Mr. Ryan Keeshan

6th–8th Computer Teacher
Hello and welcome to NDV middle school computers! In our classes, we focus on how to learn new skills and software in a rapidly changing world of technology. We emphasize research and analysis skills, creativity, collaboration, resilience, and critical thinking.
Email  keeshan@ndvsf.org

What's Happening in 6th–8th Computer

What’s Happening in Computers? October 2017

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The first quarter is almost over, and we sure have done a lot of great work!

Sixth-graders have just completed their Fun Fact Cards in Google Docs, look for some of those to be posted here soon. We will be printing, laminating, and placing our Fact Cards in the library soon! Great work, sixth grade!

Seventh-graders are in the final stretch of a biography project, also in Google Docs. In a matter of weeks, every seventh-grade student will have a media-rich e-book that they can show their friends and family. They have worked extremely hard in compressed time, and the results are fantastic!

Eighth-graders have started working on their portfolio websites, and they look pretty great so far! We will periodically update these websites throughout the year. Eight-grade has also had some fun learning how to edit images with Pixelmator, a powerful image editing app for iPads that is similar to Photoshop. We have created some great looking business cards and recently learned how to superimpose one image over another, or “How to go on a Vacation Anywhere Using Image Editing Software.” We have had some very creative submissions so far!

Next quarter, we will take a dive into programming and see what else we can create. Thanks for checking in!

 

-Mr. Keeshan

The 2017-2018 School Year is Here!

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Welcome back from vacation, students! I hope you enjoyed your break and are ready to come back to continue building upon your successes and challenges from last school year.

Here are some projects and topics we will be learning about this year:

  • Getting the most out of Google Apps for Education
  • 3D Modeling with SketchUp
  • Coding
  • Keyboard Typing Skills
  • Research Skills

Other Activities:

  • NDV Newspaper
  • NDV Student Tech Support Team

4th Quarter Preview

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With the 3rd Quarter finished, here is a preview of how we will finish out the year in Middle School Computers:

6th Grade is working on a group Survey-to-Infographic project where they will poll their peers with a survey in Google Forms, then take their polling data and create an informative Infographic with their findings.

7th Grade is working on a group How-To Video project where they are tasked with creating a How-To instructional video that focuses on skills, tasks, or helpful tips that will assist incoming 6th graders in adjusting to Middle School.

8th Grade is learning how to use a compact, yet versatile image editing program on the iPads called Pixelmator by creating their own business cards. Later this quarter, they will finish their portfolio websites and practice 3D modeling.

Multimedia Projects Take Over: Third Quarter Update

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Multimedia Projects are the third quarter theme in our computer classes. Here is a summary of what students have been working on:

6th Grade

Currently working on My Vacation, a project where students learn how to plan a vacation step-by-step: from managing a budget to creating a map of vacation plans. Scope and sequence:

  • Students work with a partner to split a budget of $10,000. Students can also choose to plan alone.
  • To keep track of money, students create a budget calculator spreadsheet using Google Sheets that automatically calculates their spending and lets them know how much money remains in their budget.
  • Using flight and hotel rate aggregation websites, students find and book flights and hotels to their dream destination. Students must plan when they will go on their vacation and for how long, as long as it fits within their budget.
  • To plan what they will do during their dream vacation, students use crowd-sourced travel information sites like WikiVoyage. Students must plan for at least 4 activities, and at least two must have cultural or historical significance. Students must also find out how much these activities cost, and add them to their budget.
  • Students also must plan for how they get around when they arrive at their destination. To do this, we learn how to find information about airport shuttles, public transportation, Taxi cabs, and rental cars.
  • Once plans are finalized, students learn how to create a custom Google Map with all of their vacation details (airport, hotel, activities).
  • Finally, students put together a multimedia presentation using Google Slides to share their vacation plans with their classmates. In-class oral presentations will follow.

7th Grade

Similar to 6th Grade, the 7th Grade is planning a vacation for Easter Break. The scope and sequence is the same, but there is additional work required. 7th Grade students will also record a narrated screencast of their final Google Slides presentations.

8th Grade

In celebration of Black History Month, The 8th Grade has begun work on a Multimedia Museum of Black Inventors. Students are assigned an important African American inventor from history and are tasked with creating a short video exhibit explaining who the inventor is, what their important invention(s) are, their struggles, and their lasting legacy. Students will first create animated presentations in Google Slides and then record a narrated screencast. These will be posted with their presentations on a website that will be known as the Multimedia Museum of Black Inventors.

Stay tuned! I will post some of the vacation projects when they are finished.

Plans for Quarter 4:

  • 3D Modeling using Sketchup (finally!)
  • 8th Grade will finish Portfolio Websites
  • Google Forms surveys and Data visualization
  • More TBD

First Quarter Recap, Previewing Second Quarter

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It’s hard to believe that our first quarter is almost over! Here is a recap of what we did:

6th Grade

  • Practiced typing skills by writing a short personal essay
  • Created a spreadsheet to track progress in typing speed and accuracy tests
  • Practiced using screen captures to take pictures of what’s happening on our computers
  • Created a reference pocketbook of useful keyboard shortcuts to remember using Google Slides
  • Learned about how search engines work and the tips and tricks of effective searching
  • Completed an independent research project to practice what we’ve learned about searching

7th Grade

  • Completed a Presentation Creation Boot Camp assignment in Google Slides (or Prezi) for the prompt: What is Your Passion?
  • Created a reference pocketbook of useful keyboard shortcuts to remember using Google Slides
  • Created a spreadsheet to track progress in typing speed and accuracy tests
  • Worked with partners on a collaborative research project about important pioneers in computer science and technology, culminating in a research document and presentation.

8th Grade

  • Completed a Presentation Creation Boot Camp assignment in Google Slides (or Prezi) for the prompt: Who is Your Inspiration?
  • Created a spreadsheet to track progress in typing speed and accuracy tests
  • Brainstormed and collected our thoughts on what makes a great website
  • Worked independently on the creation of portfolio websites using Wix. This is a project we will revisit and work on throughout the school year

What’s Next?

In the second quarter, we will continue to build upon our theme of research and curating good information from online sources. We will also introduce some new applications and disciplines.

Here are some key topics we plan to cover:

  • Coding month, starting at the end of November and throughout December
    • Independent practice in coding discipline of choice using self-directed tutorials
    • Hour of Code participation
  • Designing 3D objects using SketchUp
  • A Refresher on Collecting and Manipulating Data with Google Forms and Sheets
  • Continued practice in typing and research skills

 

Curriculum

Our curriculum is tied to the 2016 ISTE Standards for Students, which are organized into the following strands:

  1. Empowered Learner
  2. Digital Citizen
  3. Knowledge Constructor
  4. Innovative Designer
  5. Computational Thinker
  6. Creative Communicator
  7. Global Collaborator

We are a Google Apps for Education school and we use Google Classroom for assignment delivery and collection. Additionally, we use web-based programs and services. Student privacy is important to us, and the programs and services we use are compliant with COPPA/Student Privacy Pledge.

Skills and Disciplines of Focus:

  1. Typing
  2. Presentations
  3. Research
  4. Coding/Programming
  5. Information curation
  6. Collaboration
  7. Learning new software, operations, and processes (heuristics)
  8. Multimedia creation
  9. Leveraging digital communication and creation tools to pursue passions

Gradebook Categories and Weights:

Classwork: 40% - Weekly assignments and typing progress

Effort and Participation: 25% - Being on task, following class norms and rules, completing work to the best of your abilities

Projects: 20% - Final summative grades for completed long-term projects

Quizzes: 15% - Assessments we will periodically have to check for understanding

Resources

Here are some of the resources we use in our class:

Keybr Typing Practice

Common Sense Media

Code.org

Codecademy

Google Apps for Education

My Sketchup

 

 

 

Homework

Students are to complete work they do not finish in class for homework. This can be found posted on our Google Classroom site or on the NDV Middle School Homework Page.

Students may also finish their work during study hall.

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