Friday, December 17, 2010

12-17-10 Peer Editing With Track Changes

1. You are going to e-mail your paper to a classmate.
2. You will use track changed in Word to do a peer edit and e-mail it back.
3. You will make any changes based off of those suggestions and then post your final assignment to your blog.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

12-15-10 Use of Technology Position Paper

For this position paper, you will be asked to write no more than one single-spaced page on one of the following topics (choose only one):

In what ways is mobile technology changing our society?
What are the implications of increasingly widespread use of social media?

This paper is worth 5 points and is due at the end of the hour on Thursday.

We will then do a peer evaluation (track changes in Microsoft Word) worth 5 points on Friday.

Monday, December 13, 2010

12-14-10 Group Sharing

Today you will read the writings of the other groups. You will create a new document in their folder and write 2 positives and 2 items to improve. You will do this for each of the writings.

You will also make a post to your blog about the experience of using Google Docs.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

12-10, 12/13 Group Writing in Google Docs

Create a new file for your combined writing in Google Docs.

Work together to edit your final version of the document.

Your final group paper will be due at the beginning of the hour on Tues, 12/14.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

12-6, 12-7, 12-8 Individual Writing

You will use Google Docs to write about three pages of content (around 1000 words). This should be done by the end of the hour on Wednesday.

We will combine and edit our papers on Thursday and Friday.

The final version of your project will be due on Monday.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

12-6-10 Collaborative Writing Assignment

You should be either in the children's book group, the personal narrative group, or creative fiction group. You can use any of the technologies we have discussed in this class to help your group (e-mail, texting, blog, wiki, linkedin, google docs, etc.). We will decide on following questions today as a class:

1. When is the project due? Tuesday, December, 14

2. How should it be graded?






3. What do we want to do with our projects when we've finished? Do we present them to the rest of the class?



4. Is there anything else we should consider?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

12/1/10 Web 2.0

RSS Feeds

Google Reader

Social Bookmarking (

Google Wave

Google Buzz Sites

Google Docs

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

11-30-10 Twitter

Twitter in plain English

17 Ways to Use Twitter

Create your free Twitter account and Follow me: or @tylerkrebs

Everyone should appear on my page and then we should be able to follow each other.

You'll need to create at least one tweet. Practice condensing your thoughts to 140 characters or less.

Monday, November 29, 2010

11-29-10 LinkedIn

LinkedIn for Dummies

Article in Fortune Magazine About LinkedIn

1. Create your LinkedIn profile
2. Build your electronic resume
3. Link to me and the other members of the class.

We will work on this project today and possibly tomorrow to give you plenty of time to build your portfolio.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

11-24-10 Wikis

What is a Wiki?

Blog vs. Wiki

Go to our Wiki Page and join our page:

11-23-10 Blogs

We will finish watching Julie and Julia.

You will make a blog post about what you've learned about blogging.

Monday, November 22, 2010

11-22-10 Social Media

We will continue watching Julie and Julia today.

Fired because of blogging:

Make a career as a blogger:

Thursday, November 18, 2010

11-19-10 Social Media

We're going to watch the movie Julie and Julia today. It's the true story of a blogger who became so popular that she had a movie made about her.

Any students who haven't e-mailed their gmail address or blog URL to me should send it to

We'll continue talking about social media on Monday.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

11-18-10 E-mail and Blogs

Watch the following Video

Do a 5 minute focused freewrite on your thoughts about the video.

We'll take electronic notes on E-mail etiquette:

What is a blog?

Rough Outline for the Class?

Google Buzz

Gmail Account

Email Etiquette


Blog vs. Wiki


RSS Feeds

Linkedin/Social Media

Moodle/Online Learning


Google Reader



77 Ways to Learn Better

Word Clouds


Write or Die

The future of communication

Did you Know ….Shift Happens

Social Media Revolution

World Wide Web

Persuasive Writing

11-17-10 Blogs

We're going to start today by me collecting your e-mail and blog URL. This will allow us to communicate using that technology.

Blogging safely:

What is a blog?

Monday, November 15, 2010

11-15-10 Introductions

Welcome to Writing for the 21st Century! Today we will learn more about our classmates through introductions.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Final Projects

Final projects are due on Thursday, June 3 for seniors and Thursday, June 10 for juniors.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

5-26-10 Photoshop Final Projects

We will take 1-2 days to learn Adobe Photoshop.

You will then create a Photoshop assignment that must include some type of writing.

The assignment(s) will be due your last day of school for seniors or underclassmen.

5-25-10 Lyrics Story Peer Editing

You will do at least 2 peer edits using Microsoft Word.

Go to Review/Track Changes. You can also add comments. When you have finished, make a post to your blog with the names of the people whose papers you edited.

We will start our next projects tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

5-18-10 Narrative from Lyrics

We are going to share our GoAnimate projects and then move into our lyrics project.

1. Find a song or use the Taylor Swift song provided. Then think about the elements of a story:

2. Who are the characters?

3. What is the setting?

4. What could be a possible conflict?

5. What could be a possible resolution?

Monday, May 17, 2010

5-17-10 Lyrics Prompt Writing Assignment

Taylor Swift - A Place in This World

I dont know what I want, So dont ask me, cause I'm still trying to figure it out.
Don't know what's down this road,
I'm just walking.
Trying to see through the rain coming down.
Even though im not the only one,
that feels the way I do.

Im alone, on my own, and that's all I know.
I'll be strong, I'll be wrong,
Oh, but life goes on.
Oh, im just a girl, trying to find a place in this world.

Got the radio on, my old blue jeans,
And I'm wearing my heart on my sleeve. Feeling lucky today, got the sunshine.
Can you tell me what more do I need?
And tomorrow's just a mystery, oh yeah,
but that's okay.

I'm alone, on my own, and that's all I know.
I'll be strong, I'll be wrong,
Oh, but life goes on.
Oh, im just a girl, trying to find a place in this world.

Maybe I'm just a girl on a mission,
but I'm ready to fly.

Im alone, on my own, and that's all I know.
Oh, I'll be strong, I'll be wrong.
Oh, but life goes on.
Oh, I'm alone, on my own,
and that's all I know.
Oh, I'm just a girl, trying to find a place in this world.

Oh, I'm just a girl.
Oh, I'm just a girl.
Oh, oh.
Oh, I'm just a girl.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Digital Storytelling Due May 14

You should finish your stories in GoAnimate and publish them. Add a link to your video on your blog. We will watch and grade them on Monday.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

5-10-10 GoAnimate?

Watch this video about


Twitter Novel

Podcasting/Video Casting



Web 2.0 in the classroom:

Monday, April 26, 2010

4-27-10 Creative Nonfiction

Philip Gerard, author of Creative Nonfiction: Researching and Crafting Stories of Real Life (Story Press Books, 1996), defines a piece of writing as creative nonfiction if it contains the following five characteristics:

1. It shares a good, narrative story that contains a defined setting, a solid
plot, and strong characters.
2. It has an apparent subject and a deeper subject.
3. It tells a timely story that is also timeless.
4. It offers a sense of reflection on behalf of the author.
5. It pays careful attention to the craft of writing.

Here's an example of creative nonfiction from Maryland Voices:
Everything is Going to Be Okay
By Elizabeth Dobbins

The obscure night was illuminated by the blurred light all around me. As my family and I quietly drove down the thick, busy street filled with advertisements and insomniacs of the night, I drowsily awoke from my nap in the middle of the back seat. I felt like an outsider in this strange world of luminescence and people, and I momentarily forgot where I was. I didn't fully understand why we were going to the airport, but on that night, at 3 in the morning, Riyadh International Airport was where we were headed.

After what seemed like an eternity, the lights of the street began to decrease. Eventually the small street began to descend on a slight decline, and our Crown Victoria stopped slowly under a covered entrance. On my right, a blinding light shone through a set of double doors, and Arabic letters spelled out across the glass, along with the Saudi Arabia crest of a palm tree and two swords. As my sisters got out of the back seat of the car, I slid out as well, feeling the hard cement meet my little, sandaled feet. It was August in Saudi Arabia, but the night breeze was surprisingly cool and we welcomed it. I looked up to see my father talking to a Saudi man who took the keys to our car, and I was slowly ushered inside the brightly-lit building.

This airport seemed nothing like those in America. Saudi couples moved emotionlessly around the tiny airport lobby, and it looked like a hotel lobby more than an airport check-in. It was quiet here, and I saw a single check-in desk to the right of me which my father was standing at, checking us in. Ahead of the check-in desk was an up-escalator, and my mom began leading my two sisters and I toward it.

"Where is daddy?" I thought aloud.

My question hung in the thick, humid air, refusing to be answered. My sisters' eyes read that they wondered the same thing, but no one replied to me. My mother wouldn't meet my questioning, innocent eyes, and I felt completely helpless and desperate with anxiety.

Finally I found my father. As I was moving up the escalator, he stood at the bottom, waving. Even at 9 years old, I found the tears rolling down his cheek. He looked too strong in his military uniform, with metal stars screaming his bravery, and yet I saw him defenseless. Why was he standing at the bottom of the escalator? What was going on? Questions pressed against my brain, building pressure that forced hot tears to rip down my cheek.

Speechless, helpless, I watched him grow farther away. The evil, rough, soulless escalator tore my heart as it ground upward, increasing the distance between my father and me. I tearfully tried to choke words out of my mouth, but the knot in my throat suffocated me.

As the escalator leveled off at the top, I stepped off and continued to look over the edge, down at my father who kept waving. After what seemed like an eternity, I heard my name being called across the room by my mother who beckoned me over to be with her and my sisters. I tore my blurry eyes from my idol, my father, and slowly trudged over in misery. On my way across the room, a Saudi man touched my shoulder and smiled down at me. I had never seen him before but somehow I felt familiar warmth from him.

"Everything is going to be okay," he said to me in perfect English.

As soon as I felt his hand lift from my shoulder it seemed like he vanished, and I went over to my incomplete family, whom I noticed were crying too.

I knew why we were evacuating from Saudi Arabia. Terrorists had bombed American compounds and embassies in Daharan, a neighboring city to Riyadh, where our navy base was. All of the military families were ordered to go home by President Clinton, but the soldiers had to stay. Two years of my life were spent in Riyadh, and I wouldn't see my dad for an entire year after we left.

On the long, sleepless, uncomfortable plane ride home, I looked out over the moonlit ocean and dreamed of a bomb on the plane and how I didn't want to go home. There was no home waiting for me in America. My home was in Riyadh, in my American compound, playing with lizards and my foreign friends.

As I struggled to find myself in the midst of chaos and unfamiliarity, everything made sense to me. Now, in 2004, with that horrendous day of 9/11 three years behind us, I feel the pain of thousands deep in my remembering heart. I understand terror, and I empathize. Although 9/11 was one of the few times that middle-eastern based terror organizations targeted America, this evil has existed for centuries. In Saudi Arabia and in other countries, terrorist attacks shook foundations far before 9/11. Tragic and wasteful, terrorists can only succeed if they cause terror. The innocence of a child cannot protect anyone anymore.

To overcome terror and promote peace, we must be brave and help others as well as ourselves and not use terror tactics to eliminate terror.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

4-26-10 Collaborative Writing

Here's a brainstorming list of ideas for a collaborative writing assignment using technology. What are your suggestions?

List of Web 2.0 Sites for English Classes


Creating Characters

Online Guide for Writing

Collaborative Book Writing

Writing a Children's Book

Writing a Screenplay

Creating Your Own Website

Creating Your Own Newspaper

Creating an Interactive Story With Multimedia

Publishing Your Book

Posting Your Books Online

Free Audio Books

Free Online Books

Free Online Magazines

Online Book Club

Thursday, April 22, 2010

4-23-10 Future of Social Media?

Watch this video:

Do a five minute focused freewriting on your reaction this video.

Google is trying to capture the largest audience possible:

What is Google Buzz?

What is Google Wave?

OPTIONAL: You can create a Google Buzz account through e-mail. You can also set a Google Wave account (get an invitation).