Archive for May, 2008

RoboTIC CriTIC Creates Critiques

This @rticle was cre@ted by Djeault, on Saturday, May 31st, 2008 at 5:57 am
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Critics and Critiques

§ 1. Voici, coquilles en moins, ce que Lisabuzz.com, une gentille critique robotique, raconte de ce blogue : « Sans tambour ni trompette, Joseph Deneault, Djeault, DjO propose ici une contribution ambitieuse à l’histoire du Web. En effet, le Blogue de Joseph Deneault, Djeault, DjO est un régal de bonne humeur, de bons mots, et d’informations passionnantes. »

§ 2. Here’s my translation: ‘With neither drum, nor trumpet, Joseph Deneault, Djeault, DjO here adds an ambitious contribution to the Web’s history. Indeed, Joseph Deneault, Djeault, DjO’s Blog is a delight of good mood, good words, and enthralling information.’

§ 3. I discovered that Robotic Blog CritiC here in Sylvain’s blog; Sylvain is a Music teacher. Then, I discovered that this blog, Catherine is an Art teacher, also got the exact same critique as mine: thus, I wonder how many critique versions there are, although the Critic robot likely can pick up key literary words to instantaneously create a few critique variants…

§ 4. That being said, after eight months working for De La Capitale School Board, they finally sent me a sealed attestation of my scolarity; it’s nice to know that by the end of this first school year working for them, the school board now knows at what rate they’re paying me. :|

However, there are a couple of problems with the Attestation

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Reform of Education Pudding

This @rticle was cre@ted by Djeault, on Saturday, May 24th, 2008 at 7:36 am
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Served with Pedagogical Renewal Sauce

In his @rticle, François, who teaches ESL at the high school level, recalls us that the Reform of Education isn’t a new phenomena, but rather was already ongoing 90 years ago; then, Sylvain St-Jean, who teaches at the elementary level, built on François’ this other @rticle: he wonders why after 15 years of formations, many teachers still don’t follow a technoRo@d or pedagogically improve their teaching manners

This list of past QC Ministers of Education suggests there might be a lack of continuity on top, throughout that never ending, always ongoing Reform of education…

Then, to summarise the Reform, at the Central Québec School Board, they believe that:

Learning is a lifelong process

There is richness in diversity

All individuals have potential to improve and have the right to develop their potential in a safe, caring and inclusive environment

Students must always be placed as the priority

 

I here wonder about the fact that teachers also are the priority. April fools’ day 2008, I got myself a laptop with the money I saved from my earnings doing replacements this winter; at first, I continued claiming that every QC teacher should have one and also that she or he should be able to deduct it from her, his income; today, I wonder if it isn’t all QC students who should have such a versatile tool.

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My 54th Year on Earth Begins Tomorrow!

This @rticle was cre@ted by Djeault, on Wednesday, May 21st, 2008 at 3:38 pm
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My 53rd year on Urantia nearly is over

§ 1. Around an hour after midnight, during the (two) hours of the rat, on 2008mai22, the first moment of the Geminis, I’ll be turning 53… With 53 cards played since my birth during the ‘year of the wooden goats’, will this be my second year of the Djeault-ker, DjOker, Joker? This ending year saw me (finally) start my ESL teaching career; my Love and I renewed our year long lease to 2009jul01 and a ninth year together; my mom and dad are both running to complete their 87th year; I found a reasonably priced Web Host, who supplies me with 10 data bases, PHP, web-mail, etc.

§ 2. Therefore, with such technological support, apart from static 1.0 Web p@ges, with PHP, I now may run this blog and a Wiki F@rm… A couple of months ago, we paid our dom@in djo.ca, until 2011mai25; we also paid our Web hosts in advance, until 2009mai25; I like feeling secure… In this past year, I also said goodbye to my oldie PC Windows 98 with its four, yes 4, GO hard drive and got married with a HP Pavilion dv9000 laptop, with a Vista system: simply, WoW!

§ 3. Moreover, this past year, after searching and proofing, I finally discovered magickJack, a VOIP telephony solution that undercuts all prices, @t $20 /year, for unlimited calls to VOIP, ground, or cell phones, anywhere in Canada and the USA and from anywhere in the wwWorld, where you may get a high speed Internet connection! As for the other VOIP system Skype, it cannot really receive calls, in Canada, except by an unreliable detour, which I wouldn’t recommend; nevertheless, Skype calls may be done free to and fro other Skype users, and that, using a WebCam, another inbuilt quality of my new HP wife…

§ 4. Furthermore, from wife to WiFi, this past year, I discovered nomad WiMax modems, which you may carry along in over 120 cities in Canada. That means I may now have my Internet connection, almost anywhere I do substitute teaching; that not only enables me to answer most ESL questions, but it also allows me to carry along passwords, user names and useful, pedagogical or not, files and folders… Indeed, I may now phone right from the classroom, or else, receive calls… This April, I was able to show my mom and dad that what was a dream in my childhood now turned real; we spoke on the phone with my human C-L wife and saw her pretty face on the screen!

§ 5. Apart from all that technology, I see through my window decorative apple blossoms ready to bloom into a pinkish pink birthday present; I love this time of the year, although in my childhood it snowed a couple of times on my birthday: one of those times, although I had the mumps, my mom let me quickly glimpse to the fallen and falling snow. Talking of my Mommy, indeed, tomorrow is also her birth-giving day: X X X to her for bringing me into this world, where I can listen to iTunes Radio st@tions from around the planet, as I write: THANK YOU MOM! I LOVE YOU!

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http://verbs.djo.ca

This @rticle was cre@ted by Djeault, on Monday, May 19th, 2008 at 1:23 pm
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155 Irregular Verbs

§ 1. As ESL teacher, I should have known, but I didn’t; there seems to be (at least) 155 irregular verbs in English. I don’t know how many lists of those irregular verbs list exist, on the Web or elsewhere, but I felt like making just another one, anyway.

§ 2. Lists of irregular verbs are like multiplication tables: memory is involved and there seems to be no end to them. Nonetheless, meta pedagogues say that a student learns better, if he feels that the work he needs to perform to acquire or master a competency is reasonable, possible or feasible…

§ 3. Is giving students lists of unnumbered irregular verbs all piled up in a block and printed really small, so as to fit into one 8½ x 11″ sheet, like pressing a delicious spaghetti into a block or a ball, so as to save space in a plate?

§ 4. Thus, I assume that grouping the 155 counted verbs 10 x 10 would make the global list more digestible and manageable and by the students and by the teachers: for example, if I teach a three-week long ESL class this summer, I’ll see the students 15 times; thus we must proceed at least 10 verbs a day, to go through them all.

§ 5. I’m thinking of a daily writing moment, during which the students write sentences that make sense, using 10 irregular verbs; I see it as a project, which would lead to a booklet, folder, or binder for each student, just on them once pell-mell, indigestible iRRRegulaRRR veRRRbs: something they’d like to keep for the rest of their lives or even give to their grand children… :lol: Doesn’t that irregular verb problem have to be dealt with soon or later?

§ 6. So, through some precious feedback, I crafted a user-friendly Web p@ge; no, I didn’t reinvent the wheel, but I now know that http://verbs.djo.ca, WITHOUT www, le@ds to a simple alphabetical list of 155 English irregular verbs, regrouped 10 x 10.

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kokoriko

This @rticle was cre@ted by Djeault, on Saturday, May 17th, 2008 at 9:32 pm

Surprise! !Sorpresa!

This @rticle was cre@ted by Djeault, on Wednesday, May 14th, 2008 at 11:39 am

81 days Substitute Teaching So Far

This @rticle was cre@ted by Djeault, on Monday, May 12th, 2008 at 7:14 pm
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Been working more than every other day…

§ 1. As of today, with this morning’s period, I have worked 81 days, since 2007sep24. There are 186 days of school in this school year; there are 27 days left and I missed 17 at the beginning of the school year = 44 days; 186 minus 44 days = 142 days; I worked 81 days on /142, thus better than a day on two: 57 %.

§ 2. Nevertheless, I started counting days towards a precarious status only on 2008jan24; at least, I did start counting: there’s a rule within this school board, by which you only start counting your days towards a precarious status, AFTER you’ve done a 20-day replacement: luckily enough I had 21 days in a row with the same teacher. Thus so far, I got 46 days in the bank towards that status: I’ve now travelled a quarter of the road to my precarious status…

§ 3. Today again I didn’t teach in ESL, but rather in geography; I had secondary II students whose teacher slept right through, was I told: thus, there was no course plan; neither was there a class plan, nor a student list. The precedent teacher played enigma with his students and let them free for the last 10 minutes.

§ 4. Thanks to The Simpsons; The Movie, after I sat my students down, so as to check absent students, I got to watch The Movie in French for the first time. In fact, The Movie does relate to geography and ecology! The students watched with great attention until the end of class. Mission accomplie and a 46th day /180…

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p@rtager son s@voir

This @rticle was cre@ted by Djeault, on Sunday, May 11th, 2008 at 6:18 am

Cardinal-Roy: Science or Sciences

This @rticle was cre@ted by Djeault, on Friday, May 9th, 2008 at 12:32 pm
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Teaching Sciences Rather Than ESL

§ 1. Today, Friday, even though I’m actually an ESL teacher, I’m replacing a science teacher at the first cycle; the first group are secondary II, mise à niveau students. We will be building parachutes; all went fine and the students got quite seriously into the activity… I’m now during lunch time waiting for periods 3 and 4 to start…

§ 2. As for my two periods this afternoon, in science again, the students will be watching the Movie The Island, starring Scarlett Johansson and Ewan McGregor. The movie relates to clones and cloning, an aspect of science, which raises many ethical questions…

§ 3. At the general sector of the school, there are (only) three videos; last Monday, there was only one remote control device for all three videos, but today Friday, it has disappeared, likely borrowed by a student, some teachers say… I should mention that the said remote control had no more cover for the batteries: the first time I used it, masking tape held the batteries in; another time, the batteries went dead and a student offered two of his calculator’s batteries…

§ 4. If I had to start the video at the beginning, at both periods, it wouldn’t be a problem; however, at the first period, I must start it somewhere in the middle since they started watching it yesterday: the problem is that one cannot forward the DVD, without the remote control! So, finally, since there was no remote control yesterday either, they had to listen to the first part in English; therefore, the students convinced me to restart the movie at the beginning because yesterday, they didn’t quite understand anything…

§ 5. In order to solve the problem and since I heard someone mention there was two new videos with two new remote controls at the school’s supplies store, I went and got one, but I had to promise to bring it back after class… Needless to say, I’m keeping a jealous eye on the remote control. Indeed, it seems they might have to throw out the videos left without remote control; nevertheless, a video now cost only $40; at that price, I’d say the school should buy a dozen; shouldn’t they?

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magicJack VOIP Phones

This @rticle was cre@ted by Djeault, on Thursday, May 8th, 2008 at 6:18 pm
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MagicJack: An American VOIP Phone

§ 1. VOIP stands for ‘Voice Over Internet Protocol‘: it’s a protocol specifically optimized for the transmission of voice through the Internet, writes Wikipedia; another Internet protocol is HTTP, Hyper-Text Transfer Protocol, through which we may browse by clicking links, so as to re@ch another Web p@ge, a file, a folder, etc. There also is FTP, for File Transfer Protocol, which allows you to transfer folders or files from your computer to a Website’s Web servers, for example, or vice versa. I guess I should also mention, SMTP, Simple Mail Transfer Protocol, which en@bles us to send m@ils; as for IMAP, the Internet Message Access Protocol, or POP3, the Post Office Protocol, they both @llow you to receive em@ils.

§ 2. If I lived in America, I’d be the happiest of man, for I would have just found an inexpensive, seemingly reliable, VOIP Phone, called magicJack: on 2008avr26, I ordered two for less than $94; I am not sure from exactly where they were shipped, in the USA, but I received them in Quebec City, QC, on 2008mai07: they were neatly packed into the same styrofoam pad within a ±5″ x 9″ padded envelope. A colorful, gloss cardboard, folded as a greeting card, contains the foam pad and presents the simple instructions

magicJack

§ 4. First, you simply plug magicJack into a USB port of your computer; then, you may simply plug your phone into magicJack, but you don’t have to, with a laptop like mine, in which are integrated a microphone and speakers; you may also use a set of headphones with a microphone and dial up though a softphone, meaning a phone interface on your computer screen.

§ 5. In April 2008, I tried Vonage to find out that it really doensn’t work with Vista; however magicJack perfectly does so! Moreover, magicJack is more or less 12 times cheaper than Vonage: indeed, for $50 CDN, you have the magicJack AND one year of free unlimited phone calls anywhere in Canada or the USA! The following years will be @t $20 a year too! You may buy a few years ahead of time at that same rate of $20 a year, whereas Vonage costs $20 a month + taxes! Thus I may write that magicJack is 12 times cheaper than Vonage and does work with Vista! MagicJack’s Website says it’s also compatible with Windows XP and Intel Macs… If anyone knows, please comment!

§ 6. With MagicJack, you also have Voicemail, which even sends you an em@il with a sound file containing the message left, for which you may also phone in. With magicJack, I noticed no slowing down of my computer, whereas Vonage, which neither worked with my Vista system, nor my lady’s, drastically slowed down both our laptops. To use both VOIP phones, you need a computer with a high speed Internet connection whether Broadband, Cable Internet, DSL, Wireless, Wi-Fi, or Wimax. like ours… It took me a couple of minutes to register myself and @ctivate my new New-York #:

§ 7. We ordered our magicJack phones from http://magicJack.com, but there’s also http://www.themagicjack.ca, the canadian magicJack outlet, which I discovered much after I placed my order; the latter explains better that another advantage of magicJack is a phone #, BUT ALSO that unfortunately, so far, only american area codes are available: the canadian website promises that when canadian area codes become available, we’ll be notified, but no date is yet set; I will get working on that, soon and in touch with Mr. Dan Borislow or his team! Foi de DjO !!

§ 8. Until I installed my magicJack, I had thought I would get my phone #, in my 418 area code, so schools callers may call me, without creating long distance fees… Since a neighbouring school board I won’t name spent $20,000,000, yes, twenty-million dollars, :x for a new Head office, I suppose, since mine didn’t, that I shouldn’t worry too much about the fees for a short call to verify if I’m availlable for substitute teaching or replacement: my school board should be able to afford that expense. If only 418 area codes become available, we’ll thus reduce our relation with BeLL to our two WiMax nomad connections, a $100 + tax a month expense…

§ 9. The canadian magickJack site also says this:

  1. A phone number from one of many metropolitan areas around the country that can receive free incoming calls from around the world.
  2. A license to use the magicJack to call the US and Canada for FREE during your first year of use.
  3. A USB optional extension cord.
  4. Free local and long distance calling to US and Canada.
  5. Free International calling to US/Canada numbers when traveling outside of the US.

§ 10. I repeat it, the license for the second year of use is $19.95! I didn’t see any cheaper @nywhere! However, someone calling you on you magicJack #, may pay long distance fees, even if the person calling you is in your town, if that person must pay her or his calls to the USA. I chose the closest, geographically speaking, available code: New York, hoping that might reduce the ‘long distance’ costs for someone calling 347-547-6793, (hint, tip, plog, wit, pun) and even though I said, again, that very morning, that I’ll never go to New York: never say never… 8)

§ 11. In fact, if all teachers, directors, or secretaries of a given school board had their magicJack, a laptop or a computer with a high speed connection, for the magicJack itself, it would cost $50 for the first year and $20 thereafter, for each worker. I would like to see the phone bills and the costs of Internet @ccess for QC’s 72 school boards. As for myself, unless something wrong happens in the next few days, I’ll keep my magicJack: it’s great! I yet have to convince my lady to activate hers so as to try it, but I’m sure she’ll love it, especially when I wind up I paying hers too… :roll:

magicJack with headsets§ 12. Last Sunday, Mother’s day, I phoned up my mom from Quebec City to MTL; I used my headsets and the conversation was crystal clear; I also talked to my dad, who has hearing problems, but even so, he heard me much better than with a regular phone; even better, it didn’t cost anything extra: no first minutes at 35¢, after or before such and such time, nor extra charges for long distance calls, no finely written detail… $50, the first year, $20, thereafter… That’s cheap; and the voice is perfect…

§13. So, at the moment, in order to fully benefit from a magicJack, you need to live in the USA, in an available area code; whenever they can support the 418 extension, I’ll gladly transfer my 418 phone # to my magicJack. Indeed, if electricity or your high speed Internet connection go down, you wind up with no phone; even so, meanwhile, magicJack will receive and register messages in your VoiceMail system.

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