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Posts tagged ‘#ksyb’

Kick Start Your Blog focuses on imbedding media…

I LOVE media.:)

I have used video, Glogster, and, of course, lots and lots of photos. As a former layout editor, I believe visuals make the page. As an ESL teacher, I am completely sold on the idea that we are all in some way visual learners.

One of the possible assignments for this segment was to “Find a variety of posts that have media embedded and share these with your readers. Discuss their impact and effectiveness.”

Rather than posts, I prefer to share blogs that regularly embed some sort of media.

My all-time favorite is a journalism-technology blog called 10,000 words. The blog regularly shares how newspapers and online news outlets are using technology to reach their readers.

The next one on my list is iLearnTechnology. Rare is the occasion that Kelly doesn’t have some sort of graphic/movie/picture to hold my visual interest.

Technology and Education Box of Tricks is also really amazing for including graphics. I don’t visit often because I get too caught up in all the visual activity! It’s truly a work of art.

Peter Pappas in Copy/Paste also has amazing resources, and he always puts visual focus in his entries.

Pictures transcend. They make language accessible.

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You’ve Got The Look…

U got the look, U got the look, Sho’ ‘nuf do be cookin’ in my book… (sorry, homage to Prince and my youth….)

The most recent challenge I’ve undertaken is to update my avatar. And I must say, I’ve never really been drawn to avatars. I have friends on facebook who change their look almost daily. I am happy to get one and stick with it…

So here’s what I did. I took the example avatar links and got to this:

Picassohead

Ain't I a cutie?

I'm a blockhead.

Tourist

Tourist image.

Generally, I figure if I’m going to use a likeness, I’d just rather use a photograph, but now I’m feeling a bit partial to the Picassohead. I didn’t like the first three I tried. But now I’m warming up to it…

The challenge also asked us to set up a voci. I’ve seen some applications for this in education, but I’ve always been a bit reluctant to try. I’m not sure why. I love the creativity that is being shown in the other posts, but I guess I’m a little reluctant to associate myself to an image. Even changing my profile pic in facebook takes some prodding…

The last avatar I had was a photo. Maybe I’ll go back to it. I’m really a creature of habit.

Glogster

So I’m having an issue with Glogster. I made this for the “About the blogger” page, but I had to post it here, directly from Glogster, to copy the correct link for it to work. Otherwise I just get code. If you’re a glogster user who is savvy about the issue, can you let me know why?

I Love Langwitches

Effective blog posts are ones that make me really pay attention. I don’t know if I believe that every blog post should be effective. Sometimes it’s just good to write without reason…

I am writing this as part of the blogging challenge. Today’s challenge is to share an effective post. One of my favorite blogs that I go to again and again is Langwitches, and here is one of my favorites.

This is an effective post because it engages me. I can see pictures and work that Silvia has done. I can immediately imagine how this will connect to my own life and teaching career. I love the graphics she creates. She is imminently present in the tech course I teach during the summer.

It isn’t that she’s an amazing wordsmith; it’s that she knows how to tell a story that is visually appealing. It’s simple. It speaks to me as an educator. Here is another great one.

I tend to think effectiveness, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. What works for me may not work for you. I don’t mind the busy-ness of her posts. In fact, I’m drawn to it. But I think it may put others off. All effective blogs speak to you and your interests.

You can’t please all of the people all of the time, but you can find your niche.

Re-investing

I am working on the teacher challenge through edublogs.

It’s very funny. I started blogging nearly a year ago, but with no regularity, and very little purpose.

I have a second blog, but that one is a little under the weather right now. Someone other than me started the account and now the domain name has expired. It’s either find someone quick who can re-activate it (someone with their name on the account) or change the name. Or I guess we could wait two months for me to buy the domain name back… We’ll see what happens.

But for this blog, I’ve been chugging along for a year. I started it to work with a class I took over from a friend. I taught it the first time without blogging, but the second time around, I just couldn’t see how I could let pre-service teachers make it through a tech class without blogging.

It came on the heels of me setting up a blog with my students to try to teach them how to write. I teach ESL, and we give our high-stakes exam in the spring. When I read their answers, I was appalled. Was no one writing with these children?

So we began with a math blog. Every Friday. Take the prompt, make it into a statement and write a paragraph. (Never mind that paragraphs were not developmentally appropriate for these students. I thought if they got enough practice with the structure that they would get it eventually. They did not.)

This year, however, we are doing the same thing with ALL of the second-graders. Not paragraphing, but answering a prompt, using the prompt to form their answer. It has been good. Almost all of them have learned that titles have capital letters, that sentences start with capital letters and end with periods. That in itself is quite a trick…

So I started this to teach teachers-to-be the benefits of blogging. None of my students kept up their blogs either. Like me, they drifted off as soon as the class was over. So my goal is to make sure that I reinvest. Revitalize. Revamp. Renew.

So on to the prompt: 10 things you should know about blogging.

1. Write early and often. The content doesn’t always have to be profound. It has to be. The depth will come.

2. Have a purpose. I lost mine because the course ended, and I felt as though no one was going to read it. But the course will start again, and I’ll have all this content there for others to read.

3. Be original. It can’t just be a repetition of others’ thoughts. But it can be your take on an event.

4. Try something new. There’s nothing worse than an unvaried diet. Try putting in pictures and movies and change the theme every once in a while, if for nothing else, to keep yourself from getting board.

5. Talk to people about your blog. Link to it. Let people know about it. Bring it up in conversation. If you treat it like it’s real, it will be.

6. Focus. No one likes to listen to a long-winded know-it-all. But they will listen to a short-winded one.

7. Be passionate. Talk about what you believe. Honesty forms relationships, for got or for bad.

8. Write.

9. Reread it because you more than likely wrote the wrong “its.”

10. When you realize that an entry you wrote last week is crap, delete it.

I’ve not been blogging for long, and I feel like I have a lot to learn, but I also know I have something to say. And if I say it long enough, maybe, just maybe someone will listen.

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