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Do you agree to this 'voluntary contribution' the schools ask for?

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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 26,013 ✭✭✭✭ freshpopcorn


    some exceptions have to be made these days though, some children have a short attention span find it boring reading or studying out of books - i know with my lad when he was young he hated history lessons in school, but he loved watching that horrible histories programme on TV lol and he learnt about history that way instead

    Of course nobody Is denying that.
    Some kids with various needs get given laptops/ipads in school to help them.
    But when you get into 5th and 6th year and you have to study large books. It can be difficult to do this on a mobile device.


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,226 ✭✭✭✭ rainbowtrout


    some exceptions have to be made these days though, some children have a short attention span find it boring reading or studying out of books - i know with my lad when he was young he hated history lessons in school, but he loved watching that horrible histories programme on TV lol and he learnt about history that way instead

    We are there to educate kids not entertain them. Many of them have a short attention span because they spend so much time in front of a screen and have an unlimited choice of apps and websites to choose from and spend time flicking from one thing to the next. The last thing they need is more of that.

    I also wouldn’t want a child to be subjected to the glare of a computer screen all day every day for 13 years in school.


  • Registered Users Posts: 20,126 ✭✭✭✭ AndrewJRenko


    If we're going to be switching kids over to tablets, we need different ways of learning. Any IT project that just tries to replicate the current paper situation is doomed to failure. Putting eBooks on tablets is not changing how kids learn.

    We would need a totally different environment, a different set of apps, different ways of testing etc. Some teachers do bits of this already - there are many apps out there for primary schools. Many secondary schools are using Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs) to deliver learning content, mostly PowerPoint slide decks.

    But if we're going to do this properly, we need a very different approach. We need to train teachers, and supply resources, including hardware, training AND software (learning apps and training materials).


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,804 ✭✭✭ Ger Roe


    "But if we're going to do this properly, we need a very different approach. We need to train teachers, and supply resources, including hardware, training AND software (learning apps and training materials)."

    Of course we are not going to do it properly. It is already an uncoordinated mess driven by individual schools making up their own policies and doing really bad deals with 'technology partners' who are provided with sheep to fleece by the schools on a recurring annual basis.

    I have had arguments with one school over them insisting on a specific hardware item (Ipad) to be bought from a specific supplier (their tech partner). The whole rip off process costs over €800 to set up by the time you buy the Ipad, Ebooks (time licensed), insure the Ipad, buy a protective cover and take their compulsory 'training' session for Ipad use. Then they take the equipment that you have bought at the market price with all it's standard functionality and the restrict it so that it can only be used for limited 'educational' aspects.

    The Dept of Ed kick to touch with the line that schools make up their own rules when in fact if we are going to do things properly they should do a national deal to source a Dept of Ed spec and approved device that is fit for Irish educational purposes and that doesn't rip parents off.

    Currently the rush to Ipads use is a school vanity project with rick pickings for the tech companies that 'partner up' to operate the scam.

    Rant over...


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,712 ✭✭✭✭ Andy From Sligo


    it cannot be written off that quick - ipads/tablets in the class instead of books because i have seen other countries schools adopt it. I even think I see a school in a poor part of Africa had got a donation and were using tablets in their class

    so, how are these other countries getting on i wonder? - have they stuck with it or found them to be awkward and gone back to using books again?

    I think the schools have got to start moving with the times - these loads of school books on the curriculum may be better for the children ... but they are also a nice little recurring earner for the publishers and school book stationary supply chains as well!


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  • Registered Users Posts: 20,126 ✭✭✭✭ AndrewJRenko


    Ger Roe wrote: »
    "But if we're going to do this properly, we need a very different approach. We need to train teachers, and supply resources, including hardware, training AND software (learning apps and training materials)."

    Of course we are not going to do it properly. It is already an uncoordinated mess driven by individual schools making up their own policies and doing really bad deals with 'technology partners' who are provided with sheep to fleece by the schools on a recurring annual basis.

    I have had arguments with one school over them insisting on a specific hardware item (Ipad) to be bought from a specific supplier (their tech partner). The whole rip off process costs over €800 to set up by the time you buy the Ipad, Ebooks (time licensed), insure the Ipad, buy a protective cover and take their compulsory 'training' session for Ipad use. Then they take the equipment that you have bought at the market price with all it's standard functionality and the restrict it so that it can only be used for limited 'educational' aspects.

    The Dept of Ed kick to touch with the line that schools make up their own rules when in fact if we are going to do things properly they should do a national deal to source a Dept of Ed spec and approved device that is fit for Irish educational purposes and that doesn't rip parents off.

    Currently the rush to Ipads use is a school vanity project with rick pickings for the tech companies that 'partner up' to operate the scam.

    Rant over...


    Been there, worn the t-shirt.



    Tried to persuade the teachers to consider Samsung Android tablets at about half the price. Gathered case studies from four other schools who were successfully using Samsung.


    But 'oh no, we have to have iPads' - we don't like change.


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,712 ✭✭✭✭ Andy From Sligo


    Been there, worn the t-shirt.



    Tried to persuade the teachers to consider Samsung Android tablets at about half the price. Gathered case studies from four other schools who were successfully using Samsung.


    But 'oh no, we have to have iPads' - we don't like change.

    paying for the name - there's some great android tablets out there on the market

    EDIT: and apps for android


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,825 ✭✭✭ LirW


    Been there, worn the t-shirt.



    Tried to persuade the teachers to consider Samsung Android tablets at about half the price. Gathered case studies from four other schools who were successfully using Samsung.


    But 'oh no, we have to have iPads' - we don't like change.

    Could it have to do with the company that sells the eBooks are only having compatible software for iPads?
    I've just heard the grief that parents pay through the nose for the iPads and there's heavily restricted usage on them, like Youtube for example wouldn't be usable on them and at the end of every year you have to pay a sh1tload of money again to get the books updated on it for the next year, all operated by one company.


  • Registered Users Posts: 20,126 ✭✭✭✭ AndrewJRenko


    LirW wrote: »
    Could it have to do with the company that sells the eBooks are only having compatible software for iPads?
    I've just heard the grief that parents pay through the nose for the iPads and there's heavily restricted usage on them, like Youtube for example wouldn't be usable on them and at the end of every year you have to pay a sh1tload of money again to get the books updated on it for the next year, all operated by one company.
    No, no eBooks involved in this case for a primary. I showed them how most of their apps were available for Android anyway, and the few that weren't had similar apps available on Android.


    But no, we like things just as they are thanks.


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,226 ✭✭✭✭ rainbowtrout




    I think the schools have got to start moving with the times - these loads of school books on the curriculum may be better for the children ... but they are also a nice little recurring earner for the publishers and school book stationary supply chains as well!


    Tablets and ebook licences aren’t free. And with ebook licences you don’t get to keep the ebook. You pay to use it for 1,2,3 years depending on the length of the course. So essentially it’s a subscription. I really don’t understand the hostility towards paying for books. Parents have no problem forking out for a €50 football jersey that the child may have grown out of after a year and is updated every season by the club.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 10,712 ✭✭✭✭ Andy From Sligo


    Tablets and ebook licences aren’t free. And with ebook licences you don’t get to keep the ebook. You pay to use it for 1,2,3 years depending on the length of the course. So essentially it’s a subscription. I really don’t understand the hostility towards paying for books. Parents have no problem forking out for a €50 football jersey that the child may have grown out of after a year and is updated every season by the club.

    that's generalising ...

    the hostility towards paying for books with me were personally:
    *They are expensive
    *Teachers/schools changed the requirements every year
    *books weigh down school bags and as a lot of children have the bags on their back, I think it wrecks their backs and posture and not good for the spine.
    *when technology & something modern comes along that can replace paper books and is better for the environment and will be the future (and are the future at the moment) but dinosaur teachers and schools insist on something that sometimes in some cases I think has had its day


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 809 Blaizes


    can we not just get away from workbooks, and other books these days and let the children learn from internet instead - much better for the environment , cheaper, more modern , more exciting for the pupils we are in a modern society and i bet you can learn just as much (if not more) about history , science and whatever by looking on the internet instead of printed books these days.

    Remember at one time in schools there used to be blackboards with chalk and erasers , quills with ink pots and loads of other things that have been taken over by modern practices - there are a lot of modern practices why are kids still going to school with bags on their backs full of books?

    I dunno something like tablets or something should be used these days at every desk or something these days. will there ever be a day books are eradicated at every class? - some other countries around the world have done it , why can we over here not make the leap?

    No short answer.Long answer I'm a teacher and also a parent of primary school children and I would hate to see books disappear.The internet is an excellent resource I agree but it's not everything.What would happen writing skills if the internet was used all the time and the curiosity of leafing through a book, exploring its content, the joy and discovery of learning found in books would be lost forever. We can certainly use both online resources and books in teaching but getting rid of books altogether hope it never happens.

    I do agree though that the books can be very expensive for parents and costs mount quickly when you have to buy books for a couple of children. Add to this swimming lessons, school tours, school contribution, and quickly you see education is far from free.The books need to be more affordable and workbooks should be kept to a minimum. I went to a great primary school at a time when work books did not exist and received a very good education without them.I remember doing gap fills in my copy from a set of school owned gap fill books which we weren't allowed to write in.How times have changed few years ago spent nearly ninety euros on Junior Infant work books for one of my kids.Yet another school I know uses mainly photocopies in Junior Infants so it really depends on the school individually as to the book choice, cost etc.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,030 ✭✭✭ Minderbinder


    I think uniforms are important for the security of the school and safety of everyone inside.

    I've heard some crazy justifications for this, but that's definitely the craziest one yet, which is some sort of achievement I suppose. Have half a star.

    I suppose that means the teachers should have uniforms too?

    Why is it crazy exactly? Do you even understand what you’re talking about or why you are suggesting it’s crazy?

    Do you think it’s important for staff to be able to recognise a student of the school? The uniform and crest is important in this regard as is everything that makes it more difficult for random people entering a school. I personally think a school trousers would be better than some baggy trousers that could more easily conceal weapons or multiple weapons. Of course Ireland is not USA, but we’re heavily influenced by them and school security is important regardless of how small the threat might be.

    Uniforms create a sense of equality in a school. Plain clothes create disparity among students, creates visually defined groups and creates resentment between groups and students who don’t belong to any group.

    As for your point about teachers requiring uniforms. Well that’s just stupid. Teachers are recognised by almost everyone in a school. Although I would say schools in Ireland are far too open to intruders. It is certainly true that in most schools an adult can basically walk into the school without any questions asked and come into contact with students. IMO there should be a security guard at the entrances to schools but they’ll probably wait until after something happens.

    Most people will think I’m getting carried away, I get that. It’s usually the case and then when something happens everyone will be up in arms asking how people can so easily walk into a school with a knife or a gun or whatever.


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,226 ✭✭✭✭ rainbowtrout



    Although I would say schools in Ireland are far too open to intruders. It is certainly true that in most schools an adult can basically walk into the school without any questions asked and come into contact with students. IMO there should be a security guard at the entrances to schools but they’ll probably wait until after something happens.

    Most people will think I’m getting carried away, I get that. It’s usually the case and then when something happens everyone will be up in arms asking how people can so easily walk into a school with a knife or a gun or whatever.


    I don’t think there is a need for a security guard in schools. It’s creating a fear where one doesn’t exist. Many school shootings in America are by American school students attending the school in question. Security guards would not stop such an incident in the unlikely event that it happened. Students already have easy access to knives yet we don’t see stabbings in schools on a regular basis. Nor do we hear of such incidents reported from other countries either. America is very much an outlier there.

    Having said the doors in the school I work in are operated by key fob. Visitors to the school deal with the secretary through a hatch and she can buzz them in


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,226 ✭✭✭✭ rainbowtrout


    that's generalising ...

    the hostility towards paying for books with me were personally:
    *They are expensive
    *Teachers/schools changed the requirements every year
    *books weigh down school bags and as a lot of children have the bags on their back, I think it wrecks their backs and posture and not good for the spine.
    *when technology & something modern comes along that can replace paper books and is better for the environment and will be the future (and are the future at the moment) but dinosaur teachers and schools insist on something that sometimes in some cases I think has had its day

    Lots of things are expensive yet providing something useful for a child’s education seems to be a major gripe for parents.

    The vast majority of secondary schools provide lockers for books so students don’t have to carry heavy bags most of the time.

    Describing teachers as dinosaurs sounds like you just have a gripe with teachers.

    Paper can be recycled. Tablets require the mining of rare earth minerals and they are expensive to recover at the end of the life of the electronic equipment that contain them. The mining process is also highly polluting. Tablets are designed by manufacturers to have a short life span. Many aren’t recycled. If a child breaks a tablet it is an expensive replacement. Books can take a serious battering and still be used.


  • Registered Users Posts: 728 ✭✭✭ airy fairy


    I think few people have an issue with books at school.
    In primary, my issue is the workbooks in particular. I have to buy them new every year.
    What is wrong with teacher actually preparing work for kids on a board and work being done in a copy? I remember teachers preparing work from main books on a few pages and then getting them photocopied for the class? Too much like hard work I suspect!
    I'll gladly buy €300 worth of books for my secondary school child, but chances are, I can't pass them on to my next child. Revision numbers in books are the issue. Very little is revised in these books, why not issue a revised supplement of a few pages if books need to be updated? Then stick the revision in the book? No. That wouldn't make money, instead reprint the whole thing...makes no sense.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 3,246 ✭✭✭ judeboy101


    Ipads are an expensive fad. The OECD have shown NO benefit to students by using ICT in the classroom.


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,226 ✭✭✭✭ rainbowtrout


    airy fairy wrote: »
    I'll gladly buy €300 worth of books for my secondary school child, but chances are, I can't pass them on to my next child. Revision numbers in books are the issue. Very little is revised in these books, why not issue a revised supplement of a few pages if books need to be updated? Then stick the revision in the book? No. That wouldn't make money, instead reprint the whole thing...makes no sense.

    Bull. Already discussed earlier in the thread. Book publishers are required to keep a book in print for a minimum of six years. So there aren’t new editions every year. Some people love to spin a narrative that the books change every year when it’s just not true.

    The major expense is starting first year and starting fifth year. Many schools run book rental schemes which keep costs to a minimum and if you have children attending a school that asks the parents to buy the books then go to the school and ask why they don’t have a rental scheme.


  • Registered Users Posts: 728 ✭✭✭ airy fairy


    Bull. Already discussed earlier in the thread. Book publishers are required to keep a book in print for a minimum of six years. So there aren’t new editions every year. Some people love to spin a narrative that the books change every year when it’s just not true.

    The major expense is starting first year and starting fifth year. Many schools run book rental schemes which keep costs to a minimum and if you have children attending a school that asks the parents to buy the books then go to the school and ask why they don’t have a rental scheme.

    Eh, not bull, revision can happen every 4 years. 2 and 3 years between my kids, by the time I go from one to the next, revision is up, and certainly can never pass it to third child.
    Rental scheme isn't available, was tried but the revisions were partly the cause of the disbandment of such. School couldn't keep up replenishing.


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,226 ✭✭✭✭ rainbowtrout


    airy fairy wrote: »
    Eh, not bull, revision can happen every 4 years. 2 and 3 years between my kids, by the time I go from one to the next, revision is up, and certainly can never pass it to third child.
    Rental scheme isn't available, was tried but the revisions were partly the cause of the disbandment of such. School couldn't keep up replenishing.

    And publishers are obliged to keep the book in publication for a further two years after the four year run.

    Why aren’t you asking your school why they don’t continue with the book after four years when it’s possible to do so?

    Most schools have a book rental scheme so seem to manage fine. Publication of new books is not unique to your school. I see the deputy principal in my school buying some new books each year to replace books that have been lost or damaged so badly that they couldn’t be rented out again.

    Schools can very much drive the retention of the current edition of a book. If they keep ordering the current edition of a book it will be printed.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 20,126 ✭✭✭✭ AndrewJRenko


    judeboy101 wrote: »
    Ipads are an expensive fad. The OECD have shown NO benefit to students by using ICT in the classroom.


    That's a very broad statement. Are you suggesting no projectors? No shared folders for teaching resources? No use of video with subtitles?


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 3,246 ✭✭✭ judeboy101


    judeboy101 wrote: »
    Ipads are an expensive fad. The OECD have shown NO benefit to students by using ICT in the classroom.


    That's a very broad statement. Are you suggesting no projectors? No shared folders for teaching resources? No use of video with subtitles?
    The oecd /pisa data backs up the when ict is used to replaced traditional teaching methods e.g books, copies, paper+pen, black/whiteboard, there is actually a decrease in attainment.


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,712 ✭✭✭✭ Andy From Sligo


    Lots of things are expensive yet providing something useful for a child’s education seems to be a major gripe for parents.

    The vast majority of secondary schools provide lockers for books so students don’t have to carry heavy bags most of the time.

    Describing teachers as dinosaurs sounds like you just have a gripe with teachers.

    Paper can be recycled. Tablets require the mining of rare earth minerals and they are expensive to recover at the end of the life of the electronic equipment that contain them. The mining process is also highly polluting. Tablets are designed by manufacturers to have a short life span. Many aren’t recycled. If a child breaks a tablet it is an expensive replacement. Books can take a serious battering and still be used.

    Thanks, I have read your reply and it does make sense when you put it like that.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 8,724 ✭✭✭ nice_guy80


    Less funding for private schools would be an idea
    Put the money into public schools

    Our school has never asked parents for a contribution
    We do expect them to support any fundraising during the year. Many of the families never bother doing this.
    The same ones who wouldn't pay a contribution if there was one


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 8,724 ✭✭✭ nice_guy80


    airy fairy wrote: »
    I think few people have an issue with books at school.
    In primary, my issue is the workbooks in particular. I have to buy them new every year.
    What is wrong with teacher actually preparing work for kids on a board and work being done in a copy? I remember teachers preparing work from main books on a few pages and then getting them photocopied for the class? Too much like hard work I suspect!
    I'll gladly buy €300 worth of books for my secondary school child, but chances are, I can't pass them on to my next child. Revision numbers in books are the issue. Very little is revised in these books, why not issue a revised supplement of a few pages if books need to be updated? Then stick the revision in the book? No. That wouldn't make money, instead reprint the whole thing...makes no sense.
    Children are very slow to take work down.
    30 children all struggling to take work down?


  • Registered Users Posts: 728 ✭✭✭ airy fairy


    nice_guy80 wrote: »
    Children are very slow to take work down.
    30 children all struggling to take work down?

    However did we manage with 30 to 40 kids in a class taking work down from a blackboard!!!!!!


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,962 ✭✭✭ Tegan Clumsy Fashion


    airy fairy wrote: »
    However did we manage with 30 to 40 kids in a class taking work down from a blackboard!!!!!!

    Plenty of them didn't manage.


  • Registered Users Posts: 728 ✭✭✭ airy fairy


    Plenty of them didn't manage.

    Yes, but with the extra support available now, less get through the system without help.
    A lot of lazy teaching and learning these days.
    I'm not teacher bashing, just a simple observation through the years.


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,226 ✭✭✭✭ rainbowtrout


    airy fairy wrote: »
    Yes, but with the extra support available now, less get through the system without help.
    A lot of lazy teaching and learning these days.
    I'm not teacher bashing, just a simple observation through the years.

    The way we teach is often a response to what is coming in to us. Remember having a chat with the home economics teacher a few years ago and she was telling me about her first cookery class with the first years that year. She had asked them to wash their bowls in the sink and going around the kitchen discovered many of them putting them on the draining board face up full of water. Many had never washed a bowl in their life and didn’t understand the concept of allowing dishes to drain. Their response? We have a dishwasher and my mother loads it.

    A lot of parents do not give their children life skills and do everything for them. This translates to the classroom as some not having enough cop on to figure out how to do things. I teach science and in my first lesson was doing some lab safety. Only about 2 of the students in my class had ever lit a match and some of them were terrified of them. These are 12 year olds.

    Sometimes we have to adapt to get material taught


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  • Registered Users Posts: 26,419 ✭✭✭✭ Hotblack Desiato


    Ger Roe wrote: »
    Of course we are not going to do it properly. It is already an uncoordinated mess driven by individual schools making up their own policies and doing really bad deals with 'technology partners' who are provided with sheep to fleece by the schools on a recurring annual basis.

    A few years ago my kids' school decided to get tablets (to be used in a specific classroom, not to take home or anything) and they got.... Microsoft tablets, not Surface the generation before that (Windows RT??). I just sighed at the time and said to myself they would be scrap within 2 years, so it proved, 2 years later the M$ tablets are no longer supported and so they got the PA to raise money for iPads...

    I had hoped that the school got them for half nothing as Microsoft couldn't give those tablets away at the time and it was obvious the product line was going to be cut adrift, but it's quite possible they paid a large whack of money for them.
    I have had arguments with one school over them insisting on a specific hardware item (Ipad) to be bought from a specific supplier (their tech partner). The whole rip off process costs over €800 to set up by the time you buy the Ipad, Ebooks (time licensed), insure the Ipad, buy a protective cover and take their compulsory 'training' session for Ipad use. Then they take the equipment that you have bought at the market price with all it's standard functionality and the restrict it so that it can only be used for limited 'educational' aspects.

    Would be easy to use location or time based rules so that the tablet can only be used for educational purposes at school.
    The Dept of Ed kick to touch with the line that schools make up their own rules when in fact if we are going to do things properly they should do a national deal to source a Dept of Ed spec and approved device that is fit for Irish educational purposes and that doesn't rip parents off.

    Shudder. I remember when the Dept of Ed spent a few years cogitating on what second level computer science should be.. and decided the future was to have everyone learning how to program in COMAL.
    Currently the rush to Ipads use is a school vanity project with rick pickings for the tech companies that 'partner up' to operate the scam.

    Rant over...

    Plenty of opportunities there to recreate the school book scam but at even higher cost to parents.


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