Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Technology and Church!

It is hard for some churches to be able to project images from computers onto their walls so that visitors and members can enjoy the program. Not all churches have appropriate lighting and enough receptacles located near the front.

In today's churches and schools, the teachers are facing the need to provide visuals and interactive lessons for their students. This allows students to become actively involved in the lesson. How often do we actually sit for long periods of time? Usually if we are watching TV, videos, DVDs, etc. that will keep us involved.

Our students need to be involved mentally and physically in their learning. This can be accomplished by having them create projects by using word processors, slide shows, cameras, videos, and more.

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Today we watched a basketball game between 4th and 5th grades with teachers and students playing on the same team. It was a great afternoon watching and enjoying the good sportsmanship. The teachers were fantastic. I say this because they are much older than the students that were playing and they kept up with everything.

Our Gym teacher, Mr. VanZee, was awesome with his high jumps. The students love him.

More about FrontPage!

To work with FrontPage, you need to start finding images that you will be wanting to use on your Website.

Search the Internet, collect the URLs where your images are held. Bring this list to class so we can visit the sites together to determine if we can really use the images.

Remember, you can't just copy and paste images from anywhere on the Internet that would be plagiarism. Instead, you need to give credit to whomever is responsible for owning the images. URLs are important, so keep a copy of them in your image files.

In addition, to use images in FrontPage, the images need to be saved in your image file. We will then insert the images into Frontpage from that file.

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Thursday, April 24, 2008


Do we start with blogs or FrontPage?

You have been asking about making Websites and blogs to go on the Internet.
This year we have used Classblogmeister for you to post your thoughts, ideas, and concerns. This blog is private so remember to make your blog private and ask for help when you are trying to set up your new blog account.

Rules for starting a blog or Website:
First get permission from your parents about starting a Website or blog that is actually placed on the Internet. In class, we have been working with FrontPage that creates WebPages but these have not been placed on the Web. You must get permission from your parents and work with your parents to build a Website or blog.

Blogs are the easiest for you to create, so ask your parents to help you make a blog a safe place for you to post your thoughts, ideas, and opinions. Many of you have a blog and know how to make it private. Remember Adora, her mom checks everything she writes then she is allowed to post and her comments are check by her mom too. In this way, no one can post anything without it being read by mom first.

Be Safe:
  • Never, never, never give anyone your user name or password.
  • You must not give out personal information to anyone, even a classmate.
  • Do not put images of any kind of yourself on the Internet. You must have permission from parents and be 14 years of age to put images on Flickr.
  • Do not use your full name on the Internet. Always get help from a parent when answering questions on the Internet.
  • Remember to take pictures of things not people, buildings not people, objects not family.
  • Since you are underage, get permission from an adult or ask their opinion of what you are posting online. It is a permanent place. Do not take pictures of inappropriate things for a little joke. This is acting irresponsible. Be responsible and think before you post pictures.
Trust Your Parents:
  • Seek the advice of your parents or adult members of your family. They can help you when trying to make decisions about Internet Safety.
  • Be careful and if in doubt.....ask, ask, and ask again.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

FrontPage and Making Digital Files:

Microsoft FrontPage allows you to create WebPages!
My students have been working on many Word documents, slideshows, brochures, and spreadsheets throughout the school year. Now, it is time to link these documents to FrontPage. Above is the teacher index page where all the students’ WebPages are linked.

For each student:

Each student has created one WebPage where all their documents are linked. After completion of a project, the student saves the artifact as an html document then links it to their personal index page. It is then linked to the page below. In this way, the students can show their files as a portfolio or digital files.

Note: My Student WebPages are not available on-line because of privacy issues.

Informal Survey on Technology

It is always interesting to read what students think about school and what they consider their favorite “thing to do” regarding technology. So, I surveyed my students to find out:

1. What was their favorite “thing” to do in the media center or in tech class. They are as follows:

  • Creating brochures
  • Working on the newspaper
  • Typing Stories
  • Working on Wikis and blogs
  • Coming in the early morning to write stories and put on the blog so everyone can read it.
  • Reading about the Wright brothers and making the report
  • Working with partners on brochures
  • Writing plays

2. What was the one thing they felt they learned the most about?

  • I learned to type better now.
  • I learned how to write stories because I wrote a lot.
  • I learned about Wikis and blogs.
  • While doing brochures, I learned different ways to post pictures.
  • I learned how to type a story on PowerPoint.
  • I learned you can make your own blog.
  • I learned to put my stories on our wiki.
  • I learned to copy and paste, work with WordArt, how to change backgrounds, and how to make brochures.
  • I learned how to print on both sides of the paper.
  • I learned to use the Internet properly.
  • I learned computers are slow.

3. What would you like to learned in the next school year?

  • How to make my own Website?
  • Learn to make an Avatar.
  • Be able to write faster on the computer.
  • Make a 3-D shape.
  • Learn more stuff.
  • I want to learn how to track people down on the computer.
  • Learn how to build a robot.
  • Learn about how the computer works.
  • Learn more about Wikis.
  • How to build a video game.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Add Color to Your Posts!

Attention fourth and fifth grade students:

Add color to your posts!

If you type your posts using Microsoft Word, you are able to use color and the color does transfer to your post “as is” if you have a blog created with Blogger. https://www.blogger.com/start

Titles can be added using different colors to draw attention to your different sections that you have written.

Subtitles can be used to add additional color.

Emphasizing different points of view could be accomplished by using different colors!

What is Myspace and why are children interested in it?

According to Wikipedia, the definition of myspace is as follows:


MySpace is a popular social networking website offering an interactive, user-submitted network of friends, personal profiles, blogs, groups, photos, music and videos for teenagers and adults internationally.

The following is how Wikipedia defines social network service:


A social network service uses software to build online social networks for communities of people who share interests and activities or who are interested in exploring the interests and activities of others. Most services are primarily web-based and provide a collection of various ways for users to interact, such as chat, messaging, email, video, voice chat, file sharing, blogging, discussion groups, and so on. Social networking has revolutionized the way we communicate and share information with one another in today's society. Various social networking websites are being used by millions of people everyday on a regular basis and it now seems that social networking is a part of everyday life.

Networking is a fairly common word for 5th grade students. They understand it as a place they can go to talk with other kids. Networking means communication with others through a source like Facebook or MySpace.


Fourth and fifth grade students do not understand that they are not supposed to have a MySpace page. The legal age for MySpace is 14. This means that our fourth and fifth graders should not have these webpages. Unfortunately, one of the reasons, students get involved in social networking is because they have older brothers, sisters, friends, or family members creating MySpace pages. Therefore, they want to have a MySpace.


Kids can go to MySpace and real quickly start building a Webpage that has music, videos, friends, email, photo sharing, groups, and more. Why wouldn’t they be interested in MySpace!!!! For teenagers, MySpace offers attraction and hours of fun.

Remember Stay Safe:

MySpace allows you to turn off “on line” so no one knows when you are online.

MySpace allows you to hide your friends so others can’t see them.

MySpace allows you to have anyone wishing to “be a friend” make a request and not be automatically added. This way no one can see your complete profile unless they are actually someone you have allowed as a friend.

CAUTION: when building profiles only share a small amount of information. Remember this is for students 14 and older not for our fourth and fifth graders! Do not give out your password to anyone.

Who's on First!

This week we had a skit written by Vivian, Jasmine, and Julliana so I thought you might like watching this skit by Abbott and Costello. Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


We have been working on brochures using Publisher, adding images and researching facts about famous people. It is quite interesting to watch my students work helping each other and creating newspapers, brochures, plays, and books. They are interested in writing and creating without being told this is an assignment. Instead, they arrive early morning to work on their many projects. They seem to be rather fast when it comes to typing and finding research articles. Now it is time to start showing them how to build web pages.

They also went home and commented to this blog. This took exact time and effort. Many of the students do not have computers at home so they decided to go to the public library.

The 2007-2008 class is an amazing class. It doesn't seem possible that our school year is almost at an end.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Our media center early morning before the students arrive. We have 12 computers that serve approximately 243 fourth and fifth grade students. Class sizes are about 20 or more students on the average.

Our students love coming in working on various activities with their teachers and tech staff. They are encourage to create powerpoints, inspiration projects, and excel graphs besides Internet research projects. The media center staff are fantastic at creating lesson plans for many activities that aligned with the classroom curriculum and state testing mandates.

Most of our students are involved in Accelerated Reader where students check out books from a specific list. After the book has been read, the students will take a reading comprehension test. The program stores all test scores taken (passed or failed) by the student. The student receives a print-out of their history with Accelerated Reader. In my opinion, this has been a fantastic way to get students involved in reading. They can find many books that are very interesting on the list such as Bridge to Terabithia, Tuck Everlasting, Giver, Number the Stars, Twenty and Ten, Snow Treasure, and many, many, more.

Our media center may be small, but it is used constantly by students as well as adults. There is never a dull moment in this classroom.

Saturday, April 5, 2008


I thought my students would love to see this TV that has been placed above the Gas station pump. This allowed me to watch the current news and weather as I filled up my car with gas.

I also noticed monitors as I walked the mall and grocery stores where advertisements are being played over and over. Is this something we really want…to be constantly bombarded with news and advertisements???? Is this what we really want to use technology for????

I personally like to have a peace of mind when I am shopping. It is hard enough to make decisions without the constant noise of commercials being played in the background.

What about having time to think, absorb, and just enjoy the quiet of the moment???

Monitors in stores???? Is this a good thing or not??? What do you think students?