His side of the story

Remember the kid who got in trouble for using the NET SEND command to send a message to the entire school? He posted his side of the story here.

Now for my take on it. In his school, “computer literacy” means knowing how to use Word & Excel and how to get around in some version of Windows. They don’t teach general computer skills and exploration is discouraged. They were told to learn, not “play around”, so playing Solitaire is acceptable.

“fooling around” with the system is the best way to learn about computers. Knowing how to use a few applications and one operating system doesn’t constitute computer literacy. When they graduate and find that the applications they learned are obsolete, they’ll be lost.

Schools should be teaching students how to learn and encouraging exploration instead of just learning some basic skills. Students should be encouraged to go further and learn on their own.

One more thing – what he did – learning how to use a built-in command – shouldn’t be treated as if he let loose a virus or tried to hack into some unauthorized account. No harm was done and the system’s security was never violated.