Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Useless

Today started like yesterday and Monday.  First period I took roll, and then I sent the students to their computers.

The log on process takes a bit of time.  They have to log on, get on the Internet, find their book, find their section, and then they get started.  I've found that I can get a few things done (such as marking the roll) before it's time for me to hover.

Today, once it was time for me to hover, I noticed that about half the computer screens were blue.  (One teacher called it "the blue screen of death".)  They had been blue since the students logged on, and they weren't gaining any icons.  Only four students managed to get to the math program.

I'm tech savvy enough to know CTRL + ALT + Delete.  Nothing.  I manually shut down the computers and then booted them back up (not wise, but when the whole thing freezes...).  Still nothing.  I was out of tricks.

The instructional assistant arrived, so I sent her in search of the tech guy.  She returned with the info that the school servers were down, and the whole school was affected.

That's the problem with relying on technology.  When it breaks...

As it turned out, the students had limited access.  All of period 1, we dealt with trying to get something to work.  By period 2, the log on issues had been figured out, and what we were left with was what the students could and couldn't access.  (The blue screens of death?  After 20 minutes, they were replaced with the standard desktop icons.)  Some sections wouldn't load, but some would.

Then fourth period came in.  I explained the situation.  I got arguments.

Fourth period is the challenging period.  (Every teacher has one.)  Most of the students have been working diligently.  But Kayla and about four others make it difficult for the rest of us.

I managed to get most of the issues worked out.  Some of that was giving students books and having them work on paper.  However, the students who had been playing around took advantage of the computer issues.  Of course.

One student, who so far has done no work, was playing a computer game. When I questioned him, he explained that he couldn't get the program to work. Rather than alerting me to the problem (because I would have found a way for him to get some work done), he found a game website. I wasn't terribly surprised. He managed to do nothing on Monday and Tuesday as well.

They should get the problem fixed by tomorrow.  Here's hoping.

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