If your only experience of Scottish education was watching something like NEDS, then you'd be in for a bit of a surprise at the work that Research Machines (RM) is doing with places like Tynecastle High School. The Scotsman was keen to cover it. McKitGuru dons a kilt and sporan and glances over the border.
The world of modern education seems to be at some kind of junction. One part of the community believes in the most traditional methods possible being implemented. They believe that you only need give children the best tools possible, and they will be able to build any future you care to imagine.
RM is very firmly in the other camp. They believe that the world is evolving so fast, that only surrounding children with the most advanced teaching environment possible will be enough for the 21st century.
To show just how advanced the school teaching environment can be, RM has fitted out a large part of Tynecastle with a Google-HQ-esque environment, full of powerful system, interactive teaching aids, bean bags and phat-boi chairs that swivel, recline and generally provide your posterior with 5 star treatment.
Will a child genuinely learn French better, if they are using green screen technology to make them appear to be in front of the Eifel tower – or should they be plodding through huge books of verbs ?
KitGuru is firmly on the side of the new technology. Anything that can give young children more energy and enthusiasm toward their curriculum has to be a good thing. The middle and upper class kids who are being hot-housed to A* grades in other regions, will not need the boost – but it could mean a completely different level of engagement from children with a poor to average background. And that's a good thing.
Tynecastle will be visited by hundreds of teachers from other schools across Scotland before the end of November – so they can all get an idea of what it looks like to be in a utopian school room.
KitGuru says: Great idea. Honestly. But with the kind of prices that RM is famous for charging, it's hard to see how many schools will be able to afford this kind of boost. Also, you'd have to be realistic about how best to protect the kit when the schools are closed. More power to the Scots and RM!
Comment below or in the KitGuru forums.