Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Mr. Casal has left the building…

To the PS 10 community,

It is with a heavy heart I am posting this blog entry. I will no longer be working at PS 10, effective immediately. I have been presented with an opportunity outside of New York City and have chosen to pursue it.

I realize this is sudden, and brings about unforeseen difficulties as the school year begins, and for this I sincerely apologize. This was in no way my intention. I was not looking to leave 10, but I was approached out of the blue and offered an opportunity in Westchester, in the Scarsdale school district, that I needed to accept.

In the last 5 years I have immensely enjoyed my time at 10. Even if I may not be the touchy-feely smiley type, I was always having fun. Thank you to everyone for the wealth of experiences and all that I have learned. This was not an easy decision and I leave PS 10, and all my students, with a heavy heart but a need to pursue this opportunity beyond the DOE.

I hope I have imparted some skills and knowledge that my students, and the parents of my students, find valuable. My hope is for my students to pick up where we have left off and begin to use the Google Apps platform we have implemented to drive their own learning. We’ve researched, created presentations, built websites, have tweeted, and have blogged. Just because I am not here does not mean this has to end.

I truly hope my students continue to pursue the interests and projects we have begun, and take this opportunity to pursue others we haven’t thought about yet.

Keep blogging, tweeting, building portfolio webpages, Skyping, and pushing the limits of Google Apps. Please reach out to me at any point for any technical assistance and I will do my best to support the students of PS 10 as best I can from afar.

Students of PS 10, you have done amazing things and you have the skills and knowledge to continue to do amazing things. Push the limits, expand the boundaries. Have a vision. Be demanding. Create. Plant a positive digital footprint. Be awesome.

Thank you for a great 5 years. See you on teh interwebs

Monday, June 9, 2014

5th Graders - Take your @ps10.org data with you

5th graders,

Over the last few years you have created quite a lot content here at PS 10. Between your classroom and the computer lab you have produced a lot of great work.

In the last year everyone has been using Google Drive to create and store projects.

Here is how you take it all with you:

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

3rd Grade Google Presentations

3rd graders have been working on creating Google Presentations in Drive.

The theme, and title, is "What History Means to Me" which is essentially an extension of a previously written essay created as a Google Document.

The original Document was an introduction to using Google Drive; comparing and contrasting to Microsoft Word, and so forth. The actual writing was fairly self directed. I gave students a prompt: "to me history means..." and then it was up to them to define "history." For some students history is all about family. For others it is all about learning in school. History is the past, but the aspects of the past that stand out for each student vary child to child.

Once the essay was finished I introduced them to Presentations. We talked about slides as opposed to paragraphs, bullet points as opposed to sentences, the different style and voice used to convey the same content. They then began to turn their "History" documents into Presentations, able to edit, update, and alter in any way they saw fit.

The overall project is a few months in the making because we cover:

Friday, May 30, 2014

Class 460's PowerPoint movies

Ms. Smith-Thomas's class has been working on creating PowerPoint presentations.

We started with the basics of Powerpoint such as adding slides and text. WE discussed what a bullet point is, how to edit and revise bullets to make them clear and concise, and how to add create appropriate and relevant content.

Once the slides were done students looked to relevant and appropriate pictures using Google to add to their presentations.

Once all the elements were in (titles, bullets, pictures) students added Animations to all the elements.

After animations students added Transitions to all the slides, set with timings, so the slides would advance automatically after the viewer read the information.

Once everything was complete, students would watch each other's presentations to provide feedback and help each other with any final editing and revising.

When they were ready to turn in, students did a "Save as Movie" to turn the presentations into .mov files.
(side note - unfortunately when saving out as a movie the animations, transitions, and timings don't carry over, so not all elements are readily available via YouTube - we'll be addeing PowerPoint shows to this page shortly to showcase the full compliment of student work)

They they used the class DropItTo.me site to upload it to Mr. Casal's Dropbox. From there Mr. Casal added them to his ps10.org YouTube channel and embedded them here...

(4 students are finished and currently posted. these 4 studies are in the process of assisting the other 7 in completing, exporting, and uploading their movies)

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Adobe Voice - a quick iPad app review

Adobe recently released a new app, Adobe Voice.

It's subtitle is "Show your story."

And it's just that simple. Choose your photos. Record your audio story to match. Save. Publish. Share. Very simple, but very elegant and powerful at the same time.

Here is my first attempt at using the app...

Monday, May 12, 2014

Why Blogger with students?

I use Blogger with my students. I have two classes currently running fully independent blogs. One 3rd grade class and one 5th grade class.

I often get asked why I chose Blogger over some of the other blogging platforms, namely Kidblog, EduBlogs, or even WordPress.

My choice was based on the following thoughts:

Monday, May 5, 2014

Email spam - sniffing out the bad, even from trusted sources

This post is a follow-up, of sorts, to the previous "Twitter spam" and "Phishing" posts. In making the slide deck about Twitter spam I realized there were a few different variations of spam in general, especially within emails.

This post deals specifically with email, and more to the point emails you receive from trusted sources that contain questionable material and links.

When a user gets hacked or compromised as a result of a phishing scheme, the people involved will use the users contacts list to send out emails in hopes of getting more users to give up their usernames and passwords.