2004.03.03

The #1 lesson in computer applications

11.53.42 - Mark

Technology is not your friend.

I'm not anti-typing, I love my keyboard and keep powerbooks with me most of the time since I like to keep a mobile workstation but when all we're doing is busy work typing documents over a period of 2 or 3 days is bull. OCR has been around for over a decade and tends to be very accurate. What my classmates (tho' certainly not my peers in this situation) are happilly toiling at is a waste of energy. I could have the documents finished in 5 minutes with a scanner and a copy of Omnipage. Chances are I will take the papers home and finish them there.

What disturbs me is that rather than teaching us how to take advantage of technology to make our lives better we're told to type a half dozen pages of doucments and format them as we go. I can understand why we don't do it in class, while scanners have fallen in price over the last decade they are not exactly standard equitment. I'm sure this is ignorange, since even on technology forums OCR is a black sheep. Still unfamilarity with technology is not reason to fear and deny it. We should explore its possibilities.

In a field that changes as quickly as computers and infomation systems we need to teach how to adapt and learn rather than simply regurgatating facts.

6 months ago I wouldn't have believed that I would be saying that a scanner is an underused input device, but it is. A computer is not mearly a few odd shaped boxes with green boards inside they are a powerful extension of a human and needs to be treated as such. I don't want to see the day when a computer is the only one that knows how to drive a car (and wait for the day where it decides to forget) but I don't think we need to treat them as a tool no more or less complex than a hammer when it's closer to a full blown machine shop and electronics lab waiting for a master craftsman to come and take advantage.

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