Friday, March 09, 2007

Distance Learning with Ed

"El Diablo" is what we have named our Distance Learning cart. (It's "Ed" when he's behaving.)

That thing took seven years off my life this week...wrong number, schools missing from the directory, a blown subwoofer, unattached cables, a missing adaptor, all kinds of loco connections (video with no audio, audio with no video, video with distorted Garbly Speak, schools that simultaneously COULD and COULD NOT see the laptop screen when we switched to Camera 4, etc.).Frantic phone calls to ALL of the AISD techies, Edinburg, and even Region I in The Valley. More email than I care to remember. Repairs and adjustments and tests and help from Cary and Chris who wheedled and cajoled and patched and threatened that cart into service.

And, in the end, it was SO worth it. Yesterday was an amazing experience!!

Here's Mr. Gonzales' unofficial thank-you note, dashed off a few minutes ago:

Yes, I'm up at 4:00 in the morning again...don't know why, except with all the sleep I've lost lately over El Diablo (the name of our Distance Learning Cart), maybe my body thought that six hours would be excessive. (I *crashed* last night when I got you did, too!)

Don't worry about that last session. We taped three good ones! And actually, I emailed all the Tech Team relating that I was happy overall with the experience, though just a little sad that the last class didn't get to have the same experience. OTOH, several teachers in that last group responded along the lines of "Who cares? It was cool!" or "We were the first ones!" or "It's technology. You warned us to have a Plan B, and fortunately, we didn't need it." and (my favorite), "Who cares? These kids don't know what a GOOD DL session is them even the last one was good!"

You just wouldn't believe all the positive comments we received yesterday. One of the Big Bosses at the Tech Center said that we were the first school in the district to ever connect directly to an off-district location without the help of Region XIV or some other Regional Service Center. ("Service Center? We don't need no stinkin' Service Center!")

Plus, everyone is thrilled that YOU were the first author to ever speak via DL to the kids here in AISD. Wheee! A *working* high school English teacher, an outdoorsman like our dads and grandpas, a positive role model of a family man...and a TEXAN. :-)

And just when I think it doesn't get better than that, I remember the story itself.

"Grandpa's Truck" was a gift to you from God; I *thoroughly & enthusiastically* believe He helped you out a little on that one. Whether He provided the inspiration, knew you worked well on a deadline so He gave you a WHOPPER of 1,500 words in 90 minutes, or even helped you with certain word choices, I am convinced that there is a touch of the divine in that story. The response you are still receiving, years later, is proof that God smiles on you when you use the talent He gave you!

Please tell Sandie and Cali, Jr. that Abilene sends our love and regards and that I'll be sending Sandie a copy of the tape. Please respond with the address where you'd like it mailed. (I'll copy and send it asap. Thank Heaven our Spring Break starts at 4:01 this afternoon!!)

Thanks again, Cali!
Kristy, Kirsten, Cary, Chris, Gaylon, the students & staff of Madison Middle School...and El Diablo!


Kirsten said...

Well, crashing is what I did last night too, and I wasn't as involved as you. (How many miles did I run yesterday? Answering phone calls? Oh, not that many!!!)
Anyway, you did good Kristy, don't let the one 'handicapped' session get into the way of doing it again! We had way too much fun, and 'Ann Thai' today :-)
Lets keep ahead of technology!

bo_berrin said...

I'm so proud of my sister(s)! You two take your work seriously, and so many reap the benefit.

And what better way to celebrate your success than Ann Thai Kitchen? I just made Thai food last night (Chicken Panang) and it was very good, but not quite as good as the "Anti-Kitchen"!

BTW, Kristy, there was a big difference between the cheap brand of coconut milk and the expensive brand. I was glad I bought one of each so I could see the difference.

Enjoy your Thai today! Wish I could be there!