Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Highlight the countries of World Cup 2014 on an interactive online atlas!

Your assignment is to highlight all the 32 countries that are participating in the World Cup 2014 on an online interactive atlas.  One that I suggest you use is's Countries that You've Visited Interactive Atlas

Step 1: Do a Google Search to find the 32 countries that are participating in Brazil's World Cup 2014.

Step 2:  Go to (click on the link above) and highlight all of the 32 countries as if you had visited them all, and then click on the Generate Map button at the bottom.

Step 3: Take a screenshot of your global map, save it as a jpeg or gif image and send it as an attachment to

Step 4: Research and fill out the Group Country Analysis table by clicking on this link to access the Excel spreadsheet.  Follow the steps as shown in class and save this spreadsheet with your name and send it as an attachment to

For a video report of the World Cup by numbers, please click on this link.

Monday, May 19, 2014

John Smith Student Loan Calculations and Budgeting Exercise

John Smith recently graduated from an in-State University with a degree in physical therapy.  He is about to embark on his career as a physical therapist at New Haven Physical Therapeutics, and is expected to make $46,300 per year. In order to get his degree, John had to take out $35,000 in student loans (Stafford loans plus Student Plus loans).

Please click on this link to access an Excel spreadsheet that we'll use to calculate the costs and duration of paying off John's student loans.  You will also learn how to use the CNN Money student loan calculator to help John determine whether he should try to pay off his tsudent loans in 5, 10 or 15 years.

In the next exercise, we will take a close look at John's monthly cash flows - since he plans on creating a budget to monitor his spending habits across expense categories.

For some guidance on an average household's spending habits (expense allocations), please check out this monthly cash flow analysis calculator.

You will use it along with the expense spending cash flow spreadsheet that you downloaded for the student loan calculation above, to calculate John Smith's average monthly net income.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

PC Rx Quiz

This quiz is about PC Rx or How to Keep Your PC Running Smoothly

Please click on this link to access the quiz.  

Remember to save your work as 
and send it as an attachment via gmail to

Monday, May 12, 2014

PC Maintenance (or PC Rx)

How many times have you heard someone say that their computer's crashed? or that their laptop is running so slowly?  Or that they receive so much junk (i.e spam) via email?

Well don't just stand there - let's do something about it!

You gotta stay proactive, don't let things pile up until the last minute.

Here are some guidelines for PC maintenance and repair:

General Tips

  • Be organized - save your working files in sub-folders inside of a working folder on Google Drive (not on your C-Drive) - this will actually help preserve the life of your C-Drive
  • Don't save files on the root folder of your C-Drive
  • Uninstall (not delete, but actually use the Windows Uninstall routine) all programs that you don't really use - you'd be amazed at all the stuff that piles up on your C-Drive and web browser task bar over time - so get rid of it!
  • Buy a surge protector - this will save your desktop, laptop, cable modem and wireless router during thunderstorms

  • Practice safe computing. Don't accept software or downloads for which you didn’t ask. Delete any suspicious email without opening it. And even if the     email came from your best friend, don't open any email attachments with the following extensions: * .exe, .com, .vbs, .bat, .mdb, .reg, and .js

    • Can you get to Level 20 on is a great site to get exposed to computer programming.  They employ a block building approach to get students to create real video games.

      There are 20 levels or puzzles that you need to solve in order to earn the coveted Certificate of Completion.  Think you got what it takes?  

      Check it out at

      Monday, May 5, 2014

      Internet Research Detective – Q4A

                      Internet Research Detective – Q4A

      Your mission is to use your best internet research skills to correctly answer the following 10 questions within the shortest possible time.  You get 10 points for each correct answer plus 20 bonus points if you gmail your answers to me first, 14 pts for gmailing them to me 2nd, 13 pts for gmailing them to me 3rd, etc.  Those who submit these answers last do not get any bonus points.  The top 3 scorers per class will get a prize.

      Please click on this link to access a Word document version of this exercise. Type your answers under each question into the document, save the document as FirstNameLastName_IRDQ4A.doc and gmail it to

          1) In 2014, which ten sports teams have the highest average pay per athlete in the world?  (Hint: think teams, not individual athletes)

          2) Who are the top 10 highest paid athletes in 2014? (Hint: think individual athletes, not teams)

      3)Which 3 countries have the fairest (i.e. most equal income equality or income distribution across its population), based on the latest World Bank statistics?

      4) Refer to question 3.  Between which 2 countries does the United States rank in terms of equality of income distribution?    

           5) Which 5 countries have the highest GDP per capita in 2013 (according to  the IMF)?

       6) What are the top 5 languages spoken in the world, in order? 
       7) What percentage of women sit currently on the U.S. Supreme Court?

       8) What are the top 5 selling video games of all time?

       9) What are the top 5 countries in terms of the percentage of citizens using the internet regularly?
      10) Which are the 3 countries with the highest calorie consumption per day?
      11) What was the single most viewed sporting event in the world?  

          12) Which 5 states in the U.S. have the highest income per capita?

          13) Which 5 states in the U.S. have the lowest income per capita?

      14) What are the top 10 most visited web sites in the world?

      15)  What are the top 10 best jobs in the U.S. according to U.S. News and World Report?

      Thursday, May 1, 2014

      Use to edit a Portrait, Landscape image and create a Collage

      In this exercise, we will use photo editing program to transform a portrait and a landscape image - and also to create a collage.

      The only way to get to know this program is to just dive right in and start editing, using the many menu functions on the left sidebar of the site.  You'd be amazed at all the fun ways you can transform images and create flyers, holiday or business event cards as well.  

      I have found this program to have a much faster learning curve than PhotoShop or Gimp, both of which are powerful photo editing programs.  And for many reasons, PicMonkey is much more fun to use and share images with friends.

      Be sure to check out the tutorials on and the many PicMonkey video tutorials on YouTube as well, such as this one which shows you how to use overlays to create the illusion of a boy flying.

      Wednesday, April 23, 2014

      Save and store your files onto Google Drive - Cloud Backup system

      This exercise is kind of easy but important.

      Students will save as many files and documents onto the cloud using Google Drive.  What are the advantages of using Google Drive over your C drive on a PC?  Can you name a few?

      Structure and organization is key.

      Here is an example of how you would nest subfolders into a main folder onto your G-Drive:





      In this example, the Jobs subfolder is nested inside the Documents subfolder which is nested inside the main HydeComputerTechEd folder. 

      With Google Drive, you can color code all your folders, search for files using Google keyword search, list all folders, and Share folders with a select audience granting them permission to view or edit via email addresses or via a hyperlink onto a blog or web site.                                                                    

      Thursday, April 10, 2014

      Quick blog survey

      Please answer the following questions about the blogs project:

      Sunday, March 30, 2014

      Create your own blog!

      Creating a great blog takes time and experience.  It is the product of developing a tasteful way to package and relay quality information to visitors. 

      Before you create your first blog, you may want to do some online soul searching first.  Consider the following questions: 

      • How many blogs and web sites have you visited in your lifetime?  
      • Are they mostly in one subject area, or across different areas of interest? 
      • Are they about entertainment, education, sports, or news information?  
      • How many of the sites that you frequently visit are trying to sell you something?  
      • How do they make money?  
      • WHY do you keep coming back to them?  
      • Would you and do you recommend, like or share them with your friends?

      Now, here is a series of steps that most bloggers follow when and as they create their new blogs:

      1. It makes sense that you choose a subject matter that you're passionate about and that you feel you have some expertise in for your blog.  How else could you be viewed as an authority figure or guru on a particular subject?
      2. Once you've decided what your blog is about, try to come up with a catchy title and slogan/tagline. Remember the logo and slogan that you created using MS Publisher?  You may considering using these images for your blog as well.
      3. Choose a layout/structure/design that feels comfortable and won't make things too busy.

      Here are a few YouTube Videos that I recommend for learning how to create a free blog using Blogger:

      Here are some key elements that you should incorporate into your blog (and for which you will receive bonus points for) are the following:

      • Catchy title with a slogan or tagline
      • Nice and effective layout (header, content area, sidebar)
      • An attractive contrasting background - whether patterned or tiled image that was uploaded
      • A Search box, preferably near the upper right part of the home page
      • At least 3 posts to your blog
      • These posts must have at least one image (pic), one video and one hyperlink to another site, page or file saved on google drive
      • Posts must show some value-added content - engaging articles or reviews about items or issues in your subject area and consist of at least 2 paragraphs in length 
      • At least 3 pages beneath the header with tabs on the navigation menu bar (sample pages include: blog, about, educational, photos, videos, contact, site map, directions, news, policies, events, etc.) You should have no more than 7 page tabs on your navigation bar.
      • One of your three pages must be a directions page, where you embed an interactive Google Maps onto the page.  (I will show you how to do this in class).
      • A sidebar with at least 3 gadgets (blogger's term for widgets)

      Extra credit will be given for embedding a sign-up form from Mailchimp within one of the sidebar gadgets, and/or a site map link at the bottom (within the footer area).

      Coming soon! Pay attention to instructional videos which I will add to this post over the coming days.  You can watch them during the Spring break as you spend time to complete and refine your blogs.

      Tuesday, March 25, 2014

      What makes a great blog?

      In this unit, we're trying to separate great blogs from lousy blogs.  

      What features do the great blogs have in common?

      Similarly, why do the lousy blogs stink?

      The only way to answer these questions is to do some exploring on your own, as well as to examine some of the most popular blogs around.  I came up with a list of 10 blogs that you should rank from 1 to 10 (1 being the best, and 10 being the worst).  You should take at least 15 minutes to explore them before passing judgement on them:

      Step 1) Below this post, in the comments box for this site, tell us which blog you ranked 1st.  Tell us what 3 features stood out to you that would make you want to re-visit the blog.

      Step 2) Tell us which blog you ranked 10th (or last).  Tell us what 3 features really turned you off about it.

      Step 3) Can you find a blog in a subject area that interests you, and share it with the rest of the class?  Type in the name or copy and paste the URL in the comment box.

      For a list of criteria for evaluating blogs, please click on this link.

      Thursday, March 20, 2014

      Youth at Work student application form

      The summer is a great time to gain experience in a field of interest and get a head start up your career path.

      Youth At Work is a public-private organization and part of Mayor Toni Harp's Youth Initiative program designed to give high school students in the New Haven area job opportunities for over the summer break.

      To find out more about the program, please click on this link.

      To apply for a job opportunity, please fill out this application form

      Mail your applications to Youth@Work, 165 Church Street 1st Floor, New Haven, CT 06510.

      The deadline is April 24th, 2014.

      Sunday, March 16, 2014

      Social Media Presentation Rubric and Self-evaluation form

                                           Social Media Presentation Rubric

      Please answer the questions in this presentation self-evaluation form - to do so please click on this link.

      Monday, March 10, 2014

      Please answer this brief pre-presentation survey

                      Please click on this link to answer the survey questions.  


      Sunday, March 9, 2014

      Survey for Thursday after-school tutoring for this class

      I am interested in knowing who would be interested in regularly attending optional, weekly tutorial sessions for this class on Thursday afternoons from 2:45 - 4:00 PM.  

      At these tutorial sessions, students would be able to get free assistance with assignments in this class as well as with other computer tech ed topics in a small group setting.

      There will be free bus service to take interested students home from school.

      For those interested, please respond by sending me an e-mail at

      Sunday, March 2, 2014

      Social Media Research and Presentation Project

      Social media is growing exponentially as a means of promoting business as well as personal interests.  There is a reason that some of these companies are worth tens of billions of dollars.  

      Here are some recent social media statistics:

      • Social networking sites now reach over 82% of the world’s online population (1.2 billion users).
      • Social networking accounts for 20% of time spent online.
      • Nearly 1 in every 5 minutes online is spent on social networking sites.
      • Women spend an average of nearly 2 hours (30%) more than men on social networking sites in a month.
      • Social networking is no longer a teenager’s activity – it is spread similarly through all age segments.
      • As of December 2012, 67% of online adults use social networking sites.
      • People age 55 and older represent the fastest-growing age segment in global social networking usage.

      Your job for this project is to research and report on one of the Big 5 social media companies and how you would use its web site to promote your business.  You will also do the same for one of the lesser well known social media sites.  

      Here is a list of the Big 5 social media sites by monthly active users:

      1. Facebook
      2. Google +
      3. Twitter
      4. LinkedIn
      5. YouTube
      Here is a list of some of the other less well-known social media sites that you can choose (any 3) from:

      • Instagram
      • WhatsApp
      • UStream
      • Vimeo
      • Tubemogul
      • Blogger
      • Wordpress
      • Wix
      • Weebly
      • Squidoo
      • Pinterest
      • Reddit
      • Digg
      • StumbleUpon
      • Tumblr
      • Yelp
      • Meetup
      • GoToMeeting
      • Skype
      • ScribD
      • EzineArticles
      • Zimbio
      • PRWeb
      • Technorati
      • HubPages
      • Mailchimp
      • aWeber
      • WuFoo
      • Flickr
      • Feedburner
      • MySpace
      • Shopify
      • BigCommerce
      • Squarespace

      Step 1 -  aggregate information about the two social media sites that you selected into a spreadsheet table.  Check out Alexa page rankings and performance stats from to find out how popular these social media sites are.  Please click on the link to access the spreadsheet.   

      Step 2 -  create a Powerpoint presentation telling us:

              A) What your business is about (refer to your logo and slogan)
              B) How you can use 2 of the social media sites you chose 
                   to promote your business

              You can team up with a partner to give your presentations, but remember that each 
              member has to report about at least one of the social media sites.
      Here is a guide to help you organize and make your presentations in Powerpoint.

      To access a rubric with grading criteria for your presentation, please click on this link.

      Tuesday, February 25, 2014

      Social Media Marketing Overview

      In our next unit, we will research and explore social media marketing and promotional strategies, for your company, blog or web site.  

      Here are some interesting graphics showing how we are becoming more and more connected every day, in terms of sharing information and ideas on the web today.

      How many of these sites and apps have YOU used?  Would you recommend any of them for business or personal use?  Why or why not?  Which do you think will still be popular 10 years from now?

      Wednesday, February 5, 2014

      MS Publisher: Create a logo, slogan, business card and flyer for a health services company

      In this exercise, we will create an original logo, slogan, business card and flyer for a hypothetical company in the healthcare field.  The logo and slogan can be used at the top of a web site (the header) or even on company stationary such as a business card or letterhead.  

      If you're a bit unclear as to what a logo, slogan and header is you can always use Google Search and Wikipedia for definitions and additional examples to the ones we covered in class.  There are also plenty of web sites devoted to creating logos, slogans and headers online.

      Step 1  Go to Google Images and search for sample logos and headers from the healthcare industry.  For instance, you can key in "Physical therapy logos" , "Health services headers", "Dentist clinic web sites" or "pharmaceutical company logos" to find some sample pics.  For slogans, you can do a keyword search on "Healthcare slogans" or "healthcare slogan examples" as an example.  

      Your objective is to select at least 3 logos, at least 2 of which must have a slogan and 1 header that appeal to you because they are catchy and well-designed (artistic, creative, good color arrangement, etc.).    

      For a list of slogans from companies that you may have heard of, click on this link.

      Once you've found a few that you like, use Nimbus Screenshot app (which you can download for free from the Google Web App Store), to copy and paste your favorite 3 samples into a new (blank) page in MS Publisher.  As you copy your samples, record the pixel length and width on a piece of paper.  Also, write down the slogan.  Beneath each sample that you paste into Publisher, type the pixel dimensions in a text box.  Insert an arrow to point to the slogan if there is one.

      Another Google App that you can use to measure pixel dimensions for any image on the web is MeasureIt!  Unlike Nimbus Screenshot, however, MeasureIt! is only useful for measuring dimensions of images - it doesn't capture, edit or archive them as Nimbus Screenshot does. 

      Step 2  Now it's your turn to be creative.  Design your own logo, slogan and header for a health services company.  Be innovative.  Use MS Excel and Publisher together with Nimbus Screenshot (to import a background photo/pic).  Try to come up with an original and catchy slogan. 

       Here is the link for the web site from which this sample header was taken. 

      Step 3  Now that you've created your own logo, you can easily copy and insert it into business stationary using MS Publisher. Create a business card using Publisher's templates, inserting your logo strategically on the business card.

      Keep in mind when designing your own business card, that style has a lot to say about the type of business that you're in.  You don't want to get too flashy if you're an accountant, lawyer or physician.  But if you're into something artsy or if you're in a technologically innovative industry (like Google, Yahoo, or web design), then it's a great idea to flash your artistry - with a cool logo and vibrant colors.

      Here are a few examples of effective business cards:


       Step 4  Finally, using Publisher's templates, create a flyer for your business that will promote a sales event, new opening or other company news announcement - remember to place your logo and slogan in the header section of the flyer. 

      Here are some examples of effective business flyers:

          Remember that an effective flyer has the following components:
      • Logo with slogan or tagline
      • Contact info (address, phone, e-mail, web URL)
      • Date and time of a promotional event
      • Nice design, layout and color theme
      • Relevant pictures
      • Effective and appropriate font styles and font sizes
      • Coupons if needed
            Can YOU design a winning flyer for YOUR company?

          Winners of this exercise will get bonus points.


      Monday, January 20, 2014

      Health Sciences Resume and Cover Letter Writing Exercise

      In this unit, we will write a competitive resume and cover letter for a hypothetical person who is applying to two companies or clinics in the health sciences field.  You can choose from one of three candidates:

          - Stanley Lee an aspiring dentist
           -  Michelle Barnes physical trainer and 
          - Eric Neville, a registered nurse 

       Each candidate is on a specific health sciences career path.  

      There are two companies listed for each of the three career paths.  So, there are three applicants/candidates and six companies in all.  

      Your goal is to write 1 resume on behalf of one of these candidates and 2 cover letters to the two companies listed in that career path.

      When writing resumes and cover letters - with the goal of securing a job in a particular field - you are trying to convince the person in charge of hiring that you are the candidate with the best skills, experience, goals and passion required for the job.  Ultimately, it is a marriage of your skills and goals with the goals and needs of the company hiring.  The Venn diagram above is a graphic representation of this marriage.

      To complete this assignment, and for a listing of the 3 candidate's bios and descriptions of all 6 companies, please click on this link.

      To access a Powerpoint presentation entitled, Resume and Cover Letter Writing Tips, please click on this link.

      For a sample resume template, please click on this link.

      For 2 sample cover letters, please click on this link.

      For the cover letter revision exercise, please click on this link.

      Great Resume Action Verbs

          Cover Letter Worksheet

      I am___________
      Because I_______
      What this means for your firm (benefits)
      Try to stay healthy
      You can count on me to be there when you need me
      A good communicator
      Listen and try to understand people’s needs
      You have a valuable worker who will help make the office a happier and more harmonious place to work
      A skilled word processor and writer
      Completed an MS Word course at Hyde and enjoy reading
      You get a highly productive and efficient online reporter from day one – few spelling and grammatical errors
      Online research analyst
      Completed a computer tech course that focused on using google keyword searches
      You get a savvy researcher who can save the company lots of time in discovering new ways to solve problems