Blog Tired and Dog Tired

Today was an eventful day for my students and for me. Earlier I had listened to an American teacher talk to the whole student body about ethics. Very good examples and food for thought.  A kind of challenge to think about what the Kazakh students are learning now, impacts what kind of engineer or doctor they will be in the future.  If they cheat on tests now, what will they be like once they are “professionals?”  Reminded me of the movie we watched several weeks ago “Emperor’s Club.”

I got my adult learning students started on Web Survey Master which has a LOT of GREAT features. Namely that you can ask your respondents more than 10 questions and then when you gather and analyze your data, you can have the choices of pie charts, column or bar graphs or doughnuts.  The best is that all this data can automatically go into a powerpoint. However, you have to manually extract the comments from each question but still, that is quite amazing. Of course this is all on a 30 day trial period.

When I was prepping my 10 students yesterday for our 2 1/2 hours in the computer lab today, poor things, these overworked and underpaid teachers were getting hungry. All this talk of doughnuts, bars and pie (Botakoz reminded me that she likes pumpkin pie) and column charts. Yes, these desperate teachers (not “desperate housewives”) had heard enough talk about food.  So, fortunately I had some extra pumpkin cookies that I had intended to give them once they settled down to writing out their questions for this new survey.  Who says bribes don’t happen from teacher to students?  Works for me.

Were my 10 students ever squirrelly yesterday, I couldn’t shut them up.  But today was the direct opposite, they had work to do and they knew it. But entering the university, they had trouble getting past security because I hadn’t done the proper paperwork.  How could I? The guards needed their names in Russian and I only know their names but NOT in Cyrillic. Today, the students had many assignments waiting for them on Moodle and once past security, they got down to business with creating a second survey.  One was on love, another music, but most stayed with their same research topic.  Some impressed me with embedding YouTube clips or photo images into their questionnaire.  What they won’t experiment with, it is really humbling.  I should be as adventurous as they are.  I guess I am staying one blog step ahead of them, one day at a time.

So, I almost didn’t write this blog tonight because I am sooooo dog tired.  But then I had to write what a commenter mentioned to me about where a lot of blog traffic is here in Kazakhstan.  Check out Your Vision in Kazakhstan. Which reminds me, I sent a survey to my expat friends in Almaty and Astana to find out their impressions about Kazakhstan.  I’ll share that info with you maybe tomorrow when I have more energy.

Tomorrow we will enjoy hearing from a guest lecturer representing the U.S. embassy. I certainly hope the guards let him in along with my six teachers. Never a dull moment with moodles, monkeys and a dog video (check this out, again hat tip to Botakoz). My students make me smile.

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