Bling Yer Blog

Here is what I had to say for this assignment last summer:

Understated Blog

I got carried away doing things that fall under the “Bling Your Blog” assignment before it was assigned. I wasted a lot of time during Collection I playing with colors and figuring out how to mix blog streams and static pages. I added a couple widgets to the side: a text widget with a bio and another with the menu. I will probably tweak the colors again—they’re too bold now.

I checked out other themes and decided that I like the default twenty-sixteen theme. I am a fan of serif fonts and menus along the top, which are defaults in this theme. I’ll probably keep it. I haven’t found any problems yet that require a plug-in to fix, so I haven’t installed any extras.

Since then I have been using my website for work. I decided that the multi-use space was easier to navigate with the twenty-fifteen theme, instead of the twenty-sixteen theme. (I have considered changing to the twenty-seventeen theme, but I haven’t had time. My former employer did make that change to their website a couple months ago, and it broke a lot of their content. They still haven’t recovered.) During the school year, I tried using blog categories to organize my site, but I ended up switching to static pages. I also added the widget to let me use my favorite Google font for most of my content.

Cardboard Your Community

I completed this assignment last summer, my first time through Nousion. Here is the text I originally included:

The first day that I tried to do this assignment, I couldn’t get my camera to work in the place where I wanted it. I ended up going to the Bethel seawall and trying again there. That photosphere is now one of the headline pictures for Bethel on Google Maps. I went back to the spot I wanted to use for the assignment a few days later and captured the photosphere linked above. The boardwalk in Pinky’s Park is a place where my family likes to take walks. The windmills in picture are around the campus of the training center where I work.

The boardwalk in Pinky’s Park is the first photosphere below. The second photosphere below is on the Bethel seawall. It is still one of the headline photos for Bethel in Google Maps. I no longer work at the training center with the windmills.

Where I am now

I am joining Nousion late this summer. I took this class last summer, but didn’t finish it, so I’m back to tie up loose ends. Without linking or referencing, you can see my post for this assignment last summer below; it’s called “Digital Boy Scout.”

In the year since I tried this the first time, I have thought about digital citizenship and literacy a lot in the course of my work, but never very deeply. I subscribe to many of the ideas we share in this class, but I became a little disillusioned as I saw my students totally uninterested in and unimpressed with online presence. (Many rural students just aren’t there yet, and it isn’t necessarily my job as their math teacher to bring them there, but I can and try to model presence and good citizenship.)

And so, at the start of my second time through Nousion, to me digital literacy is a large set of skills, experiences, and intuitions that allow one to navigate the digitally connected world, whatever that may be. Digital citizenship is presence and participation in that world, on some level. Many people are just consumers of information, but it seems that the majority participate in social networking. Some go beyond the platforms given to them by Facebook, et al., to create a their own digital space: that’s us here. Good citizenship is participating responsibly and ethically in the world.

Now to catch up on learning what that means…

Equation with a Negative Rational Exponent

Below is a video tutorial on solving an equation with a negative rational exponent. Here are the steps.

1. Solve everything around the exponent. Get rid of any constants and coefficients.
2. Raise both sides of the equation to the reciprocal of the exponent.
3. Remember that the negative exponent flips the fraction.
4. Rewrite that as a radical and simplify it.
Don’t forget the ± when you take an even root.
The video is below.

Continue reading Equation with a Negative Rational Exponent

Solving a System of Linear Equations by Graphing

If you have a system of two linear equations, you can solve it by graphing. Here are the steps.

1.  Solve both equations for y to put them into slope-intercept form.
2.  Graph both equations on the same plane.
3.  Find the point where the lines intersect. This is the solution to the system of equations.

For a system of two linear equations, the lines could intersect once, at one point, for one solution; infinitely many times, if they are the same line, for infinitely many solutions (all real numbers); or not at all, if they are parallel lines, for no solution. Be aware of those possibilities.

Here is a video explaining how to solve a system of linear equations by graphing.


Continue reading Solving a System of Linear Equations by Graphing

Graphing a line

In case you forgot how to graph a line since 055, here is a quick refresher…

Step 1: Solve the equation for y. You want your equation to look like


where m is the slope of the line and b is the y-intercept.

Step 2: Plot the y-intercept. The y-intercept is the point (0, b).  Note that b is a signed number: if is negative, then your y-intercept will be below the x-axis.

Step 3: Use the slope m to plot the next two points. Your slope might be a fraction. If it is not a fraction, it is best to turn it into one by putting the whole number slope over 1. The numerator (top number) of the fraction is the rise. The denominator (bottom number) is the run.

Start at the y-intercept (0, b) and move up the number of units of the rise and, from there, right the number of units of the run. Plot the point where you end up. Repeat the process to plot a third point.

Note: If m is negative, then make the rise negative. If the rise is negative, then you will go down that many units instead of up. You will still move to the right by the number of the run.

Step 4: When you have plotted three points, connect them. They should form a straight line. If they do not, you made a mistake.

Below the break is a video tutorial with two examples.

Continue reading Graphing a line