Lost and Found survey


Adhoc survey following a grueling session on database design and MySQL. Most of the “lost” entries arose from the last 5 minutes… an ill prepared introduction to PHP. Pays to prepare…

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Nail polish removal


School rules do not allow nail polish… Two choices… just kidding.

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Presenteeism and feeling guilty about not working?

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Wake me up at 3pm. Source: http://www.nevermindthebuspass.com

When I worked in the corporate world one problem frequently experience with my staff was presenteeism. I certainly didn’t model this behavior and used to say “if you need to be at work 50 hours a week continuously then either somethings wrong with you or the job design“. With teachers I see many working long hours under stressful and generally poor working conditions. Also, like the corporate world, any serious work outside the classroom typically gets done at home. (Interesting TedTalk “Why work doesn’t happen at work“). Unlike the corporate world however, I see many teachers that feel guilty about having “down time” during weekends, evenings and even holidays. Why? Is it the vocational aspect of their job or are they hooked in a pattern? Can they always improve their lesson plans? Should they be emailing praise to students? Not sure of the reasons but the outcome is burned out teachers… and that is not a good thing.

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Red card for red card?


Heard recently… An employer requiring middle management to monitor specific parts of an employees work and in the event it was not completed satisfactorily required to issue a “red card”. An actual red card! And what if these red cards were given or left in a place that made the issuing of them public to other employees? And what if we are talking processional employees here? And what if it is not part of some misguided sense of humor?

Seems that middle management is being placed in an untenable position, potentially breaching individuals privacy and possibly opening up the employer to claims of bullying and other poor work place practices.

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NZTA data like pulling teeth

I made a request for data from NZTA for some data related to vehicles – no private data . (My Senior DT class is following this chain of correspondence.)

NZTA responce

After reviewing your request, it has been determined to be too broad for us to consider and therefore is required to be refined. Can you please explain exactly what information you require from the Motor Vehicle Register and what date range is necessary? It is also important to note that the registered person information and some vehicle information is restricted under the Land Transport Act 1998 and Privacy Act 1993.

Please note that if the request is not sufficiently refined we may have to consider other options under the Official information Act, such as charging a fee due to the substantial collation this request may require.Part 2, Section 15 of the Official Information Act allows for a fixed charge that is reasonable and is in regard to the cost of the labour and materials involved in making the information available. The cost is $38.00 for the first chargeable half hour or part thereof; and then $38.00 for each additional half hour or part thereof.

Fair enough… I specified

100,000 records
The more recent the better ie last 12 months but actually not essential
I need to have at least 10 fields, preferably 20 including registration, expiry date, colour, model etc…
I need it in one of the following formats: CSV or xlsx or even SQL export
I need a explanation of the data fields (from a data dictionary or equivalent)

They declined, their reply…

Capture My reply…

Thanks for your reply.

Interesting… This does not seem consistent with government policy re open data.

I will ask for a review, if nothing else showing students this process will create a learning experience. (for students)

My next action… I have lodged a complaint

I am writing to complain that the NZ Transport Agency has declined my request for a data set of registered vehicles. The data requested does not include personal information and would be used for educational purposes. I think their response ignores their obligations under the official information act and is inconsistent with government policy which is about making data sets increasingly available (https://data.govt.nz/)

My class is looking forward to seeing what happens.

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Silicon Valley trip still getting press : the Sequel has been approved

Seen and heard on National Radio. Quite an interesting article comparing boys and girls NCEA performance levels for Digital Technologies.

Pleased to say that the Board of Trustees has approved a second trip in 2017. We have a choice of Easter (Term 1 holidays) or mid year June/July. I wonder what the weather is like in San Francisco at these times?

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Dating in the 60’s – computer history

I plan to share the above with students, they can get to see applied computing, punch cards and a bunch of other dated technology in action.




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