Natty Narwhal Newbie review

natty narwhal workspaces I have to bear in mind I am running Ubuntu 11.04 on an old NEC Versa M540 so that I can decide whether I like it and want to use it permanently. The answer so far is an unequivocal yes…yes…yes! I loaded it at the weekend and the post is here. There is a very helpful site at OMG!Ubuntu!. My mission has been to change the size of the launcher. You won’t get me messing up my pristine screen with mucky fingers. So, I went to Ubuntu Geek and followed their instructions. The launcher is smaller…but I want smaller. Honestly, it is so kiddie. I have also learned to use workspaces and you can see that in the picture. I couldn’t get my screen grabber to go into the launcher…maybe on another day.I’d rather have AWN.That said Natty runs really well,it even got my mobile broadband stick going. I have choices as to how I will navigate natty and I can find whatever I want in the search menu. Hotot doesn’t seem to work so at the moment I am living in a Twitter Client free OS. Doesn’t matter. I like Natty and I like what it does.On a newer, faster machine it would be incredible I am sure. I’ll just keep investigating for now.

TeFL Domain 3 Challenge 8

TeFl Domain 3 Challenge 8 Challenge 8: Have you helped them to appreciate the input of others? Students are swamped with information from television, the internet, social media and school . For me the challenge is to make sure I am not competing with a lump of plastic with connections so they drift off glazy eyed into the screen and I am just a droning hum in the background. I believe teachers are irreplaceable and have a crucial role to play in a technological world. One of my prime jobs is to ensure students know where to get valid and valuable information. Teaching them to consult and check and double check has become important since a lot of information is misinformation and a number of things are just plain wrong. I used to be able to use song lyrics and know they were fine. I now have to check and double check because some lyrics are wrong and some lyrics are very poorly spelled. One of the things I do these days is put the lyrics on the whiteboard and correct them as I go along to explain why they are wrong. The world is full of willing collaborators but they haven’t all had a good education so you appreciate their input but know there is stuff to fix. For students this is a valuable lesson. Tomorrow’s song is a perfect example because the person has written foie instead of foi – liver instead of faith!! Last week it was ninjas falling from the sky instead of angels and I am proud to say one of my students was very quick to point that out to us all. In my classroom there is open contribution to factual information and correction of errors. I teach check, double check then triple check. I ask them to consult with other teachers and their parents. I encourage them to check with each other. I also show them how to verify information they have accessed. Today I was showing one boy on his laptop how to type the information into google.fr so he could verify the spelling of the stadium he was writing about. Students use Facebook to get help and verify information from each other and their Facebook friends. I use Twitter. Social media is very good at getting immediate help when you are not sure. I have even known students to email authors, artists, chefs to verify something or other in their work or life. Often they get a warm response. Sometimes they are ignored. You teach them just to try the next avenue. We live in a connected world so teaching the value of this is important. No one has to wait to be sure..they can ask and, sure enough, the planet gets back to them.

Challenge 7

Tame your Mac start!

accounts menu As a teacher you might want a programme to load at start up. As a student you might want that too. There are times though where programmes load themselves into start up or you have to many things opening at start up which slows everything down. We have no patience in this world. We don’t want to wait on a computer to do what we want. To tame your Mac start up :

1. Go to system preferences
2. Go to accounts
3. Click on the Login Items (ouverture in French!) tab
4. Click the programmes you want to stop from loading at start up.
5. Use the + button bottom left if you wish to add a programme.

Voilà!

I’ve got Natty Narwhal!

desktop natty narwhalI now have Ubuntu 11.04 so can be part of the ongoing debate. I have had it loaded for 5 minutes and I like it! I like the look and the feel. It is running on my old NEC Versa M540. I had to upgrade from 10.04 to 10.10 and then I upgraded to natty from there. My first reaction was I needed to shrink the sidebar. I don’t know how to do that yet. It is too big and kiddie. I then wanted to take a screen shot and then learned the value of being cross platform! I clicked on the Ubuntu icon top left as you would in Windows and then did a search in the search bar as you would in Apple Spotlight. It is running okay from what I can tell but my NEC might need a rest so it runs better! I am happy with the interface and think it tidies everything up. I won’t be happy if I cannot find things! So…I’ll keep practising and will report back later…much later.

Dress up Firefox

Personas for FirefoxIf you’d like to dress up Firefox and give it some sparkle, then get the Personas add on and choose from a vast array of skins for Firefox. At the moment I like the fractal ones.personas While I am here, the F11 button gives you a full screen in Firefox and pressing the F11 button again will bring the menu bar back. Some people have been losing the menu bar and forgetting how to get it back!

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