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Thursday, January 26, 2006

Just because it can, doesn't mean it should...

Apparently, an 8 year old clam-shell machine could run OSX if it has it's memory upgraded.

Just because it can, doesn't mean it should.

An 8 year old machine will still have an 8 year old processor. So even with more memory, it still processes information at the same rate that it did before. The new operating system will of course tax the processor more, as it is asking it to do more things. The result will in fact be a machine that seems slower than it was before any alterations began.

Add to this fact that you will have spent around £100 for the memory and associated work (at least - this figure doesn't include a battery charger and battery that after 8 years of charging will need replacing - true figure closer to £300!) and you have got to wonder whether it is worthwhile or not.

If you are sticking with Apple, a Mac mini is around £300. An eMac is around £400. It would be brand new, covered by a warranty and should be perfectly acceptable for the next 3 years.

A lot of people will change their car every 3 years.

The present trend in use of technology in a classroom favours interactive technology. This would mean 1 computer, 1 projector and a whiteboard/tablet. A computer is just something you use - just like a text book or a piece of equipment.

Within the next five years, we won't need to type anymore. If you are not sure about this, this blog entry wasn't typed - it was spoken.

We need to move away from the notion of each pupil needs to have access to a single machine. There are times when this may be true. In the majority of instances, this isn't. Last session I worked with P5&6 in Salen primary to make PowerPoint presentations. We had one computer and a whiteboard. They hadn't seen the program before, but within 20 minutes, they were collaborating with each other, and figuring out collectively how to use the application - with only one machine (that they were using) in the classroom.

Small logical steps.

1 new machine in each classroom.
1 projector to allow everyone to see.
Interactive technology - once confident, and only should it be needed.
A good network connection.

Anything beyond that is a bonus.


Blogger marlyn moffat said...

Won't need to type....probably true. Need to speak...certainly. I would be interested to know what voice programme you used and what platform. I have been trying to get Viavoice to work properly on a mac. After much time and frustration...I've given up. We have some children for whom this method of input would be advantageous, but whose speech/accents are not recognised on speakable items either. Viavoice didn't pick up their consonants. I'd appreciate some advice, if you have some.

12:13 am  
Blogger ab said...

In the Microsoft Office tools on a PC there is a built in speech function. You have to take great care in pronunciation and alter the punctuation, but it works prefectly well I find. I've never looked into it for a Mac I'm afraid.

5:56 pm  

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