Friday, March 30, 2007

Exam Observations

A few notes that I see about the exam:

1. Many of you should be using tables to help with your layout (review Florida Parks pages). Many of your layouts look a little sloppy. A table would help a lot. Remember, the table can have no border, but you use it just for alignment.

2. Many of you have images, but they don't have alternate text or VSpace or HSpace. This looks bad.

3. In general your backgrounds are way too prominent. They are backgrounds. You need to remove them. If you take the background out and your page suddenly looks cleaner, that should tell you something. In general your pages are way too busy. Again, it is VERY rare to find a professional website that has a dark background or one that is as flashy as some of yours are. The best looking websites I've seen for this exam are very clean, and have minimal, if any, backgrounds.

4. This is a website. Not an essay.

5. Citations must be correct. Everything must be cited and you must know who wrote your information. "Some guy" is not an acceptable answer.

6. Test your site! Have someone else try it out. Is it fun?? This is a a factor for your grade!!!! Will a 5th grader want to use your website?? I urge you to look at your classmates work for ideas.

7. You must link to a prominent blog on the subject.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Stop Cyberbullying

Be sure to do today's reading about cyberbullying on the blogmeister. Our quiz tomorrow will require you did this reading.

Technorati Tags:

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Image Citations

To do your image citations go to and follow the directions on the exam wiki.

Your image is in the "audiovisual" category. Then use online source. Try to include as much information as you can, including the photographer.

You may not have images, text, or video that you didnt create or is under copyright. I don't care if it was on google. That gives you permission to view it, not to steal it.

No, you may not use any image of Harry Potter. The image is copyrighted. Do something else.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Exam Thoughts

As you finish the research for your exam I wanted to have some Do's and Don'ts:


1. Look at information with a critical eye. Just because it is on the internet does not mean it is correct. How did you determine that it is valuable information? Who is the author? Is their work cited in other places?

2. Remember your designated audience!! Do 5th graders want a boring site? No! Do you include interactive elements like quizzes, video, surveys?

3. Be very specific. Don't start writing about irrelevant issues. Also, be sure you define the question correctly. For example, "can dogs love humans" will require a definition of what "love" is. Dogs can be devoted, but can they love? These are tough questions.

4. Be sure to only use work that is Creative Common license or non-copywrited.

5. Collaborate with your classmates!! It would be cool to link two or three sites together, each tackling a different part of the issue. Help each other with video, cool ideas, etc... I have no problem if you barter skills ("I work on your video, you help me with the images") as long as you cite who did what. Use blogmeister to connect with anyone in the world. You must have a blog reference. Blogmeister has students all over the world who could leave you comments!!!

6. Include a professional looking page of references.


1. Don't use dark backgrounds unless you have a REALLY good reason. Dark backgrounds are VERY rare in the design world. Plan your website BEFORE you start on the computer. Don't just jump in.

2. Don't wait until the last minute.

3. Don't do less than your best work. These WILL be used by the 5th graders in Seymour. Show that you know what you are doing.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


Quiz is on the blogmeister. Must be completed today (3/22/07).

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Step 7

First problem:

Step 7 on Page 4.52 is causing some problems. I think I have it figured out.

When you make the link on the Florida Parks index page to the new frames page use the folder icon and browse for the correct file.

It will ask you if you want to overwrite the file. CLICK NO.

It should work. If you click yes, you lose the old file. Be careful.

Second problem:
A lot of you are creating "pretzel" issues because you are not saving the frames correctly. Frame and frameset are not the same thing. Thus, the computer is looking for files that either don't exist or exist someplace else and you get error messages. GO SLOW when saving files. If you do the first few pages correctly you will be fine.

This is a hard one to fix....not sure of a solution yet (beyond start over).

Monday, March 19, 2007


This weeks blog post needs to follow a specific format such as those in the flickr guidelines (Do's, Don't, etc..). Many of you submitted incorrect work. Fix it!!!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Ethics and Appropriate Use

We have talked and written many times this year about responsible use. We have reflected that many things have been restricted from you because some people have acted badly. Water bottles, phones, iPods, video on websites, etc.....

So what would an acceptable use policy look like? Check this one out that covers student publishing. Also read that has community guidelines.

But sometimes we are searching for information, images, or ideas and we come across inappropriate content. For example, has community guidelines, but sometimes people don't follow the rules and post objectionable photos.

We need guidelines of what to do if we come across "bad stuff". I feel strongly that the "bad stuff" should not come into the classroom and I am sure you agree. Some feel since that there is a chance this will happen we should not be able to use these tools. I feel if students behave responsibly and we have discussions about what to do and how to act that we should be able to use these tools.

1. What community guidelines should we use for SHS? How should we "act responsibly" in viewing, searching, and collecting information? This should be specific: "A student should use search terms responsibly, for example, don't search for "Nudes" or "If a student encounters objectionable content the student should flag the content and immediately remove themselves from the page".
2. Use the guidelines as your template. I think it is a good format. Notice it is NOT one run-on paragraph.
3. Title your blog entry "SHS Appropriate Use Guidelines".

Thursday, March 15, 2007


Many of you will be adjusting your speed.

Many of you are done with project 4.

If needed, use the amnesty program. Any amnesty for marking period will close April 2.

I am happy to open lab before or after school.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


Your marking period exam is posted here on the class wiki. It is due April 2, which will close the marking period.

You also have your chapters to complete. Yes, I am asking you to do two things at once. Your exam should reflect your current knowledge and you should use the tools that you have to solve the problems in the exam.

Book project 4 is about frames. This is a very quick project. Please do the following:

1. Parks
2. Student Trips
3. Outline/Summary
4. Quiz

You will do the same four categories for project 5.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


Deadlines are moving up fast.

Period 1, 6 must take their quiz today.

Period 2, 4, 5 must take their quiz by tomorrow.

All project 3 work due by Thursday.

Last weeks blog assignment deadline has passed.

Many of you need to do homework or use study hall time. If you are behind, and not taking the CAPT test you should use the extra time and arrive to see me at 7:20am.

I will stay after:
Tuesday until 3pm
Wednesday until 3:30pm
Thursday until 3pm

Plan accordingly.

Monday, March 12, 2007


Another way to find works is to use Creative Common License.

This is a way for people to allow use of their work. Your blogs are under a Creative Common License. There are different variations. Some allow you to copy, some allow you to copy AND modify, etc...

Go to

Click explore Flickr

Click search. Click advanced search.

Check search only for Creative Common License Photos.

Put in your search term (Boston, baseball, etc..).

See photos.

Technorati Tags:


Last week I posted the new schedule for deadlines.

You should notice that some classes don't meet everyday due to CAPT test. Be sure you meet deadline regardless of CAPT schedule. You have known the schedule for a long time and should plan accordingly.

I am slightly worried that some of you will test me on this. Get things in when they are due or before deadline. Work will not be accepted after the deadline. I have provided significant time to complete each task. Those of you who are behind must plan for extra time during study hall or before or after school. You also must start working more efficiently. I will do anything I can to help you get things done. This might include a student tutor, allowing after school time, extra hints, etc...But let me know!!

Some the resources at your disposal:
1. Powerpoint presentation in UDrive.
2. Learn it Online.
3. Your classmates! Use the blogs for help or if you find a cool hint or way to do things.
4. Me
5. The textbook.
6. The world of instructors and web resources.

Last week's blog article is due today (Monday).

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

School 2.0

David Warlick, the blogmeister, has been travelling the world talking about School 2.0. Take a minute and read his post. School 2.0 is a transformative experience where teachers are guiding the learning process. Education become much more reciprocal. I learn AS you learn. Not I talk and YOU learn.

I think this course, because of its nature, might be one of the more "modern" in terms of content that you have. I have also tried to be "modern" in terms of teaching technique. I have tried to adapt my style to the situation. If I am working with you in a few weeks teaching you how to throw the discus on the track team my style will be very different. If I was conducting you in my band it would be yet another style.

Why? I think it is essential that you can discover the answers yourself. When you are "on your own" there will be no teacher there for you. You will need to know how to search for information, read/write, communicate and collaborate, and to solve the "problem" quickly, efficiently and productively.

What does a 21st century school look like? Check out:

High Tech High Be sure to look at their digital portfolios. How does the use of digital portfolios increase collaboration and assessment? If you were in that school you would know exactly what excellent work looks like. Are these students prepared for the 21st century?

Take the time to read this Time magazine article (some of you may have seen it before). Note how a 21st century school approaches education. Notice how involved students are in their education.

Why do we focus on this? A web designer who does not focus on learning new technology, methods of communication, and global techniques will quickly be an irrelevant web designer.
I hope our readings have shown you that ALL of us have to be web designers/communicators now to thrive in this global, collaborative marketplace. If ALL of us have to be web designers/communicators then these skills are essential.

In your blogmeister please reflect on these readings. How can you take more control of your education? Are you demanding the opportunity to learn?

Tuesday, March 06, 2007


Students should be familiar with the new grading schedule and requirements.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Survey Results

1. Dreamweaver is...
Easier than HTML 71%
Same difficulty as HTML 19%
Harder than HTML 10%

2. Have you read or edited your blogmeister from home?
Yes 69%
No 31%

3. After only four weeks with Dreamweaver I would like you to respond to the sequence of Web Design. Would you prefer...
Learning HTML first and then Dreamweaver 64%
Learning by task (i.e. learning image maps in Dreamweaver and HTML at the same time) 13%
Learn Dreamweaver first then incorporate HTML knowledge 23%

4. Are you producing your best work?
Yes 71%
No 29%

5. I am familiar with and understand Seymour High School's mission statement.
Yes 67%
No 33%

6. Does using Dreamweaver help you understand HTML language better?
Yes 53%
No 47%

7. Do you feel comfortable creating and editing a basic webpage?
Yes 94%
No 5%
Whats a webpage? 1%

8. Choose all that apply. I would like to work on the following topics:
Gaming and educational simulations 62%
Creating web 2.0 applications 29%
Video/Flash and movie making 74%
Connecting with students from other countries 42%
Improving my writing/communication skills 22%
Computer programming 34%


I have been encouraging many of you to make your background images transparent. That way we can see the text better.

This was done easily in Frontpage, but I have been showing you the wrong way to do it in Dreamweaver, thus the image isnt showing up in your browser. I made a mistake (gasp!).

Can anyone find the proper way to insert this transparent background and post a tutorial on their blog??

I can make the image transparent or less opaque very easily in Fireworks. Perhaps I edit it there and then bring it into Dreamweaver? Anyone have a better idea?

And don't forget each project has a powerpoint created that some of you might work better with. The powerpoints are in the UDrive.

Project 3

We are transitioning to Project 3 in the textbook.

Please take the survey about Project 2.

Project three is about tables and formatting pages. It is a bit awkward in that there are a lot of meticulous directions. There is debate in the software world about which is better; using tables or style sheets. Well, you get to learn both as Project 4 starts our work with style sheets.

We will eliminate the Plant City extra for this chapter. Please complete Florida parks, Lawn City, Student Government, outline, and quiz. I will be expecting your outlines to improve and employ the techniques we have talked about for summarizing. Start taking the practice quiz now so you learn the vocabulary.

Please put this free music site in your favorites. Remember, you can't use copyrighted music either. This site is connected with the $100 laptop program.

Good luck.

Friday, March 02, 2007

New Age

During Web1 I had several battles with students who felt that Web Design was only HTML based programming. Video, wikis, blogs, etc...were "extras". I think I convinced most that "web design" is a moving target. It is quickly adapting to a mobile, collaborative form.

Further evidence continues to arrive. Read this post about the growth of wikis and blogs in the workplace. Experts predict that 50% of companies will use wiki technology by the year 2009. A few notes about that:

1. If half the companies are using wiki/blogs I hypothesize that it is the better performing companies. Companies that do not use technology are probably "old school" in many other areas as well and risk falling behind in our global marketplace.
2. Our SHS freshman will graduate college no earlier than 2014. Will wikis and blogs be essential by then? The article speaks about companies replacing their traditional web sites with the wikis and blogs. Will Dreamweaver/HTML disappear by the time our freshman leave high school? I think so. But the communication skills (summarizing, analyzing, editing, etc...) will become even more important.

I think this has extreme implications for our modern student. If the workplace of 2009 will be largely wiki and blog based how should that shape your work at SHS? I think there is a lot of work to be done.

This is your future. Demand an education that prepares you for it. Find new technology and embrace it.

I will be formatting your projects very soon. But let me be clear---I will allow you to work on almost anything you want while you are in this class as long as you fulfill our objectives (see blogmeister). If you have an alternate assignment for any of our objectives please offer them. If there is something you want to pursue--do it!!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Swing Set

This swing set site is amazing. The usability rating is off the chart. A good example of a modern use of web design.

I am designing a set for Claudia that I will make this summer. What can you come up with? Have fun with this for awhile (but don't get lost in it for days....).