Overzealous IT Departments…

…can be a real problem. I’m enrolled in 3-D Animation this quarter at school, and I’m using one of their laptops for classwork. Which means I have a Limited user account. Which means I can’t install (most) software. Which effectively means I can’t take the course, since the Animation:Master software required for the course has an annoying requirement of its own: an Administrator account for installation. All I can do is sit and wait for my school’s IT guy to tell me how to install the stupid software on their stupid computer. Maybe they’ll think twice about locking people out…

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To Whomever at Apex Learning Cares:

Apex Learning: It has come to my attention that your AP Macroeconomics course switches presentation formats in Unit 7. Please, please correct this. Not only is the change irritating, the “new” style is much less usable than the “old” style (Units 1-6). ================ I should send that to them. They’ve changed formats for their presentations. The old ones, used in Units 1-6, were great, with forward/backward buttons for skipping through content, great for review. The “new” ones don’t. Argh! And as I’ve mentioned before, the volume levels are continuing to decrease; I am now at full volume and can barely…

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Wonderful Features, Apex. Not! (Part 2)

As a continuation of “” I post this: Seventh, Apex has used two different narrators for their AP Macroeconomics course. A man and a woman, who alternate units. The man was usually audible, but is no longer in the last unit. The woman, too, was audible, but has been very very quiet the last couple units she did. And the narrator in the AP Biology course is perfectly audible, at the same system volume level. Sounds like some Flash files need to be adjusted…

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Life Fitness? This is NOT Phy Ed…

OK, never believe the name of a course. Ever. A course titled “Life Fitness” sounds like it involves assigned activity and, well, physical stuff. Dream on; it does nothing but talk about the virtues of fitness and assign essays and research papers on the subject (and very obscure portions of it at that). Is this an indication that physical education is no more physical than writing?

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IE-only Videos?!

The teacher in one of my classes (taught in Moodle, but that’s for another post; maybe next week) uploaded a series of videos to his class that provide pretty useful information. They also don’t play if you’re using Mozilla Firefox, my primary browser. They might be ASF files, and Firefox knows how to open them, but Windows Media Player coughs. The browser must have to download something first, and Firefox doesn’t know that, and WMP spits the file back out like sour milk. This isn’t the first time my school has given Mozilla Firefox the Micro$haft, however indirectly. The way…

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Wonderful Features, Apex. Not!

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but I take AP classes at my school through an online portal from Apex Learning. That said, I am less than satisfied with their software. First of all, in the complete opposite functionality of Blackboard Academic Suite (the portal for the regular classes), the discussions in Apex have no threads. Navigating conversations is very difficult, since there is no threading, indenting, nesting, or any other helpful feature. Second, the course window times out after a certain period (I haven’t timed it, but it’s pretty short). It gives a very annoying error if…

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AP Biology Gets Annoying

I have been working on my AP Biology course the past few days, and have noticed something. There are only five Labs in the entire year, and they’re only worth 30 points each, but they take much longer than the tests, which are worth 100 points and take only about 45 minutes. Something is definitely wrong with the way this course is structured… Also, I have been going back and forth with my teacher on a lab that was due last week. I’ve been in a conversation (at an average of one email per party per day) for nearly a…

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End of Quarter

I finally finished the first quarter of school this week. The end of the quarter was yesterday, but I managed to get my teachers to let me send assignments in today. I dare say my story was good; the third and final revision went in today, with more detail than ever. It was the longest draft of them all. And the World Civilizations 1A writing project for Unit 5 was a total flop: “World Traveler”. Absolutely dumb. Now the end-of-quarter stuff is off of my head and onto the teachers’. They have to grade things before next Monday. I don’t…

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PSAT

I took the PSAT this morning. I was sort of disappointed; the questions, at least on the English parts, seemed easy. The math sections were a bit harder, but nothing too difficult. I hope the SAT is a bit more challenging, or our country’s standards are even lower than I thought. It took some doing to figure out what school code to use, though. I am enrolled in one school and took the test at another, which was closer to my house, but the school I am enrolled in has no school code. Eventually, it was decided that I was,…

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