Tuesday, September 30, 2008

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I'm testing this new Google Application. Try it. Be nice.

And I am testing this podcast. I hope it gets through the filter. If it works then subscribe it to your Google page. If you see a blank space below this paragraph its not working.

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Sunday, September 28, 2008


All classes will work on Fireworks tutorials today. Some of you have a lot of experience with Fireworks, and some of you have none. This is sandbox time; play around for awhile.

I will start class with some demonstrations of Fireworks.
If you need to "catch-up" with some assignments please do so today.
Also, please check out this story about iTunes and accessibility from the NY Times. I hope our Introductory Unit provides some context for this article. The effort to provide accessibility is a constant battle. Notice why they must do this---they are losing sales!!
Check out this Electoral Map from CNN. Websites must be interactive now. The bar has been raised from even two years ago. For the last election CNN would have provided a static picture of the map. With this map you control how you view the content. You can even edit what the map looks like (you can click on a state and change it from undecided to McCain or Obama). Play with it. How can you incorporate these design ideas into your websites?

Friday, September 26, 2008

Friday Quiz

You should all finish your assignments and then:

Internet Literacy:

  • Create a webpage that displays your schedule in a three column table (period, class, teacher). Use TH for the headings and TD for the data.
  • Utilize a yellow background and black text for the webpage.

Web 2:

  • Add a form to your Ansonia website. This form should be a sign-up for PSATs (what information will you need?).
  • Link to the form from your index. Link back to the index from your form.
  • Use the same background, color, and text layout as your other pages.
  • Have the form post to email (anyone@anywhere.com).

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Today we will continue to work on our technological operations and concepts . For each class this should complete the most basic ideas for creating a webpage. When you learn how to use new tools remember to ask for help if you need it. First ask your partner, then ask me. But also start using your other sources more (blog, HTML tutorials, etc...). Ask a question on your blog and look for a response.

Internet Literacy:

  • Complete the project for Chapter 3 on tables. Click here for extra help on tables. I will send you the files needed to make this project. You should make a folder called "Project 3" in your class folder.

Web 2:

  • You will work on Project 5: Forms. This is not a complicated chapter, but there are A LOT of buttons to use so I though it would be prudent to go through the chapter. There will be a few moments where the book does not quite match the software as the book is for an older version. Be patient. Click here for extra help on tables.

Web 3:

  • You will continue to work on making things roll, bounce, and explode.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Typing and Clustrmap

Todays assignments:

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.

You will then learn how to put a clustrmap on your blog. Communication and Collaboration
is our 2nd standard. We use the clustrmap to collect data about how well our message gets out.

  • 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 voki.com. What image do you want to portray to the world?

Meez 3D avatar avatars games

Monday, September 22, 2008

New Story and Grading

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

New York Times
Connecticut Post

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:

For the final time a baseball game was played at Yankee Stadium last night. With one final victory the team wrapped up over eight decades in the historic ballpark. Next year will begin a new era across the street in a brand new stadium.

After the warm-up:
Web 1: Finish all coding.
Web 2: Finish Ansonia High website quiz and two cases.
Web 3: Refine walking animation. Do this practice animation by the same author.

Friday, September 19, 2008


One of the most important skills we need to demonstrate is the ability to read and summarize complex information. The ability to communicate new ideas effectively to an audience can make you a valuable member of any organization. But it takes practice.

Like all of our work you need to think of the two questions: Who is my audience, and what do I need to say? For all of our summaries I ask that you write 50-100 words. Why? Because that is how we communicate now--in short messages. If you go to the front page of the New York Times or ESPN you will notice how these short blurbs are used to entice and attract readers. The ability to summarize is an essential component of web design.

Today's assignment is to choose ONE of the following articles and summarize it in your blog for your readers:

Be sure in your article to:

  • Include a link to the original article. Find the correct link by clicking "Share" and copying the permalink.
  • Keep your word count between 50-100 words.
  • Title your entry effectively.
  • Include your audience in your dicussion. Start a conversation so you get comments!

On a related note about "Bad things happen to ignorant people" you should all read this article before you decide what you post on your facebook account (or on someone else's!). Don't post, comment on, or upload anything unless you want it part of your public record forever. Also note that a professional image on these sites actually encouraged some people to get hired. You can use these sites to your advantage.

Monday, September 15, 2008


I am home sick today.

Internet Literacy:

Please complete the following:

  • Lab 2-1 (2.61). I realize we haven't really gone over this yet. Please help each other and don't be afraid to read the chapter! Do your best.
  • Cases and Places #7 (2.65). Use this resource to improve your Blood Drive page.

Web 2:

Please complete the following:

  • Cases and Places #1 ,#2, and/or #3 (2.93 and 2.94) . Do the same two cases that you did for Project 1. Don't be afraid to take the time to read the chapter.

Web 3:

Please start the following:


You must have the following completed today:

Internet Literacy:

  • iGoogle page.
  • Apply1
  • About Me
  • Quiz: Your schedule
  • Blog entries: usability, Goodrich letter, accessibility questions.

Web 2:

  • iGoogle page.
  • Two of the Cases and Places (Project 1)
  • Ansonia High website
  • Blog entries: usability, Goodrich letter, accessibility questions.

Web 3:

  • iGoogle page.
  • The three Flash examples
  • Blog entries: usability, Goodrich letter, accessibility questions.

If you are done please use your time to clean up your blog, work on your iGoogle calendar, or helping your classmates (!!).

Friday, September 12, 2008

Friday Quizzes

Internet Literacy:

The quiz for web 1 will be due by the end of the Period on Monday. 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.

Web 2:

Your quiz will be to create a new website for Ansonia High School. We will use this website for all of our quizzes as we learn new techniques.

For this quiz please:

  • Define a site and create a subfolder.
  • Design an initial page. Save it as "index".
  • Title the page.
  • Decide who the audience for this website is.
  • Decide what Ansonia High School is "selling".
  • Set up a basic page.
  • Apply the design ideas we have discussed (balance, motion, etc...) and show evidence that you have done the reading.
  • Make sure the page works (links, images, etc...).

Web 3:

You will continue to work on your web tutorials. Please complete the bouncing heart, the mask, and the rotating globe for a grade.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

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.

Yesterday our quiz was about analyzing the Seymour High website. Check out a few responses (Joe , Rebecca, Amber). Most of you spoke about technical things. I would like you to explore more about message. If you visit the SHS site what does it tell you about the type of students or teachers? For example, check out these high school sites (High Tech High , Laguardia Arts, Edgewater). When I visit each of those sites I get a pretty good feel for the culture of the school AND I can find information quickly.

Today: update blogs and work on bookwork and tutorials that were assigned yesterday.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Quiz: Introduction

Today's quiz is a letter.

In this letter you must:

1. Include links and examples where necessary.
2. Provide evidence.
3. Be persuasive, yet friendly and helpful.
4. Your letter should be between 100-150 words.

Please evaluate the design bias, usability, and accessibility of the Seymour High School website. This letter should show evidence that you paid attention for the past few lessons.

Start your letter with "Dear Mrs. Goodrich". Save to blogmeister.

After completing the quiz we will begin our book work. Save all work in W Drive.

Internet Literacy:
HTML Book: Apply (1.38) and Lab 3 (1.41)

Web 2:
Dreamweaver Book: Cases and Places #1, 2, 3 (choose 2 of the 3).

Web 3:
Begin Flash Tutorials.

The beginning unit matches our 6th Standard "Students demonstrate a sound understanding of technology concepts, systems, and operations."

Monday, September 08, 2008


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

Usability involves design and it involves hardware. First I must have enough bandwidth to get my information to the user. Bandwidth is the "size of the pipe" that carries information. The larger the pipe, the more information I can send. Second I need to think about the hardware at the end of the line. Is my user viewing the information on a phone or through a dial-up connection? Is my user using high spped DSL?

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 a man from Mars to understand what your 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. Provide definitions that make sense to your readers.

  • 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, Baby Names.

All three assignments (bias, accessibility, usability) are due today.

Friday, September 05, 2008


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. The website contains lots of useful information. Take your time reading it.

We will watch this CBS News Video together in class.

Create an MS Word document. Answer the following questions:

  • Of the four major categories of disabilities (visual, motor, cognitive, hearing) which one do you think would pose the greatest challenges for a computer user. Why? Include specifics.
  • Dealing with a disability can be frustrating. What are three ways a web designer can design a less frustrating website for those who have a disability?
  • Try getting to the CNN website without using your mouse. How did that change the experience? Did you get frustrated?
  • What is our obligation to serve those with disabilities?

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Cool site

Check out definr.com which touts itself as the quickest dictionary there is. Pretty cool. Notice how simple and usable this site is?

Bookmark it.

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 2/3: Dreamweaver) 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 2-3 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 (Classwork). Check the Rubric for the assessment.

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Tuesday, September 02, 2008


Today I hope to get all students set-up with an iGoogle page. This will be your homepage and will contain your calendars, notebook, bookmarks, and assorted other widgets. I think it will increase your productivity to have all your information in one screen, accessible from any computer, and you can share this information.

Why is that last part most important? Lets say you are all in AP History. If you create ONE calendar and share it then you do not have to individually enter assignments, it only has to be typed in by one person. In addition you can discuss and comment on any item ("What do you think will be on the test?...."). We will work on how to use these tools effectively.

We will also experiment with the Class Ning which is a social network. I think we may use this to post our work during the semester. In the past we used blogmeister but I think this gives us many more capabilities. The ning is semi-private. Anyone can see the intro screen, but you have to be a member to go past that.

This all relates to our Standard 2 and Standard 6 of the ISTE standards: Collaboration and Communication and Technology Operations and Concepts. We want you to understand the basics of how to set up an account, how to manipulate it, and how to share this information. I will assess this by observing that you post the correct information and log-in effectively.

Appropriate use will start all of this off. We will review the rules for Internet use in the school.

I will probably adapt many of these items as we move through the day. This is an experiment.

Update: Well...the ning isn't displaying correctly. I'm working on finding a solution.