[IAEP] Introduction: teacher interested in SOAS

John Landis john at johnlandis.net
Sun Nov 25 10:27:09 EST 2012

Kevin & Pato,

Thanks so much for the heads-up around this issue.  These are
definitely issues I was thinking about.  I've spoken to our
after-school coordinator about getting together a small group to trial
this with, and she is pretty excited about the idea.

>>1. What size of USB will you use?
Last year we had a usb donation drive for our older students who use
them in the standard way.  It was an overwhelming success, yielding
far more than we need for the older students, and drives in all shapes
and sizes.  I've been using 2 gig drives in my testing, but I can see
how that would fill up fast with the video recording activity.

> We took videos of our traditional rhymes.
I love these!  More importantly I think the more traditional teachers
at my school would love it too!  Too bad my spanish is so poor!

>>2. Will your computers boot from USB?

I've already confirmed that I can configure the BIOS to boot from USB
if present!  No problem here.

>>3. Sticks will fail at a high rate.  As I mentioned in my first post, we have about a 20% failure rate on our sticks every sessions.  Yesterday, one student had to try 3 sticks before we got one that
 >would work.

This is pretty distressing to me, as a reliable persistant save space
is really the biggest reason for doing this in my book.  Hopefully
with the benefit of your experience we can improve on that 20% figure.

>This means we always take a lot of back-ups.
Can I infer from this that the XS server does some sort of automated
backup?  I've been trying to figure out how essential the server is,
and whether it is worth the effort to set up, but that's probably a
discussion better suited to the SOAS tech list.

>  We were able to figure out that one computer was the problem,
>  not the sticks, so be prepared to be methodical in tracking the sticks >and computers.
Did you figure out what the issue was with the PC?  Do I need to
bother with tracking if all PCs are hardware identical?

> The problem diminished some  when we teach these students the meaning of the flashing LED on the usb. If you had blinked, you had to wait.

My notion is that I will train the students to watch the PC's power
light rather than the read/write light on the USB stick.  Possible
rhyme for remembering to do so:  "Don't take it BACK until the light
goes BLACK!"

Thanks so much for the advice.  I will keep in touch as the project
progresses, with blog entries to come!


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