Head Girl

The Head Girl is taking my Digital Technologies class. It’s a bit like having the bosses son or daughter working for you. (Well not quite the same – as this did happen once.) It did give me pause to reflect, however, that the profile of students taking Digital Technologies beyond Level 1 has changed significantly in recent years. It was only a short number of years ago when computing with Unit Standards was considered the easy subject and a place to put students that could not or did not want to do other non academic subjects. In terms of creating future Computer experts this is probably a good thing….

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The little yellow book: better than a device

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Strangely, even with all the technology at my disposal I still prefer to use pen and paper for general planning, notes, reminders and of course doodling when bored at meetings (unless I have my IPad in which case I can read stuff). There is some discourse happening around the benefits of paper/pen for thinking and creating – over those of a screen. I suspect we will use both…

Besides, these planning books when accumulated over a few years provide evidence of teaching practice when applying for re registration… a painful but probably necessary process.

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Schools and OSH?


With schools increasingly making devices compulsory I wonder what our obligations are with regards to health and safety. An employer has a range of obligations, I assume schools also do. Who has accountability for teaching appropriate use of devices at schools with regard to physical aspects of health and safety?

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Death by call center


I had an Immigration question earlier this week. After the “Please hold, all our client services staff are busy” (or similar) message and usual crap about going to their website I got the message “You are caller number 32 in the queue”. Hah! Why not just say “We are too busy, F%^& off”. Better still offer to record my number and ring me back… Is that so hard in this century?

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Customer Service experiences over last 7 days

Mixed Customer Services experiences over the last 7 days…

  • SkyTV: no reply to email
  • Symes de Silva  dentist: no reply to email till prompted twice
  • Placemakers Kilbirnie: friendly efficient knowledgeable
  • Bunnings Lyall Bay: poor product knowledge, one staff member rude
  • Spark Lambton Quay: efficient, knowledgeable, not friendly or unfriendly
  • Westpac Wanganui: friendly efficient knowledgeable
  • Computer Valet Wanganui: friendly , knowledgeable… efficient?
  • Sika NZ: friendly efficient knowledgeable
  • Air New Zealand: no initiative
  • AMI: via email and in person : efficient, knowledgeable, friendly
  • Vodafone: by phone during working day… efficient, knowledgeable, friendly
  • Vodafone: by phone in weekend…. they have no idea what I am saying and likewise
  • Clearview optometrist: no reply to email till prompted


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Accessibility includes predictability, simplicity and understandability


I have just spent a couple of days with my capable but forgetful father. To continue using his Windows 7 desktop with a Thunderbird mail client and Firefox he needs his environment to remain unchanged. The constant number of updates and f*&king Windows 10 prompts to upgrade risk this stability. At 90 years old its quite hard for him to remember and keep track of what to do and how to do things. You can turn the Windows 10 reminders off, but this involves a complex sequence of steps – well beyond many older peoples capabilities. Likewise with the spam emails, sure some are legitimate but the bulk of the enticements are annoying, confusing and at times quite dangerous to older people. It’s almost like we need a “child” device for older people (and I am not being denigrating) or some form of managed service. Or maybe Linux? In the meantime I am having his desktop reloaded as a clean install with Teamviewer so I can remotely help sort the occasion mess out. There has got to be a better way…

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Sunset coming for extended school holidays


Holidays will be at an end in a couple of weeks. Then back to school to meet a new bunch of students. Strangely I am looking forward to it. Depending on how much work you have to do in the extended break it could almost be considered a trial run at being retired.

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