Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Final Stretch

This week will be about finishing some final tasks before exams.

Internet Literacy:

  • HTML Review: Basics, Image Codes, Tables, Forms.
Web 2 and 3:

We will work on image maps and layers.

I'm about 2/3 through grading the semester projects. I ask that you check out: JKassay, JTryjada, EDieckman, KBarsevich, CWilm.

If for some unknown reason you didn't turn in your project--please don't talk about it, provide an excuse, etc...Put it in UDrive (on your own time) and accept the penalty.

Monday, December 22, 2008


As we endure tough times I read this article today about what tough times really look like.  Be thankful for what you have.

Video about Darfur from today's NYTimes site.

When you submit your files to the UDrive please check and proofread.  Have a partner check!

Complete this form when your project is submitted.  

I found it curious that more of you weren't using forms/surveys in your sites.  I thought that would be a good way to make each of these sites more interactive.

Thursday, December 18, 2008


I have been told that it might snow tomorrow. This will impact your project timeline.

"A" students: they don't care about the snow. They've finished their layout and are working on their content. They have plans for what they can do at home and bring in on Monday. They are using their google notebook and bookmarks and will do their citations and other items at home and save time at school for serious coding work. They might even bring their codes home so they can work on in them in HTML on Notepad on their computers. They will get it done.

"B/C" Students: they aren't sure there is enough time. They haven't done any work at home and haven't quite planned things out yet. They wonder how the A students are getting it done.

"D/F" Students: they don't care. They probably would turn it in late if they had 100 days to do it because they skip steps, or don't plan effectively.

People trust people that they can depend on (plumbers, doctors, salesman) and hate people who they can't depend on (plumbers who don't show up on time, etc...). We do projects to learn how to get things done well and done on time.

Finally, a reminder that your website must include a video with a voice over and you must only include creative commons images. Not doing this might be OK in your book, but it is NOT this assignment and you will be graded accordingly.

Be sure you have this link in your bookmarks as you search for information. Use tools effectively!

Good luck!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Interesting article in todays NYTimes about blindness that may relate to our Beethoven project.

Make sure you ahve checked out this article about the redesign of the ESPN site. Sounds like our project!! Do you read this article differently than you would have four months ago?

Monday, December 15, 2008


At this point in your project you should be rolling at full speed. You must be on step six by now. If not, I worry for you.

This is half your marking period grade and should demonstrate that you understand the basics of the class. Work hard.

Using Layers might be a useful tool for Web 2 and Web 3. Check it out.

A few reminders:

1. Everything on the page should relate to your main point.
2. Be careful that your page doesn't get too busy.
3. Don't include incoherent Flash movies that make it harder to access content.
4. Some of you love background colors. Please stop.
5. Finally, check out this website about usability that is almost entirely unusable.

Avoid design disasters!

UPDATE: Check out this article about the redesign of the ESPN site.  Sounds like our project!!

Friday, December 12, 2008


Everyone must complete their storyboarding today. It is essential that you work on defining your main points. Many of you are having trouble with this.

Bad main point:
I want people to understand that situation in Darfur and how to effects so many people. (What situation? What effect?)

Good main point:
The genocide in Darfur is a tragedy that must be stopped. Please donate now. (Includes situation, action, and result).

Bad main point:
People drink coffee for many reasons and sometimes it is good for them and sometimes it is bad. (Huh?)

Good main point:
Coffee makes you stupid. (Clear thesis)

A clear main point will drive the path of your website. I will push you on this today in your discussion. If you can't articulate it well I am going to send it back. Remember, that articulating you main point is essential for any type of communication (music, poetry, essays, phone calls, etc...). I do not want your website to be a collection/list of facts. I want it to tell a coherent story that engages the viewer and encourages them to USE the site.

Today might be a good day to go back through your blog and check out websites that you thought were good. Why were they good? Did they have a consistent message? Was their "selling point" clear? If people don't understand what you are "selling" they certainly won't invest their time in your site.

On a side note: today is forecasted to be another wild ride as the auto bailout failed.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Darfur and Coffee

Darfur is still in the headlines.  Here is the editorial from today's edition of the NY Times.

And here is an amusing article in the Times today about coffee.  At 8:50 this morning there were 668 comments!  Amazing.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


I'm back in school today but I am moving really, really slow. Be patient with me.

A few notes about your project:

1. Work as hard as you can now. Get work done at home. This will give you more time to work on your content.
2. Do you trust your sources? Why? There are thousands of caffeince studies out there. Be careful.
3. The Beethoven question is a brain/psychology question. It is not a biography of Beethoven question.
4. Who is the leading authority on Darfur? What reporter is there now and is most trusted? If you can answer that question you probably have the best information.  Check out this site from Danbury HS. I just found this one which is , I think, done by 8th graders.
5. If you are doing the family member site please remember to tell us stories, don't just list ten facts about them (where born, how old, etc...).
6. Have you checked Times Topics? Think about how to search and I bet you will find great information.

Everyone today should be up to step 4 in the project (extra point if you do all three things for step 4)). Tomorrow I will pass out the storyboard template.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008


Well, you have probably figured out that I am home sick by now. I'm pretty sure this is another episode of the sinus infection. This is a pretty good one so I hope to rest most of the day.

Please post a blog entry today:
1. What topic did you choose? Why?
2. List two links that you have found useful so far.

Good luck!

Sunday, December 07, 2008


Here is your semester project.  This project is designed for you to demonstrate the skills you have picked up this semester.  As we progress through the project I will be posting mini-assignments related to the project.  I will also post research that I think might drive some of your discussion.

A few notes:
1. This is a formal project.  You must cite all information, images, video, or music.
2. Get things done on time.  No excuses.
3. Find experts to help you.  There are experts in this room, in the building, and on the net that I expect you to consult.
4. Work together.  Share resources and ideas.
5. Have fun.

Notice our clustrmap got reset.  Lets fill it up again!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Reflection Quiz

Internet Literacy: Complete today.

Check these pianos out first. And then these drums. Get any ideas? Did you search for these before you did your project?? I gave you the link....

1. What did you learn this week?
2. Programming languages are sequential (step 1, step 2, etc...). What challenges did you encounter with your sequences? How did you overcome them?
3. Who has the best piano or drum set in the UDrive? Why?
4. Compare Scratch to Flash.

Web 2: Complete today.

1. What did you learn this week?
2. Describe specifically how your new website design is more modern than your old one in the following four areas: layout, font, color, and usability/accessibility.
3. Who has the best layout for a website in the UDrive? Why?

Web 3: Complete today.

1. What did you learn this week?
2. Was Flash the best tool for this task? Why or why not?
3. Who has the best movie in the UDrive? Why?

Scratch in HTML

To insert Scratch into an HTML page:

1. You must have "scratchapplet.jar" in your folder.  You can copy this file from the first folder of WebSchneider.

2. Check the file "sprite.htm". View source for code. You would sub your file name for "RH Piano.sb" in the code. (Blogger won't let me copy the code here...)

Wednesday, December 03, 2008


Internet Literacy:

1. Check out UDrive Scratch projects. Check Web2 folders as well.
2. Everyone will create a one octave piano in Scratch. C will be the first and last note. I will review this in class.
3. Collaborate on this project. I have no problem if you work with a partner as long as it is an equal partnership. Help each other finish this project.
Schedule upcoming: Wed-Thurs we work on Piano. Friday we work on Google Docs. Monday we start the big project.
Web 2:
1. Rename your Ansonia subfolder (bschneideransonia).
2. Create a new Ansonia High School index page. Name it index1.
3. Use modern design to create a completely new website. This should look much cooler than your original pages (we will compare!!).
4. Include all information that we previously had (PSATs, directions, etc...).
Web 3:
1. Save a draft of your movie and project files to the Udrive so people can look at and give suggestions.

Monday, December 01, 2008


If TED is still blocked we will work today in Scratch. This lesson would have been next Monday.

Today we will examine the Scratch programming system. Scratch was developed at the MIT Media Lab (where Negroponte-the inventor of the One Laptop is from). I think it is intended primarily for younger students than you, but it does present some very complex programming concepts.

Check out some of the news about Scratch. Notice that much of the news is another language than English. Is there an assumption in the world of the inventor and business that you speak more than one language??

Here are some ideas to get started. You must do at least one of these.

Here is the Guide to Scratch.

So please test and play with this program today. Read some of the press, search for more information, check for blog references to the program. Be sure you complete at least one of the ideas.

Answer the following questions on your blog (include links!):
1. What did you do with Scratch today? Share any insights to the program that might help your classmates.
2. Is this a valuable program? What criteria should we use? Be specific! Use Web Design terms!!
3. For Web3: Compare Scratch to Flash.

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