This is the last week of school for us. Kids are done this Thursday. Then I have to get to work. Being the school techie I am on an eleven month contract so during the summer I fix all the stuff I had been ignoring during the school year. This summer my list includes upgrading the Exchange server to Exchange 2010, trying to get WSUS to work and building a new Moodle server. The old Moodle server died as in dumpster dead. Better yet I am going to try and virtualize some of these apps because I really cannot afford to buy more servers. Which means I have to know more about virtualization other than the correct spelling. Which also means I probably ought to upgrade from Server 2003 to Server 2008.
I also spend a good part of the summer writing course material and deciding what I want to teach the programming kids. Since the school has no defined curriculum for programming and what there is I wrote, I pretty much get to do whatever I want. The drawback is I do not have a nice text book we can just brainlessly stagger through; I actually have to plan things out a bit.
Next year there is a kid shortage, I have no sophomores or juniors coming in to programming. Freshmen have no programming elective, their schedule is already full. A bit strange but it happens at a small school. I am a bit bummed. The present batch of juniors will be with me next year as seniors. I started with them as seventh graders with Alice. I need to get back into the grade school more often to keep the flow of CS kids more constant. Easier said than done. Trying to get programming into the grade school is very difficult. Their schedule is already crammed, none of the classroom teachers understand the need for programming and the computer time the kids do get is spent learning applications. Learning applications is critical at that stage; it is amazing how many kids cannot use the common applications. I was able to do Alice with those kids years ago because they were already familiar with the material they were going to miss in the regular apps class, and they were also sort of the pick of the litter. I want those kids but I also want the “average” kids to see what programming is all about. Getting the kids into programming young seems to get them hooked.