Why Pi when you can just run Linux?

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by scep » Mon Apr 16, 2012 4:38 pm
Dave_G_2 said:


3) In many countries the ICT (or equivalent) cirruculum was written around the software from our "friends" over at Redmond.


I'd be interested to know which countries. It's certainly not the case in the UK.


Given [Microsoft's] track record, they will try all sorts of tactics to keep them out of schools as much as possible.


Like what? Heavily discount and give away their software to schools and students? Provide free training and resources for teachers? Partner and support bodies whose goal it is to improve tech education? Bring out their own little cheap PC? They do all of these things already. (Except the little PC thing, which would be fantastic ;) ) Anything that exposes more kids to programming - and gives them access to computing - is openly welcomed by the Foundation.

Microsoft is committed to support the teaching and learning of ICT and computing (they support Computing as School for instance, who have been instrumental in getting the teaching of Computing in the UK overhauled ). The whole 'MS is evil' thing is a bit last century TBH.
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by Dave_G_2 » Mon Apr 16, 2012 5:01 pm
scep,

I'm not the only one that thinks M$ is up to no good.

Have a look here:

http://www.pcworld.com/article.....posal.html

Google is your friend.

Try searching for Microsoft school donations.

USA, Brazil, South Africa,……..and I'm not convinced that they haven't done so in the UK.

Their track record for questionable practices speaks volumes.

The I.E. court case, the xml/docx debacle, the attempt to block out other OSes via UEFI to name a few.

I have no doubt that M$ is committed to education, as long as it means using their product only by using their dominance to keep everyone else out.

What ever happened to freedom of choice?
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by morphy_richards » Mon Apr 16, 2012 5:39 pm
Well, in that case, keep your friends close and your enemies closer ;-)

Last thing we want in M$ going off and doing their own thing entirely. At least this way we get to keep tabs on them and "steer" them.
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by scep » Mon Apr 16, 2012 6:48 pm
Dave_G_2 said:

……..and I"m not convinced that they havent done so in the UK.

Conviction and anecdotes don't do it for me. Where's the evidence? Where is the proof that the UK ICT curriculum was "written around" MS Office? Where is the evidence that  that Microsoft influenced the 1997 Stevenson Report and subsequent ICT National Curriculum? If they did, they did a rubbish job - Mark East, Microsoft's Education Group Manager at the time, should have been sacked. :)

I mean, the statutory Programme of Study for KS3 barely mentions specific applications like spreadsheets and wordprocessing. Contrary to popular belief, the dreaded databases are not mentioned at all. It's all about concepts and processes that have no ties to generic or specific software. It's ludicrous to think that it was written around Office or that Microsoft influenced it.

I'm not so naive as to think that Microsoft are without fault. They are a big business - of course they have done questionable things, shady things, on the way to the top. Just like Appl€ and Son¥ (see what I did there? Did ya?! ;) ). But you predicted:


Given their track record, they will try all sorts of tactics to keep them out of schools as much as possible.


and I'm saying that this will not happen. I'd go further and say that is smacks of conspiracy.


I have no doubt that M$ is committed to education, as long as it means using their product only by using their dominance to keep everyone else out.


This is a truism. Should they push Apple's products? Or Linux? If they do bring out a tiny, low-wattage, subsidised PC that is more powerful and cheaper than the RasPi, I will be delighted (as, I'm sure, the Foundation will be). I'd buy them by the bucketload and sell my RasPis on eBay ;)

p.s. all my own work and opinion - not the Foundation's :)
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by Dave_G_2 » Mon Apr 16, 2012 7:07 pm
scep

¥ep I $aw what ¥ou did th€r€.

The point I'm trying to make is that the Foundation has brought out the Pi on which, technicalities aside, one is free to run and load any software/OS one chooses.

Do you for a moment believe that if M$ brings out something similar you would have the same option?

Haa, I doub't it very much.

You would be stuck with some half baked WinCE, or 7embedded or whatever they call it these days.

Very good for education.
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by scep » Mon Apr 16, 2012 8:09 pm
Dave_G_2 said:


Do you for a moment believe that if M$ brings out something similar you would have the same option?


Well, seeing as I just said : " If they do bring out a tiny, low-wattage, subsidised PC that is more powerful and cheaper than the RasPi, I will be delighted" I'm going to go with 'Yes' ;)

However, this is a red herring. You ignored my main point, which was to ask you what evidence you had that the UK curriculum was written around MS Office. Because if you have no evidence and it is merely assumption, conviction and anecdote, I have to wonder which other of your comments about MS are similarly informed.
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by Dave_G_2 » Mon Apr 16, 2012 8:21 pm
scep

So this is how it works is it?

You can defend M$ till the cows come home but the moment someone distrusts them based on their history one has to come up with evidence.

No red herring, but something smells fishy. :-)

p.s.

Still think that M$ won't block other OSes from any ARM device they make/control?

Then inform yourself here:

http://www.phonenews.com/micro.....s-8-19713/

If they intend doing it with ARM based phones, what makes you so sure that they somehow wouldn't do it with any ARM based Pi equivalent they might bring out?

Have any evidence to the contrary? :-)
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by morphy_richards » Mon Apr 16, 2012 8:59 pm
For example - Their recently released "Kinect for Windows" has no such restrictions. They could easily have added them seeing as they "own" the whole device.

I agree with Scep but further to that it would be plain wrong to deny kids the opportunity to learn with MS stuff because we are supposed to be preparing them for the real world and MS is inarguably an important part of it.
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by Dave_G_2 » Mon Apr 16, 2012 9:14 pm
No one is saying that kids should not be exposed to M$ products, all I'm saying is be wary of M$ they don't exactly have a great record when it comes to fair play.

The way I understand it, "kinect for windows" is a sensor and not a computer with a bios or UEFI or a "blob" where some sort of lock-out is feasible.

Anyway, scep states that I somehow have no right to question M$'s motives without evidence while he defends them outright without providing a single ounce of evidence, just his opinions and thoughts.
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by scep » Mon Apr 16, 2012 9:24 pm
Dave_G_2 said:


So this is how it works is it?


No. You seem to have it backwards. The burden of proof lies with the person making the original claim, however much you would like that not to be the case. An attempt to shift this burden is a logical fallacy called argument from ignorance.
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by scep » Mon Apr 16, 2012 9:25 pm
Dave_G_2 said:


Anyway, scep states that I somehow have no right to question M$'s motives without evidence while he defends them outright without providing a single ounce of evidence, just his opinions and thoughts.


And this one is the straw man ;)
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by morphy_richards » Mon Apr 16, 2012 9:26 pm
I don"t think he"s defending MS so much as the idea that they were not responsible for the content of the British ICT curriculum from the late 90"s to 2012 but I"ll shut up now and let him speak for himself.
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by Dave_G_2 » Mon Apr 16, 2012 9:38 pm
scep, call it what you will,  but just as you can believe that the UK's ICT curriculum is not biased towards M$, I can believe the opposite.

There is nothing wrong with teaching kids how to use Word, Excel and PowerPoint, infact it's very important to know these packages in the real world, but how many of the same schools have you seen with the open source equivalent available?

Surely it's equally as important to teach kids that there is more then one tool available to achieve the same thing.
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by scep » Mon Apr 16, 2012 9:42 pm
morphy_richards said:


I don"t think he"s defending MS so much as the idea that they were not responsible for the content of the British ICT curriculum from the late 90"s to 2012 but I"ll shut up now and let him speak for himself.



You'd be right, feel free to speak for me :) .
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by scep » Mon Apr 16, 2012 9:56 pm
Dave_G_2 said:


scep, call it what you will,  but just as you can believe that the UK"s ICT curriculum is not biased towards M$, I can believe the opposite.


Ahh – but I did not make an initial statement saying that I believe that the curriculum was not written around Office. It would be silly, like saying I believe that the curriculum was not written around an invisible, plastic elephant called Egbert. One cannot disprove a negative.

What I did say was that  I did not believe your proposition that the curriculum was written around Office. I asked for evidence because I did not believe it. But it's not my job to support the negative of your proposition. You said it, you have to prove it. Them's the rules of argument. I can then accept your evidence or make a counter argument and everyone is happy :)
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by Dave_G_2 » Mon Apr 16, 2012 10:13 pm
Nope no plastic or pink elephants.

I said:

I"m not convinced that they havent done so in the UK.

Note the emphasis on convinced?

Are you telling me without a shadow of a doubt that M$'s donations of software and hardware to schools has not given them an unfair advantage?

Are you also telling me that given their history, they won't try all manner of ways to keep this advantage?

How many kids that have gone through the ICT course come out even knowing that there are alternatives?

Read this article again:

http://www.pcworld.com/article.....posal.html

Why is it somehow different in the UK?
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by scep » Mon Apr 16, 2012 10:43 pm
Dave_G_2 said:


Are you telling me without a shadow of a doubt that M$'s donations of software and hardware to schools has not given them an unfair advantage?



This sums it up really: three fallacies (non sequitur; straw man; argument from ignorance) in one short sentence. Enough already.
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by Dave_G_2 » Mon Apr 16, 2012 10:49 pm
OK we leave it at that, we will agree to disagree.

I just wish I was as convinced as you that M$ won't be a threat to Pi at schools.
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by scep » Mon Apr 16, 2012 11:11 pm
Dave_G_2 said:


OK we leave it at that, we will agree to disagree.


We should have done that at the start, it would have save loads of typing :) [thanks for  the discussion though, broke up some tedious marking :) ]


I just wish I was as convinced as you that M$ won't be a threat to Pi at schools.


I just don't see it in the short term. But then again, I don't see RasP's flooding into UK schools in the short term and/or the open source model displacing Microsoft's stranglehold - there's a lot of inertia and red tape in education. In the long run I think we'll see the RasPi tiny/cheap PC model copied (and improved?) by lots of manufacturers. The Foundation have said that they would welcome this.
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by Dave_G_2 » Mon Apr 16, 2012 11:32 pm
No problem, nothing wrong with a good debate/argument.

I do agree with you that the M$ stronghold will not be broken any time soon at schools as well as many other places, however the introduction of open source equivalents can only be advantageous to pupils.

I understand that the Foundation welcomes the copying/cloning the Pi as the more of these boards that are available, the better it is all round, but I am worried that M$ will try and "hijack" the whole ARM thing just like they are trying with other devices.
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by brian_reiter » Tue Apr 17, 2012 9:51 am
From what I can gather, Microsoft, Google, the BCS et al are getting involved. Hopefully it will benefit the education system and hence business but, cynic that I am, I'm not overly convinced.
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by tech_monkey » Thu Apr 19, 2012 3:45 pm
I thought MS weren't that happy when people started hacking the Kinect . But soon changed their mind when they realised they could make more money from the device by offering SDK kits etc.

Like many on here I don't trust MS especially after I got a popup stating that my XP pro was not original and I should upgrade to a newer version of Windows. There was a very small clickable link to take you to the re-register XP page. It then took about 3 hours of phone calls and mucking about to re-register my XP Pro. I even had the receipt in my hand plus all the original packaging as well. The person at the end of the phone was very apologetic, stating it was a recent update that had caused the problem. Update my ar$e.

MS have done a great deal of good, as regards education. And they also have a small computer available to schools to enable them to learn programming, i think it comes with a small colour display built in. Saw one being demoed with a tetris like game on it and another with a snake game. The students had also built cases for them.
Something that you can do with the PI, get students to design and build cases.
http://www.casatech.eu
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by andyl » Fri Apr 20, 2012 8:33 am
Dave_G_2 said:

There is nothing wrong with teaching kids how to use Word, Excel and PowerPoint, infact it"s very important to know these packages in the real world, but how many of the same schools have you seen with the open source equivalent available?

Yes there is IMO.  We shouldn't be teaching how to use a very specific application.  We should be teaching them how to learn how to use stuff for themselves.

I have never been taught how to use Word, Excel or PowerPoint (or indeed any end-user application).  Am I hampered compared to recent school-leavers who have or people in the workplace who have had specific training?  No.  I know how to work out a user interface, I know how to read the help, read web pages.  For example I've met people who couldn't do tables (because they weren't taught that bit), who don't use styles (I can just change the font when I want) etc.

As for presentations I would far rather people be taught how to do effective presentations.  I've sat through too many where the presenter has just droned through reading out points, which also appear on the slides (often too small to read if you are at the back), which also appear on the handouts.  That is NOT an effective presentation style.  I bet lesser known presentation styles (eg. The Takashi and Lessig methods) don't get mentioned in lessons - in fact I bet the teaching is all at a nuts and bolts level rather than at a how to make your presentation effective.
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by morphy_richards » Fri Apr 20, 2012 12:39 pm
"I bet the teaching is all at a nuts and bolts level rather than at a how to make your presentation effective."

It"s not. If it was that teacher would be graded inadequate by Ofsted. It"s all about effective use and developing higher order thinking. And Office stuff is just one tool, for instance PowerPoint might be used just to make a presentation to the class but it may be used to make an information point. Furthermore students would show evidence of high order understanding by making a reasoned choice between , say, PowerPoint (or OO Impress) or HTML or Flash or Matchware Mediator taking into account audience, purpose, time available for development.
Also a lot of the work would go into documenting the development and review cycle, and choosing an effective method of showing the evidence of this.
(At least thats a snippet of how it should be done anyway.)
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by Andy_Hulse » Mon Apr 23, 2012 6:55 pm
rurwin said:


@ SANGER_A2,

So how would you and your school implement a Computer Science course below A-level?

If your answer is that you would never implement such a course, then the RaspPi is obviously surplus to requirements. However if you do intend to implement such a course I would be interested to hear what hardware you were intending to use.



I am not sure what either of your are going on about, many schools run perfectly good computer science courses using virtual devices instead of having expensive hardware. Secondly the price of an HDMI to VGA adapter cable is less than £2.50, so nobody needs to buy newer monitors.
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