Thank you Faith for sharing Audacity with us last week. Well done! Faith's school news podcasts are great. This is something her students obviously enjoy and something they will always remember.
Interested in learning more about podcasting? Check out the plethora of freebies on the subject at i- tunes. There's a link called Podcasts about Podcasting. Hmmm. Clever name don't you think? Remember you heard about it first here, on A Blog about Blogging. This is a link to the Podcasting for Dummies podcast. Linking to a podcast from i-tunes is a great way to share and it's easy to do. Just right click on the podcast episode and copy the url to your clipboard. I love the Princeton Review Vocabulary Minute Series. I think your students would too. Maybe they would be inspired to create their own vocabulary songs or raps. If you want to post your own podcasts in Typepad it's not hard.I printed the help files on podcasting to get started. Link the podcast through the "insert file" option on your tool bar . The file will open in your default player unless you embed a player. I added an image.
You can turn on "subscribe to my podcast" under the Design Tab. Change the order of the sidebar contents under the Design Tab too. You can also share your podcast on i-tunes, Podamatic and a host of other services and then link to them in your blog.
The February 2008 issue of T.H.E. Journal had an interesting article by Julie Sturgeon. After interviewing three experts she writes Five Don'ts of Classroom Blogging and makes these recommendations:
1. Don't just dive in, set up guidelines and objectives ( Monitoring all comments and posts for example)
2. Don't confuse blogging with social networking. A good education blog assists students in learning, not in socializing. Showcasing work, providing audience and constructive feedback are all desirable objectives.
3. Don't leap at Freebies - I don't know if we can follow this advice but I understand her point. You cannot control everything that happens on free apps. Ads, unwanted visitors, and links to inappropriate blogs, create problems that we don't want or need.
4. Don't force a sequential style - good point and one I struggle with on blogs. Their suggestion is to structure entries by topics rather than by times. Mapping out what you plan to teach on the blog makes a tremendous amount of sense.
5. Don't leave the blogging to the students . Since a blog has the potential of becoming an on line learning community it's important to have someone directing that process. Your posts and comments will impact the learning environment as surely as your presence does in your classroom .
Julie Sturgeon's article includes one DO, "Do recognize what blogging can do for your students". It provides them with a platform to create multimedia experiences and encourages them to write meaningful content for a real audience.
Modeling - I have just summarized an article of relevance and invite you to provide me with your thoughts and feedback on the subject. Would anyone like to volunteer to be our guest author next week?
Today's suggestion - Have a caption contest. Add the winning content to the thought bubble.
BTW - Typepad creates a small thumbnail when you insert an image. Viewers can click on the thumbnail to see the image in full size. Change the size of the thumbnail by selecting customize before saving the post. The default setting is 100 pixels wide. This one has been reset to 300. It will take longer to load but you could optimize images in Fireworks first if it becomes a problem.Suggestions so far:
I shouldn't have eaten that creamed spinach.
Hair products. I need more hair products.
I may be young but there's still much to contemplate.
Mom! You promised not to make me look like an American Idol Contestant.
Please tell me I am not related to all these people.
How are you going to keep your blog alive? Maggie Mason's book, No One Cares What You Had for Lunch, has lots of tips and writing ideas for bloggers but as teachers you could write that book. The same prompts that you've used with students in years past may actually be more interesting on line. Just a thought. BTW I had a grilled chicken salad from La Hacienda yesterday for lunch and it was exceptional. The greens were crisp, the chicken spicy, but not too spicy, and the salsa dressing was robust and fragrant. I have a hard time finding good salads in Palatka. I think it was newsworthy. So maybe you might care what I had for lunch if I was doing a resturant review? Maybe your students would like to write reviews for the best places to eat in Putnam County? What other "reviews" could you ask your students to conduct on a blog?
I took a Writing for the Web workshop yesterday with Karen Scheinder of Free Range Librarian.com fame. Her syllabus contained great links to exemplary posts but some ( OK maybe most :) ) will be blocked by our filter. We can unblock any that are previewed and do not contain inappropriate content. We just need to send in the requests. I'm working on some of those requests today.
*The title of this post,"Blogging is easy, writing is hard", is a six-word story created by Jennifer Shreve, published in Not Quite What I Was Planning.
Welcome. We'll use this space to share ideas and resources for blogging with students.
So here is the first of many ideas for your blogs.
Have students create and publish six-word stories.
Background: This challenge was issued on smithmag.net: Everyone has a story. Tell yours in six words. Smith magazine editors, Rachel Fershleiser and Larry Smith, compiled the results in, Not Quite What I Was Planning, which was published in February 2008. The book, written by famous and obscure authors, has been featured on NPR, CBS, The Early Show, and in The New Yorker. You can read more about how the stories keep coming on Smith Magazine’s blog, Not Quite What I Was Blogging
“Legend has it that Hemingway was once challenged to write a story in only six words. His response? “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” Last year, SMITH Magazine re-ignited the recountre by asking our readers for their own six-word memoirs. They sent in short life stories in droves, from the bittersweet (“Cursed with cancer, blessed with friends”) and poignant (“I still make coffee for two”) to the inspirational (“Business school? Bah! Pop music? Hurrah”) and hilarious ...” from smithmag.net
Here are some examples for inspiration . Most examples are from Smith Magazine’s site and from their publication, Not Quite What I Was Planning, but some are from other sources. ( Note to self- "Document sources when collecting six-word stories." "Notice how that's a six-word story?" "Once I start I can't stop." See? )
Failed SAT. Lost scholarship. Invented rocket. - William Shatner
Lie detector eyeglasses perfected: Civilization collapses. - Richard Powers
Epitaph: He shouldn't have fed it. - Brian Herbert
Dinosaurs return. Want their oil back. - David Brin
Deadline postponed. Five words enough...? - David Brin
Will this do (lazy writer asked)? - Ken MacLeod
wake,connect,learn,share,propogate,bluescreen -George Williams
"I blog daily. Only God reads." -anonymous
Clones demand rights: second Emancipation Proclamation. - Paul Di Filippo
Hope to die with mind intact -Marsha Cruce
Had my cake and ate it. -G.Gordon
Daydreamed daily of spending lottery winnings. -Kate Tomchik
MAD, LIFE, PLAYBOY, TIME, AARP, BIBLE - Keith
I am great but not modest. -Anne Simonoff
I am more than six words -J Tony
Burned-down house. Can see the moon. -ML Spinrad
Insomniacs make the best midnight snacks. -Queen Mab
Shook Family Tree; nuts fell out. -Chris Baker
Like Charlie Brown, not as popular. -Paul J
Down for maintenance. Be back soon. -Greylond
Had two brothers, now just one. -Joel Best
I am ten, and have an additude -Tillie Seger
Still lost on road less traveled -Joe Quesada
Brought it to a boil, often -Mario Batali
Thought I would have more impact - Kevin Clark
Can't we all just be friends? -Brenda Macgibbon
Wasn’t born a redhead; fixed that -Andie Grace
On the seventh word, he rested -Stephen J.Dibner
Dog buried underwear, buried dog today. -Carolyn Collier
I managed not to destroy anything -Tucker Frazier
Ug fix, Ug fix, Ug smash -Matt Hopcraft
Well, I thought it was funny -Stephen Colbert
The party is at Mimi's house. -Marsha Cruce
There's always room for human error. -Matt Hopcraft
Socially irreverent.Morally bankrupt.Rock on! -Stephen Thomas