Will Krause wrote:
> Another issue that we in education often fail to take into account is what tools
our graduates will be expected to use in the business world. If our
going to be working in a business/corporate world that is MS-centric
to desktop applications, are we doing them a disservice by moving to SO
or OO just
to save ourselves a few dollars?
In my opinion this rationale (though on the surface quite valid) doesn't
quite have the long-term benefit that one would think.
Take for example the upcoming graduating class 2003. Presumably these
students have gotten familiar with Windows XP and Office XP and are
well-prepared for the business world, right? Well, by the time they
interview and get hired for that dream job, the business world will be
poised to move to Windows 2003 and Office 2003 - both significant
upgrades to Microsoft's current offerings. The learning curve from
Office XP to the new features/menus/etc of Office 2003 is at LEAST as
significant as learning the curve from SO/OO to Office 2003.
At the risk of diving into dangerous pedagogical waters, I'm not sure
"training" students to use a specific version of a specific vendor's
word processor is necessarily the goal of a college education. Wouldn't
it be more valuable for a student to learn the fundamentals of "word
processing" (generic term) so they can apply those skills to any
particular flavor of Word processor that they may encounter in the
business world? It's the old "give a person a fish vs. teach a person to
I fully appreciate that colleges and universities must keep a close eye
on emerging business trends to offer their students a broad but relevant
education. To that end, Linux *is* becoming a significant force in
business (see the commitment of IBM, Oracle, etc) and open source often
goes hand in hand with Linux. Clearly a 2003 Graduate who has had
exposure to both traditional Windows environments AND Linux + open
source will have a more relevant skill set than the Windows-only graduate.
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