Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Taking Roll

The computer in the classroom was ancient in terms of computers. It looked like it had been built circa 1995. And it was sloooooow.

What do I need a computer for? Attendance.

The olden days of Scantron roll sheets are gone. Nowadays, the teachers can go online to input the attendance. There is a website. And we subs are given a temporary password. We log on, click "A" for any absent students, and submit. Easy.

Usually it's easy. Not so much today.

1st period's roll went fairly smoothly, considering. It took me about three tries to log on (I kept getting blank screens), but eventually the roll was input. But then a student arrived late. She had a pass, so all I had to do was go back into the screen, mark her "P" for present, and submit. Her absence would have been eliminated. But I couldn't log back on.

I tried every trick I knew. Then I moved on to my sure fire way of fixing computer problems. I restarted the computer.

A period is almost an hour long. For reference.

So, about halfway through 1st period I sent the computer into restart mode. About halfway through 2nd period, since it looked like the computer was completely frozen in shut down mode, I manually turned the computer off. It took the rest of 2nd period, all of 3rd period, and part of 4th period for the computer to boot up. Then it took the rest of 4th period (more than a half hour) before I could even attempt to find the Internet.

At the beginning of 5th period I had Internet. I attempted to get to the attendance website. Then it took me all of 5th period to input the roll for 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th periods. I had to log on multiple times before I could get the screen, and every time I had to submit something, it took nearly 5 minutes before I could do anything else.

Just for comparison, last Thursday I had no trouble. The students had a 5 minute warm up assignment (reading). In that 5 minutes, I could check the roll from the seating chart, go and input the roll into the computer, do a head count to double check, and get to the front of the room, and I still had 2-3 minutes before they were finished.

But I'm stubborn. Today, I won that battle.

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