Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Thursday Lesson

I am at UConn today.  I am presenting a class to future teachers about technology in the classroom.  iPads will be the focus of the discussion.  Your Evernote podcasts will probably be played.

Do the work while I am gone.  I firmly believe that there is not one teacher in the room, but twenty.  We all teach each other.  When a class can let go of the idea that the teacher must tell them everything the class will start to fly.  I want YOU to create the ideas in this class.


1. Try the Google A Day.  Can you get the answer?

2. Organize your W Drive.  Put assignments into folders.  Make it neat.  Everytime you get a new assignment it should go in a folder.

3. Create a HTML page.  Title it "HTML Lesson".

  • Create a one page website that demonstrates how to:
    • Open a file and create HTML (open notepad, how to view source, etc...).
    • How the "first 8 tags" work.  Body, head, etc...
    • How to create a link.
    • Use proper colors.  Does it need a table? Image?
    • Save in WDrive.  HTMLTutorial.html
4. If you finish please show the substitute.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

First HTML Quiz

Start today with a Google A Day.  The site times you.  So move fast.  We will be learning how to search effectively throughout the year.

Then Draw a Stickman.  Wouldn't you like to learn how to do that?  Guess what?  You will.

The quiz for web 1 will be due by the end of the period on Tuesday. 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 code.
  • A clear heading on the page.
  • A list of classes.
  • A brief paragraph describing yourself (junior at Seymour High School, etc...)
  • Background color other than white.  Keep the color light (no bright red, black, etc...if you disagree go back and look at the bad websites)
If you do the above correctly the maximum you can score is 3/4.  You must do at least one of the extras to be able to score 4/4.

1. Can you include an image that you created?  Remember that the image must be in the same folder as the webpage.
2. Can you place the schedule in a table?

Be sure you code the first 8 code tags correctly.  Be sure you open and close your tags in the correct order. 

Save the file to your WDrive-Web Design when done.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Web Design: Introductory Quiz

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 your W Drive Web folder.  Print out for teacher.

Monday, September 19, 2011


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.  The chart at the bottom is awesome.

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

3. What's wrong with Google?  Wouldn't you like to learn how to do that? (this may be blocked...working on it...)

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. Provide a link to this website and explain why you think its usability rating is high. Possible examples: Bobby (use headphones),  Baby Names (blocked??) Tall Buildings.

All three assignments (bias, accessibility, usability), the evernote biography recording, plus the two HTML webpages are due Friday 9/23.  Work hard today and produce your best work.

Thursday, September 15, 2011


Everyone fills out an info sheet today.  We will start the HTML Tutorials today.  I will start with a bit of a group lesson and then I will see what you can do.  Most of the class time will be reading time today.

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.

Read some of how Apple focusses on accessibility.

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?
Save the file in your web design folder.  Print out for teacher.

When done here is your first HTML assignment.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

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.

3. Create a one page flyer in MSPaint 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 us 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. 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 toFlickr and use creative commons search.
  • At least three quotes (from real or imaginary people)
  • Have fun with this, stay respectful and appropriate.
4. Save in WDrive (Web Design folder). Check the Rubric for the assessment.

5. If you finish early you should start on the HTML Tutorials (link on right side of page).

Friday, September 09, 2011

Tell A Story

Today students will tell a story.  For many this will be exceedingly difficult.  Not because they can't write, or record, but because they have to interview their peers.

This entire class is about telling a story.  Telling a story through words, images, animation, links.  A bad web page story will be immediately discarded!  Nobody stays on a bad webpage or keeps listening to a poor recording.

Each student will write and record a 60 second biography for radio broadcast.  This biography will be of a classmate.  Students will record using Evernote.

We will post the biographies here.  Once the internet is up students will post to their individual blogs.

I am sure I will adapt this lesson after the first class.

Here are some posts that were created today:

Monday, September 05, 2011

A New Year


Back in Web Class.  I am very excited to teach this "new" class.  I taught this for four years, took a two year break, and now I am back teaching two sections.  So much has changed!

This class should be fun and exciting.  You will write and read A LOT in here.  You will code, create, tape, video, and publish.  This will be an odd class for some of you as YOU take charge of your learning. You will have lots of choices as the year progresses.  This often makes students nervous as I rarely stand in front of you and say "now we will turn to.."

Today I ask you to have fun with the iPads in the group exploration activity.  If you finish, later you can do the solo activity.

Two things need to happen today:
1. You need to return your Internet Use form.  You got it in homeroom yesterday.  I can't do anything without that.
2. Fill out this Info Sheet using your iPad.

I may adapt this activity (filter....) and do some wifi mapping and area of triangle stuff.  Stay tuned.  I have this at 7:30am and will adapt again for 2nd time through at 12:30.