“There are not many secondary schools in the UK where Apple computers vastly outnumber PCs. ICT at St Ninians in Douglas, Isle of Man, is one such school powered by Apple computers. The overall impression you get at the school is of ICT being used confidently and creatively: blogs, music creation, teachers integrating ICT into their work, podcasts (video and audio),” Jack Kenny reports for The Times Eductational Supplement (TES). “In his role as Head of ICT at the school, Jim Hunter is keen to ensure that students acquire a basic competence of the subject which crosses over into many other subject areas: ‘We don’t see ourselves as training students to learn a particular piece of software. We are teaching them to apply a set of principles to any situation,’ he explains.”
MacDailyNews Take: Smart man. You do not teach specific OSes or applications per se, you teach concepts. That way students will be able to learn any application on any platform they need instead of just knowing whatever OS was in use when they were in school with whatever applications the school was using at the time. Things change too rapidly in technology, students should be adaptable.
Kenny continues, “Jim Hunter points to the work. ‘The standards and the quality that students achieve are answers to why we use Apple computers.’ …Students have been making video podcasts using iMovie and Garage Band… “The great thing is that the kids can produce work that looks as though it comes from a media company and they can do that with ease. They get instant pleasure from it. It’s friendly, the programs are integrated together, and they link in a very satisfying way. They are also easier to teach,’ adds Mr Long… All this does not happen by chance. There has to be confidence to back the creativity. Graham Kinrade, school improvement adviser at the Isle of Man Department of Education, is responsible for technical issues across the island. ‘To be honest our technical issues are limited. The hardware is very reliable and general failure rates are very low. The hardware failures I see are down to wear and tear. My personal view is that it’s down to good build quality and the tight integration of hardware and software. Each computer is robust and well designed for its purpose. We have a very high percentage of machines that have been in the field for 2 or 3 years and never had to be repaired by an engineer! This says it all. We never have compatibility issues with hardware and software.’”
“In total Graham is responsible for 3,900 client computers (desktop and laptop). As well as 115 servers, 40 networks, 300 wireless access points (Apple Base Stations) and numerous other pieces of equipment. This is all done with just two technicians,” Kenny reports.
Full article here.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Marc” for the heads up.]
MacDailyNews Take: Try running over 4,000 Windows PCs (desktop, laptop, servers), 40 networks, and 300 wireless access points in a school system with just two technicians. Go ahead, we dare you.
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