Tuesday, 31 March 2009
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.
Thursday, 26 March 2009
- 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
Tuesday, 24 March 2009
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.
Wednesday, 18 March 2009
Tuesday, 17 March 2009
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
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:
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.
This unit teaches students about electricity, electric circuits, and the difference between mechanical and nonmechanical (transistors) switches.
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.
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.
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
Wednesday, 11 March 2009
Sunday, 8 March 2009
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
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
Sunday, 1 March 2009
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.
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.
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.
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.