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October 2008

Almost perfect Staff Development

I'm still working on these, but it's going well.

Last year we instituted an in-house staff development where in-house people presented training before school. I lead several last year -- one on behavior (because the principal was leading and he wanted someone else to do it), and one on technology.

The technology one drove me nuts, because I'd prepare something, people would show and claim they new the subject and sign in.

This year I changed the technology strand drastically.  Instead of 6 weeks of a topic, now I do mini-ones.  I also make them shorter, starting at 8:15 and ended at 8:40-8:45, but of course you're welcome to stay and continue playing or come back later in the day for extra help.

Today was the most successful.  I advertised last Friday late -- next time I'll do a second advertisement then, I've already done the advertisement this week.  I had 5 show up.  They were all engaged, and two were not technology teachers.  Also gave me time to "sell" the server.  Something just instituted. 

Next week I'm doing Flckr and have invited people to bring an digital camera with a USB cable.  Since it's election day I thought I would go a little fun, and people do use Flckr for educational purposes.  It is probably blocked by the district but I'll see if I can't get something done in the meantime.

Some actually approached me and asked me for an Excel session, so what I think I'll do is overview how I use Excel (not much), and give them the links to the tutorials I make my kids use.


Getting the Job Done

Just finished watching "Without a Trace" -- love the WHDVR -- and the "moral" sure applies to teaching.

The old boss was talking to the new boss and said he'd been given advice by his old boss.  The part that applies to teaching is "don't take the job home". The new boss said "How was that working for you", and the response was "Doen't do much for my sleep, but it gets the job done".

Man that sounds like the story of my life, especially THIS year.

But bringing it home, does get the job done.But then I don't get much sleep.


Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson : Announcing Small Basic From Microsoft DevLabs

Quoted from http://blogs.msdn.com/alfredth/archive/2008/10/23/announcing-small-basic-from-microsoft-devlabs.aspx:

Computer Science Teacher - Thoughts and Information from Alfred Thompson : Announcing Small Basic From Microsoft DevLabs

Small Basic is a new development tool for beginners

  I love this, I can see building a course with both it & Raptor. Probably at the middle school level. Too bad I can't stand those kids. Love my high school babies put prefer -a "real" language for them.


Dallas Morning News is SO wrong

Hopefully this won't get me noticed, BUT...

I haven't purchased an issue of the Dallas Morning News, and restrict myself to reading their feeds as much as possible so as not to give them advertising revenue since they helped cause the Davidian Incident.

Davidian -- Waco incident where the Waco News and the Dallas Morning News got a bunch of members of a cult killed.

Here's the latest reason I despise them ....

The published a RIF list from Dallas ISD.  First, the person who sent it to them should now move to the head of the list.  Second, they should never had published it.  I went through the list and immediately knew how was RIFed out of my building, and quite a few others.  As my husband put it, they should have waited until the "next of kin" had been notified.

But at least I wasn't on it and I didn't see any CS certifications, BUT there were a lot that were only described as teacher.

And please, teachers, unions, etc, please don't do anything more to upset the students. They are really suffering from this.


Campus Technology Breakthrough

I've had three kids working with me on the campus technology stuff.  I've been dragging them all over the building, having them watch stuff and do in front of me.

Today, I had three rooms that I didn't think were getting internet access.  All three needed to be troubleshot (spell check is nice, I couldn't and the kids couldn't figure out the right work). 

Since I'm getting out of crisis mode, I took a leap of faith, pulled out my old district laptop, handed it to a kid and said make sure you have the internet working in this room, I don't care where.

Also, the way the kid makes noise, I didn't care where he was, as long as he wasn't in my earshot.

So he claimed he had it working, so I gave him the list of rooms, second kid volunteered to go to, and I'm getting he did the work.

First room, she said it was already working.  Second room, they claimed that the Network connections was disabled and all they had to do was enable it.  Third room, they called teacher was typing in https:// instead of http:// and they claim the internet is working in all three rooms.

In the meantime, I got a bunch of other stuff done while the other kid was in the room and quiet. 

Man was it nice!  Hope it continues.  That was my original plan.


Operating in Crisis Mode

I've been operating in crisis mode all year, it's week 7, and it is no fun. 

It's made me go downhill physically and mentally, so I am stopping now, and taking control of the situation.

First thing, is that I got up this morning and got ahead on all of my classes so far except 1, my Technical Support class, and I'm going back to that now, and getting ahead on that.

Second, I'm going to establish some firm goals on what I am going to try to accomplish both short and long term.

Next, I'm going to try to isolate Campus Technology work to 4th period and before school.

The good news, is that we've only got 3 more days until the RIF day: October 15th.