Computer Camp registrations

Nice to see some registrations rolling in for the Computer Summer Camp. Don’t wait and be disappointed. There are are only so many places available.

If you have any questions about the CSC

email me edrabwell at gmail dot com

You can pay online. Click here for the link. I will email you re further details.

I will be having sponsors and if you wish to Sponsor the Computer Summer Camp. Click here

Summer will be here before we know it. :)

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CSC Planning

Up early this morning starting to plan the details of the Computer Summer Camp. We will be doing some Movie Making and recording of Music. Lots of our productions will be published to the internet and also to DVD.

All students will receive whatever software I can legally pass on.

I am looking for businesses to Sponsor the Computer Summer Camp. More details here.

I have at least one adult wishing to come to CSC. One of the faculty at Riverdale has asked to attend. The more the merrier.

If you are interested in reading about my experience and training in Computers click here.


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My experience

I was writing an article today to introduce myself to some students. As it turned out my experience makes interesting reading I believe.

I did my first computer course at college in 1977 or so. The “computer” was a card reading device. We punched the cards to program the “computer”.

In about 1982-3 I used the Microbee Computer in Australia. It was a tape loading  green screen device. You could do bulletin boards with it via an incredibly slow modem. Everything is relative though. We thought it was wonderful!

I bought a personal Computer. For the life of me I can’t remember the name of it. Plugged it into the color TV. Yes it was in color. Had to write and record the programs to tape. Watch that punctuation otherwise it wouldn’t run!!!

Apple IIe was the computer that really got me started. We had one at a school I taught at and the secretary started to use it for productivity. Wow. Letters and databases and much more. Exciting.

So I bought for myself an Apple IIc in about 1986 and enjoyed that for a number of years. 5 1/4 in floppy drive built in. It could take an external drive too. (floppy) No hard disks were available. Memory was 128mb I think. Green screen. Appleworks was THE productivity software for teachers.

I completed my Post Grad. degree in Computers in Education in 1989 and met Macintosh. WOW. Soon after that I worked for Barson Computers in Australia and sold BBC and ACORN Archimedes computers to schools. (Shame they are no more) (ACORN is ARM and RISC  for those interested)

Working at an engineering company in Sydney Australia 1993 1994 I was using Windows 3.1 and networked computers and file servers for the first time.

Bought a 486 DX4/100 with Windows 3.1 as the “new” Pentium processor had problems with processing and Win95 hadn’t been released. A borrowed 14.4kb  modem and I was online in 1996 April 13th from memory.

Built my first websites with encouragement from Chris Taylor at Brookvale PS  in Sydney in 1996.

Networking and Linux experience. A wonderful mentor in Rob Coates to encourage me with Linux all took place in 1996-1999

Computer operating Systems I have used:

Windows 95, 98, Me, 2000, NT, XP, Vista, 7

Apple IIe, IIc, Mac, OSX iPad

ACORN BBC Archimedes

Linux  – Red Hat, Suse, Mandrake, Ubuntu

Website CMS used Joomla, Drupal, WordPress

Educational CMS/LMS Moodle

I currently use the following systems:

Linux Ubuntu Latop,

Windows XP desktop for Music,

Windows Vista Pro desktop at work,

Windows 7 Pro laptop at work,

various Linux powered servers at work and at home.

Linux Web server


Netbook dual boot Windows/Linux

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Internet Security

I am stepping out of the Computer Lab today at the request of the 6th Grade teacher to speak with his class re. Internet Security.

This is such an important thing to do with kids. Parents take note. Talk to your kids about Internet Security and especially Facebook etc.

If you don’t know what to talk to them about then YOU need to talk to me or do some research!

I will report back as to what 6th Grade is talking about. It should be interesting.

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Online School


Image via Wikipedia

Online school courses are fast becoming a way of life for many of our students.

Many of us as teachers have expereinced an Online school from both sides. By this I mean we have taken courses at College with some if not all online content and now we have students taking classes in the same way.

Personally I have taken an online course to gain a Real Estate license a few years back. I loved it. I was able to set my own schedule and fit the course into our family routine.

Now I facilitate online courses for (LVS) The students are studying Spanish, English, World History and Algebra. Some of the other courses available include Digital Art and Animation. Latin, French, and more.

The two main methods of presenting the courses are by Blackboard and Moodle. We use Blackboard for the LVS classes and I use Moodle with my Computer lab classes.

Embrace the technology.

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EOC Testing

As we head towards Louisiana High School End of Course (EOC) testing for the first time at our school I am excited by the technology being used for the testing, but also concerned re. all of the downloads and configurations that I need to get right. Not just once of course but on every computer in the computer lab.  I will also be setting up date files and uploading to the State Server and so forth. The instruction manual is large for the Technology Coordinator. I like the challenge.

Interactive White Board

Interactive whiteboard at CeBIT 2007

Image via Wikipedia

Just do it. Nike says.

That’s my opinion of Interactive White Boards too. I know that they have been around for quite a while now, but I have only just got my hands on one. WOW!

I remember years ago attending an inservice when I first started teaching. Appropriately it was called something like “Beginning Teaching” One of the sessions was presented by a very enthusiastic gentleman who insisted that each and every one of us needed to rush out and buy an Overhead Projector. At that time in Australia an OHP as we called them cost close to $1,000 and we all laughed. (I mean my weekly pay was about $200) In time most of us used one in class and we all acknowledge the help that this teacher tool provides.

An Interactive White Board is that same tool, and MORE…. its a must have. “Just do it”

All classes at our school are now using Promethean Board or Smart Board. Promethean uses their own ActivInspire software which is very “user friendly”. Get your FREE lesson plans or contribute your own to Simple registration, simple download and install. Activinspire software will work on SmartBoard too apparently. I have yet to see how that works, but when I do I will report back!

Now I am of course biased as I have yet to use any other type/brand of IWB. Suffice to say that any IWB that does it better than the Promethean must be very good.

I am a fan of Interactive White Boards. Every teacher needs one. If your school board won’t buy you one then buy one yourself. You won’t regret it. (Do I sound like that old guy from all those years ago?)

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More iPad

The brushed aluminum back of the iPad Wi-Fi

Image via Wikipedia

Apple certainly have a way of making news don’t they?

So the new iPad is out as of March 11th. You can still buy an old one. Apparently Apple has dropped the price by $100, thus making the cheapest iPad a mere $399.

I predict that the market for used iPad v1 will go crazy as the geeks among us leap on the new technology. So keep an eye out for a bargain on eBay as the no camera version 1 iPad is sold off to make way for the iPad2.

Now of course this good for Apple too as some that buy the older used iPads will be “new” owners. Those who are interested in an iPad and didn’t feel the price justified. The curious who want to see what the fuss is about. My mother is interested in one. We are still deciding if she needs one with a camera or not.

Maybe we could buy a bunch of them and use them in school. Now there’s a thought.

Let’s hope that the same problems or similar that Apple had with iPhone4 don’t rear their ugly heads with iPad2. Time will tell. The early adopters will test drive it for me. :)

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