Monday, December 26, 2011

Happy New Year

Enjoy your time off!

Next blog entry will be January 8th, 2012. Student created blogs will begin!

Monday, December 12, 2011

GenYES Recap

Thinking about the mission of SMHS GenYES, it is comprised of basically six areas:

1. Tech Support / Helping staff with computers, devices
2. Tech Integration / Class programs / Apps / Tech in classroom
3. Hardware Setup/ Labs maintenance / Repairs
4. Technology Expertise / Innovation / Being on the "Cutting Edge"
5. Leadership Skills / Mentoring others / Presentations
6. Collaboration / Learning from each other

PART 1 - Homework/Class Assignment complete by Friday
  • Open your pvLearners and create a new shared document.
  • Title it: GenYES Recap
  • Assume you are the teacher (fat chance, just pretend!) for GenYES next year.
  • Provide three solid paragraphs on how you would teach, improve or change GenYES. Refer to the items 1-6 listed above in your comments.
PART 2 - Blog entry. Put this answer in the comments below like you always do.
  • Pick one of the items above (1-6) that you feel you excel in the most. I am curious to know what area of GenYES is most popular.

Thanks for a truly great year!
.. Ms K :)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Best of the Best

The end is near. The end of MsK writing the blog articles for this school year anyway!

It will be up to you from now on! This week, peruse all the archives of this blog. Any post that begins with an (S) is student written. Look over all the blog topics from the past few years.

Pick 3 blog topics that you thought most interesting and list them for this weeks blog.

Next weeks blog (and this week's classwork) will be to draft a blog article for this forum.

Here are some websites to help you draft your blog articles:

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Future technologies ... that already exist.

Last week we looked at proposed technologies that were in development. Some are farther along than we realize.

This week is about innovations that already exist. Some are mind boggling! Click the title link.

1. After watching the quick movie of all ten innovations, choose one and find a website with more information about it. Provide a shortlink of your findings. (10)

2. What interests you most about this innovation? (10)

3. Think big. If you could add one adaptation, improvement or change to the device, what would it be? No you can't say, the device is perfect the way it is. Think outside the box. Make a change and substantiate it. (30)

Yeah you probably guessed it ...the emphasis on this blog is question 3.
Numbers = (Point allocation)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Future Tech

In the spirit of Innovation and the holiday week... enjoy these websites.
This is your future.

1. What new idea or future innovation impressed you the most? Why?

2. Think about this. You might let the future unfold in front of you or you can be part of the process. I believe you have the potential to be a very cool, future innovator. So dream a bit and project how you might be involved in developing and using one of these or other future technologies. Provide imaginative details....

Sunday, November 13, 2011

1. What is this?
2. Do you use them?
3. If YES, how? If NO, why not?
4. How might they change the way we

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Leading Technology in High School

Considering the cool things we are doing with our Innovation Projects and the development of our AMPLITUDE concept, I thought it would be interesting to investigate what other high schools are doing and how we compare.  Here are some results of my search:

Research some of these schools.  (You will need to uncover the schools real websites)

Pick ONE high school that hasn't been selected by someone posting before you. 

1.  What list was the school on that you picked?  Why do you think it made one (or more) of these lists?  What can we learn from this school?

2.  Do you think there is anything we are doing technologically at our school that they are not doing?  What?  What gives you the impression they are not doing it?!

3.  How does Shadow compare to these schools in general and specifically to the school you picked?

4.  Do you think we should make one of these lists?   How do we get there?

5.  Random thought....

Sunday, October 23, 2011

AMPLITUDE :: Innovation Support

Innovation Extra ...

In honor of officially kicking off your innovation projects ... this week we will focus the blog assignment on that.

Convey what you are doing out side of class time to work on your projects.  Are you...  Meeting a teammate?  Researching? Attending a webinar?  Meeting with teachers?   Writing emails?   Writing notes on your webpage?

All you have to do this week is share what work you are doing on your project out side of class time.

That's it!  Now go do something project-ish....

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Next Step

Innovation in Education!

As GenYES students and technology mentors, one of the most importance facets of your role is to be technology innovators.  Last week you explored the idea of innovation.  Now it's time to BE innovators!

So how do we do this? 

1.  Breeze through this document:  Up to the Challenge  (YIKES! It's 38 pages long! Are you CRAZY MsK?)  No! I just want you to get the feel for what the study* is talking about!  Read a few parts in the beginning.  Stop and look at some pages that get your attention.  Discover some critical skills needed for students (Like YOU!) to be successful.  Pause around pages 17 through 20ish and understand what we (GenYES'ers) are striving for as tech innovators.  Consider what we've built and are building. Why are we creating AMP Zones?  What are we doing with this Compass Lab?  Why did we buy a Promethean Board?  → Comment on points about what you read and how it affects what we are doing.   
Are you up for the challenge?

2. There may be things more important in education than memorization of facts.  After all, we have google for fact finding, right?  The new ideologies are: The 4 C's.   What are they?  

3.  The simple video above is analogous to the way we do classwork now and proposes the idea of discovering new approaches and ideas through ... innovation.  Think about how this movie applies to the classrooms of today and potentially tomorrow.  Be specific.  

4.  What is Compass 2015 about? 

5. In Shadow's part of Compass 2015 what Objective and Strategy are the Compass Lab and Amp Zones listed for this year?  (Listed as digital lab and Amplitude)  What other notes about 21st Century Learning does it say we are proposed to do? 

Note:  Yep this is a long blog assignment!  OK's worth 100 points AND you will have class time to work on these concepts this week!  
*study:  There are many, similar studies and significant data to support this thinking.

Sunday, October 9, 2011


                          What     is     innovation    ?

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Sunday, September 25, 2011


This week, in honor of our Australian vistors, imagine that YOU are moving to Australia!

1. Pick a city in Australia to move to.
2. Pick a place to live in that city; apartment or house
3. Pick the high school that you will attend in the same city.

Provide a picture link (use Google Short links) and comment to each task. Look at my example and model it for your entry.

This is not an easy assignment and you will be discovering some unique skills in Internet searching for this type of information. It will be interesting to see who rises to the top in this challenge!

PS Let's vote on who finds the coolest place to live in Australia. Prize? Yes.

Sunday, September 18, 2011


Considering the philosophy of the GenYES organization; sound leadership plays a major role in the programs' success, from the local perspective of students acting as campus, technology ambassadors to running a world class company.

1. Explore this Leadership link. Choose one of the topics and fully investigate the properties of leadership. Give a summary of what you read.

2. What leadership strengths do you possess?

3. List some characteristics of being a leader that you feel you might need some improvement.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Google Apps

What are the best Google Apps? Find 3:

1) One for fun, chillaxin (did I really say that?)
2) One for education (use for school stuff)
3) One for productivity (organizational, study help, notes, etc)

Give a reason why you chose that app. Just a few words why it's the best. (This is easy, schmeasy homework huh?)

Oh have PRESENTATIONS due this week!!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Spend the Money

Say Shadow received a check for $ 200,000. to use for technology and YOU were in charge of how to spend it for our school.  How would you spend it?  (No it's not for's for the SCHOOL!)

1. Research prices of the items you want to buy.  (Round out the dollar amount)  What decisions would you make?  Would you replace the labs?  Would you buy another laptop cart?  Would you buy portable devices?  Which devices?  Smartboards?  Would you mix it all up?  Come as close as you can to spending all the money to best represent current technologies.     See my (somewhat crazy) example below.

2. Provide an idea for care of the purchases you made against theft or misuse.

3. There are approximately 1750 students, about 60 classrooms at SMHS.  How many kids will benefit from your idea?

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Chrome Notebooks

This week your challenge is to research information about these devices.

1. List three (3) significant specs or facts about the chrome CR-48.  No duplicate entries.  

2. What's the point of owning a chrome notebook?  Hint:

3.  Find the absolutely, positively, coolest, most unique way to use these devices in a classroom.  Include the website.  There is a prize on this one so ramp up your research!  

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Laptops! Netbooks! Tablets! (and books..)

The past year or so,  a wide range of tablets, iPads, Galaxys, Xooms and more hit the streets.   Netbooks are making a splash splitting out the laptop market.  There are so many choices... it's mind boggling!

1.  Why don't we see more kids bringing these devices to school?  If there are so many devices out there ...who has them?  

2. What are the issues with the idea of parents buying digital devices for kids to bring to school? (Instead of paper, pencils, binders etc)

3. What about the school providing a digital device for each student?  What are the good points of this idea?  Bad points?  (Schools have only about $270/student to spend for books) 

Vote:  School vs. Parent 

4. So what's the best all around 'educational learning tool' for a high school student?  ipad?  other tablet?  netbook?  laptop?  book?  Why?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

New Year - New GenYES

Your blog entry this first week is to explore the GenYES website.

1.  Find a paragraph of interesting text on the website.  Highlight, copy and paste it into your blog entry.  

2.  In your own words, provide a reflective commentary about the ideas in the paragraph you chose.

3.  Summarize what you think the overall mission statement is of GenYES.  

Number your entry exactly as indicated above.  Make sure you read the previous posts of other students.  No entry can be duplicated so be mindful you don't pick the same paragraph!  

Monday, May 16, 2011

(S12) What's the best smart phone OS for the money? Droid? iphone?

1. List your phone

2. Costs, operating and phone cost

3. Why this phone is the best for the money

4. Significant features are...

Sunday, April 17, 2011

(S10) Transformice!

Yes it's true.  You, have before you, a homework assignment based on the game...Transformice!  Your teacher has gone over the edge!  Play the game.  Play it some more!  And more... and then...

1. Describe the key elements that make someone want to play this game.   Just what is "it" that makes it so fun?

2. Is there a mild addictive quality to it?  What drives to to open this game vs a movie or another game?

3. Suppose you were commissioned to develop a game by a competitor and your task was to create a game that was better than Transformice.  What would your game look like? How would you improve on it?

4. How would you build an audience to play it?

Monday, April 11, 2011

(S9) Educational Gaming

1. What qualifies a video or computer game as educational? 

2. What do some experts say about gaming in education?   Cite some specific commentary from one of these links.  Don't duplicate any answers before you.

3. What makes a game fun?  What compels you to keep playing?

Monday, April 4, 2011

(S8) Read it on Reddit

Go to reddit and click "register" in the upper right hand corner.  Explore the site.  Answer the questions below.  As always, number your responses.  

1. What is reddit? How does it compare to a blog?
2. Find an article that you think is interesting and appropriate.  Upvote it.  Read a few comments of that article.  Upvote the ones that you feel made good points.  List the article you chose.
3. Comment on the article. When you have submitted, click on the 'permalink' below your comment. Copy the url of the page it brings you to and save that link.  Paste the link to the comment you made.
4. How does the concept of "social news" appeal to you?  What are it's strengths and weaknesses?

NOTE: Everyone needs to submit valid answers before the "Monday Deal" goes into effect.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

(S7) Paper vs Paperless teaching

1. How many of your classes are basically paperless, that is your classwork is delivered and completed online?

2. How many of your classes use paper handouts, packets, worksheets or paper tests all or most of the time?

3. Which do you prefer?    Paper or Paperless?  Why?

4. pvLearners / Google docs are good online environments, but there were some in class that disapproved. Do you think it's an efficient means to collaborate, communicate, teach/learn between teachers and students?  Why?  If not, what is a better idea?

Monday, March 7, 2011

(S6) GenYES

Based on what you've read from the GenYES site and the work you've done at SMHS, describe, in your opinion what you feel is the most important function of GenYES.  

This is a shortened version of the student written blog topic.  But since we are having several discussions on GenYES this week, I thought you should catch a break here!  One or two sentences will suffice for this week's task. 

Sunday, February 27, 2011


The AMP Zones 
  • AMP 1 - PC cove  (wired for X-Box often used for Madden)
  • AMP 2 - wii interactive wall
  • AMP 3 - mac mini on the back (wired for wii)
  • AMP 4 - mac mini on the back (wired for wii)
  • AMP 5 - mac mini on the back (wired for X-box is often used for Rock Band)
  • AMP 6 - Situation room / Telepresence

1. What part has GenYES played in developing these zones? 
    (You might need to interview some GenYes students if you're new this year)
2. How can we expand use of these zones by teachers? Be specific to a few zones.
3. How can we expand use of these zones by students? Be specific to a few zones.
4. Research an innovative technology that we might explore to integrate into an AMP zone in the future

Sunday, February 20, 2011

(S4) Programming Languages

We use technology all the time, computers, phones, ipods.  What makes it work?

Program languages are the underlying methods that allow computer and application functions to happen.

Research one programming language.

1.  Describe it, what it is used for and the applications that use it.
2.  What advantages does it have over other programming languages?
3.  What is the relative difficulty of it to learn?
4.  What professions might you use this language in?

Sunday, February 13, 2011

(S3) Do it yourself

This weeks student blog challenges you to discuss how you would go about building your own computer.  (Buying a stock package or going to Best Buy is not an option here!)

1. How do you decide what system you want and where do you start?  List websites you'd use.

2. What 10 parts will you buy? The parts should personally meet your needs (ie gaming, portability, cost)  Justify some of your choices.

3. How long do you think it will take you to build your custom machine?

4. What are the benefits or disadvantages to building your own system?

Monday, February 7, 2011

(S2) Tech -> Fail

Over the past few months of the blog assignment, we've examined the biggest presence on the internet and in the world of operation systems. Your job this week is to find the biggest blunders of the tech world.

1. Find one failed tech idea that really stands out to you. Give a short summary about this product, including when it was made, who made it, and what it aspired to do.

2. What went wrong with the product?

3. What could have been done to make it more successful?

Sunday, January 30, 2011

(S1) Mac Apps!

1) The Mac app store has been launched! How will the addition of the mac app store effect the "Lite" and spam apps already on the regular iTouch app store? 

2) With piracy being so prevalent on the web, what's to stop pirates from taking the software and creating a mac based cydia? 

3) You've all seen it. The iPad commercials brag about being used with third party items such as a guitar and the camera connector cords in tandem with app store apps. What would you like to see an app for?  What ports are you looking forward to seeing on the mac? (other than angry birds) ARD for the ipad? car control?  

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

"Create the Blog" Assignment

What's happening in the world of technology that tech students should know about?

What's happening in technology that is significant to education?

How can teachers improve instruction, be more efficient or ramp up the excitement of learning?

How does GenYes impact a campus?  

Revisit some of the previous GenYes blog articles.  The next group of blog assignments will be by you.

Submit your blog ideas to Ms K via email for approval.   The week of your blog is published you will have a free 50 points!

Of course this assignment is worth 50 points and Due by Saturday.  (But send submission ideas now so you know you are on the right track)

Your blog assignment should incorporate at least two of the following tasks:  
  • research new information
  • learn new strategies, tips or tricks
  • discovery of a new method or attitude
  • create a more efficient work flow using technology
  • change the way we think using the tech tools you provide
  • have us do an activity that will expand thinking (related to education!)
  • provide a service to teachers
  • provide a service to students
You will comment on this blog post when all the student entries are in! Try to guess who wrote each new post.

    Wednesday, January 12, 2011

    Equiping Amplitude

    Mission to spend the Best Buy gift card!  

    Please refer to the student poll on the media center website and create a shopping list relative to what students have requested for the $1500.00

    I have emailed to you an example and a blank form for you to use. 

    You must use the forms provided... so check your email.

    One more time ... please go to your email and look for BEST BUY FORMS. 

     Due Monday Jan 17 - 50 points blog credit this week. 

    Saturday, January 1, 2011

    Cloud Computing Apps

    Happy New Year! 

    Check out: SymbalooEDU
    Sign up and explore the site.  

    Check out some of the movies, especially this one: Welcome to my PLE

    Create a webmix page that would be useful for one of your current classes this semester.

    Comment on your observations about symbaloo in the weeks blog. Share your webmix with me and plan on presenting  to the class on Monday January 11th.  Have some fun with this...