Published by the students and teachers active in CES' Technology Program.
For more information, contact John Hartranft

Friday, December 12, 2008

Influential People

Today, the CES 8th graders posted several paragraphs to their Online Yearbook that describe people that have influenced their lives here at CES, or have been memorable in some way. Thought you might be interested in reading what they have written... see

Oh, by the way...they weren't allowed to use the words "I" or "me" when writing their paragraphs, nor were they allowed to name the person.

Friday, December 5, 2008

CES Yearbook: Visit the Online Journal

I hope you have the opportunity to visit regularly the CES Yearbook Online. The 8th Grade is publishing this online journal as part of their year-long project to document CES and publish content using various media, including a 64 page print yearbook.  On the CES Yearbook Online, you'll find items that won't necessarily make it into the print version of the yearbook. The students have posted slide shows, writings and news items with photos to capture some of the happening around CES.

The capstone for the CES Technology Program is the school yearbook. Eighth graders apply a variety of creative,and technical skills to chronicle and publish the print and web versions of the school yearbook: journaling, writing, theme development, research, photography, imaging, graphic design, web design/development, and information management. The students learn "real world" business skills, such as collaboration, project management, communication, problem-solving, decision-making, creativity/design, quality control, and integrity.

Students in grade 4 through 7 progress toward achieving the competence and confidence necessary to complet a project at the level of responsibility, complexity, and resiliency that publishing a yearbook demands. Students construct their understanding of technology concepts, and learn how to apply their knowledge and skills in a project-base learning environment that Mr. H's middle school computer classes offer.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Recycling 2nd Graders?

Well, the CES 2nd graders aren't actually being recycled...

They are recycling here at school AND have shared with us all a terriffic slide show of their field trip to the Recycling Center.  Check it out on Mrs. Morgan's newsletter, Lower School Computer Lab Showcase.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

No Longer Just The Old Typing Class...

A recent article published in eSchoolNews hit home to me. It addresses issues that educators grapple with on an ongoing basis, particularly relating to how we prepare our students for the world today and in the future. Those of us involved with educational technology have seen a shift in emphasis in the national standards for technology education during the past several years (see ISTE National Educational Technology Standards), from a focus on lower-level skills to higher-level critical thinking skills (creativity, innovation, problem-solving, decision making). The eSchool News article is food for thought as we continue to review the focus of CES' Technology Program curriculum and some of the goals that we are working toward in the middle school computer lab.

Here's an excerpt, with a link to the full article below.

"A lot of people think the skills that students need to learn for the workforce and the skills they need to learn to be a good citizen are two separate sets. But they're not. What makes a student successful in the global workforce will make a person successful at life.... [Employers] . . .don't mind training employees in technology--but you can't teach someone how to think."

Tony Wagner from Harvard argues for a list of seven "survival skills" that students need to succeed in today's information-age world, taken from his book The Global Achievement Gap: Why Even Our Best Schools Don't Teach the New Survival Skills Our Children Need--And What We Can do About It. It's a school's job to make sure students have these skills before graduating, he says:

1. Problem-solving and critical thinking;
2. Collaboration across networks and leading by influence;
3. Agility and adaptability;
4. Initiative and entrepreneurship;
5. Effective written and oral communication;
6. Accessing and analyzing information; and
7. Curiosity and imagination.


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

CES Family Fall Festival Photos

I'm a fan of good photographs, and the photos in the slide show below capture some moments from CES' recent Family Fall Festival. These are really good photos!

So, what's the "techie" story behind sharing these photos here on the CESTJ?

CES Parent and talented photographer Eric Jensen (who, by the way, provides insightful and helpful hands-on support for our school's technology program), suggested that we test a feed from the photo sharing site Flikr to create the slide show below. Our main CES website is a bit limiting when it comes to uploading, storing, sharing, and displaying photos, hence our little experiement here on the CESTJ. Let us know if you find this content to be of value to you. Feel free to email me or leave a comment to this post.

Thanks Mr. Jensen!

Saturday, November 1, 2008


Some interesting characters were seen around CES on Friday, October 31. Mr. "Retro Man" Renfroe greeted families during the morning carpool and was seen strutting his stuff throughout the day. The third grade students were nowhere to be seen during their regularly scheduled computer class, while goblins, alter egos, famous personalities, and storybook characters took their place. Who are these people?

Thursday, October 30, 2008

CES Election Day 2008

CES students in grades 4 through 8 lined up outside the Jefferson Building computer classroom to vote for President and 3 ballot referendums today. Outside, students politicked while inside, 8th graders served as election workers and poll watchers.

For those of you following the techie side of things, we used SurveyGizmo to create the ballot, which we embedded onto our Cardinals' Nest Wiki space. We were able to compile results in real time using SurveyGizmos' reporting tools. Mr. Hartranft is happy to report no computer glitches (whew!).

Thanks to Mrs. Harkins for coordinating this important civics lesson!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Take the 4th Grade Pie Preference Poll

Taking a break from their keyboarding practice, the 4th grade launched a Pie Preference Poll on the 4th grade page of the Cardinals' Nest. Help the 4th grade's market research by voting your preferences...'tis the season for pie!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Hispanic Heritage Month Gallery Update

We figured out how to add audio to our Cardinals' Nest web space (actually, it's a wiki..a web 2.0 tool ), and are pleased to add student voices to the Hispanic Heritage Galleries. Thanks to CES Spanish teacher Marta Bou, the students are recording a greeting en español. Take a look (and a listen!!!) to the 5th grade gallery and the 6th grade gallery. We have a bit more recording to do, so keep checking back in....

Tener un buen día, amigos!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

6th Grade Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month

The CES 6th graders, with guidance of Mrs. Myers, researched prominent Americans with Hispanic roots and wrote a brief biographies based on their research.

During Mr. H's 6th computer class, Mary Beth S. helped to process the text files to publish on on our "electronic bulletin board".... you can read these biographies on this page of the Cardinals' Nest web space.

More to come: The 6th grade recorded their voices to produce an audio companion to the text on the Cardinals Nest gallery. We're trying to figure out the best way to accomplish this. Also, look for a similar gallery on the 5th grade page.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Q & A: What is Web 2.0?

More than a few people have asked me this question in one form or another, and for a variety of reasons, so I thought it merits an answer here in the CESTJ.

Here's a pretty good entry from Wikipedia:

Web 2.0 is a term describing changing trends in the use of World Wide Web technology and web design that aims to enhance creativity, information sharing, collaboration and functionality of the web. Web 2.0 concepts have led to the development and evolution of web-based communities and its hosted services, such as social-networking sites, video sharing sites, wikis, blogs, and folksonomies. Read more >> (source: , accessed 6 October 2008)

OK, but what does "Web 2.0" have to do with CES?
Quick Answer: communications, collaboration, sharing

Tell me more...How is CES using Web 2.0 applications to enhance/extend learning at CES?

This CES Tech Journal newsletter is actually a blog published using Google Blogger. Did you know that you can subscribe to articles posted on the CESTJ? Click on the subscribe button and choose how you wish to receive the articles using your RSS reader.

We're publishing student-produced multimedia on the Cardinals' Nest, which uses a collaborative publishing tool called a wiki. Not much on the Cardinals' Nest yet, but be sure to check back during the year for more student-produced video, webcasts, images. Think of the Cardinals' Nest as the Tech Department's bulletin board....except we can post slide shows, sound and video!

Another promising Web 2.o technology is the social networking tool Ning. The families in Mrs. Beaudoin's preschool Bugs class have created their own Ning to share photos, communicate with each other, post calendar items, and more. You must be a member of the Bug's Ning (approved by the Ning administrator) to view any of the content, so there are safeguards in place.

What can I do to understand these technologies better?
From my experience, and in talking with parents and teachers within and outside the CES community, the best way to understand these technologies is to jump in and test the waters, so to speak. Be prudent about your content, practice good Internet safety, and consider how you can apply these tools to add value to your extended network.

Your comments are welcome.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Learning Networks @ CES: Big and Small

First, the BIG...

CES is fortunate to have Mr. Jack Shabe's expertise this school year. Mr. Shabe has contributed a considerable amount of time helping us troubleshoot technical problems with our computer network, classroom computers, and other "techie" things. He and Mr. Eric Jorgensen, CES' network administrator, are contributing professional services to the school valued at more than $20,000 (!!!)...certainly a significant amount of savings to the school. And their work is often done behind the scenes without notice. For their BIG contribution to our school's technology infrastructure: THANK YOU!

Now, the small...

Mr. Shabe set up the school's digital microscope in the middle school science lab. The microscope is connected to a computer that enables students to see items on slides, capture images and video, take measurements, and explore the world at a smaller scale.

Perhaps our 6th graders will make an video featuring our friendly neighborhood protozoa and post it to their 6th Grade Video Arcade???

Thursday, September 25, 2008

6th Grade Video Arcade, Featuring Frank's Music Animation

Sixth Grader Frank M. produced a music video that brings his stick figures to life. For all of you Jonas brothers Fans, here's an opportunity to see a fun animation choreographed to a good tune. See below, or check it out on the Sixth Grade Video Arcade page on the Cardinals Nest web space.

Good work, Frank!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Teachers Are Learners, Too!

It was a half day for students today, but school was in session in the afternoon for CES teachers. Teachers worked on curriculum development, planning, and their own professional development. The photo below was taken during a curriculum mapping training session in the middle school computer classroom.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Mrs. Morgan's Lower School Computer Showcase

The CES Tech Department is expanding it's communications online using several web 2.0 technologies. Check out the new student web space (called the Cardinal's Nest), where CES students will be publishing images, writings, webcasts during the school year.

And, in addition to Mr. Hartranft's CES Tech Journal, which primarily focuses on the news and events from the CES Middle School Technology Program, Mrs. Morgan has created a newsy--and fun--website featuring happenings in the Lower School computer classes. DON'T MISS the slide show on the first grade self-portraits !! Our first graders are GOOD!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

School Picture Day!

It was a day of well-combed/brushed hair and lots of smiles. On School Picture Day, the photographers take student portraits that end up in the school yearbook, a publication that we keep in our homes for a lifetime. If you missed out on having your portrait taken, or simply prefer to have your portrait taken again, be ready with your comb and smile on November 20, School Picture Make-Up Day.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

5th Grade Drawings Featured on Online Exhibit

Visit the Cardinals' Nest Wiki to view gallery of 5th Grade drawings.

CES fifth grades students reviewed the parts of a computer, and then illustrated them using a simple imaging software program (Paint). CES students learn to create an original image using several image editors and save it in several different file formats.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Lower School Computers Update

CES computer teacher Ellen Morgan has been busy enhancing the lower school technology program. In addition to setting up eight new computers in the lower school computer classroom, she set up iMac computers in each K-3 classroom and in the preschool. Mrs. Morgan also produces The Chronicle, school ads, signs, and has a creative touch when putting together her bulletin board in the hallway outside of her classroom (an inside source tells me there is a special "spooky" something happening in Mrs. Morgan's her classroom in October)!

Check out the bulletin board at Lower School Back to School Night tonight!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Picture of The Day

The CES Class of 2009 began the long process of producing the school yearbook.

We turned 2008 yearbook inside out and upside down (literally...take a closer look!) to generate ideas for this year's publication.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Mr. H's Computer Classes: Week 1 Civility

In the Jefferson Building computer lab this week, CES students in grades four through eight focused on various aspects of civility, ethics, and the CES Honor Code. Discussions centered around how to decide to "do the right thing" in the computer classroom and when using technology tools.

Of note were the fourth graders, who, after reading a few passages from George Washington's Rules of Civility & Decent Behaviour in Company and Conversation, quickly figured out the three basic rules of Mr. H's classroom:

> Respect others
> Respect the equipment
> Respect yourself

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

A Article on Educational Technology

This back-to-school article on technology appeared in the Washington Post this morning.


Back to the Books (and Laptops)
By Theresa Vargas

French teacher Normandie Lee stood in front of her class yesterday, face to face with the electronic whiteboard she had just learned how to use, and confessed, "Okay, I'm scared."

To view the entire article, go to

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Scenes from The First Day of School

Brought to you by the CES Technology Department.

Friday, June 27, 2008

CES Student Literary Magazine Now Available

A bound color copy of Celebrations can now be purchased from for $20. Electronic versions are also available from for $10. Visit Christ Episcopal School's store on

Ms. Hopper, as faculty advisor for the student literary journal, coordinated the writing entries, along with Mrs. Myers.  The CES 7th Grade worked on the layout and design in Mr. Hartranft' class.