Tuesday, December 17, 2013

My learning style project

My class was doing a project about relevant problems. What the project felt to me that we could help make a difference that when you put your mind on it you could make a solution that can help other people. The project could also teach you important values, make you belive in yourself and help you realize you can make a difference in the world.

My relevant problem was about how to encourage kids to learn. My research questions was how students learn and the types of learning styles. The time when I was researching was quite frustrating because I couldn’t find the information that I wanted. My solution was boring but educating my class was fun because I could make any way I wanted.

I created a quiz to educate my class. Teachers would give the quiz to students to tell them their learning style. Then teachers would know how you learn and help encourage students to learn. Making the quiz was quite frustrating because making questions that made sense took a while and trial and error. Finally, it was ready to present. I presented by sending my classmates a copy of the quiz by email. When they were done taking the quiz, I told them what type of learning style they had.  

Monday, December 16, 2013


By: Mitchell

Hello. It’s me again. It’s time for another tech update. This year seems to go by pretty fast… Not sure if that’s good or bad. Well anyways, onto the stuff we’ve been doing.
First we chose a problem to do research about. That was kinda hard but I ended up going with “How can we make healthy food less expensive?” and the research was a pain. I had a tough-ish time finding stuff. I decided to do an oral presentation in the end. I’m not sure how well it went but I hope I did well. I found out that it would be best to lower the cost by producing more food. That will drop the price based on the supply/demand ratio. We also need to drop the price of gas. The tractors and machines alike are gas guzzlers. So if just one gas station drops price then they will gain more because they get more profit. Then the others will drop price to compete. By doing that, the farmers will have more money. Then they will most likely drop the price of their produce, making it more affordable.
We also got a GD (Google Doc) from Mrs. Bartis about the TEKS. It’s about the ones we need to learn and stuff. We each got our own one and when we complete one, she checks it off.SO I’m going to be updating you on whick ones I’ve passed once we start with them.

Friday, December 13, 2013

My Relevent Problem

By Abbas

This past month has been interesting. It started when Mrs.Bartis told us we will be researching a relevant problem to us. I thought it would be boring researching about our relevant problem but I was wrong.
First off it was difficult for me to think of a relevant problem. So Mrs.Bartis helped me choose my relevant problem, better way to study, which I thought was pretty boring. However I found out that my topic was really fun and interesting and I began researching on my relevant problem. Did you know that when you are studying after your regular bedtime you most likely will not to remember the subject you're studying about the next day?
Well my solution was to make the student read the packet out loud so the reader will pay attention while studying and not wonder off into space. I educated my classmates with a presentation. I told them why it’s difficult to pay attention while studying and why people do bad on tests even though they studied the material. I thought it was fun attempting to make my own study technique to benefit other students. I hope we can do it again in Tech Apps.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Researching Relevant Problems


For the past few week our class has been researching and learning about relevant problems, and we had to have a solution as well. This project was one that Mrs Bartis had us do alone. I feel that a student can learn more if they themselves work alone, and this is exactly what we did. My relevant problem was concerning summer reading assignments, and how to make the students not hate it as much. We researched for a couple of days, and found out what we need to know and what we already know. We did not just simply research and come up with a solution but Mrs. Bartis broke it down for us, so that we could build our way up to the final solution. I enjoyed researching and coming up with solutions, which had to be a way that we could solve the problem. Even though all this took some time it didn't matter, cause Mrs. Bartis gave us pretty much a whole week to finish our research and make up our solutions, so meant that we didn't have any homework. I learned a lot about my relevant problem, and enjoyed the opportunity to create a solution to the problem. My solution of not making it boring is to allows the students to choose the books they want to read, and not giving them a test on the first day. This would be beneficial because, many students don't enjoy the assignments they are given throughout the summer, and if they can choose the books it could make it more fun for them. Another good thing about this solution is that the kids don't have to worry about taking a test on the first day, this allows them to enjoy the summer peacefully.  So far this class has been very interesting and fun, while learning various things that are essential for a student to know. Besides the fact that the teacher is amazing, the course itself makes it interesting in a way that I want to learn more, and I am looking forward to the things that are planned for us for the rest of the year. Go tech apps!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Solution to the relevent problem of cyber-bullying

By: Sharon

For the past few weeks we have been working on our self-governed presentation about a topic that we could choose which was relevant to us and had to come up with a solution. For the presentation, I choose to do cyberbullying. This is a major topic that needs some sort of solution so I decided to do this.
When we we were getting started we had to research, research, and research. We had to figure out what we already knew about the topic and what we needed to know about it. Halfway through this part, Sara helped me look up the ones I didn’t know so she became my partner. After we got all the answers to the questions we didn’t know, we finally had to come up with a solution. Sara and I decided to make a website called Speak Now! We made it so that the kids that are victims in cyberbullying can speak out. This lets you say what you’re going through anonymously. After we finish reading your comment, we will say some nice words so that it can make your day better.
On our website, we have four pages. These include the home, blog, question and answer, and about page.The home page is just pictures that talk about cyberbullying. On the Blog page, you can comment with any of your problems related to cyberbullying and we will send you a reply. The question and answer page are related to cyberbullying and what you can do in those cases. Finally, the about page is about us and why we are doing the website. We do feel like we educated the class and it was very original.
This has been a very exciting presentation to do and we hope that you check out the website. Here is the link to our site. Don’t be afraid to comment! http://speaknowaboutcyberbullying.weebly.com/

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Solution to cyber bullying

By Sara

Over the past years there have been many issues/problems about cyber bullying. Many people do not realize what bullying can do to a person so sharon and I have came up with a solution to help stop bullying and see what some peoples feelings are. We created a website that individuals themselves can express their feelings. Sometimes its good to let your feelings out and thats what we created the website for. This website gives them answers to some of the questions that some people have. This made me feel like what we are doing may help some people by understanding that there are kind people out there to listen to what they are feeling. Sharon and myself worked very hard to make the website the best we could and the most comfortable for those being bullied. Our website has got over one hundred views which means we have already helped over one hundred people. We also included pictures that can help bullies understand that many people are against it. To me this project was a fun and helpful experience and not only to others, but I also got information from this. Sometimes on the internet there a people who play around with each other and say hurtful things. If they say the wrong thing to each other one day it can become a problem and make bullying start up. I also learned that telling someone something over the internet can make them feel worse than by telling them verbally. When people post something that happened to them we make them feel the way they should by telling them nice things.  We also tried to make it colorful so that the website would catch their attention. Different colors always seem to catch my attention and make me happy.
Heres the link:http://speaknowaboutcyberbullying.weebly.com/

Monday, December 9, 2013

The First Problem

By: Sam

I’m back with another post about what could possibly be the most interesting class that I have ever been in. The year has gone by very quickly, and I’m not sure if that’s a good thing. Anyway, our class has to do a relevant problem project, and I came up with my problem in 5 minutes. I decided to research “How can we make transportation in Dallas more efficient?” and I found a lot of information about monorails. If you have a solution that you would like to share, please post it in the comments section of the blog. The idea that I came up with was to use pedal powered monorails, and the only problem that I had with that idea was how much that they cost.
Mrs.Bartis shared a google doc with the class that had all of the TEKS that we needed to learn , and we have to include them all in our presentations before school ends. I am slightly nervous about this, but it will definitely be an entertaining challenge!
Sharon presented her project on cyber bullying yesterday, and she made a website. Apparently, cyber bullying is a lot worse than people think that it is. Lots of people die because of it, and I found the presentation to be depressing. That’s all that I have to say this time, but if you want to read more, then you should check out Mitchell’s blog.

Friday, November 1, 2013

An Interesting Class...

This class actually turned out to be a lot more interesting than I expected. I have certainly learned more in this class than I have in any other one. I actually worked with Mitchell on a project, which turned out to be interesting. I always enjoy group projects, because I get to learn more about the people that I work with. We researched Creative Commons. They can actually  help in a lot of cases when you need to use someone else’s work for a certain reason. Mitchell and I decided to make our presentation pink in honor of breast cancer awareness month.
When it was time to present our projects, Mitchell and I were first. I think that we did pretty well, considering that it was the first time that we have had to do a group project in tech. Sharon went next, and she showed us fair use guidelines. After that, Anmol and Zoe gave their presentation on the current copyright law. Abbas and Justin were last, and they did open source.
I really hope that we do another group project soon!

I’m about to run out of space, but before I do, I just want to suggest that you read Mitchell’s blog posts as well. Next week, we are going to do digital safety and citizenship, and I am really looking forward to doing that. I’m going to have to end it here, but I really hope that you’ll read my next post. See you soon!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Researching about Copyright

By: Sharon

This class has been very interesting in the past two-three weeks. Who knew that copying and pasting something thats not your own work was actually illegal?! I just recently learned about that when when we started researching about copyright. We have been learning a lot about copyright and how we should use them properly. These include the current copyright law, fair use guidelines, creative commons, and open source.
Mrs. Bartis had assigned us one of these terms to research and after we got enough information on our topic, we presented them to the class to teach them about the term.
The current copyright laws are laws thats officially made to prevent you from copyrighting. An example of this law is the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). This says that you can’t copy any production of technology and devices.
Fair use guidelines provides some limits on the author’s work and how its used. This include time limits for any type of video, music, and music, the length of poems and texts, and how many pictures from an artist or a photographer you can use.
Creative commons protects the data online from being stolen. You often see these signs but you probably didn’t know they had a name. They are on most copyrighted works.
Open source is a program that anyone can modify or change according to your own use or personal benefits. An example of this could be Wikipedia because people can change the information on it causing it to not be a reliable site for your education.

As you can see we learned loads just in the past two-three weeks. I can’t wait to learn more! This class is going to be very exciting.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Part 2

Hello. This is my second blog post. There have been a few new things. We have been learning about copyright, searching techniques, and a little about hardware. Also we have been doing things on Wonderopolis. It’s a pretty cool website in my opinion. Try Googling it. You may just learn something.
First the hardware. We spent one day on it. It was easy and I kinda liked it. I wish it would have had more in-depth information about what the parts do and how the connect or how to build a computer. But still, it was good.
Now for the searching. We did a paper or two about ways to search and how to search better. We learned about keywords, settings, and how to get exactly what we want. It was pretty helpful and I think it will help us in the future. It could have been a bit more exciting but it still was good.
And the last and latest. Copyright. We have been doing quite a bit with this. We each had to do a presentation. I teamed up with Sam and we did a presentation on Creative Commons. We made it pink. Well it is October. He and I believe that we did a good job. The other’s may have something about their projects so check them out as well. At the time that I’m typing this, we did a “Synetic” on the different types of copyright. That… was not fun. I hope I don’t have to do that again…

Well anyways. That’s about it for this update. But before I go I want to give a shoutout to Doe Creek Middle School in Indiana. Those guys are pretty fun. And a little crazy. See you guys later!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Laws of the Internet


This past week we had the opportunity to research about a subject and we got to present it to the whole class. My subject was open source. I thought open source was a useless type of thing. I started to research about it and I got more interested with open source. I never knew that Wikipedia, Youtube,  and tons more web pages and software uses open source.

When we presented our subjects to the class I was nervous. I told the class that open source was basically a program or software that you can modify and edit to help make it better. After I was done presenting I listened to the other people projects. I was fascinated by all the projects I heard.The one I like the most was fair use guidelines. The thing I liked about was that it protected the rights of the authors work. I like it because if I made webpage I would get credit if it  was good and I would get recognized. The other two were current copyright laws and creative commons. The two people who did current copyright law explained there topic in a play. I thought that was very createful and they thinked outside the box. Creative commons I thought was helpful to for the internet to because it is like a police organization, it protects data from theft.

Finally we synetics. I thought was very very funny because we had to compare open source to a octopus. All in all I thought it was a fun week.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Learning about Copyright laws

by Justin

This past week, our class had the opportunity to teach each other about our assigned projects. These projects enabled each of us to not only learn about our copyright topic, but also teach others about it. I personally think that this was a brilliant idea, because this allows us students to study and research about our topic, rather than just the teachers standing up and giving a lecture while the students sleep. I think this was a very beneficial way to study and learn about copyright rules and citing various sources.
For example, my partner and I had the opportunity to research about the topic Open Source. After we took about two days to research and study about the topic, we started creating a presentation on powerpoint to present and teach to our classmates. When many people hear about copyright and citing sources, they think that they already know everything concerning the important topic. But no, many people don't about it , and also don't know the importance behind it. I myself thought that it was very boring, but I knew that these topics were very important. Open source is that topic I researched over, and I learned that open source is any program that can be modified by anyone. Anyone can modify and change it to make it for their personal use. That was only one of the topics that I explained to my classmates. Each of us shared our topic and taught it to each other. These are all important topics for everyone to know and learn. The topics were current copyright law, fair use guidelines, creative commons, and open source. Everyone one of these are important. The current copyright law allows us to know what they are and the standards of giving credit for who wrote it. Fair use guidelines, provides some limits on the author’s work and how its used. All the other ones are just as important as the ones mentioned, but the main thing that I learned in this unit is that you can't take someone's work without giving them the credit.
Overall so far this class has been very interesting and exciting, And this could not have been made possible without our awesome teacher Mrs. Bartis. She comes up with things to learn while still making it fun and interesting. Yesterday we did a synectics activity where we compared our topics to things in our world. I really enjoyed this class so far, and I  am very eager to continue moving forward in this class, while learning things that we need to learn.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Tech Apps

By: Zoe

I liked last week when we made our own schedule so we can learn what we need to learn not things that we already know. When we did the typing. I was glad because I need that I wasn't good at typing but i got better at typing.

I didn't know much about blogging like its impotant and why its useful. Actually its like a teacher teaching a class. It may noy be so accurate but it has good infomation. People can conmment so you can make it better or simpler.

I am glad that I did Tech Apps because it teaches you life lessons that you need in life like typing and thinking deep it also teaches me how to do things on computers that some kids and adults don't know so I'm glad

Friday, October 4, 2013

My Perspective of Tech Apps


                            My Perspective of Tech Apps

      I think that this class will be more interesting than I thought it would. I'm slightly nervous about the relevant problem assignment because I'm having a difficult time thinking of a problem that many people have. Judging from the way keyboarding went, this might not be what I thought I signed up for.

       I think that this blog is going to help us express our opinions on this class. It's a great idea to have a class  blog and this is the first class I've ever been in that has one.

  This years class objectives seem simple and easy. I don't think that I'll have as much trouble with the actions that I do with the behaviors, because I forget things quite often.Overall, I think that this class might be interesting.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

The way to start the year

By: Sharon 

   I'm really excited about being in this class. When we started doing ultrakey, I thought that it wouldn't help me and that it would be boring. Because of ultrakey, I feel like I got a lot faster at keyboarding.
   I like the concept of blogging because I haven't really blogged anything. I had heard from some of my friends that it was fun but I never tried it. I also like that we get to choose how we work in this class. Like Mrs. Bartis has told us, I've never had a teacher ask us how we wanted our class to be like during the year.
   I hope that I get to learn more about the types of technology and how to utilize it this year.


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Fun Week

Last week we did many things. First of Mrs. Bartis told us one day were gonna do something you have never done in school. I was thinking we would play a game or something. But when I entered the class Mrs. Bartis told us to sit down. The thing we did was fun because we got to sit down and talk about what were doing this year.

When we were talking the thing I liked the most was we got to talk with each other and not be so tense. We separated our thing to do this year in two groups, behavior and action. I thought there would be more actions then behaviors but i was wrong by a landslide.

Then we started learning about blogging. I felt that blogging was interesting and important for many businesses. I never knew that even big companies and famous people have blogs. It was a fun experience I hope we can do that in other classes.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


By: Mitchell

The class so far has been good. The classmates are nice and kind. The teacher seems to think like me. This class has also introduced me to new ways of teaching.

The idea of planning our own class is something I find to be different. Not only do we know what kinds of things we need to learn but we also took out the ones we did not need. We even did an activity in which we separated the TEKS into actions and behaviors. The actions are something we will probably only do once or twice and the behaviors we will practice thought-out the year.

Ultra Key was a pain but I was able to increase my speed and accuracy with the keyboard. I am glad that it is over now. I am proud of my highest speed and accuracy. I thought I could never type that fast and still be accurate.

I hope that this class will become better and better as the year goes on.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Tech apps

By: James
        When we started to create our units and our lesson plans, it felt very unusual. Rarely do the students get a chance to sit down with their teacher and discuss how the course should go. I really enjoyed this class so far, because it gave us students a bit more of a choice of what or how the course should be sketched out. But there was many things that us students had to do, for us to grow stronger in using the keyboard and learning about blogging.
          Many people might be excited to start learning about keyboard, but little do they know that there is a lot more to learn than they think. That is why our class learned the most important part of tech apps, Keyboarding. Keyboarding plays a major role in a life of a good computer geek. After I had started the lessons I began to get better and better. I finally knew how to type the correct and appropriate way. Even though I wasn't that excited to learn and practice keyboarding, but it turned out to be very beneficial.
         Another important factor of this wonderful class is learning about blogging. And that is exactly what we did. I had the opportunity to learn about blogging. Even before I found out that we would we be learning about blogging, I was excited to learn. Non only was blogging very interesting and exiting but it allows a person to share their thoughts out, on a blog. iI had the chance to learn the main things about blogs. I felt that overall this set-up was very beneficial and hopefully in the future , I predict that this class will be a great success.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Hacking Tech Apps Begins

By: Mrs. Bartis

This is my 10th year to teach Tech Apps to 8th graders.  For 8 of those years my TEKS (Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills - what the state of Texas says should be taught in Tech Apps classes) were very descriptive.  2 years ago, my TEKS changed and now focus on the '21st Century' skills.  I can't stand that phrase by the way but that's another post for another day. The TEKS now resemble the ISTE-NETS Student Standards.

The sign on my door last Tuesday
Last year, I continued my class as usual.  We did keyboarding, Word, Excel, Multimedia and Web 2.0.  But it didn't seem right. I wanted to innovate. I wanted to do something different.  I want students to think thoughts instead of learn facts.  Last year I tried Genius Hour with little success.  My students were still focused on the 1st right answer, the easy way, the first page of Google.  I knew I had to do something different.

Last week we finished keyboarding.  I do believe keyboarding is an essential skill and it's in the TEKS so I still teach it. Besides, the rest of the year go much smoother for students who can touch type 35 words per minute with 97% accuracy.

On Tuesday, we sat in the floor and I handed everyone (I have 9 students this year) a copy of the TEKS.  I told them this is what the State expects you to learn. Let's dive into it.  I want you to understand what you are supposed to learn this year.  We spent the rest of the class dissecting the TEKS.
The circled TEKS need
direct teaching

On Wednesday, we sat in the floor with our copies of the TEKS, chart paper and smelly markers (sometimes you just need to write with smelly markers!).  This time we categorized each TEKS as a Task or a Behavior (something you need to do over and over no matter the task).  We then discussed which Behaviors need to be directly taught.  From this we created our first 6 units.

After the units, we'll start the student directed learning. They will solve relevant problems.  Relevant to them.  Through these problem solving units, we'll complete our Tasks.  When a student needs to learn something about Technology, I'll teach it when they need it.  JITT - Just In Time Teaching. We'll change the audience.  Their first relevant problem needs to be solved to help others.  This time they are working individually.  In the future, they will work in pairs and groups.  But they will always work on problems that are relevant to them.

Throughout these discussions, I've talked to them about thinking critically, thinking deeply.  We've talked about making decisions that matter.  We've talked about moving beyond Google's first page. And looking for the 2nd right answer.  I told them it's not going to be as easy as they think it will be.

We are going to blog about our journey.  Thursday and Friday they did some blog exploration.  We've started writing our reflections on our journey so far.  We'll begin editing them Wednesday.  The student's posts will begin Thursday!