RLab E Block Assignments:


Assignments submitted without following proper procedure or with the wrong email subject syntax will be graded as zero. See the document ‘Directions for using email to send in assignments in all classes’ document in the root of the shared folder for details.

Assignments are posted in chronological order with the newest assignment at the top.

The grading system for this class is cumulative, meaning all points through the semester are added together.

Spelling error challenge: The first person to find spelling errors in this document receives two extra points for the day.

May the force be with you.

Assignment 13: Project Update
Due: Friday February 1, 2008

Pick a partner and review each others project. Head to the 'Project Grading' folder in the shared class folder and take a look at those grading requirements. Copy the questions from the 'email grading template.html' template, grade each other, send an email to them and a cc to me for review. The subject should be listed as: E

This is a good check point and will help you, hopefully, realize what you are missing in your project work. If you have a '0' in the journal section... you get the idea.

When in doubt, ask questions.

Assignment 12: Mid-Term Exam
Essay Due Tuesday January 15th. Class discussion during the exam period. Bring pot luck snacks to share for the exam (not required but much more fun).

Please send your responses no earlier than January 12th.

In an essay, comment on the following:

Dan Rottenberg interviewed Walter Cronkite back in 1994:


1. What are your thoughts on this article ?

Give this a read: 'You Don't Understand Our Audience" posted at teh root of the shared folder or available online:

Registration is required to view online, but it's free !

2. What are your thoughts on this article ?

3. Watch one broadcast on the 'evening news' on a major network and describe what you saw.

4. What is your feeling on how the news is reported ?

5. The movie called 'Good Night and Good Luck' is about an old school style of journalism. Either take in the movie (it is excellent) or read reviews of it online and describe your thoughts on it.
6. Murrow felt journalism had an obligation to lead critical thought. What are your thoughts on whether it is the 'job,' so to speak of news / journalism to lead or to follow popular culture ?

7. If you could essentially redo network news, what would you do ?

Obviously, this is an exam quality writing and discussion... and the focus is on developing a more critical eye on journalism and our perception of what is 'the news' in todays highly communicative world. One or two word answers will be frowned upon.

May The Force be with you, AP

Assignment 11: Informal Essay on... Gaming
Tuesday December 19, 2007
Points 100

Informal writing... something more than a few sentences.

Concerns over the violence portrayed in video games hits the news quite often. Some feel that violence in games is calling for children to be desensitized to violence and that a aversion to understanding consequences of ones actions is developing in heavy gamers. Simply, hit reset to get another chance. There are also many concerns about the level of physical inactivity in some children with some playing as many as 4-5 hours of games per night. Health and physical fitness problems, anger management, obsession with the game itself.

What are some of your thoughts on this and even personal gaming habits if you see fit to discuss it. How often do you play ? Would you consider your gaming habits healthy ? Do you get enought exercise ? Does your game play interfere with your 'real life ?'

Obsessions with television are rampant as well. The quality of content is an issue with many in such discussions. Watching what may be considered educational television draws less criticism - Discovery / History Channel as examples. Much of the controversy falls back on an analysis of the phrase "all things in moderation." Thoughts on balance ?

Then there is the Wii. DDR (Dance, Dance Revolution) has been around for a bit. Thoughts on the Wii ? Good ? Bad ? Future ?

Are games too violent ? Should there be restrictions on age aka maturity levels enforced with games ?Games like Sim City and the like take a rather different approach to gaming. Here's a new project at the Parsons that "aims to develop video games with a conscience." These games are taking on new life in some of the most cutting edge majors in the world like 'Urban / Civic Planning' etc. Worthwhile project ?

Games have changed a great deal since you were in middle school. Any thoughts on what they'll be like say... five years from now ?

NY school opens lab for serious games

Parsons School of Design Design and Technology Lab

How do these programs look to you ?

Writing due Monday and discussion on Monday. May The Force be with you.


Assignment 10: Two-Minute Speech
Due Date: Thursday November 29, 2007
Points: 10

Speak on a subject of your choice (educationally appropriate disclaimer...) for 2 - 2.5 minutes.

Guidelines: Introduce yourself, your topic, chat on it and wrap it up all in 2-2.5 minutes.

No reading word for word from a page though. Notes can certainly be used as can props.

Use the speech making resources in the shared folder as a guide if you so choose. There are a good number of helpful tips in there.

Assignment 9: Project Summary to a Classmate
Due Date: Friday November 9, 2007
Points: 100

Pair up with another person in class who sits at another pod.

Show them your project: Original idea, work you've done and where you're headed. Allow them to ask questions, and ask them for feedback on what they think about what you're doing. Seeking someone

Then, switch roles and review their project in the same fashion.

Write up a summary in one paragraph that addresses the following (copy and paste these questions if you like):

What Project:
Thoughts on the of quantity and quality of work done so far:
Thoughts / observations about where they are headed with this project:
Ideas that you may have for them: From resources, questions or observations on the clarity they used to describe the project, and / ideas or considerations for their final presentation.

The trick:

Email your results to the person with whom you spoke and CC me.

Use the proper subject header too. Essential or this will be graded as a zero.

Assignment 8: Speech / Presentation Introduction
Due Date: Tuesday October 23, 2007
Points: 20 points each (You'll grade each other on participation.

Introduction to Web 2.0 services and Speech Making / Team Project Preparation:

Speech making resources are available in the shared folder. Tips and tricks.

One topic per pod: First come first serve... sign up with me when you choose.

Make a presentation for the class on one of the following subjects below.
Introduction: What does this service do ?
Provide examples / show how to use the service.
The team presents... how will you do it ? Lead everyone to try it ? Show and tell ? Both styles ?

1. Del.icio.us
Import bookmarks into the online system, show us how the service works, and how to find / utilize other peoples bookmarks. Tool bar buttons ! We'll have to work around the firewall restriction but it would be good to add the toolbar to the a browser to show people how to add/tag new web sites.

2. Google/ig:
Setup a home page. Describe how to sign up, how to add feeds. Neat tricks, tips, tabs etc.

3. Picasa or Flickr: Your choice.
Show the class how to import photos, share / collaborate (publish), search for and find other peoples photos.
One thought... should you spend as much time taking scenic photos on a trip, more photos of friends or... less photos ?

4. Twitter.com
What is this ? Intro and provide examples.
Discuss and / or model how this could be useful.

Vets: Frairs Greene, Lapointe and Naples.
5. Tabbed Browsing for Research and Google Tinkerin':
Open tabs, use google to phrase questions different ways and see what you get. Mrs. Miller in the library has great tips on how to use Google to pair down research using tricks in Google. Grab that sheet from her and show us what's cookin'.

Assignment 7: Web 2.0 Article and Discussion
Due Date: Friday October 19th, 2007 (Beginning of class). We'll discuss the article in class on Friday as well.
Points 100

Read the following article and write a 1/2 page essay that addresses the following:


It's a rather thick read but stick with it.


What is the difference between web 1.0 and 2.0 ?

What are your thoughts about some of the new collaborative services ? MySpace, Facebook, Del.icio.us, Picasa, Flickr or the like ?

What role do you feel these services could / should play in education ?

Do you use any web 2.0 services ? If so, which one/s ?


Got services ? http://www.go2web20.net

We'll be raking over some of these services in detail over the next few weeks.

Assignment 6: Article Review by Gary Stager.
Due Date: Monday October 15, 2007 (due at the beginning of class).
Points: 100
Essay: At least 1/2 page. Pick an article from:


Submit review via email using the proper subject header.

-10 for each spelling mistake.

State the name and the URL of the article at the top of the email.

Questions to answer:
1. Why did you pick this article ?
2. What is the Author's opinion in this article ?
3. What is your opinion on this subject now that you've read it ?


Assignment 6: Invitation for the Research Lab and EDesign Course to make a 'vision' presentation on what technology in schools should / could look like.

Along the lines of the 20-20 Vision Vid we watched, what should technology access in schools look like in the future ?

An old friend of mine asked us to come up with something innovative. My first questions I sent back was, what if we cast a vision about what technology access should look like today ?



for more details. Read it through and post your comments. Make sure to leave your initials.

I'm off to Boston this afternoon but will be back Wednesday.

Don't fire up the music too loud, use the extra time to continue your project work.

May The Force be with you.

Assignment 5: Due Date: Friday September 21, 2007: OpenCourseWare Exploratory Evaluation
Points: 100

Grading criteria:

-5 points for every spelling mistake.

Submit via email to me with proper subject heading (see the root of the shared folder for details - ask questions if you are unsure). No attachments ! All assignments received with an improper subject heading or as an attachment will have 50 points deducted.

250 words or more must be in your essay. Hint: use the word count feature in Word. 250 words must be in your writing and can not include copying or rephrasing the questions below.

Review the document in the RLab folder called OpenCourseware.html

This document has links that will be helpful in introducing the concept of OpenCourseWare.

Address the following questions in your Essay:

1. What was your first reaction to OpenCourseWare ?
2. Impact on the world ? Will this / could this change education ?
3. Pick a subject and investigate the materials presented. List the subject and course name and present your thoughts on how this material is presented.
4. Now, what's your opinion on OpenCourseWare ?
5. Do you think you'd use this resource for your own studies or as a jumping point to get some ideas on a subject that you may be interested in ?

Assignment 4: Innovation Review
Due Date: Friday 9/14: Review one entry of choice from the 'Innovation' section on the Lab home page. Write up a paragraph that addresses the following questions:
Points 10

What is the article you reviewed ?
Why did you choose this article to review ?
What do you think of this innovation ?
Potential impact on the world ?

Submit via email with proper subject header. Each spelling mistake -5. No worries.. you can't go below zero.

Hint: Have someone proofread your work before you send it in.

Assignment 3: Wiki Intro and Web Research
Due Date: September 13, 2007

Head top the class wiki and look to the gray bar on the left. Use the web to research and post technologies that hit the market between 1990-1995. Post your results up there on the wiki page.

Assignment 2: Discussion on your study proposal by Friday
Due Date: That'd be this Friday September 7, 2007

Draft up your study proposal and discuss it with me. We'll look to polish this up by next Tuesday so we can get underway!

Assignment 1: Login. Shared folder access.
Due Date: Wednesday, September 5, 2007

All 'network usage agreement' paperwork must be turned into the library by Wednesday at 8am.

Please reveiw the shared folder. We'll go over 'Project Development Steps' as a class and the ' Project Grading' folder as well.

First week:
Lab Presentation / Course overview.
Ramp up email and shared folder access.