Re: GUIs ruined school computer labs (Score: 1)

by engblom@pipedot.org on 2014-09-25 08:09 (#2SWM)

This might sound like I am contradicting myself. My point is that removing GUI alone is not solving the problem as they will always find things to do. Still I believe putting restrictions have an effect. To just blame the GUI however is wrong. You need to deal with the temptation, whatever it is.

No sane teacher is showing with a video projector every single step the kids should do and expecting them to do the same. No teacher is having the kids to memorize all the steps. I am giving them the result and I tell them to use whatever method they want to achieve the result. That includes reading the built in help, using google etc. This makes them ready to use the next version when the GUI has changed. I only help them when they have been long time enough stuck without advancing in the task. With temptations their time will be lost in games and shuch rather than in experimenting.

When you lock down the environment you remove the temptations and you actually get better result. That I know and I have been witnessing. It actually takes more effort to learn in this way rather than having them to memorize everything. As the effort grows, they more easily pick up the low hanging temptations.

Let's say you have a alcohol addict. If that person is getting away from places where alcohol is served he has better chance to stay sober. Walking into a bar would be dangerous. In the same way if you notice the kids are not able to handle a temptation, you remove it so they better are able to concentrate on their tasks. When you have an Internet Facebook addict, you remove Internet access for that one. Okay, that particular pupil lost one way to solve the task: googling for help. Still getting the task done with built in help is better than not getting it done at all.

In the school I am teaching we do not have any particular restriction besides that they can only install stuff in their own home folder and not as root. However, if I see that someone is not able to handle the freedom, I remove what was the temptation for them.
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