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RichShumaker
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New Blog Post just in time for school

Fri Aug 08, 2014 6:07 pm

I have just started my blog and my first post is about the Raspberry Pi.
http://www.richshumaker.com/2014/08/08/ ... pberry-pi/
I would be interested to know if others in the United States have had similar experiences with their schools.
Are computers required in schools in the UK and what age do they start?

Thanks again to the Raspberry Pi Foundation and team around the Pi, you guys ROCK!!!
Rich Shumaker
http://www.instructables.com/id/Pi-Zero-W-NoIR-8MP-Camera-Build-Overview-Introduct/

W. H. Heydt
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Re: New Blog Post just in time for school

Fri Aug 08, 2014 7:09 pm

(Haven't read the blog post yet, but I will...)

I don't know about "required", but late in the last school year, they were running kids through the schools "computer lab" (a bunch of PCs) right down to kindergarden because California is about to do all their standardized testing on computers. I question the utility of doing this with the really young kids...

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RichShumaker
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Re: New Blog Post just in time for school

Fri Aug 08, 2014 7:17 pm

W. H. Heydt wrote:(Haven't read the blog post yet, but I will...)

I don't know about "required", but late in the last school year, they were running kids through the schools "computer lab" (a bunch of PCs) right down to kindergarden because California is about to do all their standardized testing on computers. I question the utility of doing this with the really young kids...
Oh yeah that is why they used the mostly broken all in one original iMac's to take reading tests. There is or was no formal computer lab for the 6th grader in a science and technology magnet school, my question(dripping sarcasm), who uses computers for math or science?
Rich Shumaker
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Re: New Blog Post just in time for school

Fri Aug 08, 2014 11:22 pm

RichShumaker wrote:
W. H. Heydt wrote:(Haven't read the blog post yet, but I will...)

I don't know about "required", but late in the last school year, they were running kids through the schools "computer lab" (a bunch of PCs) right down to kindergarden because California is about to do all their standardized testing on computers. I question the utility of doing this with the really young kids...
Oh yeah that is why they used the mostly broken all in one original iMac's to take reading tests. There is or was no formal computer lab for the 6th grader in a science and technology magnet school, my question(dripping sarcasm), who uses computers for math or science?
I understand your point (and I've set up a Pi for my 6-year-old grandson to play with).

On the other point, I didn't use computers in the 6th grade, nor even in the 12th. High schools just didn't *have* computers (even for admin) in those days. I'm not even sure all the JCs had them, either. (This is because I graduated from high school in 1966.)

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Re: New Blog Post just in time for school

Sat Aug 09, 2014 5:45 pm

W. H. Heydt wrote:
On the other point, I didn't use computers in the 6th grade, nor even in the 12th. High schools just didn't *have* computers (even for admin) in those days. I'm not even sure all the JCs had them, either. (This is because I graduated from high school in 1966.)
We didn't use computers as much as we should have and I graduated 21 years after you in 1987. Of course most of my generation learned computers at home with C64, TRS80's, Amiga's and the like here in the US. All of which were a lot more than $25 or $35.
I am just scared that a now 7th grader in a major school district in the US has used a computer at school to 'take tests'.
If we need 10000 hours as Gladwell says to become masters and we start younger we can get there sooner.
If parents buy kids iPads and iPhones when they are 11 or younger in some cases I think they should know what drives the technology. Buying a $35 computer and accessories to learn shouldn't be a stretch if you can afford those 'fancy' electronic devices.

IPads are awesome except they are behind an 'app' curtain. Try finding a directory structure and simply copying a file. In order to increase profits companies lock technology down.
It is the old adage 'give a man a fish he eats for a day'', the companies want you to forget the rest.

Ask most ipad using kids what drives there ipad and they will probably say the battery or Apple. Both of which are accurate but incomplete.
This is why the Pi exists, create a computer that removes the barriers to get them in kids hands so they can learn computers, not just apps.
On the Pi you can see the chips, the connections, the IO, as I type on my fancy iPad I see none of that, out of site out of mind.
All for profit companies have no motive to help kids unless it makes them profit. That is simple economics.

Oh and awesome news getting the 6 year old a Pi. He will learn it better and faster than I will as your brain soaks in stuff easier at that age especially language.
Rich Shumaker
http://www.instructables.com/id/Pi-Zero-W-NoIR-8MP-Camera-Build-Overview-Introduct/

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Re: New Blog Post just in time for school

Sat Aug 09, 2014 9:04 pm

RichShumaker wrote: Oh and awesome news getting the 6 year old a Pi. He will learn it better and faster than I will as your brain soaks in stuff easier at that age especially language.
Well...maybe. What he likes best is TuxPaint, followed by a terminal window in which he can type whatever he wants...usually pretty random.

As for the rest of the post, I concur, but you're "preaching to the choir."

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Re: New Blog Post just in time for school

Mon Aug 11, 2014 5:25 am

W. H. Heydt wrote: As for the rest of the post, I concur, but you're "preaching to the choir."
So true and thanks for the reminder.
Rich Shumaker
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Andrescrove
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Re: New Blog Post just in time for school

Wed Aug 13, 2014 8:06 am

IPads are awesome except they are behind an 'app' curtain.I saw your first blog and first post Try finding a directory structure and simply copying a file. In order to increase profits companies lock technology down.In 2006 the Raspberry Pi Foundation noticed that same trend I found years later, kids don’t have ‘computers’ they don’t learn ‘computers’, they learn apps.

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Re: New Blog Post just in time for school

Tue Sep 16, 2014 4:41 pm

I enjoyed your post, thanks for sharing.

I grew up on computers, starting with my Vic20 at the age of 5, and I wish I understood 75% of what goes into even "primitive" computers like that. As a developer of almost 20 years I probably should know a little more. But, I am a product of a generation of developers that had RAD tools and IDEs. Tools that took the need for me to understand some lower level concepts out of the equation and got me into developing programs. It was years before I even had to worry about what a stack was or the heap, but I did my learning on my own as a lot of us do and didn't start with the theory.

I am totally against sitting my child in front of computers for everything. I do feel that we should not lean on them for as much as we do. Kids should learn how to write cursive, they should learn how to do math and science without the aid of a machine. I have more computers than I know what to do with, from tablets to phones to video game consoles. My daughter sees this and wonders why she can't sit in front of a screen when she's bored. "Read a book, go and play, use your imagination. There's plenty of time for this later" is my normal response. A little hypocritical when I'm sat playing "Words with Friends". This being said I do feel that we can support learning through usage of this technology. Being able to visualize the application of a math function would have greatly helped my learning throughout school. If I could apply what I learned in books and in class and taken that further, who knows where I would be now.

I have just started to pick up all the pieces to start work on a project with her for Halloween, I want to teach her about how circuits work and show her how we have to do some work to get the lights to light up, the motors to move. When I told her that the TV she was watching contained millions of those LEDs we were playing with she looked truly amazed. Linking this world the kids take for granted now with the work and effort required to get there might not only increase their appreciation for the "toys" they have but also encourage some of them to go off and learn about it on their own. Otherwise I worry that we could lose the spirit of exploration and experimentation that got us to this point because this stuff is so readily available.

Apparently, by second grade (7/8 years old) they'll be working on robotics which I applaud. I will be taking a keen interest in how that's being taught, I hope to have given her a head start by then.

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Re: New Blog Post just in time for school

Tue Sep 16, 2014 4:51 pm

tbd.pi wrote: I am totally against sitting my child in front of computers for everything. I do feel that we should not lean on them for as much as we do.
I am sufficiently old and curmudgeonly that I think that high schools should not permit the use of calculators, but permit log tables and slide rules in order to get the kids to be able to tell a wildly wrong (e.g. off by orders of magnitude) answer when they see one. Of course, this is undoubtedly because I went through college using the math tables from the rubber handbook plus a (circular) slide rule.

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Re: New Blog Post just in time for school

Tue Sep 16, 2014 7:01 pm

W. H. Heydt wrote:
tbd.pi wrote: I am totally against sitting my child in front of computers for everything. I do feel that we should not lean on them for as much as we do.
I am sufficiently old and curmudgeonly that I think that high schools should not permit the use of calculators, but permit log tables and slide rules in order to get the kids to be able to tell a wildly wrong (e.g. off by orders of magnitude) answer when they see one. Of course, this is undoubtedly because I went through college using the math tables from the rubber handbook plus a (circular) slide rule.
Although I was taught log tables and slide rules they simply have no place in, well, anything nowadays. Much like we no longer use cast iron to build bridges, or swords to fight wars. Great technology at the time, but that time has passed.
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Re: New Blog Post just in time for school

Tue Sep 16, 2014 7:39 pm

jamesh wrote:
W. H. Heydt wrote:
tbd.pi wrote: I am totally against sitting my child in front of computers for everything. I do feel that we should not lean on them for as much as we do.
I am sufficiently old and curmudgeonly that I think that high schools should not permit the use of calculators, but permit log tables and slide rules in order to get the kids to be able to tell a wildly wrong (e.g. off by orders of magnitude) answer when they see one. Of course, this is undoubtedly because I went through college using the math tables from the rubber handbook plus a (circular) slide rule.
Although I was taught log tables and slide rules they simply have no place in, well, anything nowadays. Much like we no longer use cast iron to build bridges, or swords to fight wars. Great technology at the time, but that time has passed.
I have a slide rule. I also know how to use it (surprisingly not as a blunt instrument, but as an instrument of calculation).

I'm also significantly less advanced in years than you are (as a fraction of total) which means that yes, I never had to use these in school. I taught myself.

Is this weird?
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Re: New Blog Post just in time for school

Wed Sep 17, 2014 7:12 am

jdb wrote:
jamesh wrote:
W. H. Heydt wrote:
I am sufficiently old and curmudgeonly that I think that high schools should not permit the use of calculators, but permit log tables and slide rules in order to get the kids to be able to tell a wildly wrong (e.g. off by orders of magnitude) answer when they see one. Of course, this is undoubtedly because I went through college using the math tables from the rubber handbook plus a (circular) slide rule.
Although I was taught log tables and slide rules they simply have no place in, well, anything nowadays. Much like we no longer use cast iron to build bridges, or swords to fight wars. Great technology at the time, but that time has passed.
I have a slide rule. I also know how to use it (surprisingly not as a blunt instrument, but as an instrument of calculation).

I'm also significantly less advanced in years than you are (as a fraction of total) which means that yes, I never had to use these in school. I taught myself.

Is this weird?
Yes...!
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Re: New Blog Post just in time for school

Wed Sep 17, 2014 4:44 pm

jamesh wrote: Although I was taught log tables and slide rules they simply have no place in, well, anything nowadays. Much like we no longer use ... swords to fight wars.
You're watching the wrong wars.

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