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View Full Version : Who wants to go to Microsoft High?



KingBahamut
September 8th, 2006, 02:42 PM
"After three years of planning, the Microsoft Corp.-designed 'School of the Future' opened its doors Thursday, a gleaming white modern facility looking out of place amid rows of ramshackle homes in a working-class West Philadelphia neighborhood. The school is being touted as unlike any in the world, with not only a high-tech building -- students have digital lockers and teachers use interactive 'smart boards' -- but also a learning process modeled on Microsoft's management techniques."

Cnn link
http://www.cnn.com/2006/TECH/ptech/09/07/school.of.future.ap/index.html?section=cnn_topstories


Hehe....I wonder if you have to reboot the whole building every couple of weeks to make sure it works properly.

skymt
September 8th, 2006, 02:46 PM
...but also a learning process modeled on Microsoft's management techniques.

I guess students there don't have to worry about turning in assignments late. ;)

Lord Illidan
September 8th, 2006, 02:49 PM
Hehe....I wonder if you have to reboot the whole building every couple of weeks to make sure it works properly.

Last time I checked, XP was quite stable... I am more concerned about the kids going to be microsoft groupies...u know, they won't know anything but windows.

But then, I am glad that they are creating opportunities for the less fortunate. I wish I was there, hehe... passing out ubuntu disks!

Brunellus
September 8th, 2006, 02:49 PM
and thus the bling offensive against *nix is renewed.

crane
September 8th, 2006, 02:55 PM
Last time I checked, XP was quite stable... I am more concerned about the kids going to be microsoft groupies...u know, they won't know anything but windows.

But then, I am glad that they are creating opportunities for the less fortunate. I wish I was there, hehe... passing out ubuntu disks!

Yea but think about how high school kids think.
**psst ahy man, I just installed Ubuntu on my Windows High issued laptop!

What better way to rebel than run linux at MS high!

zachtib
September 8th, 2006, 03:43 PM
I wish I was there, hehe... passing out ubuntu disks!

Roadtrip!

Brunellus
September 8th, 2006, 04:31 PM
Roadtrip!
YOu know what they do to guys who hand out candy at schoolyards.

maniacmusician
September 8th, 2006, 04:49 PM
YOu know what they do to guys who hand out candy at schoolyards.
lmao

bruce89
September 8th, 2006, 05:02 PM
This is a clever move by MS.
By getting the young using ONLY their products, they will buy theirs in the future.
This is why they give discounts to schools.

Lord Illidan
September 8th, 2006, 05:10 PM
I've just reread TFA.

63 million for just one school?? for just 170 students??

over 300k each student!!

In Malta, that kind of money could buy each of these kids a home, not to mention education for life!

bruce89
September 8th, 2006, 05:16 PM
63 million for just one school?? for just 170 students??


My council is going to build 2 secondary schools (c. 2000 pupils all together) for 100,000,000.

Brunellus
September 8th, 2006, 05:16 PM
But the propaganda value is tremendous, not to mention creating goodwill in a major American city.

As a tech policy battleground, Philadelphia is big--they are going live with a city-wide municipal wireless data network, which prompted panic from the telcos. The telcos called their pet legislators to protect competition, which they did, banning any further such publicly-funded municipal data networks in the state of Pennsylvania.

Microsoft can achieve a great deal simply by the perception that they are doing something to bridge the 'digital divide' in a city like Philladelphia.

hizaguchi
September 8th, 2006, 05:29 PM
I think there is an interesting precedent being set here. Yeah, Microsoft has invested heavily in this school, but if the combination of tax cuts, publicity, and indoctrination pays off in the long run we may see a gradual restructuring of the education system in the future. And though it is true that big business already pulls the strings in this country, I'm anxious to see how far the government will let the power pendulum swing before laws are passed to "protect the children" by ensuring that the indoctrination of young minds is always under federal control.

Sweet Spot
September 8th, 2006, 05:30 PM
From what I'm hearing, there could actually be a couple of problems which might lead up to the permanant closing of this new school:

1) After only 48 hours of students browsing through the school, it's been noted that severe viruses are already running rampant throughout, and they're all very contageous. Furthermore, it's been said that some of these viruses, have brainwashed the children, and have turned them into spys, who report straight back to Redmond, about each others behavior.


2) M.S. has plotted a solution, but there are problems with this as well... The children will have to be quarantined within the school forever,(but are still permitted to operate as usual, but with hindered performance it seems) and are not allowed any contact with anyone from the outside. Parents are quite upset with this notion.


Weird.

:twisted::biggrin:

terminatingzero
September 8th, 2006, 06:41 PM
Not me. I value education over de-education personally.;)

Cyraxzz
September 8th, 2006, 07:42 PM
I'm sure their textbooks are closed source.

BWF89
September 8th, 2006, 08:08 PM
Last time I checked, XP was quite stable... I am more concerned about the kids going to be microsoft groupies...u know, they won't know anything but windows.
90% of our school district's computers run Mac OSX and all the kids already hate anything but Windows.

prizrak
September 8th, 2006, 08:33 PM
Campus wide wireless internet and laptops in class == BAD IDEA. Trust me on that that's how my college was and not a single person there used their laptop for learning in class ;)

blastus
September 9th, 2006, 02:31 AM
I have no problem with students learning and using Microsoft products. What I have a problem with is the level of influence Microsoft now has over this school district to not only introduce a Microsoft-centric approach to learning, but to exclude other approaches.

The Philadelphia School District should know better than to hire a convicted monopolist that most certainly has an interest in keeping competitor products out of the school curriculum.

maniacmusician
September 9th, 2006, 02:49 AM
I have no problem with students learning and using Microsoft products. What I have a problem with is the level of influence Microsoft now has over this school district to not only introduce a Microsoft-centric approach to learning, but to exclude other approaches.

The Philadelphia School District should know better than to hire a convicted monopolist that most certainly has an interest in keeping competitor products out of the school curriculum.
you're right, but unfortunately the school district was probably just thinking about a better reputation.

i was more surprised that the school district coughed up this much money just for 170 students. i'm sure most of the cost is taken up by the "high-tech" equipment...i doubt the learning experience will be much better than a dedicated teacher could give at any school

grte
September 9th, 2006, 05:21 AM
I find this sickening in the same way I find real-life product placement and Celebration, Florida sickening.

.t.
September 9th, 2006, 11:05 AM
It's all just vendor lock-in. I pity them; but they will become Microsoft trolls, with no reasons except the innate human conservatism.

Lord Illidan
September 9th, 2006, 11:14 AM
Even the fact that there are no books in the library amazes me.

I mean..come on, books are by far and far away the best tools for learning. Internet is also good, but I prefer a good book for studying.

And as for multimedia whiteboards etc, I don't know. Will they produce more geniuses? I don't think so.

maniacmusician
September 9th, 2006, 02:09 PM
Even the fact that there are no books in the library amazes me.

I mean..come on, books are by far and far away the best tools for learning. Internet is also good, but I prefer a good book for studying.

And as for multimedia whiteboards etc, I don't know. Will they produce more geniuses? I don't think so.
exactly, there seems to be a large amount of money-wasting going on here. sure these things are cool, but how beneficial are they?

i hear you on the books thing. After reading real paper books, and reading entire books on the internet, i have to say; it's no comparison. when reading off of a screen, it puts so much strain on your eyes, and it's really uncomfortable. It just can't replace the experience of reading a real book.

dinda
September 9th, 2006, 03:31 PM
Several things from the article are interesting. . .first that they are screening students so you get those students with higher motivations, second that school district is footing the bill and not MS, third - how well does the Microsoft Mgmnt Model (MMM) map to education and learning?

Why not just try the MMM in an existing school? A very smart man once told me, "Technology does not solve social problems." It's clear the Philly School district needs help, as do most schools but simply throwing in more technology is never the answer - I've seen that model fail miserably more than once.

But wouldn't it be great to have an entire Edubuntu school where instead of throwing the money to Microsoft, the money saved went to hire MORE teachers. The only proven factor in helping to raise tests scores (the US's measure of success) is smaller class sizes.

Brunellus
September 11th, 2006, 09:59 PM
Several things from the article are interesting. . .first that they are screening students so you get those students with higher motivations, second that school district is footing the bill and not MS, third - how well does the Microsoft Mgmnt Model (MMM) map to education and learning?

Why not just try the MMM in an existing school? A very smart man once told me, "Technology does not solve social problems." It's clear the Philly School district needs help, as do most schools but simply throwing in more technology is never the answer - I've seen that model fail miserably more than once.

But wouldn't it be great to have an entire Edubuntu school where instead of throwing the money to Microsoft, the money saved went to hire MORE teachers. The only proven factor in helping to raise tests scores (the US's measure of success) is smaller class sizes.
I'm going to dispute your class size contention. While smaller class sizes help, the degree to which they are desirable has been greatly exaggerated.

The single biggest factor in improving educational attainment has been (surprise!) increased time-on-task. There are two ways of achieving this: 1) lengthening the school day, and 2) modifying the academic calendar.

Presently, a great deal of time is lost by an archaic school calendar based around planting and harvest cycles. Teachers constantly have to overcome the lost time, and a great deal of the first part of the school year is spent reviewing or repeating material that the student was presumed to have mastered the previous school year.

Literacy and numeracy will go up, guaranteed, if the school year were restructured. Instead of one 2.5 month vacation, why not break them up into three weeks here, three weeks there, and keep kids working through more of the year? Less time to forget, and a greater sense of connection.

The community benefits, too. Keeping kids in school means keeping them off the streets where they are less likely to be victims of (or perpetrators of!) crime.

I'm quite shocked to hear that Philadelphia is putting public money into such a huge and wasteful project.

.t.
September 11th, 2006, 10:06 PM
Who on God's earth gets 2.5 months of holiday? Here in the UK we get a six-week-ish half-term followed by one week of holiday. Then there is another half-term and a two week holiday. This repeats for the next term, and the term after is similar, except the holiday at the end spans the last week of July and all of August (so around six weeks). We never get 15 weeks! Six weeks feels short to me, lucky 15-week bastards!

Brunellus
September 11th, 2006, 10:09 PM
school's out in the States from the end of May/start of June to the first week of September. Think about that.

.t.
September 11th, 2006, 10:12 PM
I wanna go to an American school!

aysiu
September 11th, 2006, 10:17 PM
I'm going to dispute your class size contention. While smaller class sizes help, the degree to which they are desirable has been greatly exaggerated. Maybe at the university level, but in high school, small class sizes are a huge factor in getting anything done. I've taught in both public and private high schools, and the most productive classes I had had about 14-16 students. 10 students were too few; 30 students were too many.

I don't care how long you make the school calendar or the school day, you are not more productive with 30+ students than you are with 14 students. It's a simple matter of time--you do not have the time to give individual attention to all those students, and--during a discussion--more students means less speaking time for every student.

In fact, the private school I taught at (where class sizes averaged about 15 students) had fewer hours a day in academic classes and a shorter academic calendar than both of the public schools I taught at (where class sizes averaged about 25 students).

Of course, you could argue that there were more behavioral issues at the public schools where I taught (and that is true--there were more), but especially when there are behavioral issues, it's better to have a smaller class size. Do you want to manage 35 kids who are rowdy... or 18 kids who are rowdy?

Lord Illidan
September 11th, 2006, 10:26 PM
Being a highschool student myself, I agree with aysiu.

At school, we are taught in classes of 30+. However, we are often divided into smaller groups for tutorials for intense sessions with the teacher.. and it is there where we understand the most.

EDIT :

Mentioning times, I think they are reasonable..

I have to wake up at half past 6 to catch the first lesson. Some students wake up even earlier to catch transport. Lessons begin at 7.30. I sleep at around 1 am.
Conclusion = first lesson all groggy.

Brunellus
September 11th, 2006, 10:28 PM
Maybe at the university level, but in high school, small class sizes are a huge factor in getting anything done. I've taught in both public and private high schools, and the most productive classes I had had about 14-16 students. 10 students were too few; 30 students were too many.

I don't care how long you make the school calendar or the school day, you are not more productive with 30+ students than you are with 14 students. It's a simple matter of time--you do not have the time to give individual attention to all those students, and--during a discussion--more students means less speaking time for every student.

In fact, the private school I taught at (where class sizes averaged about 15 students) had fewer hours a day in academic classes and a shorter academic calendar than both of the public schools I taught at (where class sizes averaged about 25 students).

Of course, you could argue that there were more behavioral issues at the public schools where I taught (and that is true--there were more), but especially when there are behavioral issues, it's better to have a smaller class size. Do you want to manage 35 kids who are rowdy... or 18 kids who are rowdy?
It's tough to justify small class sizes as a primary means to increasing educational attainment when the United States is *routinely* out-scored in standardized tests for literacy and numeracy by countries whose aggregate class sizes are as large and even larger.

I'm not disputing that it might help, but I offer the opinion by way of suggesting that there are a number of ways to attack poor educational attainment, and that class size is not necessarily the only one nor necessarily the most efficacious.

.t.
September 11th, 2006, 10:31 PM
Hmm. Well at least in Britain school starts at 9 am. I thought that was early!

I definitely agree that small classes are a good idea. When you have a small class of people who want to be doing what you're doing, everything runs smoothly and people get along, all of which make learning easier.

Lord Illidan
September 11th, 2006, 10:34 PM
Hmm. Well at least in Britain school starts at 9 am. I thought that was early!

I definitely agree that small classes are a good idea. When you have a small class of people who want to be doing what you're doing, everything runs smoothly and people get along, all of which make learning easier.

Early :confused:
What is late, then?

EDIT :


It's tough to justify small class sizes as a primary means to increasing educational attainment when the United States is *routinely* out-scored in standardized tests for literacy and numeracy by countries whose aggregate class sizes are as large and even larger.

I'm not disputing that it might help, but I offer the opinion by way of suggesting that there are a number of ways to attack poor educational attainment, and that class size is not necessarily the only one nor necessarily the most efficacious.
Of course class size is not the only one. If the teacher is bad, or the student is hopelessly distracted even 1:1 individual attention won't help the student. I'm not saying that all american teachers are bad, but what about distraction?

aysiu
September 11th, 2006, 10:38 PM
It's tough to justify small class sizes as a primary means to increasing educational attainment when the United States is *routinely* out-scored in standardized tests for literacy and numeracy by countries whose aggregate class sizes are as large and even larger. I guess it depends on what you consider "educational attainment." I think the US doesn't do well on standardized tests because of the culture in our schools (regardless of class size). It is an educational culture that, at its best, teaches discussion, critical thinking, and analytical skills; at its worst, it is just chaos with no respect for authority.

My parents grew up in Hong Kong in the 1950s, and they said they learned a lot of facts and grammar and all that standardized test goodness because they were not allowed to speak (except to recite memorized material). They just sat in class and took notes on everything the teacher said.

If we wanted to change the educational system in the US so that our sole goal was to do better on standardized tests, we would have extremely large lecture classes where students would just take notes and memorize things. If they answered wrong, they would be beaten or yelled at.

That may get us higher scores, but I do not consider that "educational attainment."

.t.
September 11th, 2006, 10:54 PM
Hear hear!

And, err, I was proposing that UK schools start at ten!:-\"

jeffc313
September 12th, 2006, 01:10 AM
Oh, start at 10 you say. I start at 7:25, for guess what... my MATH CLASS. I am relatively good in maths, A's all around, but whatever.
I also have soccer from the end of the day (2:30) untill 6:00 talk about a long day.

Back on the topic of Microsoft High, yes I would like to go, but I would much rather go to GNU High.

Brunellus
September 12th, 2006, 04:37 AM
at GNU high, you have to wear fake beards, and have a Three Minutes' Hate every morning where they project proprietary software as you hurl copies of the GPL v3 drafts at it.