Friday, October 9, 2015

Day 28 - Monsters and Men - Mrs. Janovitz (Student Work) - BHS English Dept.

This Post originally appeared on Mrs. Janovitz's Blog

Havanah Becker's depiction of Grendel corresponds with her verbal illustration, which argues that the lack of clarity and development in the poet's physical description of the monster suggests that it is not the monster himself that carries significance, but rather the reputation he carries.

My seniors recently completed reading the classic epic poem Beowulf, and expressed some amazing insights regarding the text's cultural significance. After analyzing the poem through multiple critical frames and discussing how the themes and characters are very relevant in contemporary times, they worked on a few creative projects to correspond with their analysis.

Grendel, the infamous monster who terrorized the Anglo-Saxons for twelve winters, is one of the most noteworthy characters in the poem. His unnamed mother, a monster who avenges the death of her son, also carries significant symbolic weight. In an effort to explore the symbolic significance of these monsters within the ethic of the poem and bring that symbolism into a contemporary context, students created visual and verbal illustrations of these characters. Some of their work is included here.

Sarah Iler's visual depiction of Grendel focuses on isolation. An excerpt from her verbal illustration is below:

Are the actions of a monster created by isolation and sadness the fault of the monster, or the excluding group? The Anglo-Saxon Danes of Beowulf are quick to frame Grendel as a force of pure evil, but the poem’s narration suggests that the Anglo-Saxons are not blameless, themselves. If fact, though Grendel’s actions are shown to be reprehensible, Grendel is presented as a victim, a character the audience is meant to sympathize with, even. Through his life and demise, Grendel stands as a warning of the danger and pain caused by isolation.

Kavya Sebastian's illustration reflects the ideas in her essay, which argues that Grendel serves as a representation of mankind's inclination to isolate and alienate those outside the cultural norm. An excerpt from her essay is below:
Monsters have been a source of fear to audiences since the beginning of time: from Dracula to Medusa to Grendel. The function of a monster is primarily to add danger and excitement, to personify outside forces of antagonism, but ultimately, to mirror the less desirable qualities of humanity itself. In the epicBeowulf, the poet creates Grendel as a representation of the evil side of mankind, particularly its tendency to displace those who differ from the cultural norm.

Ada Wiggins' visual of Grendel suggests that Grendel is trapped into his position of evil. An excerpt from her essay is below:

Grendel's alienation on the grounds of prophecy and ancestry emphasizes the unfairness of judgement and a flaw in society--its unwillingness to forgive and allow redemption. Grendel’s evil, therefore, is created because he is denied the opportunities to become good.

Hannah Miksenas's Grendel illustration supports her argument that the Anglo-Saxons and Grendel mirror each other. Although they are opponents on the surface, their defining characteristics parallel one another, suggesting that the monsters we face are ultimately reflections of ourselves.

Mama Grendel
Demi Tsitsopoulos's depiction of Grendel's mother reflects the main idea of her essay, which argues that the treatment of Grendel's mother in the poem highlights the vilification of women who claim power or act aggressively within a patriarchal society.

For more great work from Mrs. Janovitz's AP students click here

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Day 27 - How Hudl Changes the Game - Josh Boulos - BHS Senior

Hudl is an app that allows teams to watch film on their performance which ultimately contributes tremendously towards team improvement. It allows players to even trim plays and make their own highlights which is exactly what I did to try and get college coaches attention for hockey (see below). Along with trimming the plays and focusing on your highlight reel moves, the app produces some basic music that you may implement when playing your highlight reel to contribute to the intensity of the video. My favorite thing about Hudl is that once you go through all your games and make your little clips full of highlights, it is so simple to put all the clips together into one long video. You simply click "Create Highlight Reel" and just like that all your clips are infront of you. With the simple drag of a clip you can put your highlight into your video. Hudl is changing the game of sports one clip at a time. 

Coaches worldwide use Hudl to make their teams better. By recording the game and letting your whole team view it, the team can go over where a play went wrong or where they could have been better. From there they can correct the issue in the next game. It also helps for pointing out the good things! Great plays can be praised by teams over and over again. Here is my step by step process on how to use Hudl:
When you first open up Hudl you will have to make an account. Like all apps those steps are pretty easy.  From there once you sign in you will get to this home screen where your coach should have uploaded the team which you have signed up to view. To get to your clips and all the excitement you click "Video" where the coach will be posting all the game tapes. 
As you can see my videos are in here from the 2014-2015 
From here you can choose which clip you would like from the game that way if you only want to watch your shifts than you can just skip to when you are on the ice/field. As you can see there is a Star is the top right of the screen that you can hit if you would like to highlight the play. If you highlight the play this allows you to put the short little clip that you have into a "Highlight Reel" which could get college coaches attention if you send it to them. 
Once you click the highlight button, it will take you to this screen which shows you how to trim the clip. From here the clip can be trimmed to capture the one play that you wanted. 
Here is a cool feature. Once the highlight is trimmed you can pick the exact second in the highlight that you want to add a spotlight to yourself. This spotlight will point out where you are so that viewers arn't looking for the play. Instead they will be keeping an eye on you and waiting for something good to happen! When done with the spotlight feature simply hit the "Publish" button in the top right and you will have created your highlight. 
When done putting together your highlight film, you simply hit the "Save and Publish" button in the top of your screen and it will take you to this page which is the "My Highlights" page. From here you can see all your Highlight Reels as shown at the top. And can also see all that individual clips that you got off your film.

Click on this here to view my Highlight Reel that I created using the awesome app Hudl!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Day 26 - Tell Me What You See - Ms. Gerry - Memorial School Grade 3

Last week our reading class began talking about strategies we can use while reading to gain deeper understanding. We started with visualization which is when we create a picture in our mind of what an author is describing in a story. Then we listened to a poem by Jack Prelutsky and each drew what we pictured. It was lots of fun to see the differences and similarities in the drawings!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Day 25 - Interactive Self-Paced Presentations with Google Slides - Michael Milton - BHS History Staff

This post originally appeared on Mr. Milton's Blog

With Google Slides, you can create activities that allow students to move at their own pace! Utilizing the “link to different page” in Google Slides, you can create a little “choose your own adventure” for your students.

I made this one night for my students to get background on the Stamp Act while I was at a meeting for most of a period this week. Though my goal with sharing it is not to have everyone use this presentation (although feel free), but rather to show off how the technology can be used.
Here is the presentation and below it will be more of a “how to create” these presentations on Google Slides. Note: You can do the same with PowerPoint.  

After making aScreen Shot 2015-10-02 at 2.35.12 PM slide, click “Insert” then “Shapes” and choose an appropriate shape. That is how you make a “button.” You can add text directly into the button to have students make a choice as to their next move.
Screen Shot 2015-10-02 at 2.35.58 PM
One you have made a button, you have to activate it! For this, you have to create a link to another page in the presentation. If you are starting from scratch, you need to make another slide before doing this!
Once you click create a link, you need to select “Slides in the Presentation.”
Your headiScreen Shot 2015-10-02 at 2.51.13 PMng becomes a title to choose from. Try to make them stand out so you can tell them apart! While you can click on “Next Slide” or “Previous Slide,” I don’t.  I tend to reorder my slides occasionally and regardless of where
directly to the slide it will always head to the correct slide. Even if the slide number changes!
Once I’ve created my path, I add in a generic “Wrong Way” slides. The reason for this is that unlike PowerPoint, Google Slides does not let you turn of the “Space Bar” Screen Shot 2015-10-02 at 2.55.35 PMor swipe/click to the next slide function. Having this cues students in that they are in the wrong place and they have to swipe back. On another presentation where there were four distinct tracks, I color coded the paths. As this simply had one major throughway, I did not do that.
The last and most important tip when making these is that you need to test it out and plan that students may falter at first! For this, I had another teacher play through it and then talked with my substitute about the issues that students may run into. When I did return to my class, one of my students apparently had served as a troubleshooter for some students.
I get really geeked out for this kind of stuff. My ultimate dream would be to spend more time working on interactive history.
Here is a link to a presentation on the Political Parties of the Weimar Republic that I used this technology (and TodaysMeet for a class interactive activity).

Monday, October 5, 2015

Day 24 - Presenting at the First National Digital Citizenship Summit - Timmy Sullivan - BHS Senior

This post first appeared on Timmy's Blog
Digital Citizenship Best Practices for College and Career Ready Students:

An Inside Look at the Digital Citizenship Summit

Digital Citizenship Summit

Having just arrived home from presenting at the nation’s first Digital Citizenship Summit, I am eager to share the highlights of today’s event. Unfortunately, I arrived a few hours late to the summit, as I was taking SAT Subject tests this morning. I did, therefore, miss the opening ceremonies and keynote. No amount of standardized testing, however, could keep me from representing student voice at the conference! Though I arrived late, I was still fortunate enough to meet several ed-tech superstars, as well as watch the amazing Sarah Thomas entertain us with her drone.
Digital Citizenship SummitPresenting at the conference alongside Jenn Scheffer was an incredible privilege. Since we received our invitation to present, we have been eagerly curating resources to demonstrate the benefits of integrating social media into the classroom in an effort to produce college and career ready students. Using my digital footprint as an example, Jenn and I explored the various digital platforms available to students, such as GmailWordPress,TwitterYouTubeGoogle +, and LinkedIn. Together, through personal anecdotes and professional sources, we challenged the myth of students being “digital natives” while demonstrating the need for social media exposure in academic settings. Digital role modeling for students, as we ultimately demonstrated, yields greater results in preventing cyber-bullying, as well as educating students on the principles of digital citizenship (without the lecturing!).
Digital Citizenship SummitThe power of technology never fails to amaze me. As I was presenting, I reflected on all of the personal, professional, and academic opportunities that have come my way in the last year because of my digital presence alone. To think, at this time last year, I was not even a part of the Burlington High School Help Desk! Never would I have thought myself to become a recognized presenter at several leading ed-tech conferences. Nor could I have imagined landing an online, summer internship with EdTechTeacher, learning and working on SEO and digital content comfortably from my host-family’s home in Spain. I am especially “mind-blown” by all of the professional connections I have made online- some of whom I have spoken with for several months, but did not meet in person until today! (Special shout-out to Marialice CurranSusan BeardanMeghan DavisSarah ThomasJudy Arzt). All of these amazing aspects of the digital world- presentation opportunities, online work, and a strong PLN- would still be unknown to me if Burlington restricted social media tools in schools. As demonstrated in our presentation, students will emulate professional online communities if they are being demonstrated by their teachers and administrators. Safe searching does not amount from restricting digital tools, rather, from promoting an appropriate digital culture.
The Digital Citizenship Summit was an incredible think tank filled with the best “brain trust” in digital role modeling. I could not have asked for a better honor than to be featured as a student exemplar at a summit promoting such an important topic. Both Marialice Curran and Ryan David Polgar did an extraordinary job creating the Digital Citizenship Summit. I cannot wait to see what they have in store for next year!
Click the image below to see Timmy's entire presentation

Friday, October 2, 2015

Day 23 - Using Blogger Labels to Communicate with Different Groups - Ben Schersten - Francis Wyman IT Specialist

The questions usually begin like this:
  • I want a blog, but I have 6 classes (periods). Do I have to have six blogs?
  • I have a classroom blog, but I have a different group of students for reading; how do post just for my reading families?
Labels! Each blogger post comes equipped with the ability to give it one or more labels: such as “Period4” or “reading.” The options for adding labels are on the right  when you’re composing a new post (the red arrow below). When the post is published, the labels will appear at the bottom of the post. Labels are a great way to sort blog posts into categories.
Adding a label
Also notice that when you’re composing, the labels you’ve used before show up in blue and you can just click on them and they’ll be added to the post (the green arrow above).
Now posting with labels is all well and good, but what if you want a user to easily be able to find a bunch of posts with a particular label? How do those fourth period students easily access only their “Period4” posts?
Post with label
One way is to scroll through the posts looking for one that is labeled “Period4” (red arrow above). That label will be hyperlinked, and if you click on the label you’ll get a page with only posts containing that label. This will certainly work, but it means asking your users to scroll down your blog posts looking for a specific label. This could be time-consuming. Fortunately, there’s a better way.
Add gadget
From your Blogger Dashboard, navigate to the Layout screen. Along the right sidebar or the top (your choice) you can add a “gadget.” When the select gadget window pops up (pictured below), select the Labels gadget (you’ll have to scroll down to find it).
Labels gadget
Once you’ve selected the Labels gadget you’ll be given some options. Do you want to show all your labels, or just some of them? How do you want them sorted? Should they be formatted as a list or as a cloud? Should it show the number of posts per label? Once you’re set, Save it and you’re ready to go.
Labels gadget options
Now, head back to your live blog and your labels will be there for easy access. And remember, each post can have more that one label. So if you have information for more than one class, give that post multiple labels and it will show up in more than one label category.
Blog home with labels

Users can now easily click on a specific label and get access to just that content.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Day 22 - Burlington Tour Field Trip - Mrs. Cunha - Pine Glen Grade 2

This post originally appeared on Mrs. Cunha's Blog

Last week we went on our first field trip.  We learned about Burlington history.  Did you know Burlington became a town in 1799.  On our field trip we went to the common, Marion Tavern, museum, Burial Ground, and the West School.  My students really enjoyed this field trip.  Thank you to Ms. Horton and the other Commissioners!   Enjoy the pictures of our day!

The Walker House

Marion Tavern

Replica of an old school bus