Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Project 2

A few project notes:

1. You need to read directions. A lot of your questions are answered in the textbook.
2. In student govt many of your backgrounds are not appropriate. They are way too busy. In addition some of you are creating multiple pages, but with different themes and backgrounds. A website should have a unifying theme.
3. Structural issues are paramount. Naming files, creating websites, moving images, etc...are the foundation of building a site. Be careful as you do these steps.

I have progress reports due. I will grade Wednesday. Be ready. Your grade is your responsibility.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Welcome Back

I hope you all had a happy and healthy vacation. I spent the first weekend in Pennsylvania visiting my mom and sister. We were delayed as all the roads were closed due to the Valentine's Day storm and ice on the roads. We spent most of the rest of the time playing with Claudia.

I think we have the basics of Dreamweaver down at this point. You all should be able to create a new website, create pages within that website, import links, and do basic manipulations to the page. We have done this fairly fast but I think you are doing well with it. Remember, I am not trying to teach you Dreamweaver, but how to use software. If you could walk into any publishing environment and use their software then we have done our job.

This is the first time I have taught this class. The hardest thing when teaching a new class is pacing. In my old job as a band director I could plan almost to the minute how much class time it would take to learn a piece of music. Figuring out how long it takes us to learn a chapter is challenging, especially since we have such diverse abilities. At the moment I think a chapter (with extras) takes us about a week. I think that will come down as we get better with the program.

I do feel strongly that our higher achieving students can do more, especially with helping our lower achievers. I have encouraged you to plow through the book. If you can finish it tomorrow, great. I would love if those of you who really "get it" would do one of two things:

1. Take the time to help some of our students for whom this is a challenge. Peer-to-peer instruction is far more valuable than teacher-to-student.
2. I will begin to provide more and more "extra challenges" for those who are moving fast. But I already have provided you with a blog, wiki, and a world of readers. Do something with your skills that is productive. Find something you are passionate about and write about it.

CAPT testing is approaching. We will have shortened periods and other various interruptions. What I will set up is a serious of activities as I know you will be a bit frazzled. I expect to start the Flash and Fireworks program work and do it concurrently with the Dreamweaver. This will give each of you more options as you come into class each day.

I will also be making the blog a higher percentage of your grade. You must show evidence of reflecting upon the reading assignments.

I would love to set up workshops for senior citizens, teachers, parents, or little kids. We could teach internet basics, email, and other items. I did a survey of parents during web1 and 100% of them asked for this type of thing. Please let me know if you are interested!!! Its a great project for a group of students to get community service credits (Hope Club??), teaching experience, and possibility a subject for a college essay. I have always tried to give future teachers a chance to actually teach as this gives them a huge edge when interviewing for schools. Here is your chance....

Thursday, February 15, 2007


Currently SHS bans iPods, cellphones, etc...

But we all know they are being used.

This postby Will Richardson highlights the ethics dilemma. Also read the NY Times article.

How can students use technology more effectively? Should ethical use of this technology be taught in the classes? How should SHS manage this issue?

Currently you can run Powerpoint and watch movies with your iPod, blog and access the internet with your cellphone. We know that in a few years the "phone" will be as powerful as the Dell Computer you are using right now. You will be able to take pictures, record voice, edit movie, post to web all in the palm of your hand. This could be a very powerful classroom tool.....or students could use this power unethically (pictures of girls, fight scenes, etc...).

Please write a post that addresses these issues. I worry about students recording conversations or taking inappropriate pictures. Often these situations dissolve into violence.

Sunday, February 11, 2007


Read this post by Will Richardson (probably the leading educational blogger, thousands of people subscribe to his blog on bloglines) about Barack Obama's push into the web. Obama is a leading Democratic candidate for President and he has made a big leap forward from Web 1.0 to Web 2.0.

As we teach web design I hope you realize that it is a moving target. What was "new" four years ago when Howard Dean splashed onto the scene has been replaced by much more powerful technology. Notice the "conversation" aspect of the website. Its not about Obama giving you information, its about Obama supporters providing each other with information. That is a much more powerful web design concept and one we are trying to work on every day here in class.

Another note. The blogmeister is in China. Follow his exploits on his blog. I encourage you all today to make a bloglines account and subscribe to David Warlick and Will Richardson.

If you are going to operate in a modern environment you have to be able to use and understand these tools.

Finally, technology doesn't always mean computers. Click here. You should put cooltools in your bloglines account as well. I'd like to see all of you use this tool at lunch.

Friday, February 09, 2007


On the blogmeister we have been estimating how much paper Seymour High School uses in 1 year. Seymour High School has about 900 students.

I received the answer yesterday afternoon:

In the 2005-06 fiscal year (July 1, 2005 to June 30, 2006) SHS used 450 cases of paper, with 10 reams in each case. Total reams of paper is 4500, which equals 2,250,000 sheets of copy paper (500 sheets per ream).

Today's assignment will involve applying this knowledge and preparing a response.

Step One:
If each piece of paper is connected end to end (assume each piece is 1 foot long) how many miles long would my paper train be? A mile is 5,280 feet.

Step Two:
Using routebuilder answer the following questions:

  • Is my paper train long enough to reach Canada from Seymour?
  • Is my paper train long enough to travel the circumference of Connecticut?
  • If my paper train was a bridge could I travel from Canada to Greenland?

Step Three:

  • If you could only travel as far as this train which city/town/event would you go to? Find a web link about this item. Why would you choose this item?

Step Four:

  • Using blogmeister please answer these questions. Be sure to use proper style, links, etc... I encourage you to include other links that might be appropriate (about the places you visit, paperless classrooms, google maps, etc...). Format your entry correctly (paragraphs, grammer, etc..).

I am looking to see:

  • Can you follow directions?
  • Can you use the internet to find information?
  • Can you do the simple math?
  • Can you write about it in an interesting way?

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Survey 1

Here are the results of todays survey:

1. Dreamweaver is...

Easier than HTML 85%
Same difficulty as HTML 12%
Harder than HTML 2%

2. Have you read or edited your blogmeister from home?

Yes 67%
No 33%

3. After only two weeks with Dreamweaver I would like you to respond to the sequence of Web Design. Would you prefer...

Learning HTML first and then Dreamweaver 61%
Learning by task (i.e. learning image maps in Dreamweaver and HTML at the same time) 13%
Learn Dreamweaver first then incorporate HTML knowledge 26%

4. Are you producing your best work?

Yes 69%
No 31%

5. Five years from now we will...

Be in a new world of possibilities because Americans rose to the challenge 57%
Be in deep, deep trouble. 43%

6. Does using Dreamweaver help you understand HTML language better?

Yes 52%
No 48%

7. Do you feel comfortable creating and editing a basic webpage?

Yes 98%
No 1%
Whats a webpage? 1%

8. Choose One

Chocolate 54%
Vanilla 33%
Strawberry 26%

Survey 1: Web 2

Please complete this feedback survey today. I value your opinions on how we are doing and like to collect data in a systematic way. Please feel free to look back at surveys from Web1 (you can click on the blog label to find them).

We will have a lengthy discussion today about class, bloglines, technorati, teacherease, tags, and other items. Pay attention!

Friday, February 02, 2007


Your recent blogs about Ayiti were picked up by the makers of the game. Click here to see the post.

A reminder that you are part of a global community. People read what you are writing and this information gets connected through the web. Write well, write something of value, and write often and you will build readers. I believe you all have something to share.

We will work on tagging your posts so these entries can be found. Tagging is how the web software searches for information.

After checking technorati.com 75 blogs link to the Ayiti entry about our students. You have a voice! Use it!!

I can also help you put a clustrmap on your blog so you can see where people are reading your blogs. Ask for help if you need it.

On Monday please go through the practice test a number of times. Remember, you will not be able to use notes during the quiz. Please let me know if there are any questions that you have trouble with. Sometimes the questions are kind of awkward.

Technorati Tags:

Extra Credit

Extra Credit:

Watch a talk from the TED conference. Jeff Han was a TED talk. I just watched the talk by Hans Rosling which was fascinating. I write about it on my technology blog. I hope all of you take the time to watch Jennifer Lin. What an amazing 14 year old. And how she talks in front of the audience is almost as impressive as her music.

After watching do a summary on your blog. Be sure to link to the talk and any important related sites. Find other bloggers (using technorati) that are talking about the information. Use technorati tags. Anyway, its extra credit so just have fun with it.

Some of these talks are VERY well done.

Technorati Tags:

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Site management

A few issues I am seeing:

1. In Web1 the largest issue was by far typos. People would make entry mistakes. I am seeing direction skipping as the issue in Web2 so far. Slow down and read.
2. You must define the new site when you start a new project. When you start "BB Lawn Service" you must define the site!! It will screw everything up later if you don't. It should not be in your parks folder. When you finish Project 1 you should have sites/folders named Florida Parks, Lawn Service, Plant City, and School Trips.
3. The end key and the enter key are not the same thing.
4. Quiz Tuesday.