West Yap 06 July 1998 Yap Immedia and [386enh] corruption 07 July 1998 SWOT Communication and the perceived problems therein 08 July 98 09 July 98 Policy editor security training Impact of computers on learning Duplo printing equipment 10 July 1998 Chuuk 16 July 1998 20 July 1998 21 July 1998 22 July 1998 23 July 1998 East Kosrae 30 July 1998 31 July 1998 03 August 1998 04 August 1998 05 August 1998 06 August 1998 07 August 1998
I was met at the airport by Pius Miray. Pius is the computer laboratory coordinator for Yap campus. Director Lourdes Roboman had to make an unexpected trip to Guam due to a family medical emergency. A rental car was waiting for me at the airport and we were guided to town where we checked into the ESA hotel.
Everyone at the campus was aware of my arrival date and was eager and ready for training. My key counterparts were already identified and were available to me throughout my days at the campus.
During my stay at the Yap campus I worked closely with Pius. Pius had already set up all four computers and installed the software that had come with the computers. Pius had also carefully inventoried all software and hardware, with everything carefully tagged. From the attention to detail it was clear that Pius is a capable and competent laboratory administrator. Although with the campus for only three weeks, he shows the maturity and responsibility of a veteran laboratory coordinator.
The computers, four Micron P5-233 Windows 95.B plus USB machines with 24x CD-ROMs, 100 Mb Zip drives, 5.25 floppy drives, and 3.2 Gb hard drives along with modems and NIC cards, were ordered with the Academic software bundle. For an extra $60.00 the machines included the 1998 Grolier's encyclopedia, Zane Publishing's Dictionary and Thesaurus, National Geographic magazines from 1990 to 1996, and the Student Reference Library CD-ROM. The machines can thus play a useful role in general academic support.
On the morning of 06 July 1998 installed Algebra Tutor (AT) and Interactive Algebra and Trigonometry (IAT) on all four Title III math science machines (COM-0011, COM-0012, COM-0013, COM-0014). Determined a work-around to the "icon loss" problem IAT suffers. The solution is to transfer a copy of the "pre_icon" file from the CD-ROM to a directory on the hard drive, c:\at, and then point the shortcut icon at the hard drive copy. The CD-ROM drives on the new machines are drive R:. Drive c:\ is the primary partition of the hard drive, there is another gigabyte in d:\, e:\ is the zip drive. Why that leaves the CD-ROM at r:\ is a mystery to me, but the machines do have a USB port and the other letters may be pre-dedicated to the USB.
Installed F-Prot 3.01 on all four machines. Added it to the start menu. Did not configure for check on autoboot. Preliminary work in Pohnpei just before I left suggests that the order of the switches in the shortcut is now critical to proper operation. The order that worked for 2.28, c:\ /auto /command /disinf,does not appear to work with 3.01. 3.01 appears to need the dropping of the /command switch and appears to require the drive specification to be in the last position. My own uncertainty left me unwillingly to inflict an untested configuration on remotely located machines. Pius and I discussed the virus problem. The Yap lab is likely to be a monitored lab in which Pius can simply check the student floppy disks.
Installed poledit.exe on COM-0013. Would later cover the Win 95 profile editor security system with Pius. Installed the Grapher Excel notebook with mathematical graphing worksheets. Installed other workbooks including the training notebook Gradebook.
The Yap math instructor is not a permanent member of faculty. An instructor is hired on a part-time as needed basis. Hence there was no math instructor to train. The campus works as a tightly knit and collegial team.
Installed Immedia program that runs Chuuk.imd in COM-0014. This program corrupted Windows 95 on A204-19 and required a reinstall of Windows 95.B. The program is so uniquely useful that I wanted to try it on a "cleaner" machine. A204-19 was not a "clean" machine as it already had Adobe Photoshop 4.0 and the 16-bit digital camera software on it. Upon reboot Pius and I had a warning message from the new System Wizard sniffer facility. The sniffer claimed loss of access to syswiz.386 in the [386enh] section of system.ini. The System Wizard would prove to be a piece of crash guard and configuration protection software that either Microsoft or Micron included with these systems. It is clearly part of the effort to control the total cost of ownership. These machines refuse to quit running even after a GPF in a major component such as the Explorer. The system wizard steps in and terminates the offending thread, and provides if nothing else a graceful way around a hard restart.
In retrospect I think syswiz.386 is simply a tracking flag for the system wizard. Immedia had installed, illegally, a new [386enh] section to system.ini at the beginning of system.ini. This undoubtedly prevented the loading of the original [386enh] section. The new section contains a single device=dva.386 line. I moved the new device to the original [386enh] section and deleted the illegal [386enh] section. I had no other problems with COM-0014. I noted to Pius that the software should NOT be installed on any other computer. COM-0014 did not have "sleep mode" problems.
Oddly enough I would see sleep mode problems on computers on this trip, but in Chuuk on the old 8 Mb RAM Gateways. The sleep mode problem would involve the same msgsvr32.dll message that A204-19 has problems with.
I installed MSIE 4.0 onto COM-0013. Pius would later move this computer to the front office so that we could access a phone line. There are no lines in the current lab, but the lab is slated to be moved to the Force 10 building where there will be a phone line in the lab.
In the evening I ran around the blue lagoon one mile road lap in 14 minutes and 50 seconds under cloudy skies.
On the morning of 07 July COM-0013 was moved to the front office. The computer shared a line with the computer on Director Roboman's desk. I downloaded and installed the latest version of F-Prot and the macro.def files so Pius would have the most recent version of F-Prot. Downloaded ICQ and discovered that there is new version, 1.3, of ICQ.
That afternoon I had a good and long discussion with Mike Caldwell on the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats facing the Yap campus. Mike focused on the T in his SWOT analysis. He feels that the strongest threat at this time is Palau Community College. PCC attracts something on the order of a hundred students, in part by not having any entrance test requirements and in part by being closer to home than Pohnpei. We also discussed the difficulties involved in communicating with the National campus. I would hear this refrain later in my journey: communication is perceived as a problem. It does not matter if we think we have fixed the problem, the problem is defined by those who feel they are experiencing the problem.
Communication remains an area in which we must do more, must work ever harder, in an effort that can never be allowed to slacken or flag. I think bringing more people into email loops would help. ICQ could also help. It should be noted, however, that for ICQ to actually work one has to leave oneself "visible." Some ICQ users run in a default mode of "invisible" to avoid disruption. Bear in mind that ICQ lets one block people if they become bothersome pests. And it is OK to respond to a chat request with a, "Not at the moment, I am rather busy with another matter at this time." I leave my ICQ status as "Available/Connect" and my authorization as automatic and I have not had any problems.
I also worked with Cecilia Dibay, showing her how to utilize more of the features of email. Loaded and looked at COMFSM Access files, but after further investigation and discussion I determined that an Excel based approach would be more useful to Cecilia.
Spent some time in the afternoon reading through the replies of the applicants for the positions on which I am a member of the ad hoc hiring committees. I wrote my input into the process and sent them back to all committee members. I consider what I had done to be an active demonstration of the power of email to remain active and in touch with a home base even while on the road. Later in my journey I would participate in a further demonstration of technology to bridge communication gaps when I would utilize NetMeeting to communicate with Pohnpei.
In the evening I ran South past the hospital. I was pleasantly surprised by the dogs: none of them were given to chasing a runner. Cars passed me slowly and carefully, providing me a wider berth than I normally get on Pohnpei. Traffic moves at a more relaxed pace on Yap.
I covered mail filters with Pius early in the morning. Then we toured http://www.askjeeves.com and sites such as http://lumahai.soest.hawaii.edu (weather satellite photos) and the use of the history folder in MSIE to track sites visited.
Worked at length doing a one time conversion of Cecilia Dibay's worksheets to a database format. I added various category columns, such as term and full name for later use in form letters. The database detailed the back debt of the Yap state teachers. Mike was working closely with DOE on trying to clear the back debt and to get it paid off. Cecilia's numbers were necessary to this effort. Started one on one training of Cecilia in the use of Excel as a database. Later she and Martin had to attend the bid closing on the fitting out of the Force 10 building.
In the afternoon I had Cecilia go step by step through a subtotal operation to a form letter generation operation. The process was complex but necessary. Many teachers have debt accumulated over multiple terms. Thus the debt must be totaled before it is put in a form letter. This did generate some difficulties for the Excel/Word system. The principal difficulty is that the word "total" is tagged onto the subtotals. Thus the form letter must be written oddly to avoid "Dear John Jones Total." We worked together for about two hours.
I participated in the weekly staff meeting, Martin and Cecilia led the meeting. The meetings are inclusive: all faculty and staff of both the College and Land Grant operations. Everything is voted upon.
I then spent 45 minutes with Pius at the helm of a computer directing him through the use of the policy editor.
In the evening I ran three laps around the lagoon in 36 minutes and 19 seconds. Young women in training for the Micro Olympics were also out on the loop. The loop seems to be a very social place, not unlike the PICS track.
Assisted Dominic Thing with an http://www.askjeeves.com search on design and architecture. I showed Dominic how to use Jeeves and then let him explore the results. I still find this type of training to be effective: allow the student to explore on their own and stop by periodically in case they have gotten stuck or are ready to learn something new.
I then worked for three hours with Pius on full blown policy editor security. At this point we had two machines secured. Pius appeared to like the security system. He then worked on and secured another machine on his own. Pius learns extremely fast, he sees something once and can then take it and run with it.
Mike Caldwell felt I should make a courtesy call on the Yap State Director of Education Henry Fulani. Mike set up the meeting and I met with the Director briefly that afternoon. We discussed the impact of computers on mathematics education and the results we had in hand that indicated the positive impact of increasing contact hours and the cognitive approach. I also cautioned that the cognitive approach was far from an instant cure: the method required an instructor with a strong math, science, and cognitive psychology background - as in six years of collegiate education. I noted that increased contact hours was the easier path to take.
Discussion turned to the impact of computers on learning. I noted that although computers have not had a statistically significant impact on learning, we have come to view the computers as necessary for reasons different than we anticipated when we began. I described the computers as mathematical microscopes: they let us see things and do things we could not do before in mathematics. Would adding microscopes to a biology course that never had microscopes before result in improved student performance? The microscopes would add to what can be learned: the result would be a course that might actually be more difficult. We do not expect the addition of microscopes to improves grades. On the contrary, we may have more failures as students will now face laboratory based tests. Do we therefore discard the microscopes? No. They are necessary to modern biology. The computer is a mathematical microscope, we can graph and factor equations we could not before. Now we can solve "real world" problems rather than examples contrived to meet the need that the problem be soluble with pencil and paper.
I concluded the afternoon with a long technically oriented discussion with Scott Davis at the Print Shop. I was given a tour of their Duplo printing equipment. They are able to produce everything up to and including bound books with the Duplo equipment. They possess a full array of Duplo modules for printing, collating, stapling, and binding. Scott notes the Duplo unit is a good unit, but one is locked into a single dealer and their price structure.
The main unit is a three page per second printer that uses stencil like masters. There are add-on units for stacking, collating, and edge binding. His favorite unit is the glue binding unit. With laminated covers the result is a bulletproof book and the glue lasts longer than rust prone staples.
They are printing their own texts. Texts that used to cost $5.60 when produced abroad are being made at home for 40 cents. The output is a glue bound book, very professional looking. The low cost of the masters and the ease of their production means that Scott's break-even is 20 copies. Thus anything that would run more than 20 copies can be done through the print-shop. This is a much lower break even than our 100 copy break even point. This lower break even point would have a strong impact here: most photocopying is done in the 30 to 60 copy range for one to three sections of a course. Offloading copying in the 30 to 60 range would greatly reduce the load on our photocopying equipment.
In the evening I ran a light run of two lagoon laps in 23 minutes and 39 seconds.
In the morning I performed an upgrade on Internet software on COM-0013. Outlook froze-up as it tends to on unexpected termination of the winsock. I had just read that this is known problem in MSIE 4.0 the night before in a computer magazine I picked up in Guam. The magazine indicated that there is a service pack for 4.01 that fixes the problem. So I checked the Product Update item on the Help menu while on line and the site offered to upgrade the computer automatically. After the upgrade I noted that the Internet Explorer had moved from 4.72.2106 to 4.72.3310.8. I showed Pius the College's Web Index page and the Internet Policies page.
Pius wanted to know how the IEP software installed. Cecilia was in the lab so I handed a CD-ROM to her and led through the installation process while Pius watched. He concurred that the process was straight-forward and simply. Cecilia then went on to train herself in the use of the software. I remain a firm believer in the guided exploration model of computer training.
In the afternoon Pius and I installed full security on COM-0013, which was still in the front room so it could connect to the Internet. We also tried the new VRML plug-in, but VRML still feels like one is trying to steer a kite in a gusty and unpredictable wind. The image slews and slides unpredictably even with carefully controlled input. COM-0013 is ready to go as the "nsfyap" machine when the account is set up.
Yap campus seems very Internet ready and aware. The Director was already using MSIE 4.0 before I came, and both Cecilia and Walter were capable users of email prior to my arrival. It appeared that the Director had been sharing skills and knowledge with her staff. I left feeling that the equipment was in good and capable hands and with a sense that it would be put to good and productive use at the Yap campus. Overall I was left with a very positive impression of the campus. A strong sense of a can-do attitude and an ability to work as a cohesive team.
A luncheon was held in my honor on Friday with Walter and Cecilia presiding. Shrue joined us for the luncheon.
On Saturday morning I joggled from the ESA hotel out to the airport and back in one hour thirteen minutes and 24 seconds. I reached the college campus in 22 minutes from ESA. Once again I saw dogs but none gave chase. The run was especially pleasant due to the wide roads, a sidewalk that went all the way to the high school, and the slow pace of traffic in Yap. Yap is a runner's dream, cars that pass carefully, roadsides that are kept as trim as a golf course green, and the company of exercising locals.
The lap around the blue lagoon in Colonia is a mile by the odometer of our rent-a-car, so one's blue lagoon lap time is one's mile time. Yap never seems to ask for what is not earned. Not once did a child yell the local equivalent of "toh me eho," the Pohnpeian for "Give me one." These islands once traditionally taught their young through what was effectively an apprenticeship system. Children learned by watching. I have yet to hear a child yell, "Show me how!" I have always conceived that it is an unfortunate legacy of the trust territory thinking that converted "Show me how" to "Give me one!" On Yap I never heard "Give me one!"
I took four days off and visiting Saipan, calling on Cal Wyatt, the MacCarters, Bill Rathburn, and other friends living on Saipan. Thoroughly enjoyed my stay there. Ran the airport loop and Coral Ocean Point golf course.
I came in at midday from Guam, and had only a brief part of the end of the day on campus. Upon arrival no one met us at the airport. I could not determine whether there was a rental car waiting for us or not. My travel agent had set up a reservation at ChuukStar, but the Truk Stop driver insisted I go with him. We went as far as the campus and got down there. My arrival seemed to be a surprise, but I did eventually get checked into the ChuukStar and was issued a rental car.
Only one of the computers was unpacked, a computer I would later designate Chuuk-02. The computer sits on a table facing Kersweet's desk. These names I use are also their log on usernames. We re-worked the single phone line that stretched 20 feet from the bookstore across the ceiling and down to Kersweet's desk so that it also hooked up the computer. I upgraded the OEM installed MSIE 3.02 with 4.0 from the CD-ROM and then used the Internet to finish the upgrade to 4.01 SP1. Then I downloaded the current version of F-Prot and upgraded my own floppy disk files with the most recent macro.def file.
The Director did stop by in the afternoon to greet me. It was noted to me that he was on leave and hence his not being around earlier.
Evening falls quickly in Chuuk as it is at the Eastern end of its time zone. Yap, on the Western end of the same time zone, is dark in the morning and light until well after 7:00 in the evening. Chuuk is dark by 7:00 in the evening. With the dust, road conditions, and dark, I did not run in the evening.
I began the morning by downloading ICQ 1.3. I went over Internet addresses and search engines with Kersweet, including coverage of http://www.askjeeves.com I then loaded the academic software bundle disks including Groliers 98, the Excel files, IAT, and AT.
I spoke with math instructor Danny in his office for an hour. I went over my research results. We also discussed Title III's internal structure and responsibilities, IEP history, math department history, the re-numbering of MS 050 (this was the first he had heard of the renumbering). Danny indicated that 40 students were expected for the Chuuk IEP this Fall. Margarita Cholymay has said that number could go as high as 60. It was unclear to me whether there is IEP software in Chuuk.
As I moved around campus and spoke with people it became clear that no one had used the Internet or had any background knowledge about the Internet. This was for me a contrast with the Yap campus. I was also puzzled by the apparent lack of awareness of my arrival. Everyone seemed to know only vaguely that I was coming this summer, but no one seemed to have been told when I would arrive. Everyone was very helpful, however, and very receptive to suddenly scheduled trainings.
From discussions with Kersweet it became clear that he had in mind the idea of having students submit questions to which he would look up the answers from the Internet. "When a student asks us a question, can we look it up and print it out so we can give copies of the answer to other students who come and ask the same question?" Over the course of the week I encouraged him to think in terms of letting the students utilize the Internet through easy to use front ends such as http://www.askjeeves.com I noted that the goal is for students to learn not just the answer to a specific question but also how to use the Internet. There was some puzzlement at why we would take the time to look up a question that we had already looked up on the Internet in a previous session. I had to keep coming back to the driving concept being that the student learns how to retrieve information. I had a feeling I was arguing for a library that facilitated access to information in an environment where the library built its importance on being a source and a controller of information. I could see many print outs on the library desk from CD-ROM encyclopedias.
The Director had arranged for a table to brought into the library. The power was off in the afternoon, so I used the power off time to unpack the other three computers in the heat, humidity, and dust. I also had the APC SU 1000s located and I set them up. They now come with the necessary Windows 95 software on a CD-ROM. The new software installs clean and without the Netware junk the earlier versions came with.
When the power did come on I began to add important sites to the favorites folder. I then let Kersweet wander the Internet in order to begin to get a feel for navigation while I booted Chuuk-07 and Chuuk-08.
Once again I did not run in the evening.
A vicious viral cold kicked off with a fever, sore throat, and congestion.
In the morning I set up Chuuk-06 and began loading software on the three non-internet machines. Worked again with Kersweet on Internet usage. The director had decided that Excel training would occur from 5:00 to 6:00 in the evening. I had about eight people at the session. The day before, on Sunday, I had come down with a vicious head cold and fever. I was not in top form nor fully functional on Monday.
I drag my body out in the morning and manage a fifteen minute five second trot around the "little triangle" formed by ChuukStar, the Pentecostal church, the Christopher Inn, and the airport.
Director Graceful Enlet and Upward Bound director Deliver Salle took me out for breakfast.
At campus I set up full security on Chuuk-07. Kersweet was still trying to understand the ins and outs of the favorites menu, so I opted not to explain to him the details of the security setup. Instead I noted that the campus could benefit from a computer repair/lab monitor person. I gather that they advertised for one and had no qualified applicants. On the Gateway computers the security is a CMOS user password that a librarian has to enter in order for the machine to boot up.
At Deliver's request, I stopped by his office. He wanted to know how to create web pages. I showed him FrontPage Express and showed how we could lay up text and images with it. I noted that the more complicated part of the process is how the pages wind up on the Internet. His page was destined for some server in Montana, but I could not determine by what process he was to submit the page. His machine kept trying to spin the floppy drive as we worked. I was suspicious as that is one of the possible behaviors of a boot sector virus. I loaded F-Prot and determined the machine to be clean. I then determined that the two year version of Norton Antivirus did not detect NPAD nor CAP/A but could be automatically updated. I then began the update process for Deliver. I left at 10:00 to try to set up a NetMeeting with Pohnpei.
The 10:00 NetMeeting was a first ever three way NetMeeting. Gordon and I had only done two way NetMeetings in the past. We learned that audio suffers if whiteboard operations are too intense. Pasting pictures onto the whiteboard can cause the audio to cut out completely. Audio is full duplex if virtually nothing else is being done in NetMeeting.
At lunch I picked up burgers at Rahn Annim and we ate in the room at ChuukStar.
After lunch I loaded all of the CD-ROM and math software onto Chuuk-08. I also secured the CMOS settings. The CMOS password is presently ice and the screensaver password for boot into administrative mode is chuukice. The math instructor, Danny, came into the library and we spent about two hours going over the math software (AT, IAT, Grapher, Excel). We also covered math course content issues. Danny noted that he has to "back-up" at the start of each term. I explained our multi-year tightening of standards and our barrel ahead approach in math classes. I noted that we simply cannot reteach all of MS 098 and then make it through the MS 100 material in MS 100. I noted that I begin the MS 100 Larson text in Chapter 1 Section 1 on day one. Danny asked for a copy of Larson to be sent to him.
As often as we can be connected to the Internet, the Internet connection remains open during the day. Kersweet is now plowing through searches like an old hand. He is printing off materials he anticipates needing prior to getting an account. He knows what materials will be requested, materials that he also knows he does not have. He searches for and prints out material on classroom management, World War II Pacific battles, and the Compact in Palau. http://www.askjeeves.com is his front line search engine, followed by http://www.inference.com/infind/
The 5:00 class now has four students including Stephen Richmond, Kersweet, the Financial Aid Officer, and Virginia (Upward Bound). Another chap, a member of faculty, is self-studying by day, working through my sheets unassisted.
At 9:00 P.M. Margarita's children deliver a second batch of food for Shrue and I. Shrue greatly enjoys the local food and fish.
We downloaded the new Real Player G2 to watch a CNN special on the tsunami in Papua New Guinea. It GPF'ed the Explorer a couple of times. It did, when it operated, deliver vastly superior audio and video to Real Player 5.0. G2 appears to know to cut audio at the end of the sentence rather than mid word on a buffer reload. And G2 dynamically changes the frame rate, preserving audio over video.
At 10:00 we once again ran a NetMeeting, this time a four way NetMeeting. Then we lost power in Chuuk.
Worked in the afternoon on Chuuk-08 and Chuuk06 security. Spent a couple hours in the afternoon going over Internet search techniques with Mrs. Cualing and Margarita Cholymay. My four Excel students returned at 5:00 for their third session.
Continental slept the night on Chuuk, reportedly due to engine problems. As the jet engines revved up for a sunrise takeoff, I rolled out onto the road and headed for the airport. I passed the airport and headed northeast on the runway parallel road. Continental went to full thrust as I hit the half way point along the runway. Joggling this stretch is difficult due to the huge potholes, I was unable to open up to a sprint and Continental roared past me at 110% of full throttle. Although I had lost the race, I still felt exhilarated. I then ran up to the high school and back down to the campus, returning to the ChuukStar after 29 minutes and 10 seconds.
I spent the morning adding some final font and sound patches to MSIE 4.01 SP1 on Chuuk-02. Double checked the setup of 06, 07, and 08, to ensure they were fully operational under policy editor security. I went over the operation of the security system with Kersweet. Student mode and administrative mode. We also covered what happens when the student tries to enter their own name in as a username.
In the afternoon I went over the Internet Virtual Library and briefly covered Web Rings with Kersweet. We did more searching for classroom management material for Mrs. Cualing.
At 5:00 I held the final Excel session with the same four students. At this session I handed out evaluations.
Arrived on Kosrae was around midday. Arrived at 1530 at the Kosrae campus. Brief discussion with Director Kalwin Kephas and Math Instructor Ray Zepp. Kalwin left Ray and I, we then discussed a number of issues across a wide range of topics. I covered in special detail the evolutionary history of math at the College.
I started with coverage of the MS 098 General Math (arithmetic), MS 100 Elementary Algebra, and MS 101 Algebra and Trigonometry structure of 1992. When math instructor Patrick Perrry and chair Calvin Burgoyne determined that MS 100 had a high failure rate despite quality instruction in MS 098 and a high pass rate in MS 098, we decided to resurrect MS 050 Remedial Math and move the transition into algebra down into MS 098. Students would pass MS 098 and then repeatedly fail MS 100. Dr. Perry referred to students stuck in MS 100 who could not be "coughed up" to MS 101 as "fur balls."
Thus MS 050 became the arithmetic course and MS 098 became six weeks of prealgebra and ten weeks of high school level algebra in preparation for the collegiate algebra of MS 100. At this time the blue cover Aufmann text was adopted for MS 098 and the courses were unofficially rechristened MS 050 Prealgebra, MS 098 Transition to Algebra, MS 100 College Algebra, and MS 101 Algebra and Trigonometry.
The driving idea was to move the "brick wall" of algebra from a break (between MS 098 and MS 100) down into the middle of a course so the instructor could find ways to ease the students over the "brick wall." The hope was that this would solve the "fur ball" problem. The new Aufmann text was first used in the Fall of 1993 and was taught as rote drill and practice. A staggering 74% of the students were not eligible for promotion at the end of the term. I had taught the course and was devastated. In the Spring of 1994 I took a whole new approach that started with set theory and built into a concrete algebra system I dubbed Al Jabr. Al Jabr used marbles, pompoms, and yarn to create a concrete model of linear algebra. Just shy of midterm we transitioned from Al Jabr into symbolic notation. At the end of the course 60% of the class promoted into MS 100 based on a traditional final. This term would lay the groundwork for a course called Conceptual Mathematics which would be taught in the Fall of 1996.
I covered the brief life of MS 103 Geometry in Calvin Burgoyne's format: eight weeks of syllogistic logic leading to Venn diagrams following by eight weeks of construction based geometry. This course was intended for education majors as an alternate to MS 101.
In the Fall of 1996 the learnings of 1994 would be utilized in the design of MS 050 Conceptual Approach, which I now refer to as a Cognitive Approach. By this time the Aufmann series offered a single text that combined basic mathematics with algebra. This allowed the department to use the same text in MS 050 and MS 098. The first half of Introduction to Algebra with Basic Mathematics Second Edition was MS 050 and the second half was MS 098. The first four or five chapters were arithmetic and the later chapters were early algebra. As a result MS 050 remained arithmetic while MS 098 became wholly algebraic. The "brick wall" had moved down to between two courses again. On the up side, both courses shared a common text.
MS 050 Conceptual Approach would prove to be statistically significantly more effective than the traditional approach at preparing students for MS 098 as measured by student success in MS 098. MS 050 CA was not expected to, nor did it, raise pass rates in MS 050. Failure to be promoted out of MS 050 is thought to be usually due to external social and environmental factors.
The success of the spiral curriculum cognitive approach of MS 050 in the Fall of 1996 would later lead to the creation of a math course originally titled math for "Sasha," a course designed to assist students who were highly skilled in English but had not passed the math entrance test. This course would be numbered MS 090 Developmental Math and enrolls only conditionally admitted students and only at the Palikir national campus. This also lead to the renumbering of MS 050 as MS 095.
Ray asked questions and I held forth until after 1700 hours. Ray and I then walked to his place, with me still babbling away. After Ray turned in for his home, I continued to Malem. I joined seven other boys on the North side of the Malem inlet in pounding reef surf. Punchy little boomers curled over into two inches of water on razor sharp reef. The local mean sea level was unusually high for a summer neap tide. I guessed that mean sea level was up two feet over last year. The sun set in Mount Ohma as we paddled in over dark water and a shadowed reef.
I set up the first math science computer, which I logged onto as Kosrae-18, after moving the computer boxes from the new building to the present lab. Kalwin had the phone company provide a temporary line for Internet connectivity. I enabled the content advisor. Upward Bound Director Morgan Jonas stopped by and indicated that the student machine, a Packard Bell, could no longer connect to the Internet. He asked me to have a look at the computer.
I would later look at the machine and note that the modem line was not being run through a telephone line surge suppressor. I suspected modem burnout but didn' t want to haul open the case. Opening the case would not have fixed the machine and since I could therefore do nothing good I opted to do no harm by leaving the computer intact.
Downloaded ICQ 1.3 and but could not log on. 1.3 is newer than the builds we were downloading in January. Began the upgrade to Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.01 Service Pack 1 and Netmeeting 2.1. Noted no surge suppression on the temporary line and no American Power Conversion Pro 7 T surge strips with the telephone surge suppression ports. Went to the bank and lunch at the Islander. Also put Ask Jeeves, Web Index, and college home page into the favorites folder. Ran email, set up basic mail filters, and configured various options.
In the afternoon I began the set-up of Kosrae-19 while 18 continued a painfully slow download of the MSIE 4.01 SP1 upgrade. I altered logo.sys on Kosrae-19 to reflect its name and that it would have Immedia installed on it.
Set up the digital camera on Kosrae-19 with associated software. Downloaded RealPlayer G2. I worked alone in the lab for much of the morning. Kalwin went to pick up keys in Malem, Ray went to customs to clear the furniture for the new building. Wiggins Sigrah, a Kosrae High School math teacher who audited my MS 101 course when I taught it on Kosrae came in. I showed Mr. Sigrah the grapher notebook I had put together in Excel, I also covered using Excel for graphing. Then I demonstrated some features of the Internet browser. Late in the morning Mr. Sigrah observed a NetMeeting I held with Jean Thoulag on Pohnpei. Mr. Sigrah also used Netmeeting. I took a digital picture of Mr. Sigrah and pasted the image onto the white board. Jean and I also ran full duplex audio.
I went to lunch and left Mr. Sigrah in the lab with the browser hooked up to the Internet. During lunch I took pictures of the new Force 10 building. These pictures wound up being posted at: http://www.geocities.com/TheTropics/Cabana/4705/ksacamp.html
After lunch I set up student/admin policy editor based security on Kosrae-19. I ran Ray through the basic log on procedures for student and administrative modes. I opted not to go into the details on how to set up the security. I also put together the ksacamp.html file noted above.
I found the "PC Magazine" branding done by the CD I was using to upgrade from MSIE 3.02 to 4.0, a process that greatly reduced the time necessary to upgrade from 3.02 to 4.0 SP1. I changed the entries to "Kosrae campus."
At 1700 Kalwin and I went to the new building, tiling had commenced in the computer laboratory. Kalwin was clearly very active in the construction. He is ever present on campus and always available to handle whatever arises. Kalwin remained until 1800 supervising and attending to campus matters. During my stay it was clear that Kalwin leads by example, he was certainly the hardest working member of the college community. His energy, determination, focus, and his commitment to successful completion of tasks at hand reminded me of the commitment and drive I've seen in other wet water surfers.
Ray and I discussed a wide range of Internet composition topics. I covered HyperText Markup Language, touching on variants such as 2.0, 3.2, and 4.0. I ran through basic structure and tags and the use of notepad to create simple pages.
We also covered graphic formats and conversion options. I went over BMP bitmaps, JPEG and JPG Joint Picture Enterprise Group, and GIF Graphic Interchange Format file types. BMPs are the native format for DOS/Windows but produces huge file sizes that are completely inappropriate for use on a web page. The same file size problem plagues TIFF Tagged Image Format Files. GIFs are small for logos and graphics drawn in a limited number of colors, GIFS are lossless and hence grow big for photographic quality images. For photos JPEGs (JPG in Windows) is the format of choice. JPEGs are a lossy compression scheme.
At 10:00 we headed down to the Islander, with me babbling continuously. Ray and I talked over brunch until the waitress passed out on the front desk. Ray and I then returned to the campus where we continued to cover topics that would help Ray in his CA 106 Internet course this Fall.
We touched on Excel, but Ray is a power user already. He covers pivot tables in his own courses. For binning he chooses to use COUNTIF, where I use an IF function to generate a bin value and then perform the count with the FREQUENCY array function. Mr. Sigrah remained in the lab thoughout the day, helming the computer while Ray and I bored the waitress at the Islander into a coma. Mr. Sigrah has been an attentive listener. He is working from extremely small pre-knowledge base and accelerating like a Jaguar through thirty computer years of evolution.
Tuesday afternoon Ray and I looked at graphic packages on an Upward Bound Hewlett Packard Pavillion 32 Mb RAM machine in the computer laboratory. This machine should not be confused with the Packard Bell over in the Upward Bound office that has an apparently dead modem. I should note that in 1996 Packard Bell had a published "Dead Out of the Box" rate of 17% which caused the Computer Advisory Technical Subcommittee (CATS) to rule out purchasing Packard Bells for the new campus.
The Hewlett Packard has Kai's Power Goo and a couple of other imaging packages along with a microphone built into the monitor. The speakers on the Pavillion are attached to the sides of the monitor making the machine an ideal NetMeeting machine. We used Audio Recorder to record my voice and found the microphone to be operational.
Later in the afternoon I set up what should have been Kosrae 20. I lost count in the heat of the afternoon and logged on as Kosrae-21. Thus Kosrae-20 is the fourth machine, a machine that was not unpacked as we had run out of space.
Ray noted that many of the computers in the laboratory had one or another component that was not quite fully operational, possibly due to the natural decay of Windows 95 or due to the unintentional actions of students working on machines with no security measures. A machine in the corner kept suffering from a "blue screen of death" after the CPU went into sleep mode. The same msgsrv32.dll that A204-19 claims as non-responsive was non-responsive on this Gateway in the corner. I went into CMOS and disabled all of the advanced power management features that invoke sleep modes. Then I set up the screen saver to "down" the monitor after 30 minutes. The blue screen of death did not reappear for the remainder of the week.
On Wednesday morning I went over HTML tags in detail. We found that wholly illegal structures such as an ASCII file with only a <p>paragraph text</p> entry displayed in a browser. I then went through legal HTML document structures. I suggested he start with the most basic legal page:
<HTML> <HEAD> <TITLE>Window name and title seen in search engines</TITLE> </HEAD> <BODY> <P>Paragraph text</P> </BODY> </HTML>
And then move on to introduce further tags:
<HTML> <HEAD> <TITLE>Window name and title seen in search engines</TITLE> </HEAD> <BODY> <H1>Visible page header level 1</H1> <HR> <P>Paragraph text</P> <P>Paragraph text with line feed<BR> Second line</P> <PRE>Preformatted fixed width text</PRE> <HR> </BODY> </HTML>
I suggested he then introduce extensions such as <BODY BGCOLOR="#000000"> and <FONT COLOR="#FF00FF" FACE="Arial"> I showed him how to use FrontPage Express to reverse engineer tags. I also suggested using View: Source when surfing the Internet to get a feel for the way others use HTML.
We ran an impromptu NetMeeting demonstration with Ray Zepp, Wiggins Sigrah, Kalwin Kephas, and Morgan Jonas. Jean Thoulag was on the Pohnpei end of the of the meeting. We even collaborated on a notepad project. Collaborations work best, maybe only work, in a two way NetMeeting. When three or more are connected mouse control becomes problematic. In the afternoon Ray and I began the process of securing a geocities site for him. We did not finish by 1700.
Ray and I spent the full day immersed in HTML composition and using the Geocities file manager. Ray's site is named "tuwo" We also held a brief NetMeeting. I also set up MSIE 4.0 on both Kosrae-19 and Kosrae-21 in order to provide Ray with a couple more copies of FrontPage Express. Immedia and the Chuuk aerial photos are set up to run on Kosrae-19. Logo.sys was modified with the inclusion of a picture of Weno to remind us that Kosrae-19 is equipped to run the Chuuk islands CD-ROM. I cautioned Ray not to install the program on any other computer as the program corrupts the [386enh] section of SYSTEM.INI. I manually repaired SYSTEM.INI.
In the afternoon we went through the process of adding a new page to the site and including a digital camera image.
Ray and I set up the NetMeeting demonstration. The demonstration was plagued by bad audio, a situation that was wholly my fault. The F-Stop 3.02 virtual device driver (VXD) that automatically scans for viruses was attempting to scan both the inbound and outbound audio streams. The result was that the audio was broken up. In the afternoon I discovered that disabling or exiting from F-Stop solved the audio problem completely. I have since learned that if one is cybersurfing trusted sites one can disable F-Stop and improve the speed and responsiveness of one's browser. F-Stop 3.02 is a new release of F-Stop and provides for automatic disinfection. The previous version, F-Stop 3.0 Beta only blocked access to an infected source.
In the afternoon I generated the specification for a Digital Versatile Disk machine for F105 and cleaned out all of the Internet settings that are Pohnpei local from Kosrae-18.
Monday morning I went into Tofol to make sure the Title III computer were squared away for a workshop slated to start in the lab on Tuesday. Technically I was on vacation, but the tide was not going to be up until evening anyway. Ray, Tony, and myself then went to the Islander for a two hour discussion of a wide range of topics. After a midday trip to Lelu, I head out into the late afternoon surf. I spent the last part of the day being pummelled and thrashed by the ocean, making repeated trips underwater across a razor sharp reef. It sure beat being in any meeting.
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