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Valencia Linux School Distro Saves 36 Million Euro

gozar Re: TCO (158 comments)

As someone who is doing Linux in schools, let me correct a few things. - Imaging isn't done anymore, except for a base image with nothing installed. The tools to manage machines can take care of anything that needs to be set. - To set up our 1:1 Linux desktops we boot from the network, enter the machine name and user name, and walk away. Ubuntu installs with minimal software and Puppet. Everything else is configured through Puppet. Configuration includes software to be installed and creating the username and password of the student that is assigned to the laptop. We haven't hopped on the Chromebook bandwagon. Linux can do everything Chromebooks can do but so much more.

about 3 months ago
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How Good Are Charter Schools For the Public School System?

gozar Charter schools as is aren't the answer (715 comments)

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.

about 9 months ago
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Netflix: Non-'A' Players Unworthy of Jobs

gozar Wrong definition of A players (397 comments)

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.

about 10 months ago
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Review: Puppet Vs. Chef Vs. Ansible Vs. Salt

gozar Serverless Puppet (141 comments)

Puppet can also run with out a server. You can clone your puppet repo and simply run "puppet apply main manifest.pp" The server gives you more control over what the machine receives, so each machine wouldn't have access to items such as ssh keys or user info that doesn't pertain to the machine.

about a year ago
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Wii Outselling Wii U, Only 160,000 Units Shipped Last Quarter

gozar Re: The move to HD hurt them (212 comments)

In another great move Nintendo limited the console to only being able to connect to one tablet at a time.

about a year ago
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Professors Say Massive Open Online Courses Threaten Academic Freedom

gozar Re:...and not academic freedom (284 comments)

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.

about a year ago
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Mitigating Password Re-Use From the Other End

gozar Why let users choose their passwords? (211 comments)

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.)

about a year and a half ago
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$200 Intel Android Laptops Are Coming

gozar Re:bets? (319 comments)

As the IT director for a school district, are are looking at the ASUS X201E running Ubuntu for a 1:1 program. Say what you want about Chrome books, they have opened eyes in our district. It would have been a really hard sell before. Now its easy. The Ubuntu laptops can do everything a Chromebook plus more.

about a year and a half ago
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Ars Reviewer is Happily Bored With Dell's Linux Ultrabook

gozar Re:Still fiddly if you RTFA (181 comments)

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.

about a year ago
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Blackstone Drops Dell Bid, Cites Declining PC Market

gozar Re:Good point about archiving (137 comments)

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).

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: How To Donate Older Computers to Charity?

gozar Make them into Chrome Browser boxes (260 comments)

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!)

about a year and a half ago
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Google Announces 2,000 Schools Now Use Chromebooks, Up 100% In 3 Months

gozar Re:As a teacher... (96 comments)

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.

about a year and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: Name Conflicts In Automatically Generated Email Addresses?

gozar Ohio State University already solved this (383 comments)

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.

about a year and a half ago
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What Early Software Was Influential Enough To Deserve Acclaim?

gozar Hello world (704 comments)

I can't believe this wasn't the first post!

about a year and a half ago
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Amazon Sidesteps App Store Business Model, Plays Back MP3s From Safari

gozar This is to be used with Amazon Cloud Player (114 comments)

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.

about 2 years ago
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A Subscription-Based Movie Theater

gozar Why are their costs $60,000 a month? (308 comments)

I have a local 3 screen theater that shows first run movies for $5 (matinee is $4) and another small theater 15 miles away with one screen that is pretty cheap (can't remember ticket price off the top of my head though).

I couldn't imagine these theaters combined have gross receipts for a year coming close to $60,000, let alone having those costs per month.

The other theater is transitioning to digital soon, too.

about 2 years ago
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Early Apple Designs Revealed, Courtesy of Hartmut Esslinger

gozar Really shows how far ahead they were (115 comments)

No matter how you feel toward Apple, those designs show how forward thinking they were. Keep in mind that most of those designs are from 1982. Two years before the Mac's debut, and at a time when we were all beating on our Atari 8-bits, Apple IIs, and Commodore 64s.

I'm especially intrigued with the split screen monitor designs. Dual monitors in 1982? Dual flat screen monitors? Pretty amazing.

And the baby mac resurfaces 14 years later as the iMac.

about 2 years ago
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Are Teachers Headed For Obsolescence?

gozar Re:Salaries aren't the whole picture. (570 comments)

Both of those professions allow you to retire after 20 years with full pay.

I don't know where that is, in Ohio, starting in 2015 it is 35 years and age 60 before you get full benefits. Full salary is defined as the average of the final 5 years of employment, so it will always be less than what the teacher was making at retirement.

And it isn't free, teachers are paying approximately 10% of their salary.

Someone else brought up a good point, when did it become a bad thing to work and pay for a career? It's not cheap becoming a teacher, if it was so easy and such a gravy train, why aren't more people going into education?

about 2 years ago
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School Regrets Swapping Laptops For iPads

gozar iPads are pretty incredible for schools (504 comments)

This article is more about a botched implementation than about the inability for the iPad to function in an educational environment. The Apple TV problem is when mirroring an iPad 2 or new iPad. It won't expand it to the full size of the picture. This problem goes away when using apps that support video out.

All of the should have gotten them laptops people need to stop and realize what a school day is like. Laptops are useable when placed on a table or desk. They're awkward to use standing, they're awkward to use when collaborating, they're awkward to use on the floor. A tablet, on the other hand, can be used standing, sitting, lying, can easily be passed around, has no battery issues, etc.

Typing long form on the screen is not painful nor difficult. In fact, when I sit down at my computer, I miss all the autocorrecting. I've heard from teachers first hand on how much more productive their students became when they were issued iPod touches. Students that would not write more than a sentence were now writing paragraphs for their teachers.

When talking about Android vs iOS, it's the apps where Android falls down. I have my Nexus 7 tablet, but where is TweetBot? Garageband? iMovie? Pages? Keynote? There are so many content creation apps for iOS, especially in education, Toontastic, Sock Puppets, StoryRobe, Flixlab, Creative Book Builder, etc.

I have ICS installed on my HP Touchpad, I have my Nexus 7 tablet, I have Gingerbread installed on my Droid. The apps aren't there for me to integrate them into my daily routine. I use my iPad and my iPhone every day. Usually Textastic on my iPad for programming and iSSH. Depending on the situation, I'll use my bluetooth keyboard or just type on the screen.

Just because it won't work for you doesn't mean it won't work for someone else (along the same lines, just because it works for me doesn't me it won't work for someone else).

more than 2 years ago

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