george kocke webmaster at vol.org
Thu Apr 1 15:55:14 UTC 2004

On Thu, 2004-04-01 at 08:47, Henry Hartley wrote:

> >> "This is not what the kids will see in college or the work place."

> This is just plain wrong, at least the college part.  Here's a quote
> from Mark Andreessen in BusinessWeek:

> 	"Another key thing to remember is that everyone coming
> 	out of college is familiar with Linux.

That's a good point. However, it will be argued that the majority of
college students are not computer science students and will therefore
not be using Linux or that their use will be minimal.

A very stupid argument, but I've heard it used.

What needs to be done is to get people to stop focusing on training
students in the exact steps needed to do something in a particular piece
of software and to start teaching the concepts of that class of

When I was fighting to keep using OpenOffice & LTSP last year, I had a
couple of teachers complain that we were doing a disservice to our
students (PK3 - 8th grade) because we were not training them to use
Microsoft Word as the high schools expect. I tried to explain to them
that learning the concepts of how to use a word processor is better than
specific training in Word. In order to help convince them, I set up a
Macintosh SE running a copy of Microsoft Works from around 1988. I
showed them that a word processor from 1988 is basically the same as one
from 2003. They weren't totally convinced, but I think it helped a bit.

Having younger teachers is not always better. I'm dealing with one in
her early 20s who is terrified of computers and one who calls HTML files
"hotmail files." The one 20 something teacher we have who loves using
Linux used to do BBSing on his Commodore 64. 

george kocke <webmaster at vol.org>

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