Sunday, August 21, 2005

Why this Blog?

This blog is for me. I need to think about how I'm going to create my, 'computer-enabled science classroom' this year. And unfortunately there is a dearth of people with whom to help me reflect on this to the depths to which I need. Additionally, this will serve as a journal of where I've been and what I've thought on this topic, certainly useful things to me irrespective of whether I get alzeimers soon or not. If wayward surfers happen upon this page, well, you're forwarned...

What is a 'Computer-Enabled Science Classroom' or CESC? It's something I dreamed up in the spring of 1994 when I visited Saturn School in St. Paul. There I saw these funny/sorta cool student desks with Mac SE 30's couched under them such that the screen was visible through a glass port in the desk top. I really loved the idea of the resources of a computer, un-restrictively available to the science learner. My change in the infrastructure idea was simply to put a computer not in a 1 person table, but to place 2 computers under a 4 person table. Of course the idea wasn't birthed, full-form at that point at all. It was in 1999 that I wrote a grant proposal for this CESC to Medtronic Foundation which they funded. I built the tables that summer and fall 1999 I had 12 computers slung under 6 tables.

To make a long story, short, over the last 5 years I've had lots of experience working with this system. And unfortunately for myself and many others, there has been little stability in programs here in Minneapolis, I've had to change schools twice, each time because my school was being closed! This year I'm at a new school, once again I chose a school with 90% + students who received free and reduced lunches. It is a program that is only 4 years old and so is still developing... I have high hopes for this program as I think it has a good administrator. I figure if I can get the CESC constructivistically working in a middle school such as this, I can get it to work anywhere...

The othere issue I've had is that my LAN server has been problematic for me, an overworked science teacher. After burn-out 100+ hours EACH year, I finally get the network running properly. Thus, I haven't been able to use the LAN as I've wanted until Jan. or Feb. of each year!!! That is so frustrating I can barely believe it. Again, I have hopes this year of getting it working before the students get there. I will NOT upgrade to Mac OS X 10.4 server this year... I hope the changeip script works and I won't have to re-load server software... Anyway, let's assume I'll have the computers up and running in 2 weeks on the first day of classes. How can computers enable science learning in my classroom, this year?

No comments:

Post a Comment