Archive for August, 2008

How many times a day do you…

1. Brush your teeth?


2. Shower?

Once, occasionally twice (if I get dirty after the first).

3. Check your E-mail?


4. Check LJ Facebook?

At least twice, and probably too much!

5. Eat?

3 meals plus a snack or two.

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Some of you may recall that back in the Spring I was taking a class called “Technology & Assessment”—touted by the Mizzou course catalog as a class that would teach me about using technology to assess student learning. After taking “Library Use Instruction” the previous Fall and learning a little about assessment techniques, “Technology & Assessment” sounded like a good opportunity to learn more about a topic that is relevant to the part of my job that involves teaching students how to use the library. Unfortunately, Mizzou’s course catalog neglected to mention that the class was targeted specifically to K–12 teachers. It was rather frustrating to find out that little fact on the first day of class, but at least the professor was flexible and allowed me to tweak the assignments to fit my context.

For the coming Fall semester I had signed up to take “Web Application Development I”, whose catalog description begins: “Learn to develop web applications to support online learning and collaboration using Perl, PHP, or Java (student’s choice)” (emphasis added). I’ve long been interested in learning PHP, so this seemed like a great opportunity to fulfill that goal and to get credit towards my degree doing it. However, on Friday the instructor sent out an email to the entire class:

Due to an unexpected administration issue, I realized some of you might not read the proper course description. […]

In the fall 2008 course you will learn to use Asp.Net 2.0 with VB.Net or C# and MS SQL database server.

Well that’s just dandy. No choice but ASP.NET. That torpedoes half of my Fall schedule, but for future planning I replied to the instructor asking when the PHP version of the course will be offered. He replied:

I guess the course will cover php when it is fully shaped as object-oriented. Probably in a couple years.

The next language the course will use would be Java.

Wait… what?

(A) Since they don’t have any firm plans to teach PHP in the near future, why is it listed in the course description at all? False advertising I say!

(B) More importantly, how can you get away with teaching web application development without addressing PHP—one of the most widely used languages for web application development? I don’t care whether or not it’s fully object-oriented. If it’s good enough for Wikipedia, WordPress, Facebook, et al., then it deserves our attention.

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