Last week, at both FSOSS and the Teaching Open Source Summit, I heard a word that jarred me slightly, because I had dropped it from my professional vocabulary a number of years ago: "Kids".
I stopped using the word "kids" to refer to students for several reasons -- including the fact that I had a student twenty years my senior, and another who was a fully accredited Civil Engineer in his home country -- but the main reason that I dropped it was that it is simply incompatible with the way open source communities work. In open source, roles are defined by contribution, not age or formal training. Some of the youngest members of the community are the most active, and make crucial and valuable contributions.
If we're teaching inside open source communities, then it's important that we value students as full members of those communities -- and I think that the term "kids" is dismissive of their abilities.
I am almost agree with you; young people aren't m0rons because they are young!!! Also, people must think about this point: everyone was young, once!!! Maybe the main problem is that a lot of old people forgot it!!!! I think discrimination are bad. And these based upon one's age or sex or sexual orientation are the most horrible. As they are inborn particularities on which you've no control (nobody has control over them).
Anyway, i find the word "kid" funny, it sounds nice!!! So i don't feel hurt because it's just a 'familiar' english word!!! it isn't offensive, but honey!!!
You've also to think that some adults are jealous of kids... Mostly because they are adults frustrated and unsatisfied of their lifes..and they know high school and college "kids" have their whole future to write!! Something adults can't do anymore, because they can't go back to the past and start over again.
Young generations deserve more respect and help than what the average of the people is giving them. This rotten World is difficult for everyone, and it will be more difficult for today's kids... as they'll be forced to solve all the errors and troubles caused by today's adults!!!!!!!
Monopolies, patents, DMCA, copyrights, evil multinational companies and open source software are the subjects (about computer science) on the first line that KIDS will inherit and then they'll win back!
Thanks for the reminder and the call-out, Chris. I know I often slip and use the words "kids" still, though I try to be aware of it and say "students" (or something else) instead.
I personally didn't mind being called a kid (I still get called one sometimes, and I still don't mind it), but regardless of how I feel about having the term applied to me, I shouldn't use it to refer to other students.
About Chris Tyler
I am a Christian, college professor, computer programmer, system administrator, author, and consultant. I am also an Industrial Research Chair with a focus on Linux on 64-bit ARM enterprise systems.