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Showing posts from April, 2011

Free Flash Ap

Have you heard of Giotto, the FREE Flash creator? Since I use/teach with Dreamweaver and Flash it's great to discover an easy to use version that students could download at home. They even have tutorials and a quick start guide for newbies!

Working the Camera

Finally able to purchase a new yearbook camera after the old one died and we put it immediately to work. After school we began shooting our entry into the Ford Focus commercial competition. It was really fun running around town recording different scenes.

In The Loop

Got my email confirmation to attend a summer workshop at Purdue. I'm so excited! For any who really know me, the thought of spending three days with total strangers (having to make small talk and remember names) is extremely intimidating. But the idea of learning at Purdue for free, that's fabulous!

Description from the website: In the Loop is a three day summer experience for 6th-12th grade teachers. Teachers of all subjects interested in incorporating computer science concepts into their classroom are welcome to attend! Participants will be housed on campus in Hillenbrand Residence Halls.The program is sponsored by a Google CS4HS grant and the Purdue University Department of Computer Science K-12 Outreach Program.

Where's Your Content?

I received notice from Google Video that as of May 13th, Google will be deleting all videos hosted on the site. So after logging in for the first time in months years, I discovered one video I had posted one video back in July of 2007. It was an illustrative video about a home improvement project that I used on my other blog.

So in the process of updating the video links on the blog, I discovered remembered that I had also used Clipshack way back when YouTube was just starting out. My first uploaded video to the web was in September of 2006. I seem to recall that at the time I felt like YouTube was too cluttered with junk and I wanted more control over my content. My how things have changed.

Let's not even start with photos! My paid Flickr account balance is due so do I continue with it, but what about all my blog pictures on Picasa Web Albums and Shutterfly? Should managing web content be this tedious? Remember my introduction to Microsoft Access video?

So that brings me to a rai…

Here's Your Receipt

The White House has finally handed taxpayers a receipt for their contribution. Just plug in the numbers from your latest paycheck and see where it went. Beyond the political implications, this is a great tool to illustrate the use of web forms. Check it out here.

Off The Beaten Path

This afternoon we journeyed to one of Hendricks County's newest parks, McCloud Nature Park. The river had recently flooded so some areas were still quite muddy. While hiking through the woods, we saw a flock of wild turkeys. There was a tom and about six hens!
There are plenty of trails to hike but no bike paths. It was also quite a distance from a main road with few signs leading the way. So be sure you know where you're going!

Making the Grade

Lately my kids have been playing Sonic Colors and it's got me thinking about the way we calculate grades. The game is total points accumulation that is translated into a letter grade. The more you play, the higher your score.
Should that be the way grades are calculated? What if I listed all assignments and their corresponding points. Students could choose how many points they want to earn and complete enough challenges to get the grade they want. How is this different from GPA?
Part of me thinks a standards based evaluation would be much more open ended and still allow for students to have varying levels/amounts of work. I'd also not get sucked into checking hundreds of individual tasks each year.
What do you think? Is there a fair and equitable method for assessing student understanding and skills that would be easy for parents and students to understand? How would either method handle the end of quarter extra credit panic to raise my grade?

Historic Prophetstown

Near Lafayette is Indiana's newest state park, Prophetstown. And inside the park is another living museum, Historic Prophetstown, a fully functioning 1920's farm.
Because we showed up in early April, there weren't too many chores to be done. We did chase chickens around the yard and petted the Belgian horses. The horses pull all the farm equipment rather than tractors!
The cows are milked twice a day and you can buy fresh eggs, milk and seasonal produce right there in the store. We decided we should go back for one of the big weekends where they let volunteers help with planting or harvesting.
Historic Prophetstown Site - Park Site

Battle Ground Battlefiled

Prophetstown State Park

After loading the bikes into tour van, we visited Prophetstown State Park over Spring Break. It was sunny but a chilly breeze kept our sweatshirts on.
This wasn't our favorite park because it was all about preserving prairies, which are nice to look at but don't offer much fun. We rode our bikes about two miles out and back along the park's paved bike trail.
We stopped at each of the two playgrounds looking for water. But unfortunately all the water was turned off. That's what we get for visiting before the summer season. Maybe next time Dad will remember to bring drinks!
Several areas had been burned as part of the prairie maintenance. When the sun came out, this created an occasional "dust devil" that was difficult to capture with the camera.
Since this is the state's newest park, some areas are still underdevelopment. The facilities were nice and the flatness of the terrain made biking enjoyable. There is not a nature center to explain the prairie restorat…