Bill Guindon wrote:
> 
> Forgetting OOP for a moment, and thinking WWW instead...
> It's stateless.
> Learn how to manage hidden values.

I agree.. important to teach.

However, in this case.. COBOL -> Ruby, I'd say forget the WWW 
altogether, teach Ruby.

You should be able to quickly teach them how to do the same things they 
do every day in COBOL, only in Ruby.  You can even show them some OO 
stuff without having to dive completely into the OO pool.  By doing that 
first, maybe you can keep them tuned in awhile longer.  Then you can 
approach the topics more foreign to your students.

But, the bottom line is that you're going to *have* to teach them about 
Objects if they're to learn Ruby.

Check out the "Why Ruby?" section over on ruby-doc.org for a great set 
of links.  Read Why's Poignant Guide for some inspiration too.

Good luck.

--Steve