Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Congratulations and a Look Ahead

Congratulations on a job well done (for the most part) on the Alt Med presentations!!

Many of the presentations were excellent, even the groups, mostly , who were scrambling until the end pulled together presentations that were good. But, the presentations are in the past, and it is important to focus on the future. There is a famous quote which comes to mind from the philosopher George Santayana (pictured below): "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."  I've said it before, you must learn from your mistakes and make progress as a student going forward.
George Santayana, a Spanish American philosoph...
Image via Wikipedia

Speaking of moving forward, by my count, starting with June 1st, there are 12 (at the most, including shortened days and the wasted final day!) class days left in this school year (Can I get a Woo Hoo! on that?) (We are a long way from done!)

Some folks have asked me about missing assignments or "Where you stand now' sort of information. I will update PowerSchool Grades with what I call a 'snapshot grade' during the next few days.

The 'snapshot' grades are just that, a 'snapshot,' The grades will be at the 300ish point mark of the marking period. But remember, we will probably get to 900, 950, maybe even 1000 points by the end. SOOOO . . ., there is still much work to do and much improvement to make for many of you.

It is time to 'kick it up a notch', put the 'pedal to the metal', 'get it in gear' or whatever expression works for you. Leave the masses of the "following instructions challenged" behind and become a responsible, active learner. I am here to help you!

Let's have a good end of the semester; IT'S NOT OVER, YET!!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Presentation Notes for Alt-Med

Important Information

At the start of the Media Center Theater Session on Wednesday, your team will need to upload a digital copy of the file to the presentation computer.  YOU DO NOT NEED TO USE THAT FILE DURING THE PRESENTATION!

Some are obvious:

  • For Powerpoint, .ppt is expected
  • For Keynote, .key is expected
Some are not:
  • For Google, export a .pptx (convert to .ppt)
  • For Prezi, PDF is acceptable, but there are other options available. Explore Prezi for other solutions
In all cases, use the package you created the presentation in, DURING the presentation.

Only 1 (Out of 12) Team practiced with the presentation computer & projector!  Items to note on setup:

  • Power cord for computer - you don't want the computer going dark during a presentation.
  • Video adaptor plugged into the computer; VGA cable plugged into the projector.
  • Audio plug in the proper port, if you are using sound. (Why would you NOT be using sound??)
  • If you plan to use the remote, make sure you practice with it during lunch on Wednesday. (When you try to advance slides, point the remote AT THE COMPUTER, not at the screen!)

Thursday, May 25, 2017

FCGP Video Update

I have verified  27283031323335363738, 39 (out of 40, expected) student videos. Thanks! 1 to go!! KristenR_AAHS - Waiting on YOU!

The good news is that the wiki has NOT YET been locked down and videos posted soon WILL still be viewed by judges!

Wireless Controller, Reminders and More Info About the Alt-Med Presentations

The two images above show (1) the hand-held remote and (2) the USB transmitter which will (MAY) be used for the presentations on Wednesday (5/31). The transmitter goes in the USB port and the remote is used by the presenter to advance slides. Larger versions are available by clicking on the images. This device should NOT be used unless you have tested it out beforehand!!

The laptop, projector, speakers that will be used and the remote setup will be available for testing starting on Tuesday during lunch and class.

Reminder: Begin to incorporate speaker notes IN your presentation file! (Each team member should do this). Keep revisiting the rubric as you are finalizing your presentation.

Things to do on Thursday

  1. Work with your Alt-Med team to compile the Initial Slide Storyboard to be submitted Friday morning.
    1. Initial Slide Storyboard minimum requirements:
      1. Title slide with all pertinent info:
        1. Section
        2. Group #
        3. Topic & Topic #
        4. Full names of group members
      2. Titles on all remaining slides to show the flow of information planned for the presentation.
  2. A Heads Up: Important excerpt from the final version of the Alt-Med assignment: 
    1. Combine and annotate.  Each group member has had the responsibility to create individual slides.  These must be combined into one, seamless PowerPoint presentation.  Each researcher must complete the notes section which accompanies their slides.  As many slides as necessary, at the end of the presentation, should be used to cite sources.  Make sure the citation slides are as readable as all the others. 
    2. Some presentation packages have a Notes Section built-in, some do not. If the package you are preparing to use does not have a Notes Section, you do not have to abandon that package; you just need to create a reasonable approximation of a Notes Section to submit with your presentation.
  3. Practice, plan & prepare with your Alt-Med team to have a great presentation for Wednesday. Presentations should be planned for 10 minutes. Get everyone involved and think about all we've said about great presentations! How good your presentation is will depend heavily on your team planning. Use the rubric to evaluate/improve your presentation.
  4. Work on constructing your DB_Reading Document.
  5. Complete Assignment 4.10+.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

20% Time Blog??

Sound Familiar?

The Blog

Each week every member of every team is required to write at least one public blog post (Blogger) where students discuss their progress. They write about what happened over the past week, what they learned, what challenges they faced, and what they anticipate in the future. Each blog post must be at least 150 words written in Standard American English and contain a related image that is posted without infringing on anyone's copyright. 

Saturday, May 20, 2017

FCGP - Student Reflection Instructions

My Directions for your reflective blog post are on the ning:
I'd like to get these posted by the end of the school day on Friday, May 26th, but they must be posted by midnight on Wednesday, May 31st. Thanks.

Updated Link:
AAHS Student Reflective Blog Post

My Entry In the Macro Eyeball Shot Club
Image by Mick 0 via Flickr

Friday, May 19, 2017

More Help for Our Friends from Down Under

Requester Name: Bridiem_hpc
Team: 6A
Request: i would like someone to show an old fashion watch on their wrist checking the time and zoom in to the actual time.
Date: 15/05/17
This video request is outsourced to:
Hyperlink to Video:
Date Received:

The teacher reached out to me in desperation: How about holding up a water bottle with dirty water and saying "Look at the water from our river!"

Requester Name: TimS_hpc
Team: 3D
Request: A video of someone scooping up dirty water from a lake, river or dam with a glass test tube and holding it up in front of the camera. 5 to 10 seconds would be great.
Date: 5/15/17
This video request is outsourced to:
Hyperlink to Video:

Date Received:

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Next Stop: Excel!

It is possible (but, doubtful!) that you have finished up your work on the Alt Med Presentation AND your FCP Reflection (You'll hear about that shortly) AND your 20% beginning work and are ready to start on our next topic: Excel, but we are allowing others to continue to work on the presentation project, web update and other stuff, so we don't have a regular day that we can do a typical in-class introduction for both classes until Tuesday. (How's that for a run-on sentence, Mr. Conway??)
Anyway, that leads us to trying something new.

To get us started, we will be using the tutorial located here:
Excel Tutorial
which was created by the Florida Gulf Coast University. The tutorial is based on Excel 2013, but the basics that it discusses will serve us well for the version we use at school and any different version you may have at home.
Click the link below (if one is showing(depends on browser)) or keep reading for more details:

Assignment 4.web

Update your website! Start by duplicating the lastnameweb folder. Change the one with copy in its name to: lastnameweb.first.

Make your changes to the lastnameweb folder; leave lastnameweb.first unchanged.

Create a minimum of 3 CSS styles to incorporate in this updated website. Also, be sure any prior errors are removed/corrected. Check Powerschool for comments.

The other day, I noticed a student using Dreamweaver. This is unacceptable. Use of Dreamweaver was not a part of the first web project and it is not to be used for this activity. Dreamweaver puts some code of its own in anything edited; if any such code is found in your web structure the result will be a zero (0) on this project.

Post your updated website in the thawspace by the end of class on Tuesday, May 23rd!


If you still have a zero (or 2 zeros?) for a current event grade . . . (Or, any grade!!)



Urgent Request From Down Under

Some of our Aussie compatriots have still not had anyone do an OVR, PLEASE HELP, if you can. 2 out of the 3 requests are pretty easy.

Requester Name: TimS_hpc
Team: 3D
Request: A video of someone scooping up dirty water from a lake, river or dam with a glass test tube and holding it up in front of the camera. 5 to 10 seconds would be great.
Date: 5/15/17
This video request is outsourced to:
Hyperlink to Video:
Date Received:

Requester Name: HamishW_hpc
Team: 5A
Request: a ten second video of someone pretending to drive while texting on their mobile phone
This video request is outsourced to: thomasb-bmhs-45
Hyperlink to Video:~
Date Received:~

Requester Name: SophieS_HPC
Team: 5B
Request: I would like someone to make a video about a person struggling to use everyday technology and another person helping them. Thanks for the help!
Date: 8/05/2017
This video request is outsourced to:
Hyperlink to Video:
Date Received

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Things to Do on Thursday

  1. If your FCGP video is done, refer to the posting notes to get it in place: 
  2. Practice, plan & prepare with your Atl-PPT team to have a great presentation for Friday. Presentations should be planned for 13 minutes. Get everyone involved and think about all we've said about great presentations! How good your presentation is will depend heavily on your team planning. Remember that the goal is to give people the skills necessary to use those alternative tools.
  3. The due date for Assignment 2.9 has been changed. There are some things I want to demo before that is submitted. The new due date is end of class on Tuesday, May 16th. 
Please be cooperative & productive!

Monday, May 8, 2017

FCGP Outsource & Due Dates

Due to the late date, disappearing requests, and other random problems - any remaining needs for outsourced videos may be acquired from any source including students in this room and/or in this school!

The final FCGP video should be uploaded to the ning by 11:35pm (EST) on May 12th! If you have not done so already, please read the wiki information about Student Summits.

FCGP Video Posting Notes

As you move towards uploading all finished videos, please note the following:

  1. The video must be uploaded to the NING. An Alternate link to Youtube is allowed.

  2. The DIRECT LINK to the Ning is added as a hyperlink to the video title on the Master list of videos wiki:
    1. This is the link the international judges will use!
    2. Just use the next number in sequence, add it, if necessary!

  3. The EMBED CODE is to be used to insert the video at the bottom of the TOPIC wiki. Below where the outsource requests are! Click on TEAM 1 (or YOUR Team identifier), then scroll to the bottom

  4. The template as below must be used to post the video
Use this template to put UNDER your video:
ADD HERE using this template (copy and paste below and add your details)
Video Number
Contributor(s) -
Alternate link to video:

All videos are to be embedded on the accompanying wiki for their topic.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Replace M3

You must use your assigned tool to teach:
Keynote (Installed)

Google Slides



Xtranormal  GoAnimate
and PowToon

Note: An upcoming major project will offer the opportunity to use Powerpoint alternatives for a bonus!! Teach well! Presentations on Friday, May 12 will be a maximum of 13 minutes.  All team members must be involved in the presentation.  You MAY use one of the other new tools in preparing your presentation. 
Some educational technology to try
Image by haikugirlOz via Flickr
You MAY NOT use Powerpoint!

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20% Time - Assessment


You may be wondering how I’m going to grade the 20% project. I want to de-emphasize the grade because extrinsic motivators like grades tend to discourage the innovation and creativity I’m looking for in this project. Read Drive for more on this. I want you to be inspired by the project itself, not by the grade you’re going to get on it. 

That said, I am going to assess you on the algorithmic (objective) elements of the project. A significant portion of your Computer Applications grade will be dependent on the following elements with rubrics. 
  • The Proposal (Is the proposal on-time, and does it address the required questions appropriately?)
  • The Blog (Does the post meet the required length, address the required topic, and submitted to the form on-time? Do you post regularly?)
  • The Product (Did you successfully move from idea phase to production phase, and do you have something to show at the end of the year?)
  • Productivity (Are you spending your 20% time by actively and passionately working on your project? If not, we need to quickly adjust the project so you are working on something that is intrinsically motivating. This is less objective, but if I see students not being productive, I will intervene.)
  • Final Presentation (Does your presentation meet all of the required elements?)

What if my project is a failure?

In this class there is a place for perfection.  Perfect English. Perfect punctuation. The 20% Project is no such place. 

The world’s best entrepreneurs embrace failure. Read Wired Magazine’s issue on the topic of “failure.”

The only truly failed project is the one that doesn’t get done. I want you to strive to show off a successful product at the end of the year, but I don’t want the quest for perfection to lead to an incomplete project. I want you to follow the advice plastered on the wall of Facebook’s headquarters.


This policy doesn't work in all work-related environments. I wouldn't want to see this poster in the dentist's office or the parachute packing assembly line. But for creative projects where we're trying to innovate, I find this idea compelling. For more on this topic read The Done Manifesto.  

If you feel that your project is a failure, I want to hear about it. What did you learn about it? Think about your science fair project. If your hypothesis was wrong, was your project a failure? Watch Kathryn Schultz’s TED Talk: “On Being Wrong.”

Don’t strive for failure, but don’t be afraid of it either!

 I can’t wait to be amazed, surprised, and inspired by the innovative projects this semester's freshmen will produce in the 20% Project.

20% Time - The Work


Some projects may require (or benefit from) an adult mentor who can help guide and inspire it. I hope parents will play a role in finding an appropriate mentor for this project. The mentor will serve to offer advice, provide informal leadership, and follow the progress blogs. You don't NEED to have a mentor, but if you find one, document that in your proposal and blog reports.

20% Days

Throughout the remainder of the semester, you will have one day a week (Friday) to work on your project. If you need to be off-campus to work on your project, you'll need to do that on weekends or afternoons and use the scheduled 20% time as a productive tutorial period, meeting period, or writing period.

The Final Presentation - TED Style

At the end of the year, each individual/(team) will give a five-minute presentation to students, teachers, and community members where they will show off their work. This will be carefully written, choreographed, and rehearsed to produce the best presentation they’ve ever given. These TED-style presentations will be delivered and recorded in the Media Center Theater. Here is a two minute video of highlights from another school’s presentations.  



Requester Name: samd_bmhs_1
Team: 4D
Request: A 10-20 second video of somebody on saying they love their Fit bit or Apple watch and accurate it keeps track with your health and exercises.
Date: 4/30/17

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

20% Time - How Does It Work?

How does the 20% Project Work?


At the beginning of the project, students will begin brainstorming ideas for a project proposal. I would prefer, due to the limited time we have allotted, that students work alone on a project that REALLY interests YOU!  But, I will consider proposals to allow you to work in small teams, no larger than 3 students. (EACH student must submit their own proposal)

While brainstorming, I will encourage you to make the project “Product Focused.” At the end of the semester I want you to have made something that is a completed product. It could be a physical product like a graphic novel or a balloon that takes photos from the stratosphere. It could be an organization or service as someone might choose for an Eagle Scout project. It could also be a digital project like a short film or video game. My point here is that I want you to quickly move from the idea phase of this project to the producing phase. 


Once the individual (or team) has an idea of what project they want to pursue, they begin writing the proposal. This is how the team will “pitch” the project to me. In this proposal, students will answer the following questions. Proposals are due to be emailed to me by Tuesday, May 9th @11:00am. Share a Google Doc.

Address each of these in your proposal:
  • What is your project?
  • Who will work with you on this project?
  • Who is the audience / user base / client base for this project?
  • Why is this project worthwhile?
  • What do you expect to learn from this project?
  • What PRODUCT will you have to show at the end of the project?
  • What sort of expenses will be involved in your project and how will you cover them?
  • What sort of equipment will you need and where will you get it?
  • What is your timeline for completing (or launching) your project?

The Blog

Each week every member of every team is required to write at least one public blog post (Blogger) where students discuss their progress. They write about what happened over the past week, what they learned, what challenges they faced, and what they anticipate in the future. Each blog post must be at least 150 words written in Standard American English and contain a related image that is posted without infringing on anyone's copyright. 

20% Time - What?

Before I get into the details of the project, I want to explain why we’re asking you to participate in this activity. For over 20 years a trend in education has been gaining momentum that suggests the role of the teacher ought to shift away from an industrial model where the teacher stands in the front of the classroom to dispense knowledge through lectures, and the students sit to consume the information. Rather than being the “sage on the stage” as some pedagogical experts maintain, teachers increasingly ought to play the role of the “guide on the side.” In this role, the students play a much more active role in how the content and knowledge is acquired. In this model, teachers provide resources, ask questions, and suggest projects for students to explore their content. While I will play the “sage on the stage” role in much of this Technology class, the 20% project is one place where I will be the “guide on the side.” Put simply, this is a student-centered project rather than a teacher-centered project.

Another crucial element in designing this project is the book Drive: The Surprising Truth About what Motivates Us by Daniel Pink. I can’t recommend this book enough. You can get a taste of it by watching this twenty minute video (previously posted) in which he argues for providing employees more autonomy in business. The book explains why the same principles apply to education.

More OVR Assistance!

The following students need to have their request fulfilled.

haileyn_dfhs topic 5

nicolet_dfhs topic 6

camif_dfhs topic 3

Any help you can offer is greatly appreciated!

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

U-Pick-It Powerpoint and Other Important News

  1. Check all blog entries!
  2. "U-Pick-It" Powerpoint - Continue Research/Work
    1. This one MUST be Powerpoint.
    2. Presentation will be 10 minutes.
    3. Have a 6-per-page handout ready to submit when called.
    4. Scheduled for Thursday, May 4th.
    5. Have a USB copy of the presentation to store on the presentation computer.
    6. Practice with your team to improve delivery.
  3. FCGP: 
      1. Post the one you are doing.
      2. Download the one you are getting.
        1. Send a message by any means you can find to students who said they'd do an outsource, but have not completed yet.
        2. Send me a copy of the request template if you get no response so I can reach out to the teacher!
    2. Work on your final video!
  4. Listen to and comment on pamphlet podcasts.

Things to Do in Tuesday's Mega-class!

Things to work on:

  1. Check all blog entries!
  2. IF, your OVR for the global project is not complete - FINALIZE TODAY. 
  3. Practice, plan & prepare with your UPick-PPT team to have a great presentation for Thursday. Presentations should be planned for 10 minutes. Get everyone involved and think about all we've said about great presentations! How good your presentation is will depend heavily on your team planning.
  4. Assignment 4.8 will be distributed by my fellow teachers who are covering class.
  5. I am at an undisclosed location in the District today, working on some stuff. You can email (or text) issues, problems, questions.  Thanks  

Another FCGP Reference Site

Make sure you have looked at dozens of previous videos, before you make a plan for yours.

OVR Assistance Requested

Please see if you can help with any of these:

Requester Name: Josiahp_bmhs_1
Team: 1A
Request: I will need an outsource clip of somebody working at a desk with a lot of room and supplies.10 seconds.

Requester Name: samd_bmhs_1
Team: 4D
Request: A 10 second video of somebody looking at home listings.
Date: 4/30/17

Requester Name: Kevauntaym_bmhs_2
Request: A 10-20 second video of someone explaining what virtual reality is, the type of devices there are, and explaining how it impacts education

Requester Name: DestinyA_bmhs_2
Team: Team 4A
Request: a 10-20 second clip of an antisocial person using a virtual reality headset to help them interact with people

Requester Name: ElliottB_BMHS_2
Team: 3B
Request: I would like a video of someone using a smart watch to help them with homework and educate them in things that they are lacking in. This would be a 5-10 second clip.

Requester Name: DevinM_BMHS_2
Team: 3B
Request:i would like a video of a student giving examples on how robotics has impacted our society. This video should be 30 secconds

Requester Name: CamilleC_BMHS
Team: 3B
Request: I would like a video of someone explaining what kind of robotic or technology that impacts their daily life

Overall Winning Video from FCGP 16-1

Congratulations to LaurenB_DFHS

Download Helpers for Changing Ning/YouTube Videos (FireFox) 
(Should be installed in the lab!) 
(No Download needed - good for the lab!) (Requires Download)