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Showing posts from October, 2009

Sharing of resources...

A friend of mine (@dougpete) recently blogged how we learn from each through twitter, and how that learning can propagate to others through our desire to share.

When I started teaching I hadn't yet been to teachers college, and knew nothing about the creation of courses of study or lesson planning. I went to the senior colleague in the department who was teaching the same subject and asked if I could see a course outline or an old exam as a reference. I'll never forget his response, which largely shaped my attitude of letting others have access to everything I create for teaching. He stated, "I had to create my resources on my own; you'll have to do the same."  I was, understandably, shocked at his response, but learned that that attitude was pretty common amongst teachers at that time.

I don't know if he still alive, but if he's not, he'd be turning in his grave if he knew about how we all generously share resources via tools like web sites, email lis…

3D Studio Max Workshop at BDSS (November 3)

For any students or teachers in DSBN interested in attending the 3D Studio MAX workshop at Beamsville District Secondary School on Nov 3, please fill in this form: 
http://bit.ly/1Ly4Iu
This session will be an introduction to the program and will include some of the most critical concepts needed to be successful in the technological skills challenges. The presenter will be from Studica Ltd.

Henry's Photographic, Video & Digital Imaging Show

...or as I refer to call it: Henry's Photography Show. It's happening this weekend, from Friday to Sunday at the International Center in Toronto.
I usually like to drop by the Henry's show at least once a year to try out some of the latest cameras or lenses, or get some deals on accessories like camera bags or cleaning kits. For anyone that is into photography, I'd recommend you also attend, even if you don't decide to buy anything.
This year it's the Nikon D3S I'd like to drool over, but at $6500 in Canada, I think it will have to wait until I win the lottery. (It's $5200 in the states -- what a ripoff in Canada!)
Here is the website for the event:
http://www.henrys.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/PageDisplay?dest=show/toronto_show.jsp&storeId=10001
And just to make the decision about going easier for you, here is a coupon for free admission:
http://www.henrys.com/show/to_show/TorontoShow_Oct09_eticket.pdf

What is a UPS?

A UPS is an uninterruptable power supply, which is basically used to power your computer for a short time any time the power to the computer is interrupted, like in a storm or during a brownout. It can save your hard drive from becoming damaged and possibly losing data.
I consider UPSes just as important as the other components in my computer system, and never run my computers at home without them.
The reason I'm mentioning this now is because Dell has one on sale for $60 (regular $90) that I use at home. The way I look at it, $60 is cheap insurance. This is a one day sale only, and is available here:
http://accessories.dell.com/sna/products/Server_Network/productdetail.aspx?c=ca&l=en&s=dhs&cs=cadhs1&sku=A1833724

Laptops or Desktop Computers for Your School?

Many years ago when I was the computer site manager at my old school, I was called into the principal's office to give my opinion about buying a class-set of laptops. I think my response surprised him, because I explained that, while laptops were wonderful because they were portable and "could be brought to the learning" (like to a science lab), they were four times as expensive as buying desktop computers.

My logic, which I still stand behind, was that the laptops cost twice as much as conventional desktops (Dell Latitudes, in that case) and only have half the life due to their quick deterioration from the abuse they take.  They should only be purchased if there is a very clear need and a commitment from the teachers to their use.

The principal bought the laptops after all. They were used, on average, only one to two periods per day (out of four), until they were permanently locked down after a year in a conventional computer lab where they lived out the remainder of the…