Thursday, January 31, 2008


I think everyone got off to a good start on their blogs. 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. Be sure to save your work in the correct folder on the UDrive---not just in the UDrive.
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 Accessibility. And this post from David Pogue. 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 (visual, hearing, motor, cognitive). Find the link on the AIM site that describe each of the four disabilities.
  • Try using the computer without using the keyboard. How would this change this experience?
  • Briefly write about the challenges and opportunities for disabled people as computers become more mobile and cheap.
  • What is our obligation to serve those with disabilities?

Copy file to your blog and submit.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


Today Web 1 and Web 2 students will finish their Bias assignments and save them to the Udrive. Please ask your partners or me if you need help saving the files.

By the end of today please complete your evaluation of the project by answering the following questions on your blog:

1. Briefly describe the two types of bias (content, design).
2. Provide a link to additional reading about bias (see below).
3. How does your assignment display design bias?
4. Whose assignment in the Udrive is the best? Why?

If you finish early I would like you to take the opportunity to visit another class blog. This teacher wrote to me looking for students to communicate with his students. Visit their blogs. Maybe you can find an entry from a student to comment on. Be sure to follow the protocal for leaving your URL correctly in the comment boxes so they can find YOUR blog (first name-last initial, leave email blank). Remember to follow our code of conduct and always be productive, responsible, and appropriate.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Bias, Usability, Accessibility, Ethics

There are four main criteria that we use to assess the validity of a website; bias, usability, accessibility, and ethics. Today we will focus on bias.

This is also an exercise in communication skills and page design. Can you get your point across effectively? Do you know your audience?

1. Class Discussion about bias (Barbie Doll website, GI Joe website)

2. Read the following articles:
Gender Bias
Journalism Bias this is a longer article. Skim the whole thing (except the studies and theories of media bias section). Click on links that interest you.
More on gender bias. Skim the comments--this is how a blog is different, there is a conversation/debate happening.

3. Create a one page flyer (Web1: MS Word, Web 2: notepad) that contains bias.

Girls: Boys are silly. Why can't they act right so I can get my work done? They should treat women with respect and not be so clueless.
Boys: Girls are silly. Why can't they act right so I can get my work done? They should treat men with respect and not be so clueless.

Think about your audience. Who are you writing it for? I am looking for two things. First, do you have good ideas and understand bias? Second, can you format the flyer well so you communicate these ideas? This is your first task in design.

This flyer must include the following:

  • A clip art or free-non-copyrighted image. Using copyrighted images is illegal. I can google it to check, so be careful. You could make your own image if you want using Paint or Fireworks. Check the links on the right for clip-art images or go here or to Flickr and use creative commons search.
  • At least three quotes (from real or imaginary people)
  • Web 2 must contain at least one link in their flyer. Choose the BEST link for your page and be able to support WHY you choose it.
  • Have fun with this, stay respectful and appropriate.
4. Save in WDrive first (Classwork). Then save in UDrive-WebSchneider-Web1-Period-Silly. (bschneiderbias). Check the Rubric for the assessment.

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Monday, January 28, 2008


Todays assignments:

Web 1 and Web 2:

First you will complete the typing test. 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 (look on the board).

You will then learn how to put a clustrmap on your blog.

  • Go to the Get One page.
  • Complete the form. Be sure to use the correct address for your blog. If you do not have an email to submit this will not work.
  • The password will come to your email.
  • Submit password on clustrmap page. They will then give you a long code that you copy.
  • Go to your blog, log-in and open the control panel. Paste the long code in the About Me section.
  • Submit new code. Wait for me to approve it.

You can also check out meez if you want to add an avatar to your site (which seems to be blocked at school right now...). You could also try What image do you want to portray to the world?

Meez 3D avatar avatars games

Friday, January 25, 2008


Web 4: Complete your Flash revision. We will do some CSS and Javascript work starting on Monday.

Web 2: Complete your pizza site revision.

Web 1: I will be giving you your blogs today and reviewing the protocal for making entries and comments. We will also review the bloggers code of conduct.

  • This is a school site.
  • Treat this site as a place for learning, a place to learn from each other and a place to have conversations.
  • Would you be happy to have your mother, grandmother or favorite teacher read this comment, (view this Internet page, listen to this podcast?)

Your assignment is to make one entry and one comment today. Please copy and paste your MSWord document from Day1 as your first entry.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

New Semester

Well, its the first day of school all over again. I am pretty excited to start the new term and hope I don't screw anything up for you. Bear with me these first few days as we get started. I ask you to recognize this is your chance to make a lasting first impression. Make it a good one.

All should read this article.

Assignments for today:

1. Welcome discussion. Review plans and rules.
2. Organize W:Drive.
3. First assignment.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Old and New

What's old is new again. Today we complete a semester. Tomorrow a new group arrives. I think this semester went very well overall. The quality of exams overall is certainly higher than last year. Some exams were professional quality.

This new semester will have some changes. We will be adding the Web IV class for the first time. I will try to incorporate more video and Flash into our Web 1 work and I hope to publish at least one more Lulu book.

Good luck!

Thursday, January 17, 2008


Web 1:

Be sure you have completed all requirements for the exam. Test everything. Print out memo and vocabulary. Save HTML to UDrive.

Web 2:

Web 2 Final Exam is below. Choose the assignment appropriate for your topic.Be sure to save final copy properly in UDrive before the bell rings for your exam. TEST IT!!!

You are the editor of the Missouri Times. It is November 7, 1860. Your state is the only state that the Northern Democrats won. Your state has played a strong role in the slavery debate through the Missouri compromise and that information is important to your readers (and is perhaps why they voted for Douglas).
Prepare a breaking news website that reflects the results of the election.

You are the editor of the Montague Times. You have just heard that Juliet may have died and Romeo is missing. Your newspaper is owned by the Montague family.
Prepare a breaking news website that reflects this news.

You are the webmaster for the Washington Post. It is July 2, 1898. You have to be as objective as possible, but you know that everyone in Washington reads your paper and there is a lot of emotion surrounding the attack.
Prepare a breaking news website that reflects the events of July 1 in Cuba.

You are the editor for the Chicago Tribune. It is August 27, 1968 and the Democratic Convention is experiencing more and more protests. Many of your reporters sympathize with the protesters and you support the free speech of the protesters. However, many of your readers think the police are correct to “restore order”.
Prepare a breaking news website that reports the growing protests at the convention.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


The Web 2 book: A Beginner's Guide to Web Design is published. I am waiting for a copy. It will be fun to see if our sales rank rises above 57,000.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Final Exams

We will begin the semester exams today.

Click here to view the exam page. All exams are due by the end of your respective exam period.

The Web 1 Vocabulary section will be given at the beginning of your designated exam period. No notes are allowed for this section.

Web 2 will prepare their research and most of their website. They will be given their position at the beginning of the exam period.

Web 3 will have to work very fast. Make good decisions to improve your efficiency.

The most important thing for each exam is to THINK before you code. What is the best tool for this job? Remember to follow all directions. I am not available for help.

Good luck!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Web 1 Information

Tyler did a good job with his answers to the four questions. Check them out.

I posted the videos from the Iowa caucus only a few days ago. One student is already over 1000 views! The value of making connections is obvious. We need to explore the network more, and not leave our work in the Udrive. Check out the standings.

Here are my teachertube stats:

My Videos / My Support Files have been viewed 18,383 times
I have 0 Friend(s)
I've watched 22 Videos
My Profile has been viewed 368 times

That second line is depressing.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008


It is exam time. I use the exam to evaluate whether you have learned the concepts we have covered. The most important thing I will look for is that you choose the correct tool for the task. Do you use code that is efficient and clean? Does your design demonstrate the usability concepts I have beaten into your head? Is your page accessible to those with disabilities?

A few other general notes about the exam:
1. Web 1 will not be allowed any notes for the vocabulary section.
2. For all other parts of the exam you can get assistance from anything but me. Ask for help from your partners when stuck, use the book, check the web. Obviously, copying a classmates words, codes or ideas will be subject to a zero on the exam.
3. I will judge you against the highest standard of excellence. You have been great students and I will expect great work.

Web 1:
Complete the second marking period work by answering the questions on the blogmeister. I will use one of those questions on the exam. Be sure you are reviewing the study questions and list of vocab words.

We will not do any more book work. You should review the tutorials I link to on the blogmeister. I will post the exam on Tuesday. You can preview a version by finding last years exam.

Web 2:
The exam prep is posted. You also must complete your Lulu projects. Read this article from yesterday's New York Times about Lulu.

Web 3:
Exam review is posted. The real exam questions will be posted Monday. I want to give you a few days to review. Second marking period grades are closed.

Some of you will be exempt from the exam which means you are my better upperclass students. I ask that you work on the exam and the review regardless of your exemption as your exam (being my better upperclass students) will tell me much about how I taught the class. We can negotiate this individually.

Survey Results

1. Evaluate your technology expertise since September 1.

I've learned a lot more than I thought I would. 76%
I've learned about what I thought I would 14%
I've learned some. 10%
Nothing so far... 0 %

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

Yes 71%
No 29%

3. What has been the best learning experience?

Textbook or Tutorial work 30%
Flash/Fireworks projects 50%
Videos 6%
Working with classmates 14%

4. Are you producing your best work?

Yes 87%
No 13%

5. Which of the following would you like to explore more? Click all that apply.

Educational gaming simulations 70%
Blogging and global networking 27%
Wikis/Collaborations 13%
Web-based phones 43%

6. If you look at the assignments from September do they look...

Much easier now 91%
Same 7%
Still can't figure it out...1%

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

Yes 91%
No 6%
Whats a webpage? 3%


We are approaching the end of the semester. I am very happy with the progress we have made. I believe all classes have a solid understanding of the objectives (usability, accessibility, bias, design) of the course. If you look back at your work for the semester I think you have gained a lot of technical expertise, probably without even realizing it.

This is my second year teaching web design here. I know the Web 1 and Web 2 classes did better this year than the crew I had last year. The work I assigned was roughly the same, but the quality of the work is much higher and more consistent.

Web3 has been a challenge for me as the both the content and the class are new. Learning pacing on a new class is a challenge. How long will each concept take? I have tried to set up an environment where you can learn at your own pace and according to your learning style.

The first day of class I spoke of moving the class from dependent learners (R1) to independent learners (R4). I think we have succeeded in that. Do you agree? Let me know in the survey.

Please take the survey.

Web 3:

Continue to do some extra tutorial work in Flash as we close up the semester. Now that your knowledge base is broader I think you are finding these much easier to do.

Web 2:

We are almost done with the book. Your websites should be almost done as well. Check rubric.

Web 1:

While we have had some coding difficulties I think we have a small understanding about style sheets and Javascript. Most of you will move on to Chapter 9 today. Chapter 9 is simple. You have a form and you will add a formula to it. Think before you type. If you get stuck I put the solution in the UDrive.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008


I posted several Web 1 videos to teachertube yesterday. They have been getting a lot of hits. Whose video will be the most popular?

Web 3:
Please work on the following tutorials:

Web 2:

Put drafts of website in Udrive. Continue to improve sites.

Web 1:

Be sure you understand style sheets and have almost completed Javascript by the end of class. Work fast and discuss with your partner. Check out the vocabulary study sheet.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Exam notes, Iowa, etc...

For all: keep track of the news from New Hampshire. What web tools are being used?

For all: test the new search engine from Wikipedia called Wikia Search. Do some reading about the search function. There are some profound differences between this system and google or yahoo searching. Since the algorithms are brand new (it launched today) the searches might not work great. But the point is that YOU can help them fix it by ranking the results. Just like wikipedia, if we ALL pool our knowledge we might come up with something very productive.

On another note, a software launching can be a messy business. It might be neat to track how this does over the next few days.

Web 3:

Finish Iowa website. Be sure to create a blog entry analyzing the usability of your page AND analyzing the usability of the three leading candidates pages. That should be four total paragraphs. Track the CHANGES these pages make over the next few days.

Web 2:

Work on website for book. Book deadline is this week and we will be sending you edits to make.

Web 1:

Finish news segment and post to UDrive. Check your work. Write a blog entry analyzing your work and comparing it to your classmates. Who has the best 28 second segment? Did you answer who-what-when-where-how and have a good headline?

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Thursday, January 03, 2008


Today is the Iowa Caucus and many of you are working on projects related to this start of the election season. Learning how to analyze, communicate, and CREATE is an essential skill in today's world.

Knowing what is going on in the world is important. Don't be ignorant. Bad things happen to ignorant people. You should know about the candidates, what their positions are and be able to articulate why you support a candidate.

Democracy can be scary. Check out what is happening in Kenya today. Or Pakistan (I warn you that these are brutal images). How do you want your next President to represent YOU as he or she faces this crisis?

The world views us through the web now. As web designers you must understand the choices that you make can have a profound impact.

I have given you several links that should give you ideas for your presentation. All Iowa assignments will be due Monday. Remember, Web 1: You must use Audacity to record your voiceover (VO).

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Welcome Back

For the next eight school days we will be in project mode before we turn to our final exams. While our final exams are all scheduled for different days I expect to start our exam early on the 15th as I expect it to take more than one class period.

Web 1:

  • Review vocabulary. Here is a sample from last years exam. If these questions are unclear you have some studying to do. All important vocabulary should be in your chapter summaries.
  • Read and practice the exercises in the "extended book" (that's the eleven chapter HTML book). My expectation is that you have a basic understanding of these chapters. You can find the files in the UDrive. Share the books (or use the PowerPoint files for instructions--in Udrive).
  • Continue to practice Flash and Fireworks by using the tutorials.
  • Make a 28 second news segment about the results of the Iowa Caucus (see below) using MovieMaker. You MUST include sound that you record with Audacity in this news broadcast.

Web 2:

  • Revise book chapters.
  • Start to create web companion to your chapter in Dreamweaver.

Web 3:

  • Create Flash based website about Iowa Democratic Caucus results. The caucus is Thursday. I will grade your website at the end of class on Friday.
  • Create a site that includes graphs of the results, non-copyrighted photos of the three leading candidates, and an easy to use navigation system .
  • This site should have only the most basic information. The most important thing is that your data is animated (the graphs move, the pie charts hop, etc...).
  • Check out Barack Obama's explanation of the caucus system (in Flash).
  • Check out Hillary Clinton's Iowa page.
  • Check out John Edwards's Iowa page.
  • Create a blog entry analyzing the usability of your page AND analyzing the usability of the three leading candidates pages. That should be four total paragraphs. Track the CHANGES these pages make over the next few days.