Archive for July, 2008

July 30, 2008

Having “The Talk” with Your Teen

Ok, it’s time for you to have “the talk” with your teen. No, no… I don’t mean THAT talk. I mean the talk about Internet safety. But having this talk is often more uncomfortable to the parent or the teacher than the birds and the bees talk, because in the case of technology, the teens know more than the parents.
You may have been paying close attention to the media messages about online predators and have carefully prepared yourself with all of the stories about their deceptions. Then when you have the talk, your children are likely to listen dutifully and promise to be careful, or they will roll their eyes and say, “Duh… Iike I’ve heard this a million times before. I AM careful online.”
The media message about the dangers of the Internet is one based on the need to capture eyeballs and increase the bottom line, not the need to educate or keep people safe. While the danger is real, media picture of the predator and victim is not accurate. I would like to try change that situation by providing you with information based on the latest scientific research and tens of thousands of conversations I’ve had with teens in my role as a technology teacher for more than a quarter century and as the Educational Technology Director of WiredSafety.org, the world’s largest Internet safety and help organization.
Each time I blog here, I will try to provide you with information and resources that will help you get the dialog going in painless ways. I’ll provide personal insights, stories, or facts based on solid research along with some resources created with the help of Adobe products, that you can view and in some case download.
So to get the dialog going, check out this Adobe Presenter presentation about the facts and myths surrounding Internet sexual predators Then check back here for my next post in which I’ll talk about the ten ploys used by offline and online sexual predators.

5:55 PM Permalink
July 24, 2008

Using Adobe Flash in Chemistry

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This past trimester I had my students create simulations using Adobe Flash. This was our second attempt at using Flash to create a simulation. The first attempt occurred during the first trimester (dealing with stoichiometry) and resulted in more of a calculator than a simulator. After collecting some feedback from the students, I set to work at making the second attempt more successful.
I found it difficult to keep everyone on the same page while walking them through the steps required to create our first project. This time around I decided to create a series of movie tutorials that students could use to work at their own pace. This worked unbelievably well, and allowed me to assist students when they hit a bump in the road.
I also provided image copies of the Actionscript code…images because I didn’t want the students to simply copy and paste the code. I wanted the students to experience the manual entry of code and gain an appreciation for the exactness that is required. One thing I found myself saying a lot…”You don’t have to be great at spelling…you just need to be consistent!” Students gained experience in troubleshooting common mistakes…some became good enough to help others spot their mistakes quickly.
Example Calorimetry Simulator:
http://www.chemfiles.com/flash/calorimeter.swf
Project Homepage (with Movies)
http://www.eagan.k12.mn.us/fletcher/2007/T2Project/index.html

3:55 PM Permalink

Florida Center for Instructional Technology – Free Resources

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http://fcit.usf.edu/
Established in 1982, the Florida Center for Instructional Technology (FCIT) has been a leader in working with educators to integrate technology into the curriculum. With its location in the College of Education at the University of South Florida, Tampa, FCIT is available to assist over 1,200 pre-service teachers who graduate from USF each year as well as thousands of in-service teachers in Florida. With funding from the Florida Department of Education, Office of Instructional Technology, FCIT provides many instructional resources for Florida’s teachers and students.
FCIT’s award-winning resource and training websites receive over one million hits per school day.
msweeney@coedu.usf.edu

1:18 PM Permalink
July 22, 2008

Holly Cow Batman! That is Cool!

John Nack, Photoshop Guru, super blogger and Senior product manager received a whole heap of “WOWs!” as he presented on some up-and-coming goodies from Adobe. If you don’t watch his blog, you should – http://blogs.adobe.com/jnack/
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3:51 PM Permalink

I’ve Become a Hugger

Peter Isaacson, VP of Education for Adobe Inc., helped kick off the 2008 Adobe Education Leader Institute. He delivered a fun welcoming to this year’s gathering and … he likes to hug (AEL inside joke).
hugger

3:46 PM Permalink