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....

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