8-A

January 19, 2018
104 minutes

Video Conference:  For our internet moment today we visited orientation night for 4th graders and their parents at the Stadtischen Realschule Sundern (a middle school in Germany) using a Google Hangout.  We could see the presentations that Mr. Marx was making to the groups and they could see our class.  We searched for their school on Google Maps and checked out their school webpage.  We also talked about the differences in the middle school to high school transition that our students are experiencing right now.  We also communicated with them directly using Padlet and Google Translate.


Asynchronous Online Collaboration Project: We completed the project we stared last week with 8th grade students from the computer classes at Richboro Middle School & Holland Middle School.  This project was an example of asynchronous online collaboration.  Students printed and turned in their completed collaboration project today. Click here to enlarge the project description. (PA-BCIT Standards: 15.3.8.E, 15.3.8.M, 15.3.8.S, 15.3.8.T, 15.3.8.U, 15.3.12.W, 15.3.8.X, 15.4.8.D, 15.4.8.F) 

Online Collaboration Project:  Students finished working on their group travel itinerary. For this project our students are working in groups of 4-5 and they are planning a 7 day trip to Kerala, India where they will participate in some tourism activities of their choice. Click here for the project directions and here for the project rubric(PA-BCIT Standards: 15.3.8.E, 15.3.8.M, 15.3.8.S, 15.3.8.U, 15.3.12.W, 15.3.8.X, 15.4.8.D)

Office Yoga Break: During long classes like this one students are always reminded to take breaks and get exercise. Students shouldn't spend more than 30-40 minutes in front of a computer without taking a break. For our break today we practiced a simple office yoga stretch for your calves.

Internet Moment
: Today we started class by researching people who are computer coders.  We started by visiting
 Marcos Weskamp's Blog.   He is a self described software architect. He was also part of the team that founded Flipboard which seeks to bring the design experience of magazines to web and tablet technology.  Students also had a chance to search for other famous coders online as well as Mr. McNulty's Great Aunt, Kathleen Antonelli who was one of the world's first computer programmers.  Students were reminded that all of the digital technology that they experience every day was created by ordinary people.  We also discussed what working in careers that involve technology might be like.  (CRETS:  4a, 4c, 6c, 6d, 7c) (PA BCIT Standards: 15.2.8.B, 15.2.8.C, 15.2.8.D, 15.2.8.E)

Hour of Code:  Today our class participated in the Hour of Code. We started by viewing the source code for this webpage.  Students were told that this code, a mixture of HTML and JavaScript, was the list of specific instructions that tell your web browser how to display the webpage.  We then watched the tutorial video below to introduce the online coding activity.  Students then went to the online Blockly Minecraft Tutorial to write JavaScript 


Technology Current Event Video:  We finished class today with a video from Code.org about why schools should teach computer coding.














January 17, 2018
30 minutes*

Google Earth Tour Quiz:  As a follow-up to our previous tour on Google Earth students were challenged to list everywhere they had gone and what they had seen on their tour of the 3 dimensional visual imagery in Google Earth last class. This activity helped to demonstrate the effectiveness of using 3D spatial references, such as the virtual environment of Google Earth, to augment memory. QUIZ: Where I went on Google Earth (PA-BCIT Standards: 15.4.8.A, 15.6.8.M)

http://www.todayincomputerclass.com/images/onlinecollaboration01.jpg
Online Collaboration Project:  Everyone had time to work on the travel itinerary project that we started last class. Students are working in groups of 3-4 to create a travel itinerary. They are planning a 7 day trip to Kerala, India where they will participate in some tourism activities of their choice.  Click here for the project directions and here for the project rubric.  Student can use Google as a currency converter and their total travel expenses should be about $10,000. Click here to enlarge the project description.(PA-BCIT Standards: 15.3.8.E, 15.3.8.M, 15.3.8.S, 15.3.8.U, 15.3.12.W, 15.3.8.X, 15.4.8.D)

Technology Current Event Video:  We finished class today with a promotional video from Google about collaborating online using Docs, Sheets and Slides.













January 12, 2018
91 minutes

Internet Moment: Today we explored the online version of  Google Earth and discussed how a three dimensional virtual environment can be used to augment human memory. We started by discussing what spatial memory is and how it is used to make modern video games so engaging. Students were then introduced to the memory palace or method of loci as an effective way to use 3 dimensional visual imagery to help a person remember large amounts of information. We then went to Google Earth and began a tour of the earth.  The whole class followed a specific list of locations. Next week all students will take a quiz to see how much of the Google Earth tour they can recall. (PA-BCIT Standards: 15.4.8.A, 15.6.8.M)

http://www.todayincomputerclass.com/8th/Collaboration.jpg
Asynchronous Online Collaboration Project: Each student used a Google Drawing to make a Venn Diagram that listed their favorite foods. Their partners for this project are 8th grade students from the computer classes at Richboro Middle School & Holland Middle School.  This project was an example of asynchronous online collaboration. All students finished their part of the Venn Diagrams and then emailed their partners to ask them to do their part. Click here to enlarge the project description. (PA-BCIT Standards: 15.3.8.E, 15.3.8.M, 15.3.8.S, 15.3.8.T, 15.3.8.U, 15.3.12.W, 15.3.8.X, 15.4.8.D, 15.4.8.F) 
A sample project:


Office Yoga Break: During long classes like this one students are always reminded to take breaks and get exercise. Students shouldn't spend more than 30-40 minutes in front of a computer without taking a break. For our break today we practiced a simple office yoga stretch for your sides.

http://www.todayincomputerclass.com/images/onlinecollaboration01.jpg
Online Collaboration Project:  We started a group project in which students will use online collaboration tools to plan a travel itinerary. Students will work in groups of 3-4 and they will use a shared Google Slide Show to create a travel itinerary. For this project our students will be planning a 7 day trip to Kerala, India where they will participate in some tourism activities of their choice. We started by watching a short video about tourism in KeralaClick here for the project directions and here for the project rubric. Using Google as a currency converter was also demonstrated and students were reminded to use the calculator on their computers to total their travel expenses. Click here to enlarge the project description.(PA-BCIT Standards: 15.3.8.E, 15.3.8.M, 15.3.8.S, 15.3.8.U, 15.3.12.W, 15.3.8.X, 15.4.8.D)

Technology Current Event Video:  We finished class today with a 2011 TED presentation by Eric Whitacre about his virtual choir project.  This was an example of asynchronous online collaboration.  (PA-BCIT Standards: 15.4.8.A, 15.3.12.W, 15.6.8.M)












January 10, 2018
104 minutes

https://www.khanacademy.org/
Internet Moment: Everyone had a chance to explore khanacademy.org  and look for video lessons that relate to what they are currently learning in 8th grade. Students were reminded that this resource can help them with their homework here at the middle school and at the high school next year.  We also had everyone attempt to sign in using their CRSD Google Accounts.   (PA-BCIT Standards: 15.6.8.M, 15.4.8.A, 15.8.8.K) (ISTE Standards: 1d, 3b, 3c) 


http://www.todayincomputerclass.com/8th/FullPageAd.JPG
Full page Ad Project: Today students started a classic graphic design project to help them continue to develop their own sense of design and their skills in MS Publisher. Each student selected a full page, full color magazine advertisement to recreate in MS Publisher. The student version of the ad must advertise something different than the original but it should look very similar to the original.  Click here to enlarge the project description.  Everyone had time to finish this project in class today.  (PA-BCIT Standards: 15.3.8.A, 15.3.8.B, 15.3.8.E, 15.4.8.D, 15.4.8.G, 15.9.8.A)

Office Yoga Break: During long classes like this one students are always reminded to take breaks and get exercise. Students shouldn't spend more than 30-40 minutes in front of a computer without taking a break. As part of our break today we practiced a simple office yoga stretch for your forearm.

Technology Current Event Video:  Unfortunately we ran out of time for a video today.










January 8, 2018
0 minutes*

* Class was cancelled today due to the weather related early dismissal










January 4, 2018
0 minutes*

* No class today due to snow








January 2, 2018
104 minutes

http://www.gapminder.org/
Internet Moment: Today our students were introduced to the "joy of statistics" by viewing Gap Minder.org which is a free online resource where statistics from all around the world are presented in an easy to understand visual format. We looked at the "Wealth & Health of Nations" chart. As a demonstration of how the website works we tracked the life expectancy and income changes in the USA and Japan over the last 200 years. We also looked at how 8th grade math scores had changed in Japan, Canada and the United States. Student were also shown that countries where students have poor dental hygiene also tend to have higher math test scores as an example of a spurious correlation. Everyone then had time to explore the website on their own. (PA-BCIT Standards: 15.4.8.A, 15.7.8.A, 15.7.8.F, 15.7.8.H, 15.7.8.L, 15.8.8.A, 15.9.8.J)

http://www.todayincomputerclass.com/8th/Brochure.JPG
Copyright Brochure Project:
     Students also had a chance to work on their brochure project today.  Once they had finished they could review a rough draft with the teacher.  Several students finished and printed this project in class today.  Everyone will have time to finish the project next class.  Click here to enlarge the project description.   (PA-BCIT Standards: 15.1.5.B, 15.3.5.A, 15.3.8.B, 15.3.5.D, 15.3.8.D, 15.3.8.E, 15.4.8.G, 15.3.8.U, 15.6.8.L)

Office Yoga Break: During long classes like this one students are always reminded to take breaks and get exercise. Students shouldn't spend more than 30-40 minutes in front of a computer without taking a break. As part of our break today we practiced simple office yoga stretch for your thigh.

Technology Current Event Video:  We finished class with a video of Hans Rosling talking about the changes in statistics over the last 200 years.











December 21, 2017
44 minutes

Internet Moment: Today we looked at three online resources for free ebooks and audio books. We started with the Gutenberg Project (Gutenberg.org) which offers free access to 54,000 ebooks and over 100,000 additional free ebooks from other resources. We then looked at Lit2Go which is a free online collection of audio books in MP3 format that is available from the University of South Florida. Finally we visited Google Books (books.google.com) and discussed how to access and search the text of the free ebooks available there. We also discussed copyright laws and how these books came to be available online or in the public domain. Students were also reminded to search for free ebook reader apps for their phone and tablet devices. (PA-BCIT Standards: 15.1.5.B, 15.2.5.L, 15.3.8.E, 15.4.8.B)

http://www.todayincomputerclass.com/8th/Brochure.JPG
Copyright Brochure Project:   Students take an existing brochure and recreate it in Publisher 2016 using a template as a starting point. The original brochure they were given was about copyright laws. Students were shown how to use Bing Images to find public domain images that they could even use for commercial purposes. Students also practiced their typing today by re-typing the text of the original brochure. Everyone will have time to finish and print this project next class. Click here to enlarge the project description(PA-BCIT Standards: 15.9.5.L, 15.3.8.E, 15.3.5.H, 15.4.5.K, 15.4.8.B, 15.3.8.U)

Technology Current Event Video:  We finished class today with a TED presentation by Margaret Stewart about how copyright issues are handled by YouTube.  











December 19, 2017
91 minutes

https://www.dafont.com/
Internet Moment: Today we looked at two online resources for fonts. DaFont.com offers over 33,000 fonts that are either freeware, shareware, demo versions or in the public domain. These fonts can be downloaded and installed but students were also shown how they can use the Snipping Tool to get images of the fonts they might like. Students were also shown how they could make their own font using a website like YourFonts.com. (PA-BCIT Standards: 15.3.8.E, 15.6.5.M, 15.4.5.A)

Font Presentation:
 In this presentation the development of the two basic font families (
serif & sans serif) as well as the best uses for each was discussed. Students were also shown how they read primarily through identifying sight words and why it's so hard to spell check and grammar check your own work.
http://www.todayincomputerclass.com/8th/FontGuide.JPG

Publisher Font Guide Project
: Students made a Font Guide in MS Publisher. When finished the student version should look just like the original. We also discussed the concept of WYSIWYG in graphic design. This project gave students another opportunity to get familiar with the program's features.  They also had to demonstrate the ability to make something very specific. Click here to enlarge the project description. Everyone had time to finish this project in class today. (PA-BCIT Standards: 15.3.8.E, 15.4.8.G, 15.4.2.K, 15.3.8.X)

Office Yoga Break:  Students are always reminded to not spend too much time sitting in front of computers.  For our break today we practiced a simple yoga stretch for your ankles and then everyone had a chance to get up and move around the room some.

Log on and Check Grades: All students were asked to log into the Home Access Center and check their grades. Since January 1st, 2015 all HAC accounts have been updated so that students can accessed their grades using their regular district log in and password. All students should be able to log in and check their grades routinely. Students were also reminded to check out the eSchoolPLUS app that's available from Google Play and the iTunes Store.

Font Conference Video:  As a follow-up to the Font Presentation we watched a short video from College Humor about a fictitious "Font Conference".












December 15, 2017
104 minutes

Internet Moment:  To start our class today Mr. McNulty demonstrated how Google and other companies use GPS data from cell phones to track the locations of individuals.  In the demonstration Mr. McNulty showed the class a detailed map prepared by Google of exactly where he and his family were in August of 2014. Using location history (now known as timeline) students could see that he was riding Dumbo the Flying Elephant at precisely 1:08 on August 10, 2014. Everyone then had a chance to open their own Google Accounts and check their location history.  Students were also shown how to access location history on an iPhone.

English Dialect Activity: To help our students understand cultural diversity on the internet we investigated what our own accents sound like by taking the NY Times Dialect Quiz. Students then had an opportunity to compare the dialect heat maps from all the students in our class using a shared Google Doc. (PA-BCIT Standard: 15.3.8.J, 15.3.8.K, 15.3.8.X, 15.4.8.D)

Language Differences Video: As a follow-up to the dialect activity we watched a short video from The Atlantic about the various dialects in the United States.


Student Blogging Activity:
 Our students prepared a one paragraph blog comment for students at the Darbari Lal DAV Model School in New Delhi, India Our students were asked to choose one of the following blog entries to comment on:  
Our students were asked to demonstrate appropriate internet communication skills and paragraph writing skills. Students were reminded to use the spelling and grammar checking features in Google Docs to help them. Our students also demonstrated using the MLA format in Google Docs as part of this project.  Everyone was also reminded that whenever they post anything online they should make an effort to make sure it will reflect positively on them.  Everyone had a opportunity to share their Google Doc with another student and have it proofread before we posted the comments online.  This activity gave us an opportunity to talk about the differences and similarities between cultures and schools around the world.  (PA-BCIT Standards: 15.3.8.G, 15.3.8.M, 15.4.5.A, 15.4.8.B)

Office Yoga Break:  Students are always reminded to not spend too much time sitting in front of computers.  For our break today we practiced a simple yoga stretch for your sides and then everyone had a chance to get up and move around the room some.

http://www.todayincomputerclass.com/8th/PublisherLogo.JPG
Publisher Logo Project:  We started with an introduction to MS Publisher 2016. Publisher was described as a graphic design program which is used to express your ideas visually. The field of graphic design was also explained.  Students were reminded that learning basic graphic design skills will help them to communicate their ideas effectively. Students then became familiar with Publisher 2016 by making a simple logo. We saved this project and shared them with the class during a gallery walk activity. Click here to enlarge the project description(PA-BCIT Standards: 15.3.8.S, 15.4.5.G, 15.6.5.M, 15.3.8.X, 15.9.8.A, 15.9.5.L)

Logo Design Video:   
We finished class today with a short video from Vox about the basics of logo design.











December 13, 2017
44 minutes

http://www.todayincomputerclass.com/8th/MLAparagraph.JPG
Finish MLA Format: All 8th grade students must demonstrate the ability to use the MLA format in MS Word and Google Docs (which is the format used at Council Rock and most colleges). Click here to enlarge the project description. Students were shown how to set-up their Word Documents in the MLA Format. This project involves several skills including: double spacingchanging fonts and sizes, changing indentation settings and accessing the header. As part of this project we practiced uploading a Word doc from our network drive to Office 365 - One Drive. We also practiced working in Word Online and downloading to Word.  Click here to enlarge the project description. (PA-B.C.I.T. Standards: 15.3.5.A, 15.3.8.A)

Online Game: Our class played an online logo quiz game from Kahoot.  All students should be familiar with how to play these kinds of online educational games.  Josh came in 3rd place, Julia came in 2nd and Dani took first place.  Next class we will start using MS Publisher to make some graphic arts projects.  


Technology Current Event Video: We finished class today with a short video about an alternative way to type using the SwiftKey Tilt typing app on a smart phone. (PA-BCIT Standard: 15.4.8.A)

YouTube Video













December 11, 2017
91 minutes

Internet Moment: Students were asked to compare three popular news aggregator websites: Google News, Bing News and Yahoo. We looked at their home pages, their features and their overall appearance. Though the results were split, a plurality of our students said they preferred Google News when looking for current events online. Students were also asked to explore their own digital footprint by searching for themselves on various news sites. (PA BCIT Standards: 15.3.8.E, 15.6.5.L)

Class Blog: Students were shown TodayInComputerClass.com and told that they can check here anytime to review what work was done in class. We also discussed what a web log or blog was, how blogs developed into microblogs like Twitter and now mobile phone based apps like Instagram. This website is the blog or web log for our class. Students were also told that their parents will be sent an email with a link to this website so they can also review what we are doing in computer class each day.

https://login.microsoftonline.com/
Office 365 Accounts:
  All students were reminded that they have Office 365 accounts. As part of this process students had to set their time zone.  We discussed GMT, UTC and Zulu time as part of this activity.  They were also shown how they can access them online from anywhere.  They were also shown how to access their One Drive. Students were also reminded that if they logged onto their Office 365 accounts at home they could download several Microsoft Office programs onto their personal computers for free.  Students also had some time to explore Office 365.


https://crsd4-my.sharepoint.com/personal/jmcnulty_crsd_org/_layouts/15/WopiFrame.aspx?guestaccesstoken=D48bfZc9rBpsoW0b2rFaAwmxfOLAw%2fanausEglhHvRw%3d&docid=0253d2fd0a106497e86c2680a76982f42&action=view
Basic Email Etiquette: All students logged into their Office 365 accounts and accessed their Outlook email. We discussed the importance of being able to use email for formal communication.  Students were also reminded that the emails they send using their school account are not private in any way. We also discussed what CC: means (carbon copy), what should go in the Subject line of an email and how to start writing a formal email. Each student then practiced good email etiquette by sending a formal thank you email to a Council Rock faculty member of their choice. The directions for this project can be viewed here(PA-BCIT Standards 15.3.8.E, 15.3.8.M, 15.3.8.O, 15.3.8.Q, 15.3.8.R, 15.3.8.S, 15.3.8.U, 15.3.8.X, 15.4.8.D, 15.4.8.G)

Email Etiquette For Students Video:  We finished class today with a short video about how to email a teacher.  (PA-BCIT Standards 15.3.8.E, 15.3.8.M, 15.3.8.O, 15.3.8.Q, 15.3.8.R, 15.3.8.S, 15.3.8.U, 15.3.8.X, 15.4.8.D, 15.4.8.G)


https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/etools/computerworkstations/positions.htmlAssigned Seats: All students have an assigned seat/computer in the lab. Students have a responsibility to report any problems with the machine they have been assigned. In this way we all participate in maintaining our school computers. Everyone should use the same computer every time they come to the lab. Students were also reminded to adjust the keyboard, mouse, chair and monitor to meet their ergonomic needs when they come to class. We then visited the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) website and searched for their recommendations concerning computer use. We also discussed employment laws in the workplace.  (PA-BCIT Standard: 15.2.8.I, 15.4.5.D, 15.4.2.B, 15.4.8.F)

http://www.todayincomputerclass.com/8th/MLAparagraph.JPG
MLA Format: All 8th grade students must demonstrate the ability to use the MLA format in MS Word and Google Docs (which is the format used at Council Rock and most colleges). Click here to enlarge the project description. Students were shown how to set-up their Word Documents in the MLA Format. This project involves several skills including: double spacingchanging fonts and sizes, changing indentation settings and accessing the header. As part of this project we will be practicing uploading a Word doc from our network drive to One Drive on Office 365
 Click here to enlarge the project description. (PA-B.C.I.T. Standards: 15.3.5.A, 15.3.8.A)

Technology Current Event Video:  We finished class today with a TED presentation by Eli Pariser about the use of "filter bubbles" online.  
(PA-BCIT Standards: 15.4.8.A, 15.6.8.L) 












December 7, 2017

104 minutes

Introduction to Basic Computer Skills Class: Basic rules and classroom procedures were explained. Students were specifically reminded that because technology is constantly changing they should get into the habit of helping each other out and demonstrating the ability to learn new computer skills through experimentation. All students reported that they had helped an adult with computer skills but they were reminded that it's important to also get used to helping each other.

http://www.todayincomputerclass.com/8th/pixlrproject.JPG
Log On & Explore:  All students were given time to explore the start menu, Cortana and the various programs available to them at school. 

Pixlr.com Project:
 Students were shown how to use the online photo editor pixlr.com to edit a photograph. We also discussed professional digital photo editing with Adobe PhotoShop(PA BCIT Standards: 15.4.8.F, 15.4.5.G)  Students shared their modified photos using various district network resources and demonstrated basic skills such as drag & drop. The best use of the H:, S: & X: drives was also explained. Click here to enlarge the project description.


Break: Students are always reminded to not spend too much time working on computers and to take breaks every 30-40 minutes. For our break today we conducted a probability experiment about matching birthdays that you can read about here. Everyone was asked to get up and find the other person in the room who shares their birthday to see if there was a match.

Setting up Student Passwords: All students were given some suggestions to help them develop good passwords. Some suggested good password practices were: 
  • Come up with a collection of passwords to rotate through instead of just one
  • Make a pass phrase instead of a password
  • Use numbers, letters and symbols 
Student passwords must fit the following parameters: Upper case letters, lower case letters, numbers and symbols. (PA-BCIT Standard: 15.4.8.F)

https://accounts.google.com/ServiceLogin?service=mail&passive=true&rm=false&continue=https://mail.google.com/mail/&ss=1&scc=1&ltmpl=default&ltmplcache=2&emr=1&osid=1#identifier
Gmail Accounts:
 Students were shown how to access their CRSD Google Gmail today. Students were reminded that they will have access to their google accounts and school gmail until they graduate from high school. Students were also reminded that they can access their Google email from anywhere in the world where they have internet access. Everyone had time to experiment with sending and receiving emails. 
Students were also reminded to not use their school email for anything inappropriate. 

Google Drive: Students were shown how to access their Google Drive today. We created folders for all their classes and students were reminded that they will have access to their google drive until they graduate from high school. Students were also reminded that they can access their Google Drive from anywhere in the world where they have internet access.  Everyone had time to make some folders and organize their Google Drive.

Profile Pictures:
 Students opened up their school Google Accounts and we talked about how their profile picture works and that it is public. They were then shown Cartoonify.de and students had time to make a custom profile picture.  We discussed the difference between your professional and personal image and what online "personal branding" was all about. Students were reminded of the importance of learning to manage what they looked like online. Students then shared their images using network drives. Sharing files by using drag & drop and the district Swap Drive was demonstrated. The best use of the H: & X: drives was also explained.  Everyone then had an opportunity to set their school profile picture.


Technology Current Event Video:  We finished class today with a video about ten future projects that Alphabet is working on.


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