My Professional Conference
Today we went to the UCAT professional conference. UCAT is the Utah Colleges of Applied technology, it is a series of 8 campuses strategically located around the state who provide technical training to the citizens of Utah. I am pleased to say this conference was very successful. The general program was the same this year. We started with a get together where the President of the overall colleges spoke about the state of the system. We acknowledged the accomplishments of each campus, including my own, and generally felt good about ourselves. They announced next year’s conference host, Tooele Applied Technology College, and thanked the current host, Davis Applied Technology College. After the get together we went to the breakout session that we had signed up for. My break out session for the morning was “Data warehouse and dashboard”. We discussed the various ways to mine data from our student information system and financial system and display that in a way that would be meaningful. I learned quite a bit in the hour that we spent. Lunch followed, it was kebabs, rice, salads, and a dessert selection, quite tasty. After lunch it was off to the afternoon breakout session. Mine was “Using Canvas to work smarter not harder”. I did not enjoy that one as much. I am the Canvas administrator at my college and I went to this session so that I could know what was being put out. The presenter focused on her institutions use of Canvas, which is different from mine. I will have to find out who went to that session and have a meeting with them to explain what we can and can’t do. After the second breakout session, we had our department meetings. This is what I had been waiting for all day. Being a techie and Canvas administrator I don’t get a lot of opportunity to mingle with my counter parts at the other campus’s, This is the only time that I will actually see some of them all year. We only get an hour together so it is rather important to all of us. We talked shop most of the hour as there are several things that needed to be addressed. We did take a few minutes to catch up on the doings of each campus, a fun activity.
I am sitting on the bus ride home writing this update. I know that I have been doing the memory thing lately and I will make another installment this weekend.
Speaking of techie things, I am getting a windows 8 machine to test out with Office 2013 on it. I am excited about that. As usual, the wheels of any government bureaucracy turn slowly. We will not be changing over to Windows 8 at least for another year maybe 2. By that time who knows what will be out. I have loaded the operating system on an I5 dual core machine with 10 GB if RAM that has a Nvidia GPU with 2 GB of onboard RAM that supports dual monitors. I get to set it up and put it through its paces, learning what I can and being ready to pass on my knowledge.
I am sure that many of you have been following the Prism thing. I know there are many people very irritated that the “government” is collecting information from the internet and phone companies. This practice started under President Bush and at the time I was concerned that there was the possibility of abuse from said collection. I was told by many of my friends that I should just calm down because the government needed this information to catch the bad guys. Besides, they said, if I was not doing anything wrong I did not have to worry about them collecting information about me. They said this same thing to me when I thought that drug testing was a violation of my rights. They told me that if I didn’t use drugs that I should not worry about taking a drug test, that they were protecting me from others that were using drugs and causing accidents at work.
Now I am not saying that I want them to collect information about us, but I am going to say that this time they are doing the right thing. There are some particularly bad people out there and they have no shame or guilt over blowing us the hell up. The FBI has foiled many plots over the last few years because they had the information they needed to find these kooks. I will agree with the people that say if you are not doing anything wrong you should not have to worry, this one time. I would rather take the chance that my email or phone records will be looked, rather than take the chance that a car bomb will go off while I walk by. I know that there are many people who are outraged about this. I would ask them this question, why weren’t you outraged in 2006 when this program was exposed by the Washington Post? Why are you upset now? Is it because Obama is in office and you see this as a way to “get” him? Is it because you just woke up and decided to pay attention to the world? I am just curious.
If you haven’t gotten a chance to help me get the word out about my sisters book. Here is a copy of the link…. I hope that this gets read by a lot of people. She sure could use the publicity.