17 May 2010

"Your Rational Expressions Quiz Will Be Online Today..."

or, "Lessons in Network Management", or, "The Day I Learned NOT to Over-Embed"

These were my words today after spending 5+ hours last night and this morning perfecting my Google Form and handwriting in the rational expressions using my tablet.  With grand plans of going to our math computer lab and having the students enter their answers on my form with different quiz versions on the right-hand side of the page on ppt slides, I anxiously waited for the kids to log on.

And we waited.  And waited.  Then kids were logged in and we waited for the page to load.  And then, we were waiting...

...for this.

After 10 minutes with some kids still waiting for the embedded docs to load, I had to make the mad dash upstairs to photocopy hard copies of the slides (shame on me for not having a back-up plan, I guess :/ ).  During my prep, I thought I got the issues ironed out.  I hesitantly returned with my students to the lab with a prelude of, "It WILL take a long time, just be patient."  This class has more students, so of course, the network was jammed even worse.

My 4th hour was smaller today, so more were able to navigate the page, but I would still rule it a failure.  Thankfully, I'm on lunch now with another pseudo-prep to follow, so I can regroup and re-evaluate my strategies.  Did I embed to much on the page in the spirit of trying to ease navigation?  Is it worth trying to redesign the page?  Does someone around here WANT me to use up the A/V paper supply before the year runs up?

My 3rd hour co-teacher said today, "Man, you'd be in business if you had a school with good, new technology...  ...but then you'd probably go!"  I don't know if that's totally true - I usually like the challenge of trying to make things work here, and I know I'm needed here (and my loans get repaid after 5 years), but I can't say it isn't tempting.

Things I wonder:
If I create a separate page for each doc, would it load faster?
Am I fighting a losing battle?
Can I at least try and use this again next year?