Archive for iCrew Digital Productions

Intermediate Algebra Final Review Homework

Here are some assignments for Final Review.  Thanks to Ben Chan at Bonita Vista:

Finals Study Guide Packet

A6 – Finals Study Guide Day 2 – In Class Worksheet

A7 – Finals Study Guide Day 2 – HW Worksheet

A3 – Finals Study Guide Day 1 – In Class Worksheet

A4 – Finals Study Guide Day 1 – Homework

Each Worksheet is worth 2 HW assignment Checks.  More to come.

Published in: Peak Oil on December 6, 2010 at3:24 pm Comments (0)

Know-it Notebooks for Intermediate Algebra

Each of these that you turn in is worth 5 homeworks.  You are allowed to turn in a maximum of 2 per six weeks.











Published in: Peak Oil on September 1, 2010 at10:59 am Comments (0)

SchoolSite Web Communications System –

Chris and I wrote this a few years ago.  It still has some salient points even though our site is a bit dated.

SchoolSite Web Communications System
The Website Software Model
Originated at Hilltop High School

HTML is a four-letter word

By Rick Lakin and Chris Cherry

Within a comprehensive high school there are a number of separate communities.  Members of each of these communities send and receive large amounts and varied formats of information through many different media. The school administration disseminates information through memos, bulletins and meetings to the other groups.  The staff facilitates this communication by formatting and distributing much of the important information.  Faculty members facilitate communication to students and share ideas with other faculty members through collegial communication. Students receive information from all of these sources and share it in many ways.  Parents, Alumni, and the Local Community also exchange information by mail, phone calls, attendance at school functions and indirectly from students and from the media.

In November of 2002, Rick Lakin, a technology teacher, and Chris Cherry then a junior in the Academy of Information Technology had the opportunity to begin this project as editor and programmer/designer respectively of the Hilltop High Website.  Since then, they have developed the website software and design into SchoolSite, Web Communications System a comprehensive web-based content authoring system that streamlines communication among all of the groups who are a part of a comprehensive High School. SchoolSite consists of a number of components including:

➢ AutoStory – This application allows a user to quickly post a headline and text that might include HTML formatting to one or more sections on the website with a number of formatting options

➢ AutoAssign – Teachers can easily post assignments by date and period with information and web links.

➢ AutoPhoto – Used with AutoStory, this application allows the user to post photos, captions and bylines within the story.

➢ AutoCal – Calendars are posted to various sections that include time, event and more information.

➢ AutoSite – User-based system that allow users to post to specific assets as well as Virtual Home Pages.

➢ Alumni Registry – This application collects information about alumni and allows the alumnus to post their name and e-mail to share with classmates on their Class Of page

➢ AutoPoll – A question and answers can be posted and answered by users who then look at the cumulative polling statistics.

➢ User Administration – Allows administrator to add users and assign assets where the user can post.

➢ Asset Administration – This application allows the administrator to add pages or sections where AutoCal events or AutoStories can be displayed

➢ Virtual Home Pages – When a user is added a VHP is created where the user can post assignments and AutoStories.

➢ Network Communications – Publish our website information and subscribe to outside information using Real Simple Syndication (RSS)

➢ AutoLink – Teachers and Authors will be able to create Hotlists with links and information that is useful to readers. (Implementation:  Fall 2004)

Before November 2002, Ms. Susan Head, the Library Media Specialist, did an excellent job providing interesting and valuable information using Netscape as the authoring tool and uploading to the server.  When Cherry and Lakin took over, they began by updating and standardizing the look.  It was felt that since the goal was to provide content that a simple standard design throughout the site would be most efficient. Improvements included an updated menu and directory structure and included LancerLinks along the right column that provide links specific to each section.

In the beginning of 2003, Chris Cherry converted the site from HTML to
PHP code.  PHP is a programming language that is run on the server before the HTML is interpreted. There was a need for a calendaring system and the solution was called AutoCal.  The first iteration was based on many individual files that were read in by the PHP code and that version served the site for over a year.  During the first quarter of 2003, Chris Cherry also learned and implemented the use of MySQL a server-side database system. This system allowed content to be stored as a part of a database, the creation of story archives, and other types of data collection such as the Alumni Registry and a Feedback system.  AutoStory was the most important outcome, allowing the administrator to publish stories to any section without having to edit a file using a text editor.  One request from an administrator was the collection of data on Hilltop Alumni.  The Alumni Database that has grown to over 500 members to date.  When an alumnus registers, their name and e-mail immediately appear on the Class Of page and their data is stored for use by site personnel to contact alumni, plan activities, and do fundraising.  Other applications allowed by MySQL include AutoPhoto, AutoPoll, and a system wide Hit counter to measure the use of our website and each of the sections.

The fall of 2003 saw the migration to a multi-user system.  Up to that time, only one user could post stories or author content.  Upon implementation of the AutoSite system, many users including administrators, teachers, counselors and coaches as well as student reporters began to post information to any section for which they had permission. Cherry also created Virtual Home Pages for teachers.  These pages allow teachers to login, author text information using AutoStory and post Assignments for students by using AutoAssign.  Mr. Jared Phelps, our Latin Teacher and other teachers are using this on a routine basis.  Phelps gave us valuable feedback for AutoStory and it has grown into a mature system that is easy to use with many robust features.  The most recent application to receive an update is AutoCal, which is a now multi-user and databased allowing user to add events and maintain a number of calendars.  AutoCal has much promise and through use and upgrade will include many more features.

In March 2004, we began serving the second SchoolSite at Granger Junior High (  This expansion will bring many challenges and much promise.  The biggest challenges for expansion are improving portability, implementing the software within various site designs, and maintaining and upgrading software on multiple servers and platforms.  The promise lies in the possibility of networked content and better cross-site communication.
The future of SchoolSite is promising.  Current projects include AutoLink and AutoQuest.  These two applications will allow teachers to build hotlists for students to use at home and in the lab to complete assignments.  AutoQuest will follow Bernie Dodge’s WebQuest model and allow teachers to effectively build WebQuests on their own pages without having to program using HTML.  Other projects on the horizon include SportSked that will allow coaches and team members to post timely information about their Athletic Teams.  We intend to expand Virtual Pages to support clubs, organizations and athletic teams and allow students to act as reporters.

With the implementation of multiple sites running the SchoolSite system, it is our goal to focus and improve the quality of Networked Communications.  The authors have begun that implementation with the use of Real Simple Syndication (RSS).  RSS is an emerging technology that allows sites to publish their pages in a barebones data format to which other sites can then subscribe.   The Hilltop Site currently publishes our main page and our athletics page.   We subscribe to a number of sites on our News and Links from Everywhere page. The future plans include SchoolSite News Network where users post information on one site and it shows up as an AutoStory or AutoCal event on other sites.  Stories may appear in local sections or there might be a separate section for Network News. Our most current project is to implement AutoLink, a method of managing hyperlinks throughout the site.  Teachers who wish to create a hotlist for students attending class in a computer lab requested this project. The promise of AutoLink will be to ease the handling of hypertext through out the site, especially in the LancerLinks column.  The future promise is that teachers will be able to quickly produce project-oriented assignments similar to the WebQuest model developed by Bernie Dodge and Tom March at San Diego State University.

Al Rogers of the Global SchoolNet Foundation said, “Students will write when they have a sympathetic, interested audience and something to say.” The SchoolSite Web Communications System will facilitate improved communication as teachers, administrators, counselors, coaches, parents and district personnel as well as students share information to a sympathetic and interested audience.

Rick Lakin, author of this article, teaches mathematics, web design, and video productions at Hilltop High School, Chula Vista, California and is the managing editor of the Hilltop High Website as well as collaborator with Chris Cherry on the Design and functionality of the components of the SchoolSite Web Communications System

Christopher Cherry, co-author, is a 2004 graduate of Hilltop High and was
a member of the first graduating class of the Academy of Information
Technology at Hilltop High School.  Chris has completed professional quality products on various media including web, video, and print and has programmed the components of SchoolSite using HTML/CSS, JavaScript, PHP, Flash, and MySQL.  Chris is currently beginning a career as a web programmer and consultant and can be contacted at [email protected]

Published in: Peak Oil on November 24, 2008 at1:18 pm Comments (1)

To plan for our energy future, we must look to the past.

by Rick Lakin

This is a response to a request for new ideas from the Obama-Biden Transition team at I received a form letter in response to a previous submission. This is my second submission to President-Elect Obama.

In my first submission, I suggested a Domestic Exchange program similar to the Foreign Exchange progam for students. As a teacher in Southern California, I feel that students could learn and share much by travelling to other areas of our country.

The form letter I received asked for my thoughts on Energy and the Environment. Here is my response:
I do not have a great concern about climate change. This issue is neither a great threat in the short or medium term, nor is it solvable by directly addressing it nor is it one that emerging or industrialized countries are willing to sacrifice the resources and capital to solve.

My great concern is the long term policy to address the imminent deficit in the production of fossil fuels. The extreme increase last summer of energy prices was not the direct cause of the current economic situation but it was an underlying factor, it did accelerate the onset, it has exacerbated the recession and it will severely inhibit the recovery when those high prices return at the first hint of renewed economic growth.

We, as a nation, need to decide what the world is going to look like in 25, 50 and 100 years and focus our policies and planning on that. If we settle for the easy politic, chase the status quo and try to maintain our energy-intensive lifestyle without sufficient cheap energy, we will quickly run out of money, resources, patience and fingers to plug the holes in the dike. We must do this by taking the following actions:

1. Shift our focus to a more efficient low speed, low energy fixed route electrified transportation system.

2. Incentivize the urban planning and construction of 4 floor walkup living communities with the first floor providing the retail and businesses and space for the residents on the upper floors. All of these buildings should be built within 2 blocks of mass transportation.

3. Restore, re-educate and repopulate our nation’s small farm communities. High-energy industrial farming using fertilizer and fossil fuels will become impossible within 25 years.

4. Our nation needs to convert and shift our massive expenditure of resources, energy and capital from recycle and replace to repair, repaint, restore, refurbish, retain and repurpose. We will have to change from Victoria’s Secret to Victoria’s Sewing Secrets, from Crate and Barrel to crate and barrel making, from Joe the Plumber to a nation of plumbers, electricians, carpenters, cooks and farmers and finally from plastic to cast iron.

5. Our educational system must shift from producing academic specialists to vocational generalists. Our higher education system is quickly pricing itself out of the middle class market. The jobs that those schools train for are quickly disappearing. We need to restore the intricate vocational skills leveraged by development of high technology but low energy solutions that enhance the use of human and animal labor.

6. Our nation needs to recognize that the no-risk society is unattainable, has infinite costs, expends incredibly large resources and significantly increases system complexities. We need to remove the roadblocks to simplicity and reliability, raise the stakes for untrustworthiness, lack of integrity, and negligence and reward small solutions to big problems over big solutions to small problems.

Our nation and our people are passing into the most dynamic shift in direction since the beginning of the industrial revolution in 1750. We are going from a time of future promise to past wisdom. We are entering a time when we need to relearn old, simple lessons combined with a liberal application of efficient, low energy, low capital and high technology solutions. For the first time in human history, we will have to model the future after the past.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Editorial Notes ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The author adds:

I attended ASPO and was really happy to meet many of the important figures in the movement especially the EnergyBulletin Editor, Bart Anderson. It seemed that everyone was really happy that we were right about Peak Oil and that people were starting to recognize it but now that we were on top of the problem, we weren’t quite sure of what to do next. Here, I offer my thoughts on that issue.

I do credit many of the above thoughts to James Howard Kunstler who was kind enough to pay me a compliment for one of my comments at the conference. This wanna-be writer with no self-discipline will always cherish that.

Published at at

Published in: Peak Oil on at12:50 pm Comments (0)