[Linux-aus] Should I feel sorry for Queenslanders?!

Glen Turner gdt at gdt.id.au
Thu Nov 21 22:12:11 EST 2013

Hi Steve,

The biggest problem with MSCE, etc is that they reinforce the notion that computing is only about "information technology", that is, the application of computers to business office functions.

We're already at the point where most computers are not used for that purpose at all. In short, MSCE-like programmes are teaching kids about the way computing used to be in the 2000s, before computers became embedded into everything and before they were tactile objects.

Nothing about a MSCE teaches kids about how their computer -- a iPhone or Samsung Galaxy -- works. Nothing about a MSCE teaches kids about how embedded computing works. Rather it references an arcane world they have had no experience of.

Even popular IT programs like word processors are getting more and more marginal. What's the advantage of using a word processor rather than entering your text directly into the Wiki, blog or Tumblr? If you are aiming for paper output then why not use a page layout program?

I'm slowly coming to the view that modern computing might be best taught alongside woodwork and metalwork. Measuring computer teaching by its readying of people to work in the narrow application of computing called "IT" is as about as clever as measuring woodwork by a graduate's ability to start work in construction.

I'd rather high school graduates understand how a basic computer works, how to extend that understanding to how their phone works and how a "cloud service" works, and how to be savvy about the darker sides of Internet culture.


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