Archive for November, 2015

Slow night of parent-teacher conferences.

November 6, 2015

Parent-teacher conferences tonight.  Things are a bit slow.  Senior parents have pretty much given up so I never see them.  I have 8 sophomores in my Math 2 so I will see some of them.  Four kids in my Python class and have seen one set of parents from there.  I have a little freshman girl as my tech aide and her Mom came in to see what I have her doing.  Second best tech aide I have ever had.  Only second best because she is only a freshman and has not seen a lot of issues yet.  Hopefully she will be with me for 4 years.

So what am I doing tonight?  I started by playing with Kodu.  I want to get this down to the point where I can use it for an after school coding class.  Got my latest Kodu idea mapped out so I thought I would learn how to program my new little Sphero BB-8 robot.  Tickle is the only app that allows a programming connection so I had to dig out and update the iPad.  I am not an iPad fan so the poor thing was really dead and really out of date.  I got it charged enough to turn on, got the update done and guess what?  Tickle will not run on an iPad 2.  Bummer.  I have some iPad Minis floating around here, I will have to try one of those.  Kind of a bummer Sphero does not make a programming app for the BB-8.  Back to Kodu.

Found an iPad mini.  A really dead mini.  Once charged it sees the wireless access point but will not talk to it.  Have I ever mentioned I am not an iPad fan?  Hooked it into a computer and reset it from scratch.  It seems to work now.  At least it is downloading.  The Apple iPad for schools/education is the biggest scam ever propagated in the world.  The things are horrible in the school environment.  A pain to manage, pain to fix, fragile, account crazy, and generally a pain in the rear.  Heaven forbid the password to an account a teacher puts on it should get lost.  Instant door stop.  A smart kid can hack the heck out of the things to the point of instant door stop.  Great for the individual user but as a group they cause lots of IT headaches.

Well it took two hours but the iPad mini is charging, updated and Tickle works.  Now back to the original goal of the evening of programming BB-8.  Tickle is a Scratchesque language.  Not a lot of commands and not much in the way of tutorials.  Cannot complain though, the app is free.  Sphero, the company that makes BB-8, needs to write some of the apps for their Sphero model robot over to the BB-8.  BB-8 is just a bit disappointing.  Oh well, it kept me busy for most of the night.

Back to Kodu in the morning.  8:00 to 11:00 waiting for parents.  I actually saw more than usual tonight.  Tuition is almost $10,000 a year for the top tier parents so it always surprises me that I do not see more.