[IAEP] Sad

Christoph Derndorfer e0425826 at student.tuwien.ac.at
Tue Sep 16 13:41:46 EDT 2008

Jecel Assumpcao Jr schrieb:
> Christoph Derndorfer wrote:
>> Martin Sevior schrieb:
>>> 6. Sugar on MIPS hardware (that will never happen with windows).
>> Yeah, and who outside of some hardcore geeks really cares about that? 
>> This might be a nice story to tell at a Linux conference but I doubt 
>> it's a selling point when talking to a teacher or an MoE...
> Even worse - Windows NT was originally developed on MIPS machines (a bit
> ironic given that DEC's selection of MIPS over PRISM was the main reason
> that Cutler's team moved to Microsoft) and then ported to the x86, Alpha
> and PowerPC. In fact, this inspired an attempt to make a non PC industry
> standard (see "ARC" or "Advanced RISC Computing").
> A little less off topic - it would be interesting to compare the current
> computing experiences for two groups: those who learned Lotus 123 and
> such as children in the early 1980s and those who "wasted" their time
> with Logo, Oregon Trail and that kind of thing during that same time
> period. That might give us some indication of what the results of
> teaching Word/Excel to today's children might be.

Frankly speaking I'd say such a comparison is a wasted effort... What 
would/should its outcome be? That doing one thing is better than the 
other? I hardly ever touched Logo, have used Microsoft products all my 
life, hate every second I'm forced to spend in CLI and yet I'm doing 
pretty good, thank you very much...

This whole topic is way too complex and multi-layered as to be able to 
put it into a simple comparison with any meaningful results what so ever.

It's also not a XOR situation, children (and adults alike) can benefit 
from both the broader understanding that well used computation can bring 
about the world in general (my favorite example is still the video about 
teaching gravity/acceleration/speed in Squeak) and computers in 
particular. At the same time marketable skills such as knowledge of 
using a word-processor and spreadsheet are of course also relevant. 
Whether you like it or not, when your resume reads "Logo" instead of "MS 
Word" you're not going to get that job you want in Peru/Uruguay/Rwanda/etc.

Since I'm mentally trying to turn these kinds of discussions into 
actionable items it might be worth thinking about how we can for example 
present that understanding how to use the write-activity and having used 
it for several years in school is in fact equivalent to having been 
taught MS Word 200x all your life. Or better yet, find out how long it 
takes children who have used 'write' to find their way around MS Word. I 
figure this happens pretty quickly and if we find a good way to 
demonstrate that then the popular argument of "children need WinXP so 
they know how to use MS Word because that's a requirement for getting a 
job" just went out the window...

Just my 2 euro-cents,

> -- Jecel
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Christoph Derndorfer
co-editor, olpcnews
url: www.olpcnews.com
e-mail: christoph at olpcnews.com

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