Why the government should not get involved in education

So Homeland Security has recommended uninstalling the Apple Quicktime product. The reason for this can be found all over the news outlets as this is big news. We won’t get into the political side where the government is initially trying to hurt a US Icon company. This isn’t a political blog so we won’t get into whether this because Apple would not help the FBI unlock an iPhone.

What I’m going to get in are all the educational companies that were just hurt because of this announcement. Many companies, especially educational textbook, training organizations use QuickTime as a delivery mechanism for their content. Without QuickTime, they are going to have to refactor their software or lose essential functionality in their software’s workflow. Put simple, uninstalling QuickTime as a policy which they will now tell government agencies, including state colleges( eventually) to uninstall and decommission this product, they essentially disable a lot of the college ability to deliver instruction.

Let’s look at an example. Blackboard lists QuickTime as a critical part of their product. Simple uninstalling and removing this capability is not an option. There are also many math textbooks where Quicktime is at its core for delivering its ability to draw out math problems. This is one of the main learning points that make this product useful and able to stimulate learning. As, my first real Algebra teacher ,Mrs. Ronnie Rippy used to say math is not a spectators sport. Students must practice math true, but first, they need an example showed to them. The ability of these publishers to deliver instruction is key on this product. The rest of their product line too, just in different ways. This could possibly shut these companies down. I don’t know if they have enough money to change their code if people do not have QuickTime.

Of course, in the near term, the IT management at the colleges will keep them running. We won’t have a choice. Either break half the functionality( maybe more in purely online programs) for the faculty to deliver instruction. I sit in one of those chairs and I can tell you I don’t need that aggravation. Sure I can start looking around at other companies who do not rely on this apple product. Quicktime is on the way out anyway, but the market should be able to decide when to move your infrastructure.

Sure I can start looking around at other companies who do not rely on this apple product. Quicktime is on the way out anyway, but the market should be able to decide when to move your infrastructure. Of course, once I find something then I have to try and secure funding to change a large part of how my faculty imparts knowledge. I don’t know who decided to issue this homeland warning. It’s all over the cert advisory sites either. If Homeland knows of a specific threat then they need to let Apple know. Microsoft or Google would tell Apple if they found some threat and they are fierce competitors. If there is a threat it will be found soon, but this is an area the government should just leave up to the techs.

This announcement has just caused a whole lot of educators extra work not to mention put more strain on college’s already strained budgets.

ApplevsHomeland-Calm

 

 

Leave a Reply