Education Done My Way, With Small Cheap Computers

A theme of my educational career has been that the right way to do IT in schools is to do as much as possible with IT.“The Gauteng Department of Education is planning to turn every school in the province into a textbook-free zone.” Obviously there are some things IT can’t do but there’s no faster/cheaper way to create, find, modify and distribute information. That’s about half the task of educations. The rest is actual thinking and problem-solving as well as physical activity: hand-eye coordination to basketball…

In my years as a student and as a teacher I was constantly annoyed by the need to shuffle paper or to shuffle students to where the paper was, like the dead-trees library or carrying around textbooks. Some schools have done the maths. In South Africa where families are strapped to buy textbooks, schools have discovered that students can buy PCs for less money and publishers can supply e-books for less money so the whole thing can be done for less money. That’s the right way to do education and IT.

Helping the rush to small cheap computers is FLOSS on */Linux. The world can and does make great software and share it making everyone’s cost of software less and lifting barriers to use of IT even in impoverished communities. We’re not quite there yet, but we are close to the point where IT will be in every classroom playing a major role.

See Gauteng schools to go textbook free.

“There will be no iPads at the event. The basic requirements are a seven or ten inch tablet running Google’s Android operating system with at least a Gorilla glass screen, and beyond that there’s free choice.”

See also Inside South Africa’s first textbook free government school.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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