Tuesday, April 16, 2013

How Can We Blog If You Don't Teach Us How?

On Saturday April 13th the ILC held the first two of four tutorial sessions where our new ILCers gathered to learn how their blog sites work, how to use the tools on Blogger and what we’re looking for in their blogs.

We’ve established some formatting protocols that we want our ILCers to follow so their blogs are pleasing to the eye and there’s some conformity to their blogs.

We also show them examples of “good” blogs and examples of “bad” blogs so they can learn from the examples set by previous ILCers on what makes a successful blog and what will put their readers to sleep.

We had seven ILCers and two chaperones in our morning session and then eight ILCers in our afternoon session.

While everyone was prepared to participate in the hands-on sessions where they could post some practice blogs and get some direct instruction on what they were doing right and what they’re doing wrong, it didn’t work out that way.  In fact, it was a big bust.

Unfortunately, since we were using a District computer lab and needed to access the District’s Internet service, we were flummoxed due to some firewalls put in place to ensure that District staff and students don’t accidently go to inappropriate sites.  How they might see our blog sites as inappropriate is beyond me but there were no District staffers available on this Saturday to provide us with access.

Oh well…

As frustrating as this was, it didn’t stop us from proceeding with the numerous other items to be discussed.

We discussed some of the things the ILC expects from our ILCers, we explained about how to behave, rules they need to follow while back east, what to pack, what kind of loaner items will be available for their use, a few laundry tips, instructions on how to take better photos, what to do with those photos and whether Evil Don should come to the homes of our ILCers.

It would have been very easy to allow these barriers to have shut us down but everyone worked very hard to find ways to proceed.  This is the kind of thinking we like to see.

And for the record, the next two tutorials will be at a venue where we will be able to do what the tutorial is set up to do.

Monday, April 15, 2013

The First Step of a Great Journey to Come

Hello! I'm Jay Fan.  I'm a junior at Hercules High School this year, and I'll be attending the Techniques in DNA Biotechnology program at Brown this summer.

On the Saturday morning of April 13, 2013, I, along with six other fellow Ivy League students, had our first "milestone" event, which was the tutorial tutorial session at Hercules High with Don Gosney, who helps run the Ivy League Connection. We had a bit of a slow start as a few students had trouble finding the classroom hosting the tutorial and had to wait half an hour to solve problems regarding the school's troublesome Internet protocols.  This Blogspot was actually blocked by our school's system! How ridiculous and embarrassing.  But soon, we found a way to circumvent the problem and carried on with the tutorial.

The main things that Don discussed with us during the tutorial were regarding blogging, photography, what to pack, and especially, behavior and being on time (I'm already late writing this blog. I'm sorry, everyone!) Along with these topics followed many of Don's interesting stories about past Ivy League Connection students who were both terrific examples and terrific non-examples.

This about concludes my first blog. It wasn't as difficult as I thought once I just set myself down and got to work. I'm now even more excited to go to the East Coast this summer after all the talk about the trip.

The Beginning of My New Adventure

Hello, my name is Alicia Green and I am a sophomore at De Anza High School. I attended my first blogging session on April 13, 2013.

Welcome to my tutorial session blog! This summer I will be attending the Women and Leadership program at Brown University, but first I have to learn how to blog and find out what I need to do to make this trip a success.

I wish I could say that the tutorial started off on a good note, but unfortunately this is not the case. My father had to drop my mother off to work and then take me to the tutorial. Although this seems like a simple task it was actually quite difficult, because my father and I both did not know our way around Hercules High School or where room 106 was located. Since I was late I immediately walked into the room, signed in, and tried to get Internet access.

The computer lab was very small and it felt as if we were sitting on top of each other. Unfortunately, the school district blocked us from going on certain websites or viewing the entire website. This was incredibly frustrating since we needed Internet access to practice blogging.
If only this was the actual computer lab

As we did the best with what we had Don came around to each individual student and helped them learn the proper format that we will be using this summer. Don was helpful and told us the correct font sizes, margin alignments, and gave us a packet filled with examples of how to make our blogs look presentable. Inside the packet were also items that we would need to purchase and the rules that we should follow when we are at Brown University: 
  • Check your emails at least everyday and respond when asked to do so.

  • Be on time

  • Follow Instructions 

During tutorial I learned how to crop images, add links, and  the correct format when adding a post on my blog. I learned that adding captions and pictures makes our blog more interesting while keeping the reader's attention when they view our blog.

Although I will miss the Bay Area I will have to learn how to adapt to being so far away from home.  I have to learn how to do my own laundry and make sure that I get to class on time. I am very excited and appreciative of the opportunity to go to Brown University.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

The Beginning of the Journey

Today marked the first crawl of our soon to be run marathon. Although it was anticipated to be a walking step, due to District limitations, our learning experience was almost brought to a halt. Being as I do understand the necessity for certain restrictions when allowing internet access to teenagers, but I do not see the point in restricting Blogger. I personally don't know of any of my friends that would use Blogger while they are supposed to be using the computer for learning.

But in the interest of efficiency, and with the usage of perseverance, we continued on with our tutorial. Today was our first Ivy League Connection meeting and as with most to all first meetings, we discussed the basics. The basics ranged from luggage to table manners to social hour, which all were clearly expressed as being critical.

In all, today was a great learning experience and great prelude to the amazing summer that I am anticipating to have at Brown University along with my cohort. 

Blogging 101

Hi everybody!

Today I attended a session at Hercules High School where we were taught how to blog and format our blog posts. We also received a list of items to bring with us when we go back east, which will be extremely useful in a couple months.

Before the session, however, I (along with three other students) got a little lost on the way to the room. Even with maps we had trouble locating it! Eventually we found the room, but were a few minutes late.

 Hercules High School
Once we got there, we went onto the practice blog site that Don created where we practiced posting blogs and adding photos into our posts. I was surprised at how much thought you actually have to put into a blog post. In addition to writing the blog posts, we also had to correctly format them so that they fit the screen once published. Adding in pictures was also harder than it looks, because in order for the photos to match up with the text, they have to be a certain size and placed in a specific position.

After we finished learning about blogging, we went through a packet that Don had been kind enough to prepare for us. It informed us what to pack, and why. There were also two chaperones there who gave us helpful suggestions about spending money and luggage.

Although I'm new at it, I'm excited to continue blogging, and I can't wait for this summer!

First Things First

It was a beautiful day today, but I found myself cooped up in a room with several other members of the ILC cohort and Donand enjoying it.

Today was one of our first scheduled Ivy League Connection events, in which we reviewed everything we could possibly need to know about blogging as well as things like having a laundry bag and using a camera instead of a cell phone.

I expected that a tutorial mostly about blogging would be dull, and that Don would be lecturing us about simple things we already knew from common sense, but I found that sitting in a room listening to Don speak about the ILC was surprisingly interesting. Of course, there were moments in Don’s speech about blog formatting that lagged, and I wouldn’t exactly say that the “What to pack” list was captivating, but I did learn about several important things I needed to do for the blog. Most of these, fortunately, were specific, like “don’t indent” and “always justify your margins”. But I’m glad that Don went into detail about photography, because I didn’t know that holding a camera with your elbows in to your torso instead of holding your arms out made a picture sharper, which I’ll certainly be using on the trip.

Don was also kind enough to provide a packet with much of the same information we discussed during the tutorial, but I’m sure I’ll find myself reading it over and over to ensure that I don’t miss anything important. This meeting, while casual and informative, still made me nervous. Learning more about the responsibilities I will be faced with this summer are both exciting and frightening. I look forward to the freedom I’ll have with my parents on the opposite side of the country, but, then again, my parents won’t be there to help me with my laundry. This meeting made me feel comfortable in some of my skills, but it’s becoming clear to me that I still have a lot to learn. 
The lovely view of Hercules High School from the parking lot.

ILC Tutorial: The 411

Even though it wasn’t a school day, I got out of bed at 6:45 AM this morning (yes, I do admit to pressing the snooze button once) and began getting ready to go to the ILC tutorial. Thanks to the GPS on my phone, my mom and I made it to Hercules High School on time, but had trouble finding the correct room. Luckily, some of my fellow ILC cohorts knew where they were going and were able to lead the way. 

Unfortunately, the tutorial did not start right away as planned because of some technical difficulties, which, luckily, were sorted out. After introductions had been made (I was happy to see some familiar faces), Don began the tutorial. Don passed out a lengthy packet (39 pages!) that had everything from the basics of blogging and photo editing to what we needed to pack for the trip.

We were able to spend some time learning how to edit photos and how to make our blog posts look good, which is one of the most important parts of the program. Don’s enormous tutorial packet included various examples of a bad blog versus a good blog which I found very educational and helpful. The packing list was also immensely helpful, although I’m not quite sure how I’ll be able to fit any clothes into my bag along with all the necessary equipment listed in the packet (not to mention also keeping the weight of my luggage under 50 pounds!). 

I was pleasantly surprised at how much more prepared and confident I felt after the tutorial. I’m very excited for my next ILC event, where I will have the opportunity to mingle with Brown alums as well as spend time with fellow Brown cohorts. I’m looking forward to my future with the Ivy League Connection!

Hercules' Achilles'

Today marked an important step in our journey as ILC academics.

We, some ILC cohorts and myself, met at Hercules High School today with the purpose of going over the basics of our trip and course needs, expectations, and tips. In this tutorial we discussed our codes of conduct, packing lists, and ,of course, how to blog correctly. (We'll see how productive this tutorial proves with this first blog.)

However, during the course of our meeting we ran into some hindrances. The obstacles were in the form of School District blocking of internet sites, specifically this blog site. I will tell you that I became best friends with this "cannot be displayed" page.

Our own Achilles' Heel
We could not access our blog site from the Internet and therefore were not able to practice our blogging skills. I found it a bit ironic that the district was blocking us from ourselves. Also that Hercules' great computer lab had such a miniscule downfall as a pop-up screen. Not unlike the great warrior Achilles and his rather small yet extremely significant heel.

However, this Achilles' heel in our tutorial was only a mere annoyance thanks to the collaboration of all the ILC great minds. We were able to carry on with our meeting and have a very successful, informative tutorial. 

The things I learned today have made me even more anxious to go to brown and experience college life.  I cannot wait!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Brown Test Foto

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Friday, April 5, 2013

Welcome to the ILC- Brown' s Women in Leadership Blog!