11.24.2006

Microsoft the Official OS of Creationists (humor)

Creationists have overwhelmingly chosen Microsoft's IE7 as their browser of choice. The reason? Microsoft has pledged to support "backward compatibility." Creationists have long felt that backward-ness is a core belief, one of the cornerstones of family values. Family values issues have made them successful in redirecting the policies of the United States government away from "progressive" decisionmaking toward the sound moral principles set forth in ancient texts such as the bible.

Here is a quote from a Microsoft representative that so touched the members of the 700 Club that they gave him a signed photograph of their founder Pat Robertson at a White House coctail party with Ted Haggard and Jerry Falwell.

I’d like to explain why we so adamantly disagree with that position (following standards and common sense rules), and why we work so hard at backwards compatibility.

We feel it is vitally important for web sites and applications that worked with yesterday’s IE work with today’s IE, and continue to work with tomorrow’s IE. We feel this is a deeply held expectation by the millions of IE users.

Microsoft Internet Explorer Blog

This was a test of the emergency humor broadcast system. If it had been an actual alert, you would have been told to go to the closest sanity shelter and kiss your loved ones goodbye.

11.19.2006

Teaching and technology

I teach in a magnet program and have a classroom with 25 workstations. I have run Moodle (a web based content delivery and evaluation system that has just about everything you could ever ask for) for a bit over four years in the classroom and teach a curriculum that includes Science and Society mixed with information architecture lessons and content creation. The educators still insist on calling it "Web Design." Yes, I have all the bells and whistles.

That said, I have a terrible time even communicating my vision of one hundred dollar thin clients and web services for all students to administrators. They think computers are huge honking things that cost two thousand dollars just to light up and that a school of twenty-five hundred students can run with a handful of labs. Nor do they understand that administrating it would be easy as pie. No moving parts in the computer. No software to purchase for every seat. Just a browser, a calculator, Google, Open Office and thee.

When you speak of the value of computers, it should be in a real context of efficiency. The discussion about whether children can score perfectly on the SAT and not have a computer is irrelevant. Just engaging in the discussion is like having an argument with a creationist. Remember, computers are just tools. On the other hand, the network is almost alive and keeping children away from it may turn out to be a *very* bad idea.

For this reason and others, I declare the digital divide to be situated INSIDE schools, not outside.

OTHER REASON: Since you can buy a computer for under two hundred dollars and get an Internet connection for about ten dollars a month, the lack of computers for children is an adoption issue, not a money issue.