by Steve Wheeler on youtube
Students, you are writing and getting readers, but how do you increase the number of readers and bring visitors back on a regular basis to read your blog?
Please read Get to Work! You’ll find that one of the ways to increase the number of readers on your blog is to read other blogs and to comment on them. A monologue doesn’t interest people as much as a conversation does.
Go to the Edublogs Community page. Find a student or class blog that seems interesting. Try to comment on the page. Remember to be a good digital citizen. Remember that with each comment, you represent Incarnation Catholic School. Remember that the comment may be moderated and may not show up on the blog until a teacher approves the comment.
- Log in to your Edublogs student blog.
- Go to your dashboard.
Adding the Class Blogs to Your Student Blog
- Click on Appearance in the left column. Then select Widgets.
- Drag the Class Blogs widget to the sidebar. At the bottom of the Class Blogs in the sidebar, click on Save.
- View the blog to see the links to the other students blogs in the ICS Technology class.
Profile and Name
- In the left column, click on Users, and then Profile.
- Change your nickname to your first name and initial.
- Change Display Name Publicly to your nickname.
- Go to the Voki website.
- Create a Voki. Enter appropriate text. Select a voice and accent.
- When you are satisfied with your Voki, click on publish.
- Give it a title and save it. Use your first name+last initial to save it.
- In the next window select the small size (100 x 133). Then copy the embed code.
- Log in to your student blog. Go to your dashboard.
- In the left column, click on Appearance, then click on Widgets.
- Drag the Text Widget to the sidebar.
- Paste the embed code in the text box. Then Save.
- View the site.
- Bitstrips – good avatar creator but you need to be over 13 years of age or have parent permission
- Or try Poptropica to create the avatar.
- Build Your Wild Self is another fun avatar site (I used this to create the sample student avatar on Ancient to Modern Music ) The avatar can only be 200 x 200 pixels in size, so it was necessary to crop the image down to just a portion of the face.
This method, Uploading files), can be used to upload any file provided:
- Allowed file format Allowed file formats on Edublogs Include: jpg jpeg png gif doc pdf mp3 ppt wmv mp4 xls ins isf te xbk notebook m4a ist kmz kes mov flp avi swf wxr xml wav fjsw docx pptx xlsx xml m4v max kmz zip
- The file is not larger than 32 MB.
- You have adequate blog storage space available. Your storage space allowance is displayed on your My Blogs module in your dashboard.
Note: You cannot copy and paste any media into a blog post. It must be uploaded and inserted using the directions in the link: Uploading files.
- I created usernames, passwords, and email accounts for each grade 7 student. I used the gmail system which allows students to be entered into Edublogs without a real email account. I created one gmail account, then added the student username to the email account. For instance, email@example.com becomes firstname.lastname@example.org. Gmail ignores everything after the + so any email sent to email@example.com goes to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- In the Dashboard, under My Class, I added the Student Users.
- The students blogs are set up, so the students will post on their own blogs, not on the class blog. Ms. Whitaker, the English language teacher, and I will approve posts and will approve comments on the student blogs.
- Students logged into Edublogs They completed the information in the image below.
- They had decided last week what the topic would be for the blog. That went into the Blog Title line. From there they went back to the first line to enter a name for the Domain. Since this Domain name becomes part of the URL, students understood it had to be simple to remember and to type and it had to be unique from any other edublogs blog. They left the Blog Language set as English and said the Blog Type was Student.
- They entered the Captcha, agreed to the Terms of Service and clicked on Start Blogging.
- Some students were asked to enter the name of someone in-charge at the school. This should be an administrator or technology person at the school. I didn’t figure out why not all students were asked to enter this information.
- Once the blog was created, they went to their dashboard, then to My Class to search for the name of the class blog (this blog) and sent a message requesting to join the class.
- As the requests came in, I approved each and made some suggestions for changes for their blog titles – adding capitals, etc. I created the list of students blogs in the right column of this blog.
- Student clicked on Appearance in their dashboard and began to experiment with theme templates that complimented their blogs.
- They have questions about adding images for backgrounds and headers, etc. I emphasized that all images had to have creative commons licenses and suggested they look in search.creativecommons.org They will add a link to the website to the original source of the image that they decide to use.
- They are excited that they will write about topics that interest them, and eager to get the right look for their blog topic. Many said they were going home to work on the design.
- We have widget and avatars, etc to develop, and of course have to start writing posts, but that won’t happen until next week.
- We also have to agree to digital citizenship guidelines for the blog before we begin writing. We have had a start on that discussion so should get it finished soon.
See Edublogs: Create Class directions.
I was happy to finally meet Kathy Schrock, whose work I have followed and used for many years. Her website is the basis for a large portion of the research model that we use here at Incarnation. View Kathy Schrock’s Guide to Almost Everything.
A few other good website to check out are:
- Creative Commons for information about what art and music can be legally used
- Rushton’s Resources Powerful and Free Resources for Teachers and Students
- Next Vista for Learning – An online library of free videos for learners everywhere
- CK-12 for flex books – Can download books and customize
- Recommended list of apps for education
Heidi Hayes Jacobs, President of Curriculum Designers, Inc, presented a keynote session and a breakout session. I attended a workshop of hers several years ago, so was delighted to have a chance to say “hello”. (I have used her curriculum map concepts to organize curriculum since then. The Curriculum by Design presentation that I did for ICS that referenced her work is available for viewing on Slideshare.)
At FETC she asked the following questions:
- How can we prepare students for the future?
- Who owns the learning? Do students?
- 12% of the 21st century is over and students are time traveling. They have 21st century at home but 20th century at school. What year are we preparing student for?
We need to help students with the following:
- Social production – Example: Wikipedia
- Social networking – Example: Curriculum21.com
- Semantic web – At least once a teaching unit, it should be upgraded with a new resource. Have a faculty meeting that just allows teachers to experiment and share new technology. Examples: Tag Galaxy (Enter a word such as childhood, then click on a bubble to go deeper – Wordle.net (creates word clouds) – Zooburst (digital storytelling pop-up books) – Visual Thesaurus
- Digital literacy – related to media literacy – related to global literacy. Examples: Check out Earth Pulse website on national geographic – Gap minder – Museum Box to replace dioramas –
- Global literacy – Brazil has a huge growing economy and middle class. Also Russia and India and China. We don’t study geo enough, we must also study geo literature, geo politics, geo economics. Example: World Mapper (this one is a wow!) –
Keynote: Michael Wesh, Anthropologist, spoke about the need to move students past being knowledgeable to being knowledge-able which means we need to help them develop their knowledge-ability. We must find ways to inspire them and to being them to wonder. He said, “A great teacher can bring life into anything. A great teacher can bring wonder into anything. A question inspires wonder and inspires ideas. A question is: a Quest for mastery, Embraces our vulnerability, Invites connections”
- Wonder flourishes where there in inspiration and where they feel safe.
- Quest for mastery requires freedoms to learn
- Vulnerability requires Freedom to fail
- Connections require Freedom to love
Empathy is lower than in the past. We see birth and death and life intimately and daily because we live in a “capsular civilization ” with TV, phone, computer. We are numbing ourselves, which also numbs ourselves to joy. But there is a solution, the media are not just tools, they’re a means of communication. They mediate how we relate. (This brought me back to Fr. Rice’s message to use technology to communicate and to build communities.)
View From Knowledgeable to Knowledge-able, an 18-minute video and a short version on TED, of the topic he presented at FETC.