[CS-FSLUG] Microsoft Technology Mandated in GA Colleges?

Yama Ploskonka yamaplos at gmail.com
Mon Jan 7 15:22:13 CST 2013


I want to honor the time and effort you put in your thoughtful answer, 
but will be brief.

I will respectfully disagree that it makes any sense, anywhere, to have 
computers that are merely browser terminals run Windows.
It simply is bad use of resources, and, in itself, speaks tomes about 
management of the given institution (be it based on donations or taxes) 
versus whatever platitudes are recited in the classroom or the pew.

One of the main reasons why it is "necessary" to teach Microsoft, and 
Photoshop, and such in missionary land is that access to pirated 
software is so easy. There is no "reason" to go Linux. I know of no 
church in Bolivia that would care about the issue as being immoral or 
whatever. Which in a certain way I am happy to stay out of, but still 
feels odd.

I cannot imagine a single scenario where it would make any sense in the 
US for a church or school to pay for software either, sorry.
Except Tradition. Tradition based in the ignorance of the flock trumps 
principles pretty much any time.

Also, paying for buggy software that then you have to "protect", well, 
let's not be surprised that "education" cannot seem to help people stay 
out of debt and away from ludicrous life choices.

As to the disservice thing...

It all boils down to what is the goal of "Christian" education. In the 
world or of the world?
Is making someone employable the primary goal of Christian education?
I agree it should be "a" goal.
Which of Linux or Proprio ecosystems is closer to walking the Way?
Believe it or not, there is an answer, and it's not just the software 
(we use Linux in many appliances without noticing. What matters is the 

Again, it's a walk the talk thing, all over.

Oh yes, it takes a LOT of guts for a school (or church) to walk away 
from bowing to Tradition.

Which should be a model, shouldn't it?

Or are we saving ourselves to make a stand for the REAL clash of 
cultures? :-)
If Linux (not just the software, but the whole community thing) is too 
much of an "inconvenience", then, ahem...
It's a start to have students think. It's good when they take action 
that makes sense.
You can call success when your students make good choices. Software may 
be a small one, but then, it's a one.

My comments regarding employers is what I see around me.
We all know the education in Universities is a shame nowadays, yet, we 
all know that degrees are worth a lot.
Not because of what was "learned" in class, but because of the "molding" 
of the person toward something that is circumstantially valuable, in 
entry-level positions.

On 01/07/2013 01:45 PM, Tim Young wrote:
> On 1/7/2013 10:39 AM, Yama Ploskonka wrote:
>> Thank you, Tim.
>> As with anything Christian, there's the talk ("teaching") and then 
>> there's the walk, "use", for real life, all over.
> I do not know of any universities that teach that there is "one way, 
> and only one way, and that is Linux."  I do know that some of the 
> issues pertaining to OS choice have been worked through in the 
> "computer ethics" class at Taylor University, and that a goodly 
> percentage of the CS students leave with a good desire to use Linux at 
> home.  BUT, I believe it is actually a dis-service for schools NOT to 
> teach MS products, at least in part.  The plan is that people who 
> leave a university are employable.  Most places you go to get a job 
> will already have their technology in place, and the majority of 
> businesses use Windows desktops.  Sorry, but that is just the way of 
> it.  I do agree that it is great for people to do Linux at home, and 
> if you are able to set up your own business using Linux, that is 
> awesome.  But it is good to get experience in multiple OSes as a user, 
> if you wish to be employable.
> When I set up cyber-cafes overseas and techno training facilities, we 
> usually try to teach a mix of technologies.  Both Open Office, and MS 
> office, both Windows and Linux.  (Macs are very rarely used in Africa 
> due to the cost of purchasing and maintaining them). If you are trying 
> to give someone a skill that they can use, you need to give them the 
> skills the employers will be looking for, but also the understanding 
> for how to use things.  For example, the people who only knew what 
> icon to click on to wrap text were totally floored when MS switched to 
> their "ribbon" interface (Word 2007). If you knew the concepts behind 
> it, it is easier to adjust to a different interface.  Teaching people 
> how to think, not just rote memorization, is paramount for equipping 
> them to function well in the world.  )
>> Austin Community College, where I did some Wind Energy past Fall, 
>> also "teaches" Linux, as an option among the usual junk.
>> Most of the administrative tasks are web-based - that is, 
>> administrative employees and students interacting with administrative 
>> matters do so using a browser. You would think then that the OS could 
>> be any - just put a browser on top. Nope, it's some Redmont spawn, 
>> with antivirus, etc., the works.
>> We know that universities are often the farthest away places from 
>> real world issues - their main duty is to certify that a given person 
>> will spend enormous effort in obeying nonsense.
> Heh heh.  I *worked* at Taylor University, and the philosophy of their 
> faculty is nowhere near what you are stating.  Maybe that is why the 
> Taylor University computer people are in such high demand. Taylor goes 
> through a lot of pain making sure students think. What I, personally, 
> get from someone who has a degree is that the student has learned how 
> to learn and hopefully has a broad understanding of the basics.  My 
> job is to teach missionary computer people, and they usually have a 
> great desire to learn but have not faced the broad spectrum of 
> computer basics that I have had.  I certainly can see the difference 
> in people who have had a good, broad set of computer teaching from 
> those who have not.  If you are programming a multiplayer game, it 
> helps to know about basic networking.  If you are choosing which 
> technology to use for streaming teaching media to students, you should 
> be aware of how the different options are affected by home networks 
> and IPv6. People who do not have a broad spectrum of knowledge often 
> make poorer decisions when looking at some of these things.  For me, 
> that is what these colleges are for, forcing you to have a broader 
> scope of knowledge than you might have chosen if you just learned on 
> your own, as well as making sure you have learned how to learn.
> But I will be the first to say that I am biased by my in-depth 
> knowledge of the Taylor University staff and their teaching 
> priorities.  Not all universities may do it the same way.
>> That is the actual meaning of a degree: as an employer, I have in 
>> front of me someone obedient, compliant, and reasonably devoid of 
>> initiative. Of course I complain that my managers are no good, but at 
>> least they are "safe".
> Maybe for you, but I know many people do not see it that way, as I 
> stated above.  I have taken on many interns (college students who are 
> still taking classes, most of who get college credit for their time 
> with us), and it has not been my perspective to look at their 
> education as you are saying it.  I look at the actual classes they 
> have taken so I know what knowledge they have, I look at their grades 
> and recommendation by faculty to know how "self driven" they are and 
> how sharp they are.  And I look at their choice of major to determine 
> somewhat where their interests lie.  But again, that is me.   That is 
> how I think.  How I think has somewhat been shaped by my time at 
> Taylor, but also by my 15+ years working in missions tech.
>     - Tim Young
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