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Re: [school-discuss] What's in a name?

how about a "tech mentor"?

Chris Calise

----- Original Message -----
From: "Ben Armstrong" <synrg@sanctuary.nslug.ns.ca>
To: <schoolforge-discuss@schoolforge.net>
Cc: <debian-jr@lists.debian.org>
Sent: Thursday, February 21, 2002 10:06 AM
Subject: [school-discuss] What's in a name?

> I have a naming problem.
> I'm revising Debian Jr. documentation and the web site, and in doing so
> I realize that we don't really have a good name for the people who help
> children with their computers.  It struck me that this isn't a problem
> specific to our project, which is why I'm turning to the members of this
> list.
> So I brainstormed with Justin Zeigler of OSEF over this problem on irc
> and together we came up with a list of words, some of which I prefer
> better than others, and for some very specific reasons.  But without
> biasing your opinion, I'll just give you the background for the problem,
> and the goals I have in mind for a replacement term, and then the list
> of words.  I'd like you to review them and tell me which seems like a
> "best fit" and why, or suggest some alternatives.
> I had been using the phrase "children and their sys admins" fairly
> liberally up to this point, and that might be suitable today, with
> Debian Jr. being focussed on the sys admins who install Debian Jr. on
> behalf of children.  But I'm afraid the term sys admin is too narrow
> a designation and won't survive as a generic label as we branch out.
> Please refer to http://www.debian.org/devel/debian-jr where I use "sys
> admin" throughout.  I think in most instances on this page, it is an
> accurate description of the role, but as my documentation grows beyond
> the systems level to touch the users themselves, the label does not
> fit so well for everyone in the helping role.  Beyond the initial
> system install and the occasional upgrade, the "sys admin" may not be
> around often, fading into the background.
> Parents, teachers, teenaged siblings, relatives or friends my all take
> "helper" roles when children use computers.  What is a term that best
> describes the primary person or people in the "helping" role? The term
> should not have primarily dominant or authoritarian undertones.  It
> should not be specific to one particular kind of relationship (like
> "teacher") and it should be a "comfortable" term both as a
> self-designation for any of these people and as a term used by the
> children themselves.  I want some term that embodies support,
> co-discovery, and mutual enjoyment in the relationship.
> Here is our list of "keepers".  I will not list the ones we rejected, as
> they are too numerous.  I'll deal with my specific objections to those
> if any of you chances to come up with one of them.
> advocate
> agent
> aide
> guardian
> helper
> pathfinder
> patron
> sponsor
> Thanks,
> Ben Armstrong
> p.s. I unavoidably designated the role as a "helper" or "helping" role,
>      in this post, which is not necessarily an endorsement of that very
>      general term as a favourite.  I merely chose it since it seemed
>      like the broadest term which encompassed all others, perhaps for
>      that very reason a bit too broad.  (Oops, there I go biasing you :)
> --
>     nSLUG       http://www.nslug.ns.ca      synrg@sanctuary.nslug.ns.ca
>     Debian      http://www.debian.org       synrg@debian.org
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