theMolisticView

A new journey in education

Archive for the ‘DET’ tag

Fireworks for DER NSW

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Shortly before term 1 holidays, I was asked if I could come up with a presentation concept for a conference coming later in the year. I racked my brain throughout the day, trying to workout what would be the technology basis for the presentation, I went home and still couldn’t narrow down on a concept which I thought would capture both teacher’s via the conference and then their students when the took the idea back to their school’s.

The next day back at school and it was time for one of my favourite classes, Year 12 Multimedia. During the lesson I noticed one of the less motivated students, still trying to piece together her design in PhotoShop. I went asked her, ‘what is the problem, you’ve been working on this for over 10 weeks’. Her answer was not as surprising as it may read given her interest, and class attendance during the course, ‘I am not confident in making the web site from scratch with only images and no starting code’. My short answer was for her to continue in PhotoShop with her design, so it was ready for the start of term 2.

At home later that night, I was going through an external hard drive and stumbled across a folder of videos from Lynda.com [When you purchase the Adobe software, a bonus on registering your product was a months free subscription to www.lynda.com]. I saw the folder named CS4_Fireworks, and it dawned on me, ‘hey theres a video in there of exporting a web page from an image mock-up’.

I opened the folder and started filtering through the videos, soon I came across the three which were of my memories. A quick search of http://www.adobe.com/devnet/ and there was more information about using Fireworks for producing web pages.

Now I have to profess, I only use three Adobe applications regularly. They are 1. PhotoShop 2. Acrobat Pro Extended 3. Flash. I rarely use any other products from the CS suite of apps.

Soon after I was having troubles organising Blogs and Wiki’s for my other classes, at the same time there was a lot of chat on my PLN through Twitter regarding the new BlogED Blog tool. I was soon allowed to look at a live example of a BlogED. I had a quick look through the code using my browsers tools. It was a fairly simple layout, wouldn’t be to hard to reproduce in a Multimedia Stage 5 lesson.

I then thought about this a little further, and quickly came to thinking this would be an excellent idea, but instead of going the normal route of PhotoShop > Dreamweaver, use Fireworks. I got to planning a 5 week schedule and thought this would make an excellent presentation at a conference.

Then I got to thinking how would I back this up at a conference and remove the hassle that normally takes place with electronic files. Set up a Wiki.

The Wiki, fireworksfordernsw.pbworks.com was born. Over a week I made documents to back up template files I have made plus several screen casts to help new comers to Fireworks to design and publish web pages easily. Now this Wiki is not a place for me just to share templates with everyone else, it is to try and build a community around the use of Fireworks, especially on DERvices. You don’t have to sign up the Wiki is accessible to all visitors.

To my amazement Fireworks for DER NSW Wiki even shows up in Google Alerts as the image below demonstrates.

So please all join in and make this a true community!

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April 17th, 2010 at 11:36 pm

DER roll out A day at the beach

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Well it was actually day 2 of our roll out. Came across some pitfalls though.

  • First one is pre-commission as many machines as possible to speed up the process
  • Have all of year 9 change their internet passwords the day before. Un like staff students are not forced to update their passwords every 60 days. The process requires that their passwords are freshly updated.
  • Have as many tech useful staff with your TSO as is possible.

As you can understand the kids are excited and impatient. Many have already told me that their teachers don’t want to see them in class. I guess this is because they go straight back to class and get them out ready to work. A group of keen boy’s has sussed out the best hot spot for breaks under the English staff room so they can play games.

Now we know the best approach they should all go out tomorrow and line up on Monday with all the faults.

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September 17th, 2009 at 8:35 am

My frustration

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Today we ran another introduction to Moodle with only 4 people turning up. Extremely disappointing to say the least. From the lack of interest shown in Moodle and other educational digital technologies, what are the students going to make of their laptops if their teachers can not use the technology?

I find it so frustrating given that it is not the DET holding things up it’s the teachers yet they complain that the DET has not prepared them. So many people have sat on their hands and watched the last 20 years go by. How can anyone say they do not use email today? Email is almost 40 years old, have they used the older Fax  variant?(nearly 50 years old) My other frustration is that they have been in-serviced to the hill on how to use technology in the classroom yet so many continue to write it on a board or have it copied from a text book. Personally I only started using computers and associated technologies on starting University in 2003 (I have only been teaching since 05). No one gave me a paid in-service I had to teach myself and still do. Its about here I could go on a tangent about the pay scale, what a laugh that is.

I think I’m going to stop this rant here, because I know I am going to insult some one and thats not my intention.

The laptops started rolling out today. You should have seen the lucky kid’s at lunch laptop in hand, smiles from ear to ear keen to get to work. Only problem is their teachers are living in the 80’s.

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September 16th, 2009 at 8:48 am

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DER in-service

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You just got to love that name, someone is laughing hard somewhere.

I went to a regional DER in-service on Thursday. My main interest at the in-service was the DET blogging tool. Unfortunately there was only 6 of us interested so that was not run instead we got to see some screen shots. It looks quiet bland and unexciting from the screenshots. Not sure what the kids will make of it.

In association with the blogging tool, there was a lot of talk about centralising every thing. Even Moodle. The reason given was to assist all of us teachers and stop us  from reinventing the wheel. I’m all for stopping the wheel but I am not a big fan of centralisation. I am big on individuality.

Having kept a watchful eye on Curriculum support, TALe and CLI there was not much to take away for me on these presentations. The DER regional presentation seemed to me to be a lot of smoke and mirrors given the problems we have had at my school with the whole wireless and TSO.

The ITD presentation was aimed at computer coordinators who were few in number. The main thing I took away from this was that the Adobe and the new 2007 Office suites are now available for all schools to load on their T4L machines. The only hitch is how old your machines are as to which Adobe package you can run (there are three to choose from). I thought the whole T4L was dead as of this year but as I learnt it is only the software associated with T4L that has gone. So if your school has T4L machines which are nearing the end of their warranty it is time to replace them. The new T4L lenovo’s though will not come with the new software. The new software for the new machines will be available this time next year. The ITD also mentioned new costs associated with upgrading the interactive classroom technology (phone, remote controls etc.), it will cost each school $1,500 to upgrade but if you purchase a new room setup the cost is not different to before?? go figure.

There was an Adobe presentation as well, lots of oooo’s and arrrrh’s with all the toys on display. These guy’s know how to make it all look so easy.

After lunch there were four in-services, Adobe Acrobat Pro, Premiere Elements, Microsoft Office 2007 and Smart board training for beginners. I got switched to the office one which was a bummer, it hasn’t changed that much. At the end I asked the regional head if they were going to offer any high end Adobe training, the response shocked me a little when he said ‘can you put something together’.

So hopefully in the near future I will get to the blogging in-service and see what is coming.

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August 28th, 2009 at 11:57 am

News from the intranet

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Today[Friday 7th] I decided with my little free time to stumble over to the DER page on the intranet page and see if there was anything new going on. The August bulletin had just been released with new information to fill in some of the blanks and questions some of us had with the introduction of the laptops (which we should be calling netbooks, but anyway).

  • Files on the cloud. Every student and teacher will have access to MyLocker which will have a capacity of … wait for it 2 GB. Seriously folks are they kidding, 2GB is not enough for online secure storage. A WordPress.com blog has 3GB. With students and teachers using captivate, flash, producing video content,  2 gig will disappear fast. A cheaper option (believing that cost can be the only valid reason behind the size), would be to supply sizable external hard drives. It is a start though.
  • Information packs for Year 9 parents will be distributed to schools from the 21st of August. The pack includes a magazine for parents, the laptop user charter and a welcoming letter from Julia Gillard. Schools receive additional resources for parent information sessions.
  • Printing services will be established at each school. This will be a big job for each schools individual TSO.

Teacher laptops and internet access

This were big brother comes in, while filtering is disabled at home for teachers (student machines at this point are filtered), all internet activity will be logged on teacher laptops and can be queried at a later date and teachers will be held accountable against the code of conduct and employer communication devices staff use policy.

So not long now till the mayhem begins 🙂

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August 8th, 2009 at 6:15 am