Using Bloggerin the Classroom A blog is a "web-log" Blogger began in 1999 as "Pyra Labs" and was bought by Google in 2003. The purpose of a blog is to scribe or document a moment in time, using graphics, video and other interactive Web 2.0 technology. A blog can be used quite effectively in a classroom in order to "scribe" the events that occur in the classroom and to create an interactive textbook for the class.
Setting up a Blogger AccountLike most Web 2.0 technologies, setting up a Blogger Account issimple: 1. Navigate to www.blogger.com 2. Log-in with an existing Google account, or create one! 3. Select a URL for your site (ie whateveryouwant.blogspot. com) 4. Explore the dashboard and create your first post
The Blogger DashboardUseful tools to make your class blog functional: 1. NEW POST is where you click to create your newest posts. 2. EDIT POST is where you can update/change old ones 3. SETTINGS is where you can create new pages and can assign permission to multiple authors to create a TEAM BLOG (this is most important for a class blog) 4. DESIGN is where you can tool around to make it look
Benefits of Blogger Post new vocabulary words Help students/parents keep up with assignments Most students are familiar with Google already Use the blog as a place for students to "scribe" classroom activities TEAM BLOGS allow for multiple authors Unlike a wiki, Team Blogs allow students to be the authors Blogs keep a searchable archive that is easy to manuever Darren Kuropatwas blog http://adifference.blogspot. com/ references many ways that blogs can be used in the classroom
Blogger Blunders... It is much more difficult to create new pages in a blog, rather than in a wiki. If you hope to have multiple pages within a blog, you ought to use a wiki instead. Blogs that use students as authors will require much more monitoring, support, and instruction, so the posts are interactive rather than just streaming text. After speaking to a teacher who maintains a class blog, he explained that the quality of blog posts varies greatly between students who put in the effort and those who are simply doing it to "check the block" and do the assignment, which devalues the whole project Students will need a Gmail account to be TEAM BLOGGERS. This could be an obstacle for some teachers.
Final ThoughtsThe following is a quote from Tom Henderson, whosechemistry blog first inspired me to look into blogger."YOU will have to make it a very central part of your class andnot a side show. If its a side show, you will be disappointed. If itbecomes central, you will be working your tail off to keep upwith student comments and posts and tracking and scoring, etc.I really didnt want a side show nor a pain-in-the-butt, so I willbe choosing to not do it next year. "These thoughts, though discouraging, are a realistic look athow the technology "side show" might not be the most effectiveway of teaching. I look forward to using a blog, but will waitbefore instituting the full-scale blog I was hoping.
When you log intoFlashvortex.com, you get:a user-friendly websiteinsert-able coolfree bannersinsert-able menusinsert-able clocks
In my wiki at… lu-graduation.wikispaces.com... a bubble-type banner… “Congratulations”…countdown clock
Flashvortex could benefit teachers in the classroom by…Enabling download of items to a classwebpage, drawing students to certainareas.Making the homepage for the classroommore engaging.
Flashvortex Woes....1. Decisions can be hard because it has lots of choices2. It will not show until after you download the link into your site and save3. You might become addicted!
Flashvortex is great because: It is a free service for educators! And upgraded advanced options get really fancy.
Sync.in: Collaborative WritingSync.in is a real-time document collaboration tool thatallows users to: Immediately see any edits made by other users Chat between users Easily access previous changes Easily denote changes made by multiple contributors Save drafts without stopping the creative flow Access the information from anywhere with an internet connection.
How to Use Sync.in:Step 1: Go to http://sync.inStep 2: Select "Create a New Public Note"Step 3: Type your name in the right-hand box to mark your changecolorStep 4: Select the "Share this Note"button on the right to quickly andeasily invite people through email,Twitter, Facebook, and a range ofother social sites.Step 5: Start working on yourdocument!
Features of Sync.In That Make It Great for the Classroom!1. Real-time changes- theres 3. The highlighting feature allowsvirtually no lag time. everyone to see who has contributed and who has not.2. The chat feature allows studentsto discuss their work without having 4. The Time Slider saves by everyto do it in the work. This single change made (my note hasconversation can also be seen by the over 1,200 saves now). Studentssupervising teacher. never "lose" a contribution if another student deletes their work. 5. The final product, or whichever drafts required, can be easily exported. 6. Its free and requires no sign up, making it easier for students to gain access.
Uses in the Classroom:Potential uses for Sync.in in the classroom include: Note-taking, especially for a group research project Brainstorming for ideas, projects, etc. The actual creation of a group project. Practice editing and revising of documents Actual Content from my note with multiple users:
Potential Problems with Sync.In in the Classroom: 1. At least at my school, the site is blocked, so the teacher will need to get permission, if possible. 2. If one student turns off the highlighting, everyone loses it, which can be a problem if the teacher plans to grade on participation. 3. The Time Slider feature is fun, but completely switches formatting views. The way back to the editing view is not easily marked, so students may struggle with that at first.4. The export options are pretty limited and do not retain formatting. Its better to view theproduct on the site, which can sometimes be difficult.5. After participants have signed off, it does not retain whose color was whose (if they signon again, their name gets assigned their color again). However, they must keep track ofwhich color was theres before they leave.6. The free notes are public, which probably will not cause problems since they are eachgiven a long alphanumeric address. It costs $24 a year to get the private ones andadditional features, which is not too bad if a teacher plans to use this regularly.
Analysis of Sync.in:Overall, it has been fascinating to see Sync.in! Check out my note here.If I can get around our schools block on Sync.in, then I would really liketo try it for a test review or essay brainstorming session.Overall, I definitely recommend trying it. The biggest perk is that itshassle-free, so it would not take long to try.
Ediscio- The Online Flashcard BoxWhere teachers & students cancreate and use flashcards online.Collaboratively share and editflashcards with "chums."
To set up an ediscio account, click "Sign Up." Then, follow thesimple instructions of choosing a username and password, andproviding an email address. Then click "Create."After setting up an account, look for the words "Create newcardbox." This will allow you to make and use your flashcards!
Two Outstanding Benefits of Ediscio Are: 1. You are not limited to text while creating the flashcards. Ediscio allows you to upload images, audio files, and even videos to your flashcards.2. As the student studies theflashcards, the teacher or thestudent himself can monitorprogress with charts such as thispie graph:
Difficulties with Ediscio On the help page, called the "board," you will find dozens of questions that people have asked the creator of Ediscio, Klaus Kroner. However, many of those questions are in German. Being unable to read German will prohibit you from learning from those questions:ieliqui, 2010-03-18 16:56wie kann ich z.B. ein altes Stichwort löschen, wenn ich meine Karten neu sortieren will? ich konnte nur einneues anlegen und die Karten einsortieren, das alte bleibt dann ja erhalten. kann ich das entfernen? After creating log-ins for twenty students, I am still having difficulty accessing that student information when I log in to Ediscio. I am eager to figure out how to view all of the information necessary to obtain an accurate assessment of student learning. Until then, I will wonder where my students are....
Ediscio (online flashcards) is a greatidea......but has a long way to go to be the flashcard site that I choose over others, if others doindeed arise. At this point, if another site with similar capabilities and all information inEnglish came along, I would use the other site without hesitation.However, ediscio now holds several valuable cardboxes, and will therefore be used inmy classroom for regular practice on these skills. I recommend that all teachers researchonline flashcards and choose the application that suits your educational needs. Edisciojust might be the one!
Registration and LoginSeek username and password from districtadministratorEnter username and password and change passwordto your choice
BenefitsHook students with short video clipsSearch standards or keywords for video clipsOrganize video clips/resources in foldersBuild assignments/quizzes for individual students orclassesInteractive games/puzzlesCollaborative resources/lesson plans availableQuizzes self-correcting
Negative AspectsCost for teachers unless school district paysLimited free resourcesCorrect media players need to bedownloaded/availableTakes time to search video clips/resources
Discovery: Great Tool for Using TechnologyAn easy web 2.0 tool that continues to add new options fortechnology that I invest in for all units of study.While I recommend this tool to other teachers, there areplenty of web 2.0 options that are completely free.Our district continues to subscribe to this useful tool; butwith budget cuts, there are concerns it will continue. Wewill lobby for the ability to incorporate technology andengage students.
Web 2.0 Tools, Group C SummaryWhether it’s blogging, testing, or studying, web 2.0 is becominga powerful force in the world of education. Teachers arecreating and using more resources than ever throughtechnology and continuously trying to improve student learning.Blogger, Flashvortex, Sync.in, Ediscio, and DiscoveryEducation are just a few of the Web 2.0 applications accessiblethrough an internet connection. Teachers should research, test,and practice with other resources such as these to propelstudents toward success and the future of technology.