Hello All! I am a Business & Information Technology Teacher at Central High School in Woodstock, Virginia, in beautiful Shenandoah County. During my long experience as a Business Instructor, technology has traveled several generations. My first experience in college with computers was with keypunching data processing cards, wiring boards and writing programs for huge machines that lined the perimeter of the classroom. What a vast difference technology is today, and I love it! The challenge to stay current is one that constantly keeps me on my toes.
Our school does not have an ITRT, but from discovering what that is...I must be our unofficial ITRT since everyone seems to drop by with questions and asks for help with a variety of projects. This year I teach Accounting, Design Multimedia & Web Technologies, VisualBasic.Net, Advanced Computer Information Systems, and the Photojournalism class...which means I serve as the advisor for the Yearbook. And I am the webmaster for the school. I also keep score for the volleyball team.
My computer classes assist school personnel with printing productions, such as programs, advertising flyers, tickets, playbills, office and guidance forms, etc. Working with students keeps me young and I especially enjoy when we exchange technology tidbits and knowledge. It is extremely rewarding to see their enthusiasm and to watch their self-esteem soar when a project comes together.
My family and I live in Woodstock. My husband, Lynwood, is a furniture salesman and my daughters are both students; Megan (20) attends Lord Fairfax Community College and plans to become a Social Worker. Alyssa is 16 and a junior at Central HS; she would like to become a Graphic Designer. We share our home with two cats, Kitty Boy and Kitty Girl (real original, huh...I have forgotten what we were supposed to call them). I love to read, do crafts, and cook (if I have time)!
Posted at Oct 03/2006 11:51PM:
Helen Partlow: My first Professional Development was attending a 3-day Workshop on MovieMaker at WVPT in Harrisonburg. Our instructor was awesome! We learned about writing scripts, digital camera specfications, movie cameras, getting the right equipment, lighting, shooting angles, setting the scene, editing and producing a movie. This workshop complemented some of the technolgoy we experienced at the Ed Tech Academy at JMU...I am still reeling from the numerous forms of technology tools we were exposed to there!
Posted at Oct 04/2006 08:23AM:
Goldy Purcell:Hello Helen. So good to hear from you. How busy you sound this year but I know if anyone can handle it - you can. We need to get together sometime this year and catch up. I think we should meet at JMU again for a couple of days. I will take you riding in my car too. Wish me luck on my project with the Mac - I hope I can pull it off. What project have you decided to do? Keep in touch.
Posted at Oct 04/2006 08:59AM:
zetwicta: Helen, A good start with the interactive notebooks is to check out my quia.com site that is on my wiki page. At the bottom of my website is a section called "useful links" open the one title "interactive notebook pages"- that will send you to a table of contents of the pages that are in the student's interactive notebooks. Each page that is there has a link to URL attached, click on the specific page and you will see the page that we have placed in the interactive notebook as well as the cut activity (usually some kind of information sort) that goes with it. Sorry I haven't gotten as far as putting the instructions for what to do with each page on the website (I will eventually) but since we do these all as classroom activities I instruct them with what to do. I will be happy to keep you informed updated and posted on the Interactive notebooks as they progress throughout the year. If you have a few minutes one day swing by after school and I will show you exactly what the interactive notebook binders that they use SHOULD look like. They produce unbelievable results.
Posted at Oct 30/2006 02:38PM:
Helen Partlow: My Professional Development for October was instructing a student group on how use the digital camera in regard to various shot techniques. Instruction was also provided on using MovieMaker and each student created a movie from digital pictures of our Homecoming Pep Rally, incorporating the use of images, titles, transitions, music and credits. They were great!
Posted at Nov 08/2006 12:46PM:
Marie Pearson: Hi Helen, I like your idea of having the students create a movie using MovieMaker with a specific topic in mind. I'm sure that kept them focused with their picture taking and script writing. I'm interested in finding out more information about the MovieMaker class you took through WVPT. Do you think this type of class is offered through all of the public television stations?
Posted at Nov 30/2006 02:49PM:
Helen Partlow: 2 Professional Development for November: (1) Attended a day-long PhotoShop Workshop with other county Business & Information Technology (BIT) teachers to learn tips and tricks using new PhotoShop software we received this year. The instructor was enthusiastic and showed us numerous timesaving shortcuts. (2) Pinnacle Movie Studio Box software – new in our library. Reviewed software with Librarian and then I worked through the tutorials online. (2 hours). Great program and it was user friendly, but costs money. Only one copy in school library.
Posted at Nov 30/2006 07:20PM:
MKostal:Hi Helen, you sound like a very busy person. I didn't know anyone still had so many daily preps to do--you have five classes and yearbook? Your workshop on MovieMaker sounded great-like all the bases were covered--camera specs, etc. I would like to attend one like that. How do your students save their movies?
Posted at Dec 01/2006 03:05PM:
Helen Partlow: Movies are saved in MovieMaker and then "finished" and saved as an .wmv file which is then viewed in Windows Media Player. We have shared the movies on our network...other students love to see themselves on screen. As for multiple preps, our school is on the 4 X 4 block system for classes. Students take 4 classes 1st semester and then 4 new classes 2nd semester; each class meets 90 minutes, which is great for technology. I have 3 preps each semester; it keeps things interesting!
Posted at Dec 04/2006 02:01PM:
Helen Partlow: December Professional Development: Offering a IGPro Refresher Workshop to new teachers and others. Will provide handout on how to create a Final Grade spreadsheet and offer shortcuts in importing/copying tasks, etc. After working with the gradebook software for several months, many are ready to move on to a more efficient and expanded use of the software.
Posted at Dec 05/2006 01:17PM:
cbridges: Helen - glad you enjoyed the portaportal site - it is quite useful. I try and update it every time I find new and exciting things. There are several different bookmarking sites. Another popular one is de.lic. cious. It is one that many people can post to - similar to a wiki. I guess you would call it a "social bookmarking" tool. I understand you are in charge of the yearbook for your school - I have been placed in charge of that as well. I am having a blast with that. Just getting nervous with my first deadline approaching.... Yikes!!!
Posted at Dec 05/2006 02:37PM:
Goldy Purcell: Hello Helen. Hope you had a nice Thanksgiving. I just received my new MacBook and I am really learning so much. Most of which is self taught with a book and help screens but I really like this little machine. Never thought I would say that since I only know a PC. The PRS system that we are using allows students to respond to questions and get immediate feedback. The system encourages classroom discussion, show instantly the students comprehension and electronically delivers quizzes and tests and provides reports. We put the questions in PowerPoint if the teachers already have questions created, so they can cut and paste. But the PRS system has a place to type in questions too. Students think they are on “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” and polling the audience. It is a fun way to review and test students and we are having fun with it right now. I know our time on the Wiki is about to end but please stay in touch - just email me – email@example.com. Have a good holiday and try to rest after your busy first semester.
Posted at Dec 07/2006 04:04PM:
Helen Partlow: Final project uploaded above. What an challenging and rewarding experience! My students learned MovieMaker; their antics, hands and computers were captured on video and they served as my video critique committee. This is a powerful free program that comes with Windows…with good ideas and a little creativity, the possibilities are endless!
Posted at Dec 07/2006 04:11PM:
Helen Partlow: Rich, this class was a busy and rewarding ride in technology. It has shown me that there is so much out there and has rekindled my quest to always learn more! And there is so much more to learn! Thank you for this educational experience!
Posted at Dec 07/2006 04:23PM:
Helen Partlow: #2 December Professional Development - instructed the Photojournalism Class on the how to's of MovieMaker and helped them create a movie to advertise and sell the yearbook.
Posted at Dec 08/2006 01:59PM:
Goldy Purcell: Hello Helen, I am in the process of downloading your movie - our connection is so slow that I will have to view it later. I know you had fun creating this with your classes. I want to use Movie Maker with some of our teachers next semester so I may call on you for help. Hope you have a wonderful holiday season - Merry Christmas