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[TheReg] Apologies after teacher's 'Linux holding back kids' claim

post #1 of 47
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The leader of a US effort handing out PCs and CDs running Linux to kids has apologized to a teacher for "throwing her to the wolves" in a tirade online.

HeliOS founder Ken Starks has blamed a misunderstanding for his blog post, which had criticized the Texas middle-school teacher after she'd attacked HeliOS for "misleading" students about Linux and holding them back.

Starks has apologized to the teacher - known only as Karen - for saying she’d taken a pro-Microsoft line claiming Microsoft had funded the union she's a member of.

The HeliOS leader was apparently shocked by the level of responses he'd received to the blog, with calls from across the world including one wanting to identify the teacher for $1,000.

According to Starks: "You have my sincere apology for slapping you all with such a wide brush." Starks claimed his statements were based on an "isolated but nasty experience two years ago".

Starks said he and Karen had spoken - she contacted him.

“When she heard that an adult had given him [the student with the Linux CDs] 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,†Starks said.

The apology came after Starks ripped into Karen after receiving a strongly worded letter from her. The teacher promised to prosecute HeliOS for alleged - but unspecified - "illegal" activities, saying HeliOS is "misleading" students about Linux and holding them back.

Karen said students needed to learn Windows, not Linux. Karen had claimed: "No software is free and spreading that misconception is harmful."

Karen continued that HeliOS is holding back students' education and potential careers by bamboozling them with Linux when they should be concentrating on Windows.

The thing that probably got Starks was this zinger from Karen: "I am sure if you contacted Microsoft, they would be more than happy to supply you with copies of an older verison [sic] of Windows and that way, your computers would actually be of service to those receiving them." ®
Source: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/12...texas_teacher/
    
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post #2 of 47
That cracked me up about Microsoft being happy to supply older versions of Windows. They won't even let manufacturers put Windows XP on anything except netbooks.
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post #3 of 47
I do agree that most kids in school only need to learn Windows - 90% of them won't use anything else, and the ones that will probably already know linux anyway. But there's no excuse that a computer teacher should be that ignorant. That's like a science teacher telling kids that the earth is flat.

Honestly, if I was the dean of that school, I'd make her take some classes or something, if not outright fire her.
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post #4 of 47
What!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hes apologizing, hes was right!!!!!!!!!!
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post #5 of 47
Did she apologize for writing him a nasty and unbelievably ignorant letter? The what the hell is he apologizing for?!
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post #6 of 47
i doo agree with the ignorant b... on one thing.. people need to learn windows, not linux.
linux is cool if you work in a server environment, or have no sex-life, but for the rest of us, windows is at least as good. or OSX if you hate yourself.
post #7 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChielScape View Post
i doo agree with the ignorant b... on one thing.. people need to learn windows, not linux.
linux is cool if you work in a server environment, or have no sex-life, but for the rest of us, windows is at least as good. or OSX if you hate yourself.
Linux leads to knowledge and a greater interest in computers and computer science, it is not a bad thing.

True, Billy Joe the farmer doesn't need Linux but you get the idea.
post #8 of 47
Starks sounds like a stand-up guy. He felt guilty for calling out the teacher in a public forum, regardless of the fact that he was right. Right on.
    
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post #9 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Urufu_Shinjiro View Post
Did she apologize for writing him a nasty and unbelievably ignorant letter? The what the hell is he apologizing for?!
because he's being a decent person, and in the grander scheme of things, this is more important to some people (btw I don't think the general internet public ever got the memo on decency to one's fellow man)

Quote:
i doo agree with the ignorant b... on one thing.. people need to learn windows, not linux.
linux is cool if you work in a server environment, or have no sex-life, but for the rest of us, windows is at least as good. or OSX if you hate yourself.
I personally take credit for giving my girlfriend multiple orgasms 5-7 nights a week, so stuff the blind, blanket insults ... and you forget the part where linux is tailored for research and education, not just for puffy sysadmins who get short of breath upon leaving the cool, dry environment of a server room
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post #10 of 47
It's good for people who don't want to line M$'s pockets. You don't need Windows unless you play games - fact. Almost every application has a Linux version/equivalent, all free. It's getting to the stage where paying for software could become a thing of the past.

If I were Microsoft's accountants right now, I'd be running out of fingernails to bite when looking at figures for the next 3 years
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