Michelle's Journals

April 30, 2010

  • We did not have a meeting last friday. Last Thursday, I sent Dr. Feng the revisions on Lesson 1 based on New School's feedback.
  • Today is the last deployment of the curriculum at Beeks and Harding.
  • For the next week, I plan on finalizing as much of the curriculum as possible based on the feedback we get. It is the last week of school and the exam week starts so it will be a very busy week.
  • Next Friday will be our last meeting since that's the end of teh semester. However for the people who will be here this summer, there's about five more weeks after the semester is over of curriculum deployment at New School.
April 20, 2010

  • On April 10th, we presented the first lesson of Alice, the ice skater tutorial and recreating the ice skater world. A lot of kids played around with Alice after the lesson and they were excited to ge the cd giveaway with the software.
  • Last Friday, we went to Blacksburg New School and presented the same lesson to the 4th and 5th graders. When deploying this curriculum, we found a lot of errors in the lessons.
  • I plan to fix all the critical errors we found in lesson 1 and keep on revising teh lessons based on the feedback we're receiving from our deployments.
April 09, 2010

  • The past week I submitted my poster proposal to GH 2010 on Monday night. I also have worked on editing my lessons and adding more exercises to every lesson.
  • I need to create written solutions to the exercises that teachers will be able to follow easily and help students.
  • We went to Beeks and Harding Elementary today and deployed the first lesson. It was a lot of fun and we are going to restructure our program based on the feedback.
  • Tomorrow, we have KTU from 12:00pm to 4:00pm.
April 04, 2010

  • This past week I was able to revise my last two lessons. I sent them out for revision and will edit them some more once I received feedback.
  • I was also able to fix the picture files to organize the folders for the site.
  • This week, on top of curriculum, I plan on working on my GHC abstract that is due tomorrow by midnight.
March 28, 2010

  • This week has definitely been my busiest week of the semester. I wasn't able to do as much research work as I wanted to this week but this upcoming week will not be as busy so I plan to make up for it this week.
  • Last week, I was able to revise one lesson and create an extra exercise using the aquarium world.
  • This week I plan to revise the rest of my lessons and have at least most of the extra exercises with the aquarium world done for each lesson in the curriculum. I also plan to fix the website directories for MyVICE to make it organized and easy to navigate through.
March 19, 2010

  • This past week I have been working on creating extra exercises for each lesson with my aquarium world. Now that I have the update lessons I have made and that were revised by Scott and Sahil, I plan on revising those lessons to the standard that was set with Lesson 1 (Playing with Alice). Dr. Feng asked to definitely have Lessons 3 and 4 by Friday to publish on the MyVICE site.
  • I also plan on fixing the directories for the MyVICE site, making it more user friendly. The main directory just has all the files unorganized so I plan on organizing it.
  • This week will be a pretty busy week academically because I have two projects due and a test. I will try to get as much done as I can without letting my academics suffer.
March 05, 2010

  • This past week I have been working on the website and revising lessons. However, Sahil and Scott have the most recently edited lessons so I need to grab those lessons to start revising them for the final drafts.
  • This next week is Spring Break but I have a fair amount of tasks to do. First, I need to draft an email to get sponsorship from Kinko's for out CDs and sleeves.This needs to be done by tomorrow so Dr. Feng can send it out and gives us and Kinko's ample time for our request. Second, I need to create the solution aquarium worlds for the exercises for all the lessons. Third, I plan to fix the thumbnails on the People page of the MyVICE site so all the thumbnails are the same size.
February 26, 2010

  • This past week has been a really busy week for me, since I have had most of my midterms this week. I have been working on the website: fixing the history, layout, and adding curriculum to the page.
  • For the upcoming week, KTU is on Saturday. However, I have another meeting that is mandatory to attend so I may not be able to make it to KTU. After KTU, we'll repsond to feedback from the first lesson and program in general and adapt our curriculum to be more effective. I plan on editing my lessons.
February 19, 2010

  • This whole week I have been working on the CD designs with Sahil. We ended up getting a design to label the cd and two designs for cd holders (one if we get a jewel case and another if we just do sleeves). These CDs are to be distributed at Kid's Tech University next Saturday 2/27.
  • I have also been working on the MyVICE site. I have fixed all the layout details, reordered the menu, fixed the broken links and added to the publications.
  • This week I plan to finish the History section, using the outline Dr. Feng gave me, adding one lesson to the Curriculum page as a sample, and adding pictures to the Pictures page. The site needs to be perfect for the launch before KTU.
February 12, 2010

  • I was unable to go to the meeting this week because of a conflict with another meeting.
  • All week I worked on the website ( I did revisions and added pages compared to last week (new people, news, etc.)
  • This week I plan to talk to Kinkos about cd labels and jackets, convert more of my lessons to LaTeX and try to get my mother to send methe cd labeler.
February 08, 2010

  • Due to the nasty weather conditions last Friday, we had our meeting via Skype at 5:30pm Friday.
  • I presented the site ( to the group and received some feedback for updates. First, change the "News Articles" page to Publications and add a "News" page for awards (like Gabriel's poster). Also, I need to add a "People" page to show whose on the research. We plan to use the site to post our material as well, so I'm creating a curriculum tab for that and we'll post our material when ready. There were also aethetic problems with the first creation (like the background bleeds into the text making it difficult to read) in which I plan to fix this week. I need to also add the links to SERViCE and fresca on the site.
  • I am also in charge of finding out if Kinko's will do the cd labels and jackets for us. I plan to call them on Wednesday or Thursday.
January 29, 2010

  • Today, we had our first research meeting for the spring semester. Our plan is to meet every Friday morning at 10am.
  • Dr. Feng talked about all our work last semester and how it is incorporated into our goals for this semester. Right now, I'm going to take a break from the curriculum and start working on the MyVICE website, a more profession site that links to the student research projects like SERViCE.
  • My plan this week is to research website design so I can start working on the MyVICE site as soo as I can (hopefully within the next couple days), since I do have no previous web design experience.
December 10, 2009

  • The last meeting of the semester was today instead of Monday since Dr. Feng was out of town Monday. I was unable to make the meeting due to a medical emergency. I plan to meet up with Sahil and be in contact with Dr. Feng on what work needs to be done over the break to prepare for next semester.
November 30, 2009

  • Over the past two weeks, we've been going over and refining the previous lessons.
  • We just received new feedback from Dr. Feng to add explanations within the steps in which the children follow so they understand what they are doing and it's drilled in their head.
  • Also, Dr Feng wants us to convert at least one document to pdflatex so that we learn basic concepts for make files (which will be important for us to learn for the upcoming Intro to Computing Systems class next semester).
November 23, 2009

  • It's Thanksgiving break!
November 17, 2009

  • Although we didn't have a meeting this week because our advisers are at a conference, we do still have tasks to be done.
  • I have made the new banner for this website and sent it out for feedback before we decide to post it.
  • I plan to revisit the lessons already made and make sure that when new terminology is encountered in one of the stes of the lesson that is clearly defined and explained to the student. Also, make sure that the terminology is summarized at the end of each lesson.
  • I also plan to revisit all the storyboards and make corresponding extra exercises for the rest of the lessons.
November 09, 2009

  • Created a draft copy for Lesson 9 on creating classes. This lesson combines a bunch of the concepts learned from previous lessons and gives the student the power to use their imagination.
  • Plan to start converting lessons from .doc to LaTeX to make it easier for the curriculum team to manage after Thanksgiving to wrap up everything.
  • This week, I plan to revisit all the lessons already done and fix the summaries and terminologies and add more extra exercises to each lesson. We want to summarize and emphasize the new concepts and add saving the templates to all the lessons so the kids can grab them for later lessons.
November 02, 2009

  • Talked to Dr. Feng about what he exactly wanted for the remaining lessons: manipulating pictures, recursion, creating classes, and exporting to movies. Since we are selling Storytelling Alice as making your own movies, we need to get the export to movie function to work in Alice.
  • Revised current lessons by added extra exercises and key terms where they were missing.
  • Decided that we need to convert all out lessons from .doc to LaTeX because it will be easier to reference past lessons and editing for the curriculum team.
  • Plan to brainstorm and try to finish another lesson on creating classes, which deals with in importing pictures into Alice and creating methods for those objects to use in the World.
October 26, 2009

  • Sent out an updated .zip file of all the lessons we have so far. I filled in the key terms and extra exercises sections of each of the finished lessons. We still have a couple lessons that are pending and need key terms and extra exercises sections to be filled.
  • Plan to continue making lessons based on the strawman curriculum we have. Since we're not exactly sure what we want to do for the broad topics yet, we're going to try to at least get a draft lesson out for manipulating pictures and creating classes by next week and modify the lessons as we deem necessary.
October 21, 2009

  • Talked to Dr. Feng about Lesson 7, manipulating sound in Alice. We will give the kids samples of music they can use or even possibly teach the kids how to find their own music. I need to make some mix samples to cater the variety of interests of all the kids. I will revise this lesson once we have a definite way grabbing the music.
  • I am compiling all the lessons that we have already created, which includes about 8 lessons. I am going to work on creating extra exercises for those lessons. I'll send this to Dr. Feng by Friday so he can look them over and we can fill the gaps between the lessons, or make the lessons flow better.
October 19, 2009

  • I finished up the draft of Lesson 7, manipulating sound in Alice. I sent it out and I am waiting for feedback for revisions.
  • Our weekly meeting was rescheduled to Wednesday due to scheduling conflicts so I am waiting till Wednesday to figure out whether we should provide multiple sound clips to cater to most children's interests.
October 12, 2009

  • Finished up final revisions on Lesson 2, which taught the ice skater tutorial and how to recreate it. I sent it out and awaiting feedback. I added more pictures and descriptions to make the lesson more fun and user friendly.
  • Talking with Dr. Feng to figure out what the plan for the curriculum is as a whole. We need to go over what lessons we have and how to works into his new plan for the curriculum.
  • Planning to meet up with Scott and Sahil to work on the curriculum on Tuesday. We'll work on revisions to what we already have and plan the next lessons to come including conditions and loops (more complex ones than Scott's lesson 4 on loops).
October 05, 2009

  • Began setting up the main scene in which our lessons will use. We decided on a cafeteria scene with a food fight. It seems juvenile enough to keep their attention and easy to implement with all objects already in the gallery.
  • Revising lesson two, which is doing the ice skater tutorial and recreating that world, and lesson three on parallelism. I need to add even more pictures, to use even simpler language and add more descriptions of what they are actually doing and why it's important.
  • Planning to meet with the rest of the curriculum team, if we can find a meeting time that works with everyone's schedule, to work on reivision and future lesson plans, which will include loops, functions, and conditionals.
September 28, 2009

  • Reviewing and modifying the feedback from Lesson 2, which goes through the first ice skater tutorial and recreats the ice skater world. I need to add more pictures to the lesson to be more user friendly and visually appealing.
  • Finishing up Lesson 3, the lesson on parallelism, and sending out for reviews and criticism.
  • Will meet with other curriculum members on Wednesday to discuss feedback and collaboration efforts. We needto discuss a concrete format, layout, and ieal curriculum order for lessons.
September 21, 2009

  • Attended meeting with SERViCE members
  • Ran into a problem with using objects from the Web Gallery to recreate the tutorial in Lesson 2, which goes through the ice skater tutorial and recreates the world. We were able to ix the problem by deciding the objects with their methods will already be provided to the students.
  • Planning to finish the write up for Lesson 2 and start the write up for Lesson 3, which teaches parallelism.
September 14, 2009

  • Attended meeting with Dr. Feng, Billy, Gabriel, and Scott.
  • Started talking about the curriculum and mapping out the first two lessons: Installing Storytelling Alice and Playing with Storytelling Alice.
  • Met with Gabriel and Billy on Wednesday to finalize website design.
September 07, 2009

  • Attended first meeting with Dr. Feng, Billy, Gabriel, and Scott.
  • We started talking about the goals of the research, where the research is at currently, and what needs to be done within the next week to start.
  • Met with Gabriel, Billy and Scott on Wednesday to discuss optimizing the website and looking into web blogging like FlatPress.