I have found the discourse to be very poor on all of stack exchange to the extent that I have banned its usage by my students The system is poorly designed with unhelpful people getting a lot of say Its a pity its a resource that could be useful

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    As one of the moderators, I can understand your point. Do you have specific examples? If so have you or your students flagged them? Banning your students seems a bit like throwing the baby out with the bath water. Commented May 26, 2016 at 18:45
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    that I have banned its usage by my students at this point, I would have thoroughly lost respect for you as an instructor. This is little more than a petulant rant, so I must ask. What are you trying to accomplish with this post?
    – Jacobm001
    Commented May 26, 2016 at 20:10
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it's a rant, which is not on topic.
    – Jacobm001
    Commented May 26, 2016 at 20:28
  • Teachers/professors that ban websites (Stack Exchange(s), Wikipedia, etc) usually have an agenda or are lacking a bag of clues. The 140+ SE's have their difficulties, but they're worlds better than the other Q&A sites I've come across. Commented May 31, 2016 at 19:30
  • Though I have come across certain SE's where I feel like I'm being harassed and/or discouraged to participate, despite feeling that my question was more than appropriate, I wouldn't agree with anything you've said. The system has been tweaked and near-perfected over the years. And banning your students from using it is just a childish call. It is a fair use knowledge base, and should be allowed to be used by anyone who wishes to use it. As for your 'question', I am voting to close it, for the same reason @Jacobm001 has. Also, if you're referring to all of SE, this is the wrong meta to post on. Commented Jun 2, 2016 at 6:05

1 Answer 1


I have found the discourse to be very poor on all of stack exchange

If you don't like it, don't use it. I am sure the owner/operators will be willing to give you a full refund.

to the extent that I have banned its usage by my students

Isn't this a little like telling them not to watch channel 12 when they go home tonight? I presume you mean in your classroom, of course.

The system is poorly designed

I guess that's a subjective call. If I were in charge (which I am not), there are certainly some tweaks I would consider in consultation with my staff and the community -- which seems to be the way it is now, except for the part about me being in charge.

That said, as I've made an effort to explain recently on meta, SE is not the only "technical knowledge sharing" resource on the web; there are certainly many alternatives, and with regard to the Raspberry Pi, we are, realistically, not even the most significant -- as opposed to Stack Overflow, which at this point in internet history certainly is the most significant general programming resource, and trying to withhold that from your students I think will, in the end, simply teach them that being a teacher does not mean lacking excessive bias in one's field, etc.

I admit that I am often disappointed with the quality of discourse as well, however, I am also often disappointed with, e.g., the quality of discourse in representative democratic politics. In the latter case, I do think part of the problem is that "the system is poorly designed", but as an anti-Panglossian I think I ultimately agree with Voltaire's implicit premise that the human species is far from perfect and there are very unfortunate limitations to what can realistically be expected from it and its members.

Sorry I could not solve your problem for you.

  • Yes its "all" subjective, for me its a system that has devolved into a strange hierarchy of ego driven discourse. I will never recommend it as a resource for education. My final comment is "pfft!" Commented Jun 3, 2016 at 13:08

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