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Education Software

Application-Centricity in Our Schools? 87

Posted by Cliff
from the teaching-the-basics-not-a-software-package dept.
bccomm asks: "Here on Slashdot, we continually hear about new successes in bringing free software closer to the desktop. What about schools? I am a student and was once asked to redo an entire presentation because I had used Prosper instead of PowerPoint. The explanation I received from him was 'the curriculum says I'm supposed to teach Word, PowerPoint, etc, not word processing and presentations.' How is this for irony: presentation has to be about volunteer work/hobbies, and I chose to show that my computer runs a daily NetBSD snapshot. I think it just lost some effectiveness. Is anyone else bothered by this?"
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Application-Centricity in Our Schools?

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  • by CliffH (64518) <cliff...hairston@@@gmail...com> on Tuesday January 13, 2004 @09:48PM (#7968987) Homepage Journal

    ... as stupid as this sounds, if the project were to be done using Word and Powerpoint about your hobbies, you should have at least made the attempt to make it look like you did it on Word and Powerpoint, regardless of your personal viewpoints. The easiest would have been to put it in an MS compatible format when you were doing it so that you could display and turn in what you had to in a form that the teacher would have liked. Being an ex-tutor, there were some stupid things I had to adhere by and one of them was that all electronic documents had to be in an MS readable format for some of the courses (they were A+, Net+, and MCSE courses). Now, being the Linux tutor also, when it came time for things to be done at home (research, projects, etc) the only thing my students had to adhere to was keeping the documents in MS readable formats so that other tutors could review if necessary. This kept everyone happy as they got to work in what they wanted (Linux, BSD, OS/2, Winwhatever, etc) and still kept with course guidelines.

    CliffH

    • Spot on.

      To the thread author: welcome to the real world, where youll find people rejecting your work for things as insignificant as font size or program version.

      Consider it a learning experience which could have been worse... at least you were allowed to redo it.
    • How did this get modded as insightful? This reasoning is exactly what the M$ programs are about. Being an (ex)tutor myself, these formats are not good and are too (ego)centric.

      Why would one need to save to a platform specific format and not to a platform independent format? M$ users can just as well save to pdf, rtf or whatever with their programs. Those documents could then be read with the platform of choice and in most cases with the viewer of choice. I for one was not interested in rebooting my develop
      • Well, like it or not, MS formats are what the higher ups (managers, head tutors, headmasters, etc) use and understand how to open. Over here (in NZ) you have what is called the NZQA [nzqa.govt.nz] which releases frameworks for testing purposes. The schools then turn around and either write their own NZQA units based off of these frameworks or buy them from other companies. If these frameworks state that Document A has to be in a given format, it has to be in that given format. If it is not, that student has failed that ex

      • Word doesn't save to pdf, and it won't open it in any legible way, either. Furthermore, I wouldn't consider Word document to be a platform-specific format. You can open and save OOo documents without any difficulty insurmountable by users who have OOo installed. I used OOo in college when all the labs used MS Office and I converted and dealt. It even got me out of working on some PowerPoint projects. OOo may be super-small, fast, stable, and have features on par with Office, but it is not the defacto file f
      • M$ Word: In most cases, it's an elephant that is used to squat a mosquito: you don't need such a monster program to type in a small report/question of a couple of pages or an abstract of the project.

        Then again, you could also argue that you don't need a monster program like Emacs to type in a small program/email of a couple of pages, either. [1] And yet some people happily use Emacs all day long, just as some people -- a completely non-intersecting group of people, I suspect -- use Word all day long.

        I h

  • I think it just lost some effectiveness. Is anyone else bothered by this?

    No, I'm not. I think you just can't follow directions and want someone here to make you feel better.

    the curriculum says I'm supposed to teach Word, PowerPoint, etc, not word processing and presentations.

    Did you take a class on using Microsoft Office and then decide to not use it?
    • It very much depends on what the course is called, though. Although the "curriculum" states Word & Powerpoint, we don't know whether the course title is that or id it's "Word processing and Presentations". So the OP may not have taken a course that was titles "Microsoft Office", but was then told that that's all he could use.

      The centre where I'm currently doing IT Support teaches "Computer Literacy" classes. There's nothing in the actual course titles about Microsoft Products. (Yes, I know some places

  • Yes, but... (Score:2, Informative)

    by ae0nflx (679000)
    I, too, have run into this type of problem, although the explanation is usually a compatability issue. "How can I get a copy of this on my computer when all the school supplies is PowerPoint." With so many students it's hard for teachers (especially in subjects outside of technology) to 1) have heard about OpenSource technology 2) have the time install OpenSource projects.

    Also, many of my teachers like to distribute the student's presentations later online so that all of the students can view them again, i
    • Re:Yes, but... (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      I, too, have run into this type of problem, although the explanation is usually a compatability issue.

      This is easily fixed by converting to PDF. You can do this by printing to a postscript file and running ps2pdf on it (this also works on Windows).
    • Also, many of my teachers like to distribute the student's presentations later online so that all of the students can view them again, it's also nice for students who were absent. Conflicting formats make this difficult.
      Then the teachers should only require PDF. Then the application used to create presentations is irrelevant.
    • Re:Yes, but... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by sql*kitten (1359) *
      With so many students it's hard for teachers (especially in subjects outside of technology) to 1) have heard about OpenSource technology 2) have the time install OpenSource projects.

      My professors had a very simply policy. You were welcome to use whatever tools you liked to complete an assignment. However, if when you handed it in it didn't open or compile (as applicable) on the professor's machine (which was setup in a documented way) it counted as a fail.

      A student saying "but it works on my computer at
      • I remember once doing a crypto assignment in undergrad computer science (to be done in ANSI C). I wrote my programme using THEIR machines...and compiled it using THEIR compiler. It compiled a treat and worked perfectly. I failed the assignment...why ?

        1) (and mainly) Because i had declared a variable in the wrong places
        2) Because their stupid "Ansi C" compiler didnt give a damn.

        "But Prof. it works! It compiles, have you tried?"

        "Yes, but it shouldnt"

        Hows that for a pain in the ass?
  • Results matter (Score:3, Insightful)

    by roseblood (631824) on Tuesday January 13, 2004 @09:57PM (#7969055)
    In my line of work no one cares if you used power point, or a pointy stick and little dots of colored ink on a membrane of transparent plastic to make a presentation. The end result is what matters. Often you get the idiots that ask "Hey, this dinner was great! You must use really great pots and pans!" Those in education must learn to make their corsework reflect the needs of the real world. Whatever the best tool is for the job, that's what needs to be used. Be it a Micro$oft product or opensource...who cares, as long as the results are what the customer wants. PERIOD.

    This guy (assuming a guy) should be praised for using the tools at hand to get the job done. PERIOD.
    • The best tool for the job is the tool that has already been purchased in most cases. Powerpoint comes with all MS Office versions since 97 (At least). And its not all that bad.

      It matters not that (the topics program) is free, or that OpenOffice is free, or that...... What matters is that Powerpoint is alreday been paid for, installed, and people have a bit of a clue of how to use it (since it uses common controls with the rest of Office).

      You would have to be doing one fancy ass presentation to warrent spe

    • Those in education must learn to make their corsework reflect the needs of the real world

      Problem is, the perception in academia is that "unless you know Microsoft, you're not employable" ...

      This is the result of a well-crafted campaign by Microsoft and its underlings to get Education pimping their product for them.

      How do you undo such things?
  • by ArmorFiend (151674) on Tuesday January 13, 2004 @09:59PM (#7969064) Homepage Journal
    So, let me get this straight, you run BSD, and you need to take a class on how to use PowerPoint? Are you some kind of idiot savant, leet enough to grok the command line, but with a crippling mental block that keeps you from being able to intuit your way through what 99% of computerdom considers an easily guessable user interface?
    • The class is a state requirement (South Dakota of all places)
      • Ah, that makes this a LOT worse. You should have said that from the outset. If you ask me, its time for some civil disobedience and some open-letter writing.
    • I don't have the SLIGHTEST clue how to do ANYTHING with Powerpoint.

      Since the usefulness of Powerpoint as a piece of software is completely questionable to me, any effort spent in trying to figure out how to use it would be completely wasted.

      • Couldn't you take the cheese way out and export from what-have-you, then import to PowerPoint.

      • I don't have the SLIGHTEST clue how to do ANYTHING with Powerpoint.

        Since the usefulness of Powerpoint as a piece of software is completely questionable to me, any effort spent in trying to figure out how to use it would be completely wasted.

        I agree with you vehemently.

        Unfortunately, as I speak, collaborators have pointed me to their ppt file where I need to shove in 3 pages of my stuff which I had done quite nicely earlier using pdflatex.

        As so even as I curse PowerPoints ubiquity, I recognize the ne

        • I'd rather (and it would probably be faster/easier for me to do so) just write a slide-show like presentation in QBASIC, then have to use the junk I've seen in Powerpoint. I've been forced to sit down with it and try to figure a way to do certain things with it, and if I ever actually do get it done, it's completely by accident.

          Hell, it'd be easier to use old-fashioned grade school style transparency projectors, IMO. Just because you're presenting data that you got on a computer, doesn't mean you need to
    • I pay $15 bucks to get like 3 or 4 credit hours (transferable to most 4-year colleges, ofcourse) for typing in excel, quicken and word perfect. Piece of cake. Crappy class, but I would have to take the same damn class in college for a couple hundred bucks anyway. Did the same thing last semester(the 02-03 year) with Excel and Access. Getting college credit for THAT too. YA, I like to use linux and BSD when I can(can't use it as my main machine, yet) and I hate office, but I need to take the classes at some
      • I hope that your 4-year college will actually want a class like that. I took such a class at a community college while in high school, but my university [cwru.edu] would not accept the credits for that class because the university doesn't offer a class that teaches Office. All engineering majors must take a class on C++ programming, and nobody else (science, social science, humanities) needs a "computer" class. Of course, typing in Office 2 days a week and having it count as a high school class was great :)
        • well I also have a few programming classes that have given me college credit that are also transferable. But I know for a fact that atleast 1 of the schools I am applying to does require these software classes as a must. So I think these will be useful in the long run, if not, o well.
    • PeePee (Score:3, Informative)

      by jefu (53450)
      Not just Power Point, but MS junk in general.

      At my university (ewu.edu) every student is required to take a computer "literacy" (more like computer penmanship, I think) test to prove that they are computer literate.

      Not only is this test MS product specific (PeePee, MS Worse, Eksell...) it is specific to the point where questions ask the student to do tasks using specific mouse clicks (or so I'm told - I'm doing my best to avoid the whole area myself) and the exam software won't let you do it in any othe

      • Re:PeePee (Score:3, Insightful)

        ...MS product specific (PeePee, MS Worse, Eksell...)...
        This, gentlemen, is a fine example of when MS bashing begins to obscure the actual meaning of the post. I sat for a good 15 seconds going, "What the heck is PeePee? And is there an MS Better?" But I suppose that some people think it's cool to juvenilize Microsoft, or M|cr0$ux (depending on your maturity level).
      • Re:PeePee (Score:4, Insightful)

        by (trb001) (224998) on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @11:41AM (#7973670) Homepage
        I think you're missing the point of the class.

        More than likely, the class is to help people with average or below average computer skills to survive in an institution of higher education. For instance...lot's of people came to my school [vt.edu], majored in Computer Science/Engineering, and had never written a line of code in their lives. Many had never, or very seldom, used a word processor or more commonly they hadn't used presentation (PP) or spreadsheet (Excel) apps. Every paper and most of the homework was required to be typed up or presented in an attractive, business like format. How does someone learn to do this when they're from south western Virginia and their high school is still using outdated Apples? Windows dumbfounded these people, let alone Word.

        It was a running joke at Tech that if you didn't come into the CS curriculum with some programming experience, you wouldn't make it out. That's because they completely skip introduction to computers ("101 - This is a mouse") and go straight to programming. Great for some of us, horrible for others.

        When the majority of your work is expected to come in some format, that format should be taught to you in your first semester. Since not everyone's first semester is the same, a single class presented when first entering college would be a good idea. Make it a 0 credit survey class or something, but still offer it so you aren't failing people for lame reasons like not knowing Word.

        --trb
  • by melquiades (314628) on Tuesday January 13, 2004 @10:06PM (#7969111) Homepage
    Many opinionated people would say, perhaps prejudicially, that the job of any teaching institution that is not explicitly a vocational/technical training program is to teach principles and not isolated methods; that a good curriculum implements goals which could be accomplished to equal effect with many different tools; that in the rapidly changing landscape of the computer world, such a teaching approach is the only one that's likely to have any serious long-term benefit to students; and that the presence or absence in the curriculum of restrictions to specific applications, OSes, and programming languages is actually good indicator of the quality of a program.

    As it happens, I am such a person. Give these bozos hell.
    • I concur.

      Teach PRODUCT, not PROCESS!
    • A concept IS more important than the tool, I will not contest that. Also consider that a concept can usually be taught using a variety of tools. Any tool that gets in the way of the concept is obviously a poor choice, but usually there are multiple good choices.

      So there is a choice of tools that will do the job. A professor has the right to require the use of a tool (to support a concept) that also will have practical uses for the student upon graduation. What's wrong with the criteria for a class requi
      • It's true that a prof has the right to set course requirements as they see fit. I'm simply suggesting that a prof setting tools requirements is a sign that they're not focusing on principles.

        And honestly, if I were interviewing candidates, I'd take somebody who knows Eiffel and has a solid understanding of OO over somebody who knows Java and thinks procedurally.

        Sure, it's nice to "have it both ways" and get somebody who already knows Java inside and out -- but in my experience, school training in Java gi
  • The point of this story is NOT to discuss Open Source in high schools, we're supposed to notice how awesome this guy is because he uses FreeBSD dailies! What's more, he got in trouble for doing a school project wrong! Down with The Man!!!!!! Hooray for bccomm!!!!
  • HS vs University (Score:3, Insightful)

    by smoondog (85133) on Tuesday January 13, 2004 @10:07PM (#7969121)
    (potentially offensive blanket statements follow) I found that in High School, doing better work that required independent thought even though it was not assigned was, in almost every case, not understood and often treated critically. In my experience, at the University the opposite was true. The example above is perfect because it illustrates how, in some cases, following the instructions is more important than actually learning. I never followed instructions well either and my high school grades show it.

    -Sean
    • I second that, although my school is less hostile than it seems yours was for you. For me, it's that my workload and deadlines prevent me from carrying it out that much. True story: I'm supposed to write a term paper, research starting in December, the paper due at the end of February; what I want to write is a thesis paper, so I can't turn it in until the end of June, because of the increased work involved in trying to prove something new, as opposed to the directions we were given (well, that, and I had n
    • by isn't my name (514234) <slash@threenort h . c om> on Wednesday January 14, 2004 @12:02AM (#7970110)
      I found that in High School, doing better work that required independent thought even though it was not assigned was, in almost every case, not understood and often treated critically.

      Absolutely. In a much earlier incarnation, I taught Freshman Comp. at a Pac-10 university. It was easy to tell that what little instruction the majority of students had received on writing in HS was a prescriptive set of rules to follow that led to a standard form. When handed assignments that required critical thought (i.e. pretty much everything they'd be getting in many college courses) that would not be well served by following their formulaic rules, they fell flat on their face.

      All too much of the class was spent getting them to unlearn much of the indoctrination they had received.

      The exceptions were notable. I actually talked with some of them about this and found that most of the exceptions weren't exceptional because they were brilliant but because their HS did not teach the way most did. These kids were coming in with a leg up on their peers because their HS training had actually encouraged critical thinking and the ability to express it coherently. My guess is that many of those differences smoothed out after a year or so of college, but I'm pretty sure that these kids came out with higher GPAs and ultimately better job prospects because of the quality of their HS instruction.

      In case you couldn't guess, I do find the situation described by bccomm deplorable. However, I will also offer some advice that I used to offer my students in freshman comp. Learn how to read your teacher and pick your battles. Bccomm is going to have a much better insight as to whether this a battle that is winnable and what effort that might require. If it isn't worth it move on. More importantly is learning how to read your instructors. If this teacher is the kind of idiot who can't recognize and reward independent thought and effort, then give him the minimal effort to turn in the dross that he thinks is important. When you find the kind of instructor who will challenge you to push your boundaries and actually learn something, go for it. Take advantage of it, and realize that often these types of teachers will grade more leniently for someone who aims high and fails than for someone who underacheives with sufficient work.

      And, no, it is not that way in the 'real' world where results are primarily what matters. But, HS should not be aiming for a 'real' world simulation.
  • Yes, I've noticed. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Rysc (136391)
    I've noticed this, too. For handed-in projects which the stupid/clueless/pressed-for-time instructor must open, I try to do a final-pass export to the requested format. Sometimes I've been able/allowed to use PDFs for papers, but mostly I just export to .doc whenever requested. I'm the computer god, I can be the one who worries about formats.

    I never, ever use the requested application if I can help it (Access can import and mysql can export, you know...). But that doesn't mean I'm obnoxious about it.. I on
  • Whatever... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Otter (3800) on Tuesday January 13, 2004 @10:10PM (#7969139) Journal
    Is anyone else bothered by this?

    Yeah, and I wish my neighbors would clean up after their dogs, too.

    It's hard to know what to make of your particular issue, since you left out such details as what the subject of the class is. But even giving you the full benefit of the doubt -- there are going to be things in life that are done in a less than optimal way, and your needing to do a presentation in a perfectly appropriate application instead of some new thing you found on Sourceforge is hardly the worst case you'll encounter.

    Just be glad they didn't make you do it in Excel.

  • Thin Line (Score:3, Insightful)

    by globalar (669767) on Tuesday January 13, 2004 @10:27PM (#7969320) Homepage
    A lot of people only know how to use applications. For them, the application's interface is the program - that is what they see, know, and understand. The operation of the machine is summed up in that interaction.

    In a school environment, you have to look at the practical picture. What are you trying to achieve by working with these programs? Are you teaching examples of GUI driven tools, the effectiveness of slideshow presentations, how to type, etc? Most of these courses are designed to teach students how to use their computer. This often translates into "how to do task-x with y-program on a computer".

    Since Powerpoint is the widespead example and definition of a slideshow app, it seems logical to use Powerpoint and not another program. Forcing one app over another shows a lack of understanding on the institution's part (try not to blame the teacher) if the end result is the same. If students learn how to make slideshow presentations effectively, isn't that the goal? If this is Microsoft Office training, the end result is not entirely the same. Also, there are technicalities with different apps which might make the teacher exert more effort just to accomodate a few students. I am not saying this is bad/good, but I can understand wanting to do things one way, even with sacrifices.

    It all depends on what the goals of the course actually are, vs. the specifics of how to reach the goals. Too many institutions and teachers are hung up about the "how" and stress formula or rule compliance to achieve their goals. In essence, they have lost the purpose of education - not conformity, but developement (i.e. improvement). OTOH, some teachers have found the extreme opposite.

    Frankly, national governments in countries which have education branches should embrace open source. No reason why OpenOffice cannot be improved a little (a few less bugs, maybe a few more features) by government funds at least. The pay off is software which has no license fees and can be easily extended and ported. The software could be used in other places like libraries and government offices as well.

    Education should be stressing alternatives rather than catering to the business world's trends. I understand that getting a job means you need experience in certain applications - courses for specific apps have their place. But in general education, especially requirements, the end result should be learning how to use a computer, not simply how to use $PROGRAM on a $CURRENT_YEAR computer running $OS. Sometimes these two goals are the same, but we should not assume that is always the case.
  • I have found that faculty are generally closed minded about Open-Source software. They feel more secure if its in a box and has a phone number to call if something goes wrong.

    Two Examples:

    1) When I was in Grade 9, I tried to convince the Computer Administrator to shift the server over to Linux. Even after countless talks and demos, he still insisted on Windows. Screw him. I left that school the next year.

    2) Next School. This one actually uses some OS software, but they are extremely selective. I've tried
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Dude, the guy who supports the box decides what goes on it. The Admin knew Windows, so Windows was used. As you said, you left the next year, so his support team would have evaporated at the same time. HE MADE THE RIGHT CHOICE.

      When I was part of a group in a startup, it came time to decide what to put on the server. Since I didn't want to support it, and I was the only guy with Linux experience, I kept my mouth shut. So, we ran Windows, and I got the enjoyment of seeing the admin physically kick the s
    • I have found that my school's IT staff are just don't know anything about computers in general. They feel more secure spending money on expensive solutions but don't know how to use them, and when things go run, start running around the room in circles like a headless chicken.

      Eight examples:

      1) When I was down at the IT department not too long ago, I found most of them hunt and pecking. Not a good sign, I assure you.

      2) Related to the first example, I was down there to help them install Apache, PHP a
    • You, sir, are an asshole. You actually--as a 14/15-year-old--harassed the admin of your school's/district's computer network, wasting HOURS OF HIS TIME "showing him demos," and then you left the school BECAUSE OF THAT? And then, you effectively stole some old computers from your new school? Wow, what a GREAT PERSON YOU ARE. What the fuck is wrong with you? Your in school to get an all-around education. Do you go into McDonald's, harass the manager about the fact that the LCD displays aren't the most c
  • Lame writeup aside, I have installed Open Office, Mozilla and The Gimp on all the college's computers (I'm the IT Officer, just so you don't think I've done this without permission). I'm not saying I got rid of Windows or Office, I just worked out that there was no reason not to include a few alternatives.
  • by bluGill (862) on Tuesday January 13, 2004 @11:27PM (#7969815)

    Remember WordPerfect? Actually when I was a kid it was WordStar, but I never used it, since we had Apple 2s in school, and Atari (400) at home. Whatever word processer those systems used is what I used, when I wasn't useing pen and paper.

    By the time I reached high school they were braging about the computer labs which taught WordPerfect 5.1, which was exactly what industry was using.

    Then came college and MSWord was on all the non-unix systems. I used that when I had to. More often I used Emacs, or when I needed something more complex FrameMaker was on the Unix systems, and I generally spent most of my time writing programs for Unix so I was on them anyway.

    Then I got into the real world and I only had an X terminal on my desk so it was FrameMaker. Eventially they switched us to Outlook for email, but it was done via Citrix, and Word was avaiable there. There I mostly used either whatever was built into the tools we used (a code generation package) or ed. (yes ed, when you telnet to a system without curses you use ed)

    At the next job it was gvim on windows. I had MSWord though, and sometimes had to use it. Standard was to export everything to rtf before distribution, though I'm the onlyone who actually did that. Likely as close to the real world as I've ever been.

    Today I'm unemployed (though I might be called back to the last job if they find more money). I don't have MSWord, and see no reason to buy it. I have kWord and it works great. I have vi, and it works fine. I also have emacs, though I haven't touched it in a long time, and OpenOffice which I just installed cause some potential employer sent me a word document.

    In short, they will make you learn something. Learn it because that is what you have to work with. In the real world exactly what you use will change, so be ready to learn new things.

  • In my place of employment, we have people clueless enough to request "a laptop and a powerpoint projector" from us. Yep, Powerpoint IS all that they know.
  • I feel the exact opposite as the OP. I graduated with BS in CS a while back, worked for two years, then came back for graduate work (and my school is all theory courses, unlike some schools which have very specific technology courses like "Programming with .NET" and such which I'm starting to drool over). Almost every potential employer I talked to in the field, the first question out of their mouth would be something like "Can you use/have you used C#?" and other very specific application/technology ques
  • If your goals are to learn, then choice of tool
    should not come into it.

    At worst, quality of [material and] presentation
    would be evaluated.

    BTW, LOTS of talented folks never completed school and/or univeristy... if you are one of them (but
    only if you are...) then why not aim straight
    for places that do interesting & challenging work
    - if you have a hard copy (letter, printed eMail,
    etc.) proof that "It's Powerpoint of nothing"
    keep that to show more intelligent judges of your
    work that you chose to walk away
  • and post hard copies in locations slashdotter's suggest
  • If the course requires your instructor to teach Microsoft Office products in class then thems the breaks. In most situations it will be the end result that actually matters to people. Who cares if you code in vi or emacs as long as it compiles and works like it is supposed to. In this particular instance the course is about Microsoft products, the actual assignments are just busy work to take you through the functions of the applications in the suite. The instructor doesn't really care about the class' hobb
  • ...where the official graphing calculator is the TI-83. We're given instructions on what buttons to press for various functions (including trigonometric and graphing functions) rather than being told why a postulate or theory works and how to apply it to different problems. Of course, everyone either has a TI-83 or borrows one from the school's set, so we don't have any problems with non-"standard" calculators as of yet. I suppose the cruddy education guidelines in NYS are to blame (Regents exams in almost
  • Part of the problem here is that there isn't enough mindshare for the idea that the format you edit in isn't the format you share files in. MS are at least indirectly to blame here, their monopolistic status has given people the impression that MS Office formats are appropriate formats to share documents.

    In the UK govt software market, people who make systems to support the Public Records Office standard - for archiving, ie sharing documents with our future selves - must support storing the original docume
  • Being a student, I am absolutely bothered by this. In fact, I have chosen to not take ANY classes at my M$ Biased school [vic.edu.au] at all. It's just a waste of time.

    In November, I finally installed Debian on my (school supplied but owned by me) laptop and proceeded to use it for most of my school work. (I was initally delayed from doing this due to lack of NTLM-proxy support in Mozilla for non-win32).

    I am yet to run in to a incident where I have been told to use <insert proprietary application here> instead o

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