Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Our Fifty Minutes

It is another Tuesday, and another chance for my students to work with the Adobe Photoshop, even if we only are able to access the computers weekly for this project. It is getting better, but there are still a lot of questions in how to get on the program. How do I bring a picture up on my screen? How do I change the filter? How do I write on the picture? How come I can’t write on this page? They have forgotten about the layers. So far we have about three photographs that have been altered for each student. The frustration is not from the student’s questions. The more we repeat the process the more likely they will remember it in the future when I am not there to answer their questions. The frustrations are in how slow the computers are. We must lose 15 minutes of valuable computer time in just turning the computer on and booting them up. Plus the time lost waiting for the computer to complete a command. We only have 50 minutes once a week to work with the computers. Since these aren’t our computers we have to take time to save our work on a jump drive for the next week, and upload our previous work to the computer when we start. Even with these frustrations it is well worth the time to give the students the chance to work with a different type of software program. One most do not have access to at home at the present time. It gives them a look at different possibilities in technology. So far my students have had experience with word, powerpoint, publisher, a literacy program Start to Finish, and now Adobe Photoshop. The present goal for my students is to have an album of photographs for each student to give as a gift to their parents for Christmas. We have done our own photographs, photos online, and next it will be to find photos to be scanned from home.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Computer Frustration!!!

Technology can be such a blessing until it doesn't work. Sent to a Lindamood - Bell workshop this past week was great. I learned new programs to help student tackle the job of reading, met a wonderful set of people, and truly became frustrated when my lap top refused to work. I knew I would have to come back to my room each evening and get to work on my computer while I was at the learning center. I double checked with the inn that I was to stay to make sure that they did have internet access. I was all set, or so I thought. Monday, after getting up at 4:30 leaving Salinas at 5:30 to arrive in San Luis Obispo in time for an eight hour session of "Seeing Stars", I am snuggled away in my cozy room. My laptop plugged in and on my lap. I begin to try to hook up to the internet system. My computer says it cannot do this without going on line to repair. I couldn't get on line without the repair so there I was, in a virtual circle unable to do my assignments, my emails, read my articles or any other online purpose. As they say the best laid plans... I was so frustrated and tired after the day I had I admit I just gave up and went to bed. Next night after another full day of learning, I decided since I couldn’t get online I would just go ahead and type up my blog, at least some of my report from the previous week’s reading, and work on a couple of IEPs. I would still be able to get a lot of my work done and just finish everything up on Friday night after my return to Salinas. That way until my power cord kept shorting out on my laptop. It shut off once while I was typing up and IEP and it destroyed my IEP program. Now I couldn’t even work on my IEPs. I could either cry or just pack it away. Although the thought of crying was tempting, I just packed away my notebooks and laptop and called it a night. So you wonder if Wednesday I tried again. No way, I finally decided to stop and just enjoy a night in San Luis Obispo with a nice group of women I had met at the workshop. It was relaxing. Thursday, I awoke with sinus headache. Set through the workshop and jumped into my car to head back to home. I truly felt cut off from my life without the use of the internet. Now I have to do double time to read the articles, write two essays, post my blog, and then play catch up with my emails from my job, school, and work. I want a new computer and I think next week that is what I will be looking to purchase.