Saturday, January 30, 2010
Thursday, January 28, 2010
Sunday, January 24, 2010
Friday, January 22, 2010
- · A blog entry is a stub for conversation
- · Think about the perspectives of your audience
- · Write tight headlines that encourage interest
- · Make points or lists and make then scan-friendly
- · Link to the context
- · Quote indirectly and link
- · Format long documents for print
- · Never delete anything
tell you what you can't do.
- · Troll the blogosphere for secondary conversation
- · Be active in your own conversations
- · Create buzz everywhere
people to other sites.
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Journal Article Review:
Tara R. Warner
Western Oregon University
Nicky Hockly (2009) offers educators a straightforward, informative article in the English Teaching Professional entitled, “Five Things You Always Wanted to Know About Blogs (but Were Afraid to Ask).” As the title indicates, this educational piece is full of basic, user friendly information that speaks to an audience unfamiliar with the technical and educational possibilities of the vast “blogosphere” (Hockly, 2009, p. 60). Hockly (2009) organizes her article into five major points that work individually to address blog specific, learning centered questions. Initially, the author introduces the blog to readers with a brief history, definition, and list of related terms. This important background information is followed by a concise clarification of various blog styles, as well as several general recommendations regarding the practical, educational attributes of each. In addition, Hockly’s (2009) article suggests that educational blogging serves as a useful tool for teaching writing, reading, and digital media skills to students. Also, blog subscription is simplified for new users with the introduction of “RSS (short for Really Simple Syndication)”, and an explanation of its uses in managing multiple blog subscriptions (Hockly, 2009, p. 60). Hockly (2009) concludes with simple instructions for creating a first time blog, and a short outline of skills that should be developed prior to attempting the creation of an “edublog” (p. 60). As a final, lucrative point, the author supplies readers with accommodating internet resources that helpfully list current examples of teacher created blogs and tools for further reference and exploration.
The information presented in Hockly’s (2009) article is significant and valuable within the realm of education because it provides teachers with a basic structure of knowledge to reference when planning blog centered lessons or units. Educators who lack technical training and experience will immediately find aid in the instructional information and examples that permeate Hockly’s (2009) article. As a result, they will also gain the data and resources necessary to successfully originate blogs for both personal and educational use. Furthermore, the introduction and description of various free blogging tools will clear up confusion for new users wondering how to effectively personalize and maximize their own “edublogs” (Hockly, 2009, p. 60). For example, Hockly (2009) states:
You can also integrate all sort of ‘widgets’ (or little gadgets) into your blog, such as a Twitter feed (see ETp Issue 60), mouse-over translation tools (if you point your mouse at a word, you are supplied with a translation) and a calendar, and you could also have a class blogroll in a sidebar. (p.60)
These suggestions serve as interesting and informative tips directed at either the novice teacher or technically inept, veteran. Essentially, Hockly’s (2009) article is able to provide a basic outline for teachers lacking the technical knowledge necessary to immediately and effectively introduce a blog into classroom curriculum.
Overall, Hockly’s (2009) article is excellent if you are searching for basic information regarding educational blogging. Nicky Hockly (2009) tells us what a blog is, how we can use it in our classrooms, and the different ways we can introduce it to our students. Also, she offers helpful tips that are intended to assist a new user in keeping blogs both interesting and classroom friendly. Hockly (2009) succeeds in delivering a simple, yet clear, blogging message that is ideal for any computer wary or technically challenged educator. Not only is the information quick and easy to review, but it is also thoroughly descriptive and easy to comprehend. Hockly (2009) proves a useful resource for setting up your first blog, gleaning information for basic educational uses and setups, or providing a quick handout to students. In fact, this article is a useful springboard for any curious teacher hoping to learn how to successfully implement blogging into their individual content area. Even the computer savvy may find relevance and inspiration after skimming Hockly’s (2009) work and perusing the active teacher and student blogs that are available via the referenced website. Likewise, these detailed blog examples may work to inspire thought and confidence in the novice blogger as well. Additionally, an important means of communication opens up between teachers wishing to improve their blogging skills and those already comfortable with its application. In other words, examining existing blogs gives beginning bloggers an opportunity to comment on appropriate models and ask questions about certain features that appeal to them.
Consequently, I would recommend Hockly’s article to any teacher who considers themselves uninformed on the subject of blogging. If you struggle with computers, or find yourself confused with blogging concepts or setup, this article likely contains information you will find useful. However, if you are fairly confident in your blogging abilities you may find that this article merely touches on information you already know. Either way, it is a quick and easy reference that explains the details of blogging and encourages its use in teacher instruction. Inevitably, society will continue to introduce new forms of technology that intertwine with education in a variety of different forms. As a result, it is the teacher’s responsibility to work toward a general understanding of these diverse forms of technology and determine how they each relate to the overall growth of academic literacy amongst students.
Hockly, N. (2009, July). Five things you always wanted to know aobut blogs (but were afraid to ask). English Teaching Professional, 63, 60. Retrieved January 10, 2010, from Academic OneFile (Gale) database.
Burke, S., & Oomen-Early, J. (Nov-Dec 2008). That's blog worthy: ten ways to integrate blogging into the health education classroom. American Journal of Health Education, 39, 6. p.362(3). Retrieved January 16, 2010, from Academic OneFile via Gale:
Friday, January 15, 2010
- Introducing ourselves
- Searching the web for information about providers, their features and setting up a blog
- Exploring the Internet to discover what others think about the blogosphere and what it is doing to our social network
- Digging through the dusty piles of professional journals to get a sense of what professionals think about how blogging is effecting education and how it may effect teaching and learning in the future, or right now
- Connecting with each other through RSS or subscriptions or following
- Reading each other's blogs to benefit from their findings, opinions and reflections
- Adding widgets or gadgets as tools to enrich the blogging experience
- Returning to the web, or other sources, to see how other teachers are using blogs
- Tapping the great minds of writers, publishers and salespersons to design a plan for marketing our blog, or future blogs that are not merely the result of an instructor's demand
- Synthesizing all this information (Having already analyzed it), nurturing it into knowledge and identifying the characteristics of your next ideal blog to be used with your peers or you students
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Monday, January 11, 2010
Friday, January 8, 2010
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
I hold before us again, that blogging can offer us an opportunity for deep discussions, and for advancing knowledge of an extended period of time. (Spelling is certainly an issue in blogging that not required in talking.) Actually in this case, that is one reason for adding the linking, that I can focus on the discussion and not wonder randomly around the web looking for you. You may consider this gadget too as you become more cofortable in this new world.
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Sunday, January 3, 2010
Friday, January 1, 2010
I think someone will care. I think that this may be a great venue for bringing together people and their ideas. I think it's a great way to have a forum for questions about how to use technology, like how to set up a blog, or link a RSS, or configure the clickers in a classroom, and how to use a blog for teaching, or to use a SmartBoard effectively, or to use iPods for learning.
I'm going to start close to home, or at least on this blog page, with the items on the left of the page, or the right of the page, depending on your blog template. (After having said that I guess I had better not change my template.)
Followers: there seem to be both the possibilites of me following someone else or someone else following me. At this point no one is following me, but I will deal with that soon by writing to my students and peers in education, and suggest that they follow this. Once I have followers, or an audience, I will be more comfortable knowing to whom I am writing.
Nor have I chosen anyone to follow. Now that's an issue. I could follow my students because I ask them to blog regularly and this way I can find all their blogs from one location, without having to retype their blog address every time. I could follow my family friends which I definitely want to do but maybe they're not into academics and technology. I could follow peers, especially if a network around technology in education evolves. But I really want to follow blogs that lead me, blogs from around the world of people who are forerunners in this field.
I suspect the technological steps to follow others may offer some challenges that will take time to resolve, but I think distilling the many blogs on the Internet down to those that will serve me best is where I need to spend most of the time and critical thinking energy.
Here I go. Join me.
I considered naming this Digital Ink, something I'd heard or seen somewhere in the past, but if I'd heard or seen it in the past, someone else had coined the phrase and I didn't want to claim it as mine. While inklings has nothing to do with ink, it did foster the idea, and inklings, as vague notions, may be perfect for this setting. While digital ink may be writing with computers, Digital Inklings will be open to all thoughts connected to compters and electronic gadgetry.
Despite the man-made or artificial implications of computers, they certainly do not conger up thoughts of trees and flowers, or living off the land, many entries may start with an observation of the day weather. First of all, we are all immersed in our environment which affects our activities, our moods and who we want to see at that time. This morning the skies were clear with a slight breeze at sunrise, this the first day of 2010. About mid morning clouds moving and within minutes, the rain gutters were over flowing. Cleaning them was on my list of things to do today. Now, several hours later, the sun is glaring off my laptop screen. I guess the gutter cleaning is back on the list.
Mark Twain, I think it was, who said something to the affect that if I find myself marching in step with everyone else, it's time to reconsider what I'm doing. Hence I typically don't use templates and perhaps that's why I never jumped onto the blogging bandwagon. But now it's time to study and understand this blogging and social networking phenomena that is changing the society of the world in just a profound way.
I grew up with computers, oh, not from birth or childhood, they only existed in think tanks and behind military gates, but as they evolved in public, I was there. I punched cards in the 60's, established remote connections in the 70's, bought my first personal computers before Bill Gates started his adventures, but I don't own or use a cell phone. They intrigue me but so does the texture and smell of fresh sawn wood.
Now we're started with the basic blog. Now we will test the waters of technology, the use of technology by society and we will try to keep a critical eye on how this affects education, both learning and teaching, and how education can use this technology to affect learning and teaching.
My new year's resolution: to enjoy what I doing rather than do only what I enjoy.