Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Update From the Computer Lab….

Kindergarten – We have been talking about the parts of a computer. This week we focused on the mouse and the students we allowed to use the computers for the first time in the lab. They practiced their “click” and “double-click” while painting with the TuxPaint. TuxPaint is a free download that can be found at tuxpaint.org. Thank you, fabulous helpers, for making the first trip to the computers possible.

1st and 2nd grade – We have been talking about the difference between internet programs and programs that are run from our computers. We also started to practice saving documents. This is in preparation for their first project called Top Ten Tech. First grade will be creating a word document listing the top ten technological advances, ever. Second grade will be creating a powerpoint presentation of the same topic.

3rd and 4th grade – Our focus so far has been on saving files. We talked about saving them to the hard drive, a flash drive, or to “the cloud”. We compared the pros and cons of each method. 3rd and 4th grade are also pondering the top technological advances with their own Top Ten Tech project. 3rd grade will make advanced powerpoint presentations, while 4th grades learns how to use MS Publisher.

Middle School – Each middle school class has been getting experience with Spreadsheets. They are loving the possibilities of programming cells to make calculations for them. Also, new to our Tech program this year, all middle school students have been given Google Docs accounts. With each account comes an email address. So, your student has an e-mail address with the format firstname.lastname@menloparkacademy.com. With this account, the students will only be able to e-mail addresses with the menloparkacademy.com domain name. More importantly, they will be able to create documents, spreadsheets, and presentations using Google Docs. Anything created on Google Docs will be accessible from any computer with an internet connection. Students will also be able to share documents with each other which will make group work easier from afar.

All Grades – We have a subscription to www.BrainPop.com. Our username is mpa2011 and the password is gifted247. Students are welcome to watch BrainPop videos at home. They are both fun and educational.

Let me know if you have questions or concerns.
Carol Scheuer
carol.scheuer@menloparkacademy.com

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