Kamis, 26 Agustus 2010

Pearson Education - You will NOT use Linux

Summer is winding down and fall semesters are starting all around the country. My girlfriend started classes this week and one of her online classes required her to purchase access to the Pearson Online Education system. After she paid out the $55.00 it costs to gain access to the website she clicked through to the login screen and was greet by this lovely page

I felt like bending over and saying "Thank you sir! May I have another?" After dealing with a similar issue on Blackboard, I'm starting to get the feeling that education companies dislike FOSS operating systems. I told her to try and login anyways - The website refused. Upon clicking on their "system and browser requirements" link I was presented with the following page

Apparently I was wrong about this issue being similar to the one I had with Blackboard. At least Blackboard supported FOS browsers on Windows and OSX. That's right, not only does this Pearson Education system require Windows or OSX it required you to use Internet Explorer or Safari. In case you missed it, towards the bottom of the above screen shot

The kicker? The "MyLab" courses are rendered using Javascript and Flash. Those are both cross-platform technologies last I checked (that both ran perfectly fine in Firefox).

Now I understand that it can take a lot of time and resources to support another operating system/browser. Even if Pearson isn't willing to "support" Linux/Firefox users on their website they could at least let us login using the operating system/browser of our choice after seeing their warning message.

Finally, here is where you can contact the Pearson Education system:


If you have a moment, please shoot them an email like I am going to, stressing the importance of cross-platform for technology - especially in an educational setting. Also for those all mentioning the user agent switcher, this is just a band-aid to a greater issue. It contributes to the idea these companies have that people only use Internet Explorer (or Safari on OSX). It is as bad as buying a system that has Windows on it and then not returning the Windows license when you intend the system to run Linux.

~Jeff Hoogland

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