its the start of the second full week and since i last wrote i’ve had a full IT day and two full days of english. and some tard tried to sell us this.
i walked in without a laptop, apparently the only one. i said mine was being “repaired” (a few things about the pins on the processor until their eyes glazed). i’m still deciding what i want to buy and will probably take a dell inspiron with my budget. laura o’something was really nice, patient, but had clearly only been around computers a few years – she knew her stuff when it came to school software though.
i spent some of the morning bartering my skills with those who could help me with maths and tuned up a couple of laptops (or going into add/remove programs, running spybot, getting rid of zone alarm etc). we discussed the nc (or national curriculum to you) and started installing various games/word processors etc. there’s a whole range of overpriced software out there for kids – mostly simple word, excel, paint ripoffs.
after lunch we had ‘eporfolios’ with a late twenties ex-teacher. she was transparent (to me anyway). the thing she was selling was a bad version of myspace/facebook for teachers. we didn’t have to pay for it, but she said a few times if we can get our schools interested they could sign up to it (i later put my hand up to make sure that she was ‘selling’ this to schools, she said to cover “server costs”). i asked a few key questions to clarify to myself that this thing was wank – “what’s the upload limit on coursework?” “50mb” she replied. laura asked her what file types we could use “currently .doc and .pdf’s” – ie no powerpoint, excel etc. you can imagine my mood and it was later remarked by a girl on my table she heard me exhaling and laughing when another useless feature was introduced. i wouldn’t have minded if it was voluntary attendance after class, but i couldn’t leave.
when i got home, i searched for uniservity and found this.
jack has been the man. whatever was wrong in the first lesson disappeared. apart from the stuttering and odd rare quote from something. our table had a bet running on how many times he said “don’t panic…” and it was twice the whole day (i bet 10). we’ve been learning about phonics, reading, writing, listening and going over our ‘guided tasks’ (due jan 2009). although the days have been long and mentally exhausting its been really valuable stuff. ask me anything about phonemes, grapheme’s and split digraphs. if you don’t know what a phoneme/grapheme is – ask a 6yr old. phonics is really interesting and seems to have completely changed the way children learn to read. for example, children learn phonics before they learn the alphabet song.
we spent this afternoon discussing childrens books and it was a nice trip back in time analysing books i had forgotten i had read. books i read when i was 5/6/7yrs old were laid out on the table and you could hear “oooohhyeaaaah” most of the day.
tomorrow is maths (boo) and writing assignments.