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Comment: Charter schools as is aren't the answer (Score 1) 715

by gozar (#45941865) Attached to: How Good Are Charter Schools For the Public School System?
Since they are for-profit institutions, learning is usually not one of the things they want to do.

Ohioâ(TM)s Largest Taxpayer-Funded Charter School, ECOT, Receives Bonus Check

The Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT) is the largest charter school in the state of Ohio. The online school is larger than the vast majority of Ohioâ(TM)s traditional school districts and received over $88 million in state funding last school year. This year that amount is expected to jump to over $92 million. On the latest report cards released by the Ohio Department of Education, ECOT continues to rank below all of the 8 large urban schools that are often-criticized by legislators and in the media for their "sub-par" performance.

15 Months in Virtual Charter Hell: A Teacher's Tale - Living in Dialogue - Education Week Teacher

Last year I had a student who never showed up to class, never turned work in, skimmed by on gaming the system with a phone call every few weeks, just enough to keep from being dropped from the rosters. She called me three days after my final grades were submitted in June, desperate to find a way to graduate. I apologized, said my grades had been submitted, and offered information for the summer school we were holding. A week or so later, when I arrived for graduation an administrator pulled me aside to tell me that this student had passed "by the proficiency method" and would be graduating. Our graduation rate was so low that this was not a surprise to me, not after the year I had spent working in this system.

Comment: Wrong definition of A players (Score 1) 397

by gozar (#45782083) Attached to: Netflix: Non-'A' Players Unworthy of Jobs

I think most of the comments about A players are defining them incorrectly. An A player is one that:

- is competent in their skills and is continually upgrading their skillset
- works well with others, viewing criticism not personally. The A player uses criticism to get better
- will go the extra mile(s) so their projects and the company will be a success. No task is too menial. When they walk down the hall they will pick up any trash they find to throw away.
- is humble
- is not afraid of failure

In education, you see A players all the time. These are the ones you want to work with and work for. They make you better.

Comment: Re:...and not academic freedom (Score 1) 284

by gozar (#43997783) Attached to: Professors Say Massive Open Online Courses Threaten Academic Freedom

This is a simple question about owning the intellectual property rights on material produced. Frankly the way I think this should be is that I own the copyright but the university has a permanent license to use any material I generate for education of its own students.

This has already come up under teacherspayteachers.com. Any work you do for your job would most likely fall under "work-for-hire" and your employer, the univiersity, owns the copyright. This whole article is written by someone who doesn't realize that professors don't own the copyright on materials produced by the professors for their job.

Public school districts own the copyright on the lesson plans and supporting materials created by teachers, this is now different at the higher ed level.

Comment: Why let users choose their passwords? (Score 1) 211

by gozar (#43575139) Attached to: Mitigating Password Re-Use From the Other End

If you are going to do this, then why even let the user choose their password? Use an algorithm to create user's passwords (for example, randomly select a length, then randomly generate a password). Guaranteed strong passwords.

Yes, users will write it down. Is this worse or better than what is happening now?

(For the most part, I prefer OAUTH. I let Google handle the two factor authentication.)

Comment: Re:Still fiddly if you RTFA (Score 1) 181

by gozar (#43512179) Attached to: Ars Reviewer is Happily Bored With Dell's Linux Ultrabook

It's bad enough having to find room on my already cluttered desk (3 desktops + monitors + 1 laptop + 4 mice + handover/ events diary + this shift's operations paperwork) in 1.3sq.m of desk space, but having to find space for each mouse when I need to move to each system

Check out Synergy. Use one mouse/keyboard with all four machines.

Comment: Re:Good point about archiving (Score 1) 137

by gozar (#43512159) Attached to: Blackstone Drops Dell Bid, Cites Declining PC Market

About archiving photos, videos, and the like to a hard drive, you make a good point. I'd like to see what certain staunch iOS advocates on Slashdot would say about that.

iOS users use the free 5GB of iCloud storage for backup, and when that is filled, they pay Apple for more storage. All automatic and no maintenance. Device dies/is replaced? Start it up and tell it to restore from iCloud. Everything is right back where it was. This even works going between the different iOS devices (have an iPhone and get an iPad? Restore your iPhone backup onto your iPad).

Pretty slick, and doesn't require the user to do anything but plug in their device at night (assuming they have wifi, if not, then no, it's not slick).

Comment: Make them into Chrome Browser boxes (Score 1) 260

by gozar (#43178077) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Donate Older Computers to Charity?
I just put the final touches on taking older machines and making them into Chrome only browser boxes, the GozBrowserBox.

You can run it stand alone (I have it on some old 512MB Thinkpads) or in a client/server configuration (I have iBooks and eMacs using this running Chrome with Flash and sound). All it does is boot into a full screen Chrome session, so it depends on what you want to do on how useful it is.

In our public school system this has allowed us to repurpose any machine that comes our way. The limiting factor now is space.

(BTW, there are several security issues with it since the private key for the user browser is publically available in the Github project. It also downloads the configuration from Github everytime the machine is started, which means you have to trust me... Or fork the project and trust yourself!)

Comment: Re:As a teacher... (Score 1) 96

by gozar (#42779401) Attached to: Google Announces 2,000 Schools Now Use Chromebooks, Up 100% In 3 Months
There aren't "duplicating files with the same name" in Google Drive, or at least I've never seen it. What confuses people is when they can't let go of the "document can be in only one folder" paradigm. Under Google Drive, the same document can exists in multiple places. Confusing? Maybe, but a lot more powerful than the old way.

Comment: Ohio State University already solved this (Score 1) 383

by gozar (#42755623) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Name Conflicts In Automatically Generated Email Addresses?

All usernames are surname.number, where the number is how many of that surname have attended the university. tressel.3@osu.edu meant that Jim Tressel was the 3rd Tressel to attend OSU.

This username stays with you even if you leave and return years later.

Comment: This is to be used with Amazon Cloud Player (Score 1) 114

by gozar (#42636321) Attached to: Amazon Sidesteps App Store Business Model, Plays Back MP3s From Safari

What the submitter missed was the fact that the Amazon MP3 store for the mobile web is used for purchasing songs and to then play them using the Amazon Cloud Player. In fact, you can't even listen to mp3s through the website.

Basically, Amazon optimized the website to make it easier to purchase MP3s. You could do it before with their website, it just wasn't as nice. Nothing to see here, move along.

For every bloke who makes his mark, there's half a dozen waiting to rub it out. -- Andy Capp

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