Monday, December 6, 2010

Feast (your eyes) on this...

I apologize for the layout of the blog up front. I've been trying to fix it for the past two hours but, its getting late. It would seem that putting 2 pictures next to each other causes it go all crazy.


Allow me to quote the vultures from Ice Age 2: "Food, glorious food".

It was the land of plenty at the 1st Sunridge Scout Club which was the venue for Sunridge Computer
Club's year-end function. We had sosaties, wors, cheese grillers, rolls, pasta salads, potato salad,
ice cream with chocolate sauce and sprinkled nuts, chips, cooldrinks.

We watched as Arné gulped deserts away equal to his own body weight, Dewald who ate one sausage for each of his fingers excluding thumbs, and myself who dug into the pasta and potato salads as if there was a treasure hidden. There was more than enough for everybody. I know that I can safely skip dinner tonight.

The paintball target shooting was a definite winner. The initial reluctance quickly gave way to multiple competitive firing squads. I thought that this would separate the boys from the girls but the girls firmly stood their ground.

Thank you
Thank you to Mr. and Mrs. Whitlock from Adventure Catering for supplying the venue, all the meat, rolls, and desert.
And a big thank you to all the other parents for supporting this event with money, cooldrinks, chip, and salads.
Thank you to all the moms who so diligently picked up their kids at the arranged time.

I think this year-end function was a great success. But, as with every single club meeting, it couldn't be done without the help the parents and the dedication of our club members.

Merry Christmas.
I'd like to wish the Sunridge Computer Club, it's members and their parents a very merry Christmas, a wonderful and safe holiday with your loved ones, and a happy New Year.

This is Motherboard signing off.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Sci-Fi meets Today...

Technology, computers and our changing world

We were amazed by some jaw-dropping facts, and were sure given a thing or two to think about tonight and for a long time to come.

Before I continue, here is the agenda for this evening:
  • Take register
  • Year-end function - donations, eats, and drinks
  • Welcome and hand over to Mr. Wessels
  • Thank you Mr. Steyn (tog bag and pens)

Our guest speaker for tonight was Mr. Jacques Wessels. Mr. Wessels works at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University where he manages around 6000 computers. He also runs his own Information Technology business and holds various degrees and qualifications.

He started off by explaining what the internet really is and the whole internet is connected. We were fascinated by the process involved in a simple Google search - all the way from the computers my lab, via some place in the middle of the country to the SEACOM landing point on the Eastern SA coastline, through a fibre-optic cable around Africa through the Suez Canal to Europe and then on to the United States of America, AND BACK, all of that within a second. That simple Google search doesn't seem so simple anymore, does it?

Mr. Wessels also taught us how the images on our computer screens are compiled and how the human eye interprets the three basic colours. He gave us a better understanding of a graphics card's refresh rate and why having a good graphics card is important when playing most computer games.

We were also told about many other uses of computers as used in the medical profession, and even warfare. What was term he used? ...ah, "soldiers of information".

Our guest speaker ended off with a really cool video on some amazing futuristic technology which we already are capable of. Things which were seen in Sci-Fi movies not too long ago and thought to be impossible are here! now!!! Can you imagine what will be possible even just two years down the line?

If there's one thing which our members really must take home from this presentation then it is that IT is moving fast and it moves even faster every year, so don't get left behind. Pay attention to what is said in the classroom, and pay attention to the technology around you.

And as if the presentation wasn't enough. Mr. Steyn (Nandie's dad) surprised us with some give-aways which consisted of a tog bag and two pens. Thank you very much for that.

More give-aways
You might have noticed that your child came home with a pencil case and pen last week. That was courtesy of Moore Stephens Chartered Accountants. Thank you to Mindie's folks for that.

Photographic Competition
The Sunridge Computer Club photographic competition was won by Shanon Schotlz for her photo of an apple held by two hands and surrounded by ice. It was not an easy decision. There were many beautiful photographs. Luckily I left it up to Beverly Darlow Photography to choose the winner. Bev handed Shanon's prize over to her last week. Thank you to everybody for your effort.

Sunridge Computer Club year-end function
Thank you again to the Whitlocks for sponsoring the club's year-end function with a braai and plenty of activities to keep the members busy. It was my idea to have a year-end function but the Whitlocks turned it into an event to really look forward too. Then to the rest of the parents who contributed so generously with money, cooldrinks, chips, and salads - thank you very, very much. Just like every club meeting, this event really cannot happen without your help.

Saying goodbye
Although the computer club still has the braai to look forward to, tonight was the last official club meeting. It is time to say goodbye to our grade 7 members, and goodbye to the year 2010 with all the good that it brought us with the World Cup.
It is strange how I sit down to write this blog right after I get home from every club meeting and wonder what all I could say. So I bring my dinner to my study and I sit and think, and type, and check, and post, etc. And then somehow, as by some cosmic rule, I always finish the blog just before midnight. ...yes, just like tonight...

...Which reminds me. Sorry for keeping the members a bit late this evening. I think you'll agree that I have been very punctual so far, keeping in mind the moms who sit and wait in their cars for the duration of the meetings, and the dads who collect their children at the specified time. But, as I'm sure you're children have told you, tonight's talk was very interesting and although I kept rushing Mr. Wessels towards the end, I could not help but allow him to continue past the scheduled time.


Besides the club's year-end function on Monday, 6 December at 13:00, the next club meeting for next year's grade 7s will be on Monday, 24 January 2011 at 17:15.

This is Motherboard sighning off. :-)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Where does this go?

Have you ever watched the lions at Sea View Lion Park on a Sunday afternoon at feeding time??? Now replace the food in that equation with computer parts, and the lions with computer club members - and then you'll have a pretty accurate description of what happened at tonight's club meeting. :-)

But first, the agenda.
  • Taking register
  • Photo competition
  • Next meeting's guest speaker
  • End of year function ideas
  • Lesson: Hardware one 0 one

Photographic Competition

It seems that all my begging paid off. I finally received all the entries for the Sunridge Computer Club Photographic Competition. There were some "ok" ones, some good ones, and then there were some truly fantastic photographs. I think I already have my favourite but, it is not my decision. I'll leave that for the expert. I will rename all the photographs with just a code to ensure a completely unbiased decision, and send it off to Beverly Darlow Photography for the judging by Wednesday, the 17th of November. Well done everyone!

Next Guest Speaker

Our next guest speaker is from the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University. The date for that is Monday, 29 November 2010. But more about that later.

PARENTS, Please Help

I thought it would be nice for the computer club to round off the year with a bit of a year-end function - something purely social. As you probably know, the computer club has no funding of it's own. What I'm asking from you, the parents, are any of the following: 1) ideas, 2) sponsorship, 3) venue; 4) transportation. Just something small. Maybe a picnic, or pizzas somewhere, perhaps braai hamburger patties and have hamburgers, etc. Some of the members suggested going to the beach. I'm concerned about safety and transport but if those two obstacles can be overcome then it is also an option. I will give you some time to think about this before I bug you with an email message on Friday asking you for help.

Lesson: Computer Hardware

I set up two long tables in my lab filled with computer parts and started the lesson with a "this does that, and that works like this" lecture. We discussed some of the main computer components like: hard drives; CD/DVD drives; memory chips; IDE cables; power supplies; CMOS batteries; circuit boards; ports; central procession units; etc. We looked at how they work together, the do's and the dont's, the "is" and the "was", and so on.

Then I allowed the members to disassemble and explore all the parts WITH ONE CONDITION - "you must be able to put back together what you take apart". Hehee Easier said than done.

It was obvious that everyone had great fun, and there was no lack of engagement. It became clear that my members were not content with just taking one or two covers off. They insisted on getting right down to the core of the object. I was amazed at how far the girls got with the CD ROM drive of an old laptop. Even an old keyboard was stripped down to the point that I hardly recognized it. Some of the boys basically took the whole computer box apart. One or two did a good job with taking their fingers apart too. Sorry about that Mom. But hey, what's a little blood and sweat in the name of science...

Putting it all back together again went better than I thought. Although, judging from all the spare screws I was suddenly left with, I think there was some cheating involved here. :-)

This lesson really should have come with a "Don't try this at home" warning.


  • Next club meeting = Monday, 29 November at 17:15
  • Winner of Photographic competition to be announced before next meeting

This is Motherboard signing off.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy Database to you...

Celebrations are at hand as we celebrated my 28th... uhm 25th... I mean 21st birthday before moving 0n to our lesson on Databases tonight.

But first, the Agenda:

  • Taking register
  • ThinkQuest registrations
  • Votes on Sunridge uniform badges
  • Photographic competition
  • Birthday party
  • Database lesson

We had ourselves a little party, got sung Happy Birthday to (I think I know who's responsible for that) :-) and I was showered in birthday presents. Speaking of "showering" - I promised myself that I would not single out anyone but I really do have to thank Floppy Drive for the Body On Tap citrus burst SHAMPOO for greasy hair. As I've been shaving my head for the past 13 years, I never realized that shampoo now comes with "up to 45% more volume". If one's hair is measure in volume then mine must be on mute. :-)

Other gifts included loads of chocolates; a PC Pilot magazine (I don't know how she knew this but I'm a computer flight simulator freakazoid); yummy Woolies soetkoekies; a nice bottle of shiraz; some really weird finger, ear, and brain sweets; and a beautifully decorated coffee mug overflowing with the most amazing Woolies eats (which I'm digging into as I write this blog by the way).

Thank you everyone, you're the best!

Now onto business

Tonight the question was asked: "What is a database and what would the definition thereof be"? Some really good explanations were brought to the table and we came up with the following definition: A database is an organized collection of information which can be easily be stored, updated, and retrieved.

We listed some of the databases we would imagine our details to be recorded on. I should have known that with a clever group like this, this list would be a long one. We considered everything from banking details at banks; contact details on mxit; medical details at our doctors and dentists; personal details and detention at school (ask your kids about Scadsys); and libraries keeping track of the books we borrow. This list is practically endless.

Finally we looked at just three parts of a typical database and how they work together:

  1. The Table where all the raw data is stored
  2. The Form which we use to enter and update information into the table
  3. and the Report which is used to retrieve just the required information in a user-friendly format.
We also compared computer databases to old filing cabinet methods of storing records. Hmmmm. No comparison.

Photographic Competition
I have, to date, only received six members' photographic competition entries. You have until the 15th of November to email your entry to Of the entries I have so far, a couple of them look really good and it is clear that a lot of preparation and imagination went into it. Remember, there's a R550.00 prize to be won.

Last week's photo shoot
I received the photographs which Beverly Darlow took of us all with the last club meeting, and they look really nice!!! I will only release these photographs to the individual once I received his/her entry to the photographic competition.

Next Club Meeting

Our next club meeting will be on Monday, 15 November at 17:15.

Thank You

Thank you for our members' commitment and especially to the parents for getting everyone here on time. Thank you once again for all the wonderful gifts - you really made my day.

This is Motherboard signing off.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Say Cheese!!! ...or “chicken”

Another milestone for the Sunridge Computer Club – our first guest speaker. I’ll get to that in a bit. But first...

Tonight’s agenda.

  • Welcome Ferdie van der Mescht
  • Goodbye Devon Ferreira
  • Computer Club badges for Sunridge uniforms
  • Taking register
  • Hand out comics
  • Hand over to guest speaker (Mrs. Beverly Darlow)
Unfortunately we have to say goodbye to one of our members (Devon Ferreira) as he is no longer able to attend the computer club meetings due to other commitments.

However, we give Ferdie van der Mescht (codenamed “Cyber”) in grade 6 a warm welcome to our club. Ferdie is new to Sunridge Primary. Having only joined our school from the 3rd term, he missed all our computer programming lessons. However, he did the same June assessment as all the other grade 6 learners who had the benefit of attending all the computer programming lessons. Ferdie – with very little guidance – figured out what he had to do by himself and scored 95%.

Digital Photography by Mrs. Beverly Darlow.

Beverly Darlow, a professional photographer, was generous enough to take time out of her schedule as mom and photographer to cover some very interesting points regarding digital photography with us.

Armed with two little helpers and some impressive equipment, Beverly gave us a crash course on how to compose a decent photograph.
We learned about apertures, field of depth, shutter speeds, focus, daylight, shadows, angles, frames, etc. She also showed us some examples of good and not so good photographs and shared some of her experiences. We learned how important it is to consider the background when photographing a subject. It is now clear that a lot of preparation goes into taking a good photograph. Beverly also brought her whole backdrop kit and took some portrait photographs of our club members which I will email to the individuals as soon as I have received them from Beverly.

You can contact Beverly at Darlow Photography on 082 458 6502 for professional photographs. She does media, sports portraits, corporate events, etc.


I announced our own Computer Club Amateur Photography Competition tonight. Entry is free. EACH member must submit ONE recent (snapped between 18 October 2010 and 15 November 2010) photograph using the skills Beverly taught us this evening. The topic for this photographic competition is... wait for it... “fruit and vegetables”. So moms, if you see your potatoes going missing or you’re greeted with a smiling banana when you check the fruit bowl you can blame it on me.

The Prize.
Darlow Photography has generously sponsored a family or individual photo shoot to the value of R550.00.

Next Club Meeting

Our next club meeting is on Monday, 1 November 2010. With my birthday around the corner, I’ll have some cooldrink and cake for our members. So again, you can blame any spoiled appetites on me.

Thank you

A big thank you to Beverly Darlow, our committed club members, and their parents who for dropping them off and collecting them – we really cannot do this without you.

This is Motherboard signing off.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Comical comix

I decided to eeeeeaaaaaase into the 4th term with something not so intensive as robotics, definitions, and properties. But more about that later.

On the agenda for today was:
  1. Welcome back
  2. Robotics outdoor excursion
  3. Next SCC meeting (18 October) on digital photography
  4. Comics lesson

Parents please take note that the following meeting of the Sunridge Computer Club will be on Monday, the 18th of October at 17:15. The lesson will be on digital photography. We'll be joined by a professional photographer who will be our guess speaker for the evening. I think you'll agree with me when I say that we are fortunate to have point-and-click digital cameras and just about all of our mobile phones have cameras in them too. But how much use is this if we do not know how to take a decent picture???

Our guest speaker will also be taking digital portrait pictures of us all, so members are encouraged to dress up, brush their teeth, comb their hair, and practice their sunshine smiles for when the photographer says: "say cheese".

As for today's lesson, we created our own comics on a website called

Makebeliefscomix allows one to make 2 - 4 panel comics with a variety of characters to choose from. 20 Different fun cartoon characters - each with 4 different costumes - are on offer. The website also has 25 props to choose from - anything from pizza slices to hats. Various tools can be used to flip, scale, move, re-order, and delete characters and props. Makebeliefscomix also allows one to colour the panels and select a variety of talk and thought balloons in addition to using panel prompts. Upon completion, the comics can be printed and/or emailed

We opted to mail all the comics to my computer so that I can print them out for us in colour and laminate them.

Like I said, this is nothing hectic - just a nice fun way to kick start the 4th term.

This is Motherboard signing off.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

i... i... iRobot

Time to chill.

Some of the Sunridge Computer Club Members got together this evening to watch a movie. The feature performance on the big silver screen (actually my yellow computer lab wall) was iRobot. At one point I thought it was a competition as my computer lab was filled with the aroma of sweets, crisps, cooldrink and even coffee in a flask as my young brainiacs proved that it is possible to consume one's own body weight in food. :-) But, it was a nice way to round off our lessons on robotics and also to get together socially to say goodbye before the September holiday.

Attendance was understandably low due to other events on the Sunridge Primary calendar and also because this was not a regular club meeting and attendance was completely voluntary. Thank you to those parents who took the time to excuse their kids - it is much appreciated.

Our next regular club meeting will be on the Monday, 4 October 2010 (first day of school) at 17:15. Enjoy the September holiday with your family.

This is Motherboard signing off.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Links, Regs, Links, Regs, Links, Regs, ...Vorentoe!

Stiff competition was at the order of the day...

All our codenames have been chosen and name badges have been printed - thank you Stehan! (More about Stehan's hard work later). Therefor, from this moment on, all the members and myself shall be referred to by our codenames. Both here and at our club meetings. NOTE TO SELF: I'm sure Floppy Drive was standing on his toes here on the right - he can't be taller than I am. :-(

On the agenda for today was:
  1. Taking register
  2. Outstanding minutes
  3. Outstanding permission slips (yes, despite my efforts and begging, I'm still waiting for 2 more permission slips) ai, ai, ai.
  4. Name badges & thanking Gigabyte for his dedication
  5. ThinkQuest logins
  6. Robotics Lesson part 2

Unfortunately attendance was not up to scratch tonight with 3 members (iRobot; Shift; and Graphics Card) being absent without being excused. Parents and members are reminded about the rules of the club and the permission slips which were signed. Repeated failure to attend without excuses being made will not be tolerated and club membership may be revoked.

A beeeeeeeeg thank you goes out to Gigabyte for the design, layout, typing up, printing, and basically making our name badges which boasts our codenames, real names, and the club logo. Our name badges look really good. Baie dankie Gigabyte.

There will NOT be another computer club meeting on the 20th of September as I said initially. It was brought to my attention that the grade 6 learners only return from their outdoor education on the 20th and will surely be in need of some rest. This was probably the last meeting of the SCC for this term. The next date will be advised.


We recapped on what we learnt about robots during the last meeting before being introduced to the "prettiest and sweetest" little robot called Kismet. Kismet consists of just a head and a neck but, in those two body parts are 21 motors controlling her facial expressions, and 4 cameras which detect movement and senses human facial expressions. Her vision alone is controlled by 9 computers. She can listen, talk, blink, smile, and do many more cool things. She will lean forward when interested/curious and retract when she "feels" threatened. She will smile and raise her eyebrows when praised and bow her head and sulk when scolded.

Teams were formed and given a worksheet with three everyday objects and the question was asked: "Am I a robot" for all of them. Members had to use what was learnt and consider 5 requirements to determine if each of the 3 objects could be classified as being a robot or not.

We watched videos of industrial robots, one with the sole purpose of welding car parts and the other one spray painted cars on an assembly line. We also witnessed what was claimed to be the fastest robot. This video made it clear that robots have an major advantage over humans when it comes to speed and accuracy, especially when doing a repetitive jobs.

Navigate your robot - activity

Members teamed up in pairs for this activity. One was chosen to act as a "robot". The "robot" was blindfolded and was directed through an obstacle course by the "programmer" using only 3 predefined Afrikaans words (Links, Regs, & Vorentoe) and 1 "special command" which they could decide on beforehand to make the task easier and faster. Any other words from the programmer on his vantage point, or if the robot bumped into any obstacles led to immediate disqualification. To make this task more interesting the element of time was thrown into the equation. G-Force and Floppy Drive walked away with the prizes (2 packets of Liquorice Allsorts) this time with a record time of 1 minute and 4 seconds and incredible accuracy.

This activity made it clear that it was not so easy to have a robot do exactly what you want it to do when it can't think for itself and has to rely on our instructions. We take for granted how easy everyday tasks are when motion, and navigation comes from one person but it is a completely different story when we split the motion and navigation up into two entities who are now dependant on each other to get the job done.

Makes one think, doesn't it?

This is Motherboard signing off.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Look Mom, no hands... kinda.

This evening's lecture was Fun with a huge, big, fat capital "F".

On my way to the meeting, I stopped at the supermarket and bought the largest
slab of chocolate I could find to offer as a prize for tonight - thinking that I
would be enjoying that chocolate all by myself later tonight when I write this
blog entry - boy was I wrong. Matthys Keyter snatched it from me with his
nimble modified fingers. :-)

On the agenda for today was:
  1. Taking Register
  2. Outstanding permission slips
  3. Outstanding/Invalid codenames
  4. Name badges
  5. Stehan's name badge designs
  6. Computer Club logo designs
  7. ThinkQuest passwords
  8. Robotics Lesson part 1

Again - a big thank you to the parents. All the members were present and on time. Your support is immensely important to the SCC (Sunridge Computer Club) and greatly appreciated.

After the matter of invalid codenames, full inboxes, and outstanding permission slips were taken care of, Stehan Krause presented us with 6 designs to be printed on our name badges once we have received everybody's codenames. Thank you Stehan! We also decided on a logo for the SCC. But, more about that next time.

I managed to sort out the ThinkQuest problem and gave everybody their usernames and temporary passwords. The members were told to take it home and complete the registration process, changing their passwords, and becoming familiar with the ThinkQuest website.

Then onto our first official supper-dooper, cool, interesting lecture.

ROBOTICS - Part 1.

The question: "What is a robot?" was thrown in there for discussion. We classified robots into groups such as: TV & movie robots, industrial robots, space exploration and military robots, and of course commercial robots - as we saw on in the short movie clip we watched of "Titan the Robot".

We discussed what robots are good for and why. We also investigated what robots lack and how they don't compare to their human counterparts.

Then another question was brought up: "Robots perform their functions without feeling, thinking independently, or learning". What are your thoughts on this?" This was a heated discussion. Everything came out, from how robots could be so much more useful if they had these qualities, to the threat robots could pose to the human race if they were able to learn, have feelings, and could think for themselves. Where would it end?

This was a good time to discuss Isaac Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics which basically says that robots must obey humans, protect itself, but above all not injure a human or cause a human to be injured through its inaction. A fourth -somewhat unknown - law referred to as "Law Zero" was mentioned which in short protects humanity as a whole.

Now for the really fun part. We talked about how 'what robots can do' are limited by their own bodies/casings. We used the following activity to demonstrate this. 4 Members were lined up, each assuring me that they can tie their shoelaces fast. BUT, to their surprise, there was a catch. One member was given a pair of thick winter gloves to wear. The second member wore oven mitts. The third member had to use two pairs of long-nose pliers. And the fourth member had ice-cream sticks taped to the tips of his fingers. And as a crowd formed around the contestants, the race was on to see who could tie their laces the fastest. I did not think anybody would be able to do it. Believe me, if I did, I would have bought a smaller chocolate and purchased one for myself too. But Metthys showed us how its done. Hmmmm. Perhaps the Keyter family eats a lot of Chinese food giving him the unfair advantage he gets from using chopsticks. :-)

That's all for now. By the way - the members were given notices which details the dates of the next two SCC meetings. Please make sure you get these from them.

This is Motherboard signing off.

Ps. Please Email me @ with any comments you might have. As it is I work on Monday, present the SCC lecture in the evening and then rush home and stay up till late writing this blog before the clock strikes 12 but, I don't even know if anybody is reading this blog. Thank you.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Making decisions...

The computer club saw its first get-together this evening, and was off to a good start with all 20 members making their attendance. A BIG thank you to the parents for having the members at the club on time. It was wonderful to conduct our activities without the interruption of latecomers.

We sat on the floor as I welcomed everybody to the club and we made core decisions together regarding the running of the club. A lot was said and some good ideas surfaced.

First off, some appointments were made:

The Secretary: Anschia Pauw kindly volunteered her services. She will be responsible for taking shorthand notes during the administration part of club meetings and then neatly retyping them for the club to keep a record of.

The Webmaster: Nandi Steyn took on this task. The club as a whole will lay down the format for the club’s online presence. Nandi and Myself will design the artwork but, it is Nandi who will be responsible for updating of the club’s website after every meeting.

The members decided on preliminary rules and accepted behaviour. We discussed the reason for each rule to make sure that everyone understands the importance thereof.

Since the members are representative of two languages, a mixture of both Afrikaans and English will be used by myself and guest speakers. Given the nature of computer terminology I’m sure that English would be the prevalent choice. The club members will of course communicate in their own home language.

Members were given until Friday the 6th of August to email me with the nicknames (something directly relating to computers) they chose for themselves. It was also decided that – since we’re such a cool club – we’ll refer to these nicknames as “codenames”. We will use these codenames to address each other. Since I’m the leader of the pack, my codename will be “motherboard”. I have arranged for nice name badges which we will wear during meetings. It was also suggested that we rename the most talkative club member to something like “speaker” or “headphones”. ...Watch out Willem-Adriaan, I can just see that codename pinned to your collar. :-)

Members were also asked to come up with a logo which will represent the Sunridge Computer Club.

I guess that everything can’t always run smoothly. This was proven when we ran into our first hiccup in the form of our ThinkQuest registrations. I suspect that there might be a restriction of rights on our school servers. I’ll sort this out in this week. Just so that the parents know: ThinkQuest is a safe online portal where only myself and the club members can message, brainstorm, vote, collaborate, and Q&A with each other. I suspect that this will become the club members' primary means of sharing thoughts.

Lastly: Each club meeting will tackle a new computer term as part of our activities. As the Sunridge Computer Club, we need to get our geek talk straight. :-) “URL” was the term for this evening. It is something we use very often when surfing the net BUT you probably know it as the “web address”. That’s right, URL is short for Uniform Resource Locator and is the;;; etc which you type into your web browser.

Now that we have most of the administration and formalities out of the way, we can move on to some advanced learning with a dash of fun thrown in of course.

Till two weeks from now, this is Motherboard signing off.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Let's vote...

I called a meeting with the parents of the learners I selected as potential members of the Sunridge Computer Club this afternoon. Attendance was pretty good. I really appreciated the fact that so many parents were willing to take time out of their schedule (especially after a hard day's work) to come hear me out.

The focus of this meeting was to vote on a time and day (of the week) for the computer club to meet and engage in our club activities. We decided on every second Monday at 17:15 for a duration of 1 hour. It was not easy, and I must admit that I was worried that we would not come to an agreement. I feel bad for the parents who had to go back home to their children and say: "sorry, but you won't be able to join the computer club". I feel especially bad for those learners too. The feedback that I got from my learners has been that of excitement and pride - I feel that I let some learners down. Unfortunately it is impossible to accommodate everybody.

Some questions were asked with regards to the running of the club. Questions are always good. One of the mothers asked me what I need. I was touched by this question. It just seemed like such a selfless question from somebody who is eager to support our computer club. As I said to the lady, at this point in time I need ideas, and contacts.

Quite a few parents -before and after the meeting - offered their input. I got some ideas and it sounds like I can really get hold of some solid contacts via them.

All in all, the meeting was a success. I was impressed by the interest and support of the parents.

Now I look forward to the club member's first meeting.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

In the beginning...

Our computer club has not officially started yet. But, that doesn't mean that no work has been done. I'm using the last of 2 weeks of my long June/July school holiday (thanks to the FIFA 2010 Soccer World Cup) to do some research on other computer clubs across the globe. The Sunridge Computer Club was my idea, and I know exactly why we should have a computer club but, I hit a blank when I asked myself: "what will we do in this computer club".

I've managed to come up with a few ideas so far - some are my own, and others I got from the web. I'm hoping that our best ideas will come from the club members themselves. After all, this club is for them. I've set up an "brainstorm" activity on the ThinkQuest website where the club members can post their ideas for topics to cover. It doesn't matter how crazy the ideas are- you never know, one crazy idea could lead to a practical topic.

Well, this is -in itself - exciting ...the Sunridge Computer Club's first blog entry. I hope to use this blog to document every step the club takes. From now, the pre, pre, pre setup, thru all the decision making, our activities, accomplishments, etc.