Each year ended with the scholars reflecting on what they had experienced over the year. During the month of june they would review all of their work and compile a file that serrved as their webfolio, an electric portfolio. This file would not only reflect on their experience but also link to all of their work. What will follow will be the words of a scholar from each of the years while I taught CyberEnglish at Bergtraum.

Wired on the Internet 1995-2000

I have to say that the best part of having this Internet class is, having my own Home Page. Any time I find someone that has access to a computer I give them my URL and my e-mail address. I did all I could to make my home page look it's best. And it looks pretty good for an amateur.

Once the scholars go public they immediately begin to take more responsibilty towards their work and attend to it more carefully. What "going public" has done is to have my scholars pay more attention to details, take initiative, ask for help, and otherwise do all those things most of us have complained about our scholars not doing. That they were being seen by others was crucial in the improvement of their work and attitude towards it. I was tapping into the self-consciousness that is inherent to all teens.


On my home page there are many examples of the work I have done in my Cyber English Class, I have worked on many topics starting with: Who I am... that told a little about my self in order to attract other students who have the same interests and or an adult that can comment on my work.

It worked. I learned a lot from a man in Florida named Donald Deman. Mr Deman helped me out with my writing.

At first I was defensive, that was only because I thought he wanted to turn my work and my thoughts into his work and his thoughts. That wasn't the case. He was really concerned, interested in my seeing and understanding the importance of being able to express myself through my writting. He explaind that people will judge me by my writting without ever seeing me, or sitting down to talk to me. In college my professors will most likely do the same. That scared me, especially since I always felt my speaking skills were impressive and that my writting wasn't. This prompted me to take every advise regarding my work that Donald gave me seriously. Then seeing the logic in the advise putting them into practice (these tips helped me during my senior year)."

By going public and getting responses from someone out there, verified to the scholars of the validity and power they were experiencing. When Tati says, "It worked," she was speaking for all the scholars who found the relevancy of this class in their lives. Once they saw the relevancy, they were engaged and involved with their work.

A project we worked on was writing to students from Japan. We discussed how we felt about the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, some of our points were the same, others were completely different. Some of my Asian (Chinese) classmates felt hurt as if they has lived through it and there were many hostile feelings towards the Japanese students we were comunicating with. Many got very emotional when ever the subject arose. I spoke with kids from Alaska, New Zealand and close to home with kids who lived in other parts of New York City.

I have worked on my resume but I still can't get the hang of it, that's why it looks so bad (sorry). I also wrote a not so-great poem on the Internet

But before that, there were book reports to be written. Starting with the first, "Dune" which was a pleasure to do since that was my all time favorite movie and only the greatest book(s) ever written.

Then there was"Cyberaid" by Stanislaw Lem, this was the first time I ever read a book that was so complex, so funny, and that was full of so many different points of view. I will continue reading his work.

Following that there was the grossest Sci-Fi book I ever read it was called" Cyberdreams" by Issac Asimov, the book was full of terrible stories of experiments gone wrong, people dying, and children brains being used to control computers, I'll probably read more of that (ha ha ha).

After we got the hang of the book report thing Mr. Nellen wanted us to learn to use the search engines and so he gave us assignments that required us to do our own research, like my "Essay on Violence" and my "Holiday Traditions" Report. This was when I realized that I didn't know as much about these topics as I thought I did.

Finally, we were going through our opinion stage, that led me to the read nine opinion on them, followed by my own Short Story called . Then came a series of opinions on articles from the N.Y.Times. I had to read them and then write my own view of either the topic or of the writing itself. I didn't put that opportunity to waste Not trying to be mean, I became the critic and therefore I had to criticize (that was a first).

Tati, like her peers, came to beter understand why she was doing the work in this class. I love how she explains to her reader what she is doing and why she is doing it. This is important to all scholars.

Before I entered this class I had a what I like to call a creative block (teachers call it being lazy), but when I got to this class I wanted to write, I wanted to express myself because I knew that hundreds of people would be reading my work. This notion is what motivated me to write more opinion oriented work than anything else. I didn't even feel bad when people wrote me and commented on my work because it was expected. Also for reasons beyond my understanding I hate to write first drafts. I think and then I write. I let it sit on the screen for a while then I re-read it and make corrections. In other words what you see is what you get. That's why I get into jams when I accidently delete my work.

Tati's words here are so important and again she echoes many of her peers on thsi respect about being public. It "motivated" her and a motivated scholar is what I seek.

Now if I can only get my ideas down on paper.

tati diaz

The next scholar, Karina, represents the very typical highly motivated scholar who excels in the traditional class because she is gregarious, smart, and eager to please the teacher. She has great enthusiasm and came to Cyber English a member of the Honor Society and will pass into AP English after Cyber English. Upon graduation she went on to Middlebury College in Vermont.


Cyber English has been an interesting and fun experience. I have done a lot of work and at the same time had some fun doing it. In this full year course I have done lots of essays, book reports, and wrote my opinion on different topics.

Karina's assessment was actually a rave, especially as you read her last paragraph. That she opened with "interesting and fun" is important. She admits to "a lot of work" which is also good, since she told me she didnt feel challenged in her other classes. CyberEnglish I explained to her would allow her the opportunity to forge ahead and do as much as she wished. This delighted her. That she also had "fun" a second time mentioned is so out of character for this young scholar. This class was a surprise to her and she reflects on this beautifully. Karina was a very serious no nonsense kind of scholar. I loved her reaction to the class.

Many of these pages don't seem to appear, yet they do. Move the mosue over the page as we have background issues on these pages.

The first thing I did in the beginning of the year was write a paragraph on myself. The I AM describes me and what I would like to do in the future. This gives the reader an idea of how I am and what are the things that interest me the most. One of the harder things for me to write was a poem describing the Internet. The Poem on Internet was difficult for me to write because poetry is not one thing that interest me. Poems that I really enjoyed writing was the Haikus. I found them short and easy to write. Another piece that I wrote in the beginning of the year was my Resume.
One of the first essay I wrote was American Dream. This essay describes how I feel about being an American and how it feels to become an American. I enjoyed writing this essay because it gave me a chance to write about my personal feelings on what it means to me to be and American. Another essay I enjoyed writing was on AIDS. I really enjoyed writing this essay because it helped me to learn some new things and it also gave me a chance to write on how AIDS has affected my life. One essay that I did not enjoy writing was on the short story Young Goodman Brown. I found the story a bit boring and to long, and this made it hard to write about. One essay that took a lot of research was the Holiday essay. It took a long time to gather all the information and then organize it into an essay. It was fascinating to find other ways that people celebrate the holidays. Another essay I wrote was on the Writing Process which described what I felt was good writing and how writing affects my life. The last essay I wrote was on Race Relations where I described how I feel about racial disunity and how President Bill Clinton is trying to solve this problem.
During this year I also wrote my opinion on various topics. One topic was Subway Manner, in which I express my feelings about the problems there is in the subways. Another topic I wrote on was Copyright, which was boring because we had to read these articles on copyright laws which were long and uninteresting. Ebonics was a topic that I enjoyed writing about because I found the articles very interesting. This topic gave me a chance to read about other people opinion and then got a chance to express my personal feelings. The last topic I wrote about was on Censorship, which I found very interesting because it affected students of my age.
I also wrote a Cyber biography on Grace Hopper who was the person that invented Cobolt. I found this project fascinating because it affects me because I will be taking Cobolt next year.
I also wrote three book reports. One was on my favorite book which is Alive By: Pier Paul Read. This book is about a group of rugby players that had to face a difficult task in order to stay alive. The other book that I wrote about is Blade Runner By: Philip K. Dick, which is about ths bounty hunter that had kill androids. The last book that I wrote about was The Giver By: Lois Lowry which is about a twelve year old boy that tries to change the world that he lives in. I enjoyed reading all three books because it dealt with mystery and suspense.
Another task that I had was to compare and contrast to Short Stories. The two short stories I had was to describe was The Most Dangerous Game and Leap. I also had to write My Short Story which is about a girl that has to make a choice between the person she likes and the opinion of her family and friends. The last thing that I wrote this year was my Research paper on changes in the United States Constitution.
I really enjoyed this year in Cyber English class even if I had to do some work that I didn't find interesting and had to deal with a teacher that doesn't give me the grade that I deserve.

Karina Becerra

In the beginning, when I first started this Cyber English class I didn't know much about computers or the Internet, I had only used computers to play games. I wasn't even sure what the Internet was really about. But all that changed once I entered a new year, in a different type of English class, one that within the year would help me acquire many skills and also offer many challenges. In this year I have done many projects which I put in my webfolio or my homepage. I have put a lot of hard work into everything I've done for Cyber English and at the same time had fun doing it, which is something that I really didn't experience in my previous English classes. This year is now over it has sadly come to an end. Before you enter my wired piece which is a hypertext essay that takes you on a little journey through all the things I have done this year I want you to know something.

Jasmine Acosta

I remember the first time I heard about this Cyber English class. I was sitting in class and doing the same old things every person does in an English class. That's when my teacher told us about Cyber English. Boy was I happy that there was another type of English class in this school. I was tired of doing the same old thing of reading and carrying books around for almost 14 years.

This class would be a whole new world for me because of the different environment I was going to be in. So I signed up, and kind of regretted what I had just done. Horrible thoughts were going into my head. I kept thinking that probably I wasn't going to do well in that class, maybe I might mess up the computers and get an "F" in that class.

My fall semester came and I was kind of scared. I totally forgot how to turn on a computer. Mr. Nellen just kept on talking about html and millions and millions of things we were going to do in this class. That's when I said to myself "Way to go! Now you've put more work in your hands."

I remember our first project of the year. It was kind of fun because it was based on us and our goals for the future and about some of the genius qualities we have. We worked on a lot of opinion pieces. We also worked on a lot of book reports. I'm going to be honest and admit that I actually didn't do good on my book reports. Let's not talk about that anymore, lets get into something much more interesting. We also worked on a Holiday project. That's where we learned about other holidays that were celebrated in December.

Now I'm going to tell you about the best work I had done in this class. They were my Compare and Contrast essay, my Irony essay, and my thoughts on the Columbine Tragedy, and my Poem on the Internet (Hey I tried my best on that project).

Doralisa Canela

What it means to be wired

Now the end of the year is here, and it's time to reflect on what I learned in this "CyberEnglish" class all the exciting things from learning how to create my own homepage, to proof reading other students work, to having people read my work and telling me how to make it better. below are different pieces of work I did and a little explaination about each piece.

I am- is the first piece of work I did in this class, what it is basically is what I would say to someone if they asked me who I was and what I'm about. I go on to explain how I am a genius and how I have different aspects of character.

Book Reports- This is an English class and like all english classes you have to read books, the only difference is that we chose our own books. The only thing I did not like is that the books I was reading were not appropriate for publication in an english class so thats why I have only published these, "Everything She Wants","Disappearing Acts","Their Eyes Were Watching God","Gingersnaps"

I also did something called "Hypertext Haiku" and what this consist of is a collection of Haiku that I made up about how I feel as a teenager in the city of New York. Haiku is a Japanese form of poetry it consist of three lines in the famous form of 5-7-5, five syllables in the first line, seven in the second, and five in the last line.

What is power? Power is whatever you want it to be, whether you feel you have to have a certain amount of money to be powerful, or you feel you have to have a certain job, everybody has the ablity to be powerful. what my essay is about is why people feel the need and greed for power I also talk about power in different pieces of literature like the "Tempest","Huckleberry Finn", and Montaigne's essay on liars.

My opinions are valuable and I need to express myself on certain subjects like the following, Opinion#1- This is about immigration, opinion#2- This is about the exhibit at the Whitney Museum, and Opinion#3- is about the trials and tribulations of my dear sweet grandmother Mrs. Ossie Wesley.

I also added an extra opinion and this one I hold very dear to my heart. The reason for this is because it's about Amadou Diallo, the African Immigrant who came to this country in seek of a better life. The reason I hold it so dear to my heart is because like Amadou my father is from Africa and he too came here as a transfer student in college in search of a better opportunity.

Another thing I did in this class was short stories and what we had to do with that was select two of them off the list, read them and then analyze it either using terms as the critical lense or by dicussing the conflict in the story.

Ayodele S Akingbade

© Ted Nellen 2000