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Followup To "When Teachers Are Obstacles To Linux"

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the more-sides-to-the-story dept.

Education 626

An couple of anonymous readers wrote in to let us know about a followup to last Wednesday's story of the teacher who didn't believe in free software. The Linux advocate who posted the original piece has cooled off and graciously apologized for going off half-cocked (even though the teacher had done the same), and provided a little more background which, while not excusing the teacher's ignorance, does make her actions somewhat more understandable. Ken Starks has talked with the teacher, who has received a crash education in technology over the last few days — Starks is installing Linux on her computer tomorrow. He retracts his insinuations about Microsoft money and the NEA. All in all he demonstrates what a little honest communication can do, a lesson that all of us who advocate for free software can take to heart. "The student did get his Linux disks back after the class. The lad was being disruptive, but that wasn't mentioned. Neither was the obvious fact that when she saw a gaggle of giggling 8th grade boys gathered around a laptop, the last thing she expected to see on that screen was a spinning cube. She didn't know what was on those disks he was handing out. It could have been porn, viral .exe's...any number of things for all she knew. When she heard that an adult had given him some of the disks to hand out, her spidey-senses started tingling. Coupled with the fact that she truly was ignorant of honest-to-goodness free software, and you have some fairly impressive conclusion-jumping. In a couple of ways, I am guilty of it too."

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Obviously sign of jumping to conclusions (5, Insightful)

bruce_the_loon (856617) | more than 5 years ago | (#26093697)

Don't rant first and ask questions later.

Re:Obviously sign of jumping to conclusions (3, Informative)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 5 years ago | (#26093729)

There was a lot of unnecessary foaming at the mouth from both sides about this.

Though the teacher grossly over-reacted, why don't some people understand that, especially at the lower grade levels, teachers have to teach to the standards? Sure, in a perfect world kids would have exposure to a variety of platforms in school but teachers have to see to it that their students stay on topic using the class materials, otherwise too many disctactions will arise and that'll make things harder for the teacher to do their job. One shouldn't show up to a guitar class handing out trumpets to everybody and then expect the teacher to teach to both the guitar and the trumpet. As I said above, teachers usually aren't censoring for its own sake, they just don't want distractions.

And call me old-fashioned(and I'm mid-20's), but what the hell is a middle-schooler doing with a laptop at school and why would it have been okay for the student to break out a laptop in class if it were running windows? When I was in high school things like cell phones, cameras, pagers, and especially laptops were considered contraband!

Re:Obviously sign of jumping to conclusions (1, Informative)

InsaneProcessor (869563) | more than 5 years ago | (#26093767)

My boys go to high school near Austin (not in AISD) and they aren't allowed to bring laptops to school. There is some softening in progress though because some classes are going to have to allow it.

My experiences on "THE" subject matter ;) (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26093959)

It all started when my boyfriend I were alone in my house together. It was all innocent at first, nobody was home, and we were just going to go for a swim in our pool. We were in the pool for a couple of hours, just goofing off and having fun. Then we decided to come inside. I wanted to take a shower to wash the chlorine out of my hair, he said he'd just wait and go and watch some tv. When I went into the bathroom I didn't bother to lock the door, in fact it wasn't even closed all the way. I took off my turned on the water for the shower, waited for it to warm up, took off my bikini, then stepped in. I was in the shower for a couple minutes, when I heard the door creak. I knew it was my boyfriend, I heard him take his shorts off, then he pulled back the curtain and was in the shower with me. We had been together for a while but we had never seen each other naked. So this was our first time seeing each other completely naked. He stood next to me and we started to kiss. The water was running over both of our bodies, as we began to touch and feel each other. His hand caressed my left breast as my hands were rubbing his back. He moved his hand and started fingering me, I softly moaned, and this is when I knew we were going to have sex. He started to kiss my breasts,and slowly licked my nipple, then his kisses moved down to my stomach, and further down to my pussy. He licked and sucked my clit so good, all I could do was moan and tell him how good it was. He came back up and we began to kis some more. I had my hands on his penis, slowly stroking him up and down. I moved the tip of his penis near the front of my pussy, we looked into each other's eyes and smiled. He then pushed into me. At first it was painful, but the overwhelming pleasure soon took over that pain. We were in that shower for over an hour. I will always remember that day.

MOD PARENT UP! MOD PARENT UP! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26094081)

mod zhe parent uhp or I will dezdroy euhr fanny with a large rrretrrractible battttton.

Re:Obviously sign of jumping to conclusions (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26093829)

why don't some people understand that, especially at the lower grade levels, teachers have to teach to the standards? POSIX _is_ a standard! Now, why are they learning Windows? >_>

Re:Obviously sign of jumping to conclusions (2, Informative)

LMacG (118321) | more than 5 years ago | (#26093867)

In Henrico County, Virginia, the school system supplies laptops to all middle school and high school students. They used to be MacBooks, but I think they use Dell now.

Re:Obviously sign of jumping to conclusions (1)

stry_cat (558859) | more than 5 years ago | (#26094361)

Yeah how could anyone forget their infamous surplus sale [slashdot.org] ?

Re:Obviously sign of jumping to conclusions (1)

cashman73 (855518) | more than 5 years ago | (#26094367)

Yeah, and that worked out really well until the school board decided to sell the outdated macbooks for $50 apiece, resulting in a bit of a mob scene [macobserver.com] ,...

Re:Obviously sign of jumping to conclusions (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26094007)

When I was in high school things like cell phones, cameras, pagers, and especially laptops were considered contraband!

Yeah, well, when I was in high school, things like cell phones, digital cameras, pagers, and laptops were considered science fiction. Now get off my yard!

Re:Obviously sign of jumping to conclusions (2, Interesting)

Jim_Maryland (718224) | more than 5 years ago | (#26094051)

what the hell is a middle-schooler doing with a laptop at school

Some "special needs" students are permitted to bring in laptops for use at school. My son is on a 504 education plan to help with his ADD and ambliopia. He qualifies to use a laptop or a typing device (Alpha Smart) but refuses to use either (for some reason using a laptop makes him stand out in a negative way but his blue hair was acceptable to him...still has me confused on that one).

Oh, Howard County Maryland is the school system. I haven't heard of any plans to allow laptops in general but they do have special exceptions as I mentioned above.

Re:Obviously sign of jumping to conclusions (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26094135)

for some reason using a laptop makes him stand out in a negative way but his blue hair was acceptable to him...still has me confused on that one

Anyone can dye their hair blue, but only retards carry laptops at school.

Re:Obviously sign of jumping to conclusions (1)

armanox (826486) | more than 5 years ago | (#26094203)

I do know that Baltimore County allows laptops to the general students as long as they are not disruptive...

Re:Obviously sign of jumping to conclusions (2, Interesting)

shawb (16347) | more than 5 years ago | (#26094317)

his blue hair was acceptable to him...still has me confused on that one

He wants his personality to stand out, not what others will perceive as deficits. Besides, these days having your natural color of hair is more likely to make you stand out than blue would. A lot of people are honestly surprised when they learn that I don't have any tattoos... even to the point of asking "why not?"

Re:Obviously sign of jumping to conclusions (1)

njfuzzy (734116) | more than 5 years ago | (#26094327)

I brought my first laptop to school in the early 90s. (PowerBook 140) Is that not allowed now?

Re:Obviously sign of jumping to conclusions (4, Informative)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 5 years ago | (#26094073)

Here in Portugal (a small country near Spain) the government is giving cheap laptops to all children from 7 to 18 years, for them to use during classes and work at home. On the other hand we have one of the worst education levels of Europe. Yes, something is wrong here.

Re:Obviously sign of jumping to conclusions (1)

ZerothAngel (219206) | more than 5 years ago | (#26094235)

Posting to invalidate mod point. I blame the scroll wheel.

Re:Obviously sign of jumping to conclusions (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26094303)

Here in Portugal (a small country near Spain)

I love how you felt the need to clarify where Portugal is. I don't doubt that plenty of people reading that still said "huh, I wonder where that is?".

Re:Obviously sign of jumping to conclusions (4, Funny)

khellendros1984 (792761) | more than 5 years ago | (#26094389)

(a small country near Spain)

OK, granted there are a lot of Americans on this site, and we sometimes have a reputation of being ignorant of geography and other countries, but I think most people have heard of Portugal. I mean, for goodness sake...the *pope* gave you guys half a continent...

Re:Obviously sign of jumping to conclusions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26094153)

And call me old-fashioned(and I'm mid-20's), but what the hell is a

middle-schooler doing with a laptop at school and why would it

have been okay for the student to break out a laptop in class if it were

running windows? When I was in high school things like cell phones,

cameras, pagers, and especially laptops were considered contraband!

Golly, Mister. If we get off your lawn, will you stop hollering at us?

Re:Obviously sign of jumping to conclusions (5, Interesting)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#26094291)

Though the teacher grossly over-reacted, why don't some people understand that, especially at the lower grade levels, teachers have to teach to the standards?

Windows != "standards". And, by the time a 7th grader enters the work force, Windows will be less like the XP he's using now than Mandriva is like XP.

There are, of course, businesses that need some sort of proprietary, Windows-only software (e.g., Photoshop) but a spreadsheet is a spreadsheet, a word processer is a word processer. Each new version of Microsoft Word is less like the previous version or Word than that previous version was to Star Office.

Microsoft software in schools is a pitiful, ignorant waste of my tax money.

One shouldn't show up to a guitar class handing out trumpets to everybody and then expect the teacher to teach to both the guitar and the trumpet

But your analogy is completely flawed. More accurate is the kid is showing up in a guitar class with a Fender and the teacher is complaining that everyone else has Gibsons.

When I was in high school things like cell phones, cameras, pagers, and especially laptops were considered contraband!

That was the case when my daughters were in high school (my oldest is 23), and I and others fought that policy tooth and nail.

When I was in high school a computer needed a whole building, and it had less computing power than a Hallmark greeting card. But I'll get off your lawn anyway, Grandpa.

Re:Obviously sign of jumping to conclusions (4, Informative)

shawn(at)fsu (447153) | more than 5 years ago | (#26094397)

Windows-only software (e.g., Photoshop)
ahem... Photoshop is NOT windows only.

Re:Obviously sign of jumping to conclusions (3, Insightful)

liquidpele (663430) | more than 5 years ago | (#26094001)

Another conclusion can be to not believe an online blog like it's God's word. I've never actually seen a blog yet that was not one sided on the issues it cared about. This one especially screamed of flamebait, but I'm glad that they were able to open up communication channels and come to an understanding.

Re:Obviously sign of jumping to conclusions (2, Insightful)

TrekkieGod (627867) | more than 5 years ago | (#26094319)

Another conclusion can be to not believe an online blog like it's God's word. I've never actually seen a blog yet that was not one sided on the issues it cared about. This one especially screamed of flamebait, but I'm glad that they were able to open up communication channels and come to an understanding.

Actually, when I read the teacher's original e-mail, my first thought was that Ken Starks had been trolled. It's not that I don't think people can be ignorant of free software, it's that I the teacher had said she "experimented with Linux in college" which made it sound like somebody got greedy with their trolling, but Starks bit anyway.

His reaction was way over the top, but it's cool he calmed down and resumed discussion. Especially since it turned out to NOT be a troll, and that there was an actual teacher, who actually did confiscate frigging Linux CD's. In the end, looks like everyone gained something, even though all of this could have been avoided if the respective parties had kept their composure from the beginning: The teacher could have done a simple googling for linux before sending an inflamatory mail or, failing that, Starks could have not been an asshole with his original reply.

Apology (4, Funny)

coppro (1143801) | more than 5 years ago | (#26093723)

I would like to apologize to everyone involved for being so judgmental, even though I never actually commented on the topic or said anything to anyone. I think I jumped to conclusions too (although the "people are stupid" doctrine continues to perform well).

Re:Apology (5, Funny)

pm_rat_poison (1295589) | more than 5 years ago | (#26093945)

Apology accepted, Captain Needa!

Re:Apology (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26094071)

Ah, the first rule of wizardry: "People are stupid"

Cheaper by the dozen (0, Troll)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#26093749)

So boasting a stunning readership in the dozens

Not today!

"Why did you throw me to the wolves like that?"

Priceless! IMO she deserved it. She should have mentioned the kid's being disruptive in the first place, and not accused Helios of malfeasance.

I'd like to see a Windows-free educational system. I can't see my tax dollars wasted on something unnecessarily expensive when the money couold go somewhere more necessary, like fixing the buildings or paying the teachers better. If they were better paid, perhaps we wouldn't have such incompetent ones, and I say that as a dad who fought my own school district when my now grown kids were in school. Of every ten teachers I've met, one MIGHT have been a good one.

Re:Cheaper by the dozen (5, Funny)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 5 years ago | (#26093981)

I'd like to see a Windows-free educational system.

      What, and do away with the education free educational system we have now?

Re:Cheaper by the dozen (3, Funny)

hansraj (458504) | more than 5 years ago | (#26094105)

I'd like to see a Windows-free educational system

Me too!

I never liked those little brats. I say put them in a windowless environment, put them all in one!

Re:Cheaper by the dozen (3, Funny)

corsec67 (627446) | more than 5 years ago | (#26094125)

I'd like to see a Windows-free educational system.

True, being able to see outside while sitting in the classroom can be distracting.

But, wouldn't renovation be expensive? Also, they have a higher electricity bill from having to use more lights.

Re:Cheaper by the dozen (1)

fotbr (855184) | more than 5 years ago | (#26094259)

The higher light use might be offset by lower heating/cooling bills since a lot of old single-pane windows would be replaced with insulation as they're covered over.

Re:Cheaper by the dozen (2, Interesting)

MikeyistheDevil (1390889) | more than 5 years ago | (#26094159)

"I'd like to see a Windows-free educational system." I'd certainly have to disagree. I'd like schools to teach children how to be comfortable using software they will continue to use beyond school. I don't want schools to make the same mistake ours (or at least mine) did in the 80's by wasting their time teaching kids how to use pascal, fortran, or cobol on AppleIIe's when the reality was that did nothing to prepare us for the IBM dominated workplace. So until Windows is not the global standard OS that children will encounter later in life, they should continue to learn to be fluent with it.

Re:Cheaper by the dozen (3, Insightful)

corsec67 (627446) | more than 5 years ago | (#26094289)

NO!

They should be taught how to use a "word processor", be it OpenOffice.org Writer, Word, WordPerfect, Write, LaTeX (as LyX), HTML, etc. Have each be taught for a week, so they can see that even though things look different, each application has a way of doing the same thing.

Or are you saying that Word doesn't change every few years (like adding in a "Ribbon" instead of menus), so they should be taught a version of Word that is going to be out of date by the time they graduate?

Teach them how to *use* a computer, not how to repeat a specific set of steps, so they don't freeze up when things change slightly.

Re:Cheaper by the dozen (3, Insightful)

LandruBek (792512) | more than 5 years ago | (#26094337)

I don't want schools to make the same mistake . . . teaching kids how to use Pascal, Fortran, or COBOL on Apple IIe's . . .

Yeah, all that I got out of learning Pascal on an Apple ][ was that it helped me get ready to study computer science in college, which has only led me to . . . gainful employment. </sarcasm>

Seriously, I would much rather see them "waste" time teaching programming than have them spend classroom time teaching kids how to use GUI software, which most of them can pick up on their own.

Re:Cheaper by the dozen (0, Troll)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 5 years ago | (#26094271)

I'd like to see a Windows-free educational system.

Why? So your favorite OS can be instilled much the same way you hate how Windows is instilled?

I can't see my tax dollars wasted on something unnecessarily expensive when the money couold go somewhere more necessary, like fixing the buildings or paying the teachers better.

Schools don't pay anywhere close to full price for their licenses.

If they were better paid, perhaps we wouldn't have such incompetent ones, and I say that as a dad who fought my own school district when my now grown kids were in school. Of every ten teachers I've met, one MIGHT have been a good one.

I believe the fault there is how education is being paid for. People (rightfully) don't want to pay any more in taxes than they already do. Some, like myself, don't want to pay at all for someone else's kids education. Ya, ya, supposedly it "benefits" me in some way. Until someone can argue specifics and not generalities (my son might be a doctor that saves your life! Maybe, but more likely not.), I think parents should pay for thier own kids schooling. If schools actually had to compete for teachers, I think we'd find many more good teachers. As it is, most choose to use the "free" school system, and thus reap the "benefits."

I think we all learned our lesson here..... (1)

martin_henry (1032656) | more than 5 years ago | (#26093769)

....when the teacher asks you what you're looking at, act cool and just say "My linux desktops. Nothing to see here...."

Brought to you by... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26093787)

The Richard M Stalin department. Flaming bystanders since 1983.
Seriously, I don't use proprietary software nor hardware without open specs, but freetards are lame.

Teachers have underwear (-1, Troll)

Gizzmonic (412910) | more than 5 years ago | (#26093793)

There's this totally hot teacher that I want to bone, do you think I should suggest installing Linux on her computer?

Re:Teachers have underwear (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26093887)

do you think I should suggest installing Linux on her computer?

Only after she drops that restraining order against you, dude.

Re:Teachers have underwear (3, Funny)

Spazztastic (814296) | more than 5 years ago | (#26093893)

There's this totally hot teacher that I want to bone, do you think I should suggest installing Linux on her computer?

I don't know... she may need some assistance compiling her kernel.

Re:Teachers have underwear (3, Funny)

the_B0fh (208483) | more than 5 years ago | (#26094087)

It really depends on what options you turn on.

Not how reporting works (5, Funny)

fastest fascist (1086001) | more than 5 years ago | (#26093809)

Hey hey hey! What is this? First we get a nice knee-jerk sensationalist story about an M$ drone teacher doing her utmost to keep the kids enslaved to capitalist software, and now you're ruining it all with facts and sensible dialogue between the parties involved? Where would we be if all the major news outlets started following their scaremongering and outright deceitful articles up with corrections and balanced analysis? I mean, what's next, honest reporting without hidden agendas?

Re:Not how reporting works (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26093975)

honest reporting without hidden agendas

http://www.microsoft.com/canada/getthefacts/default.mspx

Re:Not how reporting works (2, Funny)

madhurms (736552) | more than 5 years ago | (#26094049)

Do you mean like, Fox News?

Re:Always how reporting works (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 5 years ago | (#26094065)

M$ $UX! BALLMER DOES!
APPLE IS ROTTEN! STEVE KILLS JOBS!

.

.

Ahem. Now then. Nice smaller type correction.

Microsoft appears to be making progress towards Windows 7.
Apple has clearly innovated in several consumer areas.

I'm betting this becomes +1 ConfusedMods.

Reminds me of the old saying (5, Insightful)

cabjf (710106) | more than 5 years ago | (#26093819)

"Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence." If either side had done some research or better communicating before yelling on the internet, this would have been a non-issue.

Re:Reminds me of the old saying (2, Funny)

jmerlin (1010641) | more than 5 years ago | (#26094149)

Did you just recommend doing research before arguing on the internet?

Clearly you must be new here. ...

Karen, is that you?

Re:Reminds me of the old saying (4, Insightful)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 5 years ago | (#26094187)

If either side had done some research or better communicating before yelling on the internet, this would have been a non-issue.

In fairness to Starks, if I'd been threatened with having the cops called on me for something perfectly innocuous, I might've responded as he did. In hindsight it wasn't that big of a deal, but her opening salvo was fired from an elephant gun.

Re:Reminds me of the old saying (5, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#26094321)

Not really. The teacher still acted out of ignorance and fear. She deserved a good brow beating. Maybe next time she'll recognize her ignorance, and listen to her students instead of jumping to conclusions. Nothing damages the relationship between teacher and student than this kind of arbitrary and capricious exercise of power. Now the kids know that 1) the teacher is an idiot and 2) the teacher values obedience over correctness. This kind of behavior is absolutely not conducive to a constructive learning environment, and I hope that she's ashamed of herself.

Well... (5, Funny)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 5 years ago | (#26093833)

So this was less about Linux and more about a teenage boy being, well... a boy. Figures. It would have gone better for him if it had been some ecchi anime. First rule of high school is -- don't point out that the teacher knows less than you do. The second rule of course is, if you break the first rule do so in an epic way.

A good lesson (2, Insightful)

wcrowe (94389) | more than 5 years ago | (#26093837)

This is the kind of misunderstanding that can happen when software advocacy becomes a kind of religion.

Software is little less than religion when (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 5 years ago | (#26094323)

it is beyond the point of engulfing all of people's lives through usage.

It simply illuminates a single fact. (4, Interesting)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 5 years ago | (#26093839)

Teachers are incredibly undereducated when it comes to technology.

Why the colleges that teach these teachers are choosing to NOT require classes in technology is beyond me.

Re:It simply illuminates a single fact. (1)

b4upoo (166390) | more than 5 years ago | (#26093935)

I am more disturbed at the teacher's need to jump into action after assuming that there might be porn or some other banned materials on the disks.Is it not enough to go after kids for what they actually are known to be doing without digging deep at what they just might be doing? After all, anyone might be doing anything.

Re:It simply illuminates a single fact. (2, Insightful)

bigpaperbag (1105581) | more than 5 years ago | (#26094165)

Obviously you're not a teacher who has to deal with parents/PTA/school boards who are jumping after the teachers about not jumping after the students about things that have NOTHING to do with teaching to begin with.

Re:It simply illuminates a single fact. (1)

I_want_information (1413105) | more than 5 years ago | (#26094119)

Because then THEY'D have to admit that they are incredibly undereducated when it comes to technology. Really.

Re:It simply illuminates a single fact. (2, Informative)

Thyamine (531612) | more than 5 years ago | (#26094257)

You may as well say that you wonder why they aren't required to take classes in auto repair or biochemisty. They don't need it. Would it help in situations like this, sure, but I can assure you that my wife has never had one of her kindergartners ask about Linux. I think we all (and I do it myself) assume that technology should be more important to people, but I would guess that most professions feel that way.

Re:It simply illuminates a single fact. (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 5 years ago | (#26094285)

My first reaction to that is "They don't need it!"

But then I remember that colleges require you to take Phys Ed, cross-cultural and cross-gender classes, 'arts' classes like 'Intro to American Cinema' and other trash. Requiring you to take Tech classes makes a lot more sense than those other classes do.

Where is any verification of any of this? (5, Interesting)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 5 years ago | (#26093885)

This guy is getting a tonne of publicity for this (and apparently he is well versed in the art of getting attention for his projects in this manner), based upon nothing verifiable.

Maybe I'm just too internet shellshocked to believe anything any more, but it reeks of being a complete fabrication, in an era when Lying on the Internet is considered perfectly okay so long as you know to say "Ha ha! All a joke!" if caught, or perhaps the classic "This was just an example composite of various situations!".

I could be entirely wrong, but it all seems like a terribly thin ruse to me, with a ridiculous, one dimensional strawman (or women in this case) put up and then viciously knocked down. On the resulting torrent of perhaps gullible internet vigilantes, a hastily written cool-down appeared to, perhaps, try to divert them before they uncover the fiction of this (if it is fiction. My bets are that it is, but that's an uninformed opinion).

Then again, maybe I'm just too skeptical.

Re:Where is any verification of any of this? (4, Interesting)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 5 years ago | (#26094061)

As one aside -- this story reminds me, somehow, of the guy who took donated computers and prepped them for needy kids or something, and some purported donor complained when he found out his donation was going to a "retard". My fiction senses are giving me the same vibrations.

But I can't find that computer donation one. Anyone have a link to it if you remember?

Re:Where is any verification of any of this? (5, Interesting)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 5 years ago | (#26094239)

Found it, and it's the SAME GUY. Honestly when the correlation clicked in my mind I had no idea at all that it was the same guy, but somehow the hashing algorithm was colliding the two articles.

http://linuxlock.blogspot.com/2008/09/wasted-on-idiot.html [blogspot.com]

Wow.

why not just ask 'Karen' :) (1)

rs232 (849320) | more than 5 years ago | (#26094315)

"Where is any verification of any of this?"

Well, personally I emailed the AISD [tenet.edu] and asked them, before posting, simple isn't it !!!

Re:Where is any verification of any of this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26094249)

That is the same person, Ken Starks. Apparently some folks won't believe a word the man says until they poke their own goddamn fingers into his open wounds. For fuck's sake, skepticism is one thing, but it looks like the world-class fanboys are breaking their arms patting themselves on the back and congratulating themselves because by God, no net shyster is gonna pull the wool over their eyes, because we all know these things never happen in real life, and never to believe anything without 100% verified proof... like you all compile your own source and compare it with trusted crypto. Or rather, you sit on your asses and talk, then heap the abuse on anyone who actually walks.

If Starks turns out to be a flim-flam man, liar and troll, he won't be the first. Until I see evidence to the contrary, I choose to believe he is what he says he is: A flawed but well-meaning individual trying to get hardware to kids in his area who can use it, and spread the word about free software in the process.

Re:Where is any verification of any of this? (1)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 5 years ago | (#26094357)

Apparently some folks won't believe a word the man says until they poke their own goddamn fingers into his open wounds.

I had no idea who he was when I read this latest article, and went in with zero preconceived notions (and I only read the article because I thought it was going to be about the usage costs in time).

I very quickly got the sense that someone was spinning some fiction by the completely over-the-top nature to it. I could be absolutely wrong, but it was the distinct feeling I got from it, like when a friend tells you an over the top story that exaggerates all of their biases and fears to epic levels, and while you know there's a nugget of truth in there someone, what you're hearing has little relation to it.

The story seemed to be perfectly set up for a knock down. The donate a computer to a "retard" thing gave me the same feeling for the same reason: That someone "well intentioned" thought they could setup a strawman (probably justifying the lies to themselves based upon the idea that somewhere out there is an ignorant asshole, so why not just adopt them into your own fiction because it's "for good") to get a little attention. Maybe the author of this piece is nothing like that, but you always have to be weary of it because they're usually the ones who spin the stories fantastical enough to get the big attention.

no net shyster is gonna pull the wool over their eyes

The whole medium has been destroyed by liars who always have some mediocre, self-serving justification for their lies. No, I despise liars in any form.

A flawed but well-meaning individual trying to get hardware to kids in his area who can use it, and spread the word about free software in the process.

So if he completely made up this entire story, is that okay with you? (Allowing that it could be entirely true, but I'm just curious) Do the ends justify the means?

I'm not a religious person, but the old saying "the road to hell is paved with good intentions" conveys a lot of truth. The world is full of people justifying what they do based upon the idea that it's for some greater good.

Same cynicism totally applies to you (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 5 years ago | (#26094411)

but you said it. being too skeptical, is, stupid.

First comes insinuation, then comes love... (5, Funny)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 5 years ago | (#26093899)

From TFA:

Karen and I have talked on the phone now for a couple of hours, here and there. We've come to understand each other more and had she said some of the things in her email that she said during our phone conversations...

Ken and Karen sittin' in a tree. K. I. S. S. I. N. G. ...

Re:First comes insinuation, then comes love... (1, Funny)

BobReturns (1424847) | more than 5 years ago | (#26094261)

...first comes love, then comes marriage,
Then comes a month trying to get the drivers for your wireless card working.

Re:First comes insinuation, then comes love... (1)

SL1200MKII (1263800) | more than 5 years ago | (#26094383)

then the baby carriage?

A Happy ending (5, Insightful)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 5 years ago | (#26093901)

Yes the teacher brought the storm on herself. Not by being ignorant of open source but by being rude. This is a good object lesson about email more than anything else.

Helios was perfectly in the right to flame back, especially since he was pretty polite about it considering the pretty nasty slander the teacher was throwing at him. And even being ticked off he protected her identity so she won't have to suffer the consequences of her bad manners. Even better, after talking it over with her he appears to have turned the situation into a win. So high praise for him and since she seems to have learned something positive out of the mess lets give her a break now.

Re:A Happy ending (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26094221)

I completely agree. It would've been better for him to not flame back, but when you attack someone like that (at a personal level) you can't expect nothing to happen.

thanks, internet! (3, Insightful)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 5 years ago | (#26093933)

It was obvious to the intelligent person that this entire situation was made of fail from the get-go. Any time spent analyzing this will likely just make us all dumber. Quit giving it press.

Boo to bloggers (1)

floodo1 (246910) | more than 5 years ago | (#26093939)

"her spidey-senses started tingling"
"a gaggle of giggling 8th grade boys"

Nice reporting. /NOT. I get so tired of new blog speak where everything is supposed to be cute and friendly.

Re:Boo to bloggers (3, Funny)

scubamage (727538) | more than 5 years ago | (#26093987)

That's not super friendly. It is however, alliteration.

Re:Boo to bloggers (1)

floodo1 (246910) | more than 5 years ago | (#26094103)

It's the tone that is "friendly"...almost childish. As if every person on the blog is a close friend that you share your creative literary whims with.

It's most prevalent in the Hollywood related blogs. I don't read them, but I see enough quotes from them to make me want to puke at the level of discourse :(

Culture of Fear (4, Insightful)

Adrian Lopez (2615) | more than 5 years ago | (#26093949)

When she heard that an adult had given him some of the disks to hand out, her spidey-senses started tingling.

What a shame that the first thing some people do when told about adults interacting with children is to think of something perverse.

Re:Culture of Fear (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26094075)

That's strange. When I hear about adults interacting with children, I also get a tingling sensation. IN MY PANTS!

Jump to Conclusions Mat (5, Funny)

Ogive17 (691899) | more than 5 years ago | (#26093961)

Using my Jump to Conclusions Mat it has been decided that I lose a turn.. hmmph

considering a teacher can be sued or even worse... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26094025)

possibly end up in criminal court over something they allow their students to do, I can't blame them for overreacting.

What happened to that teacher that had no control over the popup ad that showed a porn ad and ended up arrested? Even if you are cleared of charges, being arrested and spending a night in jail is absolutely horrible and hard to clear your name.

The Linux PR/Education Department Needs Volunteers (3, Insightful)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 5 years ago | (#26094029)

You can find a million things online as reference materials, but it's difficult to talk to civilians about why FOSS is a good idea, and how it's put together. People kind of glaze over when you tell them the differences. Often, they don't care and are suspect of anything truly free.

Centralized advocacy could certainly be helpful, as Linux is by its nature, evolutionary and rife with useful anarchy. Still, protagonists need to do some work to evolve the public image of Linux/GNU, FOSS, and why. Half-cocked replies are what turns people off, as they're insecure enough already about computing.

duh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26094031)

Well, that makes a lot more sense than the hyped version that's been all over StumbleUpon and presumably, the rest of the tubes.

Glad I had my BS meter on that day, and didn't immediately say anything stupid.

At the end of the day (2, Insightful)

Nate B. (2907) | more than 5 years ago | (#26094037)

Ignorance is the most expensive commodity in the USA today. And we pay for that ignorance on a daily basis.

Hopefully Ken has been able to push the frontiers of ignorance back just a little. Sometimes it requires a jolt to get that moment moving and I think that both Ken and Karen have learned a lot about jumping to conclusions. Here's hoping that Karen will now become an ally to Ken and his project.

Hmm... (2, Interesting)

XPeter (1429763) | more than 5 years ago | (#26094047)

Well, I don't know about this place but in my High School we use Windows, Linux and Open-source and the combo works great. I'm taking classes in a program called T.E.A.M.S (Technology Enriched Academy for Mathematics and Science) and we do basically any thing tech-related (on a freshman level). As far as OS's go, for some things we use XP (AutoCad and Visual Basic) and for others we use OS X (Anything media related). IMO you can't have just Linux or Just Windows, the combination of the two works great! But like I said, IMO. For a browser we use Firefox and Safari. I'm trying to convince my teachers to give Ubuntu 8.10 a go and it looks like we'll be installing it on some machines soon. Just my two cents :)

Apology takes strength. (5, Insightful)

chaim79 (898507) | more than 5 years ago | (#26094053)

This guy is really showing some strength and intelligence, he has made a public apology, and is working with the teacher instead of continuing the rant. The teacher has gotten a serious shaking up from the OSS community (through the blog) and he is doing his best to make a win of this situation.

This could have very easily degenerated into some serious verbal warfare, lawsuits, etc.

While I was interested by the first blog post and kept watch for followup, this second post makes me want to really keep an eye on this guy, actions like this apology are usually a sign of someone that should be listened to.

nice to see (3, Insightful)

nomadic (141991) | more than 5 years ago | (#26094079)

Well this blog posting was definitely a lot more admirable than the last one, and I'm glad he also apologized for the anti-union tirade. In regards to specific passages:

The student did get his Linux disks back after the class. The lad was being disruptive, but that wasn't mentioned. Neither was the obvious fact that when she saw a gaggle of giggling 8th grade boys gathered around a laptop, the last thing she expected to see on that screen was a spinning cube.

She didn't know what was on those disks he was handing out. It could have been porn, viral .exe's...any number of things for all she knew. When she heard that an adult had given him some of the disks to hand out, her spidey-senses started tingling. Coupled with the fact that she truly was ignorant of honest-to-goodness Free Software, and you have some fairly impressive conclusion-jumping.

This is a good point, and I actually think a reasonable teacher may have reasonably been worried about what was going on. Even one who actually had a basic tech background.

Karen isn't alone in her ignorance. I have sat in a PhD's office...a PhD that happened to be a principal of a school. She told me that according to her "tech staff", it was illegal to remove Microsoft Windows from their school computers. So who is ignorant here? The "tech staffer" afraid of losing his MCSE position or the Dr. of Education that didn't bother to check into such a statement. Ignorance isn't the sole possession of this particular school teacher.

Actually it's quite plausible that tech staff isn't allowed to do this. Maybe the district has a contract with Microsoft, or the school regulations prohibit changing a standard district-wide setup.

Now to the meat of the matter. Many, many of you have pushed for the identification of this teacher.

How about you reveal the identification of THESE people? I have some things I want to say to them...

Re:nice to see (1)

SillyNickName (1125565) | more than 5 years ago | (#26094279)

Actually it's quite plausible that tech staff isn't allowed to do this. Maybe the district has a contract with Microsoft, or the school regulations prohibit changing a standard district-wide setup.

Which is quite a bit different from "illegal".

Very Dumb (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26094099)

This teacher is publicly self-humiliating herself. And the whole world is watching. I am surprised how politely the people from the Linux distro gave her a reply back. Indeed Open-Source stuff is maintained by brilliant individuals.

But this is too much, I can't prevent myself from laughing.

Adobe? Google Earth? iTunes???? Free???!!! (5, Insightful)

zojas (530814) | more than 5 years ago | (#26094115)

in the blog, he provides a list of some of the software that the school makes available. but what he actually says is "Other open source software on both images include audacity and lame, and other Free Software such as Google Earth, iTunes, Adobe and many plug-ins."

Great, except for the part that Adobe, Google Earth, and most especially iTunes, are anything BUT Free Software. If he had said "free software" it would have been ok, but he deliberately went out of his way to capitalize it like the Free Software Foundation does. I'm pretty sure Adobe has produced absolutely no Free Software (Free as in Freedom, not free as in purchase price). and iTunes is certainly not Free; source is not available, and all the metadata for the iTunes library is locked in a proprietary, binary blob.

it's just shocking that this big-time supposed Free Software advocate doesn't even know how to spell free software!

Re:Adobe? Google Earth? iTunes???? Free???!!! (1)

chilligan (1430337) | more than 5 years ago | (#26094407)

Well he did put them uncapitalized at first, but someone commented upon the use of the words along with free-as-in-beer application (not Free Software), so he capitalized them.... odd isn't it ?

teach are paid to teach a specific content (2, Insightful)

fermion (181285) | more than 5 years ago | (#26094127)

What is truly sad about this is the public perception that teachers and the teacher unions are disrupting eduction. As is clearly shown here, the disruptive comes from persons who beleive they are so smart that they are not forced to be a teacher, and therefore qualified to tell the teacher what to do.

First, here is a fact. Teaching a job, just like those who sit in office doing nothing more than type code on keyboard. I mean, how hard can it be type random gibberish in a keyboard? Anyone can do it, !. So the teachers first goal is keep the class moving so objectives can be taught, assessed, rethought, and year end tests passed. Do teachers do this to maximize bonuses. Duh, are we idiots, of course. Why are the automakers begging for money right now, to kep 8 figure salaries. Why do we code for any semi-legitimate business, to make the money.

Second, the tools teachers use are the tools teachers use. How many geeks know how to use every OS, every IDE. How many developers know how to write software without an IDE, or can code direct in assembly. Does that make the developers idiots. I might say so, but not really as I have a inch of compassion and am not an arrogant bastard. No one is going to go into an office, give the staff new software to use, and expect management not to react. See point one. Teacher are there to teach content, not be experts at things not even experts agree on. Many serious consider Free OS invalid. In is an opinion. Considering it otherwise refers back to the arrogant bastard.

Third, a classroom is necessarily a controlled environment. While it would be nice to allow kids to do whatever they want, it is not feasible. In most schools, computers are not set up as a redundant array of disposable devices, and if a computer is broken, that generally means several students are denied an education for at least a little while. While teaching *nix is a lofty goal, i wonder if the organization would be there to fix the machines before the next class came in, or if they would just say, hey it is not my problem, and i don't care if some kids loses an education.

This is a classic example of why people hate *nix. Here is a guy who is trying to help the cause, but instead has shown how clueless the cause is. Unlike Dell Foundation, who provides money to teachers to help thing, this guy just seems to attack teachers with no understanding of the context. Even now, there is no acknowledgment of the damage that has been done to the students.

Help students by becoming teachers or mentors, not by attacking them. After all, teachers don't go into your lame ass web development operation and tell you to use real tools.

Re:teach are paid to teach a specific content (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26094363)

This is a classic example of why people hate *nix. Here is a guy who is trying to help the cause, but instead has shown how clueless the cause is. Unlike Dell Foundation, who provides money to teachers to help thing, this guy just seems to attack teachers with no understanding of the context. Even now, there is no acknowledgment of the damage that has been done to the students.

Har. Best troll of the thread.

NO ! this isnt over !! (3, Funny)

unity100 (970058) | more than 5 years ago | (#26094175)

now, where is my torch ? and all of you, get your pitchforks, fast

Awesome (2, Insightful)

HalAtWork (926717) | more than 5 years ago | (#26094189)

We all make mistakes, but hardly ever do we take the time to report that and also report how we can understand and improve the situation. There's nothing wrong with making mistakes or trying to make things better, and it's nice to hear about it now and then, plus we can all learn a few things.

Yah, ignorant teachers (2, Funny)

Spazmania (174582) | more than 5 years ago | (#26094201)

Yeah, back when I was in school, I made a pencil drawing of a wico joystick [dabbledoo.com] . The teacher saw and thought it was something else...

The Teacher's Identity (3, Insightful)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 5 years ago | (#26094211)

Ken makes a big deal about not wanting to name the teacher.
But each successive blog post gives away more identifiable details.
With just the information he has posted, plus the AISD's own website, it is now possible to narrow her identity down to one of 2 people.

I'm sure that's not news to anyone already determined to figure out her identity, but it ought to be a warning to anyone else trying to both talk about a person and keep their identity secret on the web. It is just a real-life puzzle of connect the dots where seemingly tangential information can be enough to put the entire picture together.

Oh, that makes me glad. (1)

Jonah Bomber (535788) | more than 5 years ago | (#26094243)

Installing Linux on the teacher's computer? What a happy ending!

Well duh! (1)

sunking2 (521698) | more than 5 years ago | (#26094305)

Was I really the only one that read the original story and thought to myself that there was more to the story than was being told.

How many wrongs to a right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26094379)

Kudos for realizing mistakes and owning up to them. The original email reply to the Teacher was, in fact, misguided. Side rants about conspiracies and professional insults were entirely inappropriate. However, that doesn't discount the utter idiocy of the initial email written by the teacher in question.

It's not that the advocate's over-reaction is justified by the teacher's initial stance. But rather, the poor behavior that initiated this confrontation is not negated by the inappropriate response. It's good that the advocate has realized his mistake and has accounted for it (and advised others to avoid the same trap). But let's do away with the tone that the teacher should escape any scrutiny.

It's a step forward to see the teacher talk to the advocate. But it is still a shame that this was not the teacher's first instinct. I find it even more instructive that the teacher considered the CDs a threat before investigating the situation. The student may have been disruptive. But the email indicates the teacher has fostered an environment that breeds contempt and invites disruption. A little more caution, respect, and willingness to learn may remedy this oversight. And the students might learn something as well.

In the end, hopefully all parties involved have learned a few things.

What a great, new way to advertise your OS... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26094413)

Seriously, probably this is all just pure bullshit.
Clever, viral advertising at work.
Too improbable to be true.

Still thinking the teacher is more in the wrong. (1)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 5 years ago | (#26094419)

I don't blame Ken's response, even the NEA crap, as he responded in very reasonable anger to a very unreasonable letter. Yes, he got the facts wrong, and went off the deep end a bit with trying to tie this with Microsoft/the NEA conspiracy thing, but I'd imagine that kind of rant was born out of his anger for how ridiculous the teacher's initial letter is.

The student in question was apparently "disruptive". Now, looking back to my school days, "disruptive" meant just about anything. I have a feeling the student wasn't really being disruptive and the teacher just wanted some sort of excuse for confiscating the disks in the first place that would still make her appear to have been in the right.

I mean, hell, in middle school I got yelled at from some brain-dead teacher in some typing/computer class for trying to plug the head phones in by ourselves. THE HEADPHONES! "ARE YOU A TECHNICIAN?", she said. I'm not siding with the teacher on this one, given how inept they often are with technology and how often I've seen them bother students for nonissues like particular pieces of clothing (torn jeans? This is an educational facility not the fashion academy!) or relatively minor crap.

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