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Re: Request for Input on Creating Linux Courses...

On 22 Dec 2009 at 4:52, Tim wrote:

Subject:        	Re: Request for Input on Creating Linux Courses...
From:           	Tim <ignored_mailbox yahoo com au>
To:             	"Community assistance, encouragement,
	and advice for using Fedora." <fedora-list redhat com>
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> On Fri, 2009-12-11 at 19:25 +1000, Michael D. Setzer II wrote:
> > Finally got the go ahead to create two Linux courses to our College
> > program. Have included Linux in my lab since Redhat 9 thru the current
> > Fedora 12, but have just been able to show students little bits of it
> > from time to time, since the program is geared to mostly windows and
> > some courses using AS/400 mini system. 
> > 
> > The Ideal is to over a beginning Linux course, and an second level
> > course as a start. In the networking class, I have one 4 hour section
> > where the students go thru the installation of various Linux OS's,
> > and they can use the Fedora, but many students still stay with
> > windows.
> It seems obtuse, to me, to have installing an OS as part of a networking
> course.  Considering that people do courses to learn something in
> particular, I wouldn't mix and match.  A beginners guide to something
> ought to be about using it in a general manner (what it is, what makes
> Linux different from Windows, how to do basic tasks).  Installing would
> be something else, likewise with networking.

The installing of the OS is just a one class session event, and just goes thru 
the process of install the various linux version as a single OS on a system, or 
dual boot with Windows. It also takes a look at all the software programs that 
are available at installation or later. I wish I could go into more, but the 
course focuses on networking.

The campus has like 1000 or so computer systems, and my 20 classroom 
machines are the only ones that have LInux. The are  two Mac labs in 
another building, but all other machines are Windows only. 

> There'd be plenty of people who could do one of those things, but not
> the other, and that's what they want to learn.  I've tried to help
> people who've gone on a computing course, only to see them struggling
> with (a) stuff that's irrelevant to what they need, and (b) stuff that's
> just plain wrong.  The second one's probably hardest to deal with,
> because they have to pass a course, and I can't teach someone to learn
> something that's broken in the lecturer's head.

I tend to agree with what you are saying here. My ideal was to get 
information that would provide information that is what the students should 
know. The practical use of things versus the ACADEMIC knowledge. 

Much of the current text materials are so much on following specific 
directions and click click click instead of understanding why one is doing the 

> If you can't find what's needed by beginners (e.g. how to use OpenOffice
> instead of Office, how to search the internet, etc.) ahead of time, then
> you could offer sub-courses, and see what people elect.

My lab in addition to Linux also has OpenOffice and various other Open 
Source Programs that run on WIndows to show the students. I also have 
Firefox, Safari, and Chrome to show the students there is more than just IE. 
The other labs are all basically standard Windows installs. 

Last year, the college spend $79 each to upgrade 500 machines from Office 
2003 to 2007. Seems they ordered the keyboarding book that used 2007, 
instead of the one that used 2003, so they had to buy the new software. 
Checked with students in my classes and only 20% had 2007, and when 
asked how many had a legal copy the answer was 0. I use OpenOffice since 
I don't have a copy of 2003 or 2007, but our Admin and MIS are M$,

> Personally, I'm highly reluctant to go for any more training.  Years of
> being a student, and teaching students, has made me thoroughly sick of
> having my time wasted (stuff you don't need to learn, bad teaching, and
> no return for effort - e.g. going on 4 years full time, or 8 years of
> night time study, to earn $20 a week more than someone who hasn't done
> that course).

Know what you mean. I was going to a 4 year college, when I switched to the 
community college to actually learn practical knowledge. 

I learned on an IBM 1130 with 4K Ram and punched cards, which effects my 
approach to getting the most out of the resourses one has available. .

Thanks for taking the time to comment.

> -- 
> [tim localhost ~]$ uname -r
> Don't send private replies to my address, the mailbox is ignored.  I
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  Michael D. Setzer II -  Computer Science Instructor      
  Guam Community College  Computer Center                  
  mailto:mikes kuentos guam net                            
  mailto:msetzerii gmail com
  Guam - Where America's Day Begins                        

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