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Supertanker on auto-pilot July 24, 2009

Posted by davidit in e-learning.
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dakinane.com/blog

Yesterday I had to tell the crew of the supertanker that their pilot was swapping ships.  I have been offered an e-learning factilitators role at Team Solutions here in Auckland and have accepted it.  I am very excited and nervous in equal measure about this move, who knows what the future will bring?  What I do know is that there are many more supertankers out there that need turning and this move gives me the opportunity to pilot many more.  In the first instance the work with Team Solutions is only until the end of the year and what lies beyond that is a mystery, but it is time to take a leap of faith!  Anyone who feels that their particular supertanker is drifting in the wrong direction and needs some additional help, you know where I am!

Having said that, I have created my own new blog at the following address and I guess that for the time being I will be running two blogs, but as I leave the supertanker then this particular blog and my loyal readers will need to migrate to the new blog.  You can check it out at the following address:  http://www.dakinane.com/blog those of you who are observant will note that address made it onto my blog roll a few months ago….

“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!

New Year, New Momentum February 7, 2008

Posted by davidit in Uncategorized.
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The summer is far from over, but the shore leave has ended, the crew are back on board and the supertanker is sailing again.  Conditions on board are hot and the incessant throb we hear is not  emanating from the engines, rather it is our brains  getting back into gear once again!

I have resisted posting throughout the summer, the lure of inducing melanoma was stronger than the desire to irradiate myself in front of my monitor!  Either way the doctors win!  Refreshed, revitalised and raring to go 2008 starts.

So what does 2008 hold in store for the crew on the supertanker?   As ever my brain fizzes with ideas, plans and experimentation.  2008 marks the start of our cluster and as one of the facilitators it promises to be a learning and workload roller coaster that I am really looking forward to.  Pam Hook is one of our facilitators too and has just posted this post that wrestles with some of the sustainability issues that we in our cluster will have to grapple with in the coming years.  I am still cogitating over what Pam says to make any comment either here or on her blog, suffice it to say that you should all read it too.

Some of the projects, ideas and experimentation that I wish to dive headlong into this year are:

  • Developing a TV studio on the cheap
  • Facilitate the ICT skills integration/learning for our cluster SustainED Maungarei Kaitiakitanga
  • Enhance ICTtv as a resource for teachers and students – let me know if you have any requests
  • Stream  live footage of the flora and fauna of our gully
  • Presenting at conferences – this will be a new departure for me, one that I have wanted to do for a long time, but have never found the ‘in.’  I will be breaking my duck at the learning@school conference in Rotorua later this month.  I am presenting at breakout 3.  So come along if you are interested in setting up a blog for your class.  Trouble is if you are a blogger, you are already doing this… I could be preaching to the converted, or an empty room!
  • Further enhancing my collaboration with Helen Hardie at Woodford Junior Schools in Plymouth.  Our blog and our collaborative community of learners has been well received by OfStEd in the UK.
  • Helen and I have put a proposal together present our work at a conference, but have yet to hear if we have been successful, I will know March 9th
  • Continue to route out all those really cool web2.0 utilities that are out there and integrate them into blogs and classroom pedagogy
  • Continue to champion the cause of open source software – Did you know that for $9.95 Dick Smith Electronics are now selling DVDs of all the variants of the Linux operating system for all the variants of legacy and new machines that you have.  Imagine that, licensing your school for a tenner?  I have my pet theories about learning, ICT and the Internet (to be discussed later)

I had better stop there, this is starting to look like a list of targets…  Needless to say there will be more ideas that occur to me throughout the year and indeed I have pointed out to me.

2oo8?  Bring it on!

Where will the supertanker be heading by December?  Predictions anyone?