Failure to Communicate: When it is time to abandon the Betas.

“What we have is a failure to communicate,”

says the warden to Cool Hand Luke in the movie by the same name.


Between Firefox 7 Beta, the add ons for the browser, my free antivirus software Avast, and the upgrade to Blogger, something is wrong.

I have several computers that I work on: my Vista PC at home, my large Win 7 Lenovo Think Center m90z at home, and my HP Win 7 64 bit laptop at school. All nice, well tended machines.

But there are times when NOTHING works right and I've been having them for the past three or four weeks with this blog.

It came to a head on Monday when I wrote an excellent post responding to a New York Times article that I dare not link to. Not because I don't want to give you the link, but because, I've found if I open a different window and go there and copy the link, that somehow blogger will stop responding as it tries to save a draft and I'll lose this post too. I lost that post. I hope to write it again — when I have time.

I try Firefox and Chrome and sometimes it happens in both, so it might actually be Blogger. But sometimes I'm not on blogger or anything like it and suddenly the new windows I open in Firefox or Chrome suddenly stop responding at all. The little circle just turning around and around.

It just isn't anything I can put my finger on, nothing I can really point to. I have Avast at home and AVG at school – nothing there. I use a heavy duty firewall at home and a gateway firewall at school – again a disconnect. I typically crash in Blogger and the one time I opened a post to resurrect it at school, it crashed on me there too.

Technology is an ecosystem. It is becoming harder to troubleshoot – at least for me.

I find it hard to believe that all three of my systems have problems – in fact, I'm pretty sure that they don't. Unless I just attracted unwanted interest on that post about Kevin Mitnick's new book that my sister berated me for even writing: Dumb, Dumb, Dumb,

“Vicki, never write anything about hackers lest they turn on you.” she said.

Yes, but still. I guess there is a person in me that wanted to speak up for those people hurt by the book that will never even know I wrote the post – OK, so I guess I'm a bit dumb. Or perhaps just idealistic.

So, I've just written a dead, linkless post just for the sake of writing one, I guess. I may have to fire up Windows Live Writer and start blogging in there again – it is a nice offline blog post editor. I love using the Zemanta add in and have it on Firefox although there are problems in Chrome where I don't have the add in.

Something's just not quite right. I'm still here. I have an epic post I'm working on about parenting and another one as well.

The other problem is that I've had to disable my Diigo plug in on Firefox 7 and that is what I use to send you your daily spotlight. So, the question is – What is going on? I'm going to figure this out. It isn't that I'm not writing – I'm writing more than ever with the final proofs for the Flat Classroom Book due this week and the new book on collaborative writing's first deadline this past Tuesday.

I've got lots to write about and share with you. It is just somehow when I open this trusty blogger window, I always get hung.

Maybe it is time to un-beta everything and just go back to what works. Maybe that is what I will try next. There is a time when Beta products are in beta for a reason and now may be one of them.

Until then, remember your noble calling, teacher. Remember that great work often has great obstacles and that we have to keep on plugging ahead anyway.

Remember your noble calling, teacher. I will.

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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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The Cool Cat Teacher Blog
Vicki Davis writes The Cool Cat Teacher Blog for classroom teachers everywhere