Friday, September 11, 2009

New Job

You can follow me here.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Final Post

This is the final post for this blog. Three years of assignments, readings, games, and ideas. A new job awaits (not quite sure where I will be yet....) and probably a new blog.

You can track me on twitter (brandtschneider) or my other blog which has been pretty dead lately.

I don't know quite how this blog became the place to go for web design assignments (try googling) but it certainly changed how I work. I recognized I was writing for a global audience. Good lessons and a big transformation.

Good luck.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Final Exam

The final exam will start today. The exam is designed to demonstrate that you can read a simple directive, gather information, and then communicate to an audience. I am using a version of the exam from a previous semester. Therefore you might find versions in the UDrive (Fall 2008, Spring 2008, etc...).

You can use any previous work to build on in this exam. Reuse and recycle.

You must complete it by the end of your exam period.
  • Seniors will have 2.5 hours to complete the exam, regardless of day they take it.
  • Other students will have today (Monday) plus their exam period.
I advise that you:
  • Plan it out first!
  • Keep it real simple.
  • Be sure to include all required elements.
  • Save it correctly. Be sure to code images and links correctly for UDrive.
  • Again, keep it simple!!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Exams and other stuff

1. If you are using twitter be careful about spamming. You might get followers that aren't appropriate. Block them and don't click on their links. Most of this is common sense digital literacy stuff. Be safe.
2. Exams will start Monday for seniors. Any senior can take the exam Monday. Just see me to start. Exams for everyone else start Wednesday. I will not be here Tuesday.
3. If you think you are on the bubble for exempt status see me quietly (please don't yell across the room).
4. Check out GGualpas Pecha Kucha. Outstanding work.
5. I'm actually rewriting the exam now. If you have paid attention you will have no problem with this exam.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The End of the Road

Well, we are almost there. Another year is winding down. Boxes are being packed, grades calculated, whiteboards wiped clean. Has it been a good year? It has in many respects. We were faced with a lot of challenges.

I had three goals for the year:
  • Teach one main concept. By now I hope you hear it in your sleep (tell a story to an audience!). There is a ton of learning theory (and practical examples) that advocates teaching less content and staying on message. This is why we don't teach out of the book (the other reason is we don't have a book...). Does it cause frustration? Yes. Does it force you to solve problems? Yes. And, thankfully, it caused you to produce good work. You have produced the best work since I have came here three years ago. We did something right.
  • Learn how to twitter. I'm still working on this. But I learn from many teachers. In a room without windows I am getting constant updates from dozens of educators about what they are reading, planning, and producing. The work that others do helps me plan our lessons and it is where we get most of our reading assignments. I advocate you getting a twitter account for your learning (use texting or other things for more social things).
  • Get you to read more. I tried to find interesting and fun stories that would connect you to what is going on in the world. Be informed!
Today: either scramble (Oh my God--I need to graduate!), finish (computer didn't work yesterday), or relax quietly (phew!). Maybe play a game. Grades will be posted throughout the day after blog posts are done.

Best so far (based on your votes): cwyskiel, nfeliciano, cgallo, tmorrow. I also like the use of the green screen (Gshackett, JPowell). Check them out.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Web Design: Marking Period Exam

Here is the procedure for finishing the marking period exam:

  • Proofread what you have done. If you are doing a website be especially careful of your code for images (make sure they aren't directed to the W: drive). Make sure all links work.
  • Save folder to Udrive--WebSchneider--MP4Exam--Final Drafts
  • Complete blog post. 1. What did you learn? 2. What went well? 3. What would you change? 4. Who has the best project in the UDrive?
  • You must complete the project by Wednesday and the blog post by Thursday.
There will be no additional work assigned Thursday and Friday. I will post optional work. I will be in a grading frenzy. I have to complete senior grades by Friday. I also hope to post the exam review.

If you have missing work or issues with grades you will have the opportunity to gain some credit back on Thursday and Friday. I will post grades by Friday afternoon for all (I hope) on Edline. Any exemptions can be figured out from that post. I urge Juniors to take the exam. It can only help your GPA.

Looking ahead to exams. You can take the exam during any period (3-7). I will not be available on Tuesday for exams as I will be at the decathlon. You can take the exam Wednesday or Thursday from 12:00-2:00 or Friday at 10:00 if that fits your schedule.

Monday, June 08, 2009


State Open today so I will be leaving school early.

Projects due Wednesday. I see some great work coming. Please leave time for proofreading and checking!! Check your blog for comments.

Some interesting links:

Friday, June 05, 2009


Swine flu update in Hamden.

Check your blogs for comments and respond if needed.  

Be sure to leave time for proofreading your project.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Exam Notes

Some exam notes:

  • This class has been about telling a story.  It has been my mantra since Day One.  After looking at the rough drafts I notice that some of you are really struggling with this.  I highly advise finishing a rough draft now.  Only then can you evaluate your story.  
  • Be sure your images/pages are consistent in tone.  The rough drafts seem to have images that don't match in color/style/etc...This is especially true with the Flash projects.  Think of the Red Riding Hood example.  Each frame looks like it is part of the same story.
  • Get it done.  Some of you really, really, really need to consider working harder.  This is 20% of your grade.
  • Some of you are doing children's stories.  Remember, most children can't read.  Use your voice!
  • Best so far: Cwyskiel (click on New1), GDipietro, Mchawla, TMorrow.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Exam: Rough Drafts

Everyone does two things today:

  • Submit your rough draft to the Udrive (WebSchneider-MP4Exam).  Movies (save as movie file), Flash (export movie), or Websites (copy folder) should be named correctly (bschneiderexam).
  • Complete a quick blog post.  Three questions.  First, briefly describe your project. Second, what are you learning?  Third, are you working efficiently (how will you get done?)?
A few notes:
  • Be sure your voice drives the Pecha Kucha.  Monotones don't work.
  • Some of you are creating way-to-complicated Flash.  Keep it simple.  Rely more on sound!!
  • Be sure, very sure, that your links work in your website.  
I leave for the big track meet at 12:30.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Daniel Pink

Daniel Pink is pretty well known thinker and author.  I found this Pecha Kucha that he did. I think it would be valuable for us all to watch it today. It is not a perfect presentation but it does have the most important elements; he respects the audience and it has a definite message. Now, if you are reading this in school you probably see a big white space on the blog. We will watch the video together.

What about your presentation? Are you telling a coherent story?

Thursday, May 28, 2009


Everyone completes a blog post today.  Be sure to check your blog for comments.

  • Describe your project.
  • What will be the biggest challenge?
  • Briefly outline your schedule.  How will you get things done?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Web Design Project

I have tried to create a project that has lots of choices. You will need to decide which project best fits your skills and the time you have available. All of these choices require critical thinking skills, technology skills that we have studied, the ability to tell a story and to recognize audience. Projects are due June 10.  This is your exam grade.

Choose One:

  • Pecha Kucha. (pronounce Pee-Chak-Cha) Read this for more info. You will have to watch examples at home (videos blocked...).  I am convinced that most of you have no idea how to present effectively. For this project you will create a pecha kucha around any appropriate subject. I decide if it is appropriate. Please check Presentation Zen blog (and the book on my desk). I am giving you great freedom in the subject, but Pecha Kucha requires great discipline in the presentation. This creates great respect for the audience (no--they do not want to read bullet points. Nobody does). You decide how to present your Pecha. I suggest using Moviemaker.
  • Flash adaptation. Take any childrens story and adapt it for a new audience. Your Flash must include music and/or sound.
  • Digital Portfolio. Create a web design company and its website. This is your company. Include prior work that you have done. This site will be legit and complete. Include pricing, logos, links, contact form, etc....Everything you would need to go live.
A few notes for this project:
  • Remember that first impressions happen very quickly in the web world. Make sure your pages/presentations look modern!
  • Create a schedule. When will you need to get things done by? This will be your first blog post so start thinking now.
  • Get help. Work together to solve technical issues. However, don't be the person who asks every three minutes "How does this look?" That gets annoying if you are trying to get stuff done.
  • Be excellent. This should be your absolute best work. I am giving you an opportunity to be very creative.
  • Here is the Rubric.


I will be leaving after Period 4 for the NVL track meet.

Web 4:
Please evaluate your school project today in a blog post. Each group showed some good points in their final project. Now, there were many days absent but that was a given for this project that we discussed right from the beginning.
  • Could you have been more efficient and effective in creating these sites (of course!)? How?
  • What did you learn? What would you differently if starting over?
  • Who has the best project? Why?
All (including Web 4):
Kayla, Lance, and Chelsea are teacher students from the Dean Shareski's class at the University of Regina that are following us as part of their class in Educational Technology. Take some time to read their blogs (and leave comment??). I thought it might be an opportunity to learn something about Canada and practice our Google skills. As you write your answers be sure to include links where it is appropriate! I encourage you to work together to solve these questions. If you can't find the answer describe how you tried to solve it.

Answer at least six of the questions (I am adding more throughout the day).  Show your work (links, math, etc...):
  • If Dean lives in Moose Jaw where would he have to drive to watch Star Trek this weekend? 
  • What huge event is Canada hosting this winter?
  • What is the #1 TV show in Canada this season?
  • Would you say "hello" or "bon jour" if you saw a friend on the street in Canada? Does it depend where you live in Canada?
  • How many days this winter was Regina's high temperature below freezing? Compare to Seymour.
  • Lance has $10 in Canadian dollars. Can he buy a ticket to Star Trek?
  • What is a province? Is it the same as a state?
  • What is the best golf course in Canada?  Who says?

Friday, May 22, 2009

Little Red Riding Hood

Can you tell a story with graphics?  Check out Tomas Nilssons work on Little Red Riding Hood.  Use your headphones.  Now, I checked this morning and this will play for you but you may have to click the video box a few times.

None of this is technically that difficult.  None of the techniques are out of reach for you.  You will recognize tweens, layers, etc... But the story and the recognition of audience is impressive.  Nothing of the story is changed.  However, notice he did not retell the story, he reshaped the story.  

Blog post today:
1. Briefly review the movie for your readers.  Include link to movie.
2. Provide a brief technical discussion about his techniques.  How did he make this?
3. Did you like it?  Why or why not?

All projects are due today.  If you need a new grade report please check edline or let me know and I can print one out.  If you have been out or have not done the reading for the past few days then you have some homework.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Random reading

Web 2/3 will continue their Memorial Day work today.  Web 4 project is due tomorrow.

A few things from the news:
  • Will your textbook soon be on a kindle?  Or Palm? Or iPhone?  Is it already?  How much would you love not to carry that heavy Biology book around?
  • Flu update. 
  • Kayla and Lance are students in Canada that are studying to become teachers.  They are in Mr. Shareski's class.  They will be working with us over the next few weeks.  They will work on lessons, comment on blogs, and hopefully give us some insights about the Great White North.  If you see something of interest on their blog be sure to leave a comment (first name-last initial, URL of your blog, email).  Also check your blog occasionally to respond to comments they might leave.  
  • In case you missed it.  Do the work.
  • Anything else to discuss?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Memorial Flash

If you complete the Memorial Day Fireworks poster please start working on a Flash animation.  This animation should do the following:

  • Have the same screen size as your poster (300x600).
  • Include the words "Memorial Day" in the animation.
  • Keep it really short (5-10 seconds).  I also can't see how you could make this without sound.  Maybe you surprise me.
  • The animation should celebrate the holiday.
This is an opportunity to be creative.  Save into same folder (MemorialDayposter) in Udrive.

A few notes:
  • Make sure you save posters as .jpg when done and export Flash movies.  Thats what we want to see in UDrive.
  • Keep it simple!!
  • Be sure your poster/animation is the correct size.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Memorial Day

Web 2/3:

Your assignment is to make a poster about Memorial Day.

More information on Memorial Day can be found here: Wikipedia entry Be sure you understand the purpose of Memorial Day before tackling this assignment.

Your assignment is to design an image that could be posted in schools. You will use Fireworks and choose the appropriate tool or tools for your image.

Assignment parameters:

1. You set up the image size when you create a new document: Height=300 pixels, Width =600 pixels.
2. Your images MUST be non-copyrighted.
3. You must be able to defend your choice of a tool in your blog post.
4. You must include "Memorial Day" somewhere in your image. You might decide to include additional text (date, slogan, etc..).
5. You must finish by the end of the period on Friday May 22.
6. Save in Udrive when done (bschneider) as a .jpg file. All students will save in the same folder so be sure you name it correctly in the WDrive BEFORE you copy it to the UDrive. Be sure to test your work in the UDrive.
Now, lets recognize that there are several functions this week (music trip, senior day, etc...). Plan your work accordingly so things get done. I anticipate adding a Flash component to this assignment on Thursday.

Good luck!

Monday, May 18, 2009


Web 2/3:

We will do a series of tutorials today:

We will also look a little at creating tables.
  • Cool job. How would you train for this job? What skills do you need? Notice how they match images with the script.
  • Sad news in NYC. What do you think is going on? Why is the flu spreading again?
  • Worth reading for seniors.  Don't let up too much.

Web 4:

I am going to set the deadline for your school project for Friday 5/22.

Thursday, May 14, 2009


Web 2/3:

I will be spending the day grading.  If you can keep the room quiet I would appreciate it. 

You have several items today.  Please write a short (50 words or so) blog post about what you learn today.

1. Some bad news about the flu.  What do you think of this news?  
2. Play a serious game.  Serious games teach you about something (kind of like our last project?).  Do you learn well when playing a game?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


I will be out of school today.  Please complete the following:

1. Website evaluations.  The more you can do, the better.  I think you learn a lot from this process.
2. Finish your blog post from yesterday.
3. Watch some NYTimes video and learn something.
4. If you finish all that try to solve 3rd World Farmer.

Back to work on school sites.

Project Evaluation

Today Web 2/3 students will evaluate the projects.  You will have two things to do:

1. Evaluate at least six websites using this form.  Include your own website.  Notice that you will need a new form for each website.

2. Complete a blog post about the project that answers the following questions:
  • What did you learn? Focus on technical aspects of the project.  
  • Did you use your time effectively?  Why or why not?
  • What grade do expect (check rubrics)?  Why?  Be specific.
  • Who has the best project in the UDrive?  Why? Be specific.
Now, if you find an error in your website--fix it!!

If you got an extension for field trip or other reason be sure to finish today and do blog post for homework.

Some interesting flu reading.  

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Website Project

We are entering the "weird period" of school.  Today is a big field trip, we have AP tests, Thursday all juniors are at Take a Stand Day, Friday is the Prom, etc... Consequently attendance in class will be spotty.  If you are out don't use it as an excuse.  Just get the work done.  If you are here and "done" find something to work on and learn.  There is plenty to do.

Web 2/3 will complete the project today.  Copy folder to "FINAL COPY" in Udrive folder.  At the beginning of the project we created "index1", "index2", etc... If some of those are dead pages be sure to delete them.  Be careful that you delete the correct ones.

Tomorrow we will check each project then grade them.

Found this today.  You can trade virtual money on the Swine Flu market.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Finishing Up

Web 2/3:

  • Reread the assignment.  Make sure you have included everything (movie, links, flyer, etc..)
  • Provide links to all blog posts you have written.
  • Make sure your Flash component works.
  • Check results from your survey.  Take 4-5 surveys of your classmates.
  • Copy draft of folder to UDrive (PSAProjects-Website Drafts).  Have partner check on their machine.  Fix errors (try not to ask me! check code first!!).
  • Is your news up-to-date?
Due tomorrow.

Friday, May 08, 2009


Today all classes will be adding a survey to their website using Google Docs.  Students will create the survey to collect information about their topic (Web 2/3--Flu, Web 4--School).  They will track data in google docs and publish that data to their sites.

This will require:
  • Quality questions that encourage particpation and provide quality data.
  • Using tools (blogs, website, etc..) to encourage students to take survey.  The more responses the better.
  • Being good classmates by taking other surveys.  Check blog list on blogmeister.
Try to post your survey today.

Web 2/3 projects will be done on Tuesday.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009


I found an interesting flu quote:

Pandemic years are associated with many more cases of influenza and a higher case fatality rate than that seen in seasonal flu outbreaks. It is common to encounter clinical attack rate ranges for seasonal flu of 5% to 15% in the literature. For pandemic flu, clinical attack rates are reported in the range of 25% to 50%.

It might be worth reading to understand some of the concern officials had.  This is the difference between average flu and pandemic flu.

For the next few days you will be creating your websites.

Here are a couple of sites we have looked at over the last couple of days that I think show modern design:
Be sure to review all the components you plan to include before you complete the initial design.  By the end of the day you should have completed the template on your main pages.  Be sure your design choices are conistent through all of your pages.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009


All classes will begin making their websites for their projects today.

1. Check to make sure that your Google Docs account is activated and you have the password.
2. Open Dreamweaver and create your site and subfolders.  
3. Once your site is active save the first page as Index1.
4. Create a folder in your website panel named Images.
5. Import any files (images, movies, flyers, etc..) that you have already created to the correct folders in your site panel.
6. Put a title for your page in the appropriate box.  I don't want to see any "Unititled Documents".
7. Save page.  Wait for activity.

We will spend some time today collaborating on the design of your pages.  I hope to make it a fun activity.

Monday, May 04, 2009


First of all. Happy Star Wars Day.

So, I think we have some decisions to make. Here is some of the latest news:

What do you think? Is this a serious threat or not? Has your view changed? Make a short blog post that includes links to your trusted sources.

The rest of the time is devoted to making updates to your blog posts, fixing flyers, making sure you saved the movie correctly, etc... I have not graded anything yet (only checked that it was done on time) so this is an opportunity to boost up your grade.

If you are having any computer trouble please be sure you have filled out the google form.

Friday, May 01, 2009


Are we switching to H1N1?

Read this about staying home--can people do it?  Some effects of everyone going to the doctor--can we afford it.

Be sure to save your movie correctly.  We have talked all semester about establishing a folder and sticking with it.  Those that are having trouble are ignoring that.  Be sure to save the movie file!

Now, its annoying when things go wrong.  I understand.  But most of these mistakes are avoidable with proper planning and procedures.

Thursday, April 30, 2009


Web 2/3:

Some news as of 6:30am:
Today you will work in teams to create a short video.   This video is designed as a Public Service Announcement (PSA) to reduce the threat of a pandemic.  Your video must:
  • Be 28 seconds long.  
  • Include a voice-over.
  • Outline steps to reduce the threat of disease (wash hands, etc..).
  • Audience is high school students.
  • Be completed using Moviemaker.
  • Save to Udrive-WebSchneider-PSA Projects-PSAMovies when done with names (CassBobJaneflumovie).  Be sure to Export movie for the Udrive.
  • Due end of class on Friday.  Work fast.
I put some old examples of PSA movies in the "Sample Movies" folder.

Web 4:

You will use the next 2-3 days to complete three sample designs for an opening page.  This should include all the basics from your concept map, but it will be only a sketch of the final site. Your client (me? Chuck?) will then choose the design that you will use.  You should:
  • Create a SHS School site (can this be shared from Udrive??).
  • Include image boxes where movies might go.
  • Be as accurate as possible with basic design, color, font, but don't fret with the details (emails, links, etc...).
  • You only need to create the initial page (index1, index2, index3).
  • Be prepared to outline the strengths of each design.  You want to highlight your team so all designs should strong.
  • It might be smart to mirror some of the "awesome sites" we have looked at.....
Mr. Skiparis gave us all of the yearbook pictures.  We will spend some time today culling out the pictures we want.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Project growth

Web 2/3:

There was some great writing yesterday.  I was very impressed!  Some good examples include: Amanda, Patrick, and Christina.

Today all will work on a flyer that would could be sent home with students TODAY.  Use Fireworks to complete this page.  You should be sure to design the page so it looks official and is the correct size to be printed (you figure it out!!).  It should include:
  • Current information from trusted sources.  List the source.  Remember, information may have changed since yesterday (or this morning).  
  • Steps to prevent the spread of the disease.
  • Places to access information (phone and web) at the state and national level.
  • School contact information.
Here is an example from the State of CT.

Save to Udrive-WebSchneider-PSA Project-Flyers (bschneiderflyer)

Web 4:

Use Fireworks (or other software) to create a "concept map" of your site.  The concept map should include all major information and how it links together.  You will submit one map per team.  We will review this in class.  Save to Udrive-Web4-School Site.

A few thing to read for information about school websites: Example #1,  Awesome Sites.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Evaluating Sources

Having computer issues?  Fill out this survey.

Web 2/3:

You will continue your research today.  You must complete this blog post today.
  • List three sources that you trust in separate paragraphs.  Include link.  Why do you trust them?  Include at least one valuable fact from each source.
  • Has the story grown or diminished in the past 24 hours?  How can you tell?  Try using google trends.
  • What is something we as a school should be doing RIGHT NOW to prepare for the possibility of the flu spreading to Connecticut?  Think hard.
Web 4:

Blog post questions:
  • List each stakeholder (student, family/parent, staff, community, random search) in a separate paragraph.  What information is each stakeholder looking for if they visit a school website?
  • Colleges and private schools use websites to attract students.  How does the issue of recruitment change a website?  How does the website balance this while still serving their current population's information needs?
  • Could some of the same recruitment strategies help a website for a standard public school like ours?

Monday, April 27, 2009

Semester Project

Internet was down until 8:07am, so this is a work in progress.....

Web 2 and Web 3:

Here is your project (I haven't finished writing it, but you can start!!). Put it in your bookmarks.

Check out the latest news at Newsmap.  Any doubt what the big news is?  

Everyone should be using and sharing information using Google Notebook.  

Web 4:

Create the Seymour High School website. We will discuss more in class. You will work in teams of two.

You must include:
  • Video with voice over.
  • Directed towards audience of students/parents/staff AND community.
  • Easy to use navigation.
  • All necessary information.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Yom Hashoah

Yom Hashoah
My winners so far: KGargano's poster, AGrose website, PCorkery's podcast, and AGriffing's Flash.

A few thoughts:
1. Some of you coasted through this.  Don't do that.  Your work should reflect the time we have spent in class.
2. I think the fade in/out slideshow in Flash is becoming a bit of a cliche since so many of you are using it.
3. Do not neglect your blog posts.  This is what the world reads about you.  Be sure to link to the assignment and describe it accurately.  If a job interviewer googled your name what would you want them to read? 

Today and Friday we will work on Flash or Fireworks tutorials.  You need to complete at least four tutorials including at least one of each.  Remember that the tutorials might not match your version of the software.  I encourage you to find your own tutorials if you so choose and I hope you work with a partner.  I will grade that you completed the tutorials first thing Monday.

3. List of tutorials (choose one or all)

1. List of tutorials (choose one or all)
2. Another list (choose one or all)

Project evaluation

Please submit your projects today.  Answer the following questions in your blog:

1. What did you learn?
2. What method did you use to report the results (poster, writing, movie, etc..)?  Why was this the best choice?
3. Who did the best project?  Why?  Remember that some people did blog posts, but most posted work to the UDrive.

I am working on our next project and I am opening it up for suggestions.  Really, I am looking for you to help design it.  You can join the wiki and edit it, add discussion, or write blog posts.  Keep checking back as it is worked on.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Yom HaShoah

We have six standards that we teach in this class.  Today we will focus on the third standard: Research and Information Fluency:

According to the standard you must be able to:
a.plan strategies to guide inquiry.
b.locate, organize, analyze, evaluate, synthesize, and ethically use information from a variety of sources and media.
c.evaluate and select information sources and digital tools based on the appropriateness to specific tasks.
d.process data and report results.

Yom HaShoah, a day of Remembrence, starts this evening.  Your task is to create a digital work (Fireworks poster, Flash animation, Website, Movie maker file, Audacity podcast, etc...) that describes and teaches about this day.  Keep it simple and on message.

Your assignment is as follows:
a. Decide how you will learn more about Yom HaShoah.  What strategies will you employ ("just google it" is not a mature strategy)
b. How will you use your network and the internet to locate information?  How will you store and gather this information?  How do you know your source is a trusted and valuable one?
c.  There is a lot of information on this subject.  How do you filter the information so you accomplish your task?
d. What is the best tool to report this?  A poster, an audio podcast, a flash animation, a blog post, a webpage with links,?  

Good luck.  Save to UDrive when done or submit on blog.

Breaking news: This is why its so important to understand.  Read the quotes about Yom Hashoah.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Thursday reading

Today will be an odd day as so many of you will be out at various functions.  Here is a list of things to do (choose one or all):

  • Answer the question from the Blogmeister David Warlick: In maintaining a Facebook (Myspace, Beebo, etc.) presence, what do you strive to accomplish? What is your measure of success?”  I encourage you to write a blog post and possibly comment directly on his blog with a few sentences.  He has asked for feedback--lets provide it!
  • I think this is kind of weird.  What do you think?
  • Should cellphones be used as an educational tool in schools?  Check this blog out.  Its a long post--but worth it.  Check out the comments where the conversation is continued.  What do you think?
  • This guy would be fun to have at a dinner party.  What do you think about his house?  Watch the slide show too.
  • Or find a story that you find interesting and blog about it.
  • Any of you twittering?  My twitter ID is brandtschneider.  Who do you follow?  Twitter is in the news.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009


Complete your Flash replication today.  Don't worry if it is not done or perfect.  Be sure to save both the Flash document and export the movie to your folder.  Then copy the folder to the Udrive as normal.

Please complete this blog post today, either in class or at home.  Your grade for the project will be a combination of me looking at the Flash movie, evaluating your blog post analysis, and classroom observations.
1. What are three skills or techniques you developed or improved during this project (tweening, movie clips, buttons, collaborating with classmates, etc...)?
2. Did you do a good job?  What went right? What went wrong?  
3. If you started over would you tackle the problem differently?
4. Did any student, tutorial, or other part of your network assist you? How? Or....did you show assistance to others?  How?
Overall, I am really impressed by your work.  This wasn't easy.

This just in from the BlogMeister David Warlick:

“In maintaining a Facebook (Myspace, Beebo, etc.) presence, what do you strive to accomplish? What is your measure of success?”

Can we answer in our blogs?

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Replicate Project

I got the impression that yesterday many of you unlocked the key to your Flash puzzles.  I saw many leaders stepping forward to help classmates which was great.  Notice there are many project-drafts in the UDrive.  

Please recognize that I really don't care what you learn.  I care how you learn.  Develop your personal learning network so when puzzles pop up you have a method to solve them.  Keep your learning transparent by posting to your network (blog, twitter, Udrive) what you learned.  If we share our knowledge we will be much stronger.  As evidence of this you should check some people's clustrmaps.  How can you use your readers to help you learn??  If you have readers in Lebanon or Kenya, or Denmark does this change how you learn and share?

So a few keys to the puzzles?  If you have more to add do so on your blog.
  • Flower: I can't see a way around doing frame to frame animation.  Any other solutions?
  • Body: A whole bunch of movie clips for each body part.
  • Birthday card: Stop action with movie clips.  Then a tween to the next scene.
  • Bouncing balls: A whole bunch of motion tweens.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Flash Animation

First watch this movie about Color. I think its brilliant.  Check out the movies and the lab.  Think about  all of the design choices, both with layout and the metrics of "what should we click on".  These are some of the lessons we need to be applying in our websites and animations.

Then we will practice some Flash skills.  Web 3 did a version of this assignment last semester.  Recreate one of the following Flash animations.  Be as exact as possible. You don't need to include the loading prompt at the start of each movie.

When done please save movie to Udrive-WebSchneider-Replicate.  Save movie correctly with name of movie (bschneideranatomy).  I expect this to take about three days.  

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Exam Review

We will talk more about your exam tomorrow.  Several of your classmates may be making up the exam today--keep the room quiet for them please.

The rubric for the exam pretty much worked.  Class averages were all around 3.0 out of 4.  So overall we did pretty well on the exam.  There were five 4's that I graded.  In general you demonstrated an improved use of images and a much improved layout design.  Check your pizza sites from the first week to compare.  If you had trouble it was usually because you tried to do too much.  Keep it simple!!

There are a handful of you who struggled.  I urge you to find the time for extra practice, either with a partner or with me.  

Take time to look through the UDrive.  Which website do you think would sell the most product?  Why?  

If you completed the exam here are today's options (you must do one or all):
1. Work on the blogging challenge.  Make new posts or comments.  Improve past articles (check typos!).
2. Improve your exam website.  Ask me or a partner what you should change or improve.  This would be great practice and similar to what a client would offer. 
3. Complete additional Flash or Fireworks tutorials to improve your skills.
4. Review some HTML and play around with Tables.  This might have really helped some of your exams.
5. Research your family tree using Geni and Familysearch.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Web Design Exam

Your exam must be done in one period.  You must complete:

1. A working website that highlights a new product.  Save folder to Udrive-WebSchneider-MP1Exam.
2. A blog post advertising this product in a short paragraph or two.
Here is the grading rubric.
Exam: Sell Box4Blox to young mothers who need to organize their house.
(yes, this is the same as the sample I gave you yesterday!)

Monday, March 30, 2009

Exam Prep

Our exam will be Wednesday April 1.  Here is what you will need to know:

At the beginning of class tomorrow you will be given a product to sell (shoes, a Senator, pizzas, etc..).  You will also be given an audience (teenagers, auto executives, students, etc...).  You will have the class period to create a website selling this product and to create a blog post "hyping" this product launch.  You will have to work fast.

I would study:
1. Defining and creating a website in Dreamweaver.
2. Basic Flash and Fireworks techniques that will improve the modern look of your website.
3. How to link and write effectively to your audience in a website and a blog post.
4. Check out the website rubric.
5. Prepare some templates.

Sample exam: Sell Box4Blox to young mothers who need to organize their house.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

How to write

Today we will again practice reading, synthesizing, and writing.  What is your message, and who is your audience?  Don't forget many of your readers do not live in the United States and might be five years old or fifty.

Choose one, some or all to write about:
What do you think? Tell me in your blog.  Include quotes, links, other info and your thoughts.  

Friday, March 27, 2009


I think this has been a good week.  I have enjoyed watching you create your Fireworks products.  As we transition from the more technical part of web design ("What does this button do?") to the creative side ("What emotion do I want to create?") many of you are struggling.  This struggle is essential.  Quality design does not come without sacrifice, thought, and perseverence.

In addition I really need you to focus much less on you and much more on audience.  Otherwise your work will not accomplish its goal of selling movie tickets, pizzas, or ideas.

Please answer the following questions on your blog:
1. What did you learn this week? Include link to assignment.  What score/grade do you expect?
2. Which product (poster, letterhead, etc...) are you most proud of?  Why?
3. Which product in the UDrive are you most impressed with? Why? 

If you complete this please hunt for red dots for your clustrmap and complete the fourth blogging challenge.  Check out some other blogs.  You could also write about the NYTimes article I posted yesterday.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


Kids do stupid things and there could be serious consequences.  Check out the blog today from Gadgetwise.  

Remember, everything, and I mean everything, you do on an electronic device can haunt you forever.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Fireworks Challenge

Here is the Fireworks challenge.  You get one point for every successful challenge.  Goal is five points but you can score up to seven (extra credit).   If you submit five successful entries your grade is 5/5.  Yes, you will have to move fast.  Computers available after/before school and during study halls.

Notice that I did not give specific assignment of tools for each challenge.  You have many choices. I am curious to see how your design process works.  Think about audience!

Keep all challenge assignments in a folder (bschneiderchallenge) to submit to the UDrive on Friday.

Some images you need are in the UDrive-WebSchneider-Fireworks Challenge folder.

1. Create a logo for "Acme Iron Works".  Here is a good idea tool for logos.
2. Create a letterhead for "Acme Iron Works" of Seymour, CT using a word processor (Google Docs or MS Word for example).
3. Put Barack Obama in the stands at a New York Yankee game.
4. Put Claudia in a green tube. (image in UDrive)
5. Create a cool business card for Mr. Schneider.
6. Create a poster for the new Star Trek movie.  
7. Change the girl's prom dress to blue.(image in Udrive)

Thursday, March 19, 2009


I enjoyed reading your blog posts about the TED talks.  I had fun pushing some of you who are stuck in a pragmatic definition of life.  Is life about "metabolic processes" or is it about having a soul?  Keep watching, and keep reading.

Good job to Gabriela and Alex for enrolling in the blogging challenge (notice their red dots?).  Keep up the good work!  Now that you have readers what will you write about?
Today all classes will work on Fireworks tutorials.  Whether this is new or review I would like all to do the same work to start.  You should move straight down the "image effects" category.  Then move to the other categories.  This is sandbox time today and tomorrow.  Create a fireworks folder to save all of your work.
Web 4 has completed their project and should answer the following questions in their blog:
1. What did you learn?
2. What would you have done differently?
3. Did you create a successful movie?  Why or why not?
4. Is this your best work?  Why or why not?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

TED Talks

Well, yesterday was brutal.  I slept almost all day.  I'm conscious today so I am here, but don't expect too much.  By the time you read this I am either feeling fine or I am realizing it was a big mistake to come in.

It was nice to be home yesterday and read your blog entries.  A few reminders:
  • Write in 3D.  Include links.
  • Leave comments.
  • Build on what other people say by linking to their articles.

One thing you want to do in life is get around smart people. I was lucky to go to a school that had really, really smart people around. Listening to them makes life interesting.

Many of you have seen some of the TED talks before. TED is a place where smart people get together and kind of do a show and tell.

I would like you to watch at least two videos today from start to finish. Everyone must watch the Theo Jansen video. I give you some prompts to start a discussion on your blog. Some of these videos are about 10-20 minutes long. They say teenagers can't pay attention to anything. Prove them wrong.

Hans Rosling: How data is cool. Think of your little Excel charts. Will you be ready to use data like this. This guy is fun to listen to.
Jeff Han: How displays will change. This would profoundly change how we use computers.  This is from two years ago.  How fast technology evolves (Hello iPod!).
John Maeda: A smart, funny guy talks about simplicity. Think about how simplicity is the driving force in design (hint: iPods).
Rives: This guy can talk.  Power of the spoken word.  I laughed out loud (also notice his use of powerpoint).  Check this poem about the internet by Rives.  Fascinating (and why you should work on your poetry).
Theo Jansen: Freaky. Mind-blowing. But pay attention. What is life? Can you make something that lives out of PVC pipe? He does. Cyborg alert!
Blaise Aguero y Arcos: Demonstrates Photosynth. Wow. The Notre Dame cathedral thing is amazing. Can you think of ways you could use this software?
Anand Agarawala: The BumpTop desktop. Certainly a different set-up! Would this help you search your photographs?
William Kamkwamba: Inspiring.  Many of you are 14.  What is on your resume?  Think about all that you have to work with here.

What did you learn? Share what you learned. Start a conversation. Can you add something to a discussion?

Be sure to have links to the talk on your blog.

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Monday, March 16, 2009

Tuesday blogging

We will continue the blogging challenge today.  Can you make your blog a "must-read"?

  1. (this was posted yesterday--now unblocked). Watch a NYTimes video.  Respond on your blog.  How do they match sound and visual images?  Can you relate this to your greeting card project?  Are you listening to or watching the movie?  Try closing your eyes--can you still follow the movie (aha---the big secret!!)?? Try searching for somethng that interests you.
  2. Try new ways to improve your blog from the blogging challenge.  Can you get a red dot on your clustrmap from three different continents?  Ten different states?  How will you make those connections?
  3. Check out this website of Lewis Elementary.  Can you find other school sites that are highly usable?  What makes this site so interactive, useful, and efficient?  
  4. Cool site of the day.  Notice how you use the site, you don't read it.  Can you use these design techniques in your work (especially Web 4!!).


I am generally happy with the work Web 2 and Web 3 did on their greeting card project.  I would like to highlight a few things:

  • Story must be front and center.  Most of you have chosen CGallo as the best for this reason.  Its the whole point of a card; to tell a story in very few (or no) words.
  • Color counts.  Check out CWyskiel Easter page-- she nailed it.  
  • The most elemental mistake was using sound improperly.  Don't have the music loop!  Stop the film and have an ending.
  • If you want credit get your blog post in.
I have a list of things for you to do today:
  1. Leave a positive comment for your favorite greeting card on that person's blog.  Use proper format (First name-last initial, email is blank, the URL of your blog).  Improper format comments will be deleted.
  2. Read about the blogging challenge.  I think this is a great opportunity to improve your digital footprint.  I encourage you to tackle the entire challenge.  But at least tackle one of the suggested improvements.  This assignment goes to the heart of web design--can you be an effective communicator.  Your blog is a reflection of you; if it looks sloppy (typos, colors, etc..) that will be the readers impression of you.  Does your site look like this?
  3. Watch a NYTimes video.  Respond on your blog.  How do they match sound and visual images?  Can you relate this to your greeting card project?  Are you listening to or watching the movie?  Try closing your eyes--can you still follow the movie (aha---the big secret!!)?? Try searching for somethng that interests you.
  4. Watch this video.  Notice the Flash aspects. Then watch this one.  Then watch this one.  Do you need to step up your game??  

Friday, March 13, 2009

Blog Entry

When you finish your greeting card please answer the following on your blog:

  • What was your subject?
  • What techniques did you use?
  • Are you happy with it?  Why or why not?
  • Who has the best greeting card in the UDrive?  Why?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Some ideas

I'm going to post some cool tutorials (some hard, some easy) that you might decide to use for your project:

Thats probably enough.  Remember--the tools can be fun but are you telling a story?  Who is your audience?  Are you recognizing bias in your design?

Monday, March 09, 2009

Flash Assignment

This is week is crazy as well. Period seven meets three times, period four meets twice, and period five meets, of course, five times. Hard to keep track.

I will judge your work based on the amount of time you have in class. Period five's assignment should be stronger than period fours since they have more time.

Web 2 and Web 3:
You will create a Flash greeting card. This card will celebrate Easter, Baseball Opening Day, or Mother's Day. Your card should do the following:
  • Play automatically when loaded.
  • Include at least one of the following: zoom in, masking, or bouncing effect.
  • Be saved appropriately (folder--bschneidergreeting) to UDrive when done.
  • Include sound.
We will use the standard website rubric.

Web 4:
I will grade your rough drafts on Wednesday and your final drafts are due March 18.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Week of Crazy

Well, this week has been a bit of a challenge.  A snow day, a snow delay, CAPT test, an assembly, and a trip to Boston for a track meet.  Obviously I have decided not to assign new work this week as it would be almost impossible to keep track of.  I think we will ease back into our regular schedule on Monday.

Tomorrow (Friday) I will be travelling to Boston with the track team for the New England Championships.  Today we have an assembly periods 6 and 7 for most of you.

So here are the assignments:

Web 2 and Web 3:
  • Please continue with your Flash tutorial work.  
  • Make a blog post: What new techniques did you learn?  Include link to tutorial.  Was the tutorial effective?
Web 4:
  • I will grade storyboard on Monday.  If you are in class today I would like to see it.
  • How will you ensure continuity of your movie?  If you have a main character should that be drawn first and shared with all teammates?  What about backgrounds, color choices, etc..?  How will you set up the movie so your process is efficient?
  • Check what other CT schools are doing (acting locally!)

Friday, February 27, 2009


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.

If you finish the blog posting and grading then move on to:

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 What image do you want to portray to the world?

Meez 3D avatar avatars games

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Grading Day

Today I hope to get your blogs up and running, but that might be different for each class.  We will also grade our progress on that current project.

Web 2:
  • Choose ONE of your projects.
  • Create a folder in WDrive first initial-last name-project (bschneiderhobbies).
  • Copy your project into this folder in WDrive.
  • Copy folder to Udrive-WebSchneider-Web2-Hobbies/Sports.
  • Answer the following questions: What is your site about?  What went well in designing your site?  Does your site demonstrate gender bias?  Why or why not?
Web 3:
  • You will do the ball tossing quiz in class.
  • Save file and export movie as normal (bschneiderballtoss).
  • Save it to Udrive-Webschneider-Web 4-Ball tossing when done.  
Web 4:
  • Be sure you have completed the first blog post and answered any comment questions.
  • Blog post #2: List two major research sites about the movie subject.  Where and how are you gathering information?
  • Begin formulating a slogan, logo ideas, and storyboard.  Some of you are using toondoo.  How is it working?
  • I am setting a 100 second limit on the movie.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


We will continue our assignments today:

Web 2:
When you complete both sites please call me over to check them.  Then continue the projects on page 2.93-2.94.  You should work on the same two projects.  

Web 3:
Continue to refine the walking man.  Show me when done.  If you complete it ahead of schedule work on a new walking man.  Have him walking up stairs.

Web 4:
Please make your first blog post about the project:  What productivity software did you choose?  Why? Did you look at Zoho? What are the benefits or drawbacks of Zoho?  Have you started to look at storyboarding software (toondoo? pixton? others??)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Monday Assignments

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

Web 3:

Please start the following:

Web 4:

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Flash Test

You will create a music video and it is due Friday.  I expect you to create something that demonstrates your knowledge of Flash, is creative, and gets done on time.  This should be fun.

  • You will use "Every Single Day".  A copy is in the UDrive-WebSchneider-FlashMusic
  • If your Flash is set to 12fps then each ten frames will equal one beat.
  • You must include a Stop and Play button.
  • Save both the .fla file and .swf file when done (bschneidermusic).  Save both to Udrive when done.
  • Everything else is up to you.

Flash continued...

Additional Flash assignments:

By the end of this week you must be able to:
  • Create motion tween, shape tween and layers.
  • Create simple buttons and simple action scripts.

Friday, February 06, 2009


Web 2 and Web 3:

Save your Flash documents in the WDrive.  Save them in two formats.  First save the Flash document as an .fla file.  Then save the Flash Movie as a .swf file.  Then you will have two files for each project.  You can edit the .fla file.  You watch the .swf file.

Please complete the following tutorials at a minimum by Monday:
Students who have those completed should work on:
Web 4:
Complete your second project today.  I then ask you to analyze one of your projects in your blog.  This is a serious analysis.  Don't be afraid to include examples, links, and other tools.  I expect you to take a full day for this writing.  Really reflect on your work.  Due Monday.
  • Who is your intended audience?  Why did you choose this audience?
  • How does this project specifically target this audience?
  • List three improvements you made from an earlier version and why you choose those improvements.
  • Who has the funniest Flash in the Udrive?  The coolest?  

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

White House

As you know, the website for the White House was redone when Obama took office.

Read this cool analysis of the changes from the Boston Globe.  This sounds a lot like the assignment we are doing right now.  Can you make similar changes??

And here is a great example of story-telling from Christoph Niemann at the NY Times.  Some of these lessons should certainly be applied to our websites and Flash documents.  It tells so much about New York, but in a very unique way.  When you tell a story you don't have to TELL A STORY to get your message across.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Bias, Usability, Accessibility, and 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

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 in Dreamweaver that contains bias.

Girls: Boys are silly. Why can't they act right so I can get my work done? They should treat us 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 page 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)
  • At least one link in the page. 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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Monday, January 26, 2009

Day Two

Web 2 and 3:

Open your HTML book to project 1: Chiarevelle Pizza. This was a very simple code. As a HTML review I would like you to take this project and update it. Incorporate codes from later chapters such as tables, frames, image maps, etc... Possibly include a video as well. Do only as much as you can complete in two class periods.

Save to W Drive -- Class projects when done (bschneiderday1)

Web 4:

Choose ONE of your first projects (ball tossing, man walking, etc...) and update it using codes you learned last semester. Save both the old and new versions so we can compare.

Friday, January 23, 2009

New Semester

I wanted to say hello and to give a brief overview of some things we will be learning this semester. It is odd for me to write this today. I have looked at my class and know only a handful of you. I do not know what type of work you have created in the past. However, I am certain that I will push you to create, analyze, and innovate. I will ask you to do your best every day.

What will we cover?

Web 2 (Dreamweaver): This is the 2nd level class. In this class you will learn more advanced techniques using the Dreamweaver program. We hope to incorporate work in animation and image manipulation as well. There will be a significant emphasis and collaborating with classmates and with people around the world.

Web 3 (Flash+): This the 3rd leavel class for students who completed Web 1 and Web 2. Your focus will largely be on creation and design. What makes an effective, usable website? 

Web 4 (Project Based): We will enter the ThinkQuest competition as our 2nd semester project. This class is entirely project/studio based.

We will begin today with some general work getting our folders and computer set-up.  We will also discuss some general ideas about the class and how we operate. Appropriate use will start all of this off. We will review the rules for Internet use in the school.

Today I also 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.

This all relates to our Standard 2 and Standard 6 of the ISTE standards: Collaboration and Communication andTechnology 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.

I will probably adapt many of these items as we move through the day. This is always a work in progress.