Please teach them to fish

Posted on Friday 12 December 2008

jhuber pointed me at this post. There are lots of possible reactions to this teachers email (as the post and comments demonstrate). But I think most of them miss the point. The problem here isn’t Microsoft. It isn’t about how many features Linux has or doesn’t have. It isn’t about the distribution of Windows or the future of linux. This is about teaching kids how to learn and how to problem solve. It is about encouraging them to explore. You don’t learn Windows — you become familiar with Windows. You learn about computers. Once you understand a computer, getting familiar with Windows, OS-X, or any other OS on the planet is easy. Letting a student explore linux is like letting them play with the most amazing lego kit ever. If you learn to use linux, you can figure out almost any computer. 

Please Karen, teach them to fish, stopping giving them fish.

That and your email eerily reminds me of Doctorow’s dystopia in Little Brother.

    December 12, 2008 | 10:53 am

    I’m going to give my son linux.

    And when the sound doesn’t work, i’m going to say, Son, you’ll have to recompile the kernel to fix it. Off you go!

    Robin Owen
    December 12, 2008 | 12:39 pm

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.