Is Windows 10 fit for purpose on devices with 32GB storage?

A number of students have acquired relatively cheap laptops with Windows 10 installed. A bit like a Chromebook only running Windows. Several students are now experiencing challenges with Windows 10 upgrades including security fixes. It seems the upgrades need at least 8-10 GB to install. Fair enough but the mandatory software is currently taking up 25GB + of the storage. Do the Maths… the updates fail. This is not just an HP problem it impacts Dell, Acer etc… And yes all sorts of approaches have been tried without luck including deleting temp files, cleanups, removing software etc….

Windows 10 on these machines is actually pretty good until updates need applying. It occurs to me that the product is not fit for purpose. It is sold with the expectation that the updates could be applied automatically (it is quite hard to turn them off).

I wonder if students should be returning them to the store under Consumer Guarantees Act. Does anyone have any suggestions? Can Microsoft just issue a flash drive that just reloads W10 with the new version?



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Hive learning

I was introduced to the term “hive” this week, in the context of solving a business problem by consulting the “hive wisdom”. I think the terms “hive thinking” and “hive learning” make sense in a classroom and I decided to try and facilitate some hive learning (for a Year 10 class) via the Google Classroom Ask facility. The question posed was “If you have a problem with your HTML… how might you go about solving the problem?” I then asked students to either seek clarification or indicate which answer was the most helpful. one example below…

Overall it was a pretty useful exercise. Answers ranged from use F12 to examine the script to accessing W3C schools web site. One student even promoted “formally giving up “. I was pleased to see one option from last year was not mentioned… Cry

I found this to be both an efficient and effective result. Any problem-solving techniques the students did not identify I could solicit from them. Any problem-solving techniques I have not encountered previously I could share with future students. (Ako ie reciprocal learning in action!)

Some other points of interest:

  1. How students represent themselves online (avatars/images).
  2. Exposing their thoughts to others ie all students see all answers once they have answered the question themselves. The classroom culture has to be consistent with this approach ie students feel safe answering this type of question publicly.
  3. Path of least resistance… no real critique of answers (the environment may not be conducive to this – yet).
  4. You cannot be a spelling/grammar checker.


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#MeToo… setting expectations at achool

Good to see that expectations of appropriate behaviour in the workplace are being “reset” in New Zealand. And as teachers, we have the opportunity to reinforce these expectations with our students.

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Monitoring and blocking student Internet use

I am managing a trial of Linewize at Wellington East Girls College, a product designed to help schools and teachers understand and manage student internet use across all devices and browsers. WEGC has implemented Linewize to:

  •  improve learning at WEGC ie keep student attention in class rather than being distracted by social media
  • fulfil a duty of care obligations to students. Some students do not have the required skills or knowledge to safely navigate and use the Internet.

As expected most of the implementation challenges relate to people, policy and procedures, the technology is relatively straightforward… For example:

  • The reporting function(accessible to authorised users) can give quite a lot of detail regarding what sites students (and staff) have been visiting. Who has access and under what conditions to this information?
  • Privacy Impact Assessments(PIA) are not typically carried out in schools, as far as I can determine. How come? I have initiated enquiries regarding the existance of any relevant PIA’s with the Privacy Commissioner.
  • Students concerns over privacy – I held a lunchtime session for interested students to discuss the implementation of Linewize. It was good to see students thinking of these issues.

The trial runs till the end of Term 1, then we will make a decision.

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Skype fraud and Vodafone incompetence…

I had over 100 Euros debited to my Skype and subsequently Paypal account without request.  I just happened to notice 4 emails at 11:30pm showing the fraudulent transactions. How did this even happen?  I contacted Skype and they took all of 30 seconds to reverse the amounts… Which leads me to think ” Has Skype been compromised?”. I not sure they would say so…

I have changed my password of course, and also removed Skype authority to debit my Paypal account, but I must say it leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

It reminds me of Vodafone – promised a no charge install – charged me… and then when I rang up 20 seconds to reverse… makes me suspicious. And this is not the first time!

Got to teach students not to trust these organisations… I wonder how many people are getting ripped off?

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Mistakes happen…

Mistakes happen. Can you spot the error? Took more than 12 months to pick up – may have been there from Day 1 ie a few years ago. This will make a good teaching point for DT classes on the role of Quality Assurance and Testing.

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Views expressed are my own

Some people have asked me if I allowed to write a blog that includes views on Education. The views expressed in my blog are generally my own and the answer is yes, providing I do not bring my employer into disrepute…

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