Waraku Education

Ideas, experiments and observations as they occur [and I have time] relating to teaching and learning in a secondary school - special focus on ICT.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

The return to mainframes and terminals

I've been playing with Google Spreadsheets and find it to be a very serviceable tool. It does not seem to have any graphing features but has a simple sharing option. The file can be saved on Google's server and can be downloaded to my computer in with .xls or .csv format.

I have privacy concerns about individuals having their data on a central server.

I can see the time coming where schools will not need to have to maintain software on computers to provide the basic functions of word processing, spreadsheet, email, presentations, etc. A web browser will provide the interface to a global terminal services system. It feels like the return of the mainframe and termianls using a graphical interface.

The computers in schools could be Linux terminals using donated computers. This provides a basic infrastructure that costs next to nothing and uses tools that students can freely access at home or anywhere. Bandwidth and data costs will continue to decrease over time.

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