Wednesday, 22 April 2009

font manager

I am busy looking for a font vault or font management system that I can manage fonts with on a group of computers.

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Library Competition

The annual Library competition is coming up and this year I am not in the school to help facilate the competition and put up the graphics, this is where our portal could come into place.

What content management system could I put in place to help get the information out to the students, what graphics, design could be used to help make it interestings, do we use a poll to get some information from the students and do we open up another part to the competition which is using google apps to get the students to enter in data in a form and publish it. Read a book, write up a review and post it.
So we can develop this in a new way.

We are after more information on the Secondary Literacy Project, could this be a interesting way of doing this. What other parts of the competition could there be, I have a whole google apps domain development, as well as php/mysql and other developments that I can use.
What works and what doesn't

Saturday, 18 April 2009


I find myself today traveling south to a new position outside of teaching. As I have been traveling, I have been thinking, what have some of the best things been in teaching. One has to be some of the drama productions I have been helping out doing the technical side of things in. Purapurawhetu in where we took over the hall and used a mixture of light and projection to illustrate maori legends and song.
Training the various sports teams and having a role in their year. Originally i started off in cycling and mountain biking, which I still remember our team riding the Tamaki Drive circuit and excited about making 24 minutes. Other teams have been the 1st eleven soccer team with a brilliant coach who took them to first place in the Counties Manukau division. Manager of the 1st XV rugby team and taking them to Linton for training with the army. The previous year had been filming the games.
Changing the courses at school to open up ICT for the students, however this has been hampered with the Unit standards and Achievement standards being offered in more than one subject. The internal development of the house system/website and thinking large.
I hope that the next 12 weeks will be a change, and I look forward to them, doing something different and new. I think of the development over the past seven years and realise that I have not really done anything in the past couple of years, no new servers in my little server room. I also look forward to there being a change in the block that I teach in, will they have the remodeled classrooms in action when I get back. What is the ideal teaching space, and what does it look like?
argh, more questions than answers.

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Bricked NXT

We had an issue today with one of the students managing to brick one of the NXT bricks,
After doing a google search and finding a paper clip(these are hard to find now) we managed to locate the reset button, all the trainings that I went to and we never got told about the reset button, or how to unbrick a brick, it has been a good day since then, so without any further flutter,

Problems downoading firmware? Bricked your NXT?

Numerous questions have come to Lego regarding problems downloading firmware. Lego has put this together to help those having difficulty with performing an update:

LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT Firmware download procedure:

Make sure the LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT is connected directly to the computer/Mac using a USB cable (Bluetooth connection will not work).

1. Press the hardware reset button on the NXT brick for at least 3-5 seconds. The hardware reset button is a tiny little button at the bottom of the pinhole on the bottom of the NXT case, just under the USB connector. You can push it with an unfolded paperclip but a LEGO antenna works to.

2. If the NXT is clicking before you press the hardware reset button, it will stop clicking after you press the hardware reset button. Continue to press on the hardware reset button for a few seconds longer until it clicks one time. Now release the hardware reset button.

3. Wait for the NXT to start clicking continuously again (It will take approximately 2-4 seconds).
4. Now go to the menubar within the LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT Software and select Tools->Update Firmware and select a firmware version and press Download.

5. If the software is unable to download the firmware correctly after having gone through the above process, please verify that you have the correct USB driver version installed:
1. Open an explore window
2. Go to the folder called “WINNT” or “windows”
3. Go to the folder called “”system32”
4. Find the file called “fantom.dll”
5. Right click on file and select properties
6. Under the version tap, the file should have the following version number: If it has version number you need to update the USB driver.

i. To update the USB driver please go to and download the MINDSTORMS NXT Driver V1.02 and install the driver.
Just follow the installation instruction. Before running the installation, close the LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT software and unplug the NXT from the computer.

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Difficult Days

Teaching is a profession that takes a lot out of a person. I know of no other profession where ones heart and soul is so closely embedded into the daily grind. When there is success you feel amazing - on top of the world. On the days when things are a little harder you feel as though you have been run over by a bus.

I take teaching very seriously. Devote a lot of time, heart and effort into ‘making a difference’ to my students. I am passionate about being innovative and creative. I try really hard to be the best I can be for my students. Sometimes though this is challenged and I find myself having to justify my actions and beliefs. Sadly, the majority of the time these justifications are to people who have little understanding of the job.

I get into this mindset or mood where I feel really defeated - that perhaps my energy would be better spent doing something where I am truly appreciated. Where I can go home at six and not worry about students that are not progressing. Where I don’t feel like criticsm of my work is a personal attack.

I am hoping this black cloud is a symptom of end of term. I hope I will feel reinvigorated and positive when I wake up in the morning.