Monday, December 31, 2012

Open, Deep, Interesting

Before you start today: this is simply awesome work.


We will begin working on projects that require you to choose the tool to present.  We have spent time on the following tools (amongst others..):

  • Google Docs
    • Documents
    • Spreadsheets
    • Presentation
    • Drawings
  • Video
  • Evernote
  • Garageband/Podcasts
  • Blogging
  • Java/HTML
  • Meograph
  • Google Search Stories
  • iMotion HD
  • WikipediaVoki
Hopefully you learned a bit about each of these.  You learned when and why you would use a specific tool.  Also, I hope you became more efficient in your work flow.

An ODI question is open, deep, and interesting.  There is no one answer to the question.  I want you to present your answer in an interesting way using some of the above tools.  Have fun, be creative.

Each of these questions requires some research, some thinking, and some creative ideas for presentation.  You might write me a blog post, a memo, make a stop action movie, a podcast, or spreadsheet.  Or a combination.

You can print it out or display on your blog.  If you need alternative ways to present, ask me.

This will be due at the end of class on Wednesday.  I will assign more work on Monday.

Choose one question to answer:
  • If dinosaurs were alive which one would be tastiest?
  • How old would you be if you didn't know how old you are?
  • Why do earthquakes STOP?
  • How do Chinese language writers type?  They can't use our QWERTY keyboard, can they?
  • Who has the best nickname ever?

Friday, December 21, 2012

Snow Fall

Today we will read the Snow Fall.  Everyone is talking about this piece in the NY Times.  It is an amazing blend of video, text, graphics, and audio.  You should read it with your headphones on.

That's right, a newspaper piece you read with your headphones on.

This is a "long read".  Take the time.  It is worth it.  I realize that some of you are slower readers and this might end up being homework.

Your test grade is a blog entry.  We have not had a test yet this marking period.  Your question: "How will writing change in the digital age?".  Be sure to reference this Snow Fall text.

Please think about your answer.  Plan it out.  Include links.


Many of you know I grew up in Newtown and have many connections to Sandy Hook School.  This week has been challenging.  I appreciate the support of my colleagues and from you.

Many students have asked "what can we do?".

I think above all we must ensure that no student lives in isolation.  Know your neighbor.  Make a new friend today on the bus or in the cafeteria.  We can do more.

I favor the 26 acts of kindness campaign that is growing.  Check it out.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Project is done.

We will hopefully get the presentations done today.

Here is the form we will use to evaluate the presentations.  


Please evaluate your project on your blog.  How did you do?  What did you learn?

Please score each aspect of the project:

Presentation: 40pts
Memo: 30pts
Spreadsheet: 20pts
Drawing/Blogging: 10pts

And then add those numbers up for me for your total score.

Connect your score to items we discussed or that you worked on.  Be sure to fully explain your thoughts to your readers.  For example:

"After Mr. Schneider explained creative commons I learned that the images on Google Drive are all creative commons so I inserted those in my presentation"

"The first draft of my memo had many spacing issues.  After looking at the drafts of my classmates I adjusted the margins"

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Here is the form we will use to evaluate the presentations.  Each student will have an iPad to score their classmates work.  We will then average the 20 or so scores to get your grade.

We will present in the music room on that TV on Monday.  You can use the iPad or laptop.  Be sure to practice!  The presentation score is 40% of your project grade.  30% for memo, 20% for spreadsheet, 10% for drawing and blogging.

I will need the printed part of your project as well on Monday.  You can print it out at the beginning of class in case you do some work over the weekend.  Your packet should have memo-spreadsheet-drawing in order.  Your packet must include a drawing (not done in marker...) even if you have a 3d version for your presentation.

Expectations for groups with 3-4 people will obviously have higher expectations of detail than someone flying solo.

Be sure to improve your rough drafts.  Connect the money you are spending to student learning.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Project Rough Drafts

On your memos please use this heading:

To: Mr. Schneider
From: Suzy Jones, David Smith, Johnny Rogers
Re: Computer Lab
Date: December 11, 2012

I recommend that Seymour High School.....

All parties agree that....



Please turn in by end of class your rough draft versions of your memo, spreadsheet and drawings.

We will do our presentations next Monday.


Put in your headphones.  I think this is worth the ten minutes.

Friday, December 07, 2012

Project Work

Podcast #4 is due today.


Imagine you are waiting to present your work and the person before you hits it out of the park.  Great ideas, polished presentation, and a 3D video design of the room.  Really think about how you will present your project.  Will it look like a 2012 project?  Or like you could have made it in 1996?

I want a rough draft of your project in my hands on Tuesday.  I'm going to move final presentations to the following week.  I want this to be really good.


Can you imagine if you were in high school 71 years ago today?  I find it hard to imagine.  We've seen the movies, but the mix of hope, fear, and determination must have been electric.  Those high schoolers went through so much.  They still do.

Lets take a moment and reflect on the sacrifices of the past and present.


2nd marking period graded activities:

  • Resume
  • Testing Blog, Meograph Blog
  • App Review Blog
  • SchneiderCorp Spreadsheet
  • Schedule Presentation
  • Podcast #4
  • Project
When we finish the project there will be basically three more weeks of class.  Be sure these grades are done.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Podcast #4 and Project Notes

1. Podcast #4 will be due Friday December 7.  I warned you last week to prepare a script.

2. When preparing your presentation you have several choices for tools.

  • Google Presentations
  • Prezi
  • Keynote (on iPad)
  • Haiku Deck (on iPad)
Be sure to choose the best tool for you.  I expect we will present in the music room as there is no screen in here.  You can present from the iPad or laptop.

3. As of today I am planning on having you present on Thursday December 13.  

4. If you feel a bit behind you might have some homework.  Perhaps you need to put your phone away during class.  This project is the major assessment for the 2nd marking period.

5. Thanks to LaurenK question I learned how to do this today.  This would be a very neat tool to make your spreadsheets more relevant.  

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Computer Lab Design Project

Imagine you cleared this room out.  No chairs, no computers, no nothing.

Imagine I gave you $50,000 to outfit a new computer lab.  What would you design?  I want you to prepare a proposal.

Your lab might look like a Starbucks with a juice machine, couches and a few tables.  It might have a bunch of round tables for people to collaborate.  Your lab might have PCs, iMacs, Laptops, or iPads.  Will it have a TV or a Smartboard?  Should there be a rug?  Posters?  Ergonomic furniture?

What are some of my parameters for the computer lab?
  • There should be seating for 25.
  • You must budget for everything.  This includes chairs, wifi hubs, printers, etc... You must budget for software.
  • This is a "general purpose" lab for a high school.
What must you prepare?
  • A spreadsheet outlining how you will spend the money.
  • One page memo.  Memo must start with the words "I recommend that...."
  • A slideshow presentation to the class.  You will present this to class.
  • Drawings or video of proposed lab.
  • You must turn in a paper copy of your proposal as well as post all work on your blog.
What will I look for?
  • That you contribute to discussions and documents.
  • Thoughtful design and research.  Will the lab be effective? You should show evidence of research ("I emailed Microsoft", "I surveyed the English department")
  • Accuracy and proper use of tools (google docs, spreadsheet formulas, etc...).  
  • Presentation is consistently designed.  For example, your fonts on the spreadsheet match the fonts on your memo.
You can work in groups of 1-4 on this project.  Some of you will enjoy working and collaborating.  Some of you will work better by yourself.  

I will set a due date soon, but I expect this will be due in two weeks.

I will nitpick this project like crazy.  Be ready.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Spreadsheet practice:

Challenge #13 (extra):
Can you attach a chart to the Challenge #13 SchneiderCorp spreadsheet that shows me how much farm equipment stuff we sold?

Challenge #15:
Clean up your google a day spreadsheet.  What is the average time it took you to solve the puzzle?  Yes there is a formula for time.  Thats todays puzzle, I suppose.  Can you find and apply this formula to get an average?  I don't have an answer yet, but I'm sure its really simple.

Challenge #16:
Create a Google Presentation of your class schedule.  A few rules:

1. You can only have 10 slides.  Not 9, not 11, but 10.
2. You must spend some time reading about Presentation Zen.  Really check out some of the tips.  I will not accept poorly designed slides.
3. You can only use YOUR photos or drawings OR photos you find using a CC search.  Plagiarism applies to photos as well as text.  If you search within Google Docs (click insert image) those images will be CC images.

Name the presentation "Schedule" and save in your shared folder.


Podcast #4 is due Friday December 7.  Start working on your script in Evernote.  I'll bring the iPads next time.

Some of you gave me random podcasts last time.  Please ensure your podcasts all go off the same theme.


Edit your blog.  Check for comments.


I'm going to unload a project next class so I want to use this class to get everyone caught up.  Some of you may finish early.

Monday, November 26, 2012

New Work

Donate some rice, if you don't mind.  Spend a few minutes.


I think this is very, very funny.  You can find through out where people start to write reviews about very simple devices.  Check out this banana slicer, then scroll down to read the reviews.

Knowing how to write is very powerful.

Challenge 13:  Some of you have experience with spreadsheets, some of you don't.  This next challenge will be a good way to get us started.  Create a new spreadsheet in your shared folder and name it "Challenge 13: Spreadsheet".

Design a spreadsheet that includes the following information:

  • Monthly sales figures need to be collected.
  • Mr. Jones, Ms. Smith, Mr. Williams, and Miss Stanley are the sales people who work for "Schneider Corp".
  • Schneider Corp sells farm equipment.  Tractors cost $10000, Mowers cost $5000, and Plows cost $15,000.
  • Mr. Jones sold 3 tractors, 2 mowers, and zero plows this month.
  • Ms. Smith sold 1 tractor, 1 mower, 1 plow.
  • Mr. Williams sold 5 plows.
  • Miss Stanley sold 2 tractors, 2 mowers, 1 plow.
The spreadsheet should show me total $$ each sales person sold, total # of each item sold, total $ of each item sold.  Finally what was our total $$ sales for the month?

I will walk around and help you.  Also use google and the help menu to figure out your formulas.  It may help some of you to draw it out on paper first.


Challenge 14:

This will be the first time I've done this, but Google search stories look pretty cool.  Check out some examples.  I don't want to spend a ton of time on this, I just want to see what it can do.

I'd like you to create your own story.  Any school appropriate subject.  Be creative.

This may pull up inappropriate images or topics.  If so, quietly fix it.

When done post your story to youTube and then to your blog.  Please include a short review of search stories and include a link so people can make their own.  

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


We have 30 minutes.  Lets watch some videos.  Put on your headphones.

 I love this Arnold video. His movies were really big when I was in high school so that voice is iconic. He really, really believes what he is saying.  That last line is classic.

If you watch this TED talk watch it from the beginning and do not skim forward! Its freaky amazing.

I don't know why, but I love these guys. They seem like they would be fun to hang out with. I can imagine the moment they figured they got season tickets, next to the penalty box. Not settling, they decided to don green suits to distract the competition. Brilliant.

I've watched this 100 times. Still funny.

A LOT of schools are doing lip dubs. I'd love to work on one!  They planned the whole thing backwards.  That takes guts.  A lot of schools do Lip Dub competitions.  Maybe Derby High posts one, and we have to top it.

We are singing this song in choir.  I love how the blond girl takes charge of the song.  I wish they had thought of a better ending.

I'd like to work on this office.  Check out some of their other videos.

I've never really liked Les Mis, but I recognize that its hugely popular.  You may recognize several stars in the upcoming movie.

I know there are some One Direction fans in here.  My 16 year old niece is a fanatic...

5 days until track.  Can't wait.

And, finally, one of my favorite muppet videos.


FYI:  Tomorrow will be a video watching day.   No new work will be assigned.


Second marking period work so far:

1. Testing bog post.
2. Meograph blog post.
3. Resume
4. Blog comments (quality and quantity)
5. App review (today)


Please spend some time today studying Evernote.  Some of you have barely used it, and some of you have really started to use it.  What helpful tips could you provide?

Maybe check out their blog?  Or google "evernote for students?"


Classes have often enjoyed exploring


Writing an app review is hard.  Things that must be included:

1. What is the app?  Who made it or designed it?  Include a link!!
2. What platform does it require?  Do you need iOS6?  Can it run on an iPad1?
3. Should you include screen shots or video in the app review?  Can you figure out how to do that?
4. Who is your audience?  Is it kids, gamers, teachers, or parents?
5. An opinion!!  Should people buy it?

Please review one of the following iPad apps using your blog.  Some of the apps are only on the iPad2 machines.

Be sure if you log in to an app that you LOG OUT when done.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Grab Bag

Today is kind of a grab bag day.  The only thing I'd like you to really finish is the meograph assignment.  Be sure to check the questions for your blog post that were posted.


I was impressed by your passion over testing.  I read many responses that were well formatted, cogent arguments.  I'd like you to spend some time reading those arguments today and responding with comments.

I think leaving comments is an important skill to master.  Check this article out.  Of course, don't be a troll.  Your comments should continue the conversation.  Make it obvious that you read the post.

When you leave a comment in blogmeister be sure you are logged in first.  In the comment box leave your first name, leave the email blank, and the URL will be filled in already.

Please aim to leave five substantive comments today.  Please be sure you respond to any comments on your blog.


Perhaps you can guess my opinion, but would we get more benefit if we dropped the test prep and enrolled everyone in music lessons?  Does taking practice tests for the CAPT get as much benefit as being in Choir?


Additional work:

  • Do some wikipedia edits.  Check out the SHS page.  Perhaps there is too much information there does not quite fit wikipedia's guidelines.  We can also organize it better.
  • Google a Day.  Keep practicing.
  • Read this story about caffeine drinks.  Stock in Monster Drinks has dropped from $80 to $44.  Does that tell you something?
  • This review in the NYTimes of Guy Fierri's new restaurant is gaining a lot of attention lately.  It is very, very harsh.
  • If you did all that check out some of my favorite videos.  Be sure to have headphones on.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Resumes, Meographs


1. Do the google a day.  Put your results in your spreadsheet.
2. Check out this cool hack from MusicHackDay.  Put in your headphones.  Read more about music hack day here.  I kinda wish school was like this.
3. Blog post:  read this article about testing.  What do you think?  Include link to original article.  A few things we need to improve as a class in our writing:

  • Paragraphs.  Organize your thoughts.
  • Include relevant links.  
  • Have a solid closing thought.  The closing thought should encourage comments on your blog.  Don't END a conversation, START one.


I will hand back your resumes.  Please make fixes or adjustment and print out a clean copy for me.  Be sure there are NO errors or typos.


I brought two microphones in for you to work on your meograph.  I hope to work on mine today as well.  I haven't added any content yet.

A few notes:

1. Try to give the meograph some depth.  You don't have to include many points, but for a few of them I'd like you to include video, audio, photos, etc...
2. Do not publish copyrighted material.  Use creative commons to search for content or create your own.
3. When done publish to your blog.

  • Use the embed code.
  • Give a short description of the meograph service.  What is it?  Include a link.  How can it help tell a story?  What was easy about it?  Hard?

Monday, November 05, 2012

New Marking Period


We got the following in this week:

1. Lots of Subway gift cards.
2. A ton of stuff from Planet Fitness, including two memberships, bags, shirts, bottles, etc...

If your letter worked please write a thank you letter.  I have envelopes.


I like this story about confidence.


New tasks:

Challenge #11:  Create a one page resume and put in your google shared folder.  This is a TRADITIONAL resume.  Here are some tips.  Here is an example.  I will spend a lot of time on this assignment.  We will make infographic resumes shortly.

Some things to think about:

  • Use Evernote to make notes and brainstorm about the resume.
  • List EVERYTHING you could possibly include.  Only include stuff you did in middle school if it is truly amazing (like winning a National Science Fair or something).
  • Follow the format, follow the format, follow the format.
  • Use active verbs.  Quantify everything:
    • Created and published movie review podcast that reached 75 listeners per day
    • Directed Hope Club recruitment plan that increased membership by 75%
    • Implemented lunch recycling plan that resulted in 35% reduction in cafeteria waste

Challenge #12:  Create an account in Meograph.  Create a meograph around one of the following:
  • Your family vacations.
  • Your favorite professional teams best season (Road to Victory...)
  • Battles of the Revolutionary War
  • Upcoming tour of your favorite singer/band

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Half Way

Today we will be grading.  I will hand out Edline sheets.  Lets fix any mistakes.  Also be sure to complete your Google document.

Here is the grading document. 


New tasks on Thursday.  If you are "done" please help a classmate by commenting on their blog, helping them edit movies, or checking their work for typos.


Who will win the election?  There are 512 paths to the White House.  Which one do you think will happen?  Write a blog post about your prediction.

Saturday, October 27, 2012


For the first time on the podcast project I started to send the podcasts through my plagiarism checker.  I found two podcasts that were directly taken from articles on the web.  I sent those two students messages through soundcloud.  They will receive zeros for their work.  I also have to notify the administration and their parents.

I take plagiarism very, very seriously.

Now I need to spend time fact-checking the rest of the podcasts.  This is not what I wanted to do.  If you plagiarized any portion of your work on any project I suggest you take it down immediately.

Tuesday is a finish up day.  We start new activities on Thursday.


Check out this video.  I think they did a great job editing.  Some of the videos turned in do not have a good balance of audio with video.  Be sure to please both the ear and the eye.

In general your edits should be quicker.

Here is the grading document.  We will work on this Monday (get a head start).

Friday, October 26, 2012

Last Friday in October!

1. When your PBIS videos are done please email them to your Google folder.  If you are SURE everything is good please delete the clips and movie form the iPad to save space.
2. Remember, any idiot can make a movie.  My standards are a little higher.
3. Podcasts are improving!
4. You do not have to finish the code avenger, you just have to show good progress.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


You may have noticed we are trying to start a chess club.  We are using an online system called  You can access the site on the iPads, your computer or your phone.

We hope to use this during appropriate times during school (lunch, Cat Cave time, etc...) but you can also play at home.  We will have tournaments and other activities.  It will be very informal and low key.  Try it out?

This is funny.  And stupid.  Really stupid.

I think Fitz and the Tantrums are cool.  Daryl Halls show is a GREAT music show.

Things to do (whats due Oct. 30):
1. Wikipedia (10-15 edits, etc..).
2. Podcast #3 (done w/blog post).  Remember you must have THREE podcasts done.  Also, I think the "post to soundcloud" button is working now.  Be sure to log in AND log out.
3. PBIS Video (done: edited and perfect).
4. Code Avenger (not done, just working hard).
5. Check and respond to blogmeister/soundcloud comments (done, now).

All projects are due TUESDAY October 30.  On some I originally had it as October 31, but we don't meet that day.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Projects Work

Things to work on:

1. Wikipedia.  I'd like to see if we can move up the quality scale.  Use the talk page to discuss changes you'd like to make.  Be polite to other editors and respect their ideas.  Wikipedia project is due October 31.  Check how I will grade it and ask questions if unclear.

2. PBIS Videos.  Please start with Step 1 in the directions.  You can make a video alone, or you can collaborate with classmates.  I'd like everyone to decide today:

  • Who are you working with?
  • Basic idea of script.
  • Time to practice using camera and iMovie
    • Be sure to delete videos or movies when done practicing.

3. Podcast #3: is due October 31.  How will you improve?

4. Respond to comments on your blogmeister or Soundcloud.

Many projects will be coming due at the same time.  Be sure to plan your day and your homework.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


PBIS: We received a gift certificate from Target.  If that is your letterplease write a thank you letter.  I have envelopes.



We will be spending some time in wikipedia.  I want you to read, edit, and comment on articles.  Wikipedia is a very, very powerful tool for communication.

Step 1: Create an account in wikipedia.  This should work today.  If it is IP address blocking you try this procedure.

Step 2: Complete the tutorial.  Wikipedia's editing rules are serious.  

Step 3: Begin editing the Seymour High School page.  Follow the wikipedia rules to decide:

  • What is relevant?
  • What can you provide sources for?
  • How should you format the entries and edits?
You WILL get almost immediate feedback from other editors on the site.  Be polite, be thoughtful, and above all be correct!

Step 4: Edit additional articles that may interest you.  Anything that is school appropriate.  I expect this to be an ongoing process.

How will I evaluate you?  Good question.
  • Quality:
    • Do your edits follow the format for wikipedia?  
    • Do the edits get rejected by other editors?
    • Do you add value to Wikipedia?
    • Did you finish the tutorial and show evidence of that work in your editing?
  • Quantity:
    • You should have between 10-15 substantive edits (not fixing typos, etc...) before October 31.  This will be hard for some of you.
    • I should see some edits over a period of time (not all on one day).  This is to show that you are checking your work and responding to other editors.
    • Edits survive on at least two pages.
  • Collaboration:
    • Do you help classmates as you complete the tutorial?
    • Do you utilize the chat functions to communicate with other editors?
    • Do your edits respect other viewpoints?

In addition:

1. Everyone does Google A Day.
2. If you are missing blog entries (Halloween?, 2nd podcast with link?) do that now.
3. Everyone must have at least four comments on Soundcloud podcasts.
4. Some of you will work on podcasts, especially sports podcasts.  Podcast #3 is due by October 31.
5. A few of you are working on PBIS videos.
6. Code Avenger.  Try to finish courses.  This wil be homework after today.


Sunday, October 14, 2012


PBIS raffle prizes have begun to arrive.  So far we have received:

  • Two $10 gift certificates from Blanchettes.
  • A really nice book about Yankee Stadium from the New York Yankees.
However, I can only give credit to one of you, since I can't find the Yankees on the PBIS form.

If your letter worked please write a thank you letter.  I have envelopes.


We will be starting a project in Wikipedia.  Wikipedia is the online encyclopedia that is edited by YOU.  Wikipedia has very strict protocols and formats.  I think its important to learn how to edit and contribute to this site.  I hope to work on the Seymour High School page first.

Please do the following:
1.  Create an account in Wikipedia.  Please use a version of your name (First name, last initial).  This seems to be not working, please do this part at home).  You can do most of the tutorial.
2.  Work on the tutorial.  We do not have a textbook, but occasionally I feel it is important to do "textbook" work.  Take the time to read, practice, and understand the rules of wikipedia.

In addition:
1. Some of you will work on PBIS videos.
2. Work on your code avenger courses.
3. Next podcast is due October 31.  If you'd like, get it done now.
4. We are going to practice persuasive writing.  Please write a short blog post that answers the question "On Halloween should teens trick-or-treat? How old is too old?"


Many of your blog grades are not good.  Many of you did not answer the reflective questions after your last podcast.  Too many missing entries.  Are you reading your comments?

Here is an example of a quality answer to the Google a Day question.

Write as if someone is reading!  Check your red dots on your clustrmap.  People are tuning in.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Videos, Challenges and More

This is awesome:

Today's assignments:

  • Make comments on podcasts.  Good, constructive comments.  ("good job" doesn't count).  Everyone must write at least four comments.
  • Checks your blog for typos, bad links, or missing entries.  I will do a blog check grade this weekend.  
Challenge #8:
Google a Day has changed its format a bit.  I'd like each of you to explore it and then write me a blog post where you:
  • Link to appropriate information.
  • Explain how we can "keep score".  Is it easier/harder now?  Is it more of a game?
  • Should you log-in to Google Plus first?  Can you create a "Computer Apps" circle in google plus?
  • What are the badges about?
  • Explain fully to your readers what google a day is.
Challenge #9:
We are going to work on coding.  If you have taken Web Design this will be review.  If not, it will be new.

Please go to Code Avengers site and create an account.  Mr. Oberdick has recommended this site for us.  Some of you may have used Code Academy last year.

Have your CodeName be your First Name and Last initial.

When in the account...

Linking Students to Teachers

  1. Click the Menu button in the top left, then Options
  2. Enter the teacher's email address in the Teacher's email ( box
  3. Click Save Changes to complete the setup
We will work at our own pace throughout the class.  Start wherever you want.  I suggest you work with your partner so you can solve some of the puzzles together.

Challenge #10:
Some of you will work on PBIS Videos. I will assign students for this.  We will all do this assignment later next week, but I need people to test the procedure.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Podcast #2


1. Google a Day.  Please be sure you format the time correctly on your spreadsheet.

2. Put in some headphones and watch some comedy.

3. Try to answer the US citizenship test questions.

4. Soundcloud items.  You must have:

  • An avatar.  If it doesnt work here (using chrome) then do it at home.
  • Leave comment on a podcast.
5. We will work on podcast #2 today.  It is due Monday.  Try to get it done today.  Remember, you must complete a reflection blog post (with the right questions!) after a podcast.

Curious about what's coming?  We will soon make:

Monday, October 01, 2012

Work Day

You should:

1. Google A Day.  Put answer in your spreadsheet.  Many of you are formatting the time wrong.  Figure it out and fix it.

2. Finish your PBIS test from last week.  I must put "Print This!" in a comment before you print it out.  You will need to address your envelope.  Write neatly!

3. Work on script in Evernote and then start production for your next podcast.  2nd podcast is due October 9.  I suggest finishing your script/outline today.

4. Put in your headphones and watch some video.  This is a student video, he did it himself.  We are making videos soon.  Will yours get 2,000,000 views?  I hope so!

5. Clean up any missing challenges.

6. Check your blog for errors and edits you need to make.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Computer Apps Test

Your first test is due Monday.  I am giving you some freedom of time as I know some of you are working on podcasts or finishing the challenges.

You are familiar with the PBIS system that SHS has implemented.  Part of this program involves incentives for students.  We have been using the "respect bucks" for students to enter a raffle and win stuff.

Which gets us to our test.  We need free stuff to give out.

You will write a formal business letter to a national business (Coke, Dunkin Donuts, ESPN, etc..) requesting free stuff to support our PBIS raffles.  Think of stuff that is raffle ready (gift cards, hats, posters, etc...).  We might get a free trip to Paris from American Airlines, but I doubt it.  I guess we could try.

Step One: Research companies.  What type of stuff would be good for the raffle?  Do these companies have a program that supplies donations?  What address do you need?

Step Two: Does a Seymour connection (grad, parent, teacher spouse) work for this company?  That might be who you address the letter to.

Step Three: Add your information to this spreadsheet.  Only one letter per company!  Keep checking the list, if someone choose Pepsi-Cola you need to find someone else.

Step Four: Write the letter in your shared Google Folder.  Check this experiment out first.  If your letter is longer than 150 words or so you are doing it wrong.

Ask the companies to send stuff to:
    PBIS Raffle
    attn: Brandt Schneider
    Seymour High School
    2 Botsford Rd
    Seymour, CT

Step Five: When you are done I need to read it and put a "Print It!" comment on it.

Step Six: Print letter, address envelope, hand to teacher.

Step Seven: Wait for free stuff.

Step Eight: For extra credit you can write additional letters to companies.

I am grading that:

  • Letter addressed to correct person.
  • Formatting of letter is correct.
  • Writing is clear, concise, accurate.
  • You are successful, we get free stuff.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


Please respect the class rules and do not have coffee in the room unless its in a non spillable cup.

Thanks for getting the work done while I was out on Monday.  Before you start, put in your headphones and have a good laugh.

I will be grading Monday's work while you work today.

**Be sure to complete the Google a Day and put the answer in your spreadsheet that you made on Monday.

Challenge #5:
Draw a map of Seymour High School using Google Docs.  Name this "Challenge #5-Map".  I do not need EVERY detail on the map, just the highlights (cafeteria, library, etc...).  How will you deal with the 2 floors?

Challenge #6:
Write me a formal email asking me to publish your podcast on my radio station.  Write it to  This email should be short, include a link, and have absolutely no typos.

Challenge #7:
**see note below**  Please write a blog post about your survey results.  What will you improve next time?  One of the most important aspects of any campaign (business, political, or social) is getting responses.  Did you get five responses?  If not, work on it before you write the post.

***One note: the blog surveys seem to produce an error code in blogmeister (check them out).    I have emailed Mr. Blogmeister to try and find a solution.  I tried coding it, and using the graphical interface.  Extra credit to anyone who can figure it out.***

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Google Challenges

I may revise the directions a bit, but I'm really trying to not give you step-by-step directions.  I don't think they help you learn.  I recognize that this is challenging for some of you.

A few PBIS respect reminders:
1. Please leave the coffee and other drinks outside of the room unless its in a container with a twist top.
2. Respect the learning and get your work done on time.  I have lunch and study hall time for you to catch up.  If that doesn't work you have homework.

Challenge #2:

1. Create a new google form in your shared folder.  Name it "Challenge #2".  Some help if you need it is here.

2. Write questions that will elicit feedback about your podcast so you can improve it.  You should decide:

  • What demographic information to collect (age, gender, etc...).
  • How many questions should you ask?  Too few questions and you don't get good feedback, too many questions and people get annoyed.
  • What format for the questions gives you the best feedback (paragraphs, check boxes, dropdown menu)?
  • What do you want to know?  What do people want to hear about?
3. Post a link to the "live form" on your blog.  Get responses from at least 5 people.  

Challenge #3:

1. Write a formal business letter to Mr. Lungarini requesting he listen to your podcast.  This letter should:
  • Demonstrate proper formatting.
  • Include no typos.  
  • Be convincing. Mr. Lungarini is a busy guy and values his time.
  • Let him know how to find the podcast.
2. Include a signature.  If you save your drawing you can use it again.  Hint: scribble.

3. Be sure the document is in your shared folder.  Name it "Challenge #3".

Challenge #4:

1. Create a google spreadsheet where you track the answer to the Google A Day.  Name it "Google Puzzle".

2.  Include columns for Date, Topic, Answer, Time taken.

3. Save in shared folder.

Podcast notes:
1. If you didn't complete your first podcast you need to.  On your own time.  You may have noticed that our assignments build from one to the next.  You are creating a portfolio.
2. Next podcast due no later than October 9.  MANY of you will need to complete one before then.  Especially if you are doing a podcast that is timely (sports headlines, etc...)

Thursday, September 20, 2012


When you write about your podcast in your blog there are two ways you should/can link to it

1. Link:

I made a podcast about the Andromeda Strain.

2. Embed

There is a "podcast" box in blogmeister.  Don't use it.

Some of you will quickly realize how to amplify your message by using facebook, twitter, email or your blog.  For example, Cindy's podcast could quickly be posted on the facebook page of every NVL volleyball player.  If its picked up and tweeted by the reporters of the Waterbury papers it will get amplified even more.  Be aware that what you record WILL be listened to.

You may get comments on your podcast.  You can set the podcast to no comments. Check this link out.  If there are any issues let me know immediately.

I've restarted a landing page for the podcasts.  I hope to finish coding it today.

Some things to improve on:
1. You should follow your classmates in Soundcloud so your "Dashboard" will show you all the new podcasts.  If you go to "Seymour High Music" and check followers it will be easy to do so.
2. Your podcasts must be between 2-3 minutes.
3. Many of your podcasts have low volume.  Be sure to use the microphone or speak more clearly into the iPad.
4. Above all, its got to get done on time.  Many of you use lunch, study hall to get more time with the iPad.  I don't assign much, if any homework in this class.  I also allow you to manage your projects.  But they must get done on time.

1. Work on your blog.  Does it have clustrmap?  Are all your entries posted?  Any typos, links to fix?
2. Comment on a classmates blog.  You should comment with your blog address, your First name and last initial, leave the email blank.
3. Listen and comment on student podcasts.  Notice you can comment directly on the podcast!  Please use your headphone.

One note:

I ask that you respect our learning environment and keep the food and drink outside of the computer lab.  I have allowed drinks as long as its unspillable and has a screw top.  That the compromise. Please keep the containers of coffee out of the room.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Today you will publish your first podcast.

There is a bit of a work around we have to do due to the filter...

1. Be sure to name your file in garageband.
2. Send it to your email.
3. Upload it to your Soundcloud

Be sure to:
1. Log out of any apps on the iPad that you use.
2. Delete any podcast versions off the iPad to save space (once you confirm its on Soundcloud).
3. Check the directions and complete the reflection blog post.

Good luck!

Housekeeping note: On Friday we are on an A/B modified schedule.  Lunch will be during F block.  We will eat LAST lunch.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Podcast Project

We will be making videos soon.  Take ten minutes and watch this video (if you have your headphones).  Powerful, well done movie. Notice how they use music, text, and images to create emotion.

Today I will grade the following:

1. Google Doc Challenge #1.
2. Blog check (has clustrmap, and two blog entries).  I'm hoping 9th graders have access.

By Friday I will check that:

1. First podcast is published.
2. Soundcloud account is functioning and you have started to develop an audience for your show.

I'm working on a landing page for the podcasts.

Please work on the following:

  • Listen to some sample podcasts or here or here.  Take some notes about what works. Review the directions and tutorials on our podcast page.
    • Will you have opening music?
    • Will you sign in and sign off correctly?
    • Will you introduce guests correctly?
    • Will you pace your broadcast and have a beginning, middle, and end?
    • Did you notice how good podcasts tell you what the podcast is about right at the beginning?  You are painting pictures with words.  Be consistent, be descriptive.
  • Create an avatar in Paint (or Fireworks..) or search for a non-copyrighted image to use on your Soundcloud account profile.  Please avoid actual images of you, it causes too many problems.  Also, never publish someone else's copyrighted images that you stole off a google search.  
  • You should have Google, Dropbox, Evernote account.
    • You must share a google folder with me.  Name it correctly.
  • Choose your podcast passion subject.
    • Create an Evernote note to brainstorm ideas, make notes, etc...
    • Write a blogmeister post about the project.  Link to the project directions, talk about your passion, and what you'd like to learn/cover in your reporting.
  • Begin working on your podcasts.   I dont have enough iPads for everyone to be working at once.  Manage your time and the resources effectively.  iPads are available at lunch and before school, and most study halls.  
    • First podcasts should be posted today for some of you, if we can get it to work with the filter.  We may have to design a work around...

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


Today we will:

1. If 9th graders can, please do classblogmeister activities from the last class. 10-12th graders: did you get any red dots on your clutrmap?  How can you get more?
2. Please take two minutes to complete the Google of the Day.
3. Complete Google Doc Challenge #1:

  • Create a New Document in your BusCompApps folder.  Name it "challenge #1".
  • Write me a formal business letter.  It can be short.  Write about anything.  Insert a hyperlink and a picture.  Google the school address if you don't know it.
  • Invite one other person to collaborate on the document.  You want to share the document, not the folder.
  • Use the chat or comment feature to have your partner remove the picture from the document.  (Yes, I know you can just turn and ask them, but I want to see that you can do this).
  • Publish your letter to the web.
  • I will check that you:
    • Shared it with me (its in the shared folder).
    • Collaborated effectively (remember, I can see the history and who made edits).
    • Format letter correctly.
I will spend a significant amount of time talking about our podcasting projects.  This should be fun.  I want first broadcasts posted this week.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012


Today we will set-up our blogs:

1. We will discuss digital footprints and blogging code of ethics.
2. We will log-in to our blogs and make our first post.
3. Next, we will leave a comment on a classmates blog, using the proper procedure.
4. Control panel will be discovered and we will add a simple sentence to it.
5. We will choose a template.

Next 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 web 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 . You could also try What image do you want to portray to the world?  These codes go in the Control Panel.

Meez 3D avatar avatars games

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Business Computer Applications


Things to do:

1. You need to be sure you returned your Internet Use form (I imagine you have).  I can't do anything without that.
2. Fill out this Info Sheet.
3. Please solve a Google A Day.  The site times you.  So move fast.  We will be learning how to search effectively throughout the year. 
4. Introduce yourself to the people around you.

5. Write yourself an email that will be delivered on January 1, 2013.  Use  Keep the post private.  Write yourself and completing the following questions "By January I hope to have learned..." "I think the most important aspect of communication is...."

6. Swearing is bad.  Please don't do it.

7. Read the class syllabus.

8. Create a dropbox account.  Take the Dropbox tour on the site.

9. Create an Evernote account.  Watch some videos about Evernote.
8. Establish a Google account.  Many of you already have one.
    • Open Google Drive
    • Create a Shared Folder
    • Title it "first name-last name BusCompApps".  This is one way I will collect your work.
    • Share folder with teacher
        • my email 
9.  Create a note in Evernote called "passwords".  Put your accounts, usernames, passwords in it.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Web Design Final Exam

You have reached your destination.  Your final exam should demonstrate a full semester of learning.  The exam should demonstrate a keen sense of story telling, recognition of audience, and technical knowledge.  Good luck.

Create a website about the history of the internet.  The website should include how the internet has changed family and school life.  I would like you to focus on the years 1980, 1995, and 2010.

You have many tools at your disposal including HTML, Flash, Fireworks, Creative commons searches, etc.... Be sure to create a website that is easy to read, highly usable, and accessible.

You may notice that I have not included specific guidelines about pages, images, and the like.  By now you should know how to tell a good story by using a website.  You should know how to effectively include links.  You should know not to include copyrighted images.  You should know how to embed video, animation, and images.

When done you must copy your exam folder to the Udrive: Web Schneider.  You MUST finish during the allotted time for the exam.  I will begin grading once your folder is placed in the UDrive.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Final Exam Prep

Today is a prep day for the final exam.  You need to know how to do the following.

1. Make a basic webpage using a table for layout that is highly usable.
2. Use fireworks to manipulate an image.
3. Create animations using Flash.
4. Tell a story.
5. Search and evaluate internet sources.
6. Develop an audience.

It will be very hard to complete the exam during the allotted time so I am giving you some assignments now.  I urge you to work hard today.

Your exam will be a website that demonstrates the "web" in 1980, 1995, and 2010. I will give all the details next week.
  • Create a folder in your WDrive.  Name it correctly (BSchneiderFinalExam).
  • All work will be stored in this folder.
  • Research the following questions.  Keep the notes in your folder.
    • Who is credited with inventing the internet?  
    • How did the internet develop?  Who used it first?
    • How many internet enabled devices existed in 1980? 1995? 2010? (you will have to estimate, but you can find this information).
    • How many people regularly accessed the internet in 1980? 1995? 2010?
  • Think, research, review the following questions.
    • How is your family/social life different than a high school student in 1980 or 1995?  Focus on how the internet has changed daily life (for better or worse).
    • How is your school/academic life different than a high school student in 1980 or 1995?
  • Prepare a very simple Flash animation to display on "the internet" page (see above).  For example, a computer zooming into focus, or a smartphone "buzzing".
  • Prepare simple Fireworks images of "The Internet", 1980, 1995, 2010 to display as headings at the top of each page.

Monday, June 11, 2012

The End is Near

Please turn in your "Who are You?" projects today.  If the project is online please write a blog post and provide me with the link.  Otherwise please submit into the UDrive folder.

We will use Wednesday for some exam prep and then we have the exam next week.  E period on Monday and H period on Tuesday.

Want to get started on Final Exam prep? Then click here.  It would be really helpful to start early....

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Building a Resume: Who are You?

For your final project I am going to ask that you build an online resume or portfolio. Who are you? What do you want to tell the world?

I have spoken before that I am amazed at some of your twitter and facebook accounts. Some of you swear, say bad things about classmates, ridicule your teachers and in a PUBLIC FORUM. Remember, none of your posts are private.

Now, some of you do all those things in the hallway too, but its fundamentally different when you attach the megaphone of the internet. Why? Because its there forever.  I mean the real forever.  Eternity.  We can even track your deleted tweets.

Also, many of you have not made a footprint on the internet.  Your blogs in this class were an effort to create one.  When people google you, what will they find?  If they find nothing, thats not so good either.  In 2012, people judge people based on the stuff they have done--and the only place they look is the internet.

Check out some sample student portfolios.

I'm asking you to create an online resume.  You can do this in two ways:
  • Create using HTML and notepad and then post in our UDrive.  
  • Utilize online tools such as wix, weebly or google sites.
Your website should:
  • Be yours.  Who are you?  
  • Be creative.  Use tools to highlight why people should notice you.
  • Be cool.  Can you make people visit your page and stay there?  
  • Be modern.  Does your site look like it was made in 2012 or 1996?
A few rules:
  • Don't include things like your address or phone number.
  • Don't include pictures, videos, text that are copyrighted.
  • Must be turned in by Monday June 11.  Grades will close in
We will talk much more in class and I will probably add stuff to this page as we go.  Good luck!