Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

What Is Multimedia?

Multimedia is basically explained within the word.  It’s using a number of different formats or media to convey your message.  It’s not a new thing and has been going on since writing was first created.  The only difference now is that the number of types of media are greatly increased as is the ease with which you can embed them in your blog to help get your message across.  The multimedia we are going to look at today are the six at the top of this page

Uploaded with ImageShack.us

Add Image:  This is as it sounds you can add photos or pictures from any of these types of files (jpg, jpeg, png, gif, pdf, doc, ppt, odt, pptx, docx, pps, ppsx, xls, xlsx). You can also add a direct link from a URL.

Add Video: Again the name is fairly self explanatory upload videos that are saved as any of these files (jpg, jpeg, png, gif, pdf, doc, ppt, odt, pptx, docx, pps, ppsx, xls, xlsx) or add a link to a URL.  The function comes with direct links to most of the major sources of video (Vimeo, DailyMotion, Google, YouTube).  If you are uploading from your computer there is a 1GB limit on your upload.

Add Audio: Exactly the same as with pictures and videos only for sounds.  What I will add to this however, is that just recently I have seen some schools doing some really nice things, recording students explaining why they have been rewarded or just celebrating their good work.

Add Media:  This allows you to upload a variety of documents, such as word or pdf documents that you can then add a link to in your blog and readers will be able to view your work.

Add Poll:  Polls are a quick and simple way to gather information from your readers.  I have added a couple of polls to this blog to show you the kind of thing you can do.

Add Custom Form: This allows you to gather information and feedback from readers.   By adding a contact form your readers will be able to submit feedback to you. All feedback is automatically scanned for spam, and the legitimate feedback will be emailed to you.

Remember when you are adding any multimedia content you need to make sure you don’t break any copyright laws.  I am not going to give any advice on this as I am a teacher not a lawyer and I don’t want to give you duff information.  The links below will give you some advice however and some useful tips for solving copyright issues.

Creative Commons Explained

How To Add Multi Media.

First of all you need to choose the type of multimedia you want to add, whether it’s a video, a picture a sound file or one of the others. The process is fairly similar for each of them so once you can do one you should, without too much difficulty, be able to add any of them.

Term of the Week

Creative Commons: Creative Commons is a type of copyright licence that allows some use of another person’s work.  However, there are different versions of the licence so make sure you understand the different aspects first.  Below are links to a couple of search engines that specifically search for materials published under Creative Commons licence.

CC Search
Flickr CC

For a much more extensive list check out Mark Pegrum’s Wiki on E-Language.  E-Language Wiki

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Getting Back to Previous Posts

Map

OK so the first thing you need to know is how to get back to your first post and do any editing you might want.  Look at the tool bar on the left hand side.  Open the drop down for Posts and then click on All Posts.  This will show any posts you have created.  Simply click on the post and you can start editing.  If you want to create a new post click on add new.  The same process as from the previous blog.

Like everything the more you use it the better you get with it.  Take Microsoft word for example I recently updated from the version I was using.  At first I found it really difficult to find my way around and perform the functions I needed.  Now I am a lot more capable and can appreciate some of the new features.  To get me to this stage took a while and it is exactly the same with WordPress, by using it, playing with it seeing what the different buttons do I am gradually becoming much more competent.  Although there is still a long way to go……

Anyway here some ideas that I have heard about or seen blogs used for.

  • Poetry blog

Water

Kauri Year 3

  • Homework blog

Class 6H Homework

  • Classroom Blogs

Robin Hood Primary

Ferry Lane

High Lawn Primary

Year 6 Blog

Year 3 Quad blogging

4OQ

5Ts blog

Heathfield Year 6

Epsom Grade 1/2

Mr Hamman’s Blog

6KW

  • Guided Writing Blogs

100 Word Challenge for Grown Ups

Enchantment August Challenge

Fern’s Big Idea

Hobbies by 4KM

Rebekah’s Story

  • Thought of the week

Graduate teacher Blogs

New Ideas

64 Ideas For Blog Post

Six reasons why kids should know how to blog

  • Celebration blog

One Last Message From 4oq

Room 13

Learning with Es

Parents Comments

  • Show and tell

Learning.com

Brixton Academy

 School Garden

  • Collaboration with other schools/teachers/students on shared blogs.

Collaborative Projects

  • Reflective Blogs

Abigail’s Blog

  • Resource blogs podcasts of your kids doing the Thrass chant etc…

Voice celebration

Old favourites

Mobile learning

AudioBoo

  • Integrating Technology

iPads

  • Art blog

Kids Art Blog

  • News letter blogs

Bradford schools

  • PE Blog

Shapes in PE

  • Generic Teaching Blogs

*****Education Blog Awards*****

*****Creative School Blogs*****

100 Seriously Cool Classroom Blogs for Teaching Ideas & Inspiration

40 Inspiring Blogs

64 Interesting Ideas for School Blogs

Outstanding teaching

Other Education Blogs from Word Press

A Teacher Field Guide To Parents

21st Century Pedagogy

To Cool For School

Langwitches

The White Board Blog

ICT Magic

The About Page

If you have any more great ideas please put them in the comment boxes.  I would love to know what else is out there.  I suppose now is the time for us all to start creating and having a go at putting something out there.   Don’t worry if you are at all like me the first time was by far the hardest.  I look forward to seeing what gets created.

Term of The Week

Widget :  A widget is basically a piece of web text that some clever designer has written.  This pre made text can then be put into your blog or web page.  The map at the top of this page is an example of a widget so is the subscribe button.  There are loads and loads of different widgets out there that do a multitude of things.

Well congratulation to all of those who have now signed up for the blog through email notification.  I’m hoping this means a few of you have followed the process through and created an account on WordPress.  I suppose, this is where the fun begins!  This is where you get to share your ideas and concepts in your own individualised unique ways.  This is where you get to share the amazing work each of you are doing or just use the blog platform as a way of sharing what exciting things you have been up to of late.  or even just use it as a soap box to shout to the world what you are thinking or feeling.  How ever you decide to use it the fun is in the creation.  You may decide to have multiple blogs and use it for all of the above.

Getting Started

The very first thing you need to do now is create a post.  A post is basically another term for blog or diary entry.  You do this simply by opening the drop down menu for posts in the tool bar down the left hand side.  Click on the link that says new post.  A new screen should open that looks a little like an email box.  In the text box underneath the drawing pin and the words Edit Post put the title of your blog.  To make it even easier it even has the words Enter Title Here.  Once you have entered a title have a look at the tool bar above the big box where you actually write your blog.  The first icon in a capital B.  If you hover your cursor arrow over it, it will reveal what the button does.  Most of the commands are generic to all word processing programs.  The first button to use is the one of the far right (show/hide kitchen sink) this will reveal a number of extra editing functions.  The next thing to do is write some content and that is down to you.

Publishing

Find the publishing box on your page.  It should be in the left hand column.  it will have the buttons ‘Save Draft’, ‘Preview’ and in blue ‘Publish’.  DO NOT PUBLISH YET.  Before you hit the publish button have a little look at the edit options.  The key one is the visibility.  I don’t really know what you have put in your blog.  But are you ready to show it to the world just yet.  I tend to save it as a draft a few times first and keep re visiting it.  Even then, as you’ll probably have noticed, one or two little errors sneak through!  Another nice thing to do is have a quick look at the preview.  this will show you what the final product will look like when it hits the web.

Creating an avatar

OK basically an avatar is the little picture of yourself or whatever you decide it to be.  This is the picture people will see when they view your profile but also the little picture that will appear when you leave a comment on someone else’s post. So choose carefully!  I am going to try to make a short video of how to do this, however I’m not sure the process will be the same as I have already done it.  Please, if this doesn’t work can you leave comments about how you did it so other people can follow your steps.

Key Term Definition

Vloging: vloging or in its extended term is basically blogging but using video.  There are loads of really good example of vloging.  I have added a couple to this weeks list of examples. Vlogs can be up loaded to a platform like youtube and then embed in a regular blog.  Most computers these days have a built in webcam so making a short video is fairly simple.

Question of The Week

What would you like to know about adding next?  Is there something you have seen that you want to add to your blog?

Examples Of Blogs

Choosing a Platform

There are many different free blog providers out there.  WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr, Posterous to name but a few.  All of these are basically platforms that allow you to post a blog.  For the purpose of this project I am going to stick with WordPress.  The link below will give you a blog software overview and as you will see WordPress scores highly in most of the areas we need.  The main reason I chose WordPress though is that a number of other blogs I have looked at seemed to use this platform.

http://blog-software-review.toptenreviews.com/

Getting Started

The first thing you need to do is go to the website and create an account by following the onscreen prompts from this web address https://en.wordpress.com/signup/ .  You might have to be a little imaginative with your blog address as unfortunately first choices have usually been taken.  Once you have found a free name choose which type of blog you want.  I always opt for the free option however, if you wish you can pay to change the address people will type into the web to find you.  You also have the option to change your language, and security settings.  Don’t worry you can go back and change these at anytime.  Once you have done what you need to, and carefully studied the terms and conditions hit create blog then click on the link to your dashboard and you are ready to start blogging.

“please write down you user name and password some where that is easy to locate.  My biggest problem has been moving between different computers and remember my user name and password”

Below is a YouTube video about how to use WordPress it is rather long and rather dry.  Don’t feel you need to watch it as over the next few blogs we will be looking at ways of creating a fun and engaging blog for your needs.  There is also a short 2 minute video provided when you first log into WordPress.

Make sure you record the URL of your blog down and your blog password so you can get back into it in the future.  Most computers ask if you want to remember the password but it’s always a good idea to have it somewhere so you can access the blog from different machines.

Learn To Blog

Term Of The Week

URL. A URL or uniform source locator is basically a posh way od saying a web address.  A URL is the address you type in when going to a webpage.  If you want to find a specific web page you must type the address/URL in exactly.

Question Of The Week

Have you seen, or do you know a teacher that uses blogs effectively in their classroom?  If so can you post a link to their blog or say why you think it’s a good blog?

Examples Of Blogs

Not all the examples of blogs will be from schools.  but I figured not all of you will be using this process to write a blog for school.  Please take a look at some of the features and methods people have used to individualise their blogs.

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/08/07/education-needs-a-digital-age-upgrade/?src=tp

http://jacksloan.creativeblogs.net/

http://educationaltech-med.blogspot.com/2011/01/21st-century-skills-teachers-should.html

http://abigail.heathfieldcps.net/2011/07/06/news-trophy-and-thankyou/

Pleasantries

OK people thanks to all of you who have replied to the various methods I have used to advertise this process. Remember this is for all educators so If you have a friend or a colleague (not always the same!) who would like to be involved please forward them the link.

My reasons for this blog

Several weeks ago I went on a visit to the UK and was lucky enough to observe a Year 5 teacher, conducting a literacy lesson. What made this lesson special is that all the students were sat in front of computers and taking part in the lesson through the use of a blog. As I walked around the room talking to the various students I was amazed by the enthusiasm and eye for detail the group were displaying. I know a huge part of this was down to the teacher, but what I also found was the blog was acting as a motivator in its own right. The students knew their work had the potential to be read by a huge audience, they knew they were going to give and receive peer feedback, they knew what was required and they could quickly and easy have a look at examples of best practice. I saw the power of a blog first hand.

The Bare Minimum

Ok over the next few weeks I will be sending these blogs out…..

So how do you use them most effectively?

If you want to do the bare minimum, but still have a blog at the end, just read the info I write and complete anything that needs doing, bearing in mind I am on a learning journey as well.

To take a little more out of it have a look at a couple of the videos, see what other people have to say, follow a couple of the links to view best practice but…..

To get the most out of this process become an active learner, leave a comment, ask a question, that way learning can be tailored to an individuals needs. We can use the collective intelligences of all who read this blog to produce something better than any individual possibly could. It doesn’t matter if you miss a session because you are already confident in that area (but feel free to share your expertise) or go on ahead and figure things out for yourself.

What is a Blog?

A blog is basically a personal website on which an individual records opinions, links to other sites, etc. on a regular basis. A blog can be about absolutely anything from your favourite football team through to the aero dynamic qualities of a ping-pong ball. Once a blog is published it is available for other people around the wall to view and/or leave comment on.

The Truth About Blogging

Work Load Disclaimer!!

Lets get the unpleasantries out the way first. What is blogging going to cost you in terms of time? Blogging will not reduce your workload, it will not make all the unpleasant bits of teaching suddenly disappear, what it will do is make them a little more enjoyable. The blog will need establishing. The blog will need maintaining. I have completed a rough draft of how the project will evolve. There will be ten separate blogs posted at regular intervals (when I have time). The blogs will incorporate a number of types of media but each one will probably take 15-20 minutes on average to digest and complete any tasks that need doing. The blogs will be in sequential order working through the process of building your own multimedia engaging blog to help drive student out comes. Each week I will try to include examples of other blogs that are out there so you can beg borrow steal any interesting ideas you might come across. Remember the more you become an active member with the blogs, e.g. leaving comments or telling a friends about them the more potential followers you will have when your blogs go live.

E-Safety

Please be aware that anything you publish on the web is viewable to anyone who has an internet connection. If managed correctly this doesn’t pose a problem. In later blogs we will look at the management options availability to you to ensure student safety and anonymity. Blogs do present an excellent opportunity to develop greater digital literacy amongst students.

Classroom Blog Program

At this stage I am hoping to complete the whole program in ten separate blogs. They will all be of similar structure to this but hopefully with a few changes each week. The ten blog titles at this stage will be:

Some examples of classroom blogs: http://robinhoodpmfl.wordpress.com/How To Access Blog; http://chrisleach78.wordpress.com/2011/08/05/kids-art-blog/

  1. Part 1: Why Blog?
  2. Part 2: Choosing a platform
  3. Part 3: Getting Started
  4. Part 4: Your Ideas
  5. Part 5: Customising your blog
  6. Part 6: Adding Multimedia
  7. Part 7: Increasing Traffic
  8. Part 9: RSS explained
  9. Part 10: Growing your community
  10. Part 11: Maintaining your blog

Key Term Definition

Each blog (when necessary) I will look at one key term or piece of jargon talk and try to put it into plain English. This weeks term is ‘Web 2.0’. Web 2.0 is basically a more interactive web, as educators we are all highly competent as using the web as a library of resources and downloadable materials. Using the web in this way is fine and will continue for many years to come. Web 2.0 takes it to the next level, and is more about interactivity, sharing your thoughts and ideas, leaving comments and opinions on various topics and becoming an active part of the collective information network.

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Question of the Week (please leave comments below)

How do you see your self using blogs in your classroom?