theMolisticView

A new journey in education

Archive for the ‘file sharing’ tag

Chaplain’s versus Laptops

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The Digital Education Revolution is dead; its death will take place sometime in December 2011 when Kevin Rudd’s original promise is reached and all that will be left is 20 million dollars of support for infrastructure for a two year period. At the same budget reading we heard about a nation wide drive for Chaplains in schools. Where did we as educators go wrong? I have strong memories from 1985 at high school of scripture class as it was called at the time and the issues that caused for those students who did or did not attend. Why is it back and Federal supported and funded at what blatantly appears to be at the cost of future proofing the nation and my retirement?

The death of the revolution will hurt me and teachers who, like me teach Computer Science based subjects. We teach the students how to use the trucks (thanks to Steve Jobs for that gem) that drive the worlds computing. The revolution in NSW brought equity to schools and their students. In NSW the revolution saved me from having to win a fight with my English faculty over spending $20,000 on the full Adobe Creative Suite which I was never going to win. It provided my students with a computer that was not restrained by what is now a 10 year old operating system which is XP, which by the way still has a massive strangle hold on my region which I cannot explain when other regions in NSW already are running the same hardware on Windows 7 and they could take them home and continue to work and learn through complex problems. What makes it even more painful is that this years cohort where the most excited since the revolution began and realised from the start of the limitations of their new learning tool.

These fore mentioned trucks (destop PC’s) have continued funding under T4L and wont be disappearing anytime soon, the only question mark over the T4L is the extra software contracts NSW picked up as part of the revolution and what is their expiry date.

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Windows 8 is coming in November and we still have XP

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I have been watching the Windows Weekly podcast for nearly 2 years on both generations of Apple Tv. Paul Thurrott and Leo Laporte do an excellent job explaining the news from Microsoft.

On his site and to a degree in this weeks podcast Paul delves into the soon to be released Windows 8 OS. As a prominent Microsoft enthusiast and a journalist Paul is given early access to future releases of Microsoft products. Windows 8 is the latest Microsoft system of which he has access. As can be seen in a post yesterday on The Windows Supersite Windows 8 is very close to a public Beta release with some interesting new features including the “ribbon everywhere”.

This leads to the title of my post, we have to be one of Microsofts largest partners in the Asia-Pacific region if not the world. Our DER laptops had the first official release of Windows 7. Why are we still on XP in the classroom and 2003 for our local server technology?

My place of work is about to install a new Windows server which will be remotely managed. Problem is it will only be Server 2003 which will not support Windows 7 and beyond. Windows XP is over 10 years old! how can that still be in place? Many of the new Microsoft products from Office to Visual Studio and IE 9 are not supported fully or at all on XP, why do we still have it when we have such a partner in Microsoft?

Next year looks like the students will have Windows 8 on their laptops and we as teachers will still have XP in our computer rooms.

If your situation is different to mine I would like to hear about it.

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April 3rd, 2011 at 1:21 am

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

So this cloud computing thing……

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You may be asking why is this guy going on so about cloud computing.

To start how many times has this happened in your class,

  • I can’t open my USB Sir/Miss.
  • I thought I saved it!
  • My directory ifs full.
  • The computer say’s I’m not connected to the network!

More times than anybody likes to admit right.

Admittedly with students from Year 9 this year and on for at least three years (the federal money runs out), will not have these excuses because their netbook has 100GB of disk space and goes where ever they take it.

But what happens when the netbook die’s for what ever reason and their work is lost forever? It can not be retrieved, it has vanished like the money on wall street over the past 18 months. As everyone who owns a computer knows, you can not back up your files enough. Be it locally, on a variety of external devices and now on a variety of file sharing sites (the cloud).

Don’t get me wrong what the department has done and is doing is great, the new MyLocker (see my previous post), will be a great benefit for those who have small files. But what about the students like the ones I teach. I teach industrial technology multimedia and many of my students also study visual arts subjects which also require large files. The smarter ones will save their Photoshop, Flash, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, video files and more right through until they have finished year 12 because they know they may need them for HSC. Then they also need to save similar files of similar size for their visual arts subjects as well. If they can not afford the external hardware, where are they to back up their work for future use?

May be one file sharing service is not the answer, as Darcy Moore alluded to  in his post on Google docs (see Darcy’s post here). The only problem is that Google docs is only currently available for staff. Wouldn’t this be a great asset for teachers and students to share without the bounds of the portal? YouTube was recently made available though again only for staff. If you want for your students to interact with a particular video you have found, they have to wait till they get home and use the family computer (YouTube will be blocked on the netbooks). Of course the department says you can add your screen casts to ITunes. But I am not a fan of reinventing the wheel if it is easily available else where without breaking copyright laws through illegal downloads and re-distribution.

Another opportunity which is not cloud related is that of blog’s, for teacher, students and parents. Currently teachers have access to edublog’s and WordPress as do years 11 -12.  But what about the students who will benefit from blog’s and there own PLN’s in this years netbook roll out and the  year 8 cohort near Christmas. Personally I am looking into including WordPressMu as part of my schools website so teachers and students can interact with each other’s blog’s while at school (portal issue’s again), and they can share with their parents later. Darcy Moore had an interesting discussion on the purpose of school web site last week (see Darcy’s post here).

Well thats what I think. What about you guy’s?

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August 8th, 2009 at 9:35 am

Basic Flash tutorials

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I recently completed some adobe flash based tutorials which I am using this year with my year 11 class. I have uploaded these to my Media fire account where they are available to all. They are not all of my own doing, just borrowed ideas from various sources. Feel free to use them, change them etc. If you do change them I would like to see what it is that you did. If your from my neck of woods make ensure that you don’t just use them as is (there will be many students who know of the tutorials).

Cheers

If you have stumbled onto this post a word of warning, Media fire lost my files and I no longer use their service [31/10/2010].

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August 4th, 2009 at 8:10 am