Broadband in schools and the people that exploit schoolkids to make themselves look good, an ongoing series…
So TIF (Telecoms Internet Federation) aka eircom’s mouthpiece have been talking up broadband in schools. Right. The unchallenged bullshit that was peddled in SiliconRepublic is that 98% of schools in Ireland now have broadband. BULLSHIT. First I do not believe anything TIF sends out so doubt it is 98% and second, half of schools have a satellite dish that gives them 512k Internet speed. That’s not broadband and this connection is shared between a whole school. That’s if schools actually use their broadband connections or have teachers trained to use the connections. Once again I see Eamon Ryan tacking on his crap to a TIF release too. Good man Eamon, that’ll really help the future of our country by perpetuating lies. Not everyone can go or afford to go to Gonzaga like yourself.
Utter Crap!.I live in Oranmore, Galway and of the five schools servicing the area one had dial-up internet access – they don’t use it.
I’ve just signed up to advise my sons school (me! imagine that…) on how best to utilise the five or so sub-standard computers they have and help them organise some sort of broadband connection.
Arf, lovely reprinted press release in silicon republic. “Knowledge economy”, says Gerry. Even better, “broadband is the way of the future” says Eamonn, having presumably just read an edition of Fast Company from around the turn of the century.
Tommy thinks that lying through our teeth about broadband speeds and penetration will “help attract the future high-level investment and skilled jobs to the country”. I’m afraid we’ve played that card already Tommy.
Surely there are enough parents in the country who will realise that this is just a blatant fib? Without even going into the fact that what is passed off as broadband in this country would be laughed out the door in most other European countries …
take a look at this for some more objective analysis on the country as a whole
Ireland ranking 21st for Network readiness in 2006-7. (Noted inside article, top 20 countries listed). They comment (and pull punches when they say “but the reason for the less-than-high performance youâ€™d expect from them is rooted in many of the legacy environmental and regulatory aspects”). Finger pointed very directly at government here.
No one with vision and balls to make it happen at any level.
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There are several issues here:
1) People believe this shit because it’s in the papers/on the telly/whatever..
2) Several schools that I know of (and I don’t know that many) have indeed got “broadband” but there were no instructions given on how to actually connect the broadband to the existing computers or god forbid network even.
3) Hardly any of the schools have a dedicated IT person or have teachers with sufficient knowledge to even send an email, let alone utilise the IT equiment and actually teach the kids on how to use it. Mind you it’s not the teachers fault as they are up the walls with work already but surely there should be funds in the governments budget for a dedicated IT teacher shared between several schools should. Ooh wait, there was, but they spend it on something else!
I have to admit that my experience is limited to primary schools mostly.
The FF governments policy on anything that is not in some way connected to property development is laughable. They have the economic foresight of a blind frog.
Been there, the funnest part of this is having broadband wired into the schools, and maybe even a network wired in the building. But when most of the computers a school might have (if any) are not able to be connected (no Ethernet cards) to the network does not make broadband useful. Or when teachers are actively against students being allowed to use the internet ( because they don’t know anything about it) is yet another issue.
The big picture, and someone to see it, is what is missing in the education sector currently. And there is no hope for a remedy in sight.
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