Thinking Technology

Monthly Archives : December, 2012

And The Other Stuff

Work & School

Those are the major chunks of my existence.  Let’s start with work:

Biggest news, its official, starting Fall of 2013 I will be the Co-Department Chair for CIS @ PCC. Spending time as dept. chair is part of my overall career plan and the first real step on my career path to be a college president.

What does the dept. chair do?

Three major things:
First, scheduling. The dept. chair is responsible for scheduling all classes for the dept. The CIS dept is large enough to warrant two dept. chairs. So the massive scheduling duties will be cut in two enormous chunks.

Second, managing the part-time faculty. Hiring new part-time faculty, performing part-time evaluations, etc. This will be my first management experience ever. Its necessary for my continued advancement towards my goal and I have to start somewhere.

Third, (and probably the most fun!) Student complaints. After a student is unable to resolve an issue with the instructor, they typically  go to the dept. chair. If the complaint is against a full-timer, it is passed on to the dean.

The other duties vary….

I’ve talked about this transition for probably 2 or 3 years. Now that it’s going to happen, I’m a little nervous. I’m sure that nervousness will expand exponentially as we get closer to Fall.

I’ve got plenty to keep me busy until then.

Winter term is looking to be fairly brutal. All 3 of my classes will need some sort of attention & of course 2 out 3 are jammed packed!

The CIS 225, is being offered online for the first time. While there are no in class  lectures, making sure things look and feel right are going to be fairly major.

CIS 187I I’ve never hit my stride with that course. It’s so similar to my 287I course its hard to really make 187I its own course. We’ll see what I come up with. I think I need to make it more basic…..

CIS 288M, because I’m due to redesign all the networking courses in near future, the plan has been to leave them alone. However, we are working on something called a Technical Skills Assessment. And it has to be added to a course and that course is 288M! This assessment is used to ensure students are meeting the outcomes that have been outlined for the networking degree.

Fortunately, I think most of what is required in the assessment is already in 288M. That’s a good thing. But I’ll need to do some patchwork and make sure it all fits.

Oh and one other little detail, I’m writing the Technical Skills Assessment with another faculty member, so it’s not done yet.

For me, one of the hardest things to do as instructor is to stay on top of grading. I’ve got to get that under control, and Winter term is going to be my target. I’m going to work daily grading into my schedule if it KILLS ME! It would save me so much pain in the long run. I’ll set out on the journey again and we’ll see how it goes.

Where work meets school

I have been doing an internship for my E.d.D. program. I have been working with Heather Lang the Sylvania Campus Dean of Students. She is my internship supervisor. The goal was to learn more about the student services side of higher education. I am fairly familiar with Instructional side of things.

Through this process I got to look at the formation of a new initiative designed to address the federal and state mandates and future mandates regarding the completion agenda. The simplified explanation, the completion agenda is an initiative designed to get more people that start college to finish college. The debate begins when you begin to discuss what finish means. To some, finishing means the student ends the process with a degree. The degree is the focus of the initiative. That has profound impact on community colleges because a degree isn’t always the goal of the community college student.

So the internship has focused around how PCC is approaching this issue, including examining the direction things are going at state and federal levels.

I see this topic being around and impacting my career in community college leadership on all levels. And the impact will be great enough that I’m going to be changing my dissertation topic. While distance learning is “safe” and interesting topic for me.  This process is about personal growth. Becoming a subject matter expert on the topic will certainly help my career in the long run. I don’t know the details of how I’m going to frame the big topic down into something I can work with, but the seed is planted.

This class is almost done….

When this class is done, I’ll have 5 left! Sadly, such a small numbers translates into a year left of classes. Oh semesters, they seem to take FOREVER! But this time next year I should be done with course work and be gearing up for my comprehensive exam.

My next two classes are Quantitative Analysis (counting things) & Education Law: Higher Education. Time to do some heavy lifting. Not looking forward to the Quantitative Analysis….. Oh with the change in topic my research method will most likely change from Quantitative Analysis to Qualitative Analysis (talking and stuff).

Something of Value

I haven’t blogged in a while for a few reasons, the first and most obvious, I’ve been busy.  But the more important reason, is Value. Why would anyone bother to read my ramblings; Big deal, I work I go to school. Who cares?!

So I decided I’d wait to write until I had something of value to include (with my regular ramblings.)

Given that, lets talk about one of the hot topics in the Windows networking work. New operating systems:

The writing is on the walls, The Microsoft networking classes (CIS 140M, 240M, 288M, & 289M) will be start teaching based on Server 2012 & Windows 8 in Fall of 2013.

What does it take to make this happen? How does PCC’s CIS networking dept go about making such a monumental change.

We start with when the actual OS will be released and when we expect to see books written on the released version of the OS. Versus books written on the beta versions. Things change between beta and release and it can cause confusion. We usually plan to launch the course with the updated operating system in fall term. So the course development happens over the summer.

Here are some notes from my touch of the new operating systems:

No install without activation Key for Windows 2012 & Windows 8….. Blah!

Needed to set both my VMs to Internal Only so they couldn’t auto activate

Straightforward installs

Windows 8:
Performed a custom install of Win 8
No sharing
Turned off Windows Update
Turned off SmartScreen Filter (need to look that up)
Left all of the Send Microsoft Info items off
Turned off Windows Error Reporting & IE compatibility checking
Turned off Share info with Apps features
Requires an email address….. Used: None@none.com

Attempted to connect to the Internet, can’t created a local account
Managed to get to the desktop, lucky guess
Trying to find the control panel
Found something! Mouse to the lower right hand corner of the task bar brings up controls
Settings! Control Panel! Boo-ya! Alright, there’s the familiar ground.
Also found the shut down

Server 2012
Just asked for a password
RARRRR! No start menu?!
Opened Service Manager (by mistake)
And that’s where they’ve hidden shutdown! It’s in a task drop down window.
Shutdown looks the same from there.

“They turned a tool into a toy!” John (my tech person @ PCC)

I’ve talked with a few professionals about the transition and most agree, it’s just different. It’s a different approach (going all mobile for Win 8 ) & different look at feel.

There are other major considerations for this transition. 2012 does not run on 32-bit hardware. That means…. Students that can’t run 64-bit virtualization are going to have an issue. I’ve yet to come up  with a viable solution to this & its going to take some bigger brains than mine along to figure that out.

Not the most in-depth look, but it’s a start.

I’m not 100% sure how I’m going to approach this Blog of Value thing. First thought is to develop a list of topics and a set schedule for updates. Surely with a little planning I can post regularly, right ?!

Here’s something: Latest version of Virtual Box (4.2.4)

This version of VirtualBox has two features that will my students should be happy with: “Shared Clipboard” & “Drag & Drop”

I noticed these features while doing some misc testing. I’ve yet to give them a try but I’m sure they will come in handy.