Sunday, January 08, 2006

Struggling just to stay even

The new year has started off with a bang - of one tech hurdle after another. At a time when I'd really like to be discovering and trying out new things in my classroom and professionally, I find myself barely hanging in there. Here are a few of the hurdles:

  • the school district started blocking the school ptsa blog (which I set up), as they now have a global block of anything at - took some time to get this ironed out, and I still have to ask if they can allow the rss feed - which is not showing up on the school web site.
  • one of my kids deleted the writing directories of two kids in my classroom (four months worth of saved docs) from our school server - and there is no backup, no way to retrieve the files - this just amazes me! So I find myself burning a cd every week of my kids' work - because there is still no answer to protecting files from students deleting them, and no recovery or backup plan in place - aaargh!
  • my kids continue to do well with their blogs, but the website hosting the blog has undergone some significant changes - actually, it happened just as I was doing a lesson about their blogs on the classroom projector - boy, was that lesson shot to heck! The new site has some definite pluses, and a couple of minuses that I'm trying to html my way around - but this all comes at a time when blogging teachers are backpedaling over the paranoia around student bloggers, lawsuits, etc. I did find time to post a note on a list expressing my frustration: hang on to the baby I will need to devote some more class time teaching my kids how to use the new web site.
  • the computers at my school are being shut down again at night - this is a very long story, going back over a year, involving dozens of hours of work on my own time to get my school exempt from this district policy. No word on this happening - it just started this week. I'm trying to track down what is happening, but this will take more time for sure.
  • we still do not have a U-Wired tech support person at our school, which means classroom computers are in disarray, underused (many are not even plugged in), and I am keeping the lab running, but just barely. No surprise that this year is the lowest for computer use by teachers that I have seen in the last five years at my school. I'm sure the mandated writing curriculum with no tech component is also playing a large part in this, also.

There are good things happening, of course, but I've gotten myself into a pretty good funk here, so I'll write about the good stuff later. I just wanted to document some of the things happening... Thank goodness for the kids!

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