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561 weeks ago @ Educational Technology... - Let's Focus on Educati... · 0 replies · +1 points

I share the opinion that content at this time may be more important than hardware. It's essential that content serve the purposes of the user. As a teacher, I need programs in my class that are very different from what parents need at home. So I would not personally be involved in game development. But I'd sure be a user with my own kids at home, and professionally to the extent I had any influence on my students' life outside of class.

I share with Cavin the desire to know more about the 8-bit computers. (I too looked at the Playpower website for this, but didn't see anything.) I wrote the programming for my original classroom setup (commented in the One Mouse Per Student thread) in 6510 machine language for the Commodore 64, using a series of Basic loaders. Not the smart way to do it, but the only way I knew how at the time. It ran well, though; had no trouble keeping up with input from 16 students, using the humongous 64K memory base and running at a blazing 1 megahertz. : > ) So I don't look down on old 8-bit designs.

Grant is surely right about getting information available directly on line. The woods are full of public spirited tekkies willing to spend time on worthwhile projects, and technical information is one way to draw their interest.

565 weeks ago @ Educational Technology... - One Mouse Per Child: S... · 0 replies · +1 points

(I apologize if this is duplication. I tried to send this earlier, but it appears to have disappeared into empty space. jws)

One mouse per child is good. One keyboard per child is better. I spent
about 15 years developing and using in regular classrooms the system
that may be seen at: http://members.dslextreme.com/users/juanslayton/
(Click on 'picture')

That's how it looked when I retired; at that time it consisted of an old
legacy computer polling the boards through the printer port. Ihave
since greatly improved it by using the USB ports with off-the-shelf keyboards and hubs.
Some wireless board also work.

Unfortunatly, when I retired, Ilost myclassroom 'lab.' But the
project continues at: http://savannah.nongnu.org/projects/classnet
John Slayton

594 weeks ago @ Educational Technology... - ICT in Education Asses... · 0 replies · +1 points

I agree wholeheartedly with the view that current curriculums greatly elaborate useless terminology. The example given, however, may not be the best. Yes, 2 1/2 is the same quantity as 5/2, but getting the student to understand this will at some point involve teaching him to convert one expression to the other. In this case the terminology is needed to carry on the discussion. There are plenty of other examples of useless verbosity. My nominations: "commutative property," "associative property."

594 weeks ago @ Educational Technology... - ICT in Education Asses... · 0 replies · +1 points

I am an elementary teacher who retired somewhat earlier than I had planned, in part because the instructional program of my school had become obsessively devoted to test prep. So I am instinctively sympatheic to Mr. van Son's point of view. And over the years I have had opportunity to read various 'evaluations' of proprietary technology (usually computer programs). When one reads them carefully, they almost always seem to reduce to demonstrating that the more time the student spends using the program, the better the results. This, of course, is true of _any_ form of study, and is thus irrelevant. The assessments need to compare the technology in question directly with alternative activities, showing results for equivalent allocated (not engaged) times. And they should also compare for cost-effectiveness. I don't believe I have ever come across a study that does these things.

613 weeks ago @ Educational Technology... - 1:1 Saturations and Co... · 1 reply · +1 points


I hadn't seen this Microsoft app. But I developed something similar and used it in my classroom for many years before I retired, with one keyboard per child and a common projected screen. Is the microsoft system like the Smartboard keyboards, in which the first student to respond gets control of the screen? Or can they all work simultaneously, as mine could.

Here is a picture of my last classroom:
And here is the rationale on my Savannah development site:

The OLPC networking could provide a means for my system to get past the 1-screen-line-per-student limit that my system accepted as the price of simultaneous access by all students. But there needs to be programming that gives the teacher total control of that network during classroom sessions.