Timely John Oliver look at Charter Schools

Capture

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

Observations in a rest home

Capture

My father has recently moved into a rest home in Wanganui,  probably one of the best from what I hear. Some initial observations…

  1. Privacy is not great – rooms do not lock and many of the doors are just left open.
  2. There are quite  a few people just waiting to die, equally there are a number who embrace their new surroundings and live life to the fullest. Those waiting to die resemble the walking dead (not meant unkindly but that was my first reaction)
  3. Mobility is not great… to be expected. I suspect my father would win a 100m dash even at 90 years old.
  4. Carrot and cabbage smells pervade. I assume these vegetables are a core part of the diet. (YUK – But you get used to it.)
  5. Its a bit like kindergarten for old people. The older they are the more they revert. They even play primary school games such as hangman as part of organised entertainment. (Great by the way.)
  6. Theft still happens! I purchased my father a brand new Kathmandu jacket… stolen with 10 days. He hides his cigarettes because people steal them.
  7. You can only bring a few things to a rest home and the interest in material belongings is virtually nil. But having access to $money does help, especially if you have to pay in part or full to be a resident.
  8. Very little technology used by residents… its just too much effort to use a laptop for many older people.
  9. I could image older people being placed in a rest home with only once a year visits by family. Keeps the guilty conscience at bay… but not much fun for the resident.
  10. The care givers have a pretty demanding job (old people can be VERY demanding at times).

Can’t say I would ever want to be a resident or caregiver.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

No risk taking permitted!

Capture

No more diving, no more rope swing… One accident and the fun police move in. Where are children allowed to take risks? Do they have to wait until they can drive a car?

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Hour of code for 233 students

Capture

I facilitated an hour of code for the Year  10 cohort recently. They started by watching the introductory 2 minute video featuring President Obama and followed by carrying out the Flappy Birds exercise over 20-25 minutes. Circa 33% completed the tasks and 22% made a pretty good effort. Surprisingly 30% did not even start the exercise for a range of reasons including “no device” (we are BYOD), absences, or because they partnered with others. The data is below. Next year I hope we have a better success rate.

Completed Levels 10+ 77 33%
Nearly completed Levels 8,9 51 22%
In progress Levels 3-7 24 10%
Virtually no progress Levels 1-2 12 5%
Did not start Level 0 69 30%
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

Priv-o-matic … quite a cool site

CaptureHave a look at the priv-o-matic website. You can create a privacy statement in a few minutes for a small-medium business. I plan to use it when teaching Year 12 students about information management as pertains to school systems and processes. They have a pretty good idea about how schools operate so will be able to answer the questions (and maybe compare with school privacy statements).

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

Students overseas holidays in term time

Capture

There has been some press recently on parents taking their children on holiday during term time. I note that the practice is now so frequent in some schools there is a special code used to depict the absence. In general I don’t have an issue with this practice providing;

  1. The student is smart enough and motivated enough to catch up by themselves.
  2. There is no expectation that the school/teacher will catch the student up.
  3. Consequences such as missed credits now, and potentially in the future will be part of the price to pay. This is particularly true in subjects where basic concepts are learned as part of building blocks to future learning… quite common in Maths and no doubt other subjects.

I have started assuming students will be away 20% of the time and therefore plan modules that students can use to catch up – if motivated and capable enough. I am also prepared to provide tuition at $75 per hour assuming the student is willing, I have the time and the parents pay. (This may seem controversial, especially as some teachers actually catch students up free of charge, in their own time… but would other professionals work for free?)

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

Greece is still the word – St Pats production

Capture

If you want something to do over the next couple of nights go see St Pats(town) production of Greece. Some great performances. a large cast and very enjoyable. Contributing cast from St Marys, St Catherines, Chilton St James and Wellington East Girls  College (10 students). Always good to see so much collaboration between schools when it comes to productions of this size and caliber.

On 1-4 August… http://stpats.school.nz/culture/ 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment