Loyola Stars

Loyola University Stars Leadership Corps Chapter

Day 5 (9/26) Steinmetz High School - Colors!

by alexthornburg1 October 15, 2013

Today we got into some of the good stuff - styling. Thats right we had color codes and these kids got to make the text on the page whatever color their hearts desired. Most of them got it right away, and in fact had been changing the color of their webpage already, but I had to help a few students to finish quite a bit. There are a couple kids in the class who really need some motivating, but luckily for them I can be a pretty good motivator. 

Alex Thornburg

Day 4 (9/24) Steinmetz High School

by alexthornburg1 October 15, 2013

The students are starting to get a hang of everything. A few of them seem to just want to come into class and fall asleep. I wake them up. Ms. Ward actually said there is a kid who wont respond to any of the teachers and I actually got him to finish one of his assignments, which made me feel pretty good. The students are so diverse it blows my mind, it is really awesome to be able to work with them and steer them towards CS. A few of the kids actually showed interest in learning more outside of class and I gave them a few resources. 

Alex Thornburg

Day 3 (9/17) Steinmetz Web Design

by alexthornburg1 October 15, 2013

Students are continuing to work on their assignments, and it is interesting to see how big the range is with some of these kids. There are a few who seem to finish up the assignment in the first 4 minutes of the class, and some are so behind it seems insurmountable. I have been helping those who are behind to get caught up. Once those who are behind get a hang of it they seem to do well. I think I am really making a difference and it is starting to feel pretty good. I have a pretty good connection with the kids mostly because I am so young. A lot of them respond well to me when I come up to see them, but I have a tendency to try to be a nice guy and it is hard to be tough for me sometimes. I hope I can bring some enthusiasm to the class.

Alex Thornburg

Day 2 (9/12) at Steinmetz Web Design Teaching

by alexthornburg1 October 15, 2013

It seems to still be early in the semester so there are a lot of kids switching in and out of classes. We have a few new students who are quite a bit behind. I had to sit down and go over past assignments with them. I think I have helped a lot of the students to get caught up. There are assignments every day, and a lot of these seem to be pretty similar. Each day the students have to draw a new animal here from here:


and write a paragraph on it here:


The students will then save the files and we will connect images to pages eventually.

Alex Thornburg

Day 1 (9/10) at Charles P. Steinmetz High School

by alexthornburg1 October 15, 2013

I couldn’t help but think upon walking in that this place is huge. I had never had to go through a metal detector when entering a high school before, being from a small town, but it wasn’t much of an adjustment. The first day the students simply had to write a few paragraphs about a horse on a webpage. Pretty simple right? The assignment had them using this site: http://w3schools.com/html/tryit.asp?filename=tryhtml_intro I had to help them with some understanding of basic HTML and what tags and headers mean.

Alex Thornburg

intro to computing class

by jherreraluc March 22, 2013

We have finally started using the internet and the ladies have so many questions and doubts. Some have stated that the internet is the reason why they do not agree so much with technology, they are scared of the dangers that it might bring to their children. after wrapping up our class at noon( 3hours of discusion, question and answer, and demonstration) i felt the ladies left with a better view of the internet and not to be so afraid of it.

I really enjoyed this class because it seemed like the ladies really learned a lot of what the internet can provide and the benefits of having it at home. they keep mentioning that they cant wait to learn how to pay their bills online. i have actually restructured the class to be 3 hours instead of 2 since in the previous 4 classes we have always stayed another 30mns and since now that we have gotten to the internet part it seems that the ladies have a lot more questions. also since i noticed that they are so interested in learning to pay their bills online i have changed my last two classes to be based on just teaching them how to pay their bills and giving them that one on one attention since i feel that it is a delicate subject when it comes to personal things like their bank accounts and bills. 

I am also very happy to see that they have actaully been practicing outside of class and many of them successfully finished their small project on time. the ones that finished were very proud of their work and could not wait to show me. Since none of them had used word before, this project was very new to them and exciting. some of them are planning to keep practicing so they can one day use them for creating party invitations and letters and so forth. i am glad I was able to give them that type of security and break away that fear of using a computer.  A lot of them kept mentioning that they were afraid of touching a computer because they were afraid of touching something and breaking it. and now they are actually going home and practicing on their own. to me this is a milestone and im very happy!

In our next class we will taking a look at gmail and creating our email and playing around with it. so Im really looking forward our next class.

Jessica Herrera

Steinmetz HTML Class Assistance, Sem. 2 Interim

by jnepomuceno March 12, 2013

To preface this entry, some weeks ago the site code.org created a short video starring several big names of tech talking about their early programming experiences and how they applied to their lives in general, not just in their job. Since watching the video, it’s had an interesting effect on how I go about helping out the students at Steinmetz: even if they’re just using HTML and not a “full” language such as Java, or even a non-tecchie-friendly IDE like Scratch, they are still learning a little of the basic underlying concepts of computers and all things involved with it.

It’s been several weeks into the second semester, and just recently we’ve started going over some slightly more complicated assignments. Interestingly enough, the complications (and learning opportunities) don’t necessarily arise from the procedures (as outlined in the textbook we use, they are relatively straightforward) - they occur when someone makes a typo in the HTML itself: several times, students accidentally use a semi-colon where a colon should be and vice versa; some students leave an errant tag; in one instance, even a missing *space* led to very interesting ouput. Even the more advanced students have made such mistakes from time to time. It’s been somewhat trying to spend a few minutes intensely scanning their code to find what and where the problems are, but also rewarding. I’m able to show them the humor in the troubleshooting: computers will blindly follow whatever orders you give them, even if it results in something that’s hardly what you desire them to do!

In the second of the two classes I help out on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I’ve been spending more time performing this type of troubleshooting as opposed to more administrative tasks like taking grades - incidentally, such duties have been taken up by another volunteer, a Steinmetz student working for service hours. He adds an interesting dynamic to the class - one does get the impression he uses most of his time to chat up the class’s girls, but on the other hand, it seems to reinforce my authority when I’m able to find typos he missed. Regardless, the class overall performs the day-to-day assignments very well, and they do discuss with each other how to do the assignment, something I feel should be encouraged as it does promote a learning atmosphere. (At least, for those who can stand the other student teacher!)

In addition to more specific troubleshooting, I’ve also been tasked occasionally to help catch up specific students on late assignments. Of note, before anything else, is the approach: how does one do this without accidentally offending them? Sometimes I’ve had the teacher specifically do the “hand-off,” other times I’ve had to walk up to them, sometimes while they’ve been preoccupied with non-homework activity. For the most part they are compliant; still, a difficulty does arise in how to actually teach the material. Ideally, they walk themselves through the procedures; extenuating circumstances like deficiencies in reading or typing, or even lack of motivation or energy, all of which can be linked - necessitates a sort of hand-holding until they get that self-direction.

Needless to say, I’ve learned a lot from my experience so far here; when all’s said and done, though, I hope I’ve been able to provide to these classes something more than their grades. Practical HTML isn’t the most exciting introduction to computers, but it might just be one of the most accessible, and that, more than anything, is what’s important at this stage of education.

3rd Saturday of comp Class

by jherreraluc February 20, 2013

This Saturday was very exciting because we actually started looking at how to write into the computer. we began by looking at notepad, and then at wordpad. I asked the ladies to give me some differences between the two and they right away noticed them so once they saw the differences we began exploring wordpad. We had a great time using wordpad because the ladies played around with the font and the different tools wordpad provides. Before they actually started palying around I guided them through each font tool and other tools so they would know what they were for and so then  I let them play around. They were all excited, specially one lady because she said she can now help her daughter with her science fair project decoration since now she knows how to play around with the font and colors. we stayed till 11:30 am. since we are actually at a neighborhood park we can only stay till 11am but the park manager doesnt mind if we stay a little over. This upcoming Saturday we are going to be looking at microsoft word and looking at the differences between notepad, wordpad, and word. I will actually assign their first assignment which will be due march 16, 2013. I am very excited to see their work and see them use what they have learned . I truly am happy for giving this class. These ladies are learning a lot and I am having fun teaching them. One lady,because of this class actually bought her kids their first computer and now is excited that she is learning how to use it. I have helped her create each one of her kids (3 of them )their own user account and putting parental control. I created the first user account and she did the other two. :  ) Excited for the next class.


Second day of computing class

by jherreraluc February 13, 2013

we had a great time this time no a lot of the ladies showed up because they had prior arrangements but the ones that missed will be attending the next class. by the time 11 am came the ladies were still not ready to leave and we got so caught up by what we were doing that we stayed till 11:30am. I am very excited about the next class because we will be starting to work with word and they have all been using their computers and learning what they have but now they will actually be creating something. Also I want to mention why we got so caught up the ladies were so excited to learn how to create their own user accounts and passwords as well add and delete programs and how to have a screensaver. they all really got into all of these things that it even got me excited to help them out.looking forward this upcoming Saturday.


First day of Computer Class

by jherreraluc February 7, 2013

This past saturday I had a great time at the first day of intro to Computer class. Most of the ladies did not even know how to turn on the computer which i was very surprised (all of these women are hispanic and typically house wifes). I had a written agenda for the class but they where all so excited about learning that they kept asking questions and I found myself trying to get back on track and the best part was that the questions never seemed to end. one of the best parts was that by the end of the class the ladies left very excited and ready for the next class, we also decided that I was going to teach them how to pay their bills online. I know how conbinient it it to pay bills online so I asked the ladies if that would be one the things they would like to get out of the class and they all responded yes. They loved that idea and were very thankful for having to add that to the class. but i told them that before we get to that they have to know the basics and theres a process they have to go through in order to do that so we will be doing that by the end of the 8 week course. they all agreed and I told them that once we start on the bills they can bring with them their bills and a small notebook where they can write their usernames ad passwords.  So we began the class and had a great time. So now im very excited for the next class which will be this upcoming Saturday.