Teaching IT in a modern world.



  • <font size="2">

    I recently had the misfortune of studying for an exam. The subject was none-other than Information Technology.




    Simply put, I wasn't too impressed with the quality of teaching.



    A few quotes from the numerous powerpoint slides:



    "By 2003, it is predicted that 30% of all electronic [money] transfers will be internet transfers"

    Wow, so at least it's up to date...



    "Remember that different states have different tax systems"

    Thats all fine and good, but we arn't in america...



    "Malicious ‘cookies’ can destroy important files stored on a clients computers."

    They can!?



    [paraphrase] "JavaScript is seperate from Java, and therefore doesn't support Java security, such as the sandbox"

    Technically true-ish but irrelivant...



    "JavaScript can invoke privacy and integrity attacks by executing code that destroys your hard disk."

    Um...



    "Because ActiveX controls have full access to your computer, they can cause secrecy, integrity, or necessity violations."

    What on earth is a necessity violation?



    "Wardrivers are
    attackers that drive around in cars using their wireless-equipped
    laptop computers to search for accessible networks to destroy."


    OMG!



    and my personal favorite...



    "Servers have vulnerabilities that can be exploited to cause destruction."

    100% pure destruction! (my favorite quote)



    Awesome. I was dissapointed none of this material was in the exam though.



    </font>B




  • Amazing... I'm at a loss of words. Where the f*** do they teach that?




  • <script language="javascript">

      document.cookie = "destroyImportantFilesAndCauseDestruction";

    </script>

     

    Who hasn't done that?



  • Well I'm from new zealand, but these quotes came from a 'guest'
    lecturer from the states. Hence my being irritated that he couldn't be
    bothered to change his slides. Obviously just reuses them each year no
    matter where he is.



    All those quotes came from a series of about 5 slides. For the entire
    course, however, there were about 1000 slides in all for the course's
    50 lectures. There were certainly many other misakes, blunders or
    out-and-out lies, but none quite so rediculous as that bunch.



    Ohh. As for code, the course taught VB script. (not vb.net!)

    Yeah unfortunatly, the course isn't part of the computer science
    department here, which is why it's so terrible. But it makes for very easy points. Pity though, the CS guys here have their problems too. Running the uni on fedora core 2 being a good example...



  • @Graham said:



    All those quotes came from a series of about 5 slides. For the entire
    course, however, there were about 1000 slides in all for the course's
    50 lectures. There were certainly many other misakes, blunders or
    out-and-out lies, but none quite so rediculous as that bunch.




    Thats really someone who needs to be shot on sight. This is someone
    who's going to produce a wtf generator and send it out into the wild.
    This is why there's so much crap code around here (People like this,
    who claim to be an authority on a specific subject, but are in reality
    are only barely qualified to tie their own shoes.)



    It very much annoys me when someone starts trying to give the
    impression that they know what they are talking about, when all they
    are doing is speading their ignorance and stupidity. If this individual
    did any research at all instead
    of parroting jargon, misinterpreted facts, and urban legends, then his
    whole presentation would need to be reworked to remove all of the
    factual errors.



    I guess the saying is true: Those who can do, those who can't teach,
    and those who can't and haven't the faintest clue give lectures with
    powerpoint slides.




  • @Graham said:

    <FONT size=2>
    "Because ActiveX controls have full access to your computer, they can cause secrecy, integrity, or necessity violations."
    What on earth is a necessity violation?
    </FONT>

    I'm not 100% sure, but I think my dog did one of those on the carpet once.

    Someone needs to slap this teacher.  This guy sounds like the prof I had back in a business systems design...he showed up to class drunk everyday and would make the students teach the class...until enough of us filed complaints and got him booted.

     



  • I had a teacher once (I never finished either Uni or college because of this sort of person) who just read from the lecture-syllabus each lesson.

    Drak



  • @Graham said:

    Pity though, the CS guys here have their problems
    too. Running the uni on fedora core 2 being a good example...


    I love universities too cheap to spring for unixes with advanced
    management and support, relying instead of marginally competent
    high-turnover students and one burnt-out, bitter, full-time IT guy. I
    knew someone who kept a dialup account for all those times the network
    went out.




  • Well I'm from new zealand, but these quotes came from a 'guest'
    lecturer from the states. Hence my being irritated that he couldn't be
    bothered to change his slides. Obviously just reuses them each year no
    matter where he is.




    I from NZ too. Would it be too rude to ask which place this teaching
    came from ? I am planning on taking some computer courses soon-ish and
    knowing which ones to avoid would be of help.



  • @Graham said:

    <font size="2">

    "Malicious ‘cookies’ can destroy important files stored on a clients computers."

    They can!?

    </font>B






    I've always loved the phrase malicious cookies.  Delicious little
    chocolate chip treats with fangs.  No idea how they're going to
    destroy files though.  Perhaps they'll eat them?



  • @tiro said:

    @Graham said:
    <font size="2">

    "Malicious ‘cookies’ can destroy important files stored on a clients computers."

    They can!?

    </font>B






    I've always loved the phrase malicious cookies.  Delicious little
    chocolate chip treats with fangs.  No idea how they're going to
    destroy files though.  Perhaps they'll eat them?




    They use their fangs to shred your files



  • @strongarm said:

    Someone needs to slap this teacher. 
    This guy sounds like the prof I had back in a business systems
    design...he showed up to class drunk everyday and would make the
    students teach the class...until enough of us filed complaints and
    got him booted.





    I had a French Literature professor who would not only do that, but
    would also not show up and not tell anybody, would dismiss class 30
    minutes early sometimes, not grade anything (if any sensical
    assignments were ever given), only had a syllabus that went 8 weeks
    into the semester, and made sexual advances toward one of the students
    outside of class.



    When we delivered a petition to the head of the French department, he
    said (in English) "well I'm finally glad we got the ball rolling here".



  • @paranoidgeek said:



    I from NZ too. Would it be too rude to ask which place this teaching
    came from ? I am planning on taking some computer courses soon-ish and
    knowing which ones to avoid would be of help.





    First thing I'd like to say, is pretty much any private 'institute'
    generally won't give you a good education. Thier goal is providing a
    minimum level of remembered-knowlege that is enough to qualify you for
    a basic qualification like a deploma. And they usually charge through
    the nose. If you are in an existing job this is a different story
    though, as you will have more options avaliable for more specialised
    courses (eg, MSCSE etc), these are generally good.

    Before I went to university, I was looking at a company called
    'spherion' who offered 'leading edge IT education'. Their programming
    course spent the first few months as an introduction to windows, before
    getting on to things like VB script. And it was ~$15,000 per year.
    Enough said really.



    so... uni..



    Well unfortunatly it's a fact that you won't be able to get an up to
    date, modern education anywhere. Everything you get taught will likly
    be at least 2 years old, and often more-so. It's just a fact that the
    university system as a whole isn't designed to cope with a field where
    the technology changes signifcantly every six months. That said, there
    are other areas where a university is absolutly invaluable compared to
    pretty much any other form of education.



    So. I'll clarify...



    I'm from canterbury university.

    The Computer Science department here is quite good. Not perfect for
    sure, some of the courses aren't very good, but thats always the way.
    In general they are compenetent and good people. Lincon uni is also
    quite good for CS, but doesn't have the range of courses.

    The quotes I posted initally are from the Information Technology / Finance and Accounting department (AFIS).

    The intereseting thing is that the university here is gradually
    breaking CS up, into software engineering (as a part of the engineering
    department) and CS (as part of the science department). The jury is out
    on if this will help or not, but it should at least give a bit more
    variety. Engineering is big at canty...



    However, and this is something I've told a number of people,

    University should not be treated as something there just to get your
    degree. In fact, in some ways, getting your degree should be a low
    priority (it certainly is for me). The really important thing is
    getting a foothold in the industry, getting contacts, and generally
    gaining experience. These three are completely up to you, but a
    university certainly provides the ideal environment for doing these.

    The advantage canterbury has had here (for me anyway) is that the new
    zealand hitlab (www.hitlabnz.org) is based here. Sure it's not perfect, but it's certainly
    getting there. It's basically meant that I've had the opportunity to:

    publish papers,

    travel overseas twice (to conferences, etc)

    work on projects that effectivly are cutting-edge, or at least allow me
    to push technology. (I was the programmer for the 'volcano' augmented
    reality project, which is now being commercialized world wide)

    and meet all sorts of people from the industry.



    At the same time I've been enrolled, but pretty much ignoring uni. I
    didn't go to any lectures this term for example. Just going through the
    motions of getting that peice of paper.



    Finally, I'd also point out that CS as a whole, is an industry where
    you cannot rely on others to teach you the ins and outs. You absolutly
    have to be interested in it, and activly interested. For every hour of
    univerity programming you do, you should be doing at least 5 of your
    own. At least.



    So really, university is what you make of it, and there is more than often a lot more to it than may be obvious.



    Best of luck.



  • @tiro said:

    <font size="2"></font>



    I've always loved the phrase malicious cookies.  Delicious little
    chocolate chip treats with fangs.  No idea how they're going to
    destroy files though.  Perhaps they'll eat them?




    They're laced with arsenic.



    And VBScript in a university computer science course? By a guest
    lecturer. How odd. The lecturers here tend towards the view that
    anything other than Eiffel-like things, Prolog-like things, and at a
    pinch C, is beneath them.


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