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Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Programming Unit Final Project - Holiday Coding Projects For Everyone!

This is your chance to turn your coding experience into a holiday project.  Follow the links below to the different activities today.  Enjoy these this week!  - Mr. S

Dancing Yeti Project: Make the Yeti Dance, a digital animation project from Made with Code!

Holiday Emoji Project:  You’re about to design a custom holiday emoji that you can share digitally or IRL.

Codecademy is the easiest way to learn how to code. It's interactive, fun, and you can do it with your friends. 

Twelve Days of Christmas Code:  Nice, simple implementation of the Twelve Days of Christmas. As jhixson puts it, “Pretty straightforward … in JS with a few ES6 bits.” Run it today, there are still a couple of days left! That is of course, assuming the twelfth day of Christmas is actually Christmas, which I believe is out of scope of this blog article.

Snowstorm Project:  A fancy, customizable JavaScript-driven snow effect which you can easily add to your homepage to eat up the user’s CPU! Also included, if you are feeling a bit Clark Griswoldy, is an experimental Christmas Lights script, which you can find at the top of the page.

Java Christmas Lights:  Great idea and execution, Anvaka! As noted on the, “The tree is built of two spirals. These 11 lines of code render one line on spiral. It includes 3d projection and background shadow.”

Hannakuh CSS Menorah Here is a Menorah written entirely in CSS. Neat!

SANTA TRACKER by  GOOGLE Leave it to Google to outdo everyone on the list. Enter stage north, the Santa Tracker. As Google puts it, the Santa Tracker is, “an educational and entertaining tradition for the December holiday period.” While this project appears quite jolly on the surface, Santa actually is currently involved in litigation with Google over this tracking system. Expert witness, Rudolph. Either way, enjoy!

Original Post by at

BONUS SITE:  Christmas Experiments

Thursday, December 13, 2018

JavaScript 134-part Course Online ( 18-19 S1

Learn JavaScript - Full 134-Part Course for Beginners

This complete 134-part JavaScript course for beginners will teach you everything you need to know to get started with the JavaScript programming language. The font-size in this course is large, making it perfect for viewing on small screens.

(FreeCodeCamp) created this course to go along with the JavaScript curriculum. However, the course works on its own so going through the free curriculum at is not required.

By then end of this course, you will be ready to start using JavaScript to create your own projects.

Here is a list of online JavaScript (and other programming languages) editors you can use to try out the code you are writing:

You should be able to code in JavaScript without the Blockley-style for beginners. ( and other formats).  This is also a good way to learn how coders use different editing environments to help them.  Most of the editors allow you to quickly add items that are remembered, similar to autocorrect when you are texting, or predictive keyboards.

Show off some of your projects by emailing a link to your programs.  We will take a look at them as a class, and help you troubleshoot if necessary.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Creating Google Site Student Portfolios 18-19

Resumes used to be the only tool you had to showcase your academic and professional achievements when you were looking for a new job. Today you have so many more options, one of which is to create a Digital Portfolio. This visual representation of your history and greatest achievements provides employers with proof of what you can do and helps them see why they should consider hiring you. It also sets you apart from all the other candidates who simply send in a resume and cover letter.


"If you’re in the process of developing a digital portfolio, you can’t afford to view it as a mere collection of work samples; you need to think of it as your preeminent marketing piece." 
- Ram Castillo (Award Winning Designer and Art Director)

"One of the inherent dangers with digital portfolios, for example, is that the technological novelty of the product could overshadow the purpose of the portfolio."
Digital portfolios: fact or fashion?" by Helen Woodward & Phil Nanlohy

According to Inc. Magazine (Online) and the Young Entrepreneur Council you should turn experiences into a story worth sharing.  According to the article "How to Create a Digital Portfolio That Stands Out From The Pack", some of the main reasons to create a Digital Portfolio are to:

One of the best resources for creating a Digital Portfolio is at  There are 10 PRO Tips that are discussed in the article that you should consider using in this project.

Here is the Process of Creating an Electronic Portfolio developed by Helen C. Barrett, Ph.D.:
  1. Creating an Interactive Portfolio with Google Sites
    1. 1.1 Getting started
  2. Keeping a Learning Journal
  3. Authoring an electronic portfolio
    1. 3.1 Create a first page - Introduction & Table of Contents
    2. 3.2 Set up a structure using goals (or themes) as organizing framework
    3. 3.3 Create one page for each section
    4. 3.4 Upload artifacts/create hyperlinks
    5. 3.5 Write reflections for each goal/skill and each artifact
    6. 3.6 Write future learning goals
    7. 3.7 Publish Portfolio - Seek Feedback
  4. Evaluating Portfolios


Step 1:  Sign-In to Google

Step 2:  Click your "Waffle" (Upper Right Corner) to open your list of Google Applications

Step 3:  Click on Google Sites

Step 4:  Watch The Video Below:

Step 5:  Design Your Site Heading
  1. Upper Left Corner - Change the Site Name to CCS Student Portfolio, and ADD a Logo of your choice.
  2. Change the Site TITLE to your Full Name.
  3. Move the Pointer to the Lower Left Corner of the Heading and choose the type of Image used for the Background.  You may also Click Header Type to change the Header area.
  4. Click on the TEXT BOX button (under Insert in the menu on the right side of the screen), and add space below the Header for a Personal Mission Statement / Memorable Quote / Job or Position you are interested in.
  5. Click on one of the Layouts (under Insert in the menu on the right side of the screen), and add an "ABOUT ME:" section below the Text Box.  See the sample site at for what to write in this section.
  6. Click on one of the Layouts (under Insert in the menu on the right side of the screen), and add an additional section for at least 2 of your most recent projects that you are proud of.
  7. Click the PAGES link in the menu to the right side of the screen.  Add a PAGE labeled "CCS-515 Projects".  Add TEXT Boxes for Title Bars, and Insert Sections to add all of your work for each project.  You can Upload files, or link directly to your Google Drive.
  8. Click the PAGES link in the menu to the right side of the screen.  Add a PAGE labeled "CEW Evidence".   Use this page to link/post information about anything that would qualify as evidence for PA Career Education & Work Standards.  These can include resume's, cover letters, career project investigation surveys or worksheets, individual assessment forms, and any other documents from work you have completed.  Remember, 8th-Grade students are required to have at least eight (8) items in this section prior to heading to high school.  You MUST have an Individual Career Plan started as well.  See your counselor for help with this.
  9. At any time during the design process you can click the PREVIEW Button and see what your site will look like. 
Once you are in high school, or with your parent's permission, create a personal Gmail Account and use the following link to transfer your work to your own account.  This way you will not lose this as you graduate, and stop using your account:


You must have the following items for credit:

Header and Home Page:  Student must have a legible header with your site title (CCS Student Portfolio) and a small logo of some sort.  Student must also have a "Personal Mission Statement / Memorable Quote / Job or Position You Are Interested In" section.  The "About Me" section must include a tasteful, professional-looking picture of the student (Collegium I.D. picture is recommended), and a paragraph or two as outlined on Mr. Scribner's Sample Site.  Student must also have at least two (2) current projects outlined, with images, on the Home Page.  Make sure all titles and additional pages are accessible from this page.

CCS-515 Projects Page:  Student must add sections for Computer Skills & Applications or STEAM-E, and include enough sections for every project to date.  Student should review their Google Drive and the Class Assignment Site's Archive Section ( to make sure they have all the previous projects.  Add additional sections for other classes.  There should, at minimum, be spaces for English Language Arts, Social Studies, and Science.  Make sure to LINK any work from your Google Drive for each class.

CEW Evidence Page:    Students should scan any external document to their Google Drive prior to adding them to this page (Try to add them as a PDF).  Make sure to add all items from CSA or STEAM-E classes that qualify as CEW Evidence here, instead of on the previous page.

Additional pages may be created for other projects, specific reasons, or at the request of other teachers.  This site should be updated regularly with new work, and evidence for PA CEW Requirements.  Use this site to reference work during interviews for jobs or college entrance meetings.  Make sure that your parents see this site, and approve of anything you post.


Thursday, December 6, 2018


What is iTunes U

iTunes U its a powerful distribution system for everything from lectures to language lessons, films to labs, and audiobooks. An innovative way to get educational content into the hands of students. By sharing content on iTunes U, you can easily connect with students, peers, and the public.

iTunes U offers more than 800,000 free lectures, videos, books, and other resources on thousands of subjects. The content comes from educational and cultural institutions.

Accessing iTunes U Course Manager

To access the iTunes U Course Manager:
1.Go to
2.Enter your Apple ID (For example OR create an Apple ID
if you do not have one. (Create Apple ID) (An Apple ID is a user name use for everything you do with Apple products.)

How Can I use iTunes U?

  • Academic content for a specific course or courses

  • Recordings of lecture or presentation series, guest speakers, or special events Recruitment materials

  • Promotional content for a college, department, research project, organization, or event

  • Training or informational materials

  • Artistic or dramatic performances

  • Community outreach.

Benefits of using iTunes U

  • iTunes supports audio, audio enhanced (audio with a slide show), video, PDF, and ePub content, including iBooks interactive textbooks.

  • iTunes software is designed to allow content to be downloaded to a user's personal computer or mobile device.

  • As an instructor you can feature a broad range of audio, video, books, and other educational materials along with your course syllabus, handouts, and quizzes and make the course and materials available quickly and easily to your students as an iTunes U course for the iTunes U app. You can upload materials from your computer or pull content and links from the Internet.

  • Free and easy to use

Sign in to Course Manager and create a Course

You need to sign in to iTunes U Course Manager to create your instructor profile, and create, edit, and organize your courses.

Sign in to Course Manager

You can create public and private courses.

By default, all courses created in Course Manager are private. 

iTunes U Public Site Manager and the administrator will add the course to the institution’s iTunes U site.

View a video tutorial on how to create a course on iTunes U
iTunes U Course Manager is organized in three sections:
  • Info
  • Posts
  • Materials

Share Course

  • When you are ready to share your course, you can choose Enroll Code from the Settings pop-up menu in the dashboard to share a link to your course with students and other users.
Tip: You can also choose Enroll Code to copy and paste a course link into an email and then send the email to your own iOS device (iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch) and preview and test your course from a student’s perspective before sharing the course with others.
  • For private courses, share the course enroll code with your students. Students request access by entering the code in the iTunes U app on an iOS device (iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch). After you approve a request, students can access the course using an Apple ID.

  • For private courses, when students access the link from an iOS device (iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch), they can tap the link to request access. After you approve a request, students can access the course using an Apple ID.

Download iTunes U

Download iTunes U for desktop
Download for iTunes iPhone/iPad
To download a course onto your mobile device, download the iTunes U app from the App Store, open app, click on "Catalog" on the upper right-hand corner, find a series you're interested in, and click "Subscribe". The content is then delivered directly to you, whether the course is a series of lectures, videos, PDFs, or an entire book.
After downloading the course content, you can process it however you wish. You can choose to learn at your own pace and decide whether to use your computer, iPad or iPhone.

Important Links

A Guide for Creating iTunes U Courses
Apple iTunes Information
Apple iTunes U Course Manager info
iTunes U Course Guidelines
iTunes U Support
Technical Requirements

Collaborate using iTunes U

  • Teachers can collaborate on course creation, management, and enrollment with up to five course contributors like department leads, teacher’s assistants, or district curriculum developers. You can also transfer your current course to another teacher, complete with the existing student enrollment. Or just offer inspiration by sharing a copy of your course - the outline, posts, assignments, and materials - to help others get started.

  • The best courses include a rich variety of content that inspires you and engages your students -from Multi-Touch books, news articles, documents and handouts to dynamic apps, videos, and websites. It’s easy to quickly add materials right from the iTunes U app. Or you can organize everything on your Mac, and upload from the web-based tool.

Customize the Learning Experience

  • Instructors can create and manage their course and students can experience it all from the iTunes U app on iPad.

  • Assignments, materials, and study notes all work together in the iTunes U app to keep students prepared for class and engaged in learning.Students can see homework assignments with due dates for all their courses from the home screen.

  • The iTunes U app lets students enroll in a course and download all of the materials they need when they are connected to Wi-Fi - which means learning and studying can happen anywhere, at anytime with just an iPad.

  • Students can access your course and materials (for example, lectures, books, documents, apps, web links) through the iTunes U app on their iOS devices 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Students can enroll or subscribe to courses, download materials, play video or audio lectures, read books, view presentations, and see a checklist of all assignments in one place.

Atomic Learning

What is it?

Atomic Learning strives to bring you the most up-to-date training resources on the hottest topics.

It is a library of thousands of short, easy-to-understand, "atoms" of software tutorials and technology skill training in video format designed to help you learn to use hundreds of different programs. 
These online training resources are:
  • Available 24/7
  • Open to ALL UMB students, staff, and faculty.
  • Answers to many of the "how do I do that" questions
  • Expansive and include many programs, such as Microsoft Office, Adobe Photoshop, Windows and Apple operating systems, and many more!
  • Easy to access - just log in with your full UMB email address and password.
  • Easy to search using keywords, specific applications, versions, and/or platforms.
  • Easy to share - Faculty can share direct links in Blackboard to support necessary software or technical skills.

The training tutorials support:
  • Just-in-time Tech Skills Training on more than 205 common software applications
  • Workshops that cover APA, and MLA Research Paper Basics, Web 2.0, podcasting, and much more
  • Projects that illustrate how to use and apply technology
  • “How-to” Self-Assessment to review your technology skill level
  • Video Storytelling Guide to plan and create quality movies
  • Instructor tools to quickly and easily integrate resources into any document or Web page

Atomic Learning Support

Request Help Email Form
Requires an Atomic Learning login. For access to support email without logging in, send a mail to

Additional Reading

Digital Badges (From UMASS Boston Wikispaces)

What are Digital Badges?

A digital badge is an online representation of a skill you have earned. They can be used in e-learning environments to certify accomplishments, track growth, increase motivation among students, among other things.
These badges take the form of a digital emblem/image that can be collected by students and viewed by both students and instructors (and potentially even by the public). It works much like the Boy Scout badge system, only it's digital.

(A video from the MacArthur Foundation on digital badges)

Benefits and Use of Digital Badges


Studies have shown that by highlighting and commending achievement, digital badges increase student motivation, therefore, their participation and engagement with the material. Not only do badges serve as reward for exceptional performance, but also act as record for challenges a student has overcome.


Digital badges carry metadata that indicate where, when, and how a badge was earned. Additional information attached to the digital badge might include the credentials of the issuer, among other verifying details. This metadata travels with the badge so that a viewer can see the whole story of the badge holder's growth.


With Mozilla's Open Badges initiative, the sharing of badges has become very fluid. It is easy to share your digital badges on social media or through other technological pathways. This flexibility across platforms encourages communication and more active participation. It makes it easy for students to show publicly how they are progressing in their learning.

Profile Building

Many companies and educational institutions have begun to recognize digital badges as a valid form of credentials. Digital badges are quickly becoming more acceptable as a way demonstrating the value of your skill-set to potential employers or higher ed institutions. With digital badges, students can display their specialization and commendations to the public in a manner that has potential for tangible rewards.

Badges in Blackboard

Blackboard has Mozilla Open Badges integrated into the Achievements tool. This enables instructors to issue digital badges in Blackboard courses.
Badges in a Blackboard course are tied with the graded learning activities; a grade center column must exist for a learning activity prior to setting up a badge.

Building a Badge in a Blackboard Course

In a content area:
  • Build graded learning activity, and/or
  • Build activity with review status
In Achievements tool:
  • Select badge type
  • Set rule for criteria for score/grade or review status
  • Choose digital badge image
  • Choose location for display of earned badge

Here are more detailed steps on how to create a badge.

Publishing and Sharing a Badge

A digital badge earned in a Blackboard course may be published to a Mozilla Backpack (if the instructor has enabled this feature). This transports the evidence of the student’s learning and achievement to a space outside Blackboard Learn. From the Mozilla Backpack, students can publish and share their digital badges on social media and elsewhere.

Students will need to create a free account with Mozilla Backpack with their UMB email address to be able to publish the badge. Have them follow the instructions below to create an account and publish a badge.

Create Account with Mozilla Backpack (for students)

Please note: The email address associated with a Mozilla Backpack must match the email address associated with the Blackboard account with which a user earns badges.
  1. Go to
  2. Click Log in or Sign Up.
  3. Type in your UMB email address in the provided screen and follow the steps to create an account.

Publish Badge

For best results, log in to your Mozilla Backpack in a separate tab in the same browser before starting publishing.
  1. Earn a badge in a Blackboard course
  2. Go to My Achievements or My Badges area on the Course Menu
  3. Locate the earned badge and click Publish to Mozilla (screenshot below)
  4. Follow the prompts to authenticate with your Mozilla Backpack account until you receive a confirmation that your badge was published.
  5. Share Badge Collection on the web.


Share Badge

Badges collected in a Mozilla Backpack can be easily shared in social media platforms in a number of ways. Here are some ideas: 

Here is an example of a Mozilla Backpack that was shared on Twitter (click the link in the post to view Backpack).

Additional Info

Using Achievements in Blackboard
Open Badges
The Lure of Badges (Blackboard)
Case Studies
Deeper Overview

Getting Help with Badges in Blackboard

Request an appointment with an Instructional Designer to get help with building badges in your Blackboard course:

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