Thursday, June 26, 2008

A Post For Parents: Get Outside!

During our video game unit, the French immersion junior students learned a very important thing; the Wii video game system may be an excellent console - but it is nothing compared to actually getting out of the house and doing things.

To support this nugget of wisdom, I would like to present - a site for parents that focuses on low tech children's activities.

"But, Roxy...", I hear you saying.
"Don't you spend 23.9 hours a day in front of a computer?"

While I could definately be defined as a computer over-clocker (someone who spends waaaaay too much time with technology), during the summer I usually branch out and try new things. If I happen to have a camera handy, I'll post photos.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Summer Came Quickly

You made it, my darlings. Congratulations to everyone on a successful year, especially to the graduating sixers.

This is a brief post, aimed at anyone planning on hanging out on the blog between now and September.
  1. I have begun updating the blog for summer. This update may include editing my list of suggested webpages. You should probably bookmark any sites you really like, in case I take down some of the older ones.
  2. Usually I post things for class on the blog. Since I don't teach in the summer (darn!), this blog will be a kid-friendly meeting place; where you can read and talk about technology.
  3. Feel free to respond to posts with comments and questions throughout the summer. You can even offer suggestions for post topics. This goes for parents, friends, and random web surfers as well!
  4. During July and August, I will continue to moderate all comments. This means that I will read each comment that is made before it is published to the web. After you click 'publish your comment', the thing that you wrote will sit in my Blogger inbox until I either publish it or reject it. I will not publish comments if they: Include last names; include inappropriate language; or include a message that says, 'please do not publish this - it is private'.
Ayez de bonnes vacances tout le monde !
Have a good vacation everybody!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Grades 4-6: Instant Messenger!? ORLY.

The word 'collaboration' (pronounced co-lab-or-eh-shun) is a fancy-schmancy word for 'working together'. Today, the junior classes collaborated to add to our video game survey questions (see previous post). The coolest part of how we collaborated: we worked together online using an instant messenger program. Instant messenging is a big deal because it is used in many fields of work, play, and study. Windows Live Messenger aka MSN, G-Talk, AIM, SKYPE, and others are installed on literally millions of computers around the world. When you (or anybody) joins a chat via instant messenger, it is important to remember a few simple rules. They are posted here for your reading enjoyment...
  1. Do not verbally abuse, attack, embarrass, or threaten anyone else in the chat, no matter what they might say to you. Ignore them, leave the chat, or tell an adult/moderator. Remember: Mean things that you type to other people could stay on the internet, attached to your name, forever.
  2. Sorta the same as the first rule: Do not use obscene or offensive language.
  3. Never type your messages in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS. Typing with your capslock on makes it seem like you are yelling. If you want to *emphasize* a word or phrase, simply type an asterisk (shift + 8) in before and then directly after your word or phrase. This is a widely recognized way to get your point across without being rude.
  4. When you are entering a group messenge session (more than two people talking to each other in Messenger), you should always greet everyone whether you know them or not. Be sure to wait until there is a lull in the conversation already in progress, though. Don't interrupt. And, when someone else enters the room, you should make it a point to at least recognize their presence and greet them with a friendly "Hi (their screen name)!"
  5. Don't speak unless you know what the conversation is about first. And, when you *do* get a chance to talk, stay on topic! Typing random characters or thoughts is never a good idea. Keep messages short and to the point (besides, if you wanted to write something massive, you'd put it in an email, blog entry, FB note, LJ post, etc.) And of course, never interrupt.