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Re: Proposal for a mail system bundle for schools.

  •  03-16-2009, 4:08

    Re: Proposal for a mail system bundle for schools.

    Sharkfin:

    Pegasus is a very powerful client. There are so many "nooks and crannies" which the kids could (and would) play with, that unless you create a version with most of the menu items permanently removed and the remaining options and buttons vastly simplified, you're heading for trouble. I have experience in this sector. Younger kids would likely be put off by the Pegasus interface (as currently, are non-technical adults) while older kids would definitely find a way to cause trouble.

     

    I agree that the interface must be absolutely bulletproof. The kid must enter the room without the slightest hope of doing something wrong. I also have experience and I think that talking of merciless military defence is not exagerated.

     

    Most of the work would indeed consist in removing options. It's not like rebuilding the code entirely. 

     

    About the teachers, defining them as competent or incompetent is not complex enough:

     

    - Some can already install Mercury/Pegasus as they are now, some have trouble using their own email. We must prepare for the worst case scenario, and present an interface that "normally" doesn't allow mistakes.

     

    - Many don't have the time. Installation must last 30 mn at most, and no bugs and no forums asking afterwards.

     

    - For many, accessing the school's server or calling the network administrator is a hassle: forms to fill, reasons to give, appointments to make... then you don't know who touches your server at the upper level... then you have to call the administrator back... I really think that it would be a superior commercial advantage to propose a system that can be installed in one room, with just the teacher's and the kids' computers.

     

    Think also of the primary schools that don't really have a server, just three computers. It is a lego system. Not a system "for real". It's like "playing mail".

     

    But my main point is that we should offer a system that guarantees no access at all to the internet. We have changed era. At the beginning of the Internet it was assumed that networking schools was giving them access to universal knowledge. We are now in a situation where teachers risk their careers if they let the kids access the Internet, and also where many prefer not to use the Internet, in order to use certified and dependable material only.

     

    I could write books on that. I really did research on computer literacy. For 4 years now. We are in the right time to propose "no Internet" systems for schools.

     

    EDIT: It must work without a network administrator. That is an essential part of the philosophy.

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