courses I could. We had 1 decent computer science teacher who knew what he was doing, he taught us pascal in yr 11, and he taught us the foundations of information systems - things like systems diagrams, data flow etc. I didn't appreciate it at the time as it was more theoretical than hands on but I now see the value. Other programming I did was VB - unfortunately mostly just re-typing from slides basically, but did introduce compilers, syntax, debugging (hehe) so was alright.

    We had another decent older teacher who taught us 'word processing' and touch typing and stuff like I imagine they would have taught receptionists in the 60s but it was all good foundational stuff. Proper finger rest positions on the keyboard and we could spend time running touch typing software to improve speed and accuracy. We also covered Word/Excel/Access, stuff like letter heads, templates, mail merging, macros - stuff I now bust out any time I need it.

    I didn't do TEE but I did home economics where I learned talking to girls, cooking, chopping, sewing and how to use a real coffee machine, got a certificate so I could walk into a barrista job after yr 12 if i wanted, practical. I did woodwork and mech workshop too and we learned welding, drove 50cc go-karts on the oval, made bowls and shit. My father was a carpenter so it was just an easy A for me but again valuable life skills. My only regret is not doing more advanced maths in yr 12, I picked the non TEE maths which was a fucking joke it was like primary school maths.

    I can see the foundational value in most of what I've mentioned above, but I see no value in purchasing an Ipad or learning how to 'download apps'. Raspberry Pi on the other hand provider an opportunity to learn a lot more about 'how' but i don't think it's ultimately going to be useful for many kids either and would possibly be way too technical for some (LCD). I hope they eventually cover things like how to change your password, how to plug in a printer and how to setup email in school, for the sake of future generations of IT guys!
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2016
  19. PabloEscobar

    PabloEscobar Member

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    OCAU is a bubble, Your circle of friends is a bubble, and within these bubbles, kids growing up with technology is the norm, But your (and my) bubbles, aren't the same for everyone. There are kids whose parents don't have phones and ipads. So often, we take for granted what we've got, and in doing so, often forget that not everyone is like us.

    I'm just using ipads as an example, but I don't envision it being specific to them, Just a general "Technology" class where kids (who might not otherwise be able to) can be exposed all different kinds of technology, from all different vendors. It shouldn't be a core focus, and it sure as hell shouldn't be taught in a "computing" class. But I think it should still be part of the curriculum.


    Not only was it MS Access, but it was poor MS Access... I remember our teacher trying to demonstrate a basic library borrowing system, without having a transactions table... Palm was on Face for most of the time.

    To me, this seems contradictory. You don't want something taught in school, but you are stunned that there are so many people who can't do it.



    Citation needed... seriously, I can understand Latin, and the history of the English language having an impact, and I know that "if you are going to learn another language, doing it as a child is the best time to do it", I'd love to see the research the benefits of learning another language has on the learning of the primary.

    That's true, but I think there is also a place in school for application of those skills, something that is sorely lacking. We've just moved house, so flat-pack furniture is still fresh in the mind. We were setting some up on the weekend with the kids "helping" and after much gnashing of teeth, and "no dad, I can't do that I DONT KNOW HOW", we grabbed some Lego instructions, and put them next to the Ikea instructions and a lightbulb moment was had... So while the skills may (or may not) be being taught. how/when/where to apply particular skills most certainly isn't.


    To analogise it, I'd liken an "Ipad" class to a "Typing" class of yesteryear, and a "Pi" class to a computing class of... well, it breaks down here because computing in school is shit, which is the general topic of todays Rants...

    You put a touch UI in front of someone, so they are familiar with it, much like you did a typing class so you were familiar with a keyboard, which was going to be an expected skill in the "jobs of the future".

    I learnt to type 20+ Years ago, and am still typing, right at this very minute. So to say "neither device will be around in 20 years" is probably accurate, devices of n+20 will have things in common with devices of today.
     
  20. millsy

    millsy Member

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    You weren't taught to assemble flatpacks and yet you can manage it okay? I don't understand why you think it's necessary when it's something you were able to pick up.

    Kids need fundamentals. Language is a well accepted area in which the brain clearly benefits from learning multiple languages. More isolated countries such as Australia just find the idea hard to accept, as we see learning say a higher level of math as more beneficial than learning another language. And it totally makes sense, I never learned a second language because what's the point right?
    Yet it is there
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ana.24158/abstract

    I'm sure there's plenty more.

    I completely believe the current education system is at fault here, kids are being taught to pass standardised tests to get into university degrees with more standardised tests. What's the learning? You remembered the correct answer to a question? In some ways the heavily practical TAFE courses seem to trump a university degree in that sense, at least from people I've spoken to.

    Programming at least teaches kids the process of using their knowledge to solve a problem with multiple building blocks. I've personally always thought of 'smart' as having the ability to intelligently utilise existing knowledge in new ways to obtain an outcome.
     

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