Friday, June 15, 2007

The new computers are set up (well almost)

Today was the first day that I was able to let students use the 6 new computers. They're not completely set up yet as not all of the software that I've gotten used to and is available on the other computers in the class has been loaded yet, but the basic programs are up and running and the Internet connections have been established. Tom Saeedi, our technical support person spent several hours making sure everything was working and will probably be spending many more hours to completely configure the computers the way I want. We're also trying out something new for the computers in my classroom. All of the new units are being protected with Deep Freeze; software that completely erases anything new that is saved to the computers at the end of every day. The idea is to maintain the integrity of the existing software and save downtime or technician or teacher time when students accidentally or purposefully alter basic software or coding. One new folder is created where students can save documents that is not erased, but it's isolated from the important areas of the computer so no damage or permanent alteration to the system can result. I have to train all the students in the new procedure for saving documents and I also have to get used to it myself! Eventually, the software will be loaded on all of the remaining computers as well.

I introduced one of my favorite projects today. One Word Poems! I learned about this project at the CUE conference in Pasadena earlier this year from presenter and consultant Tammy Worcester . I highly recommend her presentations for anyone interested in learning new projects that students can do using PowerPoint. She also presents and has written books about using other programs as well, but I've only attended the PowerPoint presentation to date. I learned several great ideas, but in fact, the One Word Poem project was worth the entire conference for me. It's been a big hit with my students.

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