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Friday, May 30, 2014

End of Year, Beginning of Major Work

Today was the last day of school. I am currently switching classrooms, so I have been busy the past couple of days with moving stuff and mostly throwing stuff in the dumpster. Amazing how much junk one can accumulate in 16 years.

I am almost done completing the Digital Communication trainings in my software. It has been a bit tricky since the IC3 exams use Windows Live Messenger, which is no longer being used by Microsoft since they purchased Skype. I was able to install an old version and used Messenger Reviver 2. It allowed me to get Messenger working for my screenshots. I still have to tweak the images a little, but nothing I can't handle.

I'm excited to get this training done so I can then go back and update all of my previous trainings to the new version. This will probably take a lot of my June this year, but it will be worth it.

Monday, May 12, 2014

IC3 Trainings

So, this last year the Utah State Office of Education has decided to basically stick with the IC3 GS4 for the standards for the required Computer Technology class. This is good, but frustrating as I spent the whole year before getting my students MOS certified. However, I decided to work this last school year with the IC3 in my class again and it has been very rewarding and educational for me and my students.

The first semester this year we purchased a license for Pearson's "Introduction to Computers and Information Technology."  It is a really good course, but it did not help many of my students t o become IC3 certified. I had to go in and find a lot of other resources on their site to help my students learn information. I think the course wold be really good for a student that is self-motivated to learn on their own and not just to get a good grade in a class. It does have potential, but I could not spend another semester trying to get it to work.

So, I decided to go back to the trainings I had created before and work on getting more created.  I was worried since the program I was using to create didn't make my trainings work well on the Internet. So, I started looking around for something that would allow my to create a Windows program from the html of my trainings. I was able to quickly find one and started making a Windows program that would house my trainings.

I quickly began to really like this new direction for my trainings as my students became my alpha and beta testers. I then quickly found many problems with the program I was using to create the html trainings and started looking around for a new program for that as well. Again, I was able to find something that will eventually allow me to not only create a Windows program, but to make a program for Mac, iOS,  Android, and possibly a Chrome app. I am totally excited about this.

If you want to download the current version of my program (it is still being developed and is not totally complete, yet), you can go to train2certifyme.com, hover over Downloads and click on IC3. You will need to fill out a form, then you can download the program. Go ahead and install it on student machines and have them try it out.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

My IC3 Tests

So this last year I created tests for PowerPoint, Word, and Excel on my website. They can be found under IC3. Each test is 25 questions and are based on the questions in the Class Trainings. Students are requires to put their name, class period and teacher before they can take the test. In the end it will print this information and their score. Personally I would allow them to take the tests as many times as they need, but it would only count for.their grade if they did it in my lab with me proctoring them.

2012-13 Year

Wow, a while year has finally gone by. As I have said before, I am not much of a blogger, but here I am again.

This last year the state of Utah did a pilot program for the "Computer Technology" class. This class is required to pass in order to graduate. In the past I have taught the IC3 standards in this class. This last year we tested out the MOS Word and Excel standards. I was one if the 60 teachers round the state that tried the new curriculum. It was a pretty tough year, but I learned so much.

One of the best things we found this year was the Microsoft Official Academic Course (or MOAC) by Wiley ( www.wiley.com/go/moac). It has really good trainings to go through with your students in order to teach them the skills they need to pass the MOS exams.

I didn't just want to give my students the book and just say "Go and learn, and don't bug me" so I developed worksheets for them to go through as we completed the exercises together.

I just finished my ESL endorsement and really enjoyed some of the skills I learned as we went through our SIOP training. So, in my worksheets I put the following:

* The standards from the MOS exams in "I can ..." statements.
* The vocabulary from the chapters in the MOAC books
* The questions listed through the MOAC books

I wouldn't show the students the book, but I would go.through the exercises with them on ky demo computer. Whenever we came up to a vocabulary word or a question on their worksheet, I would soecificaly point out the word and define it or help them to answer the question.

It has been decided by our state office of education not to use the MOS standards, but to actually go with the IC3 standards. This is an improvement from what we were doing before. While I was teaching my students the IC3 standards and having them take the IC3 exams, mist of the teachers in the state were teaching the state standards and givibg the state test. Although the standards were somewhat similar to the IC3, the teat was mostly multiple-choice questions. We are now being encouraged to have our students take industry tests.

So, one if my goals this summer is to create worksheets with standards, vocabulary, and questions for students to fill out as we go through my class trainings and the knowledge questions. I am hoping this will focus students' attention to the "why" we are doing this and not just the fun they have while doing it.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Train 2 Certify Me

So, I thought I would talk a little about my website that I and several other CTE teachers are putting together. It is called http://train2certifyme.com. I have been working on it this last summer a bit and have tried to update it when I get a chance. It is the place I plan on sending my students for trainings, tutorials, tests, and other information about the IC3 exams and more. One of the big projects I have been working on this school year has been to update my class trainings for Office 2010. It has been a lot of hard work and I have had a fun time this last summer teaching other teachers in my district how to create the trainings. Together we have created trainings for Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Word, and we are currently working on Microsoft Excel. It is a lot of work, however it has been worth it as I have used these trainings with my classes this semester. In the near future I hope to begin to create the trainings for Windows 7, Microsoft Outlook, and Internet Explorer. I also have been looking into ways of making the trainings into Pre- and Post-Tests that will randomize the questions every time a student takes it. I have some ideas on how to do that, but it will be a few months to finally get these implemented. As usual, I like to offer all that I do for free. I have contemplated putting adds onto the site so as to help pay for the site and traffic, however I haven't taken the time to do that. Maybe that will be a project for next summer. Please feel free to use the trainings and other parts of my website in your classrooms. If you have any suggestions, they are always most welcome. - Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, June 10, 2011

Summer

Wow, what a year!

This last year I also started teaching Spanish 1 at my school. It was really crazy and I had to spend a lot of time getting lessons, tests, activities, etc. ready for that class, so I was not able to concentrate on this blog as much as I wanted to. Even this year I will be teaching Spanish 2 and 3 instead of Spanish 1, so again I will be spending quite a bit of time getting everything ready for that class.

OK, so now I'm done with my excuses as to my lack of entries into this blog. Let's get into talking about the IC3.

I will have to say that I am totally excited because all but four of my students this last semester became IC3 certified! Many of my students in my first semester class did as well, but not as many as my second semester. In the end, 38 out of my 52 students became IC3 certified. That's 73%. Not bad actually.

This next year I will have three classes of 9th-graders, so I will have more opportunities to have more students become IC3 certified.

I have found out that this summer Certiport will be creating a Windows 7/Office 2010 version of the IC3. I'm excited about this. We just updated our computers in two of our labs to Windows 7 and Office 2010. It has taken some time and we are finishing up our second lab, but it is so worth it. My only problem is that now I have to update all of my trainings to be in Windows 7 and Office 2010. Which, really isn't a problem as it is just going to be a lot of work. However, it will hopefully keep me out of trouble. This is one of the many things I plan on working on this summer so that I can have it all ready at the beginning of the new school year. Again, it will be a lot of work, but it is all worth it.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Train 2 Certify Me

I guess one of the biggest things I want to write about is my website. It first started out as just a place where I could park some of my trainings since we were having difficulty with the IP address of our Moodle server. However, in the last few months it has started to become a lot more than that. I wanted it to become an official site where people could come to get trained on at least the IC3 exams. So, I stared playing with some of the scripts available on the service I have (http://www.ipage.com). I finally have the page up and going, but now I have to enter content into it. I have organized it according to the different levels we came up with in our collaboration meetings this last summer. Under each level I have created links for Pre-Tests, Class Trainings, Individual Trainings, Post-Tests, and what I have called Plus Tests. I'm really excited about the site and look forward to working with my collaboration team to develop the content if the site. If you want to see the site, it is at: http://www.train2certifyme.com Tell me what you think of it or how it can be improved (obviously some content right now would be the best improvement). Also, if you want to help with the content, please contact me. - Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone