Computer Skills Class


Class Evaluation Survey:

Please take a few minutes to fill out this short survey.

Teacher Feature Podcast Project

Computer Lab Fun! - If you ever have a few minutes to spare at the start of class or when you complete a project in class, check out some of these fun activities!

Computer Skills Class
African animal Voicethread project

You will be creating a short little warm-up voicethread project using your new educational voicethread accounts. You'll be using a website called "Behold" to do a search for a few high quality images of a wild animal that you're interested in.

Here is what you'll do:
1. Sit with a partner
2. The first person will login to
3. Go to and do an image search for an animal of your choosing. Limit your search term to one or two words (eg-"lion" or "giraffe")
4. You're going to record a narration about your animal. Talk a little bit about why you like it, where it lives what it eats, interesting facts, and why you like this picture. Feel free to use the digital doodling tool to point out anything you're talking about on your animal. Feel free to look up some information on your animal using wikipedia.
5. After the first person finishes their project, you may share
6. Help each other out!!

February, 2008 Computer Skills Projects

Wikipedia Article Entry:

Editing your first Wikipedia article

We are going to find something that is not in Wikipedia and write an article about the topic as a class. We are then going to submit the article to Wikipedia. Before we do this we want to read some other articles in Wikipedia, begin brainstorming some possible topics, and surf Wikipedia to make certain that there already isn't an article on the topic.

Article Possibilities
-North Point Lighthouse
-Charles Alis Art Museum
-National Registry of Historic Places-Milwaukee, WI
-Submitting your first article to Wikipedia

Mathcast Project
You and a partner in class will create a short mathcast lesson for elementary students. Your mathcast can deal with any math concept that you thing would be of interest. Perhaps your mathcast is designed to teach someone how to tell time, simple fractions, multiplication, numbers, etc.

Take a look at my mathcast on number sense.
Take a look at Wesley Fryer's mathcast on reducing fractions.

Brainstorm out some possible ideas for your mathcasts and pick one that you and your partner agree on. Design a little mathcast to share with young students.

Digital Avatars in ed.voicethread
WeeMee - Skype

Have fun!

4 Photos Project:

Take a look at the Voicethread on the following page:

You are going to create a Voicethread with your new ed.Voicethread account with 4 photos that tell a little something about you, just like you heard in the Voicethread that you listened to. We are going to use a flickr photo search tool called, "Behold," to gather 4 high quality photos that are in the Creative Commons, which means that the photographers have given you explicit permission to use them in your project. You may not use images that you've gathered from doing a google image search for this project. You are then going to to put your photos in to a new voicethread project and write and record a narration that goes along with each photo. We'll talk more about this project in upcoming classes.

Digital Tree Journals:

Everyone has a favorite tree. What is your favorite tree? Is it a big oak tree in your back yard, maple tree in a nearby park, or a pine tree deep in the woods. Perhaps it is that tree at your grandparents house that has a swing on it. Or maybe it is just a tree that you like to sit under on a sunny, hot summers day. My favorite tree from when I was younger was a big old white birch tree. I liked it because it was really easy to climb and it was quite unusual-the limbs spired out from the base of the tree which left a little spot to sit about 4 feet off the ground. I liked the feel of the birch bark on the tree too. I remember my mom using the tree to hang the rugs from our house for pounding out the dust. Unfortunately I don't have a photo of this tree, so I don't have a photo of a tree, which is why you see the fall colors of this maple in the front courtyard from the school I work at... think about our favorite tree-upload a photo or two and record your memories about it-it would be a good idea to write down your reflections and rehearse before doing your recording. Also, feel free to leave polite comments about some of the other voicethreads that you enjoyed.

Here is what you'll do for this project:
  1. Take a cool photo of your tree-no people in the photo please!
  2. Using google docs, write a short little journal entry about your tree. In your journal entry you should be certain that you refer to some of the details in the photo that you took. Be sure to talk about why you like the tree, special memories about it, special qualities of the tree, etc. Be sure to collaborate your google doc with me so I can leave you a comment or two as you write your entry.
  3. You will then record a narration of journal entry at a website called "Voicethread." All of the oral digital tree journal entries will be assembled into one classroom voicethread.

This project is optional, but I hope you decide to participate in this collaborative voicethread projectHave fun with this project!!

Class Expectations:

1. Be on time to class and use your lab time wisely! We only meet once per week, so it is important you arrive to the lab by 11:50 to start the class.
2. Please listen carefully to the teacher demonstrations. Demonstrations are usually short in nature and I ask that you pay attention to these.
3. Have good manners in the lab...please enter quietly and be respectful of the fact that we share this space with others.
4. You may not leave the classroom until your computer is completely logged off and you are back at the sign in screen. Please leave your computer work area neat and clean when you leave.
5. Please be respectful of others in class (remember the Golden Rule)...this goes for face to face conversations and online conversations.

Project 2: Virtual Tour of USM
Late September, 2007

You and your project parter will work together to create a "digital tour" of University School. During one or two classes you will travel about the school capturing photos that would fit nicely into your project. After taking the photos, you will do the following:

Arrange your photos in order so they fit with your tour of the school. Your first photo should probably be some type of "overview" photo, while your last should be one that closes out your tour nicely. Your other pictures should be arranged so the tour has a nice flow.

Prepare a script with your partner that has the following parts:
  1. An the introduction you should introduce yourselves (first names only) and come up with some type of catchy way to kick off your tour.
  2. A description of the various parts of the school as your tour moves along. Be sure to refer to the pictures as you write your script. Also, be creative and have fun with your script!
  3. A conclusion...wrap up your tour in some sort of creative and fun manner.

When you are done with the script writing portion, you and your partners will record your narration using Garage Band. You want to sync up your audio with the photos, so you'll need to change the duration and placement of some of your photos as you go along. Be sure to practice and rehearse your script several times prior to your recording session. Show emotion and enthusiasm in your voice as you record the narration. The last thing you will do is to add a "bumper music" audio file at the beginning and end of your audio tour. Try to pick a music file that compliments your project nicely.

Other requirements:
>Everyone must take turns with the script writing portion of the project
>Everyone must take turns with using Garage Band for ordering the photos and for recording the narration
>Have fun with the narration cleaver and use expression when recording

Classes 1 and 2:
  • Introductions
  • User names when signing in/choosing good passwords. Clicky's Password Wrap!
  • Setting up and managing printers
  • Folders and organization
  • USB drives-managing files/folders, creating a folder with your name on it
  • Creating google accounts and adding google docs as a service

Project 1:
Digital Photo Tour of USM!-be prepared to bring your digital photos to school. If you are unable to bring a camera, then we have several digital photo cameras here at school that you may use for this project.