Internet contd…

October 23, 2011 at 2:43 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Using a discussion forum to pose questions and get student responses works really well. I have used Piazza past three weeks. Student responses have been insightful. More interestingly, I like the fact that the students are interacting with one another and even with students from the other class period.

The second discussion topic for the Internet unit has been posted: “The Internet has many layers of abstraction. Explain.” I am looking forward to their responses since we discussed this concept last week.

Their main project is designing a website. In each of the CS Principles class, students gathered around and decided what they wanted to have a website on. Each group of three took a section of the website and started working on its design. They will be using Dreamweaver (CS5), some html code, creating a CSS and using Photoshop to edit the images. As they worked on their designs this week, I found it interesting how much collaboration was required among the students. After much discussion, the two classes have now decided what their websites are going to be about. One is intended to be like http://www.megacritic.com, which has reviews on various topics of interest, and the other one is a knowledgebase website on popular culture.  I kept emphasizing to students that they need to work on design and layout. Banners, buttons and navigation bars are right now a higher priority than content. Once the site is up, I am going to let them host it on a third-party hosting site so that they understand the ftp process and the actual technicalities on web hosting and development.

Next week seems very promising. Every month we invite a speaker to come and talk to the students about a topic of interest. We are calling them the “GATE Speaker Series.” Last month we had a person visit us from Microsoft. This Tuesday we have an associate professor from Southern Polytechnic State University to speak to the students about the gaming courses that are taught to college students. He has promised to show some of the work that is being done right now at his college. It should be very exciting.  GATE stands for Girls Aware of Technology and Engineering. It is our girls-only technology club that was just formed this year.

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