Computer Lessons

In fourth and fifth grade at Saint Michael, each student uses their own netbook or laptop to work on projects and activities throughout the year. Here, you will find assignments, project directions, and other information to guide you. 

Sea Camp 2014

posted Jan 10, 2015, 1:22 AM by Paul Schwan   [ updated Jan 16, 2015, 11:15 AM ]

sea camp
Each year at Saint Michael Lutheran School our students in grades 3-8 participate in a class trip. The fourth graders attend Sea Camp on Big Pine Key in the Florida Keys. There, they participate in many hands-on activities to help them learn about the sea life of Florida Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.

Before they go, students prepare for their trip through various classroom-based activities. When they return they complete a 5-photo story as part of their computer class. The following presentations were created using screencasting software, a Google Slides Presentation, and the free audio editor Audacity. Creating this presentation is a multi-step process that begins when students choose pictures, write a script, make a 5-slide presentation, give the presentation in front of their classmates, and record the audio/video presentation for publication on this website. The project is a multi-disciplinary part of our school curriculum requiring skill sets in language arts, computer technology, public speaking, and more.

We hope you enjoy the show! Please leave some comments here so our children know that someone besides their classmates and teacher are watching. We'd really appreciate it!

A NOTE ABOUT STUDENT PRIVACY: a few of the student links take you to a page requiring a password for privacy. The presenter inadvertently identified someone by face and name in the presentation, and my policy is to avoid doing that on the public web. These children can log in using their school login so that parents are able to view their presentations. 

What is the World Wide Web?

posted Jun 22, 2014, 8:23 AM by Paul Schwan   [ updated Jun 22, 2014, 8:23 AM ]

Watch this brief video, then complete a few lesson questions and discussions. You can watch the video right from the link below. This lesson should take you only about 10-15 minutes.


Final Project, Grade 4

posted Apr 8, 2014, 8:13 AM by Paul Schwan   [ updated Apr 8, 2014, 8:13 AM ]

Today in class I laid out the schedule for our final computer project through April and May. Take a minute to look over this Presentation, and come back from time to time as needed or directed by your teacher during class or via email.

Final Computer Project

posted Mar 27, 2014, 4:31 PM by Paul Schwan   [ updated Apr 9, 2014, 10:55 AM ]

On Monday as we began Quarter 4 we also began our final project in computer class. I shared the above Google Drive presentation with both classes. The schedule is on the last slide. Students will be doing the following:
  • A project that involves one or all of these...
    • making something
    • doing something, or
    • learning something
  • Students must also "pitch" their idea to their classmates and receive constructive feedback about their idea before starting to work on it
  • Next, students will plan, organize and implement their project idea
  • They will use certain computer tools in the process, demonstrating their skill using:
    • Google Drive Text app
    • Google Drive Spreadsheet app
    • Google Drive Presentation app - for final presentation to class
    • Audacity - used to record a script to be played during their final Presentation
Today we also talked about the importance of staying on track and working a little bit each day to insure successful completion by the due date(s). I shared these notes with both classes:

We mapped out the next 4 class sessions and their benchmarks for progress that I'll be checking (and scoring). These regular checks will help keep everyone on track to insure successful completion by the due dates. The culminating event is a slideshow/presentation, complete with soundtrack, that will be played and viewed by all during our final 3 class sessions in May.

The Easter Break is available to any students who choose to work on their project idea during those days. However, it is my expectation that students will choose a project with a scope that allows them to work evenings and weekends and finish without using a school break for this project. However, since this project is to be something about which the student is passionate and in which the student is very interested, I won't discourage anyone from working during those days, either.

This seeds for this project idea came from the 20% project page for education. There, you can read about some of the ideas that I shared as examples to get the children interested in and motivated to begin this project.

Please help your child pace him/herself, and choose project parameters that are realistic for the amount of time that is to be spent on the project. The computer class sessions are primarily to be used to document progress, to plan, and to work on the presentations that will be made to classmates before the project begins and after the project ends.

Project Rubrics

I will create and share a rubric prior to each item that must be done for this project. The presentation below will grow as each rubric is added.

Here is a rough example of how the final Presentation slides might look. I've used many WORDS; I'm hoping students will use PICTURES in place of the words I've used to describe what their final Presentation can look like. I also included a YouTube video to illustrate that students' video files, if uploaded to YouTube (using their account), can be embedded in their final Presentation.

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