Wednesday, November 05, 2003


I got a spreadsheet from MaryEllen today with all the classes taught by CCS faculty next semester, and I almost fell out of my seat when I saw Computers & Chinese. But I was disappointed, because it's basically "Microsoft Computing and Chinese". Now if there was a class on how to set up X to do Chinese input, that would be a class to die for. And some lessons on Unicode and other East Asian encodings—that would be cool too. We Linux users sure could use some good news right about now, what with RedHat abandoning the desktop and SuSE getting bought by Novell.

Because the CMS that runs the LS&A Course Guide changes URLs often, rendering my links outdated, I'll post the class description here:

Computers and the Internet are rapidly becoming an important part of Chinese culture. Chinese, after English, is now the most widely used language on the Internet. At the same time, however, processing the Chinese language on a computer and applying various software packages in a Chinese environment remain a big challenge. That is why a course is desirable to provide training on Chinese language use in an electronical environment. ASIANLAN 405 will cover language use in four computer applications, namely, Chinese word processing, Chinese e-mail, Power Point presentations in Chinese, and creation of Chinese web pages. Although involving training in computer skills, this primarily still will be a language course because the requirements and activities will emphasize all the aspects of language use, listening, speaking, reading, and writing. The instructional strategy of the course will emphasize collaborative learning. Students will work in pairs or teams for the two major projects. Throughout the term, peer feedback will be abundant in frequent group discussions. There are no written exams. Grades are based on successful completion of homework and project assignments.

What I mean by "Microsoft Computing" is that the four applications are likely to be Microsoft Word, Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Powerpoint, and Microsoft Frontpage. I think this class is not likely to reach the level of abstration, in regards to encodings and standards, that I would like to learn.


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