Technology lessons, guides, rubrics and DVD yearbook how-to’s for grades K-8 by David Hall




School Networks

Essentially a school network is nothing more than a set of folders and linked files on a school’s server.  Most folders are “Read Only” by students.  Teachers can read and write files in all folders.  Permissions can be set on individual folders and also must be set on personal account types such as “Teachers” and “Students”.  I am NOT an expert on account and folder security settings and am a relative novice when it comes to network administration. The initial permissions that I set on the folders when I began my job eight years ago still work.  New student accounts must be created to recognize the same folder/group permissions.


Key Concepts

·                  School Intranet pages and folders can only be accessed while logged onto the school network. 

·                  Students generally access the network through a web browser.  Although Internet Explorer has serious security issues, it is the only browser that will open folders as regular Windows Explorer folders.  This allows students to view folder contents as icons, thumbnails or detail mode, etc.  Files and folders can be copied easily.  By default, other browsers display folders as webpages with items shown as web pages.  Many browsers also do not display all images. 

·                  Typical Internet: naming conventions, html conventions, folder structure, browser security and file transfer protocol can be ignored.  A browser based network is much easier to create and maintain than a website.

·                  Files can be added or edited directly on the server.

·                  File access is immediate and is not Internet dependent.

·                  The “Network” that students and teachers access is within just one folder on the server.  The server can also contain other folders for standard tasks such as: student accounts, teacher accounts, Edline (grade book), Accelerated Reader, library card catalog, etc.


Main Parts

folder2.jpg   Technology Lessons Folder - Created and updated by the technology teacher; for use primarily by students every lab session.  This folder contains the main network webpage that links to all other network pages and folders.  Student account browsers should have this page set as the default homepage.  This main network webpage is created with Microsoft Word and makes use of tables to organize parts.  Each grade level has their own cell or “box” where they will find all of their links to rubrics, guides, examples, due dates, folders and Internet sites.  General help files are also linked from this page.  Major categories are color coded with table fill colors.  “Old” or not currently used links to previous rubrics, guides, examples, and Internet links can be categorized and stored below the current active section or on a separate page for quick access.  At my school this folder and page are called IHM NET.  My IHM Net folder contains hundreds of files within over a hundred sub folders.


folder2.jpg   Teachers’ Folders - In addition to their standard personal network account folders each teacher has their own network folder and page that can be read by their students.  Virtually anything that the technology teacher can create on his or her main page/folder could also be created on an individual teacher page.  Teachers who use these pages typically provide Internet links to: websites, specific web pages, educational games or online tests.  Teachers will sometimes post Word documents that students will edit or complete.  Presentation files (PowerPoint, video, webpage, etc.) created in technology class can be copied to the teacher’s network folder.  This speeds up the transition time between student presentations since students do not need to log off and on; all files are in one folder.  A single link from the main network page goes to a page that lists all classes and teachers’ names; students click on their teachers’ name to go to their page.

folder2.jpg   Lesson Plans Folder - Each teacher has their own lesson plans folder where lesson plans are submitted for principal review.  Fellow teachers may also access each other’s plans for a variety of reasons.  At our school access to this folder is denied by student accounts.  I doubt that students would even care or have the time to look at their teachers’ plans however. 

folder2.jpg   Pictures Folder - This folder contains two main sub folders.  One folder contains folders of: stock images of the school, logos, icons, backgrounds, copyright free images, clip art, etc.  The other folder contains pictures and movie files taken during the current school year.  These images can be used in the paper yearbook, the Browser Based DVD Yearbook, photos for press release or school projects that require student images.  Students, staff and parents all contribute images and videos.

folder2.jpg   Sounds Folder - This folder contains stock downloaded .WAV and .MP3 sound files that can be used in PowerPoint, Video or webpage assignments.

folder2.jpg   Programs Folder - This folder contains all free programs that have been installed on our school computers.  I rely heavily on free programs for: image editing (Paint.NET), sound editing (Audacity), slideshows (PhotoStory3) and Google Earth.  I encourage students to copy these free program files and install them on their home computers with parent approval.  The great thing about using free programs in the lab is that everyone can afford to install them on their home computers which encourages them to practice what they have learned in school.

folder2.jpg   Student Work Folder - This folder may contain exceptional student work examples and collaborative projects.  It is also the home and assembly point of the Browser Based DVD Yearbook.

folder2.jpg  Turn It In Folder - This is the one network folder that students have read and write permissions to.  Primarily, this folder is used for students to turn in copies of their work for computer class.  Students have a link to this folder on their desktops.  Our “Turn It in” folder contains four sub folders:

folder2.jpg  Computer Class - Contains one folder per class, classes/grades 2A through 8B.  Virtually no work is printed; all technology class assignments are turned in electronically.  Students get individual accounts starting in the second grade.  The first major thing they learn is how to name and save a document.  The second major thing they learn is how to locate their file, copy it and paste it into their class folder.  The naming convention that I use for all grades is: Last Name, First Name, Class, Project name (E.G.: Hall David 4B Audacity Sound Capture 2).  Proper file naming is always part of the grade.  This naming convention allows me to open a class’ folder of work next to my grade book in side by side windows.  The names in my grade book and a class folder will align which quickens the grading process.  I “collect” work but cutting the contents into a folder that identifies the class and assignment.  When the assignment has been graded I drag the folder into a “Graded” folder.  Within the Graded folder are class folders; this keeps all graded work reasonably organized if later access is desired.  Each quarter I start with a new folder.

folder2.jpg  Other Classes - Other teachers also may want their students to turn in some assignments electronically.  Those teachers can have their own folders within the “Other teachers” folders.

folder2.jpg  Student Exchange - This is a “free-for-all folder” where students can exchange files use on collaboration projects. 

folder2.jpg  Tech Clubs - I have sub folders for my technology clubs (Animation, Film, Newspaper, Photo & Yearbook) where students can submit and exchange files.

*        Problems - Although students have full read and write permissions, malicious behavior is surprisingly rare.  Younger students, however, often are inexperienced double clickers and will sometimes drag their class folder into the class folder above when they try to double click.  When a class folder disappears I just cut and paste it back to its original location.  Nine out of ten times 3B will be in 3A, etc.



Links to Sample Pages:

Main Network Page

No pages, files or folders are linked from this page, but you can get an idea of how extensive a network can be and how things can be arranged.  This is a snapshot of how my 2008-09 school year ended. 

Following Directions K18

Typical kindergarten assignment.  Note that even kindergarteners can “read” visual directions in one window and toggle to another window (Paint) to carry them out.  This one focuses on color and tool selection as well as position and counting.  Lesson has been demonstrated before sending students to their computers.

Audacity Sound Capture

Typical short fourth grade assignment guide and rubric; can be completed in a few minutes by the more capable students using agreeable hardware.  Lesson has been demonstrated before sending students to their computers.

Scientist Music Video

Major cross-curricular collaborative seventh grade assignment partial guide and rubric.  Involves Science, music, literature and technology classes.


Help video file - how to use a flashdrive.

Yearbook Folder and Page

Major assignment for grades 2-8.  Primary students are walked through this assignment step by step and will only refer to this guide for writing prompts.  Older students are walked through this assignment at a much faster pace and will refer to the guide and rubric for any portion they may have missed as well as writing prompts.