__/ [ Snit ] on Thursday 14 December 2006 20:40 \__
> "Roy Schestowitz" <newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> stated in post
> 3794166.SmPLXEuTMv@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx on 12/14/06 1:06 PM:
>>> I teach software based on the wants and needs of my students.
>> Fair enough, but if I were a teacher, I would try to preach the importance
>> of generic skills. I have read about professors who teach the GNU Image
>> Manipulation Program, not Photoshop and its relatives; not even Pixel or
>> GIMPShop. That's one of the key issues many pedagogue speak about before
>> writing down a syllabus.
> I do talk about the importance of learning multiple tools, but if there is
> a tool that (a) I know well and (b) does its job very well and (c) from
> what I
> can find there is no other comparable tool then I will use that tool. It
> also depends on the class. In my getting to know your PC class, even
> though it is listed as "PC" and not "Windows", the focus of the class is on
> with some discussion of Macs and even less on Linux. Focusing on Linux for
> this group - people very knew to the computer world - would not make much
> sense; Windows has the advantage of being "everywhere", OS X has the
> advantage of working better for this group, and Linux has the advantage of
> being cheaper *to get*, but I have not seen evidence that it is cheaper in
> the long run (though, clearly, the malware there for Linux is not the issue
> it is on Windows and *that* is a clear expense for Windows).
> In my class on working with software for your digital camera, I use Picasa
> (the class is a short class for mostly relatively new users). I *do* talk
> about how Picasa works on Linux, though, frankly, I have *never* had a
> student in that class who has used it ... and I do talk about iPhoto a bit;
> I often have students who use Macs.
>> You know, in some places they urge students to memorise phrases from the
>> bible or literature. Something in education is utterly flawed and it makes
>> the learning curve inexistent or utterly useless. These skills cannot be
>> retained and memory is so volatile. It's about skills and ability to take
>> them with you, without restrictions. Extending the tools is a nice bonus
>> and also an open door to a career. I'd remind you that Linux began with a
>> student who hacked on Minix. Why? Because he was able to. Because his
>> university gave him access to Open Source software. In fact, my first
>> experience with GNU/Linux was right here... when I was 18. They had Red
>> Hat. For the first time I saw something other than the Macs and the
>> Windows PC's that were a mess and too ubiquitous. They were closed too.
>> Begone were the days of DOS when you could mess about, learn commands and
>> then get created. When I was about 13 I created a trivia game using DOS
>> batch stuff only... and also a 'virus'.
> I do encourage my students to explore and to learn to look at the screen,
> but - at least for some of my classes - when you are starting a semester
> with several *hours* on how to use a mouse, the deeper philosophy might not
> be that important to them. :)
It sounds as though you teach computing from an interface-oriented side
rather than something principled. Fair enough then. I had something else in
mind. It is akin to teaching a programming language instead of a paradigm,
which gets the student acquainted with ideas to acquire skills. It relates
to the difference between teaching C (pointers, memory management, etc)
versus something dumbed-down like Java. From an educational point of view,
the former is far better and this leads to writing of more secure and
less-resource greedy programs. Many PHP programs are not secure because the
people who use them have no background in computing. As in the case of
social engineering, no safety net can provide a safe haven (XSS and SQL
injections for instance). It can only try to help and restrict.
~~ Kind greetings and happy holidays!
Roy S. Schestowitz | "ASCII stupid question, get a stupid ANSI"
http://Schestowitz.com | RHAT Linux | PGP-Key: 0x74572E8E
1:05pm up 57 days 23:19, 7 users, load average: 3.12, 2.29, 1.38
http://iuron.com - Open Source knowledge engine project