Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Peter Banta Blog Post for March

This week has been the beginning of phase 2 of my final project. This means that the entire front of my spaceship has been fully modeled down to every last detail. The overall cockpit came out very nice, and the texturing i made for the glass encompassing the cockpit looks very good. The beginnings of phase 2 have been very promising, and the body shape for the middle section of the ship is looking very nice. I have enjoyed the process as I have had a lot of success with the whole modeling process. The whole class experience has been very enjoyable also.
phase 2 scene 1.png

The project is going well, and I like the way the small details of the cannons are coming out. Phase 3 is going to be very detailed, while phase 2 is more about getting a rough shape down while doing some of the details in the back. I really like how it is going so far and I think I am slightly ahead of schedule as I finished the main body shape in half a class instead of the whole class like I thought it would. Overall the help desk is clearly making me a better modeler in general.

Taha Vasowalla Blog Post for March

So far in Tech Team, I have been working on my project, Aquanotes. Mostly I am programming in the core functionality of the program and working to make it fully functional and ready for the web. There are many bugs that I have encountered and I haven’t fixed all of them yet. I am hoping to get a prototype done by the end of March.

My three formative projects are done and our website is also nearing completion. All I have left is writing the actual program so it looks like I should be able to meet my deadline.

Lee Lebensbaum Blog Post for March

So far on this quest, I have finished my first project. My PowerPoint has been completed, and there are two more dragons to slay: the word document and the video. Taha and I, while often working extremely hard, delve into the mystic worlds of Steam, to motivate ourselves and build our minds with valuable knowledge and experience.
The idea of using Google in education is coming together, more so than before. A few weeks ago, I was hesitant on using other features other than Google+, but then I found so many useful tools that can be (and should be) used. Google Calendars, Google Groups, Google Communities, Google Drive... the list goes on! In the word document, I shall explain all of the uses of these apps. In the video, the plan is to give a tutorial on setting up and using Google+ for teachers and students. Overall, this project is coming together well and the hope is to finish the entire project by the end of April. The sword in this epic is my brain, and wielding, it, I shall conquer this project!

Parth Blog Entry for March

Parth Valecha

Hi I am Parth Valecha. In the past couple months, I have been working on a headphones idea of mine. I have been researching different headphones and looked at what I can take from each headphone and each company to produce my product. I have been researching which tips provide the best noise isolation, which drives produce  crisp and balanced sound quality, and stuff like that. I also wrote about a page and a half on the benefits and functions that make my product so different and beneficial. I have recently started working on the product development side of my product and how it implements so many things into such a simple format and device. I hope to soon get a document out on how I would market and sell my headphones. I think Innovation Help Desk is pretty sweet. I like the independence as you can do really whatever you want. Sometimes that independence leaves me a little lost but that feeling is necessary in the business world. I feel like I can really get my thoughts out and develop and improve on them.

For phase two, I got an idea on how I’m going to present my idea. It’s going to be on a word document. It will have two parts, product development and benefits to customer. The first part will be pictures of a few headphones from other companies. Each headphone has a few bullet point on how I would like to implement it into my product. I might take the design of one headphone and the quality production of another. In the end, my product will be a mix of all the headphones. I do this to show what I have in mind and show that my product is viable. The second part will be an elevator pitch. This will focus more on the benefits and uses of my product rather than how it works.

Ian Blog Entry for The Month of March

            For the past few weeks at the help desk I've been improving my skills with the 3D modeling and animation program Maya. I started using Maya two years ago but ended up taking a long break, so I had to spend the first few classes relearning some of the tools. The project I’m currently working on is a model of a robot, which I’m going to use to try and learn rigging. I just completed the first phase of my project, which was to make the actual model of the robot. The whole thing went well and I finished in good time.

            Soon I’ll be starting the second phase of my project, which will be to learn how to rig and begin rigging the model. I actually have never tried rigging before, but I've heard it’s an incredibly time-consuming process, so much apparently that I've been told I may not finish by the end of the term. I’ll do my best though and if I somehow manage to finish the rigging with time left I’ll make a simple animation with the robot.

Sara Blog Entry for the Month of March

Hi Everyone! Just wanted to update you on my website progress. With help from Mr. Downs, I now have a template that I am using for each of the pages. I picked out the color scheme and the
pictures that I will be using. Also, I am planning on creating my new logo soon. I learned a lot of new code, which is posted below. I now know how to change colors, as well as create new boxes on the screen.
On a side note, I was recently selected to represent Andover High in a Cake War where I will be designing a cake that is Andover High School themed. I will be competing against a few other schools in surrounding towns, and all of the cakes will be posted to Facebook. The winner is chosen by who receives the most likes on their picture. I am excited about this opportunity because I love how it connects my love for baking with technology.

John Blog Post For the Month of March

In this month of March I have successfully learned the basics of HTML. I mainly wish to use this skill to help people build websites. My first little project is a fake Dragon website just to showcase my basic skills. So far it is about 80% done. Once it is done I will be presenting it through a PowerPoint presentation. After that I am going to make a more serious website about myself. Maybe some sort of Portfolio website.

Collin Blog Entry For the Month of March

So far I have been working on basic HTML and planning a webpage. I have been using codecademy and W3 schools for learning basic HTML. Also, I have been planning a template to put my website on. I will be implementing SEO on this webpage and learning/using some techniques to rank the site. These will be learned through websites online, as well as other files and PDFs found on the web.

I enjoy this class for the independent attributes it offers. I am able to do as I please regarding computers. The skills I learn in this class will be used on my own time. These are skills that if I did not learn in class, I would likely learn on my own time outside of school. It is nice to be able to learn something in this class that I will be able to put in practice.

Max Blog Post for the Month of March

iOS Simulator Screen shot Mar 6, 2014, 1.19.27 PM.pngSo far at the technology help desk, I have gained a lot of knowledge about programming in Xcode. I have been able to program a basic to-do list mobile application. The app displays a list of to-do items and allows you to check them off when you complete them. You can also add items to the to-do list. To build the app, I watched a video tutorial on programming in Objective-C, which iOS apps are written in, and I followed the tutorial on Apple’s website for beginning iOS programming.

Moving forward, I hope to make other simple apps that utilize different aspects of iOS apps. Next I will work on an app that has more programming in it. My to-do list app had very minimal code, so I think that I will next make a calculator app. After that, I think that I will make an app that utilizes some of the phones hardware such as gps or Bluetooth.


Chrispin Wendell Blog Entry For March

For the past month, I have been at the help desk to study Java programming. The online sites 
don’t help much in helping to understand how the language fits together, but there are some 
books that are more helpful. In phase 2, I hope to start writing simple programs such as the 
traditional “Hello World” program I recently created. I think that once I know how the language 
fits together, I will learn quickly, because it happens to be closely related to another language I know. 

I am learning the language because it is one of the most popular languages in the world, and 
because that language is necessary to make applications for Android. Once I have a better 
understanding of how to program in Java, I will probably make an app that allows students to 
view homework from their phone, since no one can find it on Aspen.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Instructional Technology & Andover Innovation Lab-Help Desk Update Week Of March 10-14 2014

This week the language lab continued to do training on using the Sanako software in the language lab. This support and training really benefits teachers who can use the software to create language immersion experiences.

I also met with Jorge Allen to refine the plan for the the world language website. The plan is to create a place for parents to more easily connect with staff and showcase the highlights of the department. I assisted Jorge with gaining access so he could post himself and see the layout.

The students in the Innovation lab have been diligently working and pulling projects together. They are in the process of  completing formative projects on the way towards their final. We are asking students in the coming week to create videos which discuss their learning process and software applications.

On wednesday I was part of a district wide meeting of program advisors and district leadership to meet with Jim Stanton from EDC who is part of a grant to help provide training to computer science educators to implement a course called “Exploring Computer Science” in the coming year. The training willl be taking place at Microsoft and Google in Cambridge,Massachusetts this summer. Participation in this program will provide a great backbone for implementing a computer science program at Andover High School  with a cross curriculum approach.

At this point in the school year teachers fluency has improved with the use of the laptops and also with using some of the hardware such as Epsom Projectors and Interactive boards. 

The use of web based group tools are on the rise as well as teachers are moving towards organizing their communication with students and parents in central platforms. Many teachers are currently part of a pilot of using  Google Apps. The pilot will expand i

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Instructional Technology & Andover Innovation Lab Weekly Update Week Of March 3-8th 2014

On Monday I presented to the faculty of AHS the benefits of the Easy Interactive board. The presentation included the discusion of how to directly connect the board to the computer and the variety of tools which were available. I shared out to the faculty on Tuesday the tutorial documents provided by Epsom as well as provided hands on instruction to multiple teachers to
get them started with their boards. Its great to see them eager to explore the technology but also to correct technology issues which may have been holding them back. Here is a link to the resources I provided.

Also on Monday I was able to  assist teacher Mr.Aubrey an English teacher with the use of Mozilla Popcorn Maker in his classroom. Popcorn maker is a web based video editor which enables students to create graphics over existing youtube or web based video.  It is a great tool for helping students isolate issues in a video with text or graphics with their own text,maps or images. Here is a student sample.
Here is  the link to our resource we use to assist teachers.

Mozilla  Popcorn Cheatsheet

On tuesday an issue which came to the help desk was Science teacher John Janetti who needed to set up his Android phone with the Microsoft Exchange server so that he could recieve his work email on his phone.

To do this it is important to know the information to enter into the settings:
Step 1: Go to the settings on your Android Phone
Step 2: Choose Accounts
Step 3:Choose Microsoft Exchange Server
Step 4: Enter the domain which is(I used my name as a sample ddowns)


Step 5: Enter your password
Step 6: Enter the server
Step 7:Then select secure connection and connect!

Today was the third day of having students working out on the desk. We are currently planning what resources we could directly impart to teachers. Looking forward we will develop a help desk guide which will contain resources and tutorials for teachers and students. We will look to add specific resources related to properly saving documents, assist with printing, logging onto networks and troubleshooting small computer issues.

Our students at the help desk/lab have been great with starting a new position posted in the library. Kindly integrating ourselves using  proper decorum for the interaction of students and teachers at the  help desk. We plan on creating  a standing binder of resources to assist in common diagnosis of issues.
Also this week students began creating their blog posts about their technology projects. Students
are currently in the formative phase of defining the min projects and envisioning how they will move forward to a conclusive project. Poke around on this blog this week to gain the student perspective on their projects. Posts will be regular and include discussions of their progress.

On Thursday Joanne Najarian and I met with student government to discuss the state of technology at the high school. We had an inspired conversation about where integration stands and where we would like to see resources directed moving forward. We also discussed the potential implementation of a mobile app for the access to a variety of district and high school information. look forward to seeing more development in this area in the coming weeks.

Katherine-Blog Post for the Month of March-Andover Innovation Lab/Help Desk skeleton.png
Since my last post, things have been picking up speed. I’ve moved on from my research project and have started to learn HTML online through w3 schools. It’s been good, though I wish I had more time to work each day-- I find that when I use w3 schools within a mere constricting 82 minutes, it’s tricky to strike the right balance between reading new material tutorials and actually practicing the skills I’ve learned. To counter that, I’ve decided to try out the idea of the “HTML Journal”. Theoretically, with the HTML Journal I can both take notes on what I learned that day AND attempt to execute the correct use of those skills, all at the same time! That way, I have a continuous log of concepts learned, with working code (and the accompanying physical results!) to serve as a reference for my work at a later date. Plus, by putting my work each day on a Google Doc, I’m able to access and continue my work at home (on the rare occasion that I’m not drowning in homework.) Although, I will admit that documenting the process of learning HTML from scratch is embarrassingly simplistic  at first. As you can see from the included picture of the fruition of my HTML efforts thus far, I am still far from making an aesthetically pleasing product.

Going forward, I’m looking forward to learning the CSS to bulk up my HTML. I’d say I’m downright anxious to get to CSS, actually, because what I have right now just looks silly. Hopefully, by the time I write my next blog entry, I’ll have learned to integrate CSS well enough to make the skeleton I have now into something that actually looks plausibly legitimate website. I guess that if I start making my website look more professional, I should probably step up the quality of my content as well-- but I’m not ready to give up Bill and Ted or my plethora of goofy links, so I’ll worry about that later. I still have plenty of things to learn before I’ll be nearly close enough to that level of proficiency

Monday, March 10, 2014

Ben Blog Post for the Month of March

The AHS Help Desk has been a great opportunity for me to explore interests which otherwise wouldn't be offered in regular classes. The range of possibilities when exploring technology is widely diverse, and with this the Help Desk, I am given the opportunity to learn from fields of technology which I am curious about. Students in the AHS Help Desk are very collaborative. We help each other when we can, and we are constantly giving each other helpful criticism, or ideas to develop their projects. Everyone in the Help Desk finds great pleasure in seeing other students have success. At the same time, we are always available to help any students who might need any help involving technical issues (even though it doesn't occur often). AHS Help Desk has given us the options to engage in new, modern materials, while involving ourselves with the students in our school community.

Personally, I have spend the first couple of weeks purely on researching everything I could to expand my knowledge of programming; more specifically, on html codes, and web design. I am fortunate enough, that Mr. Downs has a background in this area, so he has been very helpful in my process so far. I have focused mainly on the code which formats the components on my webpage. The purpose of my webpage is most likely going to be for retro-styled gaming. If I am lucky enough to finish all components early enough, I would love to add a game which I created myself. I do not find that a likely situation, but if the chance presents itself, I will most certainly take advantage of it. There is a slight that I will create a website for another student in the Help Desk. He is created a new product, which he plans to sell publicly. Depending on the progression of each of our projects, I may work with him, and create a website to publicize his business and products. I still have a lot of time remaining, and where formatting is going to be a major piece of my dedicated time toward the project, I still have time to decide the topic of my webpage.

Nick Blog Post for the Month of March

For my project, I decided to code my own game. I looked into different coding languages, such as Hammer and Python, but decided to use Java, because I already have a small background using it. I learned about different classes and variables, as well as global variables. I also learned about different websites I could use to market my game if I was satisfied with the results, and found an online compiler called Browxy, which I can use to code with.

I created a flowchart for how my game would play, and then began coding. It took approximately two minutes to wonder just what the hell I had gotten myself into. I started by planning out a rough sketch of how the player would progress through the code, and began programming the different classes. I then wrote out how the Main class would work, and started to code it. I am currently almost done with the basic skeleton of my code, and plan to start having people test when I finish.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

From Support Squad To Innovators, Andover Weekly Article / Zachary Griffin

   Before the big February vacation, we at the Andover Innovation Lab had the honor of being interviewed by Dustin Luca at the Andover Townsmen regarding our class and where it fits into Andover High School. This was a great opportunity for the students and Mr. Downs and I to show off the potential a tech-based Help Desk class can have for its environment, and also a chance for the classes students to expose their amazing projects to the town of Andover.

    The interview was done at the end of the day during a fourth block, and we had a total of six students that are either a part of the Help Desk currently or where involved with us during the prior semester. Among those students were Eli Gukovsky and Viabhav Patel, who were both previous students, and current students such as Crispin Dowell, Peter Banta, Parth Valecha, and John Makiej. Each student was given the opportunity to present their projects to Dustin Luca along with their opinions on the Help Desk and its usage at Andover High among the faculty.

    The article was published on the Andover Weekly February 27, and was met with good reception by both the Andover community and the high schools faculty. As we continue to push technical support at the Innovation Lab, we will continue to give students opportunity's to learn more about their field and where they want to go after High School. The Help Desk exists to serve both the community and its students, and with the tech-savvy Mr. Downs and his knowledge on the direction technology is going, the Help Desk couldn't be in better hands.

If you want to see the article, you can view it on the link below:

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Instructional Technology & Andover Innovation Lab Updates February 24-28,2014 Andover High School

The state of teachers engaging in new projects with technology at Andover High School!

On Monday, the help desk received some older laptops to assist with projects for blogs, web development and using Google tools. Myself and the Lab Coordinator Zachary Griffin worked with Social Studies staff during their department meeting time to add links of resources, images and presentations which were organized according to different courses. The staff did a great job at learning how the technology worked and could immediately benefit from sharing between course and curriculums.Teachers have been very open about making regular appointments with me to learn more about Google Drive, Forms and Google Groups. 

The teachers are fine tuning their knowledge with Wikispaces and using hardware such as scanners and their interactive boards. I have spent the past week working with 5 teachers beyond the Social Studies department with improving their skill base with Wikispaces to enhance in their classroom web space.

On Tuesday I met with Dr. Allen from the World Languages department and we circulated ideas surrounding the creation of a website for the World language department at the high school. The page would focus on sharing the focus of the program at the high school and also spotlighting its great faculty. Myself and the help desk will provide the layout and we will work to get them started.

Paula Westmacott a Special Education teacher at the high school dove into learning more about using her interactive board when she with me on Wednesday. I was able to walk her through step by step related to the Epsom Interactive hardware, software and pens. She will be mainly using a series of websites and documents with the interactive board. She is excited to integrate this knowledge into her SMART goals as an educator and use it in a variety of collaborative classroom activities.Additionally, I was able to assist Physical Education teacher Carol Martini with the creation of a portion of her slide show for her “Warrior Way” program she will be presenting to students over the coming weeks. She made a great slideshow using her iPhoto tools and I worked with he in iMovie to add 2 different songs over the photos. She then embedded this video into her presentation.

Health teacher Holly Breen is using the sharing options within Google Drive toenable students to share work more efficiently and return feedback to studentsfaster. She has also adopted the Chrome Browser for the use of Youtube resources in the classroom as well.

 On Thursday I was able to attend a training based in the development of an advisory program at Andover High School. We read a variety of interesting and intellectually stimulating articles surrounding the development of students emotional and intellectual well being. We were also able to thoughtfully consider what a program the High School would look like and who it may serve. I look forward to being part of this process moving forward. 

Also on Thursday, a great article featuring the Andover Innovation Lab & Help Desk was published in the Andover Townsman. Dustin Luca included great photos from students projects at the help desk and highlighted some of the benefits we bring to the school.

Here is the link:

To close the week I finished the final draft for a potential grant from the AEA for some Google Chromebooks for the Innovation Lab/Help Desk. Here is a link describing more about what this web based laptop has to offer students. We hope to integrate tools like these at the help desk moving forward and provide a model of success related to technology integration.

Andover Innovation Lab & Instructional Technology: Epsom Interactive White Board Faculty Presentation 3/3/2014

Faculty Meeting Presentation Interactive White Board


1. Demonstrate the necessary hardware and software for using the Epsom Interactive Board.

2.Exhibit a range of available tools used with interactive board (pens,hardware).

3. Show examples of how a teacher may apply the board to increase collaboration and engage students.


White USB cord-needed for all operation
Hardwired Projection-required for projection
Pens-Batteries Charged and close to board

Easy Interactive Tools Software(installed,can be added to dock)
Self calibrating(projectors are set to self calibrate)

Websites:(Listed below)

Describe the purpose for the training and reveal how quickly someone can set up the
board with its software to use(This is important as teachers need to see that using the board is easy and the learning curve is short).
  1. Show how to connect the white USB connection from the board to the computer.
  2. Show how to connect the projector to the VGA/Dongle for Mac.
  3. Show the location of the Interactive Tools Software in the Launchpad.
  1. Show location of Launchpad and where the Epsom Interactive Tools are located.
  2. Provide an overview of the interface:
Annotation or Whiteboard Mode Break Down

Understanding The Modes:

Annotation Mode- Mode in which your computer screen is shown.
Camera/Document Camera
Tools>Spotlight & Shade (link to help and print mode)
Free Pen
Blob pens
Eraser Tools(Whole page or partial)
Lock Tool Bar/Close xout
Save & Print(file types)

Whiteboard Mode-Mode with white board and can save different pages.
Changing Backgrounds
Choosing Image from folder.
Page List>Creating New Page>Show List


Include Link To Easy Interactive Tools Operation Guide

Tools Overview:
Whiteboard or Screen
Use of Mouse
Pen Tools
Save Screen Shot

  • Gets teachers up and away from desk and begins engagement with content(not tied to laptop).
  • Access to any resource as you would from your desktop(Apps,Documents,Images,Websites).
  • Save brainstorms,discussion content and specific class notes as images. These images can them be used in print,on blogs,Wikis or uploaded online.

Classroom Applications:
Highlighting specific pieces of written text for impact.
Enlarging specific projections to address a variety of learning styles.
Brainstorming/Mindmapping(pen and image tools)
Diagramming Maps, Charts and Images (saving image to computer)
Anatomy Sites

The Heart From

Chrome App For GeoGebra

Interactive White Board ideas: