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The increase of technology in schools

(48 Posts)
Hamishbear Sun 07-Oct-12 13:42:27

Our school has announced that technology will play a greater and greater role in the years to come - inevitably more learning will happen at home in time as the same technology will be used at home as at school. Taken to an extreme, does this mean that our grandchildren won't be taught to write with the same emphasis (penmanship will not be important) and grammar and spelling will be available at the click of a mouse (some sort of programme which negates the need for us to really learn)?

Eventually any aspects of a knowledge based curriculum (now out of fashion anyway) will be lost and a skills based one will be everything?

Children will be expected to have a laptop from upper primary (if they are not already) in the near future etc. In the next 20 years or so bedtime reading may die out (books will seen as increasingly quaint) and may take place as a bite-sized interactive game on a kindle or similar?

How do parents feel about traditional aspects of learning being potentially lost? It seems most I meet think that technology is all and to fight it is futile smile. There are lots of positive aspects to it all too, I am sure.

TalkinPeace2 Sun 07-Oct-12 16:02:08

would you rather they stuck with a quill pen and an abacus and only communicated by post?

WearingGreen Sun 07-Oct-12 16:13:13

I hardly write anything. My spelling is appalling (I'm dyslexic) and when I type and have my spelling corrected for me then a vast array of words if opened up. If I was writing this by hand I wouldn't have used the words appalling or array. You still need to know grammar and spelling, spellchecker doesn't correct you if your misspelling is an actual word and things like your/you're its/it's aren't picked up and you need punctuation for your own emphasis.

I don't think technology will negate either the need for stories or the enjoyment that people get from them. I think if anything language is richer and more complex than it used to be and there are a lot of very well written, complex and deep childrens books that have been written in the last ten years, probably non of them longhand with a fountain pen. If I read a book on a kindle then I have still read it and it still becomes part of me.

Xenia Sun 07-Oct-12 16:19:11

I always found writing very very hard. I was pretty good at just about everything at school, indeed the best A levels in the school etc but the physical act of writing was hard, handwriting was bad. At 15 I taught myself to touch type from a book in the library on a non electric typewriter I bought - it was amazing. I am the fastest typist I know. It has made a massive difference.

I do think chidlren need to learn to write as you often just need to jot things down and most of the top professional jobs need graduates who have brilliant spelling and grammar as spell checkers do not pick up most things and one tiny mistake on a CV will damn you to the "trash" bin these days. If you hvae 010 candidates with high degrees from Oxbridge they are often chosen on good spelling and grammar which is something with which families can help by speaking properly to their children and something all schools - state and private - can emphasise.

HauntedLittleLunatic Sun 07-Oct-12 16:27:00

My DCs are at a school which have just issued all yr7 pupils with A personal iPad.

I think that it does have learning benefits but I agree that could well be to the detriment of written work with the facets that accompany it (spelling, grammar, handwriting...). I do agree that kids need to move with the times but I would hope that we are some way off the pen and paper being obsolete. It also concerns me that there is currently an emphasis on written communication across subjects at GCSE, and that there is a risk that children which become too dependent on the literacy support offered by such technology will suffer when it comes to exams.

All that said...spellchecker and gramar checker can both be turned off.

LeeCoakley Sun 07-Oct-12 16:35:35

I'm a bit of a technophobe despite having worked in the industry since 1972! What I don't like is our children's brains being bombarded incessantly with 'waves'. I don't care that each item transmits within safe guidelines, put them altogether I'm sure that all of the under 21s' brains are slowly turning to mush. And yes, I know that most people think this is rubbish so you don't have to tell me! grin

TalkinPeace2 Sun 07-Oct-12 16:48:56

???Waves
the power of radio transmissions now is 0.1% of what was chucked out in the 1930's
DH has a marconi transmitter that is SO powerful that is stops
- the phone
- the TV
- the router
- all games consoles
- all LCD screens
- all mobiles
in our house and those on either side
(its not actually legal for him to fire it up because its covered by EM weapons rules)

modern stuff has energies less than ambient solar radiation ...

Hamishbear Sun 07-Oct-12 20:31:56

WearingGreen - you are right,of course. Personally I find It difficult to 'think' into a keyboard.

I felt I suffered due to a lack of a knowledge based curriculum & envied those with a more traditional, classical education - to my mind it seemed to enrich their lives & enable them to make v quick associations. These changes are exciting & interesting and I am just very old fashioned. Things seem to be moving so quickly - I imagine iPads in the classroom will be the norm within a comparatively short time.

When I was in America recently I visited a school that had no ICT lessons until the children were about 12 - the view being all had access to computers at home & were computer literate. The school wanted to spend time reinforcing the 3 Rs & languages. As with most things probably a middle way is best.

What about the learning at home possibilities that technology brings & our school has mentioned?

slipshodsibyl Sun 07-Oct-12 20:49:16

Eventually any aspects of a knowledge based curriculum (now out of fashion anyway) will be lost and a skills based one will be everything?

I think this is a bit of an overstatement actually.

Hamishbear Sun 07-Oct-12 20:57:33

Yes, meant really is this the direction we are moving? Knowledge is there at the touch of a button.

lljkk Mon 08-Oct-12 13:55:03

Children will be expected to have a laptop from upper primary and who's gonna pay for that?

Neah, don't believe a word of it.

Pascha Mon 08-Oct-12 14:01:40

My nephew has just started year 7 with a near-on compulsory iPad paid for by parents. His mum can't afford it outright so she has an arrangement with the school to pay £15/month til its paid for. She balked at this at first but he was one of only a dozen kids in the year without one and found himself outside the staffroom every day after school waiting for alternative homework as he had no access to any device with which to access the apps outside of school.

lljkk Mon 08-Oct-12 14:06:34

Is that a private school, Pascha, or a state secondary in a Naice area? There'd be utter indifference, riots & howls of laughter if any of our state secondaries tried to impose such an expectation.

Heck, DS was in his secondary for 3 or 4 weeks before they got him a login to their own system, and that was only after I emailed to ask about it.

TalkinPeace2 Mon 08-Oct-12 14:21:14

I could afford an iPad for my children - but think most Apple products are grossly overrated and priced.
So they settle for working on my laptops at home and the school computers in school.
Kids without internet at home (and being a comp with a part rural catchment there are a fair few) get to use the school computers whenever they need.

Pascha Mon 08-Oct-12 14:29:05

Nope. State comprehensive in a small market town in Kent.

TalkinPeace2 Mon 08-Oct-12 14:48:33

I was not aware that Kent had any comprehensive schools.

SkiBumMum Mon 08-Oct-12 14:55:37

My DD1 is only in nursery class (her previous day nursery had an interactive White board which they swore they didn't just watch CBeebies on...). We had a newsletter from school saying that the temporary class room was being replaced by a permanent one so the money the PTA had raised for new playground stuff may well be used on iPads. DH and I are sad!

ReallyTired Mon 08-Oct-12 15:03:56

I think that technology will play a greater and greater role in your children's life. I don't see it as a bad thing as it will allow children to learn at a pace that suits them choose what they learn.

Websites like coursera or khan academy give opportunities that we could never dream of. Gifted and talented children can learn at a pace that suits them rather than the school.

GrimmaTheNome Mon 08-Oct-12 15:12:57

It should never be an either/or. New technology should be used appropriately. DDs school seems to get it reasonably balanced - most kids have some sort of PC access at home, if not then they can use the school ones lunchtime/after school. There are enough pcs in school for all lessons - no carrying hardware around (kids carrying laptops and ipads around seems like a very stupid idea. How many get broken or drowned?). They have a VLE which seems pretty useful (don't know if its windows PC compatible only or apple too).

The idea that technology negates the need to learn is wrong. Technology should enable you to do the mundane stuff more easily, freeing your time and mind to do more interesting stuff. Who typically has the most advanced technology first...scientists...don't see much sign of them being let off the hook of learning!

Pascha Mon 08-Oct-12 16:28:56

Apologies, you are right about it not being a comprehensive. It would have been called a secondary modern when I was at school, now it just calls itself X school and sixth form college.

lljkk Mon 08-Oct-12 18:01:09

Wow, that must be a London Halo thing.

ReallyTired Mon 08-Oct-12 18:16:12

"carrying hardware around (kids carrying laptops and ipads around seems like a very stupid idea."

I completely agree. They get lost, dropped left in the toilet etc. However many schools have sucessfully had laptop trolleys. It frees up classrooms that were once used for computer suites. A teacher can book a laptop trolley for a class lesson. However a school needs a very good wireless network for this to be a sucess.

I would like kids to have devices like the charity one laptop one child uses.

one.laptop.org/

They are very robust. I believe that if UK schools bought such devices it would bring down the cost even further and make them more affordable for the third world.

HauntedLittleLunatic Mon 08-Oct-12 22:10:09

At my kids school ALL the yr7 kids have been issued with iPads which they must carry at all times.

As well as the breakages etc. I worry about the potential for them to become victims of bullying/crime. None of the other years have them yet...but all you have to do is find a vulnerable yr7 and you've got your hands on £400 technology...

ReallyTired Mon 08-Oct-12 22:41:28

The idea of giving a year 7 a £400 IPAD is just plain stupid. They will get dropped, mislaid and generally abused. Even if the year 7s do remember to take them to lessons its quite likely that they will need charging. Given that many year 7 cannot look after their pencil cases it seem ludicolous for them to carry expensive kit.

" find a vulnerable yr7 and you've got your hands on £400 technology... "

I imagine that the school could buy apps so that they could track each device with GPS or prehaps each device could be individually locked down with a password.

Once the cost of tablet devices come down then I think it would be a good replacement for school text books. I think a google adenoid device would be every bit as good for school purposes as an IPAD and half the price.

noblegiraffe Mon 08-Oct-12 22:47:18

IMO laptops are old technology, they aren't portable or interactive enough, mobile technology - tablets are the way forward.

Interactive whiteboards are dead. Projectors will still be useful, but when everyone can interact with the screen from their own device, the need to have a single child to come to the front of the class to interact with the board will be redundant.

Apple are currently leading the market simply because the technology is there to purchase and easy to use. Other tablets might be better in the future, but you can't actually get your hands on them.

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