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Comment: Re:Sign off. (Score 1) 325

by i.r.id10t (#49490629) Attached to: LA Schools Seeking Refund Over Botched iPad Plan

I don't think the process is corrupt, just that my fellow admins and I don't think we need to be part of the sales process. The way it went with Pearson and us enabling the LTI integration on our Canvas install was

"Hi, I'm Suzy Salesdroid district rep from Pearson. I need you to configure your production system for our new beta product to work so we can show it off to faculty at your school to get them to adopt our textbooks and online content"

No, we don't do things unless instructors or departments ask us to, and we don't do beta stuff. Are other Canvas schools using this? Can you give me references from other admins?

"Well, no"

Well, we it isn't beta, and other schools are using it or the support folks at Instructure give it a OK we won't even think of installing it. And after we think about installing it, we won't do it until our faculty tell us that they've adopted your stuff and want us to enable it.

9 months later it was really ready to go, and we've not had an issue with it technology wise.

Content wise, as I said in another post, they are showing the instructors shiny things and telling them that creating a (poorly designed) online course is just a few clicks, exams included. While some things the various publisher provide really are cool and awesome and Good Educational Stuff a lot of it is "read the online slideshow and book chapter, take the multiple choice quiz", Not exactly good pedagogy.

Comment: Re:Was there a small scale pilot test? (Score 1) 325

by i.r.id10t (#49488113) Attached to: LA Schools Seeking Refund Over Botched iPad Plan

No they didn't even examine the curriculum in depth. They didn't understand what they were buying.

Yup. Because what the curriculum/book vendors do is show the shiny, promise that starting a new semester is as simple as deciding who is going to be in the class, the shiny stuff is kept up to date, is (supposed to be) ADA compliant, and the content is mapped to the standards/outcomes that the various overseeing groups (accreditation, local school board, state ed dept, fed ed dept, whatever) have decided are important.

The average faculty look at this and say "yes please" without care of cost to student, being tied to a particular system, etc.

Granted my experience is with community college level, but I'm pretty sure that it is almost a verbatim thing for county school boards or state k-12 ed systems, probably with fewer actual classroom teachers involved vs more admin types...

Comment: Re:Wow. Just wow. (Score 2) 325

by i.r.id10t (#49488057) Attached to: LA Schools Seeking Refund Over Botched iPad Plan

But the school system wasn't the one doing the development - Pearson was. OK, perhaps the school system did spend money rolling out wireless, etc. on their school campuses, but that can be used for lots of other purposes so it isn't a wasted spend. From the summary, and having not read the article in slashdot tradition, it seems that indeed Pearson made promises of rainbows and unicorns and delivered a sick donkey with a MLP tattoo on it.

Comment: Re:Sign off. (Score 4, Informative) 325

by i.r.id10t (#49488033) Attached to: LA Schools Seeking Refund Over Botched iPad Plan

Which is why when a vendor asks us to enable integration for their stuff - and Pearson is one of 'em with their myFooLab emporium, I always tell 'em three things.

1) I don't work for $vendor - so no, I don't "have to" or "need to" do anything for them

2) We only accept requests from faculty or departments who have decided to adopt the resource, not from the sales person or vendor tech support folks. Again, see #1

3) The product must not be in beta or "brand new last week", and I must see it work on their system, our course management vendor's system (used for demos), or get good reports from other LMS Admins at other schools

Have had several unhappy vendors/sales folks, but have had minimal issues about promised features not working, existing, etc.

Comment: Re:Discrimination is legal (Score 1) 517

Indeed. I've been on hiring committees for CxO, AVP, and tenure track instructors in the past, and I'm on one now for a tenure track instructor. We are directly told by HR that if *everything* else is equal about a candidate, or even close to equal, recommend "the candidate that increases diversity". To heck with the better social fit, higher skills, etc. Hire the diverse one.

Comment: Re:People with artificial lenses can already see U (Score 4, Funny) 137

by i.r.id10t (#49460903) Attached to: UW Scientists, Biotech Firm May Have Cure For Colorblindness

Jim 'Wash Out' Pfaffenbach: I just got kicked out of the unit. My flight status has been withdrawn. I'm through, Dead Meat!

Pete 'Dead Meat' Thompson: What happened?

Jim 'Wash Out' Pfaffenbach: It's my eyes. I've got walleye-vision.

Pete 'Dead Meat' Thompson: Isn't there something that can be done?

Jim 'Wash Out' Pfaffenbach: Well, there's a delicate corneal inversion procedure... a multi-opti-pupil-optomy. But, in order to keep from damaging the eye sockets, they've got to go in through the rectum. Ain't no man going to take that route with me!

Comment: Re:No surprise here (Score 5, Insightful) 131

by i.r.id10t (#49438833) Attached to: Why Some Developers Are Live-Streaming Their Coding Sessions

Especially when you are teaching programming in an online environment. I'm teaching a PHP+MySQL class right now, and I have my students discuss the layout of database tables, how they will write the PHP code to solve problems, etc. They aren't posting code - they are posting their thought process and planning. Their fellow students are commenting about pitfalls, bits that are over looked, edge cases, and different ways of tackling the same problem. I think they are learning more or learning better this way, versus a "read the chapter write the little program, repeat" method

Comment: Re:This cop is clearly wrong (Score 1) 489

by i.r.id10t (#49437231) Attached to: The Courage of Bystanders Who Press "Record"

Still legal to own full auto. Problem is the government closed new additions to the tax registry and so prices are artificially inflated to 10-20x real value.

Tax registry? Yes... tax. See, the NFA of '34 established a $200 tax on the transfer of full auto and short barrel rifles/shotguns and defined "any other weapons" which are also taxed. When a full auto weapon is made and sold, it is taxed on one of several forms - regular transferable, dealer sample, or LEO/military only. In 1986, the Hughes Amendment stopped *new* additions to the "transferable to civilians" registry. So an M16 that cost about $50 more than an AR-15 (plus the tax stamp fee) now costs $15,000 or so, plus the tax.

What I find sad is that in Miller vs US the federal government argued that since short barrel rifles/shotguns and full auto weapons were not "normal military items" (ie, what would be issued to your average grunt) they weren't protected by the 2nd Amendment, and so taxing them was OK. Of course, what has been issued to the "average grunt" since the 50s? Full auto, or at least burst fire, and the M4 as issued today is also a SBR w/ a barrel length of 10-14" depending on exact configuration....

If a 6600 used paper tape instead of core memory, it would use up tape at about 30 miles/second. -- Grishman, Assembly Language Programming