Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-edu (303 mails)

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Re: [suse-linux-uk-schools] An Open Source National curriculum
On Mon, 2003-12-01 at 15:28, garry saddington wrote:
> On Monday 01 December 2003 08:08, Colin McQueen wrote:
> > garry saddington <garry@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> > > On Sunday 30 November 2003 22:52, Colin McQueen wrote:
> > > > ian <ian.lynch2@xxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> > > > > On Sun, 2003-11-30 at 19:36, garry saddington wrote:
> > > > > > We use Open Source almost exclusively to teach ICT and I have
> > > > > > the idea that an alternative Open Source National Curriculum
> > > > > > would be a good thing, what do others feel?
> > > > >
> > > > > Good idea. Ideal project for SchoolforgeUK I should think.
> > > >
> > > > I am unsure about what this means. Surely the National Curriculum
> > > > should not be linked to any particular ICT tool provision. Freedom
> > > > of choice and all that.
> > >
> > > We have already talked about free transfer of software skills so it
> > > does not matter what we use. The idea is that Open Source gives us
> > > much more freedom to teach the foundations of computing that are
> > > denied to our students by using proprietary software.
> >
> > But it does not give staff more freedonm as they will struggle to use
> > the open source applications. Installing them as well as learning to
> > use them. Adults find it harder to transfer skills. Those that can
> > cope and don't mind changing (they enjoy using their free time this way)
> > probably will anyway.
> >
> > > The present
> > > National Curriculum for ICT is limited in its content.
> >
> > No its not. Have you been right through the KS3 Strategy materials?
> > Its content is not defined in the statutory documents because it needs
> > to be flexible enough to change with the development of ICT. Take for
> > example the day we discover how to store graphics in a format that has
> > the advantages of vector and bitmap.
> Yes but there is nothing in there that can't be done on the standard MS office
> products. What about creating graphics using bitmap and vector editors,
> making midi files, programming sequencers. Programming, SQL....the list could
> go on. ICT should be exiting, not just about finding, changing, refining and
> presenting information to various audiences and evaluating the worth of that
> information. Perhaps I am missing the point here, is there a subject called
> ICT that uses computers and a totally different one that is about computers
> and what they can do for us?

I think the problem is one of lines of least resistance. If you allow
learning to follow a mediocre line of least resistance that is where it
will go. Teachers know how to use MS Office so many if not most will
simply use it at every opportunity rather than adding challenge and
variety. We get all the excuses such as its what they will use, anything
else is too difficult, too snowed under with work, we haven't the
resources etc. What it really boils down to is its easier - this is no
criticism of teachers as a group, its human nature. Perhaps we should
plan a curriculum that avoids the comfortable cop out and actively
encourages innovation and challenge, particularly for the most able.
After all the people that really make a difference in the world are the
ones that are prepared to go out on a limb and challenge the status quo.
Very dangerous to encourage kids to be such in a school though ;-)

ian <ian.lynch2@xxxxxxxxxxxx>

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