Semester Begins: Overcoming Tech Obstacles

Welcome to new STJ bloggers. No doubt you are learning new skills very quickly, but take your time to figure it all out, depend on each other, and ask questions of your teacher.

Grade 9 bloggers overcame a snag in the STJ email server(again!). The server simply stopped sending email until our division techies fixed the clog(again!). Emails sent out at 9:15AM Thursday did not get to their inboxes until Friday morning. I was able to sign-up bloggers manually but bloggers need to now edit their user profiles to set their password and website URL, … a task handled by the auto-magic email registration/confirmation before. I see a couple duplicate users/blogs now as students responded to late arriving emails, so I’ll be sorting that out right away.

Grade 10 bloggers for the most part were already registered but hit a snag of a different sort. The topology of the STJ LAN has all school workstations accessing the Internet through a single IP address, a common scenario. This requires me to make sure that the IP address of the STJ outgoing server is entered into the firewall of the stjschool.org incoming server so it doesn’t ban our IP for exceeding the limit on simultaneous connections. Our division techies changed our outgoing IP in December, … stjschool.org firewall now has the correct IP to bypass. Coincidentally, a major failure in the mediterranean undersea Internet cable caused higher loads on many router/server farms so diagnosing the problem had some sluggish “trace-routes” as well. Did you know you can monitor the health of the Internet in real time?

The “tens” are sharing their first posts and comments as well, but we’ll soon be in the regular classroom continuing our study of Julius Caesar. Blogging about Shakespeare, an anachronism that is not so out of place.

I wonder what challenges this week will bring?

Now, the “niners” are adding friends to their RSS aggregators and blogrolls. And sharing their first posts/comments with each other.

I’d like Grade 9s to trackback their first post here.

Prepare for English Language Arts Finals

For those in the midst, or looking ahead at finals in my LA classes(9, 10-1, 20-1, 20-2, 30-1, 30-2).

Consider the outcomes we’ve tried to achieve.

Enhancing the artistry of communication has been a strong technical focus. Skills mastered include using online blogging tools, Word Processing, Spreadsheets, even graphical enhancements using Photoshop or audio/video podcasting tools have been included where time permitted and initiative taken. Participation on an online forum has generated a myriad of useful tips/reminders, questions/answers. There will be no speadsheets on the final, the use of Word will be necessary for English 30.

Each course has been structured around Focus Questions and related questions: English 10, English 9.

Emphasis on social networking, peer review/support/criticism has been critical for developing critical thought and reflection for writers defending an idea.

Each course has a reading list: English 10, English 30. Not every title has been studied intensively(or at all), but the proportion of attention paid to those pieces that were studied in class deserve the same level of attention on the final. Of course, those who choose additional literature from the list to focus on in the final deserve to have that initiative rewarded as well. If you choose to focus on Shakespeare, your audience gets tougher, I’ve noticed.

An English 30 paper looking at how the images/symbols/archetypes of Sophocles and Kingsolver relate to personal freedom to would be intriguing. Why not an English 10 paper discussing the threat of fanaticism by comparing the speeches of Mark Antony, Joseph Strorm, and Eamon De valera? What does Søren Kierkegaard have to do with every page you’ve ever read or written?

Extras, everyone should be able to link to Wikipedia for literary terms, difficult vocabulary, or just the odd or eccentric idea; can anyone incorporate the Hayflick Limit into their paper? Everyone has seen video and heard an mp3, but are any daring enough to Podcast their final essay? A carefully edited U2 mp3 snip, an embedded flash video of Ophelia Simpson, a slideshow?

rubric.pngThe only limit is to abide the first line of every rubric you’ve ever attached to any assignment:

I _________________ honestly declare that the work is what I have done. In circumstances when I have quoted a certain authority, I have clearly indicated what is a quote and the author. 

A Blogger’s Code of Ethics contains truths far older than the phenomenon of blogging.

English 30s will have no access to internet, filesharing, etc etc. English 10s can have it all.

Microcontents Flourish at STJ Blogs (LA 9)

Thanks to a few bloggers for helping me work out the bugs in the microcontent code. Movie, music, and video game reviews appear to be the most popular. I still haven’t, yet, found a sure fire method of aggregating all the reviews – POGE. The FREEoutputthis.org looks promising.

Anyway, for the time being, trackback your microcontent posts here.

An Exodus Within(RS 25)

The Forth Dimension Sophie was introduced to Aristotle. Ideas no longer belong to a realm of their own, but somehow the idea is within the thing. Aristotle could explain this by talking of sculptures and stone.

Review what was said earlier about Plato and art. Discuss Aristotle’s take on the place of ideas and art.

Search for a thumbnail of an art work from the Louvre.

[rsspara:http://forum.stjschool.org/rss.php?fid=43]

When the basic needs are met, then what?(RS 25)

400px-maslows_hierarchy_of_needs.png
Today we asked if there was something all humans strive for after all needs have been met. Of course, only a philosopher can imagine a world in which all needs could be met.

But there must be something to the question asked of Sophie: Is there something else that all humans, all times and all places, need?

Maslow can help.

“These are Aliens, Dad!”

Some have noticed that some otherwise regular discussions in class eventually turn to a discussion of, um…, ahh… well …, poop.

The inspiration of such mudtimes no doubt erupt from experience with my three growing boys aged 6, 4, and 2. Several days may pass without reference to “it.” But when the subject rears its ugly head, we usually are moved by good humour.

Today I added a “Spelling Bee” widget. My efforts were sincere, scholarly, and academic. Here’s what I saw for my first word:

fecies.png

I’m going to get a book and settle down to a good read.

Out.

1 Million Spams and counting

The best story today concerns the STJ email server. Good luck to those with email inboxes that have close to 4000 messages. My sympathy as you begin deleting over over 800 pages of messages, 20 per page. I wouldn’t have believed it had I not seen it with my own eyes.

Every email account I have has a quota, a couple megs at yahoo, a hundred megs at mac.com, 15 megs at Telus. My Telus account gets full every time a pal of mine sends pictures of his kids, and then I get no more mail. I thought that was annoying of Telus. But today . . ..

I had no idea our email server had no quotas at all. Every account, and there are hundreds, must just be swelling with thousands and thousands of spams. Each account must just grow on forever till the crack of doom. Holy schmoly! Lets see, I’ll guess there are at least 250 idle accounts, if each had say 4000 messages that would be . . . ONE MILLION SPAMS!

1,000,000 spams, that’s 50,000 pages at 20 per page. It takes 10-15 seconds to delete one page. How long to delete 50,000 pages?
A) 10 years
B) 10 days
C) 10 hours
D) 10 minutes

Oh, and the idle accounts I saw today had only been idle for less than a year. What if an account created 5 years ago had remained idle all this time and swelled at the same rate? That’s 20,000 spams in one inbox.

I’m going to pass out now.