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