Thursday, December 23, 2010

Dreams to Life

Dreams to Life, is a start up project Van Meter's National Honor Society is working on. We wanted to do a service project and we knew we wanted to help our King Dreamers. The King Dreamers are fifth graders form King Elementary in Des Moines. Van Meter's NHS members mentor The King Dreamers, we have been mentoring them since last year.

The King Dreamers is a group of kids that are in the I Have A Dream Foundation. The foundation is a program that these kids were selected to be in. The foundation will pay for each students college education if they stay in the program until they graduate.

The King Dreamers is such a great group of kids. Kids that might have some difficult things going on in their homes. We think it is great being able to mentor them, they look forward to our visits. Just recently they came to our school for a visit. They loved it, they took a tour of our school, and they played with our laptops. It is so powerful seeing them wanting to learn about what we do at our school, being a one to one school district. We have so many great tools that help us learn. The kids were Skyping each other in different corners of the room, we had some kids on youtube showing off some of their dance moves. Kids in the Mac lab talking on a prison chat, talking to her father. This is when we knew, we knew from seeing those kids faces' light up, when they were on our laptops, that we wanted them to be able to have that same opportunity we have.

This is when Mrs. Miller contacted Danny Heggen from Youth Venture. He came to our school, he helped us brainstorm ideas to raise money for the dreamers. We came up with we wanted to have a silent auction event. Our goal is to raise 6,000 dollars to get The Dreamers 2 Mac desktops, 4 Flip Cameras, 2 still cameras, and an itouch. By raising this money and by giving them this technology we are helping by giving them new tools to better expand and showcase their knowledge. We also hope to advance their exposure to technology. The future is changing and even today people younger and younger are being exposed to technology. We hope to do the same with our group of kids.

Dani Hubbard and I worked on filling out paper work and figuring out details for our project for multiple hours. We wanted to get the word out about what our project was and to get other people excited about what we are doing. The NHS team wanted to have a holiday party to announce our project with community members and The King Dreamers. Dani, Andrew Flaherty, and I presented a slide show explaining what the NHS team wants to do for The Dreamers. They were so excited. We had multiple meetings where we presented our campaign to School Board members, for the Youth Venture board members, and for our staff at our school. Everyone is just as excited as we are for our project.

Our next step we are working on is finding a venue, and setting a date. We are looking at possibly having our event at Drake University. And we are shooting to have our event in late February, on a Saturday from 4-6. We will be going around to businesses in the next few weeks, asking for donations for our silent auction. I want to thank everyone for all their hard work and for their excitement in our project. We know these kids diserve what we have, and giving them these opportunities we think they will be so much better prepared for their futures.

The Low Down

The Low Down is a TV show my friend, Mackenzie, and I created for my current events class. We love rock and roll music. We thought it would be fun to make a top 5 count down of our favorite rock songs. We used iMovie, our Macs to record, and we uploaded youtube videos for the music videos.

We want to make more of episodes. We will be uploading them to youtube, and be embedding them into our news site. Van Meter News, is our creative writing website. We plan to make more videos soon! Comment to let me know what you think! :)

Sunday, December 19, 2010


I created an OpenZine for our next project in PLN. Mrs. Miller was out of town for a couple of days, and she told me I was in charge of the lesson plans. I was a litte nervous. I didn't know what project would be fun for the whole class, and I didn't know what the class would want to do.

I had recently saw The Nerdy Teacher (Nick Provenzano) on Twitter mention something about his PLN. Ktenkely and him put together a magazine every month using this web tool. This web tool being OpenZine. I did a little research, and I liked it. It is a cool new website that allows you to make your own magazines.

I created a rubric with Mrs. Miller on a Google Doc. And the next day we shared that Doc with the class. The students had some trouble with this site however. I noticed that saving was an issue. This is a very new site, and they seem to be working out the glitches. I contacted The Nerdy Tacher through Twitter. We later Skyped that day during class. He too noticed some glitches in the site. He was a great help to the rest of the class however. He taught us some tricks to get by until the glitches get fixed.

We finished this project and shared them with the class. My magazine is called Jules News. When I created the project I originally thought it was strictly going to be a news magazine. That is what is in my first magazine. I talked about current events that interested me. Next time I am going to create a Zine about who I am. I feel like that will better express who I am, and be a better quality of magazine.
But until that issue I hope you enjoy this issue! :)

Jules News - Jules News

Create Your OpenZine

Monday, December 13, 2010

Van Meter Vs. Philly Project

Our last project was a collabrative project with our PLN class in Philly. My partner was Nick Kowalski. We Skyped and decided to make a google doc, we jotted down some of our ideas. We ended up choosing to use a Voice Thread, and our topic was to compare where we both come from. It was called Van Meter Vs. Philly. We made a list of ten things we both had to take pictures of. We wanted to get the full affect of each city. We took pictures of what our houses look like, what our town looks like, or school, and what we do other than just school. Once we had all of our pictures we uploaded them onto one Voice Thread account, added some text and then we were done.
It was pretty interesting to see how different our communities are, and how we both have some similarities. It made me want to go and visit Philly. The Voice Thread worked great for this project, it was so easy to upload the pictures using only one account. You can see our project here. I hope you like it. :)

Monday, November 15, 2010


Pixton is a pretty neat website. It is a website that allows you to make your own comic. This site is so easy and one thing it doesn't have is a ton of buttons. This makes it so easy to personalize your comic.

We recently Skyped with the creator of Pixton. He talked us about when he and his wife were creating Pixton and how they wanted to make it very user friendly. I think they have done a great job. It takes a little to get use too, but once you play around with it, it is a breeze.

This project we were asked to create a comic were we put ourselves in the comic. I made mine of a scene that could take place at our house. To make your own comic you can create one for free, or your school can create an account for a small fee. It was super fun and I think this tool would be very useful and helpful for visual learners in school.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Technology & Education

Technology is becoming apart of education. In this day and age we are no longer using just text books, and teachers. We need more resources. My school, Van Meter High School, has recently become a 1:1 school. We all have a mac books to keep for four years. We have learned so much more with all the resources we have now.

In this class my PLN class, we were asked to create a presentation for ISTE using any web tool to talk about how technology is changing education. For my project my partner and I used Prezi, and we also used a flip camera to interview a teacher about what they think of the computers. Here is the link to my project. Check it out and let me know what you think.

Monday, October 25, 2010


YouTellYou is a new web tool we learned about today. It is a social network where you can upload pictures to make it look like a magazine. We were supposed to make a story about a moment in our life that has changed who we are. I made mine on when we got our new house.

My family moved my 8th grade year to Van Meter. We found this really small log cabin, right off of f-90 past Van Meter. We really liked the location, and the view. My parents knew that it wasn't going to be big enough. So we decided to re-model, and make it bigger.
We ended up making it two times bigger. We added two more garages, a third story, and we added on to the side. It took about a year to re-model. It was so worth it, we love our home now.

When the house was finished we were given the option to move schools. Our parents wanted it to be our decision, so we visited Van Meter. We loved it, my brother Evan and I knew that we wanted to go to a small school. Valley was getting to big and we thought we would get more opportunities at a smaller school.

Our parents supported our decision, and we still think to this day that we have made the right decision. If we didn't move in the first place I don't think I would have ever made it to Van Meter Schools. I have learned so much here, and I am glad we moved to Van Meter.

I hope you like my project. If you have any questions about how to use YouTellYou feel free to ask. :)

Here is the link to my full project.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Dipity Project

We learned about a cool new website the other day in PLN. It is called Dipity. This website allows you to create your own timeline. You can use it for a school project like we did, or just do it for fun. This site also lets you have a profile, so you can create a whole library of timelines. You also can look at other peoples timelines they have created, and you can follow them.

We tried Dipity out in PLN, we were asked to make a timeline about something we are passionate about. Something that dates back twenty years ago, I chose Motley Crüe. I am very passionate about music, one of my favorite bands is Motley Crüe. I have seen them in concert and they are great, I have also read their books. One of my life goals is to meet Motley Crüe, so I felt like they would be a great topic to do my Dipity project on. :)

Here is a link to see my Dipity.

The Social Network Field Trip

My PLN class just got out of the movie The Social Network. We talked about going to see this movie about the social network, Facebook, as a field trip. We thought as a PLN class we should go see a movie that is all about connecting with people, together.

We ended up going to On The Border. Mrs. Miller, Bri, Meghan, JD, Jordan, and I met up at 6:30 for dinner. Then it was off to the movie. All of us, with the exception of Mrs. Miller, went in there not knowing what to expect. Mrs. Miller saw it the week before and said it is really “wordy” but a good movie. I was excited to see it however. I was really curious to see how Facebook really got started.

I ended up loving it! It was so interesting how this little idea turned into a multi-billion dollar company. Mark Zucherberg is a genius I concluded. He coded the whole site on his own. I think the scandal is just because the Winklevoss’s were angry they weren’t the ones who thought of Facebook first. Zucherberg’s ability to talk people into helping him, and the way he talks to the lawyers made me really listen and pay attention. They all talked so fast and so educated. It makes me want to be like them and be more influential with my words as they were in the movie.

I think everyone who has Facebook should go see the The Social Network. It really puts Facebook into perspective for me. It might not be all legit facts, but I think there is some credible information to the movie. I think it is a great story of how it all started, and what Facebook is like to this day. With over 500,000 million users I think Mark Zucherberg deserves to be worth a billion dollars.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Google Reader

Here is a great tool we learned about in class on Friday. It is called Google Reader, if you have a Gmail account you have Google Reader. This tool is a way to organize all your blogs you are subscribed to. When you want to follow a blog, this is a way you use RSS feeds to follow the blog you’re interested in. Just click on the orange RSS feed button, and click the Google Reader icon. Or if the RSS button isn’t there you can copy the URL and add a new subscription. This makes it so much easier to keep track of all your blogs you’re following and when they get updated. I am currently following my entire PLN class.

There is also a chrome extension for Google Reader you can install to your tool bar. It allows you to see the number of new posts that you haven’t read yet. This is a really helpful tool for this class, with all the blogs we are following. I think our entire PLN class should add this extension it will help them out a ton when it comes time to comment on other peoples blogs.

If you need any help installing the chrome extension or need help with Google Reader just let me know. I would be happy to help. :)

Monday, September 27, 2010


This is a great website, you make short video slideshows of pictures you add and then you can add music, and text. It looks really cool once it is all made. The free version of Animoto is 30 seconds long. There are selected backgrounds you can choice from, and they also offer free music that you can use in your Animoto. My Animoto is all about me. There are pictures from this summer, I went to a lot of concerts this summer. I am really passionate about music, and meeting the bands. I also have some pictures of my family, and our family vacation in California. Check it out! :)

My PLN Journey

What my PLN means to me...

My PLN is my personal learning network. Networking is meeting new people through technology. This class is all about meeting new people and connecting with them. Connecting with people is a great way to learn. You learn so much more when you are connecting with others. Networking is a great skill you will have to have all your life. When it comes time to go to college or get a job you will need to be able to communicate with all different kinds of people. It is so important to have a learning network.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

PLN Skype

In our PLN class we Skype with a lot of pretty important people! We got to meet Tom Whitby, one of the creators of Edchat on Twitter. He is so smart, he is pretty much a guineas he knows everything there is to know about Twitter. I recommend following him, hes got a lot of good information and it is really interesting the stuff he tweets about, it makes you think.

Also in PLN we got to meet Kimmie from Symbaloo, she was really cool too, we got to ask her questions about how to use this website, and she gave us helpful tools and ways to use her website. I love this site now, you can create different webmixes, and you can share them with other people. It is also really cool how you can tag pictures on the mixes so you can personalize your mixes. Thanks again Kimmie for talking to us!

Diigo is another web site that is really helpful for when your taking notes or just reading an article online, and you need to bookmark a page or highlight something. This website allows you to highlight anything on the page, make a sticky note, share the article with through your twitter, and also bookmark the page. However the catch is that it saves all these items for you online in a cloud in there database. This is helpful when you go from computer to computer, or from computer to Itouch. It keeps track of all your bookmarks and highlights online so you can access them from any computer. In our class we got to Skype with the creator of this website. Her name was Maggie she was great she had so much more information about this site and how to use it. She answered all our questions and was glade to keep in contact with us while we were trying to figure out how to use it. Thanks again Maggie for all your help and hard work!

Juxio Project

I think everyone should check out this website. Its called Juxio.It is kinda like power point, but way cooler! You just upload pictures from your computer or your facebook. You can make it look like a comic strip and you can add text and titles to your presentation. It is really easy and it looks a lot better than just a regular power point. We also skyped with the creator of Juxio, he asked us what we thought of it and if we had any feedback for him. He was really helpful he answered all of our questions we had. He also put our projects on his blog. Go check them out at Will's Blog, there about what were passionate about.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


I got a new twitter just for our PLN class! Go follow me its juliaalbaugh123
And I also made my Diigo page go follow me on there to :) its just Julia Albaugh

I had to miss class today. I was at home sleeping, I ended up sleeping all day. But I'm feeling better now so I'll be back tomorrow. Hopefully I didn't miss that much!

Sunday, September 19, 2010


So tired today this week was such a long one! I'm really glad we have a three day weekend :) I had a blast last night! The gym looked great, and Marcus did an AWESOME job as the DJ! Now I got to work on my blog and finish cleaning up from last night, then cheer practice :) Hope everyones weekends going good so far! I'll talk to you guys on Tuesday.