Current Status

I am finally getting some “round to its”

I’ve gotten Microsoft Writer to work on my Windows 8.1 machines.  Hint, there are a couple of versions out there.  The first one I tried said I already had the latest version of Windows Live Essentials, the second one worked.

I have finally gotten Eclipse to work with the Java materials we use (we’ve been using Stacy Armstrong’s materials, but I have also used Leon Scham’s).  We’ll go with whatever text book the district went with the textbook adoption.

I know, I’ve used Eclipse before – either on a Linux Virtual Machine or on a machine someone setup.  We had been using JCreator, but it doesn’t look like its supported anymore – the forum was saying it was being updated with a January date, and they don’t answer their support requests – well, you get a canned supply.

Plus, using a real IDE is a good idea.  I’ve also had trouble setting it up in workshops.

I used the Litvin’s site to figure out how to set it up – http://www.skylit.com – look for the how-to’s

I’m doing some reviewing of Java, and then I think I will play with writing some Android apps.


Wordpress

I've been spending the last couple of weeks learning Wordpress. I've taken a website – http://www.tesorosbeagles.com that was originally done in Front Page and am converting it to Word Press. My goal, is to allow the user to update the most important parts of the website with her phone, on the fly.

Today, with the help of some free Plug-Ins, I've finally gotten there.

I also know more about Wordpress than I ever intended to know, and have barely scratched the surface <smile>

I am going to have my students do one of their websites with it – and am going to insist that they create their own child templates and style sheets so they finally get the point of CSS.

And if you need a site converted, I'm quite good at it now.


My Summer Gig

Quoted from http://www.utdallas.edu/news/2011/7/25-11781_TI-Program-Energizes-Science-and-Math-Teachers_article.html:

TI Program Energizes Science and Math Teachers - UT Dallas News

The goal of STEP in STEM was to provide content and training for secondary school teachers, while developing project-based curriculum in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Teachers receive state-required development credits and a stipend for their participation. Three students in the UTeach program at UT Dallas also participated.


Robotics Club Future

If we can compete in Tyler. I will make it happen but otherwise I want to put the robot up for a couple of weeks.

I also want to organize it better.

Needs:
Funds
Formal training

I want a point system to determine who competes.

Probably a point for each dollar raised. 100 points for each "hour" of driving, programming, or building but only if recorded in the engineering notebook.

I also need to get them on the moodle and use it for point gathering.


Made my day

I was leaving Walmart - dressed in gum clothes which isn't as bad as it sounds with pre-gym hair - and one of my last year students ran up and greeted me.

As always I snarled and said "man, I can go anywhere especially here" but have had a smile on my face every since. I also know she knew I was really pleased.

She went out of her way to greet me.

Feels good and remember, your teachers really do feel good when you recognize them outside of the classroom.


TCEA 2011 review

So I have blogged about the individual sessions I went to.

Now impressions ...

First every one in Texas involved in education is scared. Between the missing money - seriously when the incumbents were running in November we had plenty of money, and changes in programs - teachers are running scared.

Vendors gave out lots of paper but never little else. I got a nice tape measured, a t-shirt, two pens and another small item after two hours in the exhibit hall. Didn't even bother to go back.

As always teacher led sessions were good. With the exception of one, vendor led sessions were obnoxious but often you couldn't tell until you were in the room.

Shuttle was great. Hotel was fine once they got the HVAC right in my room. The Austin convention center and downtown area are just obnoxious.

Will I maintain my TCEA membership? I will decide after some local events. Will I join the SIG, don't know yet.

Best thing of all was TATN on Tuesday and meeting @unklar and seeing @alfredtwo again.


TATN - three CS sessions

I am live blogging during the third of three CS sessions.

First was BYOB - an extension of scratch that looks great.

Second was a curriculum of C# - sadly the typist used the wrong character which might have turned people away.

The last was about getting kids up and moving in addition to coding.

Good job, Fleming, Woodfill, and woolweaver for the presentations.


Technology integration mentor

That is my new title.

I have been to training and know how to get paid - which by the way is a major pay cut. $500 instead of $1000 a semester.

It involves training and I have asked for an hour on september 27, a mandatory staff development day.

We are required to do one on star chart and one of our choice. I need to start collecting signatures of everyone who comes to my room for help.

My plan is to have a group discussion on star chart in general and have the group help with the campus portion.

We also have a campus moodle and I plan to cover it during my remaining time. Not only am going to show it off but plan on taking my airliner slate and make people interact with it.

In other words, modeling how to teach with technology.


Fun Day

First, I'll confess, I "abhor" snow.  As another teacher put it for me.  We've had snow three times too many in Dallas this year.  So I wasn't a happy camper when I got up.  Plus my knee was aching.

Kids were very wound up, can't blame them, pointed them in the right direction and as long as they weren't driving each other nuts was cool with it.

We had several short blackouts through out the day and around noon I saw the principal running around the building making sure we had portable lights in appropriate places.  Suggested my small emergency flashlights and even sent him a link, I have several and I need to put mine back in my classroom.

Fire alarms went off after lunch, and the kids can't understand why I want let them wander the halls while that is going on ....

We got everyone fed and got through most of the day, and the power finally did go out sometime around 3:00 pm.  Considering some of our neighbor schools were with out power from our first blackout we were doing good.

Sadly we had to cancel the pep rally and since I didn't have a class, I took over the upstairs hall and sent everyone down that came up and kept everyone upstairs in their classrooms.  And even took one girl to the restroom for  break.

Now I wish that our other teachers understood that the reason that we're supposed to lock down during a power failure is to protect safety of students.

And I wish other people who didn't have classes took equal responsibility.

Hopefully the local news won't find this but if they do -- don't bother principals when they already have their hands full.


What this blog is about....

Every day this week, I've woken up to an email from a spammer.  In the past I was getting them once or twice a month.

My definition of a spammer ... any one who emails unsolicited.  Evil spammers are people who want a link to your website.  Even eviler, and that's what I have been getting this week, is people who want a link and haven't bothered even reading the blog.

Here's the deal.  I blog purely for myself.  I'm not after selling anything.  I do not welcome or accept guest hosts (this is mine, darn it), and if I link to another website, it's because I think it might be useful to an other computer science teacher (and no, I don't teach business).

I don't post lesson plans because the lesson plans I have, I have written for the district on extra pay, and have been provided to the other teachers in the district.  If I do come up with something unique, and my movies are one of them, I post it here.

Most of the time, I just delete that spam, but today I think I'll answer back with this post.