Too loud, too long ….

Too loud, too long, too slow, hard to understand, too much technology, too many distractions.

Am I talking about BYOD in a modern learning environment with longer learning times or the new Blade Runner movie?

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9 out of 25

I have 24 Digital Technologies Year 11 students. They have an externally marked portfolio due in the next couple of weeks. In previous years I have managed/insisted I have a draft to review over the school holidays. This year I provided a self-assessment checklist based on some NZQA advice and said to the students ” I will provide you with feedback if you get me a draft by Friday 6 October.” This deadline and insistence on self-review is part of encouraging students to take more responsibility for their own learning.

Only 9 out of 25 students gave me a draft for the feedback!

In another departure from previous years, I asked students to write portfolios based on their experiences building a website – reflecting on all the information management issues they have needed to deal with.

New topic and way less feedback with more emphasis on students taking responsibility for own learning. Will this be a recipe for disaster? I guess I will find out when I see the results next year.


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I would love to teach more life skills…

Seen in Stuff today… Most of what I teach in Digital Technologies is constrained by the quest for Achievement Standards. To teach life skills we would need to sacrifice some elements of academic rigour… which may not be a bad idea – students can get plenty of that with tertiary education. Digital literacy and fluency are critical skills (not optional) to engage with society, we need to carve out some more time to teach them.

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8GB required for Windows update?

I just purchased an HP Windows 10 laptop. I got Windows because the Office suite is brilliant and quite a lot of the applications such as XAMPPS cannot be easily supported within the school environment on non-Windows machines.  (BTW… WEGC uses Microsoft, Google suite, Adobe and a range of Open Source software.) I then installed a copy of Microsoft Office – the full suite. It is available to all teachers and students free of charge. (Great offer, as to get any serious formatting done you need to use a full-featured desktop  package such as MS Office or Open Office)

The only problem is, once Office is installed you no longer have sufficient space to load the Windows update. It requires 8GB and with office installed (and all possible files/ applications removed) you only have 7.5GB of disk space. This necessitates deleting Office, running the upgrade then reinstalling Office. Quite a hassle and not for people in a hurry. I expect you can probably use some external storage but frankly, that was not an obvious option. So, great offer but a shame that Windows 10 with Office uses up most of the available 32GB of disk space.

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This title is not currently available for purchase in your country

Released one year ago and still not available in NZ. I thought we were over this…

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WEGC outsourcing ICT and looking for a Digital Information Officer

WEGC have decided to outsource their ICT operations. As a consequence they are looking to employ a Digital Information Officer (DIO). The job can be found on trade me. I think it will be an interesting, challenging and worthwhile job able to have a material impact on both teachers and student lives.

Not sure about the salary (Education does not pay market rates) but the part time nature of the job will appeal to a range of people. Applications close 9 October, start date 23 October if at all possible.

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Scrutineers can wear party badges – strange but true.

I was quite surprised to see a scrutineer in Island Bay wearing a Labour party rosette. I challenged this with an official – seems this is allowable.  I subsequently looked up the scrutineer handbook and indeed this is fine. Interesting. (If it had been a National party rosette I would still have asked the question.)

Anecdotally I have heard that some schools have considered emailing parents suggesting they vote Labour – I suspect this is not appropriate.


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