Archive for April 21st, 2008

A Computer for Each QC Teacher

This @rticle was cre@ted by Djeault, on Monday, April 21st, 2008 at 10:37 am
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Do Soldiers Pay for Their Weapons?

§ 1. It seems that at this moment, a teacher cannot deduct the purchase of a (laptop) computer from his income because teachers are paid employees and not autonomous workers; on the other hand, yes, in schools, there are computers made available for the teachers in teachers’ headquarters, apart from the other computers in computer labs, school libraries and so on… However, what are you supposed to do, if another teacher already is using the computer shared by a few teachers?

§ 2. Indeed, teachers do know that some of us bring a lot of work at home… We create documents for our students, organize projects, seek information on the Web, participate in pedagogical or educational discussions in teachers or students’ blogs or Wikis… Therefore, since the computers at school aren’t in our homes, we need computers at home too, unless we have our very own laptop, which we can carry wherever we are.

hippocampus§ 3. Moreover, having your own computer is like having a third and fourth horn, grafted to your hippocampus; indeed, according to these two im@ges, THE hippocampus seems to be organized as my laptop’s double hard drives.

§ 4. The animated GIF comes from duke.edu, the PNG, from Wikipedia.

hippocampus§ 5. Could you imagine having someone else’s hippocampus, or shouldn’t we say hippocampa, grafted instead of yours! That would be like working with someone else’s computer, or sharing one with numerous other teachers… It appears to me that each teacher needs her, his very own computer, maybe even more so, a mobile substitute teacher like me.

§ 6. When you @ct and le@rn on the Web, you have different user names and passwords; you don’t want to constantly have to remember all of those details and that’s another reason why a teacher needs her, his very laptop. Moreover, for obvious security reasons, I wouldn’t want to set up all my user names and passwords on a shared computer: in the end, I required MY computer; I bought one!

§ 7. However, I won’t even be able to deduct it as an expense on my income tax report, even though others also seem to think a laptop is an essential tool for any teacher: see chez Sylvain or chez Pierre; even an April Fools’ Day prank was created by the Infobourg. Within certain jobs, when you go home, you may think about anything else but work; when you teach, however, you even dream about it. Your evenings, your weekends are filled with teaching related activities: corrections with positive feedback, class preparations, and so on…

§ 8. Throughout all that, we constantly need access to a computer and the Web: our own computer is a must; a constant @ccess to the Web seems to be another. The other day, for example, I explain it better here, students were working on a text, which mentioned the ‘Bonifacio Fortifications’; a quick se@rch led me to Wikipedia and I now know those fortifications are in Corsica: how could I have guessed it, if I hadn’t had a functional Internet @ccess?

§ 9. Frogs will bear feathers, when school boards offer a loan to substitute teachers, to help them get a laptop since they don’t even know how much work we’ll get, thus, if we’d be able to pay our loan back… Maybe, school boards, or even the MELS, should get into buying lots of laptops, so as to get the best prices; then, they could sell them to us teachers, at the best available prices. They could do a survey before, to know what the teachers want and then, buy so many MACs, so many PCs and so many exploitation licenses.

§ 10. The trouble all that would give to the school boards or the MELS would only compensate the fact that THEY should supply teachers with those tools, especially that we cannot deduct that expense: do soldiers have to pay for their weapons? What I’m suggesting here is that each teacher pays for its own laptop because it’s a private tool, which should be carefully cared for. Indeed, I’d want to keep my artificial hippocampa, in the event I change school board or job. As for a personal, nomad, unrestricted @ccess to the Web, it seems to me that in the best of worlds, it’d be another teaching related tool, which would also be tax deductible!

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