Friday, September 28, 2007

News: Fox 61

We are in a break at the Fox61 workshop in Hartford (I'm wireless here). It seems pretty cool so far. There is a lot of scholarship money involved and a lot of support from the TV station. I think that this will be a great program for many of you.

Basically, twice per day Fox 61 broadcasts 50 second student news stories. Some of the ones they have shown are very well done. Check the link to view the stories and more information. I will write more later.

Thursday, September 27, 2007


We have talked about how the nature of web design is changing. Five years ago businesses would usually use a static website (think "Chiravelle Pizza" or "Florida Parks"). However, now businesses are largely skipping that step and using blogs or social networks. For example, most of my friends who are in serious bands have myspace pages instead of traditional websites. Check out this New York Times article about the subject. Very interesting implications for our classes and the things we study. If blogging and social networks are becoming more important will you be prepared?

Students should spend a significant amount of their time today making connections on their blog. This relates to yesterday's assignment. Make sure your entry is the best it can be, then be sure to provide substantial comments on other student's blogs. You should finish your blog work before moving on to anything else.

A few reminders:
1. Please proofread.
2. Embed links!!
3. Start a conversation. Many of you nailed this. Find quality examples of this and you will understand.
4. Remember, you can comment on the original blog posts (mine, Warlick's, Richardson's).

Tomorrow I will be attending a workshop in Hartford put on by Fox 61 to learn about their student news program. Each day they broadcast short segments produced by students. We want to be a part of that. It is an excellent chance for some of you to build your resume.

So Friday will be a catch up day. If you are done, please help others catch up. I am happy that many of you are coming in during study halls and after school. It makes it much easier. You can stay after any day. Many of you could do much of the blog work at home.

Web3 students should try to complete a new Flash tutorial before Monday.

I will also offer extra help hours for anyone who needs specific 1-1 help next Thursday after school. If you need help--be there!!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


Today I hope to catch up on the grading. I am behind in several classes on that.

Some reading:

1. One Laptop per Child. Many of you remember when the OLPC program was announced last year. While the program has taken off in some areas, it needs a healthy push to gain needed capital.
2. A New Tool. We know that there is significant resistance to incorporating new tools into your educational environment. Many are worried about abuse. Do you use the tools you are provided effectively?
3. Take Control. We talk about this often. Are you stuck on the escalator? Or are you taking charge of your education. Are there parallels between what is happening in the online environment and what can happen in schools?

Our main focus is on making connections. Are you reading/writing/talking/blogging/video/composing/acting upon what is happening in the world? Or are you a innocent bystander? There are many examples of how you need to be connected.

Remember how we started this class. Moving you from an R1 to R4 environment is essential for your survival in a modern world. I set up an environment for learning and provide access to a world of teachers. I ask that you read and discuss what I provide and then add to the conversation.

So I ask you to be sure you write a substantial blog entry this week about one of the topics I present or one of your choosing. I ask that you start a conversation about the topic with one of your classmates using the comment feature on blogmeister. Look to a standard blog entry (here) for an example. Notice the richness of the conversation in the comments. The blog entry starts the conversation. Can you write in a way that starts this conversation?

Monday, September 24, 2007


I am out Tuesday dealing with some family stuff. Here are your assignments.

Web3: Please complete this bouncing tutorial. Then evaluate each of the tutorials in your blog for a quiz grade.

  • Compare using tweens and using frame-by-frame method for achieving the bounce effect.

  • Evaluate the directions for each tutorial. What methods (dividing into steps, numbering, providing visual references, etc...) did the author use that made the directions clear (or confusing as the case may be...)?

  • Which method are you more comfortable using; tweens or frame-by-frame?

Web2: Work on completing Project 3.

Web1: Work on completing quiz and any missing work.

I hope to be back Wednesday.


I will spend most of today grading any missing work. After today those grades will be converted to a zzero in the computer.

Web1: Quiz: (20pts total). Due end of class Tuesday.

  • Create a folder in your WDrive-Web1. Label it "Quiz2".
  • Download a clip-art image of an American Flag. Save in Quiz2 folder
  • Create a two-page website.
  • Title Page 1: "American Flag". Add heading, background color, and flag image.
  • Center image.
  • Title Page 2: "American Flag History". Add heading. Add short description of Flag history with two links to further information.
  • Link pages together: Make image on Page 1 the link to Page 2. On Page 2 include a "home" link back to page 1.
  • Save both pages. Test links.


  • Grading of Project 2
  • Start project 3 (tables).


Friday, September 21, 2007


All classes had trouble making links yesterday so we will continue to practice.

Please make a blog entry about the top news story of the day. To determine what the top story is you can visit:

Your blog summary of the news should:

  • Be short: no more than 50 words that summarize the story.
  • Include a link to the story you read.
  • Have an appropriate title for the entry that matches the story.

Here is an example:

There is a growing controversy over the use of private contractors in Iraq. These companies provide security for convoys and visiting dignitaries. One company, Blackwater, was involved in an incident that killed eight Iraq civilians on Sunday.

After the warm-up:

Web 1: Finish labs and summary.

Web 2: Finish quiz and labs.

Web 3: Refine walking animation. Do this practice animation by the same author.

Thursday, September 20, 2007


All classes will take the typing test before we start today.

  • Put your score in your blog (be honest!) and see if it improves later.
  • Don't say "I took a typing test". Say "I took a typing test". Demonstrate that you know how to code a link (that is what Web1 and Web2 chapters are about!!).

Typing fast and accurately can make you much more efficient. I type fast, but improperly (I don't really use my outer fingers), so I lose accuracy and I know its not good for my hands and wrists.

Web 1: Please try to finish the main project and have me test it. Move on to the three extras (Apply, Lab1, Lab2).

Web 2: We will start the quiz for Project 2 today.

  • On your Watertown High site add a new page for directions. Add content.
  • Link the two pages.
  • Have the same format, colors, etc...
  • Add a clipart picture of school to the front page. Format the picture correctly.

Web 3: Keep working on Flash. We will start the road towards making a "dancing baby". Try this tutorial to start some animation ideas. I did it during Period 1 and put my version in the UDrive.

Monday, September 17, 2007


Web 1: Start Project 2: Creating a Web Site with Links. Often in the directions they ask you to add code on a certain line. Please note, that these line numbers may be slightly different for you. This project is LONG. Take your time. I would read the whole thing first, then do the project. Items to complete:

  • Chapter summary for Project 2
  • Chapter Project
  • Apply Your Knowledge
  • In the Lab 1
  • In the Lab 2

Web 2: Start Project 2: Adding Web Pages, Links, and Images. Be sure to check Erica's blog for the changes. This project is LONG and will require a lot of work and checking. There may be many new concepts for you. I would read the whole thing first, then do the project. Items to complete:

  • Chapter summary for Project 2
  • Chapter Project
  • Apply Your Knowledge
  • In the Lab 3 (beware: the border image thing might not work quite right)

Web 3: Your five section assessment of project 1 is due today. We are going to spend a few weeks on Flash tutorials. Some of you are fairly proficient in this program, some of you have no training. To start please visit Flash Tutorials which is text based. Even if you are an "expert" I advise you review these tutorials. Some more advanced tutorials are on the Flash Video Tutorials site. Since you are all starting from a different spot I will grade you based on the amount of work you get done each day.

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Friday, September 14, 2007

Survey Results

Here are the results of the survey of Web 1 and Web 2 students:

1. What is your favorite teaching style?

Teacher Directed (lecture, oral directions, etc..) 12%
Class projects (multi-day assignments, integrated learning) 24%
Independent Learning (student/task centered, learn at own pace, etc..) 24%
Group Work (projects, collaborative learning, etc..) 41%

2. Are you comfortable with the instructors teaching style?

Very comfortable 21%
Pretty comfortable 54%
Kind of comfortable 24%
Not at all 1%

3. Did you have enough time to finish all the assignments?

I had time to spare 13%
Just right 31%
I had to work fast to finish 54%
Well, I would have finished if I stopped talking... 1%

4. Do you feel comfortable analyzing your new websites for bias, usability, and accessability?

Very comfortable 15%
Pretty comfortable 56%
Kind of comfortable 29%
Not at all 0%

5. The Yankees will win the World Series

Of course 46%
No way 46%
Who are the Yankees? 9%

6. Do you feel comfortable creating and editing a basic web page?

Very comfortable 31%
Pretty comfortable 46%
Kind of comfortable 22%
Not at all 1%

End of Project 1

Today Web 1 and Web 2 students will have completed Project 1. I am happy with our progress. Almost all of you get the basic idea of the class and about fifty percent of you are absolutely nailing it.

Please complete this survey (only for Web 1 and Web 2) for me so I can get some feedback. I will post results by the end of the day.

Assignments for today:

Web 1 and Web 2: Take survey. Turn in work for project 1. Work on blogs: add clustrmap, picture, edit posts. On Monday we will start Project 2. You can get a head start on the reading if you want.

Web 3: We will assess your project today. By Monday please self-assess your work on your blog. Please review the rubric for the assignment. Write an evaluation in your blog. There are five sections of the rubric (each worth 20 pts). Divide your blog entry into 5 paragraphs or bullets. The format of each section should be criteria-opinion-evidence-score.

For example:

  • The criteria for assessment is "pride". In this project I made connections with my classmates, sought guidance from the instructor, and refined my drafts several times. I worked hard to create a project that I am proud of. I had an idea on how to include Flash in the instructions that I think I will use in future projects. I would score this section 20/20.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


Today is the tenth day of class. I hope that I have given you something of value over these days and that we can only add to the fun over the next months. I wanted to take a moment and review my expectations.

1. Make connections every day. The power to make connections in this global, digital, networked world is essential. Instead of having one teacher, have many. For example, on blogmeister there are thousands of teachers and students from around the world. Write to them, read their stories, and then write about the experience on your blog. Take a moment today and read some of the blogs from K-2 grade classrooms. They are fun to read. There is a saying that "isolation is the enemy of improvement". Make connections, collaborate, and improve.

2. Always do your best. You never know who is watching your work or reading your blog. Often people do not realize the power they have until it is lost. You are in a time unique to human history. You can read everything ever written at anytime. You can contact almost anyone at anytime. You can publish your ideas and thoughts instantly. That translates to huge gains in productivity. If the world is moving faster then you must as well. There is no substitute for hard work.

3. Add something to the conversation. Have a story to tell. This could be about how to make a game in Flash, issues you have in learning math, or how you are trying to work together with your classmates. Learn how to get your point across. Spend some time today looking at the read counts on your blog. How can you increase them? If you have a story to tell people from all over the world will read what you have to say. If we all add some thing of value to the conversation everyday (remember R1-R4?) there will be an incredible amount of learning going on in this classroom.

OK. Enough reading. Notice that you read (and I wrote) the above in 3D (links, etc...). Start writing that way!

Today (Web1-2): Project work. If you are done then help others, read blogs, edit your writing. Web 3 will be revising your work as I test your plans.

Tomorrow (Web1-2): Turn in work, start quiz.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Book Error

Web 1 students doing the Phi Kappa Phi page for project 1 should realize that the picture and the directions do not match. The directions say "left-align", while the picture is centered. Also, the colors will not quite match.

Patriot Day

Take a moment today in class to read through parts of the 9/11 Legacy website. This is a very well designed website. Think about some of the decisions that the web designers made to increase the usability of this site.

By clicking on the links at the top of the page you can read through some of the profiles. I am sure we have classmates who were personally affected by the tragedy and lets be sure to have them in our thoughts today.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Here we go...

Please be patient with me today. Each class will be doing different things.

All classes should save their work in their WDrive. The resources you have to complete this project include the teacher, Powerpoint lessons in UDrive, the book, and each other. Help each other through this first project!

Web 1: You will start the HTML book. You will complete the following:

Notes for Web 1: page 1.17--save to WDrive (not floppy disk). Skip 1.20-1.22. Don't print page (1.31)

Web 2: You will start the Dreamweaver book. You will complete the following:

Notes for Web2: pages 1.12 through page 1.20 will require some network navigation. Create your "parks" folder in WDrive-Dreamweaver-folder. Read carefully and ask if you are not sure. Skip the step on 1.65--select browsers. Click f12 to preview web page.

Web 3: You will start your first teaching project.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Dear Grandma,

Well, this morning we didn't have internet access at school and it might go out at anytime (server issues) so I have had to adapt the Introductory Quiz a bit.

I ask that you write to your Grandma. This could be your real Grandma or a figurative Grandma. Write them a letter about the state of the internet in 2007. You should use the terms that we have covered in the introductory unit (bias, usability, ethics, accessibility, etc...).

This essay must be between 200-250 words. Do it in MS Word then post it to your blog.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007


Today we will finish our introductory unit (test to come shortly).

1. Read the following article. Save it in your favorites. Web Usability Guidelines.

2. Skim this basic article about usability and cellphones. Cell Phone usage

3. Start a MS Word Document. Using your google skills please find definitions for the following words or concepts. Cite your source!

web usability
search engine

4. Using google to search for information please summarize the following issues in terms of both usability and bandwidth. (cite your sources)

Describe the web usability issues if you were working at a science station in Antartica. (try this site) . This question involves bandwidth usability.
Describe the web usability issues with a PDA device or phone. This question involves bandwidth and design usability.
Describe the competitive advantage of having broadband access. Check this graph out.

5. Which of the following websites has a higher usability for teenagers. Why??

Connecticut Post

Please post your answers on your blog.

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I think everyone got off to a good start on their blogs. I have graded most of Period 2 and 3 and will grade the rest once the freshman have UDrive access. A few notes:

1. Many of you wrote well thought out responses that show evidence of reading and discussion. Some of you didn't. I won't be accepting sloppy work.
2. Don't sign your work as your name is already on your blog.
3. Put a line break between paragraphs.
4. When you comment be sure to leave your URL (not your email).

There are four main categories we are covering in this unit; bias, accessibility, usability, and ethics. Today we will focus on accessibility.

Read this article. Introduction to Web Accessability. We will watch this CBS News Video together in class.

Create an MS Word document.

Answer the following questions:

  • List and summarize the major categories of disabilities. Find the link on the AIM site that describe each of the four disabilities.
  • Go back to the article. Read it without using your mouse. How did that change the experience?
  • Now turn your screen off. How would that change the experience?
  • What is our obligation to serve those with disabilities?

Copy file to your blog and submit.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007


Over the next few days all students will be getting their blogmeisters started. The questions for the first bias assignment are on my blogmeister page.

1. Do your typing in MS Word or notepad. Check spelling before you send.
2. Click request publishing.
3. When leaving comments leave first initial and last name (Bschneider) and your web address so people can respond.