Sunday, December 14, 2014

17. End of the Year / Interview

The End of the Year is Here!

There is much to do at the end of the year.  This afternoon, I started answering the questions from the reporter from 'Administrators Magazine'  I thought, since this is your program, I'd list some of the questions below and see how you would answer them for this weeks blog assignment.  Some questions seem like they are directed at the teacher, so answer them from both our point of view -or- assume what answer you think I'd give.   Since, I give a lot of responsibility to you guys...go for it.  This is a nice recap of what we've done and after considering your answers, what we might plan for 2015...

Hello Debbie, I am a writer with District Administration magazine. I am writing an article about students in the role of tech support and Dennis Harper of GenerationYES said you would be a good resource for the article. If you are willing, I would like to schedule a half hour phone interview with you between now and Dec. 17. Below are the questions I would like to ask you.  I am on eastern time. The article will be published in the March edition of the magazine.

  1. Describe the overall setup of the program and how it works. Please include who handles what, with what funds, student training, help desk staffing hours, and who is in charge?
  2. Do you have any other student help desk programs, besides the GenYES one, in place?
  3. What is the benefit of having students in a tech support role? Include benefits to: students in the program, teachers and staff, and general student population.
  4. Is the district saving money with this approach?
  5. How has 1:1, BYOD, the proliferation of mobile devices, apps, cloud computing, etc. impacted the need for additional tech resources?
  6. What do you call your students who help with tech support, and how do you promote their availability?
  7. How could you handle tech support if you didn’t use students?
  8. What are the biggest challenges of having students provide tech support?
  9. What are the best features of the GenYES program?  What would you do differently?
  10. Would you recommend this to other school districts? Why?

Sunday, December 7, 2014

16. Code Week!

Coding: Considerations and Controversies

PART 1. What is the difference in:
scripting, programming and/or coding? What other terms are analogous?

PART 2. How many programming languages are out there?  Which would be the most useful to learn first?  Or do you feel none are important to learn? 

PART 3.  Pick one of the six sections below, read the entire article or watch the movies and share what you learned and your personal thoughts: 

IMPORTANT READ THIS! This weeks blog is a bit longer than most and worth 100 points.  You will have time in class to work on it as well. The expectations are higher.   Do real exploration of the topics, analyze what you read and write over 200 thoughtful, intelligent words to gain full credit.  

The knowledge you glean here might directly impact your future.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

15. Thankful

As I thought about this weeks homework, Thanksgiving and all,  I thought about how thankful I was for my classes this year.  Truly, you are a great bunch of kids and I love coming to 'work.'

So I put in the search box "Thankful and Technology"  just to see what came up.  A lot of these pictures came up (or variations of it).  ☛

Then that made me think of my holidays growing up and how different this looks for you guys who never knew life without the Internet, phones, devices, computers, gaming systems and such.

So do you feel cheated or blessed?  Do you feel thankful about all the cool tech out there that has enriched your life?   Do you feel there might be important things in life, that may be not things at all? Give this some real thought and share significant thoughts that reflect your life.   Please be specific.  

This week,  reflect a little and enjoy a...

Happy Thanksgiving.  

Sunday, November 16, 2014

14. Internet Privacy

1. After reading the top article about "Most Americans ...,"  where do you fit in?  How exposed are you on the internet?  Do you care about your personal privacy a little?  A lot?  Is this statement common knowledge: "If it's on the Internet, it isn't private." ?

2.  Image this scenario:  A terrible criminal kidnapped a member of your family.  Would you want the police to have every possible tool like; phone tracking, camera surveillance, GPS, or other sophisticated spying technologies to catch the bad guys?  How much technology and privacy access should the police have?

3.  What about protecting our country?  Terrorists?  ISIS?  Bank Hackers?  Russian spies?  Who are the NSA  and how much power should they have?  Is this good?  Bad?  Why?

4.  What does all this mean to your personal privacy online?  Ideas?

Monday, November 10, 2014

13. Presentations

Presentation Week! 

Please look at the links below so this doesn't happen to us..


Take a look at them all.   

1. What is your PowerPoint topic?

2. Based on what you learned looking at the links above, how are you going to make your presentation exciting? 

3. What do you think are the top mistakes people make in giving presentations?

4. Suggestions to make "Presentation Day" more interesting. Give some ideas for audience engagement.

5. What bores you the most?  (In general...)

Sunday, November 2, 2014

12. Tech Topics - Open Forum

You asked for it!  Here it is!

Blog topic this week:  Yours!

Share a tech tip, topic, idea, controversy, revelation, problem, trend or... 

whatever you feel is relevant to technology today 

Work alone or in a small group
All members contribute for credit.  You decide how.  

Be sure your topic is supported by facts 
you all share your own spin on the content

Let's see your ideas...

Sunday, October 26, 2014

11. Technical Terminology

  1. Take the first 5 letters* in your pvlearners user name and look up tech terms from the links below that start with your names letters.  Pick terms you can relate to.  Define each term then write a sentence or two in your own words on each about how this technology is used or why your choice might interest you.  Absolutely no credit will be given for repeat terms!

* See my example in the first comment below. If you have less than 5 letters pick a random letter to finish the assignment.  Read all the other comments so you don't repeat a term.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

10. Workplace Productivity

Face off

Compare and contrast productivity suites for school, business and personal use

1.  What are, based on what you researched, the top three best features of Microsoft Office 365?   

2. What are, based on what you researched, the top three best features of Google Apps?

3. Why do you think the PV School district uses Google Apps for staff and students?

4. If you were in charge of a business, which productivity suite would you pick?  Why?  Support your answer with solid facts that support your opinion. 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

9. Laptops 2014

In the last of a series evaluating and updating our knowledge about digital devices, we come to explore the options today in the laptop market.

Read the comprehensive article on the link below and decide on the best laptop for you.

This week you can choose the same type of device as another persons post, however your reasoning must differ based on your personal preferences.

What is the best laptop for you?

1.  Describe how you personally would get the most out of your device choice.  Why did you chose this laptop over the others?   What are the most important features in shopping for a laptop that you need?  Talk about how you compute, what you would do with the laptop this year and in the future.  How do you spend your time online?  Is it productive or mostly fun?  What peripherals would you deem necessary?  Would it replace your desktop, if you have one?  Why/why not?  Would you bypass buying a laptop and keep a desktop and some mobile devices like a tablet or smartphone? How many devices do you need? Desktop, laptop, tablet and phone?  All?  Some? None?  (haha)  There are many questions here to pique your thinking about laptops in general.  Write a thoughtful commentary on this subject focusing on the perfect scenario for you and computing including your personal opinion of this type of computing device.

(Be comprehensive.  100 words minimum.  However, 200 thoughtful words would be better. )

Sunday, October 5, 2014

8. Mobile Phones 2014

Massive Confusion?

1. Pick a popular phone model that you know the LEAST about. List:  
          1. Model  
          2. Manufacturer/maker  
          3. Operating system  
          4. Service Carrier Options (Yep all of them) 

2. Describe the best or coolest features of this phone.  After learning about it.  Would you ever consider getting it?  Why?

3. Look at the infographics link. Gasp! Open up a few of the infographics.  Discover some fact that surprised you and share it.  

4.  What phone would you want if you could have any phone?

5.  What phone do you have now? 

I'm exhausted just thinking about all this!

READ THIS:  The links above are a guide.  There are NEWER and OLDER phones than listed in the links.  Feel free to do your own independent research! Just make sure it's a somewhat popular phone available in Arizona!

No repeats!  There are way too many phones out there!  So NO CREDIT will be given for repeats!  Read the posts of the people before you when picking your phone choice. 

Sunday, September 28, 2014

7. Tablets 2014

A New Look at Computer Tablet Devices

This week we are going to create a list 
of the 10 best tablets TODAY, 
based on market sales, popularity, features.

  • First person to post: pick the top tablet contender in popularity, sales, features 
  • Next person to post: pick another top tablet
  • Next person to post: pick the next top popular model
         and so on....with no repeats.
In your post list:

1. Name of device, operating system
2. Five great features of the device
3. Models, Sizes 
4. General range of prices (Top price to cheapest model) 

Note: The ipad counts as one post entry, even though it currently has eight sizes/models. Which, of course, you would list in your description.  

Let's find the most popular models out there and be experts!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

6. Global Technology

1.  Look at the logos above.  Identify and list, in order, the top 10 companies you believe lead the world economy in technology today.  It will be fun to see what you select. There are more than 10 logos shown to make this a genuine challenge.  Oh...and do you know all of the companies represented?  Do this first, then reply to your post after you do the reading and answer questions 2 and 3. 

2.  Do some reading:                        
Are you surprised?  What did you learn?

3.   What does this mean to a young, professional, tech person, like you, who is about to enter into the global market in a few years?

Sunday, September 14, 2014

5. Apps

Dropbox and Flipboard are two of my favorite Apps.  

If you don't have a Flipboard App get one here:  Flipboard

If you don't have a Dropbox App get one here:  Dropbox

1.  Evaluate and describe the benefits of the Apps I've chosen: Dropbox and Flipboard

2.  List two outstanding Apps.  Do you use them on a regular basis?  Explain.  

3.  Discover a new app that you have never used before.  What benefit could it have for our class?  Or your own productivity? Or for teachers?  Or changing lifestyle?

There are literally thousands of Apps!  So while many of you like a few great or game Apps, lets do this without any repeats so we can all discover cool new stuff!  

Sunday, September 7, 2014

4. SkillsUSA

GenYES is a Career and Technology Education Program (CTE) 

We are sponsored by a national charter for our Career Technology Student Organization (GenYES CTSO) and that is national organization is SkillsUSA.  

Visit SkillsUSA

1.  Look around the site.  Find information about SkillsUSA that you think is relevant to you. Such as perhaps the skills gap, Mike Rowes comments, the competitions, the organizations mission, a student success, special programs, training modules.   Discover something that's of interest to you about this organization.  Explain why.

2.  SkillsUSA has a local chapter here in Arizona.  What's happening with SkillsUSA in our state?  AZSkillsUSA

3.  What ideas do you have for our GenYES CTSO?  

Monday, September 1, 2014

3. Microcontrollers

In the spirit of being 'makers', 
over the next few weeks we will be embarking on arduino projects. 
It's likely we are going to start up the 3D Printer to enhance your projects too.

But first get a sense of what it means to be a 'maker.'  
Click on the link and read a few articles :

Take a look at some of the possibilities:

So what do you think?  

Homework assignment: 

1.  From the Maker Movement articles that you read, copy and paste one or two significant sentences that tell you something about the movement.  Then, in your own words, tell what you learned about the makers or maker movement from the statements.  

2.  What exactly is an arduino?  How is it the same / different from other processors or controllers?

3.  Why would we care about learning about these devices?   Do you have any experience with these?  What do you think you could do with this technology? 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

2. Tech News

Where do you find the latest, cutting edge information about technology?

Open up each of the 10 links above.  Skim through them.  Decide which news link you like the best. 

1.  Which news link did you pick?  Or did you find one of your own you like better?  What makes this news source the best in your mind?  Interface?  Type of stories?  Readability?  Navigation?  Or?

2.   Find an article that interests you about something in the world of technology from the links above.  In your own words summarize the article.  Why did you pick that article?  

3.  How will this technology impact you personally?  Change the world?  

Remember no ARTICLE repeats!    Follow directions ➜