Posted by Mr. Hanson on Monday, Oct 22nd, 2012.
Advanced Technology students are working with Google Sites to create their own website on various World Cultures. In this project they are researching a specific 250 year time span to find out information about the world cultures that were active during that time frame. They are then creating a website that compares and contrasts five distinct cultures from that time period. You will be able to view their websites on the internet, so ask them to share it with you once it is finished!
Posted by Mr. Hanson on Monday, Oct 22nd, 2012.
6th grade students are starting to work with the Pivot Stick figure Animation program. Pivot is a free program, just google “download Pivot Stick Figure” to find a download site. Pivot is a great program in that it provides a fun and easy way to create 2-D animations. Students will be using Pivot to create a “Verb Animation”. In this project they will pick a verb such as jump, skate or slide and then make an animation that illustrates that action
Posted by Mr. Hanson on Friday, Sep 28th, 2012.
6th grade Technology students have started working with Microsoft PowerPoint in our technology classes. PowerPoint is part of the Microsoft Office Suite of programs that includes Word, Excel and Access. Buying the Office Suite can be expensive but academic/student versions usually cost less. The reason we learn these programs is because they are widely used in business and academic settings.
PowerPoint is what is known as electronic presentation software. It is used to present information to individuals or large audiences. Students often use PowerPoint in schools in their presentations. Many teachers (like myself) also use PowerPoint when we present information to our students. PowerPoint is also widely used in business when giving presentations.
We are doing two PowerPoint projects. The first one is a simple "All about Me" PowerPoint in which students write about things they like or dislike as well as about their family and what is important to them. The second project is much more involved as it is an interactive story that is created in PowerPoint. In this project, students will create a story that contains "choices". By clicking on the different choices the story's narrative will change. This allows students to create branching storylines that lead to different conclusions.
Posted by Mr. Hanson on Friday, Sep 28th, 2012.

Advanced Technology students are now using the Scratch programming language. Scratch was developed at M.I.T. and is used to teach basic programming concepts and skills. It can be downloaded for free at

After mastering the basics of Scratch, students will begin to develop their own video game.  Ask your child to show you some of their Scratch programming skills.  I think you will be impressed when you see what they can do!

Posted by Mr. Hanson on Thursday, Sep 20th, 2012.
For the past week, Advanced Technology students have been working on creating a Training Manual in Microsoft Word. The manual is on a subject of their choice. They had to research the project on the Internet and then create 10 pages of work. In addition to their writing, students also had to incorporate graphics and borders into the document to give it more visual pop. Students have been working hard and the projects are looking great!
Posted by Mr. Hanson on Thursday, Sep 20th, 2012.
6th graders have begun working with the advanced drawing and formatting tools in Microsoft Word. They will start creating their first graphics project this week. After the end of that project they should have a good grasp of the various graphic manipulation tools available in Word.
Posted by Mr. Hanson on Thursday, Sep 20th, 2012.
One of our first multi-day projects for the year consisted on creating a 10 page storybook in Word. This project required students to not only write a story but to also incorporate principles of graphic design to create their finished project. Students learned how to use all of the Word drawing tools as well as using text boxes, borders and clip art to finish their project. You should ask your student about their Storybook as most of them have already been printed. That way you can enjoy the literary talents of our "Diamondback Publishers"!
Posted by Mr. HANSON on Tuesday, Aug 28th, 2012.
To all my new students and their parents,

I hope that you have had a restful summer. This school year will see a lot of exciting projects for technology students. Rest assured, that technology will be a class that students look forward to going to. We have a first class lab and a wide variety of programs to work with.

While you are doing your back-to-school shopping you might want to consider get an inexpensive USB drive to save your work on. the next blog entry goes into detail about this. they are not required, but are definitely nice to have.

See you in the computer lab!

Mr. Hanson

ps: special shoutout to any h8q0rz l33t who will be in my class this year. Prepare to be amazed!
Posted by Mr. Hanson on Tuesday, Aug 28th, 2012.
USB Flash drives are the preferred method for students to store work nowadays. The two main reasons for this are because 1) they are cheap and 2) they are reliable. If you go out and get one of these drives I would suggest that you spend less than $20. You can spend more but the truth is it would be just a waste of money as students typically do not need the larger storage space. For less that $20 you can get a a 1 GB and maybe up to 8 GB drive. These drives have more than enough capacity for the needs of our students. You can buy them at any office supply store like Staples or Office Depot as well as at any large store that sells electronics like Wal-Mart, Target or Best Buy.
Does your student absolutely have do have one of these? No. With that said they are useful to have as it makes it easy for students to transfer files between home and school. When they are doing research for science fair or history day projects this might be nice.
Posted by Mr. Hanson on Tuesday, Aug 28th, 2012.
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Posted by DENNIS HANSON on Tuesday, Aug 28th, 2012.
On Mondays, students use the typing program "Microtype 4.0". This program teaches them basic keyboarding skills. Our goal is that by the end of the semester all students reach a minimum typing proficiency of 25 words per minute. If students want to continue typing practice at home, there are several good programs available. One in particular "Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing" seems to work well, although there are many others. There are also several free typing programs on the internet. Just google "typing program" or "free typing program" to find one of the many flash-based typing websites that are out there.