Tuesday, 31 March 2009

subject choice ver 6a

New features added,
Departments can now change all there information online, added HoD's of depts into the teacher database, also added the depts into the subject table, now the HoD's can only change the subjects they have in their dept.

One of the biggest issues is who is in charge of each dept and how to spell their name.

2 hours

Thursday, 26 March 2009

subject choice 2009

This week has been a busy week with waka ama taking a very front seat and my imminent departure from my current place of work. Which has left some things that have needed to be sorted out, first is e-asttle and the final reporting and testing from it, we have 37 students that still need to complete the 2 tests, this will be fired at them period 2 tomorrow so we have this. Instead of the two weeks testing it has turned into a mission of getting classes in, rescheduling issues to to many things happening inside and outside of school.

Which brings me to days' blog article, the subject choice system that was created last year. This has been something which has been put on the back burner for a while and made its reappearance. There was a brief one hour meeting on Wednesday which has brought up a number of questions.
Next term is the development of the curriculum guide where information is saught from departments on current plans and courses for the next year. With the new curriculum this is going to be interesting. But how are we going to hand out this information, do we carry on with the current system of multiple pieces of paper going back and forth, or provide an electronic solution which cuts down on paper and mis-communication.
  • Next is how we deliver the curriculum guide, do we do an electronic version or carry on with the paper version, can we cut down some of the information that is not required anymore. Do parents look at this and talk it over with the students. Talking to some today, they wonder why they are given the year 11 course information when they are moving into year 13.
  • The process, the process that we gave the students last year, we have 87 students not complete the option choice process, can we do better than that this year?
  • Option lines, last year we gave them the choice of developing there package, their course, and the idea was that the SMS would just be able to click a button and a timetable would be able to be produced, this didn't quite work out too well. There was only a 20% match and when the timetablers put in option lines from the previous years did things start to work to a 90% match. With a bit more tweaking they managed to get a 98% non clash timetable.
  • Custom timetables of the special needs unit and satellite unit as well as the ESOL department need to be taken into account. We have to pre load special needs and satellite unit students into this so they don't choose that extra subject or have a blank.
  • It would be interesting to hear from the deans that had to chase up students that had blanks and other erroneous data in there option choices. Talking to some of them, the process worked well, though we have talked about timetabling form classes into computer labs to help get these numbers down, but what about the students that do it at home, the idea was to enable parents to become involved in helping there kids choose a course and subjects that are suitable and not just what their friends are taking.
  • Involvement of key staff, so we have to have a meeting of key staff to talk about changes and development. What do they see as the issues that could be updated and changed.
  • One thing to do is to load all the Head of Departments into the system and enable access to change the curriculum details of their subjects, also need to be able to export all of these.
  • I still have all the old information of students in the system, so I flush this out and start fresh or do we show them what they have taken in the past two or three years so they can make an informed decision about here career path.
  • Uploading of students, this has to be more defined and clear this year, I don't want to be having to go through and doing a find and replace of date of births this year. http://forums.codewalkers.com/php-coding-7/uploading-csv-to-mysql-via-php-881697.html
Here is a link to some of my development ideas, the others are sitting in my visual diary sorry.

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

peanut butter and jam

I know this may seem a strange title for a blog, but I did something different in class today, the lesson was about processors, and they work. Fetch, decode, execute.

This lesson is based upon exercises found at the Intel website.

High-Tech Sandwiches
This handout teaches students the need for clear, concise instructions when programming a task for a microprocessor or "robot." Working individually, students write a set of step-by-step instructions for making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Students then try to make sandwiches following each other's instructions. Or, a student or the teacher tries following one set of instructions in front of the entire class.

This was a fun experience, I had two loaves of bread, white and wholemeal. Strawberry and raspberry jam, crunchy and smooth peanut butter. The students started off by being a bit strange, what is this, why is he tempting us with food? But as the lesson went on I started seeing something strange, some students we so hungry that they could not think about what the needed to do, they would test out there process and fail, which forced one students to break the seal on the peanut butter, force a knife into the jar and spread it on his bread and eat it. Other students soon found the requirements too much and had to have a go as well. I though, man this must be rather difficult, considering missing simple steps of opening a jar, and closing and cleaning up they had to think about as well.

I go through the exercise tomorrow with them through the fetch, decode, execute and what this means to a computer, I will be able to use the class today to link all that together. Yes, everyone did manage to make a sandwich, but it was interesting that it took 20 minutes before the first one was correctly made.

Explain the CPU of a computer is where instructions are handled by the computer. It is helpful to point out that instructions are the basic building blocks of programs, like Windows and word processors. Ask for 4 volunteers and have them stand in a row.

As you explain the Fetch/Decode/Execute/Memory Handling instruction cycle, give each person the appropriate nametag. Now, say that you are going to have them simulate processing an instruction. With proper prompting, have the Fetcher fetch an instruction, the blank card. Declare one computer cycle. Since the Fetcher is done, the Fetcher passes it on to the Decoder. The Decoder decodes the blank card... and the process continues.

Now, ask the students to talk about what happened. Lead them with asking how active everyone was? Specifically ask the Fetcher what he/she was doing the entire time. Then ask if there's any reason why the Fetcher couldn't fetch another instruction after fetching the other one. Do it, but after the Decoder is done with the first, ask what to do with the instruction that the Fetcher is holding. The students are likely to suggest the Decoder takes the new instruction in the next cycle. Eventually, you get the pipeline full like you want.

At this point, congratulate the students on discovering the concept of pipelining, one of the major design principles in computer architecture. Explain that what they did is used in most if not all modern processors.

Wednesday, 18 March 2009


Three weeks to go till I leave, there is a number of things still to be done,

I have yet to have another meeting with the person taking over my course for the time that I am away. This will also involve meetings with the current teachers of the courses I teach with them.
I also have meetings with the beginning teacher that are still to happen.

Also to do is hold a meeting with the staff that is looking at a number of issues within the school. These involved things like workload, breaks and the new law, and the issues surrounding behavior and consequences. The staff need a vent, and they are not getting these through the normal means.

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Technology Draft Matrix - feeback

Working on the submissions for this, I am looking at these sort of comments, these have been posted to the various listserves that I belong to

One thing we must realise and get through to people is that we have a responsibility of the image of computing, When people take our courses they think this is how it is done in the "real world"

The public at large, as well as our students, have a pervasive and stilted image of computing, which was pointed out at the dtg symposium last year when the student from university got up and spoke.
How are we changing that image?

Are we providing students the the skills and knowledge and seeing the value of computing in terms of impacts on the world and as a possible career, do the current draft achievement standards provide this. Students should be gaining the skills and knowledge at secondary school that will enable them to identify this as a career from high school. It would be interesting to see what the institutes of technology and universities think of these standards, I can still see us in the "Other" category of entry if we continue to be under Technology.

This is a time to put our voice in, not just in here, but in the online submission


Technology is a learning area defined in the New Zealand Curriculum (Ministry of Education, 2007a). In senior secondary school, technology is taught as subjects within the technology learning area 1 . These subjects are traditionally resourced with specialist classrooms in New Zealand secondary schools and presently focus on food, materials (hard and textiles), structures and mechanisms, and information and communications technology/digital technologies (ICT/DT), control technology and biotechnology. Graphics is also a subject within the learning area of technology, which places a focus on the development and communication of design ideas.

Looking at this first statement in the rationale on the alignment of standards review, "Graphics is also a subject within the learning area of technology, which places a focus on the development and communication of design ideas", then what is ICT/DT then, how can you pull Graphics out of technology and place a statement like that in and not have one for ICT/DT.

The technology strands and their components are considered to be generic to all subjects of technology.

The statement of "The Technology strands and their components are considered to be generic to all subjects is technology". Generic, when is technology generic, Software development has a process all of its own, I show the Acheievment Standard and required pieces of work to developers in Auckland, both web and software and they look at it in amazement, is this what students have to do to meet the "Standard". Half the stuff makes no sense, or required. The evidence that is produced blows it out, most of them want to see what the product does, not the long journey that they took prioritising key factors. I agree that the brief is an important document, specifications and planning, but these are normally provided by someone else, the client. Though I do not want a course in project management
I have started looking at our moderation reports
More measurable specifications, encourage to further refine the brief. there is nothing in there about skills or development of programming practices, it is all about the process.

I have spent a while looking at this and the comments that are coming through from others in the group, and I hope that the Document that was written last year comes into light big time The future of Computer Science and Digital Technologies in New Zealand secondary schools: Issues of 21st teaching and lear suitable assessments
as this is an important paper which looked at the development of a curriculum and standards that would support it. If you haven't read it, DO!

Hardware - the Journey Inside

There are so many resources on the net for teaching digital technology, it‘s never-ending. I guess it is a matter of being discerning about what you choose to use and consider whether you are putting variety into your teaching and learning plans. Intel have some good resources for handouts on microprocessors and circuits etc which I have discovered – but there is plenty to be choosy about out there when it comes to resources!

These are from an Intel Resource, fantastic

Teaching Materials

This section will help you use The Journey InsideSM in the classroom and supplements the online learning resources. Background information, supplemental lesson plans, student handouts, and ideas for group activities you can do as a class, away from the computer, are included. These teaching materials are organized by the same units as the student materials:

Introduction to Computers

This unit provides a short history of the computer, introduces the four major components of a computer, and compares computer "brains" with the human brain.

Circuits and Switches

This unit teaches students about electricity, electric circuits, and the difference between mechanical and nonmechanical (transistors) switches.

Digital Information

This unit explores the differences between the decimal and binary number systems and how the information is represented and processed using binary code.


This unit investigates how microprocessors process information, demonstrates the size and the complexity of their circuitry, and explains how they are manufactured.

The Internet

This unit defines the Internet, then explains the World Wide Web, hypertext, URLs, packets, bandwidth, connection choices, search engines, and the need to critically evaluate the quality of the information found on the Web.

Technology and Society

This unit discusses the impact technological advances have on people's lives, with examples from the past and current day. Several readings provide insights on ways the digital age is already affecting our lives, the accelerating rate of change, and what we might expect to see in the near future.


The Journey InsideSM uses a contextual glossary with new terms linked to their definitions. Clicking on an underlined word in lessons opens a small window containing the word's definition. The glossary includes all the underlined terms.

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Technology draft matrix

For those that are interested, I thought I would inform you that you can now give feedback on the draft technology matrix and rationale in the first stage of the feedback/consultation process of the achievement standard alignment process. There is an online feedback form which you need to access from the left hand nav panel. You can access the material here: http://www.tenz.org.nz/Consultation.htm

You can also access it from the What's new box on the DTG home page http://dtg.tki.org.nz - keep an eye on this space as it does change relatively frequently highlighting all sorts of things in the digital technology space.

I am busy working out how to nicely put my disgust at this matrix

robocup junior

Thanks to nz-interface magazine, I found some Professional Development that fitted right up my alley. LEGO mindstorms robotics with there new product NXT.

This is what I have been looking for a while now, the last set of training I had in robotics was good, but this was specific to my needs and I had a fun day learning as well as being in competition with students and other teachers, well more the students from the other school.

It started off with looking at previous years work through a DVD that was being shown, this has highlighted some ideas for me. Next was looking at the interface and connecting into the program. Then the play started, as we developed our programs just by seeing what different things did, me and the students started a challenge, to get our robots from one end to a specific point at the other without touching an object. This was a straight challenge that started off the competition between teachers and students. the rest of the day was jumping back and forth from the laptops to the competition floor, the teacher running the event kept coming with the challenges and the learning took place. Not too much was taught, but I enjoy that, it is a case of finding and trying it out yourself.

Task One - Travel a length of distance without touching the object at the end, closet to the object wins.

Task Two - Travel a variable length of distance without going over the cliff, this introduces the light sensor.

Task Three - Do not go outside the circle - Black and White

Task Four - Walk the line, part one, follow a straight line.

Task Five - Walk the line , part two, follow a non straight line

Task Six - Walk the line, part three, hitting an object, this introduces a touch sensor

Task Seven - Walk the maze

This was what we focussed on for the day, there was another task which was getting the robot to dance, this can be carried out at school. Another thing is to focus on the programming, not on the design of the robot, yes your robot can look good, but it has to work. Thank you to Toshiba and to the Auckland robocup organiser for such a wonderful day.

Resource Ideas

http://robofesta.open.ac.uk/planetscience/package/admin.html <- old RCX development

Sumo assesment from aotea tech

Blogs from students doing robotics assessment

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Focus Group

Tonight was a first for me, being on a focus group looking at developing a new initiative for a organisation I have had some dealing with for the past 6 months. Isn't is amazing what can happen when you speak up and and ask a few questions at an open evening.

It has helped that we had a road-show exhibit at school for the past couple of days and I now wish I had gone through the whole experience with the road-show rather than going in and having a look around myself and asking the person a few questions, I also wish I had gone through another roadshow when it was availble last year as it would have helped having an informed decision tonight.

I did like the three concepts that we talked about at the start, though one really stood out for me which more looked at memory and thinking. As the night developed we looked at more concepts that came from the table and these would develop more and more, links to the new curriculum were talked about and the development of key competences around thinking and managing ones self came into light. Hearing the discussions around the table about these showed me that we are on the right track at school, but we do have a lot further to go, I am kind of annoyed that one of the days next term which will be a teacher only day will be looking at thinking skills, I will be missing that one as I am leaving teaching for a while. I hope someone will take some notes or that I will be able to go on some Professional Development later on to pick this up, as I can now see were this will be leading.

One of the points from the night I made was that we needed to look at what to organisation was there to do, what its main purpose is about and this is what is needed to be taken out to the schools in the region. Last year we talked about the school - organisation - school relationship and how that could be created. It is nice to see that others are in the same opinion.

At the end of the night, I missed chatting to one of the organisations designers, though he has invited me to go out to the organisation for a couple of days, which I would love to do, It will be a nice way to start my time off.

e-asttle implementation

Today was the first day of our two weeks of e-asttle testing. 29 students completed the english reading and 25 completed the mathematics. This is not without its issues,

first, our proxy/internet connection could not handle the load. We think this is a watchdog issue, not our systems, as we put learnt from this throughout the day we moved those students doing the testing to another proxy server. Could this be done through a isa rules, any student going to this site be transferred over an internal connection, this would save us changing every student every time we did this.

second, staff, we have put out emails, talked to staff, and organised relief to come in and help them with the testing, yet staff are one of the biggest issues with this, some are excellent and remind students the period before to go over to the labs to carry out the testing, others forget, or simply deal with other things not remembering that it takes 47 minutes to do the test.
This is also an issue with the units, people in charge of those special needs units are not telling the aides not to do the tests at the moment until we sort something out with the providers.

third, students, well in someway it is not the students fault, we have a number of students who are yet to be taken to a lab to login on the network, so this is eating up some of the time to be able to do this, hopefully this will go smoother over the next couple of weeks as all junior students will have completed at least two tests.

Sunday, 8 March 2009

visitor vs resident

I think this is a question that we should be asking ourselves - a couple of weeks ago I asked via twitter the following question “opinion please … can a tchr show/teach impact & innovation in ICT if it’s not an integral part of their life?”

Talking to a teacher who is taking a lead role in ICT at school this year about the definition of visitor vs resident she quickly said she was a visitor. (Logs in, does what she has to do and logs out.)

In the debates about computers, internet, ICT integration - how can a visitor understand the POV of a resident? Can they understand it?


Wednesday, 4 March 2009

computer labs

When you remove your computer labs from the timetable due to work that has been planned to turn the former fabric room and home economics room into three classrooms you would never have thought of putting these rooms back into action until the refit was complete. That is not the case however.

When I was asked to strip out the rooms at the end of 2008, I though excellent, all the preplanning had been done and the work will be started in the early part of term one. I found on the second last day of school the artietect in the classroom and asking questions of network access and supply. So I should have known at this point there will be no way they will start at the beginning of the term. I am now in week five in a small classroom, formally a corridor that has some of the ceiling missing, though it no longer leaks, and running water from a tap, it has been good on a ht day, the room can only fit 20 students and that is pushing it.

It now looks like I will be in that classroom for another term. Which I am not happy about.

Going back to the putting the computers back into the former labs. I had ripped out most of the network cables from one of the rooms as I was told it was going to be re-cabled, now I will have to put it back in, also I will have to find the extension leads that were also ripped out. The computers have been moved to another location, though I will need to find out where the monitors have gone, or went. We managed to get the other room setup in the block in 45 minutes, though i can see this one taking a little longer. Thanks to my year 13 programming class who managed to work under this pressure.

I am thinking about this tonight, and how it will be done, what is means is our e-asttle testing for both english and maths can be done at the same time, without taking out other labs, now to do this we will have to look at internet speeds and connection issues, we will almost need to tell teachers they cannot use the net with year 9 and 10 students and 60 connections with the e-asttle server over the net might cause a few large issues with connection timeouts. I thought only one lab would be needed, not two.

Monday, 2 March 2009

Preparing to leave

It is just under 5 weeks until I leave my current place of employment. Today I meet my replacement, and had to explain to him what I am doing with the course that I have developed and run for a number of years. In some way it is rather strange to explain to someone else why you are doing what you do, why you haven't joined up with a new programme.

It is also rather strange to be talking about this with the students around me, none of them have picked up that it is me who is leaving, I don't want to tell them until later on as I believe that this will cause them no to do the work. I would love to tell them as I believe that they need to know.

No one really shares there courses online, you get what you can from the curriculum guides but they really only give you what qualifications they gain from the course.

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Philosophy of house events

There have been a number of issues that have come up with our school house system where points are being removed from students when they do not turn up to events, I think this is wrong and am looking at the Philosophy behind the house events at school. This was given to me three years ago when I was first updating the house website.

The Philosophy of the PHS House Events
  • Students participation!
  • Fun-friendly-informal competition.
  • Fostering students’ pride in themselves and the school.
  • Opportunities for students to be involved with and contribute to the planning, organisation, leadership and ‘ownership’ of a school based activity.
House Events
The house events held throughout the year during form teacher sessions and lunch times (including sporting, performance, community and intellect based activities) have an important role within the school.

They are not ‘extra-curricular’ activities. House activities are an essential part of the curriculum. They are a part of the pastoral care system within the school.
House events provide students with a variety of opportunities to develop skills in planning, organisation, communication, management of themselves and peers, competition, team-work, cultural awareness and appropriate attitudes and values.

Editors Notes:
I look at the bullet points and wonder how the swimming and athletics have now become competitive to the point of out of 1800 students at the school only 48 students went down and participated. This breaks the first bullet point.

I would like to see what the trend is for students competing in the last seven years at the school because it just seems like this is something that needs to be looked at. Are we doing it too early in the year, is it that the majority of our students cannot swim.

I remember the days of my schooling where the whole school went down to Surrey park (500 students) and competed in events, this also happened at Ashburton domain (1100 students). I wonder how many students will be competing at this years athletics events.

Is this due to some form of we don't want to do it, or it takes to much work to run. or is our school too big to handle this type of "organised" event.

Web Design Assignment One

Assignment One – Development of School Intranet – Other section

The school intranet is rather old and impractical to use, a number of sites have not been updated in years, and it requires a staff member to manually change the pages with the new information. This information needs to be updated and made more user-friendly to both staff updating the sections and students viewing the information.

Have a look in the Other area of the intranet
In this area there are a number of student services that could do with new information being updated and only provided in the school. You as a class are to decide which ones need updating and you will need to sort out how you will go about this.

Have a look at what the site currently provides, show screen shots and comment about the look, feel and content, is it appropriate for students/staff?

  • Who uses these sites to find information?
  • Research what the department does, you will need to go and talk to someone.
  • What information should go on the pages?
  • Are these pages elsewhere on the Internet, is there a need for a separate site inside the school?
  • What links, content, video, pictures, if any should go on?
    You need to think about how the information will be updated in the future, who will update it?
  • What are the problems with the current site? - Why are you thinking about a redesign in the first place? Make sure you answer this question with fact rather than feeling based reasons. You may be tired of the look and feel of your website, but what do your customers think?
  • What do your customers say about your current site? - What feedback are you getting from your current customers? Your customers may not be professional web designers, but even a novice can point out a bad website. In order to get feedback, try taking some surveys or polls from your site visitors.
  • What is the purpose of this redesign? - Try to avoid vague objectives such as “the site needs to be updated” or “because we do it every year.” Is your goal to improve conversion rates? Reduce bounces rates? Increase search traffic? Ideally, your redesign goal should be inline with the overall purpose of your website. Be sure to set measurable goals that you can easily revisit after the launch.
  • Can these problems be fixed with optimization rather than a full redesign? - Just because your search engine rankings need improvement doesn’t mean you must redesign your site. Maybe it can simply be fixed for a fraction of the cost. It’s easy to over react to a problem and assume everything needs to be scrapped, when it can be optimized instead.
  • How will the redesign affect my search engine rankings? - Too often, SEO is an afterthought of a website redesign. While SEO is certainly not the only consideration when considering a website overhaul, there are many search related ramifications of a site redesign. Make sure you understand how these changes can impact your search traffic before you begin a project.
  • Have you considered the opportunity cost as well as the financial cost? - Depending on the complexity of your website, site redesigns can take a significant amount of time. During this development time, will the current site be neglected? In my experience, its very difficult to focus on maintaining and optimizing an old website at the same time you’re building a new one.
  • Will it be hard for my customers to relearn my new site? - Nobody loves change. Will customers be confused by the new layout? If the changes are drastic, expect the learning curve phenomenon. In other words, things may get worse before they get better.
  • How will I judge if the new website has succeeded? - This is perhaps the most important question of all. If it’s not asked and answered properly, you may get stuck in an endless cycle of website revisions, never reaching a goal because the goal wasn’t defined in the first place. Be sure to answer this question before you launch the new site. Are you prepared to switch back to the previous design if the site is a failure?


Website redesign needs to be addressed with caution. It's not one of those things that you can just jump into and expect everything to take care of itself. If you are going to follow through with a site redesign planning is a must. Prior to planning there are a series of questions that you should ask yourself. Hence the purpose of this post.7 Questions to Ask When Planning A Website RedesignWhile there are a number of questions that you need to address, here are a few "must ask" questions when planning out your site redesign.

  • Why do I need a redesign? It may seem simple enough, but what are threasons that you are even considering redesigning your site? Take a pen and piece of paper and write down five reasons as to why you need to redesign your site. If three or more of the reasons deal with usability, that might be a strong indication that a site redesign is probably a good idea.
  • What are my goals for the site? You would be surprised at the number of site owners who have difficulty in answering this question. What is the reason for your site's existence? Is it to provide information? Is it e-commerce based? Is to act as a portal to other websites? Prior to planning a website redesign, you'll want to establish clear goals for your site.
  • Do I have the proper resources needed to complete the site redesign? Depending on the type of site that you have and what the goals for your site are, a website redesign may require a great deal of time, money and resources to complete.
  • How much time will it take to complete a site redesign? Planning a proper website redesign takes time in itself. A site redesign is something that you do not want to rush. You must dot all of the "i's" and cross all of the "t's" if you want to have a successful redesign. If you are coming up to your peak sales season, you're probably not going to want to launch a new site that may confuse buyers. On the other hand , once you've completed your research and have factored in everything that needs to be addressed with your redesign, you will have a better idea of the ideal timing for the launch of your new site.
  • How will a site redesign affect my search engine rankings? Anytime you redesign your website, you run the risk of having your search engine rankings plummet. Improper use of redirects, failure to include content that is currently ranking over to the new site can have a dramatic impact on your search engine rankings. Not all companies have the sponsored budget to "buy" rankings in the search engines. Loss of organic rankings can be extremely difficult to get back. You should weigh the options of losing existing rankings through a new site redesign vs. keeping the same site and adding new features to it vs. creating a micro site to support your main site. Consider items such as site architecture, URL structure, page optimization, linking inventories and site interlinking. Drastic changes to any of these items will have an impact on your search engine rankings.
  • Ask yourself, what's good about your existing site? What areas need improvement? Many times, Webmasters and designers have it in their heads that their site needs to be flashy and needs to feature all of the latest web design trends. Well the fact of the matter is, these sites traditionally do poorly in the search engine rankings and more importantly do not provide the best user experience. How many times have you become frustrated with a flashy homepage that makes use of Flash with a large number of images that takes forever to load the page? After the page loads, you have no idea about how to find the information that you were looking for in the first place. Or the page just takes forever to load.... Your old site may have had perfectly good navigation and now the user cannot even find a link to your sitemap. Prior to planning your redeign, jot down the positive points about your site and identify the areas that need improvement.
  • How will my visitors react to a new site? This is probably one of the most important questions that you can ask prior to planning a website redesign. Website usability should be one of the key areas of focus as you plan your redesign. Take the time to find out what your audience appreciate about the existing site. Ask them what their experience was like. Leading up to your website redesign, provide a feedback mechanism to allow your site users to comment about their site experience. Test your proposed site and test again. Planing your site redesign right the first time will save you from having to do another one in a matter on months. You site should be designed for a strong user experience that will help you achieve the goals that you have set out for your site.

Virtual Machines Year 12

One of the exercises that i do with my year 12 programming students is get them to use an unlocked down version of windows xp, this means that get the right click and all the features, not the managed version that we use on our desktops. We use Virtual PC 2004 to allow us to do this. It means that we can get a better compare and contrast from the students as they use two operating systems, it also means that they can have the two operating systems running at the same time. the other operating system that I get them to use is Ubuntu 7.04, I know it is an old version but that is what I had available to me this time last year, Students are able to play, have fun and destroy the copy is needed.

This year I also require to get it running in a second room, the copy and paste method from one computer to the network share on the others caused me a great deal of suffering this year with errors popping up all over the place, this was solved by copying the folders to two servers, to balance out the load. It then required that I log into every machine and do the copy and paste on it. This has also revealed that the other classroom has some issues with network points not working, yet another email to the helpdesk to come and sort it out.

It is a good way to get students looking at various operating systems, i just wish I had mac OS running in a virtual environment. Then we can compare and contrast three operating systems which is required at level 3 in Unit Standard 2783.

Bring on Tuesday when I use this with my class, and bring on tomorrow when it is used in the other room.

Just some figures now, the two Virtual Hard Drives come in at around 8-9 G, that means that I am moving approx 660gig around the network and it is still holding strong, though I would like to put this on a server that is in this block rather than taking it down the fibre from another area of the school (Like the furthest end of the school). Which is what I just realised I am doing... Whoops.

I have to now look at pushing out vmware player to be able to handle usb support so we can push out the software required to run the xbox controllers. Next step will be XNA with C# to run the development. Also needed is an virtual hard drive to run visual basic. Though i would like to run a terminal service environment such as what was running at a school a number of years ago that I was involved with. In their situation that had fat client machines running that linked into the terminal services environment and also had citrix thin clients running. Only problem was that the programming students learning delphi would develop application that would loop infinite and crash the entire system causing everyone that had logged in to lose their work.