Welcome to the Digital Literacy site for Middle School @ SSIS.

Monday, 30 November 2015

Monday, 16 November 2015

Week Without Walls

"How can I share my experience of WWW using media tools?"

Create a reflection of your experience using a media tool / tools of your choice. For example, you may decide to create a Voicethread, an iMovie, Animoto or MakeBeliefComix. Whatever you do, remember to think of your audience and the skills of movie and image manipulation you've already learned.
Use your imagination and creativity to create your own brief - there are no restrictions other than finishing it in this lesson.
I have shared the Google Drive folder containing pictures from the week, as well as the blog containing many more photos - select those that match your purpose best.
Embed the finished piece in your blog and submit using the usual form.

Wednesday, 4 November 2015


We will be starting robotics after Week Without Walls. In order to be ready, follow these steps:
  • Install software for MAC (scroll down)
  • Open the software: if it prompts you to download Java, click MORE and follow the instructions.
  • Open Scratch and download the extension blocks using these instructions.
  • Watch the intro.
  • Answer this question in your blog: What do you expect from the Hummingbird robotics experience? Remember to put a creative title, tags and proofread carefully!
There are tutorials on the site if you get stuck, and of course we are all here to help!

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Digital Bytes

Unit Question
"How can I explore and influence the digital world in which I live?"

Many kids have inspired/impacted the digital world in a big way...
  • Seniors, known as the West High Bros, make the world a kinder place "one word at a time."
  • A 9-year-old inspires imaginations globally with his cardboard magic.
  • Erika used YouTube to take a stand and become a leader in the Dreamer movement.
These kids have found their voices. When is yours going to be heard? Be part of a real conversation and show us what you've got. Click here.

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Learning to Search Effectively

This section will guide you through more advanced features of Google Search.

Unit Question

"How can I use search operators and advanced options to narrow down my results?"

Google Search Operators

Image from posterenvy.com [Accessed August 2015]


Try http://www.agoogleaday.com/. What's your highest score?

Google Search Tools

Google Advanced Search

Apart from using operators, you can also use Google's Advanced Search option.

If you click into this page, it gives you a lot more fields to complete before running your search, including usage rights. This is very important if you are looking for images to copy and use.

Types of usage rights:
  • Free to use or share: Allows you to copy or redistribute its content if the content remains unchanged.
  • Free to use, share, or modify: Allows you to copy, modify, or redistribute in ways specified in the license.
  • Commercially: If you want content for commercial use, be sure to select an option that includes the word "commercially."


Find an image of an activity you are interested in. It must be free to use. Embed it in your blog:
  • explaining why you chose it 
  • including the URL 
  • noting the date you accessed the image online

Image Editing with Pixelmator

In this unit, we will learn how to manipulate images in Pixelmator, which is an alternative program to Photoshop.

Unit Question

"How can I manipulate images to create collages and special effects?"

Begin by downloading a free trial of Pixelmator here
NB Once you have downloaded and installed Pixelmator, you will only have 30 days to complete any image editing projects you start!

We cover and try out the following features of Pixelmator in lessons. If you would like to review anything, see below.

From http://www.ifrick.ch/2011/06/pixelmator-2-0-sneak-preview-macht-laune/
[Accessed August 2015]

Introduction to Layers

Practice 1

Create an image with at least 3 layers. Post the image in your blog, linking to the original images you used (credits). The title is Layers in Pixelmator and the tags are Pixelmator, Image Layers & Digital Literacy

Customise the Tools Palette

Practice 2

Add 2 things to your palette and remove 2 things from your palette. Post a screen shot of the items in your blog and explain what they do. The title is Pixelmator Palette and the tags are Pixelmator Digital Literacy.

Practice 3

Blend 2 images - you can use pictures of animals as in the example. Post this to your blog and explain the steps. Remember to include picture credits! The title is Blending Images and the tags is Pixelmator.


  • Create a collage to use as the front cover of your Reader-Writer Notebook
  • Use personal images and images from the public domain only, which reflect the important things in your life
  • Insert your collage into a blog post
  • Title = Collage
  • Labels = collage, image editing, Pixelmator, assignment, notebook cover

Copyright & Creative Commons

A look at copyright and how you can use copyright and Creative Commons in your documents. As we explore different licensing we will also look at search and different tools and preferences that you can use with OS X.

Unit Question

"What responsibilities do you have to respect others' creative work?"

Respecting Copyright

Image result for think!

  • What is something you’ve made that you’re proud of?
  • Can you think of a time when you used someone else’s work in something you created?

  • Why does Nicole want to share her writing online? What are the benefits for her?
  • What are the risks of Nicole sharing her writing online?

Remember: once someone records an original idea, it is copyrighted. Copyright is a law that helps protect the rights of creators so they receive credit and get paid for their work. Most things you find, download, copy and paste from the Internet are copyrighted.
You can use things you find online as long as you:​
  • check who created it​
  • get permission to use it​
  • give credit to the creator​
  • buy it (if necessary)​
  • use it responsibly
If you aren’t careful in how you use other people’s work online, you might be stealing.
It’s great to be able to use things we find online, but we have to do it responsibly. We have to show our respect for other people’s hard work and creativity by giving credit where credit is due.


Creative Work
Any idea or artistic creation that is recorded in some form, whether it’s hard copy or digital.
A law that protects your control over the creative work you make so that people must get your permission before they copy, share, or perform your work.
Creative Commons
A kind of copyright that makes it easier for people to copy, share, and build on your creative work[…]”
A clear way to define the copyright of your creative work so people know how it can be used.
Stealing copyrighted work by downloading or copying it in order to keep, sell, or give it away without permission and without paying.
Copying, “lifting,” or making slight changes to some or all of someone else’s work and saying you created it.
Public Domain
Creative work that’s not copyrighted and therefore free for you to use however you want.
Fair Use
The ability to use a small amount of copyrighted work without permission, but only in certain ways and in specific situations (schoolwork and education, news reporting, criticizing or commenting on something, and comedy/parody).​

Excerpt From: Mr Bertoia “Digital Literacy 6” iBooks.