New Dell

Recently the Glasgow Primary network/managed service has been taken over by Dell.
During the Easter Holidays Spring Break Dell took over the network from Mitel. It has been a bit of a bumpy ride with various unseen problems popping up making teaching with ict quite difficult since then. The plan was to switch over the network with the original hardware and then to roll out new kit.

This week we were asked to pilot a few of the new machines, three desktops and a couple of laptops arrived yesterday and I’ve been encouraging the children to pound on them as hard as they can. Compared to our old pcs these seem amazing, you can’t see the screen redraw when you switch windows;-) They are running xp rather than windows 2000 and seem like quite zippy boxes. The biggest benefit is going to be the size of the screen, a huge difference to the 15 inch monitors we have been running at 800 x 600. This will make lots web apps a lot more usable.
We are still seeing some issues with old and new machines but there is light at the end of the tunnel.

At the same time as getting the pilot pcs we were switched to a different internet filter. I first noticed when I saw that blogs by my wee guys read on edublogs.org and blogspot.com were blocked. Happily an email to the Dell service desk has sorted this out very quickly and hopefully we should be doing some serious commenting tomorrow:-)

Toondoo tn

In anticipation of the new big screens I got the children to set there monitors to 1024 pixels wide and have a wee play with ToonDoo today. It looks like a really nice web application for making strip cartoons. You can see some results on the Primary 6 sj blogs. One of my favourites is Steven’s chaos of A Turkey a surreal way of sending an environmental message!
Unfortunately ToonDoo seemed to lock up towards the end of the lesson when lots of children were trying to save their ‘toons. I am not sure if this is due to lots of folk signed on with the same login or just bad luck.

If we can sort that out, I think Toondoo will be a really useful application for classroom use.

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