Saturday, September 13, 2008

Buzy - zzzzzZZZZZZzzzzz

Why am I so busy? None of my classes are new this year. (Yes I am trying new things but the content and curriculum stays similar.) I have more preps than I did last year - (No preps at all first term last year). I even have one period set aside for tech. Why am I always so rushed?

At home time spent with my son is SPENT with my son. It is actually about the calmest part of my day because I try not to let other distractions creep in. It's all playtime! At home I have even cut wwwwaaaaayyyy back on the amount of TV I watch. I only really watch TV now while working on something else. I don't do any gaming any more either (no X-box, no Wii, no Playstation, and no gaming capeable laptop). Ok I tried to sneak back into World of Warcraft but I very, very quickly got bored.

So where does my time go? More importantly - am I more productive? I don't think so. Definately not at school. At home? Ya probably. Despite what my wife thinks I am getting projects done at home - at the cost of sleep. Maybe that is why I feel so busy. In fact maybe I should go to sleep instead of writing any more blog posts.

P.S. I have to thank the decision making part of the Technology Department for streamlining procedures and making them simpler - especially with respect to logins.

Oh Yeah - thanks to Daniel Morris for the Creative Commons picture.

Monday, September 8, 2008

The Poor Man's IWB in Action

Another update on the tool that jealosy built. I am using it daily and loving it. I used to use a chalkboard all of the time. (I tend to think best with a writing/drawing instrument in my hand). Now I am only on my second peice of chalk. I am constantly changing pen colors (especially in math). In fact I use it exclusively for my math notes. I am getting better and better at writing legibly.
Today one of my previous math students came looking for some his past reviews (which I am not sure I still had). I remembered that I had tested out my IWB on that subject last year with them - luckily I had saved the notes. A quick hit of the print button and he had a set of review notes.
I have not yet figured out how to fix the audio on my recordings (but I have not had a lot of time to monkey with it).
Good news however - I found a new program for running the IWB. I still use the genuine notebook software but this new program has a lot more functionality than the original software by Johnny Chung Lee. It builds on what he wrote and adds lots more. It also includes some WiiMote presenter software (that uses a second WiiMote as a remote handheld mouse and presenter remote). There's more!! I can now RIGHT CLICK!! The new program uses the space outside of the screen to add clickable hotkeys (one of them being a right click). The improved program also has some cursor smoothing as well. The smoothing helps my writing. Were was smoothing back in the primary grades?
Anyways, I was right about one thing. Putting together my poor man's IWB means that I will probably never get a real one. Looks like our school is getting two SmartBoards. Neither is going into my classroom. Rats. Still jealous.........