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Comment The basics (Score 4, Insightful) 302

While students may "know technology" these days, I'm getting a lot of students at university that don't understand where their files go. I have students who don't know about simple keyboard shortcuts like cut, copy, and paste. I've had to give mini lessons on how to do basic formatting in Microsoft Word, and how to do simple manipulations of a spreadsheet. Learning how to code is useful, but I feel that should come after learning some very simple basics.

Comment LAMP (Score 1) 264

For a custom GUI bringing in data from a database, I've found most GUI tools for this on Linux to be a bit clunky yet. Writing PHP forms and reports was just easier, and I'm not a web developer by any means, but it didn't take much for me to get exactly what I needed, and in just a little mroe time that it would have taken me with Access front end and MS-SQL backend. If I did that work more often, I could probably bang it out quicker in PHP.

Comment I don't see IBM lasting much longer (Score 1) 84

I just completed work for a customer who, because of a lot of legacy software, kept needing to purchase IBM hardware and operating systems. They somehow manage to make everything WAY more complicated than it needed to be, and WAY more expensive. I want to believe that their hardware was good, in my experience, IBM hardware does last a long time, and functions well. With that said, I could buy COTS hardware with Linux, and have several sets of backup hardware, for less than the cost of what IBM proposed for a single system, and I could have it up and running in less time than it would take to set up the IBM systems. They're quickly pricing themselves out of the marketplace.

Comment no better than the general population (Score 1) 299

The military is made up of people of all types, from all different backgrounds, from all different education and experience levels. I have anecdotal stories that would support both sides of this question, and I think it just boils down to the person, and not weather they're ex-military or not. In general, the ones I knew while I was in the military who were into IT outside of the military went on to have big careers in IT. I knew a few grunts who got out after the recent conflicts, and decided they wanted an IT career because they played lots of video games, and may have built a gaming PC. Even with tech school training, their skills were usually lacking. Same works for the non-military people I know.

Comment Conferences aren't all bad (Score 1) 182

I have gone to conferences and found out things I wasn't aware of, or found new ways of looking at things that then translated into new solutions at work. After attending the conference two years in a row, I was able to contribute, and got to present the third year. I know there were people who didn't know the technology I was presenting, so I'm sure it helped other organizations. As a presenter, I got to attend for free, and just had to cover the travel costs (which were then covered by my employer). My employer was also able to say their employee had presented at tech conferences as well. A win/win.

Comment Re:Ha, you threaten teacher jobs and see what happ (Score 1) 570

The public is involved in electing the school board members, and running for school board. Of the school board members I've met, I don't think I'd identify them as politicians. More importantly, the pubic is sitting in front of the teachers deserving an education by a qualified teacher who is allowed the resources to do the best job that they can for their students. I understand you don't like taxes. But if we're going to complain about how our tax money is spent, I'd much rather not have my taxes used for sending my former students to foreign soil to get their brains blasted out, the same brains I spent several years putting information into at tax payers expense. The money used to kill, maim, or otherwise damage my former students in pointless wars consumes 60% of the federal budget. You don't like taxes, let's take a chunk out of the biggest consumer.

Comment Re:Ha, you threaten teacher jobs and see what happ (Score 5, Insightful) 570

Who is 'oppressing' these teachers?

Administrators who suddenly decide to have a 3 hour meeting at the very end of the work day. Administrators who fire qualified teachers and hire their unqualified good buddy for the same position. Administrators who refuse to purchase enough text books for the number of students in a class. Administrators who don't plan man-power properly and have 40-50 kids in a classroom built to hold 30 max. Administrators who give performance reviews based on the attractiveness of a teacher. Administrators who maintain physical environments that are not condusive to learning (too hot, too cold, dirty, depressing, interruptions to class time). Administrators who assign extra duties that interfere with student's education, at no extra pay. Administrators who create a schedule that does not allow for even a lunch break, much less a restroom break for the teachers.

All of these examples are things that actually happend in the district that I worked for, and had clauses in the contract that were added, negotiated by the union and the school district.

Comment A completely unnessary and regressive law. (Score 2) 102

As a (former) teacher living in Missouri, this law is horrible. It comes from school administrators around the state going out of their way to not do their jobs. This law came about because of a fear of a teacher going from district to district who molests children, and uses electronic media as one of his tools. If there is a teacher who gets asked to find a job somewhere else because it is suspected that they have molested a student, it is the job of every school district employee to report this person. This reporting is legally mandated, and anyone found having knowledge of molestation who holds a job as a mandatory reporter can and should be held liable. I once worked in a district where the band teacher was suddenly arrested for having sex with students. I was livid. If he had been in the building when I found out, I would have kicked his ass into his office and kept him there till the police came. Any district that doesn't investigate such things should be held liable, and any administrator who suggests a teacher find another district in which to molest students should lose their job and license as well. I say regressive because most students are well ahead of the school districts in terms of making regular use of technology. This just discourages teachers from using technology further. I can't tell you how many times we've been able to plan accordingly because my kids were able to text their coach or teacher about an upcoming event to make sure we weren't late, or planned to be out of town.

Comment a more positive approach (Score 1) 978

We already have a bunch of negative approaches, I've thought of a slightly different approach. The cheapest foods are also the most unhealthy, so what needs to happen is that we make the healthier choices more appealing. Since "food stamps" are now on a debit card type system, the government can make calculations in the background. I say that any fresh produce purchased on an EBT card will get a 10%-50% rebate, I have no idea on the ramifications of this number, so the exact amount of the rebate would have to be studied. The cost for this rebate can be offset by taking it out of farm subsidies for the less healthy choices like meat. Of course this would have to be monitored for over-users, people who purchase tons of produce, then go to a farmer's market and try to re-sell it for less than grocery prices, but more than their rebate price.

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