The college I work for is considering revamping their intro to GIS course. Traditionally, they've used the ESRI suite but are now open to using other options. There are two factors responsible for the desire to make a change:
The text book provided by ESRI. The instructors feel that the point and click tutorials don't teach the students how to think about GIS but rather how to use ESRI software. They'd like to have something that's more than a manual and that won't be out of date by the time they arrive.
Traditionally graduates could expect jobs from either the Territorial Government or Parks Canada (both of which use ArcGIS), but with recent gov't cut backs these two are no longer the main destination for graduates. After consulting with industry representatives the college has been told that they should be training student to "think spatially" rather how to use just one type of software.
Are there any resources the SE.GIS community would consider helpful for developing GIS thought and instruction (rather than tutorials)? And if you were going to commit to teaching with one program/suite which do you think would be most useful to learn such that the skills learned would be most broadly applicable to GIS software in general?