pma-la at milleng.com.au
Fri May 25 00:08:25 UTC 2007
> Open source technologies are important for learning because it is
> legal for kids to look under the bonnet and learn how things work. It
> is my guess that we have a deficit of new tech graduates because their
> school educations are saturated in technologies they are only allowed
> to learn how to use but they are not allowed to learn how to engineer
> and contribute to them.
I have suspected this for a long time. It's hard to learn how a PC or
operating system or even an application works when the environment is so
abstracted and impenetrable.
I was giving a talk at a careers night for Year 10 students at Sydney
University a few years ago and two kids came up to me all excited about
how they had taken old computer parts and built a DOS machine. They
weren't doing anything at all exciting with it... but then I didn't see
it as their fault.
Naturally I encouraged them to load Linux on the machine and tinker!
I have a big stash of 10 year old HP enterprise servers which I've
offered to a local high school so the kids can be encouraged to learn
about that class of hardware. I've offered to work with the teacher to
create lesson plans based on loading Linux and configuring services such
as email and file serving etc. I've also offered to train him and to
help teach if he needs support. As I do this I figure I'll be able to
find a few students who could be encouraged to learn how the kernel
works or programming :-)
BTW: knowing how the Linux kernel works is useful in the M$ world too!
It's easy to see what Windows is doing during the boot sequence... I can
tell when it's loaded the HD driver (the mouse is easy of course)... and
I've never taken an M$ course in my life :-P
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