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“Warp factor 5 Mr Sulu!” January 30, 2009

Posted by davidit in Uncategorized.
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Warp Speed

Warp Speed

Monday sees the start of a new year, a new term and most importantly a new era on the Supertanker.  2009 will be a very exciting year for me, the crew of the Supertanker and most importantly for the students.

The latter half of term four last year saw me project managing  a huge infrastructure change on the Supertanker.   Two huge new switch cabinets were installed on either side of the gully, with four additional pairs of fibre cables connecting both sides of the site terminated in these cabinets.  Three new servers with massive storage capacity were installed, we now have terrabyte drives with RAID 1 swapout drive bays.  Cabling between core switches was rationalised into one of the new cabinets housed in a new purpose designed and air conditioned server room.  Every server has its own UPS and all the core switches are now on a UPS.  The new three phase power supply to this room has different hardware on different phases.  All of this infrastructure was put in place and cut over to without the staff or students even noticing that it had happened, to the extent that many of the crew do not know that I have already moved into this new bespoke server room or even where it is! (Long may that last!)

In addition to this we also purchased a raft of new equipment for the classrooms.  Every classroom is now cabled to Ministry standards with 6-8 data outlets and has a Smart Board and data projector in it.  In addition every classroom has the same kind of computer with identical specifications.  What we finally have is a level playing field.

For two long we have struggled with old tools, broken tools and oases of newness.  This led to ‘grass is greener inertia’ from both crew and students alike.  With a level playing field we have created an environment of collegiality and homogeneity.  Today I gave my first introductory whole crew lesson with Smart Notebook 10.  I have held back on introducing this product so that today we all installed this new product and the new version is sufficiently different looking to even fox those that have been using Smart Notebook 9.5, it was a great leveller.  Today I have seen staff all helping each other to get their boards and the software up and running for Monday.

I have been working with many of the crew who have been energised by the potential that they see for increasing student outcomes in utilising the tools now available to them.  The ideas being discussed and possibilities to extend them have futher motivated the staff.  Good teachers need good tools, the Supertanker now has both.  Maybe what the new tools have given them is a sense of reliablity from that new plastic smell!  It is as if the latent potential for innovation and integration of ICTs into their pedagogy has burst forth.  By the end of today the one member of the crew who I least expected to make significant inroads quickly had produced an interactive registration document for her students to use on Monday when they arrive.  To continue the Star Trek theme, may this initiative and others like it  live long and prosper on the Supertanker.

Come on 2009 the Supertanker is primed and ready to sail!



1. AllanahK - January 31, 2009

Beam me up Scotty.

Sounds great. Full steam ahead.

2. Helen Hardie - February 1, 2009

Wow – what a great prospect for the Supertanker this year. Let’s hope we are on board for some joint projects soon!

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