Friday, November 5, 2010
Glogster, Andalucia, Prague and the Matrix
Glogster is a great platform for this kind of synthesis/sharing work. It has been around for awhile now and last year glogs were everywhere in our school. It was a real work horse of a platform.
I was really excited to introduce it to a new group of students this week. Unfortunately, over the past two days we have been looking at a spinning wheel. On Wednesday I chalked it up to a glitch in the matrix. Stuff happens out there in server world. The students had lots of research to do and used the time well. Thursday they were ready to start building their glogs, but the spinning wheel was still there. I called our IT guys who confirmed the problem wasn't on our end.
I checked the website to try and find some contact info (when was the last time you saw a website with a phone number?) but ended up using the online white pages. They are based in Boston and I called and spoke to a wonderful person who also went through some trouble shooting with me. She told me that the Glogster programmers are located in the Czech Republic and had been doing upgrades. Given the time difference they were not working at the time, but she would email and have an update for me in the morning.
Three minutes later I received an email. The friendly Glogster person had called Prague the the team was working late! They hoped to have issues resolved in the morning. Neo would have said "Woah."
The interesting thing was the response of students. There was understandable frustration, but I started hearing grumbling like "I don't trust the digital age." and "the Internet is always broken." Not woah.
A few quick discussions about flexibility and contingency planning calmed things down, but also highlights the pressure students are under to produce and the extra challenges when things go wrong. Everybody got project extensions.
By the way, when the platform wouldn't load I needed a quick way to demonstrate the various editing features. I found this great 90 second tutorial on YouTube. The music is punchy and I provided the voice over. It worked out really well.
The matrix, if you will, can still be glitchy. Things don't always work to plan. And sometimes it still takes a telephone call to sort things out. Woah.
Day 7 NaNoWriMo
(Not writing a novel. Using this as a prompt to blog daily for a month.)