Monday, 25 October 2010

A new job decription

I have been thinking about this for a while, a former student gave me an idea today. We have an IT manager, a technician and now a helpdesk operator.
I no longer have time for my networks systems work, though I still want to push something through as I see it is a need within the school.

Web admin/infrastructure manager. With all the changes and developments that I push through each year, let me count so far
intranet development - editor and administrator, wordpress
arts and culture website - administrator, wordpress
portal website - editor  and administrator
access it library - content management system
subject option selection - own development mySQL/php
inquiry based learning selection - own development mySQL/php
KnowledgeNET moodle - developer of course and subject sites
google apps infrastructure manager - manages the google apps site at school
moodle - manager of the department moodle installation.
e-asTTle - administrator of the institution site
myportfolio- administrator of the institution site
SMS - administrator of the iPhone/iPad installation

If I keep thinking I think there will be a couple more. Who is responsible for these areas in other schools, is there a specific role in schools for someone like me?

Friday, 22 October 2010


We are currently working a number of projects at school to help assist our students in their digital life.
We are looking at a IdP solution to link in our schools active directory, knowledgeNET, Google apps, myportfolio, and access-it. The reason for this is these are the four products that we are starting to use most within our learning.

Developments are working steadily and we have now been approached by our school LMS to be one of the pilot schools to get this going. This for me is great, but for our technician is a struggle as he is starting to find a number of things getting taken away from him, or is he. I see this as a free up of time to develop valuable resources, maybe I should get him programming in php and mySQL so I can leave a number of the projects that I run each year up to him. Option selection and our inquiry based learning are two that I can think of, though I am starting to wonder if we will need these developments anymore with the latest google apps that are being offered now.
I am also aware of what is required to get these things up and going and that it requires multiple parties to be talking to each other, just when one of the cogs drops things do go stale.
I need to get a meeting with our paperCut expert to go through and tidy up our printer costs.

I am also working with the integration of our schools SMS into access-it library which has been an adventure, the latest update was supposed to allow this to be an easier experience, but the developers have now removed the latest update from the site as they work through a number of issues, I don't think we have emailed them this much before. Currently having issues with the xDBC drivers?

Clickview is currently processing all of our videos and making them available for wireless computer use, which is going to take approximately 3 weeks to go through and convert our database of resources.

The other parts of my teaching are currently looking at the literacy requirements of the students, the year 13 web design students are currently developing a resource to assist students in doing there reading logs. One of the things that I liked is the idea of facebook to show the number of books that a student has completed as a way of getting students to compete against each other to get it done, will have to look at the code that will be needed to do this

e-asttle, import issues, we are currently working through an issue with e-asttle. We can not import our students correctly at the moment, this went from being a first level helpdesk inquiry to a vendor issue within 15 minutes. It has been an issue for a month now and still things have not really progressed.

Though on another tack with e-asTTle, I have been in contact with the bridging projects person at the ministry to investigate Single Sign On as an alternative login method than what we have now which is tricky and for the staff involved difficult to manage.

When will the Auckland Museum make there PUBLIC SSID open for people to use, make your website freely available for people to use within the museum as a way for the public to find out more about the exhibits and the collection that is housed.

I will stop there for now, just one thing more 67 does not equal 95.

Thursday, 14 October 2010


The registration for the inquiry based learning project has started up once again, with some small issues that I forgot to sort out. Student id number went from 4 digits to 5 digits this year and I managed to forget that this was the case, with a small number completing there selection yesterday it gave me a chance to look at what I had done, and managed to work out that there was the issue, a quick fix on two of the database tables, then removing those students that had already made there selection, luckily only affected two students, though it did affect he ability for 356 students to login.

Numbers, with 200 students having completed their registration of interest 25% of the students so far want to do the Get Lost project, Hopefully these numbers change with the other 504 students still to complete.

Planning is now underway for one aspect of the get lost programme and it has been affected by a kilikiti tournament at the auckland domain on the 1st of december. Also I plan to get a hold of next bikes to grab 10 bikes for an activity in the domain.

Friday, 8 October 2010

Curriculum around Small Basic

Small Basic is, in my opinion, one of the really cool platforms for introducing programming to younger students. A simple IDE, a simple subset of BASIC, and built in turtle graphics all resonate with me. And a number of teachers around the world seem to agree. One thing we have been lacking though was some real curriculum support. Well that has changed. A set of 21 PowerPoint presentation with imbedded notes for teachers is now available. There are other resources available on the Small Basic page of the Beginning Developer Learning Center as well. If you use this curriculum or anything else associated with Small Basic would you let me know please? Also any feedback about what we can do better or differently. Thanks

Google Code-in

Participating Open Source Projects

Watch this space for updates on the organizations that will be participating in the contest this year. We announce the organizations on November 5, 2010.


Google Code-in, Google's contest to introduce pre-university students to the many kinds of contributions that make open source software development possible, is starting on November 22, 2010. We are inviting students worldwide to produce a variety of open source code, documentation, training materials and user experience research for the organizations participating this year. These tasks include:
  1. Code: Tasks related to writing or refactoring code
  2. Documentation: Tasks related to creating/editing documents
  3. Outreach: Tasks related to community management and outreach/marketing
  4. Quality Assurance: Tasks related to testing and ensuring code is of high quality
  5. Research: Tasks related to studying a problem and recommending solutions
  6. Training: Tasks related to helping others learn more
  7. Translation: Tasks related to localization
  8. User Interface: Tasks related to user experience research or user interface design and interaction
Stay tuned to the Google Open Source Blog and subscribe to the contest announcement list for updates.

cache ideas

Looking at what we are going to doing at the end of the year, i had a look at, there now seems to be a number of traditional caches at the domain which could be suitable to be used for the programme, though I think we may still place our own out for students to use this year, though i have started to look at the guidelines of hiding a cache, and it is required to be 161m away from another cache...