5 min Survey: Attitudes towards the punishment and rehabilitation towards offenders.

young-offender-Norwich-007If you have 5 or so minutes (thats how long it took me) can you consider completing the attached survey.The research is being undertaken by a bright young Victoria University student and explores attitudes towards the punishment and rehabilitation of offenders. http://vuw.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_abM3H6mDxDCrsTb


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Paperless classroom – virtual exercise book using Google docs


Remember the paperless office from 20 years ago… We ain’t there yet, and certainly not in schools. I am currently experimenting with a paperless Year 9 classroom. This has been made possible by the use of Google docs and Teacher dashboard and necessitated with the advent of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD). Each student has an “exercise book” created as a Google document and shares this with their parents. The salient features of this approach include;

  •  I can see and comment on their exercise book.
  • Their parents/caregivers can see and comment (not write) on their exercise books.
  • Students can link to other online information from their exercise books (hub approach). Even a PowerPoint can be uploaded and linked via Google Drive.
  • Paper based resources/anything can be photographed and inserted in “exercise book” including teacher notes on a whiteboard.
  • Parents and teachers can exchange comments/notes via the “exercise books”.
  • Homework can be recorded in their exercise books … with parent oversight for some students
  • Students never lose their exercise book – in fact they can go back to previous versions.
  • They actually have a record of learning that students, parents and teachers can see.
  • Students can take pride in their “books” with titles, pictures and other decorations.
  • To get them started I can copy (automated process) a template to each of their folders and also specify their name is included in the document name.
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MySQL trap for beginners



If you intend for your students to implement referential integrity automatically via the database make sure the default storage engine is InnoDB or some other format that supports cascading deletes and actions on update. On occasion students accidentally select some other storage engine…

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Snapchat – and homework


Seems that students snapchat homework questions to each other for advice and assistance, with the answer coming back via Facebook or other means. I guess it is quicker than many other methods…

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Please remove your f#%^ing items

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Overheard at New World self checkout

  1. Machine   “Please remove your items”
  2. Human       Desperately trying to place objects in plastic bag
  3. Machine   “Please remove your items”
  4. Human       Still trying
  5. Machine   “Please remove your items”
  6. Human     “F#$k up f$%^ing machine”

Can someone design a plastic bag that you can actually easily place your groceries in? Maybe even something that does not stress or irritate your customers. Good design is actually really important! Even my Year 10 students know this.

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1,000 hours of lost productivity each hour

download (6)With the move to Bring Your Own Devices (BYOD) and increasing reliance on using online resources it can be catastrophic if the network fails. Indeed if you have a roll of  1,000 students you could (in theory) lose 1,000 hours of productivity each hour! Yet schools cannot afford the sorts of redundancy that businesses would invest in. What happens if the failure happens during an NCEA exam? – recall the intention to move NCEA assessments online for some subjects. I think schools will need some serious infrastructure investment in the next few years.


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Guards at the gate

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One of a teachers duties (in all schools) is to stand guard at the gates, especially at intervals and ensure that students don’t leave the property unless authorised. I don’t particularly mind as some of the students stories as to why I should let them past are hilarious. It is also quite relaxing – but can be boring – which is why I originally got a decent smart phone to read email and do something productive.

But I have got to ask the question: Why are teachers on guard duty? What on earth has guard duty got to do with facilitating learning? Is this just low cost security?

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