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Jean Walker

Computer Use

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Australian students among the highest users of computers at school and in the home: OECD report

A new analysis of 2003 results in the OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) has found that Australian students are among the world’s leading users of computers in education both at school and in the home. The study, Are students ready for a technology-rich world? was released by the OECD in Paris on 24 January. It is a previously unpublished analysis of data collected during the 2003 round of PISA testing. The Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) led the international consortium that conducted the PISA 2003 assessments and collected the data used in this new analysis. The report is now available from the OECD website. Click on the following link to access the report.

http://www.pisa.oecd.org/document/31/0,234...1_1_1_1,00.html

Haven't checked our where UK sits yet.

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As an ICT teacher this is music to my ears.

The potential of the internet for education is endless. Yet pupils are constantly warned off using its potential by a media which can only see the dangers. They demonise the internet because of the perceived dangers from paedophiles. Of course Rupert "page three" Murdoch objects to the internet because he is not making money from the porn.

The use of computers in schools is being circumscribed by fear that paedophiles might see images of our children on the 'net. One might as well rip out all the telephones because there are crank callers.

As Homer Simpson once remarked "Hey Marje, they are using the internet for things other than porn these days."

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I sympathise fully with Derek's points. Alex Savage and I have been trying to link up to each other since October using the 'communications' bit of Information and Communications Technology. We haven't succeeded yet (except once when something went 'wrong' and he managed to get a piece of expensive equipment to work for the first time since it was bought as part of some UK government initiative a couple of years ago - his IT manager quickly shut that possibility down).

It's an interesting dilemma, isn't it. If you use the technology only for information, you ultimately get very bored with it. If you use it for information + communications, it comes into its own … but the school IT network stops you. (I'm very fortunate in being on the Swedish university network, so I've got an immense amount of freedom.)

This is why blogging and podcasting is so attractive to me - these two technologies are outside the control of IT departments! I've been looking at Apple's iWeb + mac.com system which makes both blogging and podcasting very easy, and I've let our technicians know where I'll be going if they try erecting unnecessary barriers to what I do!

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