A libertarian inclined blog for teachers and learners of all ages. Comments, emails and links to other educational stuff welcome.

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Next entry: Alison Wolf denounces the raising of the school leaving age
Previous entry: Facebook profiling the applicants
Monday January 14 2008

I like to Vista bash everywhere else I write, but I wasn’t expecting to be doing it here.  But read this:

A year of lobbying from the men in black has failed to move the British Educational Communications and Technology Agency (Becta) away from its early decision to kick Microsoft Vista and Office 2007 out of schools.

The agency kicked up a right stink when it said, in its interim report, that schools should not touch Vista of [or? - BM] Office 2007 with with a barge poll.

Now in the agency’s final report, which can be found here, it seems that Becta has decided to stick to its guns.

Becta says that deploying Vista in current setups isn’t worth the cash. Only 22 per cent of school PCs in the UK are capable of running Vista “effectively.” This is despite the fact that 66 per cent of machines fall under the under Microsoft’s definition of “Vista capable.”

Becta claims that it will cost each primary school £125 to upgrade a PC and £75 for secondary schools. Costs will therefore run to £175 million to upgrade schools in England and Wales and Becta said that there was no evidence to support the argument that the costs of upgrading to Vista in educational establishments would be offset by appropriate benefits.

Provide it sticks to making recommendations and refrains from giving orders, setting targets, etc., then BECTA (which I’d never heard of until now) actually sounds like a moderately intelligent way to waste public money, compared to a lot of the government’s educational activities.

As for Vista, it seems uniquely ill-suited to being used effectively by young people, especially very young ones.  It is apparently horribly large, and slow, and it won’t work on the kind of small, cheap, mobile computers that are now being announced, and which a lot of families will surely soon be getting for their kids.