Current Status

Making a movie with the "Free Stuff" from Windows

Here's how to use Windows Movie Maker, Paint, and Sound Recorder -- Windows XP Version but should translate to Vista easily.

So how am I using it.

I'm teaching 3 sections of Math/Science Study Skills - all these kids have a regular math class. 

The assignment is to create a movie using the free tools describing independent and dependent variables.

Today I showed them the free tools.  Went my speed and recorded it as above.   It was funny because one little gal raised her hand and said she didn't understand a word I said and I said, "Fine, I made a movie".

Feel free to play with.

It will be interesting to see what comes of it.

Laptop / Tablet Repair -- I am so frustrated

So back in June, I dropped my Lenovo X61 while it was in its case.

After much frustration, and having dealt with the tablet part not really working now that the latch was broken, I decided to take advantage of the insurance I had paid two premium's on, and it's now with Micromedics, Inc.

They received it on 8/6.

They finally got approval to work on it on 8/20.

They ordered parts, and got them in on 8/24.  However, they got the wrong parts.  Worse yet, on Friday I was told they were in final test.

The site just got updated with no notes.  I called -- guess what, they got in the wrong parts.

ARGH!!!!!!!!  I may never see my tablet again.

First Week with kids

Last week was the first week with kids.

Love my class sizes, love my CS classes.  The math/science kids are interesting.  The morning group is the best, and it progressive gets worse.  I have three sections.  Right now, instilling disclipine in them is tough.

The hardest part is that the PTB weren't completely ready for school.  My students haven't been put on the Novell server yet, and they aren't on Moodle yet.

Not sure what the hold up is.

I've also had a lot of pressure getting the people in my building up and running on the new attendance system.  We've got some down because of system issues, but most are down because they can't remember their logins.

Gee, had that problem with the same people when it came to fingerprinting, last year.

Presented at teacher event today

I enjoyed it.  First session was better than the second.

My district’s instructional technology department put on an event today to teach technology.  Called it 21st Century Technology Conference.

They had on hands sessions in the computer labs – I did two, repeating the same topic – and they lasted 1 1/2 hours.  They also had regular sessions that lasted 45 minutes.

I was asked very early to present and I think I am getting paid for it.

I gave them the choice of two, and they accepted Snag/Camtasia.  TechSmith sent me some freebies which were a real hit.  I covered, Jing, SnagIt and Camtasia, which was probably too much and gave everyone time to play with each part.  I think they enjoyed it – one teacher complained to the workshop coordinated that I didn’t spend enough time on Camtasia so I did it at the beginning of the second session and mentioned it again at the end.

One of the teacher unions (ATPE I think) provided lunch, but oddly lunch or passing periods were not put in the schedule.

It was about equal to teaching the AP kids last week (face it, it’s hard to get over children saying thank you!)

Right now I’m hanging out waiting for the closing session / door prize session (okay, I’m waiting for a door prize but didn’t get one, not that I needed anything they were giving – I already had one of everything they were giving).  A teacher from my school won a Smart Board.

And as I just told the director of the department – right now I have the best of both worlds.  I still have my own classroom but I get to influence the rest of the district through curriculum design and teacher staff development.

And it looks like I’ll be doing the middle school camp.  Was warned about that today also.

Happy Birthday to me....

I resolved all the issues involving installing the new lab.  My best friend at school at ticked me off because she hadn't talked to me about getting computers from me.  Dean and I went through my list, found her computers, then Dean shot her idea of a room for the floating business teacher so problem solved.

I sent an email out telling everyone that Campus Technology was closed until the lab was installed.  I'll solve catestrophic problems but that is it.  Everything else waits until I'm done.

I've moved everything out that I won't need until the install.  I've put everything away in the closet.  On Wednesday, I'm move the printer/copier out and Thursday the computers will go.  I may move two computers out on Wednesday, but we'll see.

I should be good.


Well, I hope not.  Moving 28 computers out of my room and into other rooms has been making my head explode.  I KNOW I can't move them alone.

I would like my students to place the computers in their new homes, correctly and working for the other teachers.  I figure to do it right, it should take 3 kids, and the most they can do in a 50 minutes class do is 2 trips.  That means my 6th period class can only move 16 computers. 

I think I have figured out a good way though.

4th period (only 4 kids) will move out 4 computers.  5th period will move out 8 of them (again, not as big), leaving the rest for my 6th period.

If I really screw up and have to, I could probably retrieve a group of kids from 1st period, but there are not a lot of them.

It's only one and half weeks and we have other stuff to do too!

Moving Domains

I've never gone through a longer internet process. Seriously. 

I decided to stop hosting my own servers.  Frankly it was keeping me from blogging as I knew I needed to update the server and going through that yet again wasn't worth it. 

I started out hosting a web server at my house using dial up.  I got an opportunity to move the server to a server farm, oh, years ago, and at the same time, starting hosting for other people.  Well, I really got into before that -- you see, I used to be one of the FIDO nodes in the dallas area.  People used to dial up to my computer and leave messages and stuff for each other. 

Anyway, I used to host other domains through the internet server and it probably kept me from paying as much as I could have.  I also ran a couple of email lists, mainly for click training called click-l and still have though domain and am hosting it through Jing. I do need to work at making that self supporting, but it does take some energy.

So right now, I have several domains -- which I have hosted at a free verio site.  It's a Windows server but the server itself doesn't always work and doesn't have good support.

I also have our high school domain, and it is also hosted at the free verio site. 

I've always used for blogging and email.  I have had my class website at  I've moved it to a cheaper windows server rather than a reseller, and am playing with Visual Basic on it, using it and as a staging area for the high school website.

That brings us to last weekend.  I decided to kill the reseller website, and move to the place who hosts my email.  I REALLY like having an exchange account and these people do a good job of getting me my exchange stuff.  It means that I can get to my email, calendar, etc, from any computer including my Windows Mobile phone.  I really find the service worth what I pay for it.

So I'm back and up -- it took a FULL 5 days to happen.  I initiated the transfer on Saturday, and it finally completed a few hours ago. 

In other words, don't transfer your domain name unless you absolutely have to.  But having it this way makes it a no brainer and DNS stuff always makes my head hurt.

Inventory is DONE! (Not quite a day from hell).

Got the school's inventory done, uploaded and marked completed.  I'll have to modify it when we take out my old computers but it's done.

I'm waiting on the principal to sign up on a form so I can send it in and get paid for the Fall.  I get an extra $1000 for the pain and suffering.

So know I work on day to day stuff again, and finish getting my lab ready for the new computers.  They are slated for the 17th and haven't heard anything different yet.

I've asked the Asst. Principal to get a sub and asked the librarians to do a web lesson with.  I also have the furniture rearranged so all that is left is to move out the old stuff, clean off the tables, stack the chairs, and mark where I want stuff.  All good.

Day from Hell (Day 3 of 19)

Got to school early and repaired the phone line I cut.  I bought 2 50 foot phone cords and a couple and it's perfect as I can put the phone anywhere in the room where I want it.  I used to strangle myself with the stupid phone, it was always in the way, etc. so I am really happy with the new solution.

Just as I am about to get breakfast, the principal calls an emergency, drop everything meeting.  His boss was there to tell us the procedure to get new principal and that we don't have an interium yet.  <snarl>

The good news is that I worked hard on inventory and got all of the portables walked (I had half done), and all of the missing rooms done but the longest hall.  I know we can get it knocked out tomorrow.  I went to do evil department chairs room and she kicked me out.

ROTC is having a big inspection Monday, and they needed a website up for points.  So I got one that one of their kids wrote and added it to the school website.  Recompiled and uploaded it and isn't working.  Published it to and it works fine.  Got to be server problem and there are messages in the support forums about it.  Hopefully it will get fixed soon.

At least it wasn't I did this time.

And if I don't get into the evil person's room, I'll upload the inventory, mark it active, report her to everyone who will listen and get on with my life.

Oh and all the Pre/AP teacher lost their tutoring pay.