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Back to (old) school

It's September, so everyone's children (including mine) are going back to school. In our area, the "must have supply" lists are distributed to local retailers to make certain parents have no money left in their pocket books when they leave the store.
One of the items on our twelve year old daughter's list was floppy disks. Do you have any idea how difficult it is to find floppy disks these days? The schools take protection seriously, so the kids aren't supposed to take the disks home and use them for fear of infecting the entire school network with viruses and other nasties and that's just as well because quite frankly, I'm not sure that there is a machine in my house that still sports a 3.5" drive. The children's laptops don't have them, our laptops don't have them and I'm not certain I relish the thought of the kids using the servers that are old enough to have such a drive to copy homework.
Once, long ago (I won't say how long because quite frankly you don't need to know) schools outpaced the home in terms of available technology. I had an Apple ][e at home and that, for the time, was an astounding thing, because most families didn't even know what a computer was at that point. Schools with half a dozen Apple subsidized computers were far ahead of the curve in those days.

Today, however, the technology at home is outpacing the technology in the schools and each year it seems the schools get further and further behind. Our kids use USB fobs to keep electronic journals and transfer files between them and stare disbelievingly at the clunky, 3.5" disks the school requires of them. It's sort of like showing them an LP and having them ask "Is that like a really big CD?"

Schools should be ahead of the curve, but they aren't anymore. The kids today know more about technology than most of the teachers in their middle and high schools and at some point there needs to be established as one of the core education requirements a technology track. The three "Rs" need to be expanded to the three "Rs" and a "T" for technology and that technology needs to at least keep pace if not outstrip the technology available in the home.

We need more educators that are technically minded, and the people in charge of the technology in schools need to be techs, not educators who happen to know where the power button is on a server. We seriously need to reevaluate the immersion of technology as a learning tool as well as a fact of life within our schools and move them into the 21st century.
And running some Linux desktops wouldn't hurt, either. ;-)