Ed Tech Ideas

Tech Integration for Busy Teachers

Tag Archives: blogging

Grade 3 Resources

If you’re looking for some great resources for third grade (and quite possibly 2nd, 4th, and 5th), take a look at Gecko Techo.

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Gecko Techo has tons of Blogging How-tos, lots of info on Google Docs, Presentations, etc. There’s digital citizenship information for both teachers and students, as well as keyboarding sites, coding info, and much more.

 

 

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Changing the Default Image Size in Blogger App for iDevices

If you or your students use Blogger for ePortfolios like mine do, at some point, you’ll want to try out the Blogger App for iPad and Android devices. It’s very straight forward, simple to use and enables student to post on the fly!  One of the issues that I’ve noticed though is that the default image size makes the photos too big and they begin taking over the side bar on the blog.  Here is an easy way to fix that issue in just a few easy taps.

Blogger Image Settings

Open the Blogger App

  1. Tap on the gear icon
  2. Tap Image resolution
Open the Blogger App

Change Image Resolution

Set it to Large (400×300) and tap done.

Change Image Resolution

Create New Blog Post

  1. Add a post title (remember to capitalize)
  2. Write your post
  3. Add appropriate labels (ie: gr3)
  4. Take a photo by launching the camera app, or add a photo from the camera roll.
Create New Blog Post

Before and After

Notice the way the X-large image takes over part of the side bar.
The large image does not.

Before and After

Blog Comment and Posting Guide

Here are 10 things you should be thinking about whenever you add a comment to someone else’s blog, and also when you are posting to your own blog.

Comment Guide via Kim Cofino http://kimcofino.com/blog/2009/09/06/student-blogging-guidelines

BlogBooker, Xtra Math

Blogbooker

Blogbooker allows you to create a pdf of student blogs for them to take away at the end of the year.

Xtra Math

Xtra Math is a good site for Basic Math Facts practice. Teachers can easily create student accounts (copy/paste first names from a list and system gives each student an easy to remember pin) and you’re ready to go.

2011 Edublog Awards

I learn so much from amazing educators who take precious time from their already jam-packed days to share their ideas and finds. The annual Edublog Awards are a way to pay homage to these great individuals. Here are my picks for the 2011 Edublog Awards.

For many reasons, I had a difficult time choosing my nominations. My PLN provides me with such a push to always learn and try to improve – I’d like to nominate them all.

Blogging From Young to Old(er)

As educators, we are constantly coming up with new ideas to integrate into our classrooms that will ultimately result in increased student learning, and hopefully, enhanced enjoyment and engagement. Here in the Intermediate school, students and teachers from various classes have been blogging for the past 2+ years. It has been a learning experience for everyone involved and so much has been gained from the journey.

Student Blogs

For our student bloggers, the reasons for blogging are numerous. Blogs are a place to showcase school work and projects they have completed. Students blog to improve their writing and share their written pieces with a larger audience. They use blogs as a form of online communication and collaboration, where they can read and leave comments on each other’s blogs. Blogging is also a way to develop their digital footprints in a very positive way.

Ed Tech Ideas

My professional blog is a place where I highlight useful web tools for students, teachers, and parents which I use in the computer lab.  I discover the resources from professional journals and blogs that come daily to my RSS reader, as well as shared from members of my personal learning community.  I began the blog two years as a way to reflect on learning experiences that were happening in my classroom, as well as a way to organize and share the many educational resources and tools that I have found essential to student learning in the 21st century.

Lifelong Learning

One thing that I noticed when I first began blogging is that I was immediately more reflective about the projects and activities I was doing in the classroom. Even though at the beginning, I had only 1 person who subscribed and read any postings I would make, knowing that there was 1 person reading made a major difference. Over time, the readership grew, but I’ve found that the amount of subscribers makes little difference. It’s the idea that your voice is out there and it has a home. For students and adults alike, blogging is a way for continuous written improvements, a place for deeper reflection and a way to communicate, collaborate and share ideas, which will prepare them for a life of unending learning and growth.

Edublog Awards

I learn so much from amazing educators who take precious time from their already jam-packed days to share their ideas and finds. The annual Edublog Awards are a way to pay homage to these great individuals. Here are my picks for the 2010 Edublog Awards.

For many reasons, I had a difficult time choosing my nominations. My PLN provides me with such a push to always be learning and trying to improve – I’d like to nominate them all.

Have you made your nominations yet?

Happy Birthday Blog!

It’s been one full year now since I said, “Hello World!” with Tech:-)Happy.  It’s been so much fun writing about what I’m doing in the lab, sharing resources with educators, learning about great new tools and methods, and connecting with so many amazing people. I just wanted to post a big THANK YOU to all my subscribers and readers. It is you who make the time I spend on this blog worthwhile and fulfilling.

Twitter and Blogging from a Newbie Perspective – Part 2

Part II of a 2-Part Post(click here for part I)

Hello? Is Anybody There?

On December 21, I created a Twitter account with my first real tweet being a link to my blog post “Did you Know” which was merely a quick sentence about the video being a great reminder. I didn’t receive any replies; no re-tweets; no direct messages… In fact, I think I heard a faint chirping sound of distant crickets. I quickly realized that there was no one following me, and I was following no one. I decided to spend the mornings of my winter break finding quality educators to follow.

Making Progress

My plan was as follows:

  1. I began the hunt at my co-worker Susan Sedro’s Blog and clicked through her blogroll, reading as much as I could during those quiet mornings before the world awoke. When I found one’s I liked, I would add them to my Google Reader.
  2. I would then search the about sections of the blogs to see if the writer was on Twitter, and if so, I began following them (The first few people to follow me back reads like a list of “who’s who in the educational Twtterverse” and includes such great educators as: @langwitches, @rmbyrne, @jenwagner, @coolcatteacher, @kjarrett, @courosa, @betchaboy, and many, many others). If you are new to Twitter, I’d recommend following them.
  3. After following about 50 or so people, I started looking at who they were following, and who was following them. It felt a little like stalking, but that’s kind of the way things work out at first. I would look at the basic Twitter bio, link to their blog, and scan through their last 20 or so tweets. If they were interesting (ie, tweeting about educational sites, useful practices in the classroom and not what they ate for lunch), I would follow them. I found amazing people like @cybraryman1, @shannonmmiller, @shellterrell, @ktenkely, @AngelaMaiers@Ginaschreck, @Larryferlazzo, @bjnichols, @web20classroom, @tomwhitby, and many, many more who I learn so much from every day.
  4. I signed up for The Educator’s PLN and Classroom 2.0 and “met” some great educators (@cspiezio, @GiseldaSantos, @vickyloras) from discussion groups and began to follow them.
  5. From the beginning, I shared things I came across, re-tweeted interesting tweets and tried to be as lurk-less as possible.
  6. I “tweeted” people as I wanted to be “tweeted.” I tried to thank people for a follow, reply to all direct messages and tweeted only things that I found interesting and useful.

Not All Addictions Are Bad

So after I reached the 100 follower mark, Twitter started becoming very useful. I began using TweetDeck so that I could stay more up to date on the action. I could send out questions and have them answered, I was gathering and bookmarking tons of new sites and resources that I never would have found BT (Before Twitter), and I found several different educators from around the world willing to embark on collaborative projects with my students. Very exciting!

Other teachers from my school began asking asking why Twitter, and wanting to know more about how I use it to enhance my educational repertoire.  The best single answer I could come up with to the question, “Why Twitter?” was, Twitter is like a focused Facebook without all the noise. If you spend time from the beginning following quality people who have something to add, Twitter will become an indispensable resource that you may find yourself asking how you lived without it for so long.

100 Days and Counting

Since 11/11/09 I’ve produced 40 posts, 276 tweets, I follow 562 educators, 396 are following me, and over 20,000 visitors have stopped by my blog. More importantly, I’ve found amazing resources, sites and ideas and have developed an amazing PLN that will continue to help, challenge, and expand my horizons in ways never before possible. I started out with very low expectations (not really the “shoot for the moon” way to go), and wasn’t really expecting to get anything in return for my time spent. When trying something new, I always try to follow the century rule: give anything 100 units (100 pages for a book, 100 days for a new exercise regime, etc) and step back and reflect after that time has passed. I would encourage new users to do the same when building a PLN.  It doesn’t happen overnight, but once cultivated, a quality network of professional learners will be an asset to be cherished.

Useful Resources

I found the following sites and posts to be über-helpful in building my PLN through Twitter and blogging:

Twitter and Blogging from a Newbie Perspective

Part I of a 2-Part Post

I tried Twitter twice before. Once in 2007 and once in 2008. Unsuccessfully. I couldn’t get my mind wrapped around the idea.  “Why would anyone want to use Twitter? Facebook is so much more interesting and visual. Why would I want to be limited to 140 characters? I don’t want strange people following me!” The idea was just too strange. Have you felt this way? I think many have.

Blogging was also a strange concept to me, although not as bizarre as Twitter. I’ve always thought I was an adequate writer at best, and I felt my classroom ideas  and lessons were intuitive and perhaps engaging, but not ground-breaking enough to share with the entire world. Why would anyone in their right mind want to read anything I wrote?

In the Beginning…

On November 11, 2009, with the new year approaching I decided to get an early start on my new year’s resolution: “To build a PLN” and I signed up for a WordPress account and immediately saw my first post, “Hello World!” (which I quickly changed to offer this disclaimer). Almost immediately, I found that once I began posting, my life became a continuous reflection of what I learned from this, and, could I blog about that. I wrote 12 posts in my first 1/2 month, added a Clustr Map and a hit counter and didn’t really care that I was averaging about 11 visits per day (hey, that’s 11 more people reading my thoughts than last month!).

The Epiphany

On December 29th I wrote a short post titled, Are We Adapting for the Future? which wasn’t much more than a cool video, a question, and a quote from Will Richardson. The very next day, to my shock and surprise, I received a comment from Mr. Richardson:

Hey Keith,
Thanks for reading. I think you ask a good question, the larger one being can we continue to adapt piecemeal, one at a time, or do we need some real vision and leadership on a higher level to move things forward?
Have a happy new year!
Will

I was star-struck. I couldn’t believe it. This was the author, keynote speaker, stellar edublogger, member of the George Lucas Education Foundation… He said, “Hey Keith.” Like we were old pals! The world really is flattening! This was a great moment for me in the realization of the power of blogging. Two personal transformations had occurred because of this newly adopted tool:

  1. Personal and professional reflections in most everything I do.
  2. Connecting, communicating, and learning with educators from around the world in ways never before experienced.

I was hooked – but the best to come was still yet to happen…

Check back later this week for part II with the following topics:

  • Hello? Is Anybody There? (Finding followers on Twitter)
  • Making Progress (The 6 Steps I used to build my PLN)
  • Not All Addictions Are Bad (Getting my Twitter Groove on)
  • 100 Days and Counting (Where I’m at now)
  • Useful Resources (The top 9 resources I found to help build a PLN)
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