Monday, January 30, 2012

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).

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Using Evernote to Tell A Story

7:01am: We are again having some issues with the wifi today.  Be patient as we do this assignment.  We will adapt!

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.

Please be sure to name your file in Evernote as your first initial and last name (bschneider).  Save in the Web Biography notebook.

We will post the biographies here.  

Here are some posts that were created last semester:
Please write a blog post summarizing the process of creating the broadcast and include a link to your story.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


We were having issues with the wifi this morning so we decided to get our blogs set-up instead.  I hope to have wifi settled for Friday.

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.
6. We will explore and then place our voki in the control panel.
7. Clustrmaps will be added to the control panel.
8. We will evaluate each blog and choose the best voki, leaving comments on that blog.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

A New Class!


A new semester.  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 this year.  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 you can do the solo activity for the iPad.

Other things need to happen today:
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. Then Draw a Stickman.  Wouldn't you like to learn how to do that?  Guess what?  You will.

5. Write yourself an email that will be delivered on June 1, 2012.  Use  Keep the post private.  Write yourself and completing the following questions "By June I hope to have learned..." "I think the most important aspect of web design is...."

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

7. Put in your headphones and play with Bobby or Incredibox

8. Read this longer, but fascinating, story in the NY Times about a student with autism.

9. Watch this movie trailer.  Yes, that is tap water catching on fire at the end.  

If we finish all this and you work hard we will have a hockey tournament.

Wednesday, January 18, 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.

Wednesday, January 11, 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.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Impress Me

Fiddletricks This is your final grade for the semester before the exam.

Impress me.

You have one hour to produce something.  Anything.  It could be a blog post, a flash animation, a website, or anything else that is Web1 related.  This should be you best work.  People should look at it and go "cool".

I will put a folder in WebSchneider for you to turn stuff in if you aren't submitting on the web (blogpost, voicethread, etc...).

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Who is he?

Yesterday I got a comment via twitter and started an interesting exchange.

Cool.  New followers.

So I spent a little time trying to find out who was this guy?  Twitter is interesting because I have so many colleagues on twitter that I never met (567 followers currently).  We exchange ideas, debate lessons, and support each other.  I have never talked to Jay, yet we exchange information.  He reads this blog (and your blogs?) and now I will read his.

And he has an interesting blog! Here is his school blog (leave him a comment? Get a red dot back?)

So we are going to find out some answers as a google review activity.  Find answers to each of these and post in an entry in your blog.  Each answer should contain a link, image, or video.  All of these answers require some thinking.  You should demonstrate that you can search effectively, process the information you find, select the best sources, and write about what you find in an interesting manner using links.

I guarantee he will be reading your answers.  Much of Moline High may read your answers as well.  Write smart.

1. Mr. Bohnsack teaches at Moline High School in Illinois.  Where is this school?  Find it in google earth.
2. If he had to fly to New York which airport would he likely fly out of?
3. Estimate the total weight of his cattle.  His cattle are Herefords.  You will have to estimate how many cows he has and how much each weighs and do some math.  Show your work.
4. If you go to Moline High School which college team are you most likely to root for?
5. If you lived in Taylor Ridge, Illinois and you wanted to take your wife out to dinner where would you be likely to go?
6. There are two Mr. Bohnsacks at Moline High School.  Are they brothers (this one is hard)?
7. If you were driving from Moline High School and drove west for six hours where would you be likely to stop?  How about south?  East?  Now choose your favorite of the three spots and why.
8. If you live in Moline what colors are your tractors most likely to be? (Hint: a big company is headquartered there).

Answers will be posted on student blogs.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012


I can't believe we made it to January.  For a variety of reasons (October snow, heating issues, etc...) we are two weeks (!!) short of classes.  I have had to let a movie unit and a coding unit go.  I hope to sneak a few items in over the next week.

Our exams will be in two weeks....

1. HTML review.  We will do this together.  This will be turned in today for a grade.
2.  Play around with  and . I give you the option to create an account and explore this software.  There is a free account option that asks for your email address.  This is an optional assignment.  I've done this with previous classes and they have loved using it.

  • Rate the usability of the MyHeritage site.

3. Check your comments and red dots on your blog.  Any progress?

  • What if you got 1 point for each red dot and needed to get to 100pts to pass.  How would your strategy change? 

4. Create an online resume using Vizualize.Me, Google Sites, Re.Vu or Weebly.  Which site works best for your needs? Check out some of these resumes:

  • Should you have a traditional resume and an infographic website?  
5. is getting a lot of press lately.  100,000 people signed up in the first 49 hours.  Create an account and get started.  Again, this is an optional assignment but I think you will like it.  I'm working on my badges too.

  • Should coding be a required course?  Should it be a math credit or science credit?

Answer one of the above blog reflective questions based on what you do today.

I hope to have extra credit assignment done shortly.