Moving from a desktop to a TabletPC

12/20/07


Today I'm moving from my desktop to my tabletPC. I've had the tablet for about four months now but had not yet made the full conversion. Just copying over my files is taking forever, then I have to re-do all the installations of the programs I need. THis is a bit of a headache, but a great thing to do the day before x-mas break when you don't want to do real work anyway.


Powered by ScribeFire.

Let the e-rate madness begin

12/19/07

Our annual e-rate madness has begun. The 470 is posted and certified, the RFPs are posted and on our district's website and bids are due January 10th. Oh what fun!

Resources and Materials from 2007 VSS

12/6/07

Resources and Materials from 2007 VSS

Here is a listing of the materials from the VSS 2007 conference that presenters made available.

I particularly liked the presentations by:


  • Glen Moses
  • Allison Powell
  • John Watson
  • Susan Lowes
  • Cathy Cavanaugh


Did you know 2.0

11/20/07

Today, while I was waiting for a return phone call regarding my SIS system, I started to catch up on unread blog posts and del.icio.us bookmarks I hadn't looked at in a while. After meeting Glen Moses at VSS2007 a few weeks ago I've been reading his highly insightful and entertaining blog.

In one post of his I stumbled on this video. Just something to get my mind a working...

Painted Pony, Inc. releases the fourth children's book in the Wind River Series

11/14/07

The author, John Washakie, works here in our school library. He is a very talented writer. I suggest everyone read these books published by Painted Pony by John and other local authors.

Painted Pony, Inc. releases the fourth children's book in the Wind River Series
FORT WASHAKIE, WY - Painted Pony, Inc., a Wind River Indian Reservation-based company, has published a new children's book, Yuse & the Spirit, by Shoshone tribal member John Washakie. This is the fourth book in the Wind River Series, which are all traditional, Native American stories told by Shoshone and Arapaho tribal members.

"Traditional tales such as Yuse by John Washakie are an important part of our state's rich cultural heritage," says Governor Dave Freudenthal. "This story of a young Shoshone boy who is coming of age can be read and appreciated by children of any age."

The book series have been produced in partnership with the Wyoming Department of Education to be distributed to all Wyoming elementary schools for fourth grade reading classes.
Yuse & the Spirit is about a Shoshone boy who is coming of age. He takes an amazing journey and learns the value of adhering to the teaching and customs of his tribe. The story is written at an elementary grade reading level. With its detailed watercolor pictures and rich cultural lessons, it is sure to engage children of all ages.

Painted Pony, Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Wind River Development Fund, a non-profit community development financial institution on the Reservation. All profits from Painted Pony go back to its parent company to help fund its non-profit activities of developing a private sector economy on the Wind River Indian Reservation in Fremont County, Wyoming.
For more information on Painted Pony, Inc. or to purchase the books, please visit the company's website at www.paintedponyinc.com or call (307) 335-7330.

Women Lose Ground in IT, Computer Science : November 2007 : THE Journal

Women Lose Ground in IT, Computer Science : November 2007 : THE Journal

I have seen similar reports in recent months and am wondering what we can do in our little school to help reverse this trend.

VSS Recap

11/9/07

This year was the first year I went to VSS and it was a very good conference. I recommend it to anyone involved with K12 online learning. This conference is hosted by NACOL and was held in Louisville, KY. The conference facilities were great except the hotel's internet connection was slow and spotty.

All of the sessions I attended were very informative except one. But even during that particular session I ended up with a contact for an online program that serves NA students in Canada.

eCollege threw a great party one evening. (I know you guys are reading this...great party!)

I think the Western NACOL committee will start contribute a lot of great things to the organization. We have a lot of unique situations in the west.



I went to a presentation about social networking that was the best of the entire conference. It was given by a group of teachers from Odyssey Charter HS. Their presentation was very informative and helpful. Since I've figured out MySpace, I now feel the pressure to Facebook and Ning. This is the Wiki they put up to use during the presentation. It is chuck full of info. Very good!!


That is all for now. I'll post more as I go through my notes from the conference.

There's no place like 127.0.0.1

10/8/07



ThinkGeek :: There's no place like 127.0.0.1 Babydoll

Ha Ha--I"m ordering this right now!

eSchool News online - $3M grant to aid online teacher education

9/5/07

eSchool News online - $3M grant to aid online teacher education

Yet another reason WGU rocks! I have nothing but positive things to say about WGU.

GhostCasting to a laptop that booted from a USB Drive

9/4/07

We use Ghost a lot here on our campus. We aren't big enough to warrant the entire Symantec Ghost implementation, but we do use the multi-casting or ghost-casting capabilities all the time.

This is the basic process that you follow for a typical implementation:


  1. Build a computer exactly the way you want it

  2. Using the boot wizard utility, create a set of network boot disks (floppies)
    that will work for the network card in the machine

  3. Start the Ghostcasting session

    1. name the session

    2. select that you are creating an image

    3. name the image

    4. accept clients



  4. Boot the client machine using the boot disks you created in step 2

  5. Select "multicasting" from the menu

  6. Type in the session name and start creating the image

To copy an image onto another machine (hardware must be identical) you do everything the same, but in the GhostCast server, you restore the image and you can connect many more clients (as many as your switch will handle)




But what if your machines, (in my case TabletPCs) don't have floppy drives? How do you boot to the program and get the NIC drivers loaded?

After much searching on the Internet and trial and error, this is what I figured
out. I'm going to outline my steps, then go into great detail on each one.

Outline:

  1. Make a USB drive DOS bootable

  2. Get the correct network drivers (must be DOS) to load

  3. Get Ghost to run after the drivers load

  4. Connect to the multi-cast session and then proceed as usual

Step 1 Details

Download and install the utility "HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool" I got it from here: http://files.filefront.com/HPUSBFWEXE/;7241778;/fileinfo.html

Get the directions on how to use it here: http://www.netbootdisk.com/usb_netbootdisk_berrytencaat.doc

Follow these directions to the T. You will need to create a MS-DOS boot disk, then use that boot disk w/ the program to format your USB drive. The word document gives step by step directions w/ screen shoots, so I won't re-create them here. Just follow the directions.

Step 2 Details:

Find and download the DOS drivers for your particular network card. This can be a real pain. I usually have more luck going to the card manufacture's website
than the maker of the computer/laptop. Make sure you get the NDIS2 drivers.
If they provide a oemsetup.ini file you are set. If not, you may have to make
some manual edits later.

Get those drivers to your Ghost server and start the Ghost Boot Wizard program.
Create a new template (if your drivers aren't on there--most likely they aren't)and follow the directions. If you have the oemsetup.ini file, just navigate to it and it will put in all the correct parameters. Proceed to create the template and then create the two disk floppy set. You need both of these disks because you are going to copy them onto your newly created bootable USB drive.

Copy all of the contents of both disks onto your USB drive. DO NOT replace the existing files that are on the USB drive with the files from the floppy. This will make the USB not bootable which defeats the whole purpose. \

Now you have to edit two files so the computer doesn't think it is booting from a two disk floppy set.

First, edit the config.sys file so it looks like this:





[menu]



[COMMON]

DEVICE=\net\protman.dos /I:\net

DEVICE=\net\dis_pkt.dos

DEVICE=\net\e1000.dos

LASTDRIVE = Z


Your driver details will be somewhat different. This is for a Intel Pro1000 card. But delete out all that extra crap about booting from floppies or cds, and all that other nonsense. SAVE THE FILE

Now you need edit (right click and pick edit) the Autoexec.bat file so it looks like this and SAVE THE FILE:





@echo off

SET TZ=GHO+07:00

prompt $p$g

\net\netbind.com

MOUSE.COM

cd \ghost


GHOST.EXE

goto END


:FAILED

echo Unknown boot menu selection

goto END


:END


Now take your USB drive to your machine and boot to the drive. You may need to fiddle with the boot sequence in your bios.

If the driver fails to load, take note of the error message because it will point you in the direction you need to investigate. When I created my first one, I didn't have the devicename correct (see line 5 of the config.sys file) because I didn't have the oemsetup.ini file when I created the boot disk in the Ghost boot disk wizard.

Step 3 Details

If you edited the autoexec.bat and the config.sys files correctly, your machine should boot from the USB drive, load the NIC drivers, then launch ghost.exe. If your drivers do not load correctly, ghost.exe will still load, but you will not have the multicasting options, they will be grayed out.

Step 4 Details

If you can get an IP address (either via DHCP or manually configured when you created the boot floppies) and connect to your session, you are golden! Happy ghosting.

Note:

This is worth taking the time to figure out. Once you do it once, it is easy to replicate on a bunch of USB drives and you will cut down your load time on any machine because you don't have to change the floppies before the program loads. I created a master USB drive for each machine. Then I just have a bank of other USB drives that I just delete all the stuff off and copy the master to. I don't have to reformat the drive using the utility (see Step 1), every
time. I just copy everything over from the master to the individual drives in the bank. What I'm trying to say, is you don't have to have a complete set of USB drives for each NIC you have. You can just create a master copy on one and reuse 10 or 20 USB drives by just copying the files from the master.

Thanks to the following web sites for helping me figure this out:

http://del.icio.us/katejlogan/usbghost

The Lazy Student's Guide to Campus Life : Robin Raskin : Yahoo! Tech

8/27/07

The Lazy Student's Guide to Campus Life : Robin Raskin : Yahoo! Tech

Does it really matter? If the students are learning the material, what is the difference. This type of story drives me crazy. All it does is create some shock value for page rankings. It isn't even a written article, but really a list of caveats from different colleges grouped together.

Online U Research: Popularity of Online Universities Rising

8/7/07

Online U Research: Popularity of Online Universities Rising:

"Half of a group of prospective college students who said they would be interested in taking an online course in the next 12 months also said they would like to enroll in a completely online degree program, according to a recent survey conducted by the American InterContinental University Online."

Paul McCloskey, "Online U Research: Popularity of Online Universities Rising," Campus Technology, 7/31/2007, http://www.campustechnology.com/article.aspx?aid=49406

K12 Online Conference 2007 Presenters

8/6/07

K12 Online Conference 2007: "Announcing K12 Online 2007 Presenters"

Heads Up: here is the list of the presenters for the 2007 K12 Online Conference. I was a presenter last year and felt way out of my league. If this year's conference is anything like last year's, then it will be chuck full of great presentations. The conference is held over two weeks (Oct 15-19 and Oct 22-26) online. You can watch the presentations whenever you like. There are also Skype calls set up at particular times for synchronous attendance. The keynotes look awesome.

Be sure to check it out.

Impatica Software

8/1/07

Download Impatica Software

I use this software to convert narrated PowerPoints into a small java and HTML file that can be uploaded into eCollege. I find this to be much cleaner that just uploading a straight PPt into eCollege. It is the only way I can get narration and screen transition timings into eCollege as well.

They have specific directions on how to get the Impaticized PPt into different CMSs here

flickrCC--find creative commons photos

7/31/07

flickrCC

I found this great website that searches flickr for photos with a creative commons license and lets you search by tag and gives you an easy way to attribute the photo.

This is absolutely perfect for course designers (like me) who are always looking for interesting photos to put in their classes.

I got this site from this blog post on EduBlog Insights

Wyoming required all juniors to take ACT or WorkKeys test

7/18/07

WyomingSpringACT_ppt.pdf (application/pdf Object)

The Wyoming Dept. of Education is now requiring that all HS juniors (11th grade) take either the ACT or Work Keys test. All testing sites have to be pre-approved by ACT We will have to go through the approval process in order to proctor and administer the test.

So now all of our juniors have to take the Wyoming PAWS test, the MAP test (fall and spring) and now the ACT or Work Keys. When do these kids have time to actually study their classes when all they do is take tests and prep for tests? This is insane.

Results From the Rural Systemic Initiatives for Improving Math and Science Education

7/6/07

rsi_Report_0706.pdf (application/pdf Object)

This is a newly released report that documents the successes of the various RSI programs across the US. I worked for this program at FCSD #21 for three years and it was one the best things I have ever done.

See page 35 for information specific to the Wind River RSI.

Personal Note--I just graduated!

6/28/07

I just graduated with a Master's of Art in Learning and Technology from Western Governor's University! I am so excited.

WeAVE offers Hathaway eligible courses

6/19/07

Wyoming e-academy of Virtual Education | Hathaway Scholarship

WeAVE offers over 30 courses that are eligible for the Hathaway Scholarship. This is a great opportunity for all Wyoming high school students who may not have access to higher level courses in their home high school.

Guide to Teaching Online Courses

6/14/07

onlineteachguide.pdf (application/pdf Object)

Here is another report that I found on NACOL. This one is written by the NEA.

National Primer for Online K12 Learning

national_report.pdf (application/pdf Object)

Here is another great resource from NACOL. If you haven't checked them out yet, you need to. These guys have a ton of useful information. Our school finally joined them, so now I have access to the forums.

Happy reading.

Highschool.com | Edutopia

6/5/07

Highschool.com | Edutopia


This is a great article, presentation, and video that does a really good job of explaining online education specifically in a K12 environment. While the technology is similar between K12 and higher ed, many of the issues, challenges, funding sources, and various requirements are drastically different between the two worlds.

For someone new to online learning in K12, this is a great place to start for information.

Hybrid Learning: Challenges for Teachers : May 2007 : THE Journal

Hybrid Learning: Challenges for Teachers : May 2007 : THE Journal: "The main problem here is that the instructional design has not changed because the actual online methodology has not been understood. In professional development for teachers, more time should be spent on methodology training than on technology training. Usually, the reverse is true, and teachers can know how the technology works but remain confused about what the benefits are to instruction or why the change is necessary in the first place."




I totally agree w/ this author's point of view. The technology is the easy part of online and/or hybrid learning systems. There are real geeky people out there that just lap up all the technical issues (myself included). What techies don't have, is a good knowledge and experience in teaching methodology. Techies don't understand pedagogy and all the other educational -ologies. It is important for teachers to have a say in how a hybrid course functions from an educational point of view. Let the techies make it look nice and work better.

Missouri K-12 Virtual Instructional Program

5/30/07

Missouri K-12 Virtual Instructional Program

This is an exciting development for eCollege, Virtual Sage, UMOHS, and Bocavox. We are currently trying to buy a SMS from Bocavox but the purchase has to go before our school board in June.

As I've said in previous posts, I really like UMOHS and how they run their operation in partnership w/ Bocavox. This organization is very professional and really has their act together. With the above mentioned partners, it looks like the state of Missouri is off to a great start.

Kaplan buys UMOHS - South Florida Business Journal:

5/18/07

Kaplan buys UMOHS - South Florida Business Journal:

The K-12 Online world keeps getting smaller and smaller. Hopefully this is a good move for UMOHS and Virtual Sage. I met the UMOHS people at the recent CiTE conference and was really impressed with they way they run their school with something called a "vertical staffing model" I hope their new owner doesn't change the things that make UMOHS unique and successful.

The hits keep coming

5/15/07

Pearson Acquires Harcourt, Wyo PAWS Provider

My shock and awe must of blinded me yesterday because I missed the announcement that Pearson bought out Harcourt, the assessment company that if providing the state required PAWS test. Harcourt has done a terrible job of deploying the PAWS test. It is fraught with errors, delays, and over all sloppy implementation.

Why Pearson is such a crappy company to own eCollege

5/14/07

  1. They are absolutely enormous. They buy out competing products and put them under one roof, so there is no need for the products to get any better because they don't have much competition. This is what happened when Pearson bought out three competing SMS (student management systems): Chancery (MacSchool and WinSchool) SASI, and PowerSchool. These used to be three competing companies with a competing product. When one introduced a feature, the others had to follow suit to stay in the game. Now, all three are under one roof. Here is their product listing for SMSs:
  2. They own the Financial Times as well as Penguin Publishing
  3. They publish Scott Foresman elementary curricular materials (text books)
  4. They publish 6-12 curricular materials (text books and computer programs linked to the text books)
  5. They own programs like NovaNET (which is a pile of crap, computer based instruction or read and test as I like to call it. It is so boring and the kids hate it!)
  6. They own SuccessMaker, used to be a good program, now the support is pretty crappy and the whole product is more expensive.
  7. They own almost all of the online assessments that are out there for all sorts of things, from HS diplomas to computer certification tests, to automated text analysis (automatic grading of written work)
  8. They have a whole division that is supposed to make teachers better teachers
  9. And this goes on and on. See here: http://www.pearson.com/index.cfm?pageid=20 and this is just their education division!
So what does all of this have to do w/ eCollege--NOTHING! That is the problem. eCollege is going to get totally swallowed up inside this huge company, and we are all going to suffer for it.

What a DIASTER--eCollege is selling out to Pearson

eCollege: Investor Relations: Press Releases

Pearson is the equivalent to Wal-Mart in the educational technology business. I can't believe eCollege is selling out to these guys. It will only be a matter of months before eCollege is a pile of Pearson poo! More on this in a little bit.

It is so fun to buy new machines!

5/10/07

Gateway Computers: Education - Product Details for Gateway� M285-E

So this is what I'm ordering for all of our HS staff, along w/ a port replicator, monitor, keyboard, and mouse. These new tablets will completely replace the current desktops on staff desks.

If we get our new building (I pray every night) we might put a few more in for student use. We'll see how it goes!

Ten Myths About Virtual Schools.pdf (application/pdf Object)

4/12/07

Ten Myths About Virtual Schools.pdf (application/pdf Object)

This is an excellent article for anyone who has to explain online learning or virtual schools very often. It is concise, accurate and easy to understand for a lay-person.

What are the impacts from using a CMS?

4/11/07

Rick West � 2007 � April

I just read the second portion of Rick's article and it is interesting to note that the conclusion is that whatever CMS an institution decides to implement that they commit to the implementation for the long term. Regardless of the features, effectiveness, stability, etc... it is a larger concern of having to reinvest all time and energy needed to implement a new CMS. In short, professors do not want to implement a new CMS regardless of the performance of the current one because of all the time and energy spent implementing the first one.

Thoughts from the CiTE Conference

4/9/07

I just got back to my office after being at the CiTE conference in Denver. It is the user's conference for eCollege. While most of the presentations are geared towards higher ed, I did get two big things from the conference:

  • Maestro--a student data management system designed specifically for online high schools. I got a demo of this system by their head programmer Beni and it is awesome. University of Miami Online High School basically paid for the development of this system. It completely interfaces with eCollege so we can enroll students in one system and they update eachother automatically. More on this in a separate post after we have a WebEx with these guys.
  • Vertical Staffing model from UMOHS--this model is vastly different from most online classrooms with a single instructor handling all portions of the course. In the vertical model three to four people are responsible to students for a particular class.
    An overall team leader assures the quality of the course and the department. The Lead Instructor is in charge of teaching the class, answering student questions, responding to student emails, posting discussions questions, etc... The Teaching Assistant is responsible for grading alone. All they do is grade assignments for several courses on a part time basis. Then there is a counselor who is in responsible for the student's overall academic experience, handling attendance concerns, transcripts, family issues, IEPs, etc... By having one person responsible for the teaching of the course and another responsible for the grading of the course, this allows both people to manage rolling or open enrollment with all students at different places. In the traditional format the rolling enrollment is the most challenging for the instructor to keep up with. It is difficult to add many more students without burning out the teachers. With the vertical model, adding more students increases the workload of one particular individual only slightly. With our current staff at WeAVE, we could easily implement this model. We have enough current staff, we would just be redistributing the workload. We would need to hire a counselor, but we were planning on that anyway. For any online schools who have rolling or open enrollment I highly suggest you look into this model.

E-Rate NCTET 10th Anniversary Report.pdf (application/pdf Object)

3/22/07

NCTET 10th Anniversary Report.pdf (application/pdf Object)

It is so nice to see a positive report on e-rate. I have personally been defending e-rate since congressional scrutiny began a few years ago. Our district has received over $1 million in e-rate funding and we deserved every single penny. We now have a very nice Local Area Network with a fiber backbone and 100mbps to each client. We also have a wireless umbrella over our campus and have finally given enough bandwidth to participate in the WDE (Wyo Dept of Ed) video conferencing network.

For a small school like ours, we would have never been able to replace our old "net-day" LAN with fiber and implemented VoIP with general funds, even grant funds. E-rate was our only way to have the network that we now enjoy.

Patrolling Web 2.0 : March 2007 : THE Journal

3/12/07

Patrolling Web 2.0 : March 2007 : THE Journal

This is something I fight constantly. I finally got MySpace IM blocked through a group policy in my active director, but it took me three weeks of searching online and asking colleagues how to combat it.

I have real mixed emotions on how much we should limit kids on the Internet. We have a pretty strict filter (iPrism by St. Bernard) but it is always a balancing act between protection and legitimate access.

If our CMS, eCollege, would get its act together and embed some Web2.0 tools within the CMS it would solve a lot of my problems. We really want to have our kids blog, but eCollege doesn't have that built in. We'd like to create Wikis, but again, nothing built it. We can do podcasts and video casts, but it is still tricky.

reinventing the wheel

2/22/07

I'm currently re-creating an online course that is taught by our local community college that we are going to use for dual-credit. It is a basic computing essentials course. They use WebCT and we use eCollege. There is no way to export the exams out of the WebCT course into eCollege, so I was re-typing them by hand. What a headache!! Then I got an email saying that this program might be able to do the conversion for me.

I'm going to download a 30 day free trial and see how it works.

Solving equations online

2/9/07

I think I've found a tool that will let our math teachers demostrate solving equations online using SmartTech's new product the Airliner. This thing lets us record movies of what we are writing using the stylus pen and records whatever is said into a microphone. I used Windows Media Encoder to make the file size smaller.

Here is a link to a quick movie I created that demos what I had in mind. http://www.wrrsi.org/airliner.htm

katejlogan's bookmarks on del.icio.us

katejlogan's bookmarks on del.icio.us

I'm a total convert to del.icio.us I don't even use my old bookmarks anymore. I need to go through and clean up the crap and then just totally convert to del.icio.us

It is awesome!!

Getting my Digital Photography going

I have started my digital photography class. I have seven students and all but three units built. I think it is going really well. I have used this course as a guideline in building mine. Once I'm complete I'll send the teacher from Riverside a login into my class and see what he thinks.

I've also created accounts for my students in Flickr and they are going to be posting all of their assignments on the website. They are private accounts and groups, but when they are finished, they can move their photos into their own account and make them public. I have to be careful to not students information on the Internet since they are all minors. But all of my discussion questions use Flickr and students have to post links to images that pertain to the discussion question. We'll see how it goes, but the kids seem really jazzed up about the course.

PAWS Poo, still....

1/22/07

I am still dealing w/ PAWS data. What a time waster. The good news is that the testing is going well, with no technical difficulties from a user's standpoint.

PAWS poo

1/16/07

We are neck deep in PAWS (Proficiency Assessment for Wyoming Standards) testing right now and I spent four hours yesterday installing a kiosk browser so students can take only PART of the exam online. This doesn't include the 10-15 hours I've spent getting our student data accurate in the PAWS.

I am all for technology integration, but this is technology for technology's sake. I could have bubbled in student information on a scantron sheet quicker than installing a program and messing around with uploads, downloads, imports, and exports.

This kind of crap drives me crazy. It is stuff like this that makes teachers shy (or run) away from using technology in thier classrooms.

This all came about with our notorious former State Superintendent of Education, Trent Blankenship. The WDE (Wyo Dept. of Ed) signed a contract with Harcourt to replace our old high-stakes test, the WyCAS, with the new PAWS with most of it taken online. I'm just sure that there is some bank account in the Caymen Islands that is getting nice and plump that will put Trent's kids through college.

...end of rant.

EduBlog Awards 2006

1/2/07

While I was at work over Christmas break last week, I got caught up on a lot of my un-listened to Podcasts. One of which is EdTechTalk's podcast. I listened to Show #75 that presented the EduBlog Awards show. I will slowly start looking at these highlighted blogs.