Sunday, October 30, 2005

The elephant in a small room

Rose G, and Shaggy keep a fascinating blog. Recently Rose bogged on the madness of the world leader, using poetic reflections such as:
I'd really prefer to blog about stupid things that people do. Or the meaninglessness of life. Or even the goosebumpy sacredness of the universe. Hell, I don't care - it's all just material to weave into some kind of shape that might amuse. But like a moth I just cannot seem to turn my face away from the blinding heat of the obvious, the shameful, the elephant in the room. So I'm going to start writing more about these sorts of things. I hope you do too.
While Rose's post may seem to have little to do with TALO, and it may seem as though I'm stretching the relationship a bit here, its the idiom elephant in the room that has relevance. Look it up, and see how many things relate to TALO then!

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Graham Wegner said...

Leigh, schools here in South Australia are locked into what is known as the Microsoft Agreement which supplies all of the Office tools for DECS schools and educators. So while I can install all of the latest Office stuff on my home computer (includes a limited Adobe agreement as well for Photoshop Elements) my students are not extended the same privelege. So the problem is that we work on producing stuff using the Microsoft software but it can be prohibitively expensive for students (and their parents) to have at home. So quite often momentum on certain projects halts in the transition from home to school (I teach primary school students) but open source solutions like OpenOffice or FreeMind(an application I found out from this blog!) could mean I could have these applications burnt to a CD for loan so that kids could install and use the same software they use at school, at home. So I agree, the debate NEEDS to continue, for the sake of all Australian educatin sectors.

Leigh Blackall said...

Glad you agree Graham. I wonder if the MS agreements actually prohibit the running of FOSS alternatives side by side.

The perfect school computer would have a dual booting option into Linux or Windows, with MS Office and OpenOffice as the option right next to each other etc etc.

If the MS agreements influence such a set up in any way, then we're into serious questions, and furious debate indeed!

What next, coke machines in the classroom? GM food in the canteens?

roseg said...

Thanks for the encouragement Leigh. Until now I've really tried to avoid the elephant because it's more like a bottomless pit and one can easily drown, which is why I suppose lots of other people are avoiding it too.

However what I didn't include in the post was a link to am amazing group called Responsible Wealth who are the wealthy beneficiaries of the very system that Dubya and his mates have set up.

Here's what they do:

Responsible Wealth is a national network of businesspeople, investors and affluent Americans who are concerned about deepening economic inequality and are working for widespread prosperity. Our three primary areas of work are tax fairness, corporate responsibility and living wages., meaning that even they think it an unfair system.

It's crazy. The world is officially arse-up. You can quote me. :-)



Graham Wegner said...

Sorry, Leigh, I posted in the wrong section. It was obvious to which post I was responding but it was sloppy observation on my part. Thanks for your follow up comments.

pete said...

Its interesting. I had a discussion with the course deisgners of a multimedia course in an organisation that shall remain nameless.

They would NOT entertain the idea of teaching on open source software becauser in their view it would not create students that were job ready.

Why train students in GIMP, open office, Audacity, and Ja-shaka. when job ads requires skills in Photoshop, Office XP, Audition and Premier????

Leigh Blackall said...

The old industry standard line... rediculous! People who don't know anything about FOSS options are the ones not job ready!

jacob said...

Interesting… I might try some of this on my blog, too. It’s quite interesting how you sometimes stop being innovative and just go for an accepted solution without actually trying to improve it… you make a couple of good points
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