Info Tech Studies Projects

I’m teaching Stage 2 Information Technology Studies this year (it’s turning out to be a fair bit of work, but I’m quite enjoying it), and I have to come up with some project topics. The students have to do two projects, one on each of the Option Topics we will be studying. At this stage, I’m planning on Application Programming (using python, and some form of GUI), and Website Programming (HTML+JavaScript). What I do need to do is think of some suitable project topics. Something that is challenging enough for Year 12, but not too difficult. I’ve got some ideas for Websites, as there is a bit more scope to do something cool. It’s a bit easier to implement cool stuff with a more limited level of skill in HTML than it is in an application program. I also have to write some skills tasks, that assess each of these topics. I’ve got some good ideas here for the application programming one (give them the GUI code, and get them to make the backend, and for the other, give them some working application code, but as a series of functions, and get them to combine the functions into a full application). I’d love to be in a situation where I could teach ObjC, since I do have a Mac computer room at school, but since I don’t know it that well myself, that might be a future task. I seriously wish anygui had taken off. But, even late in the game then, I wasn’t really keen on how the backend interface was turning out. I came across Dabo yesterday, and that looks cool, though.

Pages is okay, I suppose

Okay, I finally got around to using Pages to create a decent length document. Or rather, edit someone else’s. There is a big difference, as the Word document, like all of those that seem to come out of SSABSA, was pretty badly laid out. No real use of styles, apparently. Although, in it’s defense, it was tons better than the crap that comes from Design & Technology. I guess it would have to be, coming from Information Technology. You would kind of expect them to be able to use a little bit of the technology… Anyway, I used it to modify the examination, and basically rewrite it for my Stage 2 Information Technology Studies class. I was able to do some pretty cool stuff with it, and it really felt a lot quicker than using Word. Word just seems to crawl, whether on a Mac or on Windows. Whereas Pages flies along. It just has an unusual interface, although said interface is standard across Keynote, and IIRC iWeb. Because I’m not sharing the document with anyone, then I didn’t need to save it into any other format, although with a lot of stuff I need to give it to students, so saving it as a PDF is handy. It might be nice to automate the setup so that documents saved automatically have a PDF version (or a flash version, for Keynote presentations) generated.

AkulaArt Of FightingWires ★★

Students (not) submitting work

I’m feeling pretty down today. Which really annoys me, because I have a Touch Football tournament on this weekend, and I’d love to be able to really focus on that, and prepare. At least I will have plenty of motivation to go hard, though.

See, my Year 12 IT Studies kids are supposed to be handing in work, or have handed it in already. I have to submit my results to SSABSA tomorrow, and at this stage I don’t have anything that even slightly resembles a full marks book.

I have found this to be the worst aspect of teaching. Trying to get all of the required work from a cohort of students.

It makes me feel like a bad teacher. Why can’t I manage to get all of the students, or even a majority of them, to submit all of the required tasks? Am I doing something wrong? I know there are stacks of things I would approach from a different direction if I were teaching the subject again, or if I could do it over. But surely I m not single-handedly responsible for their lack of work.

Having had discussions with other teachers at my school makes me think not. One of the Maths teachers mentioned she had 3 out of 17 students who have submitted all of their tasks. A Science teacher had similar things to say of his class.

At some stage, students need to stand up and take responsibility for their own actions. Regardless of excuses they make (the computer network is down, or whatever), I have continually reminded my class of the tasks they have not completed. And yet with some students, I have received no more than 20% of their assessable work. And these are the very same students who have not attended at all in the “extra week” I have put on for them, since I was absent all of last week.

Perhaps I just need to go “fuck it”, and hand out a whole bunch of failing grades.

Of course, that would only result in me getting hauled through the admin team’s offices, wanting to know why so many students scored so badly. So I spend countless hours giving students way more help than I would really like, and quite a few of my website projects look fairly similar.

Stiff shit. I’m over this whole thing. I am just killing days until the year finishes.