Thinking Technology

Monthly Archives : March, 2011

I should stop in more often…..

And I would if I didn’t lead such a rushed existence.

For example, the week between Winter Term 2011 & Spring Term 2011 – IS OVER! I barely remember it beginning.

Spring term starts today. I’d planned on being far more prepared than I am. But I say that EVER term. At this point, I’m as ready as I’m going to be.

My schedule this term is different:

Monday – (CIS 288M)

  • (Office Hours) 9:00 AM – 12:00 Noon 
  • (CIS 288M) 01:00 PM-02:50 PM

 Tuesday – (CIS 225)

  • (Office Hours) 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM
  • (CIS 225) 11:00 PM – 12:50 PM
  • (Office Hours) 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM

 Wednesday – (CIS 288M)

  • (Office Hours) 9:00 AM – 12:00 Noon 
  • (CIS 288M) 01:00 PM-02:50 PM

 Thursday – (CIS 225)

  • (Office Hours) 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM
  • (CIS 225) 11:00 PM – 12:50 PM

 That’s a lot of time on campus for me & in the middle of the day. It could have a significant impact on course development time. We’ll see how that plays out. Also, my CIS 240M class is online only. That’s something new for me. But I know some of my students will be in the labs, so I have to make sure I’m available for them.

One brand new class, CIS 225. I found what looks to be a good book for the class. I’m going with the text book material for this run. I’ll see how it goes and make adjustments both as class progresses and for the next time I teach it.

R2 continues to be a dilema for me and the networking dept. R2 is dependent on 64-bit hardware. This will certainly exclude students from being able to participate in the class. And the main question becomes how many students. Come Fall it has to happen, so I need to start getting ready. It’ll require posting the 64-bit hardware requirement in multiple places so students have enough notice ahead of time. The difference between R2 and Server 2008 are… hit and miss. Some things are cosmetic, which makes having two sets of instructions for labs – painful and confusing. Until I can find a better solution, the pain continues.

My own Cert Study…. I realized that completing the AD Cert test was one of my goals for this years review, that didn’t happen. So I’m going to hve to hit that goal for the next review. I don’t want it to fall by the waste side. Not sure how in I’m going to fit it in, but I shall. I’d say over the summer but, that just sounds like an empty promise.

And finally, my quest for higher education. Or the highest education. I will begin my doctoral studies in June of this year. I’ll be pursuing an EdD in Community College Leadership @ Argosy University of Seattle. I started the application process and hope to get my paperwork submitted this afternoon. It’s been 6 years since I finished my MBA. This should be interesting. I’m starting over the summer because it’ll give me a chance adjust without the full time job in mix. By the time Fall term rolls around I’d hope that I’ve got the school thing under control and can transition into working and going to school full time.

For my classes I require students to find articles to analyze. One of my students came across an article that had a list of interview questions about Active Directory. I started reviewing the list and thought it’d a great way to provide some technical insight into my blog. So I’m going to begin making posts that address the answers to two or three of the questions. Keep an eye out for those posts. That should keep me posting more frequently to my blog.

Problem Steps Recorder

WOW! That’s about the best place to start when talking about this application.

 The Problem Steps Recorder is an application that comes native with Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2. Basically, this application lets you record clicks and screenshots.

 From the start menu, type “PSR”  When the application starts this appears:


Once you start recording  it keeps track of all of you clicks. You can tell its recording by the red dot that flashes at the tip of your mouse. When you’re finish you click stop record. You are prompted to save the information. The application creates a zip file, containing an .mht file.

 The .mht file contains screenshots as well as a step by step break out of what was recorded.

 Now, this is COSMIC on so many levels. I’ve found three major uses for my classes:

  • Writing labs
  • Having students do lab and just submit the file
  • Student troubleshooting!

 I’ve tested the troubleshooting aspect. Worked pretty well.  But nothing is perfect, there are some challenges to work through:

  1.  Doesn’t work with Server 2008 R1. I will be making it a requirement to have everyone using R2 but not until Fall 2011 Term. 
  2.   Size of the files. For longer labs it could get to be an issue.  This will also be something I need to test.

I’ve got some time to work out the master plan, probably start rolling out some testing soon enough.

Winter Term 2010 into Spring Term 2010

It’s drawing closer and closer to the end! All course development for 2 out 3 classes is done. The last class just needs some details hashed out for the last few weeks of the term.

Overall not a bad term. I certainly feel better about the quality of the materials than I did last term. Far less typos, instructions miscues, etc. Utilizing the release checklist helped to take care of the majority of the issues. Some still got through, but for the most part.

There was the usual improvement type items that I’ll address in the week between Winter & Spring term.

The biggest challenge remains grading, keeping up with getting ahead of it etc.

I started using a daily task list that had time slots for the tasks. Seemed to work well. I’m certainly going to incorporate that into Spring term. Maybe I can start out ahead of grading and not fall behind.

For spring, I’m expecting a little lighter development, but not a whole lot lighter. The CIS 225 class is BRAND NEW with brand new book and all. So we’ll see how that plays out. I expect a lot of familiar faces in that class so it should be good tymes.

Speaking of Spring Term, my schedule is interesting…..

Monday through Thursday all Midday. I’m on campus until 3pm two days and 1pm the other two days. Should be very interesting. Also I won’t be teaching two sections of 240M in Spring. I’m only teaching the Online section. That’ll be VERY DIFFERENT.

Changes isn’t always a bad thing.

Cert Study
I’m continue with light cert study. Reviewing the last test I took. Some side study. Plenty of R2 to to learn


I had a coversation with a student about having the Virtual Machines available to students in 240M and the student wasn’t to keen on the idea. The student felt they got a lot out of the first lab and the troubleshooting involved. So as always….. I’m contemplating how to improve my course.

I do see a series of changing coming down for the upcoming 1st lab. Take a little pain out of it.

Baby Steps

As part of my professional development, I’ve somewht returned to Cert Study….. I fired up the testing software and took a practice test in certification mode, got a 50%! Not a good score by a long shot, however it’s been a while since I’ve sat still and taking a practice Cert exam. I realized in my 1st year review I’d plannedon taking the Active Directory Test for 2008 Server.

Due to my shock in reviewing last years personnel evaluation, I didn’t quite get there.

I’m working my way back towards cert study. I have to fight to stay current in knowleges as much as I fight to stay ahead of course development AND grading. Two major fights I deal with daily. After taking the test I recorded my results and have been going through them based on objective. I might cert test again some day.

I’ve added two new books to my personal development library, both are from O’Reilly publishing:

Active Directory  

Active Directory Cookbook: