Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?

Comment I've only ever seen it used right one time (Score 2) 372

I'm currently a sophomore pursuing an engineering degree. During high school, tech in the classroom was the next big thing, and it's the same here at college.

I've had the opportunity (misfortune) to use quite a few different systems over the years - BlackBoard, Sakai, McGraw-Hill Connect, WebAssign... and out of all of those I have only found these services to be useful for two things -

1) Submitting papers online - it is much more convenient (and environmentally friendly?) to submit our essays and papers online, just uploading them to Sakai or Dropbox or whatever than it is to print them out and hand them in.

2) This is where technology has actually been really useful - Math Homework - my college assigns all of our math homework through WebAssign. Basically, we sign in, and it gives all of us students similar problems, but with somewhat randomized constants (e.g. I see "integrate this from 0 to 3", but for my friend it will be "integrate this from 0 to 4" etc). The nice thing is the way the system grades our answers - it actually evaluates our answers to see if they are mathematically equal to the desired answer (within certain limits, for example if it asks me to integrate something, I can't just put in the integral, I actually have to do the work) so, basically if the answer is Pi/3, it will also accept 3Pi/9, etc.

Using WebAssign for our math homework is by far the best use of technology I have ever seen in a classroom. It will let us try up to 5 times to answer each problem correctly, and we get instant feedback on our answers.

Using technology in the classroom only goes so far, in my opinion BlackBoard added nothing at all to my high school english class, it just meant that I had one more site to check for homework ever night. I didn't even like doing our chemistry homework online - the system was far to picky, if you have to draw a diagram of a molecule and your diagram wasn't oriented the same as the system was expecting it would just mark it wrong, even if the molecule was accurately drawn.

I don't blame professors at all for ignoring a lot of the technology they have at their disposal, many times it only makes life more difficult for them and their students, and moving the class homework online very rarely adds anything to the class. However, when technology is used correctly, it can make a HUGE difference - online work is the reason I passed Algebra 101 in community college.

Comment Re:Good one Youtube (Score 1) 450

Being paranoid is unfortunate. Self-righteous "Occupiers' are annoying. But they don't massacre schoolchildren, or blacks in hoodies, or put bullets in the heads of senators. More likely the only violence they're involved in is getting beaten up and tasered by cops.

Neither do 99% of the gun owners in the US.

Comment Re:Never Upgrade Immediately (Score 1) 266

I can see it now - the day is 01-19-2038 03:00:00 (for those not in the know: They have just released a critic patch for your linux box (Idk, maybe they're just really slow at releasing patches). To be safe, you decide to wait a month before installing it. Guess what happens next.... Anyway, waiting is a good tactic, as long as the patch isn't really really critical.

Comment Re:Baby killers (Score 2) 450

^ This Mod parent up, this is a great point. No one who owns a rifle honestly thinks that they're ever going to be able to stop an army, or hinder an abusive government alone. But even 500, or 1,000 people, armed with basic rifles and hiding in the woods can be quite a formidable force. Sure, in the end you can just carpet bomb the woods, but consider that there are millions of gun owners in America. If only 10% were to get angry enough to fight (and I honestly, truly hope it never comes to this), that's still thousands and thousands of armed fighters, across a massive nation. Basically, you can't bomb ALL of the forests. Disclaimer: I like having a gun, it's a tool to me. It's nice to have, and I use it for target shooting when I have the time. My point is, whenever someone says "Well, guns would be useless against tanks and etc", just remember wars like Vietnam, or the Middle East. You don't have to attack the tanks and airplanes, just their supply lines.

Comment Re:Reality in politically incorrect (Score 2) 474

I believe that "Political Correctness" is, in a way, a subtle method used to change the way people think. In some cases, I suppose that's good, but is there anything actually wrong with calling Christmas just that - "Christmas"? Yeah, sure the name has religious roots, but when you trace the history back, the date was chosen to coincide with a Pagan holiday. Basically, just let it be. I instead try to follow "Plain Speaking" - in other words, it's OK to say a black person is a "Black", as opposed to "African-American" (which is inaccurate in any case since most black people in America were born here, and didn't immigrate from Africa). We'll get MUCH more done as a society if we all stop being so easily offended.

Comment Re:Racism gotten to the point (Score 1) 474

I'm personally tired of being called a racist (by family no less!) for voting against Obama. Nevermind that I voted independent... if I promote any conservative idea, it means I hate liberals, therefore I hate Obama, therefore I hate blacks.

Yeah, a teacher tried this one on me during my senior year in high school - if I didn't vote for Obama, it was OBVIOUSLY because I was being racist - Never mind that if you vote for someone BECAUSE he's black, well I'm sorry, but that's racist.

Slashdot Top Deals

When you don't know what to do, walk fast and look worried.