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MS Tech Update Nov 12

posted Nov 16, 2012, 4:49 AM by William Farren   [ updated Nov 16, 2012, 5:02 AM ]
Much has happened in MS Tech this week. Here are some highlights.  

Eighth grade students continued working on their online safety, cyberbullying and netiquette public service announcements.  They used a variety of tools to create their final product, some of them being  XtraNormal, iMovie, YouTube Video Editor, among others.

Students in Mr. Calsbeek's geography class spent two days in the lab working on visual thinking, turning data into visualizations in order to extract meaning and to develop and analyze hypotheses. The lesson began with an online tool called Gapminder (see video at right) and then from there, students downloaded and analyzed datasets from Gapminder then uploaded them into Google Drive. From Drive, students converted these Excel files into Google Spreadsheets, cleaned up the data to focus on a particular geographic are, and then created charts using Google Spreadsheet's new charting tools. These charts were subsequently entered into a Google Doc where they are being used to support critical thinking about their chosen country's issue. This exercise will lead into the next project where students will be asked to inquire and critically think about how society commonly measures progress.

Seventh graders in Mrs. Mahon's class were in the lab this week doing a virtual simulation to learn about the relationship between atmospheric pressure and altitude. Virtual data was collected and analyzed using a great online simulation found here

Finally, sixth graders came in to learn about online safety, watching a variety of information-packed videos which led to discussions about ways to remain safe online. Students asked great questions and were given several practical tips.  Some examples:
  • Put a PIN on your phone/device
  • Don't ever share passwords
  • Always logout of any computer and session
  • Don't write down your passwords
  • Tips on creating strong passwords
  • How to avoid phishing scams
Mr. Hiller and Ms. Rantieri started using iPads from the new MS iPad class set to provide high quality feedback to students. Using the device's camera, as well as other specific apps, students are able to film each other and then watch their performance immediately afterwards. They are also being taught how to move these video and picture files into their Google Drive, where they can be accessed from anywhere and used for other learning tasks.


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