Archive for March, 2008

Your Cell Phone, Computer and Hybrid Car

March 31, 2008

How is the technology we use tied to human rights, poverty, political unrest and the environment?

Inside every device you use that plugs into the wall, there are electronics. Circuit boards, batteries and wire all contain metal that is mined in various parts of the world. Sometimes the mining of these metals damages protected habitat, sometimes it destroys entire eco-systems, sometimes it involves low wage labor, sometimes it involves the appropriation and pillaging of entire countries. In most cases it involves all of these things.

Consider your life now, and imagine living on a few cents a day in Africa, working twelve hours a day and taking huge risks (many miners day every day in many mines). Do you want to contribute to this? Do you already?

So many of the results of the production of our technology are irreversible. When a species is extinct, it is gone forever. When a miner dies, his family starves. When ecosystems are destroyed, they cannot be rebuilt.

If you are buying electronics, then you are contributing to an industry that has no standards for determining how the materials were produced. What can you do to reduce the impact? What can you do to draw attention to these negative impacts.

Read more here, here and here.

If you want to propose a project that teaches you and others about these issues, you might be able to do this project instead of the final exam.


The Second Three of the Fifth Six Weeks

March 31, 2008

Two things you need to pay attention to today.

First is assignments: You should finish the work that was due by the 27th of March including the Trends in Technology paper, the HTML page, and as many chapters of Flash as you can finish – but a minimum of 5. This week we will start with Dreamweaver, which I will introduce to you on Tuesday, April 1st (no foolin’).

Second is this: Every piece of technology that we use involves bringing together ingredients from many parts of the world. Read this post on AutoBlogGreen, and if you wish, follow up.

Time Warner

March 28, 2008

If you know anyone who works with Time Warner, please talk to me.

Next Year’s Classes

March 27, 2008

OK. So this year was a beginning. Next year is going to be amazing!

Next year there are several classes I strongly recommend if you are interested in their topics.

TelNet (that’s the name but it’s really webmastering) – learn to design web pages; if you want a job that will be few hours and good money, you can learn to create professional looking, solid web pages. We will use the painful notepad method for the first two weeks only. Then we will use Dreamweaver and Flash.

CAMM (Computer Animation and Multimedia) – next year we will split into groups: one group will create 3-D games, a second group will edit sound and create music, and the third group will work with video.

MediaTech – If you are interested in film or TV, you can learn the basics from a very accomplished professional (Mr. Rogers). If you have watched the Discovery Channel, NatGeo, or other shows, you have seen his amazing graphics, animation and film work.

If you are interested in Architecture or Engineering, you have a chance to take a really good class from a very, very good teacher. Mrs. Moyers teaches Architectural Graphics and Engineering Graphics. I highly recommend them for anyone with an interest in architecture or engineering.

If you are interested in Business, there are several classes taught by Mz. Ramirez which are really good, and will teach you solid accounting and business skills.

It’s not too late to change your schedule for next year.

Due Today

March 27, 2008

If you do not turn in your web page by the end of class today, the highest grade you can receive is a 50 (or 50% of the points).

If you did not turn in your Trends in Technology paper on the 17th when it was due, the highest grade you can receive now is a 50, BUT YOU CANNOT PASS THIS SIX WEEKS WITHOUT IT!

You also need to be sure that I have seen your posts about the chapters of Flash you have finished. I will not go out and look for your work. You should take the initiative to send me your blog address to be sure that I have it. You should also be sure that you have a blog post for every day of the six weeks, which includes a TEK (text and number).

In first period, eleven students are passing. In third period, nine students are passing. In fifth period, thirteen students are passing. And in seventh period, eleven students are passing. If you don’t know which group you are in, you probably aren’t passing, eh?

Progress Reports for 5th Six Weeks

March 26, 2008

If you have not turned in your work, you will receive a progress report because you are failing.

What do you need to have turned in? It’s all in the blog.

Trends in Technology paper, due March 17th = 100 points

Each chapter of Flash = 12 points

Web page = 40 points

If you turned in your paper the same week it was due, but late, you got a 70.  If you turned it in this week, you got a 50.

Think About What You Believe About Yourself

March 25, 2008

Are you smart? Or not so much?

Are you good at something because of who you are, or what you do?

Read this article and summarize it for extra credit.

Your summary should include questions you have while reading, your reaction and a synopsis of the article.


Final Exam Option

March 25, 2008

If you create a video or animation that is played on air during Thunderboom TV, you have passed your final exam.

If it is a video, you can work in a group.

If it is an animation, you need to work alone unless you can provide thorough documentation of each member’s contribution.

Your production is subject to my approval and the show’s producers and adviser.

This product must be something that you START working on after today.

You need to check this post regularly for changes.

College Fair

March 25, 2008

On Thursday, March 27, McCallum will be hosting a College Fair. The fair will be in the large gym during lunch/4th period (12:30-2:00). The target audience is current juniors and undecided seniors. If you want to attend, please let me know.

The admissions representative from each college will be the person who reads the application next year. Below is a list of post secondary institutions who are planning on attending:

Abilene Christian University
Air Force
Austin College
Austin Community College
Concordia University
Game Development Institute
GEN Austin
Media Tech Institute
Northwood University
Sam Houston State University
St. Edwards University
St. Mary’s University
Stephen F. Austin State University
Tarleton State University
Texas A&M University- Corpus Christi
Texas Culinary Institute
Texas Lutheran University
Texas State Technical College – Waco
Texas Tech University
The Academy Austin
Trinity University
Universal Technical Institute
University of Houston
University of Texas
University of Texas at Arlington
University of Texas at Dallas
University of Texas at San Antonio
Young Judaea
Texas A&M University Kingsville
Texas A&M University Kingsville

Fifth Six Weeks Grade – DUE 27th of March

March 25, 2008

In three weeks, on the 27th of March, your grade will be determined by the following criteria:

Up to 60 points:

For each lesson completed in Flash you will get 5 points. To receive 5 points, the finished product from the lesson must be posted on your blog, with a minimum three sentence description of what you did and what you learned, and there must be a TEK (number and text).

For each flash lesson you will get 12 points. You need to finish lessons 1-5 to get the 60 points. This is due to the lack of copies of chapters for your use.

Up to 40 points:

A simple web page with a table and CSS. You will get lessons in the basics of HTML and CSS, but you will not have enough time to complete the page if you don’t get started in the next two weeks. Don’t wait until the last minute. The grading criteria for the web page is below, and here: basic-web-page-criteria.pdf. You will need to email the file to receive credit.

Everyone will receive a progress report who does not submit the documentation for these two assignments.

And what’s after this? When you complete Flash and your HTML page, you get to start video!


Basic Web Page Criteria

The page must be created in HTML, and the folder should include your image and “styles.css.” No other file types will be accepted.

Your web page must contain text (formatted in at least six different ways), links (to external pages), background colors, two text colors, an image and a table.

Here’s what you need to do:

Choose a topic and get some basic info. You may even want to use a text editor to get your text organized.

Read a bit about HTML and what it is here and CSS here.

Use an online editor to edit your HTML, then use notepad to edit your final HTML and CSS file.

Be sure that your HTML file, CSS and image are in a folder by themselves on your “H drive.”

When you are ready to submit your page, attach the three files to an email and make the subject of the email: HTML with CSS Your Name

You will get points on this assignment by including these elements:

Files attached to email with proper subject line 5 points

Three files included: filename.htm, style.css, and image 10 points

Content is organized and includes three paragraphs, four headings 5 points

Table with minimum three columns and three rows 10 points

Background color and text in two colors 5 points

Three working links to external sites 5 points

40 points possible