Posts Tagged ‘classroom’

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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MapHello and welcome back to the classroom blog. If you are new to this, the series of ten blogs I am creating will hopefully create a resource that educators, students or anyone interested for that matter can use to develop their own blogs. The posts are directed towards people who are new to blogging, like me. I encourage any comments or feedback that will improve and develop this resource.

There are many things you can do to customise your blog, rather than just having a page of text for people to read. One of the simplest things to do is change the theme of your blog.

Themes

Using the dashboard on the left hand side of the screen open the drop down menu for Appearance. In there you will find a sub heading, themes, open this up and simply click on any of the themes that take your fancy. Most of the themes are free but there are a few premium ones you have to pay for. There are a number of ways you can search for different themes whether you use the A-Z or most popular functions is up to you.  Find a screen shot that you like the look of and then hit preview. If you like the preview hit apply and your blog will be changed to this format, if not move on to the next one.

Widgets

Widgets, like the map at the top of this page give you the opportunity to embed small pre written programs. These programs have been developed and written by a number of people around the world and as a result there are many unique and interesting widgets out there.

Widgets in the Appearance Menu

The first, and easiest way to install widgets is using the widgets that are available in the appearance menu. The email subscription button is one such widget, as are the Facebook Page like button and my live twitter feeds. Simply choose the widget you like, drag it acroos to the location boxes on the right hand side of the screen, make sure you save the changes and return to the post. When you preview the page the widget you have just installed will appear. If you don’t like it simply go back to the widget screen and remove it.

HTML Widgets

The second way of installing widgets is by copying and pasting html text directly into the post. This is how the world map and the guest counter are generated. Use a search engine to do a web search, use key words that suit your needs but try and add plug-ins or widgets somewhere in the search criteria. What you need to look for then are sites that will give you the html code. Chose your design and style of what ever widget you require then copy the html code generated by the website(i have absolutely no clue how to read this so have very little understanding). Once you have copied the text return to the post. YOU MUST post the html code on the HTML page or it will not work. You can enter this by clicking on the tab at the top right of the box you type in. Choose where on the page you want the widget then paste the html code there. Return to the visual page and, fingers crossed, the widget should have appeared. Below are a couple of web pages where you can find widgets.

Guest counter

World Map

A blog about which plugins to use

Menu

The menu option, within Appearance, allows you to create a custom set of links from your page. my menu appears at the top of my page but this can be changed and is also dependent of the theme you have chosen. This is a really handy function for scaffolding students in the web direction you want them to take or simply sharing some of your common interests. To use the menu option click on the link in the appearances section. Choose a title for your new menu then using the boxes to the left of the screen add content.  The process is quite simple, I had two web screens open and simply cut and paste web addresses into the boxes.

Custom Design

Unfortunately because this is a paid feature, and I’m a tight Yorkshireman I can’t really offer any insight into this. I suppose it is pretty much as described on the page. If anyone has purchased this feature and would like to share their expertise all comments would be most welcome.

iPad

The iPad feature allows you to make a few changes to make your sight more visually appealing to people accessing it via iPad. The instructions are fairly simple and basic changes can be made. It might be quite a nice feature if you are using iPads within your educational setting. If you are accessing this sight from an iPad I have got the settings turned ON if not you wont be able to see any differences.

Some interesting Reading from the Department of Education WA

Blogs in Education

free hits counter
free hits counter

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/