Computers, Science, & Computer Science

Is Linux good as a school-wide distro?

Microsoft Office Word 2007

Microsoft Office Word 2007 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Would you rather be crippled from the very start, by only being exposed to one computing idea from the day you are born to the day you die? How do teachers feel about this approach with regards to other subjects? As long as students understand one culture, they are “cultured?” As long as students understand one language, the world is entirely open to them? As long as children understand what Microsoft word is, they are a technical professional? Many kids will never see linux, never know if they like it, if they are not introduced to it in a setting such as school. If we are to encourage children to poke around, to break things, to see why and how computers work, to explore software and paradigms that work, we cannot use windows. Any of these actions results in legal action against a child, who is just exploring harmlessly for his own education. Is the point of school education? Then Give children something that helps them learn, not something that forcibly prevents them from doing so under the pretense of knowing what’s best for everybody. Teach children to think for themselves, instead of following the desires of others. Teach children not to be content with spyware, malware, and governmental oversight. Teach children what it means to be free.

via hamroctopus comments on Is Linux good as a school-wide distro?.

I haven’t published a Reddit comment here before, because they’re not polished enough (which is fine). But I chose to present this one because it hits the nail on the head – I strongly resent schools brainwashing kids into consuming the ‘right’ products. I have a copy of a school textbook for Computer Science which tells you that you’ll be needing Microsoft Word, and Microsoft whatever, to do the various exercises – with no mention that there are alternatives. Microsoft have done a terrific job of brainwashing the masses into specifying their brand for computer softwares. In my dealings with companies over the years, they always talked about using Microsoft Word (or whatever) to open or create some document. It feels to me like being told that if I visit them I should come in my Ford Whatever; if I watch TV I should use my Sony Whatever; and so on

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