Finished the Portrait Unit

12/22/06

Well,

I have completed my first shot at the portrait unit. I'm sure I'll change it many more times before this class goes live.

It contains four sections:

  • Introduction
  • Resources
  • Assignment
  • Discussion Question

Digital Photography cont.

I've started on creating my digital photography (dp) course. I've spent a lot of time searching for other online dp courses. I'm going to use three main resources, two existing online courses, and one online book called Grokking the GIMP This book is completely free and you can download a copy of it and use it on your own webserver. I have put it into my course.

The two courses are:

So between the two online courses listed above I'll create my own following the unit outline from the first and adding content and resources from the second. Where I'm stuck is on how to share student work. Ideally I'd have a photoblog within the course where students would post their assignments and other students would comment on them along with instructor feedback. I was told by our CMS, eCollege, that they don't have that feature, but it will be added to the wish list.

So if I want to keep student work and comments within the course, I'm limited to the webliography, doc sharing, and the journal. While doc sharing is my first thought, the students would have to download files onto their computer to view them. While that is OK, it would be nice if they could just view them online. I think I'll use the journal to have students discuss their own work or specific questions with the instructor and the webliography to direct them to online resources.

What I'll probably end up doing is creating a flickr account for the course and have students post and comment on flickr. An added bonus may be that anyone else can look and comment, giving the students a wider audience. To me, that is both intimidating and intriguing at the same time. I"ll also have to look into the privacy issues regarding that. I'm pretty sure that I'll have to employ aliases and not use students' real names.

Another thing to figure out is grading. How to grade, use of rubrics, etc... I'm going to email both creators of the classes I listed above and ask their advice.

digital photo class for our online HS

12/18/06

I'm going to start creating a digital photography course for our HS. I'm going to borrow very heavily from Pnelson's website: http://rhs.riverdale.k12.or.us/~pnelson/gimp/ I'll make sure I add some things that are specific for our kids and landscape. I'll keep you posted on the progress I make over Christmas break. I'm working until the New Year, then I'm taking a week off. It should be nice and quiet, letting me get a lot of work done.

content filtering

12/13/06

With our new iPrism box, we are able to look at every single web page that a computer visits during a specified time range. A HS teacher asked me to look at a particular student's computer because he caught him watching videos several times today. So I started running report in the iPrism box and started going through the list of websites and low and behold, the kid was watching/listening to christian/gospel videos and music.

Suprise, surprise, that kind of stuff scoots right trough our filter rule sets, allowing the student access all day.

But it got me thinking, this kid was wasting time watching videos and streaming music...does it matter that it was christian/gospel music? I don't think so. But I know it is going to be really challenging tweaking our filter rules so those types of sites are blocked just like the youtube and yahoo video sites (and the like) are blocked. We'll see how the rest of the week goes w/ this particular student.

Proving technology profeciency for NCLB

12/6/06

The deadline for reporting on 8th grade student and teacher technology proficiency is almost here. The feds are leaving it up to the states to determine what proficiency is and how it is measured and reported. In turn, the state is leaving it up to the individual district. This is how our district is going to measure proficience; with the IC3 test. We have licenses through a company HowToMaster where we can pre-test and then put people through prescriptive training on the areas they didn't maaster in the pre-test. This is all online and pretty straight forward. The actual IC3 tests cost $20 a piece, but we will be able to use Title IID funds to pay for the test fees.

We are saying that proficiency for 8th graders as well as staff is a passing score on all three IC3 tests. I think that is a pretty high bar, but one that educators should be at given the amount of technology that is in our district right now.

Packetshaping

12/5/06

Part of my job of being the technology director for WeAVE is making sure our Internet connection out of school is funtioning properly so our students can get the functionality they require.

Working w/ Bruce Thoren of Copper Mountain Consulting, who has a contract w/ Wyo to manage the WEN, we have been able to limit all iTunes, WinMedia, Quicktime, Real, and Gnutella traffic to only 56K of our 3 Mb pipe. That is awesome. I love it!!

He installed a Packeteer Packetshaper.

The packetshaper combined with our iPrism filtering appliance is giving us much more control over what type of traffic comes into and out of our network.

I love it!!