FOURTH 9 WEEKS
EXTRA CREDIT #2 Earth Day!
Pay tribute to the Earth on Earth Day, April 22 and beyond…. This video from
Associated Press presents stunning views of the earth from space, and narration from
many astronauts who have been privileged to view it from outer space. Hear from
John Glenn, Wally Schirra, two of the earliest American astronauts, as well as those
who have flown on the space shuttles, and lived in the space station. The video, 3
minutes and 33 seconds long, shows images from the Gemini missions, Apollo
missions, and the space shuttle. It puts into perspective the relative size of the earth in
relation to the vast infinity of space, and reemphasizes our need to be good stewards
of our planet.
After watching the video, write a few paragraphs on your feelings
about our planet, and why we have to consider things like pollution,
recycling, renewable resources, and being good stewards of the
planet we call, “Earth.”
DEADLINE - Friday, 5/4/2012
For more on our planet, see below:
Credit: NASA / JPL
This excerpt from A Pale Blue Dot was inspired by an image taken, at Sagan's suggestion, by Voyager 1 on
February 14, 1990. As the spacecraft left our planetary neighborhood for the fringes of the solar system,
engineers turned it around for one last look at its home planet. Voyager 1 was about 6.4 billion kilometers (4
billion miles) away, and approximately 32 degrees above the ecliptic plane, when it captured this portrait of our
world. Caught in the center of scattered light rays (a result of taking the picture so close to the Sun), Earth
appears as a tiny point of light, a crescent only 0.12 pixel in size.
Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever
heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of
confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and
destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor
and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and
sinner in the history of our species lived there--on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.
The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors
so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties
visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how
frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds.
Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are
challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all
this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.
The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our
species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.
It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration
of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more
kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known.
-- Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot, 1994
EXTRA CREDIT #1 Technology is Everywhere! Bring in a Show and
Tell Tech item to share with the class and receive an extra credit
A. The Show and Tell item can be an interesting website, article,
new gadget, or techno item that will interest your schoolmates and
teacher. Any time in the two weeks before the deadline, students
may come up before the class and share their Tech item. If 50%
of the class or more deem your extra credit “interesting” you will
get an A.
DEADLINE - Friday, 4/13/2012
THIRD 9 WEEKS
EXTRA CREDIT #4 “Cyber weapons don’t get rid of conventional
or nuclear weapons — they just add a new layer to the existing
system of terror.” (Guy-Philippe Goldstein)
Go to the URL below and watch the TED video.
After watching the video of Mr.Guy-Philippe Goldstein, write a one
page paper about your reaction to the advances of the Internet, to
the point that countries and companies are forced to keep up with
cyber-weapons in a race to avoid becoming vulnerable.
DEADLINE - Wednesday, 3/28/2012
EXTRA CREDIT #3 “All Your Devices Can Be Hacked”
Go to the URL below and watch the TED video.
After watching the video of Mr. Avi Rubin, write a one page paper
reflecting on what he said, while comparing and contrasting a hack-
free world (not on the grid) and hacked world (hooked up to the
DEADLINE - Monday, 3/19/2012
EXTRA CREDIT #2
“Technology Is Used In Everyday Life.”
Complete the attached flowchart in MS
Word to show how technology has evolved
from the beginning (what/when do you think
The Start of Technology
was the first technology?), to the present
Present Day Technology
DEADLINE - Wednesday, 2/29/2012
To create a flowchart, you can modify this example or you can start from scratch to create your own
To delete the sample flowchart, select the flowchart and press DELETE.
To add flowchart shapes
On the Flow Shapes toolbar, click the shape you want, and then click where you want to draw the
To add connectors between the shapes
1. On the Flow Connectors toolbar, click the connector line you want.
2. Point to where you want to lock the connector.
3. Click the first connection site you want, point to the other shape, and then click the second connection site.
The Start of Technology
The Start of Technology
Present Day Technology
EXTRA CREDIT #1 Freedom for the Internet
Research the growing area of Freedom for the Internet. Below is a recent article
from ABC News regarding the recent decision of Twitter to now censor Tweets in
some countries, where the governments object, in order not to “go around local
After reading the article and researching others online that are related, write a
brief, typed essay of one page or more regarding the controversy of actions by
companies such as Twitter and the U.S. Government to ban Internet use through
laws such as SOPA and PIPA.
DEADLINE - Friday, 2/10/2012
Twitter to Censor Tweets Country-by-Country
Twitter's logo. Loic Venance/AFP/Getty Images
ABC News’ Kevin Dolak and Ned Potter Report:
Twitter has announced a new plan that will allow it to censor users’ tweets on a country-by-country basis if governments object to them. It says
the policy is an attempt to keep doing business in countries, such as China, that do not welcome all expression.
On the company’s blog Twitter said it will now withhold offending content within the specific country that censors the language, while leaving it
unaltered for the rest of the world. It will also post a censorship notice whenever a tweet is removed.
“Until now, the only way we could take account of those countries’ limits was to remove content globally. Starting today, we give ourselves the
ability to reactively withhold content from users in a specific country — while keeping it available in the rest of the world,” the company said.
“If and when we are required to withhold a tweet in a specific country, we will attempt to let the user know, and we will clearly mark when the
content has been withheld,” said the company. “One of our core values as a company is to defend and respect each user’s voice. We try to keep
content up wherever and whenever we can, and we will be transparent with users when we can’t.”
A censored post, the company said, would be labeled “Tweet withheld. This Tweet from @Username has been withheld in: Country.” There would
be a link to an explanation of the policy.
Twitter and other Internet companies are trying to strike a difficult balance. The Internet is by nature global — and companies want to reach as
many countries as they can — but they cannot go around local laws.
“Twitter has been very thoughtful in trying to operate in a way that allows them to operate despite these limits,” said Cynthia Wong, director of
the Global Internet Freedom Project at the Center for Democracy & Technology in Washington. “At least they’re trying to limit the harm to free
Having grown to 100 million users in six years, Twitter has been used as a tool for social uprisings around the world in the past year, from the
Occupy Wall Street movement to the Arab Spring protests across the Middle East.
“As we continue to grow internationally, we will enter countries that have different ideas about the contours of freedom of expression,” said
Twitter’s blog post.
Twitter’s new policy was met with objections via — what else? — Twitter posts. A group called Demand Progress posted a petition to the company:
“We need you to keep fighting for and enabling freedom of expression — not rationalize away totalitarianism as a legitimate ‘different idea.’”
But the First Amendment in the U.S. is not widely matched around the world. Twitter pointed out that France and Germany ban pro-Nazi
comments as hate speech. And its new censorship policy could also apply to South Korea’s 2010 ban on North Korea’s Twitter account. South
Korea’s Communications Standards Commission said it contained “illegal information.”
Twitter is currently blocked in China, where in 2010 Google had a highly publicized face-off with the country’s government. Google finally
stopped censoring online searches in China and directed users to its servers in Hong Kong, where the rules are looser.
“It’s understandable that users will be upset” with Twitter’s new policy, said Wong, “but there’s only so much a company can do to push back
SECOND 9 WEEKS
EXTRA CREDIT #4
Research the growing area of Blogging. Then go to our class website Blog and
write a paragraph on blogging and / or respond to the other students that have
posted there. Your post should be relevant, interesting and at least three well
written sentences long.
DEADLINE - Wednesday, 1/18/2012
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A blog (a blend of the term web log) is a personal journal published on the World Wide Web consisting of
discrete entries ("posts") typically displayed in reverse chronological order so the most recent post appears first.
Blogs are usually the work of a single individual, occasionally of a small group, and often are themed on a
single subject. Blog can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog.
The emergence and growth of blogs in the late 1990s coincided with the advent of web publishing tools that
facilitated the posting of content by non-technical users. (Previously a knowledge of such technologies as
HTML and FTP had been required to publish content on the Web.)
Although not a must, most good quality blogs are interactive, allowing visitors to leave comments and even
message each other via GUI widgets on the blogs and it is this interactivity that distinguishes them from other
static websites. In that sense, blogging can be seen as a form of social networking. Indeed, bloggers do not
only produce content to post on their blogs but also build social relations with their readers and other
Many blogs provide commentary on a particular subject; others function as more personal online diaries; yet
still others function more as online brand advertising of a particular individual or company. A typical blog
combines text, images, and links to other blogs, Web pages, and other media related to its topic. The ability of
readers to leave comments in an interactive format is an important part of many blogs. Most blogs are primarily
textual, although some focus on art (art blog), photographs (photoblog), videos (video blogging or vlogging),
music (MP3 blog), and audio (podcasting). Microblogging is another type of blogging, featuring very short
As of 16 February 2011, there were over 156 million public blogs in existence.
EXTRA CREDIT #3
Research the growing area of Cloud Computing using the links below and others
that you find. Write a one page essay about Cloud Computing, using examples
from real experiences where possible. Include what you think are ways that you
and your friends, and family could use Cloud Computing in the near future.
DEADLINE - Friday, 1/6/2012
What Is Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing is the next stage in the Internet's evolution, providing the means through which
everything — from computing power to computing infrastructure, applications, business processes to
personal collaboration — can be delivered to you as a service wherever and whenever you need. More
See more from Computers & Software
Related Articles and Videos
Administering Cloud Computing Services
How to Control Data in Cloud Computing
How to Talk to Your Cloud Computing Vendor about Data
EXTRA CREDIT #2
Gordon Snow (http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/executives/snow) works at the Washington, D.C.
FBI Headquarters, in their Cyber Division. Interesting that he says, “It’s easy for somebody,
given enough time, energy and funding, to penetrate any system that is accessible from the
Internet. There really is no secure system out there.” He also states that the size of the problem
is hard to say, because many organizations do not report intrusions, however, it is estimated at
hundreds of billions of dollars. That is one reason why cybercrime is a priority for the FBI.
Research the growing areas of cyber crime using the links below and others
that you find. Write an essay of your concerns about online security, using
examples from real experiences where possible. Include what you think are good
ways to minimize you, your friends, and family from being a victim of cyber crime.
DEADLINE - Friday, 12/9/2011
Facts for Consumers From The Federal Trade Commission
Dot com. Dot gov. Dot net. Dot org. Dot edu. Dot mil. Dot tv.
The Internet has spawned a whole new lexicon and brought the world to your living room, 24/7/365. And while the opportunities online
for consumers are almost endless, there are some challenges, too. As in dot con.
Dot con? Dot con.
Con artists have gone high-tech, using the Internet to defraud consumers in a variety of clever ways. Whether they're using the
excitement of an Internet auction to entice consumers into parting with their money, applying new technology to peddle traditional
business opportunity scams, using email to reach vast numbers of people with false promises about earnings through day trading, or
hijacking consumers' modems and cramming hefty long-distance charges onto their phone bills, scam artists are just a click away.
Fortunately, law enforcement is on the cyber-case. Using complaints to Consumer Sentinel, a consumer fraud database, as their guide,
law enforcement officials have identified the top 10 dot cons facing consumers who surf the Internet, as well as many of the fraudsters
behind them. In addition to putting many online con artists out of business, the Federal Trade Commission, the nation's chief consumer
protection agency, wants consumers to know how not to get caught in their web.
According to the FTC, here's what online consumers are complaining about most:
The Bait: Shop in a "virtual marketplace" that offers a huge selection of products at great deals.
The Catch: After sending their money, consumers say they've received an item that is less valuable than promised, or, worse yet,
nothing at all.
The Safety Net: When bidding through an Internet auction, particularly for a valuable item, check out the seller and insist on paying
with a credit card or using an escrow service.
Internet Access Services
The Bait: Free money, simply for cashing a check.
The Catch: Consumers say they've been "trapped" into long-term contracts for Internet access or another web service, with big
penalties for cancellation or early termination.
The Safety Net: If a check arrives at your home or business, read both sides carefully and look inside the envelope to find the
conditions you're agreeing to if you cash the check. Read your phone bill carefully for unexpected or unauthorized charges.
Credit Card Fraud
The Bait: Surf the Internet and view adult images online for free, just for sharing your credit card number to prove you're over 18.
The Catch: Consumers say that fraudulent promoters have used their credit card numbers to run up charges on their cards.
The Safety Net: Share credit card information only when buying from a company you trust. Dispute unauthorized charges on your
credit card bill by complaining to the bank that issued the card. Federal law limits your liability to $50 in charges if your card is misused.
International Modem Dialing
The Bait: Get free access to adult material and pornography by downloading a "viewer" or "dialer" computer program.
The Catch: Consumers complained about exorbitant long-distance charges on their phone bill. Through the program, their modem is
disconnected, then reconnected to the Internet through an international long-distance number.
The Safety Net: Don't download any program to access a so-called "free" service without reading all the disclosures carefully for cost
information. Just as important, read your phone bill carefully and challenge any charges you didn't authorize or don't understand.
The Bait: Get a free custom-designed website for a 30-day trial period, with no obligation to continue.
The Catch: Consumers say they've been charged on their telephone bills or received a separate invoice, even if they never accepted
the offer or agreed to continue the service after the trial period.
The Safety Net: Review your telephone bills and challenge any charges you don't recognize.
Multilevel Marketing Plans/ Pyramids
The Bait: Make money through the products and services you sell as well as those sold by the people you recruit into the program.
The Catch: Consumers say that they've bought into plans and programs, but their customers are other distributors, not the general
public. Some multi-level marketing programs are actually illegal pyramid schemes. When products or services are sold only to
distributors like yourself, there's no way to make money.
The Safety Net: Avoid plans that require you to recruit distributors, buy expensive inventory or commit to a minimum sales volume.
Travel and Vacation
The Bait: Get a luxurious trip with lots of "extras" at a bargain-basement price.
The Catch: Consumers say some companies deliver lower-quality accommodations and services than they've advertised or no trip at
all. Others have been hit with hidden charges or additional requirements after they've paid.
The Safety Net: Get references on any travel company you're planning to do business with. Then, get details of the trip in writing,
including the cancellation policy, before signing on.
The Bait: Be your own boss and earn big bucks.
The Catch: Taken in by promises about potential earnings, many consumers have invested in a "biz op" that turned out to be a "biz
flop." There was no evidence to back up the earnings claims.
The Safety Net: Talk to other people who started businesses through the same company, get all the promises in writing, and study
the proposed contract carefully before signing. Get an attorney or an accountant to take a look at it, too.
The Bait: Make an initial investment in a day trading system or service and you'll quickly realize huge returns.
The Catch: Big profits always mean big risk. Consumers have lost money to programs that claim to be able to predict the market with
100 percent accuracy.
The Safety Net: Check out the promoter with state and federal securities and commodities regulators, and talk to other people who
invested through the program to find out what level of risk you're assuming.
Health Care Products/Services
The Bait: Items not sold through traditional suppliers are "proven" to cure serious and even fatal health problems.
The Catch: Claims for "miracle" products and treatments convince consumers that their health problems can be cured. But people
with serious illnesses who put their hopes in these offers might delay getting the health care they need.
The Safety Net: Consult a health care professional before buying any "cure-all" that claims to treat a wide range of ailments or offers
quick cures and easy solutions to serious illnesses.
Can you avoid getting caught by a scam artist working the web? Not always. But prudence pays. The FTC offers these tips to help you
avoid getting caught by an offer that just may not click:
Be wary of extravagant claims about performance or earnings potential. Get all promises in writing and review them carefully
before making a payment or signing a contract.
Read the fine print and all relevant links. Fraudulent promoters sometimes bury the disclosures they're not anxious to share by
putting them in teeny-tiny type or in a place where you're unlikely see them.
Be skeptical of any company that doesn't clearly state its name, street address and telephone number. Check it out with the
local Better Business Bureau, consumer protection office or state Attorney General.
The FTC works to prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help
consumers spot, stop and avoid them. To file a complaint or get free information on consumer issues, visit ftc.gov or call toll-free, 1-
877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357); TTY: 1-866-653-4261. Watch a video, How to File a Complaint, at ftc.gov/video to learn more. The
FTC enters consumer complaints into the Consumer Sentinel Network, a secure online database and investigative tool used by
hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.
EXTRA CREDIT #1 Children’s Book Drive! Give the gift of early literacy for the
holidays. FDLRS-South is collecting children’s books appropriate for Preschool
children to disseminate this holiday season. Bring in a new or used (in good
condition) children’s book for ages birth to Five years old and receive an extra
credit “A,” as well as the gratification of making the holidays a little brighter for
DEADLINE - Wednesday, 11/23/2011
FIRST 9 WEEKS
EXTRA CREDIT #4 Since you started using computers as a young person, many
years ago, your parents created rules for your use of the computer and on the
Internet. According to the article in Parade Magazine on Sunday, October 9,
2011, which we discussed in class, some students are over-using technology –
cell phones, computers, and the Internet, to the extent that it is disrupting and
interfering with their daily lives. “For today’s youth, being wired is a way of life. The average teen sends
more than 50 texts a day; younger children spend over 10 hours a week playing video games; and the amount of time all kids
suffer from I.A.D. or Internet Addictive
spend online daily has tripled in the past 10 years.” Many
Disorder. Write a one page, typewritten essay on the topic of Internet Addictive
Disorder. Include any evidence that you might have from your experience, or that
of friends or family, of peoples’ excessive use of computers and the Internet.
DEADLINE - Friday, 10/21/2011
EXTRA CREDIT #3 Compare Two Searches of “Miami Beach”
Choose any Search Engine and do two identical searches for “Miami Beach.” Be
sure to print your results from two different computers. Was the TED video we
watched correct? Are they two different sets of results? Look at them and try to
explain YOUR results.
DEADLINE - Thursday, 10/6/2011
EXTRA CREDIT #2 Hispanic Heritage Committee Essay
Write an essay with the following topic and hand it in to me by 9/28. All grade
levels will receive extra credit, though only juniors and seniors can apply to win.
Essays must be original, unpublished work of the students submitting.
The U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida, announces its 2011 Hispanic Heritage Essay
Contest for high school juniors and seniors. The essay contest requires students to compare and
contrast the American legal system to the justice and legal system of a Latin American nation.
The contest is open to all high school juniors and seniors. The original unpublished essay may not
exceed 500 words and may be submitted in English or Spanish. The topic for the essay is as follows:
Millions of Hispanics have come to the United States seeking a better life for themselves and their
families. Many have been drawn by the promise of legal stability, respect for individual liberties, and the
rule of law. Compare and contrast the American justice/legal system with the justice/legal system of
your country of origin (or other Latin American country of choice). Was the U.S. justice/legal system a
factor that attracted your family to migrate to the U.S.? Please discuss.
Only one essay may be submitted per school. Submittal is via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. All
entries must be received by September 30, 2011.
Five finalists will be selected and notified by October 7, 2011. The five finalists will be invited to a
luncheon at the Wilkie D. Ferguson, Jr. United States Courthouse, 400 North Miami Avenue. Miami, FL
33128, on October 12, 2011, where the grand prize winner will receive an iPad and each of the four
runners-up will receive an iPod.
EXTRA CREDIT #1 Read the article below, and research about the different
results that are produced by various search engines. Then write a one page
informational paper on your findings. DEADLINE - Thursday, 9/22/2011
How to Decipher Search Engine Results
By Bruce Clay and Susan Esparza
A search engine results page displays a lot of different information; in fact, you may not even be aware of all the different types of
results you get. From vertical search engine results to related news stories to suggested spellings (if yours is a little rusty), the results
page offers all sorts of ways for you to dig deeper into a subject.
Say Mother’s Day is coming up, and you want to buy your mother a nice bouquet of roses. (Good for you! No wonder Mom always liked
you best.) After going to Google and typing your roses search query into the box, you’re presented with a results page. The results
page contains many different listings containing the keyword, or search word, roses, sorted according to what Google thinks is most
relevant to you. The following figure shows a Google results page for the query roses.
A results page for a typical Google search
The following descriptions give you more information about the labeled parts in the figure. (This example uses a Google results page
because they get the lion’s share of traffic. Plus, there isn’t much difference between their results-page layout and those of Yahoo! and
Microsoft Live Search.)
Search Box: The box where you type your search query. In this case, it’s roses.
Search Verticals: Links to the vertical search engines, the specialized ones that narrow your search into a specific type of
result, such as news or images. Clicking one of these links takes you to a results page with only news or only images.
Page Count: The number of Web pages Google found that match your search query in some way. In this case, it’s a lot.
Time Search Took: How long the search engine took to retrieve your results.
Related Searches: Other topics that contain your query or other searches Google thinks might be relevant.
Images: Picture files that match your query. This comes from Google’s Images vertical engine. Clicking the link would take
you to the vertical search results — in this case, a page containing only images of roses.
News Results: Any news results pertaining to your query or containing a keyword. These come from the vertical news engine.
Clicking the link would take you to the news page.
Sponsored Links: The paid ads. Note how some of them relate to a specific geographic location near you. This is thanks to the
local vertical search engine.
Organic Results: The listing results from a general search of Google’s index, with algorithms applied to determine relevance.
Pagination: Links to the additional pages of results.
Disambiguation: (not pictured) The “Did you mean . . . ?” suggestions that usually display after a misspelled search query or
search queries that turned up very few results. It’s Google trying to guess what you actually wanted. Because roses was spelled
correctly, no disambiguation appears in the figure. You can test this feature for yourself by searching for rozes in Google.
DEADLINE - Thursday, 9/22/2011