We are reviewing Creative Commons licensing and started an activity to determine image licenses, user rights, and correct crediting of images. There is no due date established yet for 005-8 because next week's schedule is up in the air regarding several events that may take place. Due date will be posted after next week.
Mid-term progress reports have been issued. Regarding 8th grade scores, there were 2 class participation assignments which were valued as G, S, or N, and one website evaluation to be completed for a total of 42 points. Ten of those points were dedicated to turning in the assignment on time. A few students lost several points for that reason. I will continue to emphasize meeting deadlines throughout the course of the year.
During our last class we went back over responses relating to the Fakespot site and I shared my findings on who seemed to be the author/creator of the site and what I had been able to glean about this individual from by searching various avenues. A number of students felt Fakespot was a worthwhile site and they would use it. More, however, felt it could not be trusted as there were no actual individuals listed anywhere on the site taking responsibility for the site, and the website domain had been registered using a proxy service. Some also were confused as to the purpose of the site, which was actually just using an algorithm to analyze reviews that had been posted for products listed on Amazon. We also talked about "affiliate tags" and how they can be used on Amazon and earn money for the affiliate.
Several students have received emails from me reminding them that their 004-8 assignment "Spotting a Fake" has not yet been submitted. They are now losing points for late work. Only two 8th graders came to open lab last Wednesday. There will be another open lab on Wednesday, October 12, barring any last minute tech emergencies. Students who have an L (late) comment next to that assignment in PowerSchool need to be finishing the chart ASAP. Remember that it is important to not just view the letter grade in PowerSchool but to click on the grade to view which assignments are included in that grade and view any comments or assignment descriptions entered. I always enter a description for the assignment and clicking on the assignment name will reveal that.
Everyone who was in class on October 6 should have completed the Ducksters assignment (005). Anyone who is absent must be sure to work on that on their own. We will be moving into presentation techniques and applying our web evaluation skills into research for an upcoming presentation.
Last week the 003-8 assignment analyzing fakespot.com was due but there are 11 students who have yet to submit that assignment. The score on the assignment was based on "participation" meaning clear and complete responses and submitting on time would earn G. There are no actual right or wrong answers as the process of evaluating the site is the important activity. There will be an open lab on Wednesday, October 5, for students who need to complete the work or have questions about it.
Last week we began a partner activity to use the criteria from 003 to discuss and evaluate a website that teachers might use for middle grade students. But should they use it? There is no due date set for 004 as yet because we will continue the partner analysis on October 6.
Reminder: Students who are absent for a technology class are responsible for submitting work on time. If there are unusual circumstances please email me.
In technology class yesterday students were reminded of their responsibility to check when assignments are due and to meet the deadlines. The Google Classroom calendar has all assignment due dates listed and is easy to access. There is even a Google Classroom app for your phone! Below is a video showing how to view upcoming due dates in your classes. There will be a separate calendar for each class but if you turn them all on then you will see all assignments in the same view. Calendars are turned on or off by click the colored square. If the square in front of the calendar is colored then the calendar is on for viewing. Student should also be checking THIS WEBSITE as well because class reminders are posted here. PLEASE NOTE: Students who are absent for technology class MUST check the class calendar, this site, and/or email me to find out what you missed. Deadlines will still apply!
Several students came in during lunch recess in order to receive credit for a class activity that had been due the day before. There will be no more second chances. Late work will have a penalty!
We have been discussing how to evaluate websites because, as we all know, just because information is on the Internet doesn't mean the information is true. We all need to work at information literacy in this "information age".Assignment 004-8 Spotting a Fake, is due next Thursday, Sept. 29. That means it must be finished BEFORE you come to class next Thursday. The directions specifically stated that you must answer in complete sentences and there are a few people who raced through but will have their documents returned because of their lack of explanation in the responses. Haste makes waste!
This past week students had two "response" activities in which they reacted to videos shared in class. The purpose of the first video, "If Students Designed Their Own Schools", was to gauge their interest in and reaction to the idea of working on a passion project and the pros and cons of such an individualized activity. The second video dealt with the promotion of athletic shoes that gave a runner special abilities to "Walk on Water". This video will lead us into a study of evaluation of websites and videos. What information can we trust on the Internet?
These 2 class activities had no right or wrong answers. The only "wrong answer" was no answer at all. When these kinds of activities are assigned the expectation is that the response is completed by the deadline and according to directions. Therefore, a G will be entered for students following directions to complete the assignment on time, S would indicate completed but late, and N would be not completed. In order to generate the letter grade in PowerSchool it is necessary to enter a number in that grade range. I am entering 89, which is the highest value for G, 84 for S, and 74 for N. There will be a number of these types of activities during the year. Clicking on the title of the assignment in PowerSchool will always show the explanation of the evaluation method.
Due date: Monday, September 19 002-8 Response to the Independent Project video
Due date: Wednesday, September 20 003-8 Response to the Walk on Water video.
Yes, this is the right page. Copy the URL above for your survey.
The above comment relates to the technology survey/ scavenger hunt that students completed during the first day of class. One purpose was to check log ins to various accounts to be sure they were working correctly or to report if they were not, and the other was to send them to some information sites that should be viewed but are often overlooked. (This site being one of them!)
The survey was located in Google Classroom and parents will soon be receiving information about how to access details of Google Classroom assignments, something Google has just made available in August.
Reminder: Please return the Internet permission form as soon as possible. We are asking this year that you simply resign the previously completed form at the bottom and add the current date. Once all the forms are returned to me I will keep them on file and add a check mark to PowerSchool to indicate that it is on file. If the form is lost a new one can be printed here.
Congratulations, Class of 2016! May your high school years be filled with enriching learning experiences, the companionship and support of old and new friends, and the confidence to know that you can accomplish great things. Believe in yourself and understand that goals worth reaching are always worth the effort. Find your passion.
Remember the quote on the computer lab wall by the legendary football coach Lou Holtz:
Ability is what you're capable of doing.
Motivation determines what you do.
Attitude determines how well you do it.
We have worked on a variety of skill areas this year, including:
organization of information
analyzing and synthesizing information
comprehension of informational text
choosing appropriately licensed media
working with images
writing formulas in spreadsheets
See the quotes from Class of 2016 from the Social Issues Website Evaluation assignment
Thoughts shared with previous graduates:
The most important ideas I hope you take away from this past year are a better sense of time management, attention to detail, and learning how to learn. By that I mean, in this time of digital overload of information, how do you know what is true, what is right, what is safe? We can no longer say, "No one ever taught me that" because all we have to do is find someone on YouTube or Twitter who is an expert in that skill we need to learn. We can sign up for an online course or learn about a topic in so many ways. Teaching you correct use of digital tools and providing you with opportunities to think, analyze, and create is our way of "teaching you to fish", rather than just handing you some fish. There is a wonderful world out there. Continue to learn what is worth keeping and what to throw back. When He had finished speaking, He said to Simon, "Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch." (Luke 5:4)
If I can ever be of any assistance to you in your high school years as you cast your net out over the sea of knowledge, please do not hesitate to contact me. I would love to know of your high school adventures. Be safe in the physical world and in the digital world. Keep your digital footprint (digital tattoo) clean. I recommend you also read this article about subtweeting. God bless you all!
Note: Your Google account will remain active until June 20, and the email restriction will be lifted so that you may access and share any of the contents of your school account to your personal email. After that date accounts will be suspended.
As we wrap up the year our last class for both 8A and 8B was a brief reminder of the importance of creating a positive digital footprint (or digital tattoo) as students head off to high school. The video "Two Kinds of Stupid" summarized this very well.
In addition students worked on the final activity involving website evaluation using CAPOW. There are quite a few students who have not submitted that final evaluation chart. Whatever is not in by June 2 will be evaluated "as is". An incomplete chart could have a serious impact on the final quarter average.
There are also 7 students who have not submitted the stock market post due some time ago. They will need to report at recess on Tuesday, May 31, in order to complete this (which could easily have been completed outside of class as well.) Anything not in for this assignment will also be scored "as is" on June 2. Incompletes have been posted in PowerSchool for some time. Email reminders have also gone out to students with late assignments.
Current fourth quarter activities include creating a line graph of the performance of one of the stocks in the student's portfolio in 010-8 and also inserting a PNG image of the chart into a blog post to share what was learned about the stock market in this activity in assignment 011-8. The 010-8 assignment was due on April 11 for 8A (two students still incomplete) and 8B (four students still incomplete.) One of the problems surfacing in the assignment is that students are not taking a look at the finished product that will be shared publicly (the PNG image) and determining if it displays the information intended. In some cases dates and titles are not visible or are not displaying correctly. Instead of just moving on it is necessary to use problem solving skills to determine the reason for the incorrect display of data. Are the font sizes I used too large? Is something not formatted correctly? There are some students who will need to take a closer look at the image before submitting it with the post.
In 011-8 (due April 29 - moved back from the previous April 22 due date) we are taking the information gathered in the pre-writing chart and using it to develop a blog post explaining the activity and what was learned as well as how a chosen stock performed over the eight weeks. The image saved in 010-8 will be used as the visual for the paragraph, so it needs to reflect what is being stated. I have moved the date back to allow time for adjustments to be made to images if necessary. Below is the sample image. All the steps were modeled and available as samples for both the chart creation and image and logo combination for this activity.
Our final activity of the year, not yet posted, will be 012-8. This will involve a student choice from a pre-determined bank of cartoons in which the artist has represented some aspect of our current society. Students will be able to choose a cartoon to interpret and also find 2 web sources that give information on that social issue. We will be using strategies to evaluate the reliability of websites (the CAPOW method) and if time permits, having a discussion of the topics and what researching that issue has revealed. Students will need to have submitted both 010 and 011 in order to make their cartoon choice. This will be explained in class.