How Important Are the Tools…

Patience is a Virtue…

I know that waiting for something is not one of my strong suits.  Waiting for programs to load, waiting for a video to queue, waiting for a doc to be downloaded…  I am, at this moment, waiting for something from Hot Potatoes to load onto my work computer.  I have been waiting since lunch, which is now about an hour and a half ago.

Occasionally at work, things slooooowwww down to a crawl.  The computers aren’t all that old; it just seems that there are definite peak times when every credit student with a smart-phone is logged onto their student account doing highly useful educational things.  If I seem irked, how perceptive of you to notice.  The irksomeness stems partly from this bandwidth issue, and from the no-ESL-students allowed policy at my school.  Credit students can straddle our bandwidth and ride it all they like; ESL students are not given accounts.  We’ve asked.  They’ve said no.

Hey Hey, Got Some Action Finally…

Somewhere in the middle of the last paragraph, my Hot Potatoes install finally clicked on.  When I checked download status in Chrome, it said “estimated time – 1 day.”  Now, I know that isn’t true. Chrome tends to exaggerate the size of its fish, but come on – almost 1.5 hours?

Today seems to be particularly hard on our poor bandwidth.  YouTube videos struggle, and then give up about a third of the way through.  Stuff from the LIT2Teach site also takes excessive amounts of time.  I want to point, click, count to three, and then see the fruits of my labour.  Is that too much to ask?  Is it really necessary to have a book to read while pages load?

Lightning speed PCs with huge bandwidth… mmmm… I can see it now.

All Things Tech

technical-difficulties

I am currently in an online conference with Myenglishonline.  It’s a national online conference for EAL/ESL professionals.  I’ve been looking forward to it for months, now.  Logged on this morning to the welcome session with no problem.

Now, the site is overloaded.  Nothing opens.  Can’t log on to anything.  The page timer icon spins and spins, and nothing happens. Into the void…

When I was doing some research into the pros and cons of various LMS’s, one thing that came up was something about balancers, or a gateway.  If there is only one door, then it can get bottlenecked when you’ve got a load of participants trying to get through at the same time.  To solve this issue, you need multiple entry points.  And an idea of what your numbers are.

I know that planning any kind of webinar or online conference, there can be multiple issues that come up.  In the welcome session, the host started off with a contingency plan in case of difficulties such as this.

Glad I thought to log on to Twitter.  I don’t normally use Twitter, as I don’t have a cell phone.  The host, Briar, just tweeted about going to a test server site and said to check emails.  For some reason, I don’t get emails from these guys.

The point of writing this was that I was considering applying to TESL O for their volunteer webinar admin position.  Am still thinking about it.  I think I’ll be checking with the myenglishonline folks after this conference to learn a little about their experience with this medium.