Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-edu (146 mails)

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RE: [suse-linux-uk-schools] OSE Conference
  • From: "Alan Davies" <staff.asd@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 11 Jul 2000 14:14:39 +0000 (UTC)
  • Message-id: <Marcel-1.46-0711132106-1cbXV&d@sparerpc>
On Mon 10 Jul, Malcolm wrote:
> resources on the web (whose using IMP web-based mail by the way ?). Acorns
> did educational IT harm, as many people (including me) felt that they gone
> up the wrong tree and most schools want to up the right tree with the
> corporate world.

I'm sorry I can't let that slip past me....

1st: Any pupil leaving school today should have had some 'Windows' experience.

However, I don't believe that ALL their experience should be MS Windows.

To get on my band box 'We are educational institutions, not training institutions'

Why don't Colleges and Universtities teach MCSE skills rather than GNVQ and degrees?

(Cost of course would be considerably more....due to the cost of MCSE trainers...)

Those who know me, will realise that I am not a blind supporter of Acorn, and I
have been pretty fierce with my criticism of them going back many years...

However, I could teach 'Computing' and quite a lot of 'IT skills' today using
ZX81, or BBC B computers. No, there would be some tasks that would be better
done with more modern machines - and some that would be impossible - but not

The basics of programming - modular code, variables, loops, conditions etc are
no more easily taught and learnt on an Acorn, PC or Linux. The appearance of
Windows311 with different icons in different positions is completely different
from W95 interface. Are you saying that schools that used W311 from 1990 to
1995 were up the wrong tree (because the tree hadn't yet been invented)?

IT is very poor in many schools (read the inspection reports) and the MS/RM marketing
machine made this an Acorn/MS issue. In fact the issue has always been one of
the lack of expertise and staff. There are still some schools today (not ours - for
what we believe are good reasons) that use entirely Acorn machines - and the IT
is simply exemplary in every way - and their results prove it.

With the potential break up of MS I suspect we will see a number of different 'desktops'
appearing common as LINUX run MS applications using WINE, Acorn using Citrix, Litestep and BeOS
etc. MS Office is a great product - but whether or not Star Office couldn't do everything
that's required and save a great deal of money is one which BECTA should be actively
investigating and promoting.

I am particularly concerned about the MS licencing scheme which demands ALL computers
in the school to be licenced for every qualifying MS application regardless or not
of whether Linux or BEOS or any future OS will run on them - as this 'locks' schools
into MS products in a rather different way that schools were 'locked' into Acorn

Alan Davies
Head of Computing
Birkenhead School

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