Feeling a little venty today, please excuse me.

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Caesar753, Oct 20, 2011.

  1. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Oct 20, 2011

    Once per week I schedule my students in the computer lab to take a quiz/test. The lab that I'm scheduled in seems to be the place where bad computers go to die. Of the 40 computers in the lab, at least 9 of them are completely inaccessible and unusable. Another 10 or so are extremely slow, to the point where things freeze on every mouse click. It's frustrating. I wish our school had more money to replace these old computers.

    I'm not necessarily looking for a solution here, just needing to vent a bit. Thanks.
     
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  3. engineerkyle

    engineerkyle Companion

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    Hi,

    The first thing I would do, Caesar, is to carried the 20 worst CPU's to the dumpster. The freed up space has more value than antiquated PC's

    Maybe administration would see it that way too.

    Kyle
     
  4. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    I can see how frustrating that would be.

    How many students do you have in each class?
     
  5. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    My smallest class is 40.
     
  6. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    I have had that happen a time or ten. Very frustrating!
     
  7. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    Caesar ~ I often have the exact same vent. We purchased much of our techology with a huge grant we received about 7 years ago. We havent had any funds available for the upkeep of all of our computers so we experience the same issues; slow computers, computers that freeze, etc . . . I just feel really bad because we do all of our state testing on these same computers. The students get really frustrated which isn't a great emotion to have will trying to pass a test that determines if you graduate or not :(
     
  8. CindyBlue

    CindyBlue Cohort

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    Can you give the test using an overhead, or pencil and paper?
     
  9. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    I have brand new laptops in my room and we experience the same problems unfortunately.
     
  10. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Oh, BLECH! No advice to give to you, just commiseration.
     
  11. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I have no overhead.

    I could give a paper/pencil test, but I was trying to be more green and to have less to grade. (I have 240 students, so that's a lot of papers to grade....)
     
  12. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    and if you have examview test package, it will grade the quiz/test for you :whistle: all the more reasons to have working computers
     
  13. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I've been using an online test-generating program for all my tests and quizzes this year, and it has a grading feature. I love it and am basically in heaven with not having to grade certain types of things (like vocab matching and other "easy", objective stuff like that).
     
  14. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    What program is that, Caesar?
     
  15. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    me too, although this year I can only use it with two of my classes since the other four are AP. I also like the analysis examview offers. It basically does my common assessment data for me ;)
     
  16. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Easy Test Maker
     
  17. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Wow! What do you currently do with the 9+ per class that have no computer for the quiz/test?

    Is there another lab you could possibly use?
     
  18. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    On other days we've been able to spill over into the adjoining lab, so it's been no problem. That lab, however, technically belongs to the math department and today they're in there all day, so it's not an option.

    Today I just asked students to vacate their computers as soon as they were finished so that someone else could take their place. It's not an ideal system and I think it makes students feel rushed, but I don't see any great alternative.
     
  19. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Do you have any laptops that can be checked out?
     
  20. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    No. Our department laptop cart is way out in the portables and they won't let us transport it into the building ourselves (have to submit a work order and all that baloney) due to liability and potential for damage. Other laptop carts are assigned to other departments and are always in use, like every period every day.
     
  21. Emily Bronte

    Emily Bronte Groupie

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    rediculous! :-(
     
  22. bros

    bros Phenom

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    With the old computers, the tech guys could make them run much smoother if they reinstalled the operating systems each summer (and require the teachers to save everything at the end of the school year, perhaps to a central server)
     
  23. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    our IT guys ghost every year, but still doesn't help :(
     
  24. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Our tech guy is very skilled and knowledgeable. I'm sure he's been doing everything he can to make the computers run better.

    It's always been a requirement that teachers save to a central server. I've never heard of a school district that doesn't do that, actually, though I suppose some might exist somewhere.
     
  25. bros

    bros Phenom

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    My local school district just has teachers use the server to log on, although you can bypass that by selecting local domain.

    The information saves to the hard drive of the computer.
     
  26. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    But in most cases, students aren't allowed the option to save anywhere except to the server. I can't tell you how many times student work is lost because the student saved to the computer and not to the server. If Caesar's issues are the same as mine, it is just old computers, with a ton of useage time, trying to run larger and larger software, with a lot of normal wear and tear.
     
  27. traveler

    traveler Comrade

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    Our school has the same issues. The joy of public education. If you find a resolution, please share. :)
     
  28. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Students aren't allowed to use computers in the local school district.

    Unless it is at the library

    But even then, there are no accounts for students, the computers are already logged in with the library info.
     
  29. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Okay I am really curious how that works, bros. How do students save work...flashdrives? How does the school monitor and track usage? And how many students does your school have to be able to only offer computers in the library? (not that we're in a better situation)
     
  30. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Are students in your district not required to take a technology/computer/typing course? Most states require that as part of the requirements for high school graduation.

    Are students not required to type papers? My own school had that requirement for us starting way back in the 8th grade.
     
  31. bros

    bros Phenom

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    In the library we had these horrible little windows server things. You couldn't do a thing on them. They froze the majority of the time.

    Let me get up the stats for the most recent year.

    During the 2009-2010 school year, the HS had 1013 students.

    Computer stats:
    80 in the classroom (One for each teacher, students are not allowed to use)
    15 in the library (for general usage)
    155 in the "computer labs" (Two labs in the library with 20 computers each, a room for digital photography class with 40 computers, the CAD classroom with ~30 computers, and the "Computer Setup and Servicing Class (which turned the second year of it into a robotics course)" had around 15 computers and then a few other computers around the school)
    Total: 250
    Total connected to the internet: 250

    Students would email themselves their work if they could logon to their email service. Some computers had open USB ports, so flash drives could be used.

    The school didn't monitor and track usage?

    Numbers of students per instructional, multi-media-capable computers, manufactured after July 1, 2006, available for use in supervised instruction: 4.1

    lets see the stats of one of the 4 elementary schools (there is also an Early Childhood Learning center, for Preschool and Kindergarten and there is an Intermediate school, for grades 5 and 6)

    Classroom/Instructional: 45
    Library/Media Center: 12
    Computer Labs: 27
    Total: 84

    344 Students

    The only papers we had to do when I was in HS was a five paragraph essay a few times a year. They were typed at home.

    The first time I wrote a research paper? College.

    If you were in AP or Honors History, you had to write DBQs

    We had computer classes starting in Kindergarten. We stopped having required computer courses after eighth grade, and the HS did not offer many computer courses, as they were (and still are) rather behind the times. It wasn't until I graduated (2007-2008 school year) that they upgraded their computers from 1995 to more modern computers.
     

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