Thursday, 28 June 2012


I have been busy getting my students to complete their understanding of databases and they are busy writing up what they have done. However, they are struggling with the literacy component.
The assessment was for them to create a database to input, store and analyze the bring your own device survey data that went out to all students at school, was filled in on paper and returned. once this was completed, it was scanned and produced a PDF for students to access. Students created a mysql database to hold all the information and a php form to input it in. Students were given an option to input the information using a remote database, however the issue with that was they couldn't go through and edit a input mistake, where if they entered in class they had access to there database through phpmyadmin.
Issues faced were: multiple entries needed to go into certain database field, this initally created a array being passed into the field, however through some research we found a implode function that dealt with this and allowed students to be able to have all data display.
Once students have entered in the data they then had to analyze it, through another php form, one to search for specific information, being able to sort data by year level. This caused students to develop an understanding of what they were required to do to search for specific information. Students in this class have a better understanding of what is required, as they had to do 48 different SELECT statements to obtain the data, where the other class in access had to do 4. With the information they found they had to display it, some have chosen to display live data and have it passed through to a graphing generator, this allows for the dynamic linking that is asked for in the assessment. Others have chosen to display the information through Excel, which has issues with the assessment, as there is no dynamic linking involved. I am guding these ones to create the php page so they get some results.

The students that have put the effort into learning at home and testing different ideas are the students who have shown excellence. They learnt jpGraph and got me to install it on the server, which has allowed then to problem solve. Using this system they have found out the difficulties of loading one graph at a time, to move to display multiple charts in one document, with the difficulties of the legend and getting it to display properly.

Year 13 students have been busy getting there Spreadsheets completed and getting onto the next piece of work, which is databases. However I have moved a group of students to do rugby picks, changing the context of what they have had to do. This has brought 5 students closer to achieving the credits,, where before they were struggling to do any work. they will be moving onto graphics next term, with the possibility of designing a number of elements to display, poster, entry form and graphics to go with each. This will require them to think outside the square, and be involved in there own learning.
Other students will have projects to work on which will allow them to do the same.
The constant issue of students being off task continues to be an issue, however weekly notes will be affected next term, as well as the opportunities of reports.

Year 11 have enjoyed the unit of web design, they are busy working through xHTML and CSS at present, however there are a couple of students who have gotten lost with the requirements and don't fully understand what it is all about. However it has been interesting in the development of other students, who have taken work home and continued to develop there learning. I hope these students look at taking the subject next year as it will mean good things as the early development and understanding show promise.

Sunday, 17 June 2012

sometimes thinking I am in the wrong

There are sometimes in which I think I am doing everything wrong, why am I using a Learning Management System when others are not, why the push for eLearning.
I am at a traditional school where the results speak for themselves, we have students doing over 120 credits at each level and seem to be getting good results.
So why change it, why introduce BYOD, eLearning, portfolios and other 21st century tools.

This is something that I am trying to come to grips with. I can see where these things fitted with my previous experience, I could see how an Learning Management System would assist in students learning and how technologies such as interactive whiteboards helped both teacher and student.

But here I am in a school that does not seem to have explored these technologies, each room has a projector and speakers, but what else...

I ran a session last week on the eLearning Framework and I must say I feel, well, as flat as a balloon. Everything seems to be about the technology and not around the pedagogy, or around blended learning.  

I hope I am wrong about these thing, but I just feel flat and that things just seem to be being dragged out far too much.

Sunday, 10 June 2012

quake 3 on a raspberrypi

Notes to get me started on how to do this

Still go to find a microUSB AC Adapter