[clug] Linux in education
Steve at nerdvana.org.au
Mon Oct 8 08:24:26 GMT 2007
Adam Jenkins wrote:
> Schools/universities are meant to be making students truly 'job ready'.
> Too many people are confusing their task as that of trade schools, private
> colleges, etc., which is to teach how to use a specific
It's a little realised fact that there are two types of Universities in
Australia - Vocational/Research, and Traditional.
Traditional Universities (for the most part) comprise a large amount of
classroom time learning how something works in theory. If you're lucky
you might get to touch a 30 or 40 year example of something similar to
what you're learning about in your 3rd or 4th year, but it's mostly dry
theory. Graduates of traditional universities end up going on to get
jobs as consultants or similar.
A Vocational/Research Universities explain how something works in
Theory, then sets the students loose on the real thing to see how it
works, how it doesn't work, how to break it and (most importantly) how
to fix it. I did my Engineering degree at UC, and we learnt a ton of
stuff a friend doing the exact same degree at ANU didn't. The inverse
was also true, where he learnt a whole ton of theory that we didn't, but
then we were in for the Beer, Satellite Dishes and High Powered
Transmitters. We learnt why Elliptical Waveguides were better than
rectangular at some frequencies, but we didn't spend ~3 weeks picking
the formula to pieces to prove the fact.
Oddly enough, it's the traditional University where you will find Linux,
and the Vocational Uni's are where the kids will learn about .NET, MSSQL
and other junk. Yes, I know linux is used in research, but you generally
have to get through the first 3-4 years of your degree before you're
allowed near the research side of stuff.
Hitting kids in primary school, where their teachers are already
overworked and undertrained, does get them into Linux, but hitting them
when they're in College and/or Uni is, in my opinion, the best time to
get the FOSS hook into it.
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