Do you think you know which technologies college students are using? Even in Redmond, WA, you might be surprised.

(Reposted from my BleedYellow blog on Sept 22)

I have seen numerous discussions about the need to draw “new blood” into the Lotus world and how college students are being groomed for Microsoft software.  Well, as of this week I can declare myself an expert on this topic and give you real world, firsthand, personal experience.  I just started taking classes this week at Bellevue College.  It is in Bellevue, Washington, the “city” adjacent to Redmond, headquarters of Microsoft.  I use quotes around the word “city” because it’s really just one continuous metropolitan area.  City boundaries are rather irrelevant.  Also, most of Microsoft’s recent expansion has actually been in Bellevue since they outgrew the Redmond campus.

These students live with Microsoft literally in their backyard and the live among friends and family who work there. So what would you expect these college students to favor for software?  Consider this:  in my web development class, half of the class of about 30 students balked when the teacher asked if it was OK to post assignments using Microsoft Word 2010.  It isn’t that they have an old version of Office.  It is that many of them have Macs.  At least 10 said they use OpenOffice exclusively.
Walking  into my web media class, I found a classroom filled with…Macs!  The teacher comments “for those of you who don’t know how to use a Mac, you can reboot it to run Windows.  Very few people took up the offer.

And what are they teaching?  In one class, the teacher opened with a discussion of the history of the Internet.  “Who created the Internet?”  No one has the answer.*   “Who created Windows?”  Everyone knows the answer. “Which has had a bigger impact on your life?”  the students chant a resounding “the Internet”.  She points out what a travesty it is that the man who created the web, HTML, and the first web browser and then declared it public domain, free to all, would get such little fanfare.
Just today, at the beginning of class, my professor said shockingly, “Oh, is IE the only browser on this machine?” as he logged into the professor kiosk to begin his lecture.

But not all of college life is so anti-establishment.  The website used by every class for everything from class blogs to homework assignments is hosted on SharePoint.  Why?  Probably because that’s all they know about.
*Do you know the answer WITHOUT googling it?  Post your answer.

Posted on October 14, 2010, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Interesting that Apple has no problems invading Microsoft territory but IBM apparently has all but given up here in the Seattle area.

  2. I’m here to change that.

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