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Laptops in the Science Classroom
Wiscasset High School has been a 1:1 school for the past 5 years. During this time, the faculty has continued to develop its skills and increase its proficiency with using the laptops in the classroom productively. We continue to rely on our technology expert, Sarah Sutter, to help us go in the specific directions that we wish to move along. This wiki contains information and examples of things that I have used successfully in my science classroom. I hope you find them helpful.


Contacting me:
Sue Perkins: perkins.susanj (at) gmail (dot) com






Nuts and Bolts: The Process
1. School AUP, Parental Approval, and one option for a Blogging / Other online work permission form



2. Digital Citizenship and Appropriate Behavior Online

Basic guidelines and suggestions introducing students to the concepts behind blogging and commenting
Names : naming scheme such as first name, number; made-up names (simple!!!) with your initial; etc.
Avatars : Not your face - preferably a piece of your artwork or a pet, or something - and consistent so it's recognizable over the course of the class.
Posting : Remembering to keep location and personal information to a minimum- it's all about the artwork.
Commenting : Having already done critiques in class, go over what is appropriate for a comment on someone's artwork.
The rules change a bit if students are posting performances where they are in the work
Additional Resources website links, pedagogy information and rationale, more examples


3. Creating Accounts :
How to set up student accounts with Gmail setting up a gmail account



4. File types :
Image files : jpg or png files at a maximum width of 300 to 500 pixels for reasonable size. Thumbnail size is frequently 100 pixels max dimension
Audio files : MP3 files are usually preferred. Sometimes a WMA (windows media audio) file will work too. Check the restrictions on the tools you are using.
Video Files : mov (quicktime), avi, wmv, m4v, mp4 files are the most frequent. Others may be possible, read the file type options for the particular tool. In video, the smaller the file the better, as it takes quite a bit of time to upload. Frequently the video hosting site will change the file type, and then you can embed the video in another tool (wiki, website, blog).


Tools
Wikis:
Wikispaces
PBWorks
Wikis are great spaces for a wide range of activities. Students can collaborate on content if a wiki is open to members, and also there is a discussion tab for students to have discussions, leave comments, or respond to teacher or peer prompts . Many things can be embedded in a wiki, such as images, videos, slideshows, or other types of widgets. It's an easy and free way to set up a class website or to provide links to kids.


Google Docs : Through Google Apps for Education
Google provides the opportunity to create a Google Apps environment for your school where students have Google Docs (word processing, presentation tool, spreadsheets), sites, calendar, and if your school so chooses, email that is archived - all for free. You can also choose to create a general Google or Gmail account and have Google Sites available that way. Students can create web pages in Sites to display their work, add self-reflections, and create a comprehensive e-portfolio of their artwork. If students are using Voicethread or other tools, they can sometimes be embedded (Google works best with Google tools such as Google Video, YouTube, Picasa, etc).


Flickr
Flickr
Photo storage and sharing site. Free accounts with limited uploads - depends on your needs re: number of kids and image file sizes. Great way to then create an embeddable slideshow of the artwork. Excellent offsite backup plan for photos. The free site has limitations as to uploads per month, or you can have a "pro" account for $25 per year with unlimited storage. (no download necessary, does require a Yahoo account)

Picasa
Picasa
Does require a download, but the program will find and make accessible ALL the image files on your computer. A google product, so it requires a Google or Gmail account login. Great backup plan for your photos.


Vimeo
Vimeois one of my favorite video hosting sites. It's fast, rarely blocked, and allows plenty of space for what I do with video (which, admittedly, isn't much). You get 500MB per week for free - which if you are uploading Quicktime movies in a medium or small size, lets you do quite a bit. (does require email for registration) Will let you upload the following formats : MP4, 3g2, 3gp, 3gp2, 3gpp, asf, asx, avi, divx, m2t, m2ts, m2v, m4v, mkv, mov, mp4, mpe, mpeg, mpg, ogg, wmv.


Xtimeline
Xtimeline is a site used to create timelines, individual or class. It is fairly easy to use and allows class collaboration.

Self Hosted Tools:
Requires assistance and support from the technology folks in your district

Moodle
Moodle : an open source course management system. This can be self hosted OR if you just want a class or two you can get in touch with Tim Hart at UMaine and he can set up a class for you on the UMaine servers. Everything in the Moodle can be behind a login, so it is private. This is a great tool for middle school to work in an online community environment but without the risk of outside connections.


This page is a reduced version created by Sarah Sutter, Technology Guru, at Wiscasset High School. You can access the full page through this link: Extended Information