Tuesday, February 26, 2008

921-Session 5--PODCASTING

Someone mentioned that they wanted to know if it was possible to set up an "Instant Messaging" box on their blog. The answer is, "yes!" I haven't tried it myself, but I know that you can use any number of services, like: (http://www.plugoo.com/, or http://www.meebome.com/learnmore.html )

If somone has some success, then please let the rest of us hear about it.

This session brings us to a new category, "PODCASTING." I have found that teachers' experiences and exposure to podcasts vary widely, so I built in some 'Differentiated Instruction' into this session. For those of you new to the term you will be enlightened, and if you want more detail there will be hyperlinks from most slides that will give you that extra support you may need or want. Here is a video to give you a brief overview if you're a 'newbie.'

For those of you with more experience, I have integrated into the session the opportunity to bring yourself to the next stage in your 'podcasting evolution.' You will find video tutorials, and dozens of resources, that will help you rise to the next level of 'podcasting sophistication,' so you may create your own if you are so inclined. Here is a more 'research-based' video for those of you interested in that aspect:

For others, you may not have any desire to learn or use podcasts at this point in your career, so if that is the case you may skim through this section and focus upon your Deliverable #2. It is due by next Tuesday, so please post it under Session 4 when you are completed.

Good luck and podcast away!


Tuesday, February 19, 2008

921-Session 4-Integrating Edublogs into the Classroom

Session 4 & Deliverable #2

To gear you up, and psyche you up, for this session I'd like you to watch this. You have to click on it twice. "Did You Know? 2.0" :

If you do not have a high speed Internet connection (definitely the minority of you) then the video (around 8 minutes in length) is available in other formats at: http://scottmcleod.typepad.com/dangerouslyirrelevant/2007/01/gone_fischin.html

As you begin to work on, and think about, your project for Deliverable #2, (details in the syllabus and please post in both the blog and the wiki) consider using these resources to guide your integration with the students:

Rubric for student comments:

And don't forget to visit your peers' blogs. Pamela's elementary school now has 11 bloggers, including the Principal!!! Wow! Her school only started on the blogging bandwagon last summer when one of her co-workers took my 920 class. Great job Narragansett Elementary School!

And also check out Jennifer Geller's posting. It traveled so far around the blogosphere that the author of our main text, Will Richardson, even responded by leaving a comment on her blog. These examples are just tip of the iceberg. Explore and check things out for yourself.

And if you haven't already, check out the Answers.com tool I've added to our blog. Just double click on any word and check it out. There's even an audio option.

Happy blogging,


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

921--Session 3

So there may still be some skepticism in some of you about the practicality and positive uses of this technology. After all, it does seem like every time we hear or read about blogs and children from the news media--- they have a negative connotation. Briefly skim this report published by Nielsen: http://www.nielsen-netratings.com/pr/pr_070117.pdf
I am sure that you will be convinced that blogs are not a passing fad. You can't fake these numbers.

And more importantly, Session 3 is now uploaded and accessible, but before you do that I want to introduce you to a simple tool to help you monitor both my blog postings and the comments from your fellow participants.

Please visit: http://wikidave.wikispaces.com/How+to+subscribe+to+blogs This link will visually walk you through the steps to set up a Bloglines account. Its primary purpose is to deliver to you every new blog posting by me and every new comment by your fellow participants. It has a lot of bells and whistles, but don't get distracted by them. Follow the basic instructions and it shouldn't take you too long.

Additionally, I'd like you to watch this tutorial. It is on 'Social Bookmarking.' We are all familiar with the ability to save favorite websites in our "Favorites" folder, but what if you had the ability to see other edc921 participants' favorites? What if you could benefit from the greatest sites found by other teachers? What if you could access their favorites, as well as your own, from any Internet connected computer? Check out this tutorial and sign up for an account, (optional) and help us by 'tagging' all the great sites you find with an 'edc921' label. If you are apprehensive, visit Del.icio.us and do a search for 'edc920' and you'll find all the websites used from that course. I haven't started tagging for this course, but maybe we could do it together.

Pace yourself this week. There is a lot to go over, so don't put it all off until the weekend, and don't forget to visit your fellow participants' new blogs. All addresses should be posted under S2. I'm also creating a links to each one in the left hand margin.


Tuesday, February 5, 2008

921-Session 2

Welcome back!

I hope you don't feel too overwhelmed with all of the references and links I sent you. Your first assignment, Deliverable #1, is due before next Tuesday morning (2/12). The details are in the syllabus and summarized here:

Deliverable #1 will be to sign up for your own blog. You don't have to create anything fancy. (A person could lose track of time playing with the details.)

Setting up a Blogger account will also change how you comment on our class blog. Instead of choosing 'anonymous' you will then type in your Blogger user name. Some invaluable resources you should also start to check out are the tutorial links along the left side of this page. They'll walk you through a lot of what you need. Great for the visual learners out there. And lastly don't forget to tell us all your new blog address in your posting for this week.

By now, most of you are getting more comfortable navigating our class blog. You will spend the bulk of this session being exposed to the multitude of possibilities for using blogs in education. Unfortunately, it seems that some school systems use filtering systems that block access to many blogs, but where there is a will there is a way. You can't stop the evolution of technology, so for every blogging service that is blocked I'm sure there will be ten others to take its place. We are told that the rationale for blocking access is to protect the children, but I see examples every week of our students' using inventiveness and ingenuity to circumvent filters by using different languages, or 'proxy servers' to access MySpace. Also, every new cell phone has its own Internet access, so very soon the students won't even have filters to be concered with.

Blogs are popping up everywhere. Just check out the Providence Journal's website: http://www.projo.com/blogs/ and count how many different blogs are available there. I also have 27 high school students this semester taking 'virtual' classes at a vitual high school. They come to the library for their scheduled period and nearly every one of these classes has a blogging component. Check it out:

Tomorrow I'd like you to take an informal survey of your students and ask them about their online journal or blog use. (They may call it something different, but the most prevalent is MySpace.com) Obviously the older the students--the higher the percentage of use---but if your survey shows you results similar to mine, then you will be very surprised at the usage statistics. More then 85 % of my students here at the high school use some sort of online journal. The new trend is moving toward Facebook.com. And that number appears to be increasing all the time.

Blogs won't always work for "every discipline--every day," but when you begin to grasp the versatility of their usage you will see that they can be a powerful communication tool. And if such a large percentage of our population is using a certain kind of technology then it is surely in our best interest as educators to become well versed in it.

Watch this video on Web 2.0. It might be a little deeper than we, as educators, need to reach, but it gives us some perspective.

Then "blog away!!"