Aug 31, 2009

The end of another long Monday

I was supposed to go visit a school today. I was supposed to meet their new technology coordinator. As you have probably guessed by now, those things didn't happen.

Turns out, I have been assigned the duty of serving as backup to the backup of the backup person for our target testing scanner. I feel like the fourth runner-up in the Miss America contest. Basically, if four other people can't scan tests, then I get the call. I'm a lot like what Brett Favre *should* be these days.

The plan was that the group from our new testing software company would come in and show us how to scan tests. Easy peasey. Wrong! They came in and had problems getting connected to the data they needed in order to get the scanned results to the correct schools and teachers. Not a problem. We were told it would about 20 minutes and then we'd be good to go. This was around 9:00am.

Fortunately, Jeff (the tech at a local district) came by to shoot the stuff with me for a while. We talked about various projects and project ideas, the state of educational technology, cloud computing, and various other topics. It's always a good time when Jeff comes to visit because I never know what he'll come up with next. As he said when he walked in the door, "I've got some new material..."

At 11:30am, we had lunch, and were told that after lunch, we'd be ready to scan. After lunch, we were NOT ready to scan. "Just a minute or two" we were told. Wrong! About 30 minutes later, we were finally sitting at the computer where the scanning was to take place.

The training was over in 10 minutes.

Yeap, that was it. Click here, pick that, hit scan. Seriously? Seriously. But, at least I now know the procedure should I ever be called upon to fulfill my role as the backup's backup backup! :-)

After the training, I took a drive over to Jeff's office to finish our conversation and to start up a few new ones. Ironically, the one thing he wanted to show me (something new he was doing on his servers), never came around to discussion. Guess we'll save that for another day.

I left after about an hour or so and returned to my office, where the afternoon training had already been concluded. All I can say is that I am glad I wasn't in on that training, though it couldn't have been too bad, since it only lasted about an hour, right?

The rest of the afternoon was killed off by several minor things like answering e-mail and helping a co-worker get her Google calendar to show on her departmental page on our web. It's a very easy task with SharePoint, and we integrated her Google calendar with Outlook, too! Very cool stuff.

Have you ever wondered what a detailed teacher's web page might look like? I have. And, it turns out that I was given the chance to see one that is laid out very nicely. The instructor teaches English and Comp Lit in Oregon, and if I am ever in the position to teach, I would lay my site out a lot like his. Here is his web site, if you are interested.

I like the idea of having separate pages for the different subjects, then a place for resources and biographical info. Each page also has a link to the syllabus and student work, so the current students can get an idea as to what is expected of them.

Nice job.

This past weekend, Shan and I headed to the church to help paint the Children's Church area. It is very outdated with wood paneling on the walls, so we have been helping to revamp it. The new theme is going to be Noah's Ark, with animals on the walls that line the steps and each room representing a different group of animals. The colors in the rooms POP and each room has one central color. For example, one is a very deep, dark blue, another is a BRIGHT yellow and the room Shan and I painted is a glowing-green color. It is not quite the color of a highlighter, but it's not far off either. The green will serve as the background for vines and trees and other greenery for the jungle room.

We have lots of work to do. Eventually, every room will be repainted (there are about 8 or 9 classrooms), the hall will be painted, the stairwell and the downstairs hallway as well. It's a big project, but should look pretty cool when it's all said and done. I should have taken a camera with me to document the progress. I will be sure to carry one with me for now own, though!

I'll keep you updated on the progress. I usually update my Twitter and FaceBook regularly as to what we're doing, but I can "expound and extrapolate" on here. :-) Not that I've really done much of either as of yet.

I've decided to send some of the lyrics I've created over the past years to one of those songwriter sites. I figure one of two things will happen: they'll accept them and I'll hear my songs on the radio one day, or they will laugh hysterically and politely decline my submissions. Either way, it should be entertaining. I'll keep you posted.

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