I want to thank Vivan for creating a tutorial on sparklines and graphs in Excel. She did such a great job that I asked her permission to use it on the class website for future students.
If any of you would like to do something similar, I would love to see it and will offer that rarest of opportunities - extra credit!
For more information and registration
Something I have wanted to add in to our curriculum since last year is what Google calls 20% time. Google allows its employees to spend 20% of their time pursuing passion projects. Projects of their own design they are interested in that are company-related. I am going to be offering 20% time to students on Thursdays as an experiment and examine the results to find out how much it helps you become more successful here in the computer class and as a Computech student in general.
The reason for implementing this now is, in part, a response to the student needs survey you took earlier this week. Students expressed a need for more time on the digital portfolio as well as review time on other assignments. There was also a request for more collaboration, where students can give each other feedback and share problems and solutions. This will be incorporated into the 20% time.
Here's how this will work. On Thursdays, we will begin the day as normal with our Core Concentration blog. We will open up for a brief class discussion where students can suggest topics that they need help on, or have found a cool solution to. Students will be allowed to meet in small groups to discuss the issues that directly relate to them. Alternatively, students will be given time to peer review each others work. Once collaboration time has ended, students will have the opportunity to make corrections and improvement to their work. Once those improvements are made, students may work on their digital portfolios. When all of the previous work is accomplished, students will be allowed time to work on an assignment of their choosing. It can be for any class, but is must be a computer-based assignment.
In brief, our Thursday schedule will look like this:
While the entire period is not dedicated to passion projects, it is hoped that it will serve as a motivator for speedier work, in order to have more passion project time. It is my hope that you will show maturity and wisdom and apply diligence to your work. As long as I can see that, we will continue with 20% time. Please feel free to comment and provide further feedback.