Thursday, May 27, 2010

Cubric's Rube

This is my opinion of a poor assessment system that is not helpful to our children. It is, in my opinion more of a benefit to the ITPW in a CYA sort of way. Again, this is my opinion, and as Richard Dawkin's so aptly put it....if you don't like it then you can feck off :)

A feck off AND a smiley face - tomorrow's Friday! :) !

I was taught in an government run educational system and thankfully, at the time, never subjected to the 'rubric' form of assessment.

I work in a government run educational system and I've seen a lot of focus on the 'rubric' assessment tool lately and it really is letting students down.

I am fortunate to never have been subjected to this type of assessment - a model where an instructor/teacher/professor/whatever (ITPW) scribbles their mark in a certain box that represents their opinion of my level of achievement according to government's vague description of said level of achievement. I personally feel sorry for them in having to use this restrictive grid method and deeply concerned for the student who receives such vague feedback in this manner.

Maybe it's the rubric? Maybe it's the instructor/teacher/professor/whatever? I really do not know. I've seen many of the 'rubrics' come home and they are ridiculous. I have no complaints of the 'mark' - they are always level 3 or 4 - lucky parent me ya? It's the method or interpretation that is ridiculous.

Let's look at the differences in a 'level 3' and 'level 4' rubric assessment for a brochure assignment. From what I have seen they are all much the same. My experiences might be geographically specific and system specific, but they are mine so on with this...

Note: Level 3 means that provincial standards are met.
Level 4 means that provincial standards are 'exceeded'.

*There are no clear definitions or criteria that assist in determining what 'exceeded' really means*

Category: Writing - Vocabulary

Level 4: The authors correctly use several new words.
Level 3: The authors correctly use a few new words.

What quantity are we talking about here? Several/Few? Who are these words 'new' to and why is 'authors' plural if one student is writing it? If an IPTW chooses level 3 or 4 they should also be able to identify what words they are basing the choice on....ya?

Category: Attractiveness & Organization

Level 4: The brochure has exceptionally attractive formatting and well-organized information.
Level 3: The brochure has attractive formatting and well-organized information.

The only difference here is "exceptionally". Exceptionally is extremely subjective and is not defined in a provincially accepted standard. In this case, the difference between a 3 or 4 is the IPTW's definition of "exceptionally" - not the provinces definition of what 'exceptionally' means.

Category: Content - Accuracy:

Level 4: All facts in the brochure are accurate.
Level 3: 99-90% of the facts in the brochure are accurate.

A 'grading' of a level 3 means that 1-10% of the facts are inaccurate. The IPTW needs to be able to identify the 1-10% that is inaccurate.

Category: Spelling & Proofreading

Level 4: No spelling errors remain after one person other than the typist reads and corrects the the brochure.

Level 3: No more than 1 spelling error remains after one person other than the typist reads and corrects the the brochure.

So, no spelling errors after the IPTW reads and corrects means level 4? Everyone would get level 4 then. Grammar errors are not even considered!

So please, rate this blog post a level 1,2,3 or 4 according to you own values and particular mood of the day :)

Peace and Love

Creating a Tunepak on Reverbnation as a Label

It's not easy for least I don't know of an easier way, so if anyone knows of a better way please share :)

1. Login to your RN Label profile

2. Click on Profile

3. In the Artist Roster section, click on the "See More" link.
This will make it a bit easier since you will see 20 artists per page
instead of 9.

4. Click on the pull down menu next to the artists' Play button. Underneath each artist's avatar there is a play button. Immediately right of the Play button you will find the pull down menu

5. On the pull down menu, choose Queue - Add to Player Queue

Do this for every artist you want in the TunePak.

If you have several artists in your roster try to keep the TunePaks small ie. no more than 40 artists per playlist. That's only a suggestion but there are reasons for the limit - TunePaks use a First In First Out method and RN will limit the number of Artists per TunePak - you could add 100 artists only to find that your TunePak only contains the last 40 or so artists.

6. After you have queued up the artists for your Tunepak move to the RN Player near
the top right of the screen and hover the mouse over the play controls. A menu will appear with options to Save the list and Share the list

Optional....Save the list if you want

7. Click the Share Songs link - this is where you will actually create the TunePak

Enter a Title for your TunePak

At the Create TunerPak screen there are three options to
either Email the TunkePak, Get the TunePak URL or Cancel.

Click Get TunePak URL and copy the URL to include in E-mails or post on your Blog/Websites etc.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Upgrading to Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid Lynx)

As soon as 10.04 was released I burned a copy to CD. I decided to take the easy way out and
use the distribution upgrade method in update-manager and save the CD for whatever.

Starting with a completely well used version of 8.10 (Intrepid) I upgraded to 9.04 (Jaunty).
The upgrade failed and locked the keyboard and after trying everything else I ended up forcing a reboot - At least I had a CD, but nah, I'll try the upgrade again.

After a reboot I started the update-manager again and it seemed to want to continue where it left off. One more reboot and it 'seemed' clean. Forging on ahead I upgraded to 9.10 (Karmic) - smooth, perfect, until a reboot....Grub 2 is now used but my grub 1 boot screen was still appearing and the kernel versions were all, well weird.

So who cares, pick the latest kernel and let it boot and do the final upgrade to 10.04 (Lucid), right?

Bad move on my part, grub 2 totally taken over and the machine won't boot since my original grub menu is displaying and I can't find where this is coming from on any partition.

Booted from the original CD and installed to an empty partition. What I should have done in the first place :P

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

A smiley idea in an fml sorta way

...And, no, before you start this isn't a plea for help it was just an idea I heard about from a friend and I thought I needed to know what that looked like. So now I know and you do too - and please, do not try this at home. Well try the graphics icon stuff sure, but the whole pointing firearms to your head thing is well, not cool.