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Getting School Online

19th September 1998

Found some time to fettle the web page and got most of the HAIR pages to work more or less. UNIX being more caps sensitive than Windows caused me a few problems. Thus felt better though index page is still a mess.

On Thursday night Tim and I went over to Gorleston for a meeting about a project which should get the school on the net and involved in an interesting project to do with a computer controlled milling machine and video conferencing. A group of schools are going to be linked up to this Gorleston school's machines with ISDN lines and cameras and all the bits and bobs. What we do with the ISDN line the rest of the time is up to us which should mean getting the pupils accessing the net and hopefully making stuff to go out onto the net. The implications of organisation and expense are pretty vast though. We are about to start something very big.

The meeting was held in a set of very fine purpose built computer rooms full of networked Apricots and red chairs with wheels on them. Secondary school funding means that they are much better equipped than us. We get along in a converted classroom with 15 Pentiums arranged around the walls and the server in the cupboard. It means that the pupils have all got their backs to you so you have to try to hold their attention for instructions whilst they are captivated by the screen.

This week I did a bit of word processing with all of year 8 for a fairy story book that we are doing. We got to use Mordred which I had got from Fontpool for the purpose. And Y5 are still logging on and logging off.

I've been fiddling with my web graphics this week which has been a bit of a waste of time. I have redesigned my index page which is a huge improvement. But then I got caught up in buttonizing my graphics which was good but adding the drop shadow less good.

Most of the time I teach art. Today Y6 are drawing the dinner lady's bike hanging up in the middle of the room. Y5 are drawing self-portraits ready for their Modigliani project. My main interest in ICT is through the graphics programmes and the web and its' possibilities.

Current targets include a prototype art dept online page or two with homework help, research links and a gallery. The beginnings of a school without walls?

My inbox is stuffed with replies about connecting the school via an ISDN line. The ISPs I contacted have been quick to respond with offers. Most of them look very expensive from the point of view of a cash strapped school. The kids may well end up with Hotmail mail boxes.

Tim has been taken ill and won't be back for a couple of weeks. As he is Mr IT we are now in deep trouble. Y7 are also missing him.

Has no one writing and broadcasting all this voyeuristic and salacious persecution of Clinton not thought that there are children in the room? It is bizarre that a group of people who seem to think in their own minds that they are moral guardians have been guilty of lowering the standards of public decency by so much in the pursuit of their malacious ends. Clinton is a prat though. And then all of the viagra hype in case you missed the Clinton thing. Very wierd times.
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