Friday, July 6, 2007

There's a Reason . . .

I haven't been blogging as much as usual, or as much as I'd like to. Basically, it's because the IT system, and the Internet connection at the school is pure crap. That's putting it as nicely as I can. It is so antiquated, it's not even funny.

We haven't had any Internet connection for two weeks. It was puzzling. According to Najib, the IT guy, everything was pinging OK, but you could only get Google, or sites in Malaysia. There seemed to be a problem with the servers in Putrajaya. It was really puzzling. You could connect to the servers at the Ministry of Education that all the SBP schools run through normally, but you couldn't do anything after that.

Today Najib replaced one of the cables, and now the Internet connection is back. The two events may or may not be related. Maybe it is just the right phase of the moon. I don't know.

All of this means I haven't been able to start my 2S class blogging yet, and haven't been able to start podcasting with my 2k class yet.

I also found out today that the Ministry, in its infinite wisdom, blocks out any site having to do with podcasting. It comes under the heading of "streaming media". On Monday, I will talk to somebody and see if we can get podcasting off the Ministry's blacklist, since it is a great educational tool. I'm not going to hold my breath though. More than likely, what I'll have to do is record the students voices, save the files, then go to the Internet Cafe and upload them to a podcasting site. As stands right now, I'll have to go there anyway, just to sign up for an account at or some other site.

Why should things be any different? I have to do most of any Internet connected teaching work at the Internet Cafe anyway, at my own expense. At least they have a good, reliable connection. It takes me five minutes to upload something that would take me two hours here, if the connection to the server at the site doesn't time out first. No kidding, I am not exaggerating.

It's very frustrating. You see all this rhetoric in the papers, and hear all this talk on radio and TV about using the Intenet and latest technology to teach, and blah blah blah, but in practice, this is what you get. Basically, trying to teach twentieth century lessons with 18th century materials.

I better stop before someone high up reads this and they throw me in jail for sedition. The government here is really hypersensitive about even the smallest bit of criticism.

-End of Rant-