December 13, 2005

Volunteer annoyances

I volunteer in my son's elementary school on Monday mornings, but things have changed this year. Because of a state law requiring fingerprinting/background checks for vendor employees in public schools, school districts are having to make choices about which volunteer situations require fingerprinting (at a cost of $50/person, which the district can't really pay and can't ask volunteers to do). Hillsborough has decided that volunteers and researchers need to be fingerprinted if they're going to be with kids one-on-one. I understand, but the practical import is that I'm not spending one-on-one time tutoring a child. I've instead spent rather frustrating time in the classroom helping, well, maybe one child in the midst of a social-studies lesson.

And then there was yesterday. One student asked me if I could help her with a longstanding annoyance. It turns out that the touchpads on the school's cart of computeres are all set to have the tap-click feature (where tapping on the touchpad is equivalent to a mouse click). Me, personally, I turn that sucker off because the pad of my thumb touches that off, and the cursor goes wild while I'm typing. So I perfectly understood what she wanted.

Except that I couldn't find the right setting.

A friend of mine who works for the computer company who makes these laptops guessed that the district employee who set up the computers failed to install the Synaptics touchpad driver that would allow for the toggling of the tap-click feature. One more thing that makes the students waste time and feel like they're incompetent.

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Posted in Random comments on December 13, 2005 8:04 AM |