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Comment: Re:What do I think? (Score 1) 223

by 31415926535897 (#47531109) Attached to: Chromebooks Are Outselling iPads In Schools

Thank you for offering a very sensible reply. I agree that the right implementation would make a difference, and I suppose part of my being upset is not trusting our school district to do it right--they certainly have not offered any indication that they will do anything novel with these laptops. They just came in to a little extra money and it's burning a hole in their pocket.

I hope they offset the cost by putting open source textbooks on them, but I'm skeptical. School districts (including mine) seem to be happy to hop into bed with lobby interests (teacher unions, publishers) and someone the kids always come last. I hope they offer programming instruction, but I'm skeptical. I still think you can offer outstanding programming courses with a good school computer lab, but honestly, our kids are going to get neither through the schools. But I find joy in supplementing at home and have already worked with my oldest to learn some logic through Scratch.

Interactive/multimedia education is largely overrated from what I've seen. Personal, relational and interactional pedagogy seems to be the most effective, but laptops will drive education further from that. The temptation will be to build curriculum that turn the classroom teacher into little more than a babysitter.

Comment: Re:What do I think? (Score 1) 223

by 31415926535897 (#47530835) Attached to: Chromebooks Are Outselling iPads In Schools

I foresee the time when we dump Industrial Education and start providing kids all the education they can handle at any age and quit trying to pigeon hole them into "age" segregated classes, and start putting them into online sessions with educational peers

That's interesting, but I don't see what you rant has to do with school districts providing laptops. If the incumbents keep promoting programs like OLPC through the schools, then I can assure you that the world will actually be moving away from your vision of reformed education.

And at $200 ea. Chromebooks offer even the lowest income people a chance to own technology that can help bridge the education gap. $200 buys one, maybe two textbooks these days, something school districts have to do every year or two. Are they as capable as a Laptop? Probably not, but they are usable for 85% of what kids need in school.

Wow, I am amazed at how many people seem to lack basic reading comprehension. I explicitly had said, "I would be in favor of a program that provides these devices to low income families." I am in favor of equal access for all and huge believer in the benefits of technology. Putting a laptop into the hands of every child at school will not give them those benefits.

To be honest, I don't know whether or not to feel sorry for your kids, or you. Here we live in an age where the world is at your fingertips and you spouting off like it is a pure scam. Kind of hypocritical of you being on /. (using a computer and all) don't you think?

Your pity is adorable, and quite ignorant. I own the following devices that are available to my family of 6: Three laptops (two mac & one windows), one mac desktop, four tablets (two ipads and two kindles) and two Linux servers. My kids have every benefit, and I would advocate for that same access for all. But seeing as you have little desire to read and understand the people you argue with, it's understandable how you could hold all sorts of irrational emotions.

Comment: Re:What do I think? (Score 1) 223

by 31415926535897 (#47530687) Attached to: Chromebooks Are Outselling iPads In Schools

There is nothing that providing a laptop per child affords that can't be accomplished through classroom media presentation devices (computer & projector) and a good school computer lab.

Homework. Many poorer kids do not have a computer at home, and a smartphone is terrible for writing papers and research. The laptop/tablet is also locked down so distractions are kept to a minimum.

These devices will only be a distraction and huge expense for families and schools as millions of them are broken every year.

Hyperbole. Citation needed. Yesterday's article about iPads in Coachella said district-wide there were less than 10 lost or stolen. How does that scale up to millions?

I'm replying to comments now, and it's amazing how person after person has responded with, "but what about the poor kids?!?!" Apparently everybody has terrible reading comprehension, for I said, "I would be in favor of a program that provides these devices to low income families."

I read the iPad story on Slashdot. That is an amazing story, and it made headlines because it's [going to be] an outlier. Have you ever purchased a new piece of equipment? You baby that thing at first, then as the familiarity grows, your defenses drop and you end up making mistakes. As devices in school becomes more standard, this problem will only grow.

Comment: Re:What do I think? (Score 1) 223

by 31415926535897 (#47530655) Attached to: Chromebooks Are Outselling iPads In Schools

The thing these programs [try] to bring isn't so much help with learning as much as EQUAL ACCESS to learning. It attempts to level the playing field between the kids at home with no pc for research and the more well-off kids with greater tech access.

That is not a point of benefit our district has ever tried to make, but I see the benefit of that. That's why I said, "I would be in favor of a program that provides these devices to low income families."

Comment: Re:What do I think? (Score 1) 223

by 31415926535897 (#47530635) Attached to: Chromebooks Are Outselling iPads In Schools

Kids should have access to computers. Not all families can afford them. By giving all the students the same computers it is easier for the teacher to teach without getting bogged down in technical differences, and allows the school to administer and manage them.

I actually agree with you, which is why I said, "I would be in favor of a program that provides these devices to low income families."

Writing a 5 paragraph essay for an exam is no burden by hand, but I agree that handwriting large English assignments would be a bear. But with a computer lab and a computer at home, nobody would be forced to write by hand.

Comment: What do I think? (Score 3, Insightful) 223

by 31415926535897 (#47525985) Attached to: Chromebooks Are Outselling iPads In Schools

Analysts are predicting that 5 million Chromebooks will be sold by the end of the year; how many of those will be sold to schools, do you think?

As a parent in a school district, I'm pissed that our school district is buying every student a Chomebook*.

I would be even angrier if they had gone with the iPad.

These programs are a bloody sham--they're a waste of money and will not help the education of our next generation one bit. There is nothing that providing a laptop per child affords that can't be accomplished through classroom media presentation devices (computer & projector) and a good school computer lab. These devices will only be a distraction and huge expense for families and schools as millions of them are broken every year.

*Our district is requiring that families pay for half, so I guess they're only half buying them and being dillholes toward us. I would be in favor of a program that provides these devices to low income families (and the district can pay for the whole thing).

Comment: Re:Not so quick (Score 1) 358

by 31415926535897 (#47163839) Attached to: The Disappearing Universe

I agree with you there, but any time I try to start the discussion with scientists at Fermilab, I've run into brick walls. They all have bought into dark energy as if it were as secure as our understanding of gravity.

Perhaps where you work it's not as well accepted, but in the little corner of the real science world I know, dark energy is some kind of science gospel.

Comment: Re:Microwave trays (Score 1) 222

by 31415926535897 (#47017091) Attached to: The Physics of Hot Pockets

You may be the foremost microwave geek (I mean that in a good way)!

Since you seem to have given it substantial thought, what would you say are the best standalone and best over-the-range microwaves on the market?

I'll be interested to see if your theory about the combo devices come to pass--I have a hard time seeing it working out, probably because of the trays and dishes. Popular cooking trays for conventional ovens are metallic (e.g. cookie sheets), which would be a catastrophic to have in your combo oven if you accidentally turned the microwave on. You wouldn't want to melt your kid's plastic plate by throwing it in the microwave but accidentally turning the grill on to 500.

Comment: Re:Indeed. (Score 1) 338

by 31415926535897 (#46875291) Attached to: To Save the Internet We Need To Own the Means of Distribution

HAHAHAHA....My taxes have gone up every year my entire adult life (absolute and percent), and yet everything around me is falling apart, and services get cut. Oh, but they can afford to put up a new "arch" downtown to implement their revitalization "vision".

There is no cutting of taxes. They only go up. And the politicians always cry that it's not enough.

Comment: Re:"appear"... "virtually"? (Score 2, Interesting) 175

by 31415926535897 (#33764178) Attached to: Non-Embryonic Stem Cells Developed From Skin Cells

I think you're right about the former, but why does that matter now? Here we are with an alternative that's better in an absolute sense (even if not in a time relative sense) than embryonic stem cells. So why not go with that and continue to improve the technology? Do we need to go back to destroying embryos to develop an inferior product?

Also, I'm not wholly convinced that it is just a matter of state-of-the-art improvement where embryonic stem cell research had left off. I think the restriction certainly catapulted this type of research, but there are still over a dozen lines of embryonic stem cells (which can still be infinitely reproduced) that were being worked on, but they did not get to this point.

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