Friday, February 29, 2008

Global Communication

Since the Korean War the North Korean society has been closed. What does that mean? Basically that means nobody gets in and nobody gets out. The North Korean government has controlled all aspects of the society, culture, and economy. This has had a crippling effect on the country. Over one million people reportedly died in a recent famine there. On the left is a satellite image that shows North and South Korea. Notice that North Korea can't pay for any lights.

So, the visit by the New York Philarmonic (text link) this past week may be one of the most remarkable events I have ever seen. The concert was broadcast here in the USA two nights ago. It was a thrilling concert. In a world where we have taken for granted that we can talk to anyone at anytime we were confronted with a culture where most in the audience had never been out of the country, seen a foreign TV broadcast, or been able to use the internet. One reporter remarked that "there are no fat people here". They don't have enough food.

I have said before that you can be many things in this world, but there is no excuse for ignorance or inaction. How can you use your skills to effect change? I would like you to try today to make a connection on your blog. Using the front page of blogmeister make a connection with a student from another state or country. Leave a comment about one of their entries or just say hello.
Making connections is an essential skill for this class. If you cannot connect you will become isolated and "isolation is the enemy of improvement". How will I judge this? Our blog can collect great data: number of reads, number of comments, and your clustrmap data. If you do not have a clustrmap, get one today.
Have fun, be respectful, and make those connections. Remember, this may be the first and only connection someone has made to a person from America or Connecticut. What will you say knowing that you might be their first impression??
This assignment is for all classes: web1, web2, web4.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


The next six weeks will be an interesting time for this class. Next week we enter the CAPT testing period. For two weeks we will bounce around in the schedule. Some days we meet, some days we don't. It can be difficult to keep up with the work.

As many of you know, my wife and I have a baby due soon. At some point in the next month or so I will be out for about a week.

Finally, I will not be in class tomorrow and a few other days (track meets).

It is important during these periods that you keep moving forward. I will be disappointed if some of you (you know who you are!!) take a step backward. When I am out I will monitor your work from home through both this blog and your blogmeister.

Today I will be grading. There is a lot of work for me to check. In addition I am giving you the assignments for Project 3 if you are ready to move on:

Web 1:

  • Chapter Summary for Project 3.
  • Project
  • Apply your Knowledge
  • In the Lab 1
  • In the Lab 2

Web 2:

Web 3:

  • Complete or Edit blog entries from yesterday.
  • Rough Draft due March 17. That is sooner than some of you think.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Quiz: Monday

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. Add alt text to any images.
  • 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 folder in UDrive-WebSchneider-Web1-Period. Test links.

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

  • On your Crosby 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 a "school" to the front page. Format the picture correctly.
  • Save a copy of your folder in the UDrive in the Crosby folder.

Web3: Thinkquest

One member of your Thinkquest team must write a blog entry that answers the following questions:

  • What is the most important fact that you want to use in this site? Why?
  • What is your most important source? Why?

One member of your Thinkquest team must write a blog entry that answers the following questions:

  • List as many facts (use proper HTML in blog entry) about your subject as you can. Put most important facts on top.

One member of your Thinkquest team must write a blog entry that answers the following questions:

  • How can you ensure you will meet the coding requirements for Thinkquest? How will you stay under the 50mb limit? Be specific.

One member of your Thinkquest team must write a blog entry that answers the following questions:

  • How is your team working? Are you producing your best work? What can you do differently?

Friday, February 15, 2008


I have been working on my family history. I have a relatively small family. Both of my sets of grandparents had two children. My sister and I are their only grandchildren.

I had a fair amount of history on my father's side, but only back to around 1880 or so when that part of the family arrived from Germany and Ireland. By using familysearch I was able to go back an additional generation, which was kind of exciting.

But last night I started to work on my maternal grandmother's side. I had a name Thaddeus Stocker and that he lived during the Revolutionary War. From that name I was able to use the site to travel back an additional ten generations!! I got all the way back to 1470 in England (John Wyllie). Needless to say this was pretty amazing to me.

I found out that our family lived in Fairfield, CT (Henry Jackson, Mary Morehouse, etc..) for over 150 years and were among the first European settlers. I found that parts of the family were Tories and parts were fighting in the Continental Army. And this was only in about an hours worth of work. I am probably related to half of Connecticut.

Much of this was inspired by the amazing PBS series by Henry Louis Gates which traced the history of several African-Americans. Now history can be enlightening, powerful, and painful. But the internet is a VERY powerful tool in this regard. I urge you to try to connect with your past.

Update: I think I got back to the year 1256!! Alexander de Forbes in Scotland.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


Web 2:

Finish quiz first.

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)

Monday, February 11, 2008


Web 1: You will continue in the HTML book. 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.

You will complete the following:

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

Friday, February 08, 2008


Today is the twelfth 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 ball bounce, 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): Grading. I will be looking at all of your work to date. If you are done then help others, read blogs, edit your writing. Web 4 will be revising their ThinkQuest presentations.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Web 1 Quiz

The quiz for web 1 will be due by the end of the Period on Friday. Some of you will finish early, some of you will have to work fast...

You will create a one page website about your current class schedule. This website should include:

  • A title in the header.
  • A clear heading on the page.
  • A list of classes.
  • A brief paragraph describing yourself (junior at Seymour High School, etc...)
  • Background color.

Save the file to your WDrive-Classwork when done.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Projects Start

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. Click here for the book errors wiki.

Web 4: You will start the ThinkQuest project.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Introduction Unit Quiz

This quiz is for Web 1 and Web 2.

Please answer the following questions on your blog.

In your answer you must:
1. Link to the described websites.
2. Write effectively. Spell correctly.
3. Try to start a conversation. Blog entries that elicit comments will receive higher grades.
4. None of the answers should be more than 4 sentances.

1. Does this website demonstrate gender bias in its design? Or is it neutral? Defend your answer.
2. Rate the usability of the following sites (choose one). Daylife OR Don't Click It

Friday, February 01, 2008


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

Here is what bad design looks like according to Vincent Flanders: Check out the worst website ever and his checklist for how to ruin your website.

Top ways to ruin a website:
1. We've designed our site to meet our organization's needs (more sales/ contributions) rather than meeting the needs of our visitors.
2. It takes longer than four seconds for the man from Mars to understand what our site is about. Example.
3. Our site looks like we've never seen another web site. Example.
4. We use design elements that get in the way of our visitors.
5. Our site doesn't make us look like credible professionals.

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

2. Skim this basic article about usability from Great Britian.

3. There is also this great site from the US Government.

Start a MS Word document. Please answer the following questions:

1. Define the following. The answers are in the readings.

  • bandwidth
  • web usability

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

Connecticut Post

3. Find a website that you think has a high usability rating (the opposite of above). Provide a link to this website and explain why you think its usability rating is high. Possible examples: Bobby (use headphones), Swingset

Please post your answers on your blog.