Thursday, June 26, 2008

testing as others are doing to deal with twitter and plurk

Guess this shows that it works with Blogger too. Need to adjust the settings so it will not blog tweets.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

And So it goes

Is this true? How do you interpret it?

NECC starts in a few days, I leave on Friday for a Saturday session. I hope to post about these sessions here, and other places. Looking forward to being there. When I get back, new equipment should be in for installing. I am excited about the new stuff and projects, including the new phone system.

Kids are finishing finals, or in the last few days of school here, they are all looking for down time, as are the teachers. One of my sons is off now, the other finishes today. Then the older son starts football conditioning next Monday. Younger son should be doing basketball camp for a week. Also, when I get back, three days of SmartBoard master training, then I can get to work.

Thursday, June 19, 2008


Yesterday I had the chance to take a bike ride with my boys. They live near the Erie Canal, so that is where we rode. I brought along my new Flip video camera to see what it could do. fairly easy to use while riding, good quality, not what I am used to with quality, but if I am just putting something on-line, then no problem.

My big issue with the flip is that there is no real Macintosh support for the camera, unless I buy QuickTime Pro, at about $25 per copy. I could get a school license for Visual Hub.

Due to this I used Windows Movie Maker for the first time, so the cut is a little rough. I am used to using iMovie over the past several years, prior to that I used Premier, when it was made for Mac.

The video came out well as you can see, the resolution is bad, but so it goes. I did not mess with the soundtrack, that would be for another time.

Perhaps I should turn it into a series on 100 places not to see before you die

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

End of year reflections

The school year slowly grinds to an end. Must be time to reflect back on what was good and what was not.
Think there was more good than bad

Working with the 4th graders on the wiki, ( this was one of the last things, but nice to do. Hope to work with more on this tool, pushing it at the end of the year to plant the seed over the summer for next year

New Email Server. The old one was almost dead, had to fight it nearly every day. It did not like to talk to the spam filter and would stop every now and then. The bad part, it would lull me to sleep by working well for a week or two, and then suddenly go bad for a few days. Now the new server is happy, have not had an issue with it yet. Improved features, archive service, going to link it with the voicemail this summer.

One-piece smartboards. Greatest thing since sliced bread. They do not get bumped during the day, projectors are there and are ready to go. What more is there to life? Getting more over the summer. Excited teachers.

New mobile lab in the elementary school. Replaced the 7-year-old one. People happy.

Seeing projects working without me to hold hands. Videos are being shot and edited without me working through the process. Some teachers get it.

Not so good
Switching to MS office 2007. The 2000 version was crashing left and right, we needed to upgrade and did so mid-year. Some technophobes wanted to make it union issue for “changing working conditions” The switch itself was not bad, it was the one or two loud whiners.

Old mobile lab in the HS. Needs replacing. No money. Got money at the end of the year. Next year will be better with this.

Walking around the building and seeing old teaching methods. Is it really necessary to stand in front of the class and read a book to the students?

Inflexibility on the part of some teachers who do not follow the IEP for my child.

Remember to check to see if the power cords and network cables are plugged in before calling.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

What if

One of those serendipitous moments happened to me over the past day or two (does that make it a moment?)

Was thinking about vacation, and have had read some blogs about “unplugging from the net”, then started thinking about Mark Twain’s A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, not that I have read it in several years or anything, other things have been brewing along these lines. Recent news has stated me thinking about floods and earthquakes and how we would survive in the short term. Then I run into this promo for a book


All of this comes together in my brain, now I need to squeeze these images and jumbled thoughts into some sort of coherent writing. Not always easy for me as readers of this blog can attest to—if there are really readers.

Can I survive in the world my grandparents lived in? We hear the other direction often, could my grandparents manage in this world. For some of you think of your great-grandparents or people that lived in the early 1900’s. My parents, now in their 80’s manage to deal with the world in their own way, and I am sure folks from the past could deal with what we have now, after a short adjustment time. But what about us?

I am not confident I could feed my family with what I raise and grow, even if I had the land on which to do this. I know my grandparents had a difficult time doing this in the Dakotas, would I be able to produce enough to sell? Sell to whom?

Planting and other work without motors, chemicals and the like, are we mentally and physically strong enough? I know my neck would not work, as it is too much yard work causes my arm to go numb or hurt like heck.

Could I cook? Sure, coal or wood work fine, but the menu would be dull, need to raise a bunch of chickens. Grind my own meal for flower? Don’t know how to build a mill. Could I build a house with lumber cut and hewn by hand? Nope.

How useless have we become?

Survive, sure.
Thrive, no.
I have a fair amount of survival experience, what about others?

Monday, June 9, 2008

sewing up another year

It is getting closer to the end of the 2007-2008 school year. I remember the first "real" teaching job, the freshman were the class of 1990-that sounded so far in the future. And here we are still alive, waiting for the hover cars that were promised to us at the 1964 world's fair.
So where are we now. first started teaching, had an overhead projector. Go to most of the classrooms today, see overhead projectors. We had an Apple IIe in the science department, well past that now, I hope.
I guess we could grumble, but things are better and the same.
we need to change, but it is hard when it is easier not to, pressure on teachers from other teachers, administrators, students and parents to do the things the same old way is hard to fight
fight fight fight
Too hot to think anymore or make any sense

Monday, June 2, 2008

Thinking of new teachers

I have been reading student blogs from Alac Couros’ students in one of his education courses (ECMP355). Very good, insightful posts by the students. I would think it is getting near the end of the semester for these students.

I enjoy the ideas of new and pre-service teachers, the excitement about education, their ideas, how excited they are. Sort of reminds me of early elementary students and believing they can do anything.

What happens to us? At what age do students no longer think they can do anything? When do new teachers gain the “forget it, I will do it the old way” attitude? What causes this downgrading of self expectations?

I wish I knew the answer. I remember each time starting the school year, things would be great this year, students will work on their projects, we will all have a great time working together. Then in a week or two, back to the old ways. Was it easier that way. Fewer ripples in the pond? This is what the students expect from school?

Wish I was a better teacher when I did teach.