Show Suggestions

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Shawn Kibel
Shawn Kibel's picture
Show Suggestions

We've said it many times before- this is your show and we work for you. So, tell us what you'd like to see us cover or who you'd like us to talk to.'s picture
Student Information Systems

I'd love to see a show about student information systems.  In my neck of the woods there are many of different systems in use.  There hasn't been any mandated standardization of systems though the same state level reports are required by law.  Parental access to grades is a hot topic, as is notifications.

Points I'd like to see hit:


Hosted vs. onsite

Ease of use and features

Parent access to grades, etc ?

-Might be a stretch for most SIS (notification of absences, disciplinary incidents, bussing schedules)


I'm really not looking for any specific recommendations as much as just a broader look at what seems to work and what doesn't.  Of course I'm most curious how the 'tightwads' have handled it.'s picture
Substitute Security

First of all I'm hoping that somebody has cracked this nut.  The problems faced with technologically enabled classrooms and subs has been driving me crazy for years.

The goal is to achieve continuity for the students while maintaining confidentiality and security for the teacher.  Certainly the most common solution is to fill the 'sub-folder' with an easy-day routine.  Simple and generally curriculum unrelated activities and or videos.  Moving forward it does seem that using an LMS like Moodle can keep the train on the tracks for a day or two.  Where this doesn't work as well is in elementary school, and any presentation situation that requires the use of digital content.

Let's lay out a scenario:  We have a first grade teacher that comes down with the flu.  Throughout the course of a typical day she uses 5 interactive whiteboard lessons.  Those are kept in her network storage (like any good user should).  Her computer is part of a domain, onto which she logs on every day.  As such her user account is inaccessible to all but admins.  The substitute comes into the classroom, and even if that individual is capable of utilizing the technology, they have only 1 way of accessing it.  (Here's where things get scary)  More often than not, I've found technically capable teachers to be leaving their network login as part of the sub instructions.  So the sub is able to go about their day, AS the teacher.  With access to anything and everything that teacher has available.  I'm not at all implying that no substitute teacher is to be trusted, simply that there's less accountability and as a matter of best practice it's a nightmare.

The easiest solution would be to simply disallow teachers taking any sick time.  We all know that's not practical, or reasonable.

One could easily configure network shares to accomplish this.  However that would require pre-planning, and who pre-plans getting sick?

I'm really hoping there's an obvious solution lurking out there somewhere that I've simply overlooked.  So how about a show?

wizeone's picture
tightwad system cooling

with the summer months coming quickly (already hitting 100's in vegas) maybe some tightwad tips-tricks for system cooling in hotter environments.

XX86's picture
Show Topic


Hey guys ,

 The show topic I have for you is where to get tightwade tech.  What I mean you guys always speak about the tightwader's if that is a word. But you never explain on what equipment this stuff can run on.  Being in the tech industry for about 15yrs. I'm asked this question all the time. Maybe do a show about how you can purchase computers from the Goodwill (  ) or Surplus Auctions  ( ) and speak about what it takes to run a Linux computer. You may also speak about how linux can help in the Home.  Like create a samba server or NAS to house all media and such as scanned pictures and music and movies. Also can speak about how you can create a media center PC complete with a remote control using ( ) also for the more advance users could speak about how to use inexpensive security cameras( 4 port PCI card ( )  and zoneminder ( ) to secure a home or business. Their are endless uses of Linux. Hope that gets you started.

The Processor  <output>



Peter Kuykendall
Peter Kuykendall's picture
New direction

Since Mark's move out of education he asked for suggestions on what direction to drive the podcast.  I suggest to stay with tightwad tech, but branch out more beyond education.  For example, my charity work has a constant need for tightwad tech.  Not just PCs, but cheap / free phone service, etc.

Jim Beason
Jim Beason's picture
New direction

I would echo Peter's comments about the direction.  Now that would probably include more Listener Spotlights, so I would also encourage anyone else reading this post to think about how they can contribute to this idea.

I've been thinking about a show on what I have done in my environment over the last several years, what decisions have worked well, what have not, why sometimes I have to spend more money to be "Tightwad", why sometimes being "Tightwad" is not such a good idea, etc.  I may have already visited briefly with Shawn about this - I don't remember for sure.  I feel fairly certain that there are listeners out there that have stories that follow a similar theme.  

Taking the previous thought further, I feel that there are also stories out there of environments out there where the tightwad approach may not be appropriate, for operational or regulatory reasons, and those stories might be intersting as well.

s9607571m's picture
Student well being data collection


Hi Guys,

From Australia I think we are trying to achieve much of the same goals as a support manager in a middle school your shows are great for insights into exactly what so many schools face, lack of budget but many users to contend with.  So first off, thanks for the show.

I'm interesting in hearing how schools are approaching Data collection of student wellbeing information. Our school is currently investigating how to record this data.

This will record e-smart data (cyber bullying, sexting, hacking, inappropriate use of technology) as well as information on student disability, English as a Second Language, autism, pretty much anything that a Casual Relief Teacher may need to know about an individual student, walking into a class for the first time.

Our requirements are as follows, must be accessible at school only. Must be secure for teachers and staff to access. Must be able to be searchable (reporting).

Something like Sentral's component looks interesting, but we would only want this module and I believe that Sentral comes as a full suite.

We are considering using drupal But I'm open to ideas on how schools record sensitive data for staff only viewing about students.



morganb's picture
show suggestions

I have gone back to the early podcast and just started reviewing them again. I began to wonder if having these same guests back on to do a follow-up show would be beneficial.

An example of why: One of the podcast I listened to yesterday, was #5. Specifically in this show Jeremey (guest) talked a bit about Linux desktop in his school. Wondering if this have changed. Has he stuck with Linux or moved away from it.

Another show suggestion:

  • Revisit the 1:1 model. With so many choices of tablets, the chromebook, newer net books/laptops. Would Mark and Shawn change their idea from 1:1 desktop implementation and why or why not?
  • Wireless systems: Aruba, Cisco, Meraki, Rukus, Aerohive
  • What Apps, either cloud based or from the Google play store, do you commonly use and why.


trs-80's picture
I agree with Peter & Jim

I agree with Peter & Jim about the direction. I'm not in education or even non-profit... actually a family owned retail business trying to make a profit... and we need tightwad tech as much as the schools do.

Tightwad Tech is an idea that reaches alot more people than you think.

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