Several of our issues this week were solved by a simple memory upgrade. At one of our schools, our board would not stay callibrated. In fact, at one point, I'd move my pen down the board & the cursor would move to the left. It was like watching a mirror image. I thought to myself, "Self, I would not have the patience to deal with this in my classroom on a daily basis." (Kudos to our very patient Mrs. V!) The software really wasn't the issue, & after brainstorming with L & L, we concluded it was the memory. Memory was installed; I checked it out today, and all is well.
Speaking of memory...a good tip with our CPS responder software is to remember NOT to delete your database. Everything you've ever done will be gone. (Sorry we couldn't recover it Mr. W!) :)
I worked on Skyping this week. We have two middle school and one elementary room that I am using Skype to communicate. The two middle school classes are social studies classes and are looking to contact classes in other countries. I got the audio to work perfectly, but tried to use our document cameras as the webcam. I know it is possible, but am just about ready to go out and buy a webcam--the doc cams aren't the greatest for Skyping anyway.
Heard a great story about responders this week. One of our teachers (Mr. W) was watching the results as the students took a quiz using the responders. He noticed one student who really didn't put much effort in--he was just pushing the same button for all his answers. Typically the teacher wouldn't have known this until later that evening or the next day when he checked the quizzes. But the responders allowed him to immediately redirect that student. He also noticed that as they finished the quiz, one student did not pass. Before that child ever left the room, he was able to show him his results and schedule a time later that day for reteaching. That student was awe-struck. That teacher said instead of always trying to "catch up" he was able to be proactive and make an immediate difference. He compared it to coaching on the field & how he is able to give immediate feedback and direction on the spot and have the player make the proper adjustment. What these responders are doing is allowing the teachers to teach, coach, & guide rather than checking & grading.
The one thing I've made my goal and tried to follow emphatically is when a teacher is needing assistance to get out to that classroom immediately, or at least as soon as possible. I just know that as a teacher who wants to try new things to enrich my teaching & student learning, if I had a technical issue, the waiting, waiting, waiting is the what would frustrate me the most. So I make it a priority to at the very least get some help if I cannot solve the issue. I want to make a difference for those teachers. I want them to feel supported.