Having students write in blogs (online journals) is a good way for them to share their knowledge with others outside of the classroom. Blogs allow students to have a wider and more authentic audience for their ideas. To quote David Warwick of 2¢ Worth, "students become information artisans instead of merely information consumers."
You will use a blog to record your reactions to the various 11 Tools activities and to post ideas and samples of the tools that you will bring to your classroom for your students to use in learning.
For your Tool #1 Assignment:There are 4 things you need complete for the Tool 1 activity:
- SET UP YOUR BLOG.
- CREATE AN AVATAR
- WRITE A BRIEF POST ABOUT GETTING STARTED
- REGISTER YOUR BLOG with the 11 Tools for 21st Century Learners project management.
1. SET UP YOUR BLOG
1. If you have little experience with blogs, view this video from the Common Craft guy Lee Lefever that explains what a blog is.
2. View these slides for an overview of the key parts of a blog.
Parts of a Blog
Dashboard of a Blog
Post Box of a Blog
3. Because SBISD is going to start using many Google products, these activities will include many of the same items. Therefore, Blogger is the blogging software of choice for 11 Tools.
If you do not already have one, create a Google account and then go to Blogger to set up your blog.
If you already have a Google account, then proceed to Blogger.
4. Blogger has a step-by-step guide for setting up your blog.
5. Things to consider when creating your blog:
- The url (address) of your blog will be unique. The url you create should be short and easy to remember. ALL Blogger blogs urls start http:// and end with blogspot.com
You will create the middle portion.
For example, the url for the 11 Tools blog is http://11tools.blogspot.com/ The "11tools" portion is the unique portion of that url. You can never change the url (address.)
- The title of your blog can be different from the url. You can choose a title now for you blog. Later down the road, you can change the title of your blog if its focus changes or if you change how you use it. For example, the title of this blog is 11 Tools for the 21st Century Learner. It can be changed to anything the blog owner wants it to be.
- There is a public side and a working side to your blog. The public side is what the readers see after you have completed your posts in the working side of the blog. Readers will need a link to your blog or the url (address.) YOU will need to remember the email address you used to create your blogger account AND the password you set up so that you can get to the working side of your blog. Put those two pieces of information in a safe and convenient place. You can get to the working side of your blog from your blog's url or any other Blogger blog!
- Blogger has several help features.
- Blogger has a YouTube channel with video tutorials (Caution: some of them may be a bit out-dated)
- Use the SBISD subscription to Atomic Learning which has many video tutorials about Blogger and blogs. (This will require a district-provided login and password.)
2. ADD AN AVATAR TO YOUR BLOGNow you need to start learning how to add gadgets to your blog.
When working online, teachers and students often create characters to represent themselves. They often decide to become alter egos or cartoon extensions of themselves. Often times, the act of creating avatars has been described as digital paper dolls. Making avatars are often a way to combine creativity, personality, and a bit of fun while learning a skill. Adding avatars often increase the effectiveness of an online lesson or information posting. They are also useful in situations where it might best if students do not put individual photos of themselves.
There are several sites for avatars. Some are merely pictures while others have motion and voice. You will use the Voki site to create a character, have it make a statement, and add it to your blog.
To complete this task:
You will need to register at the Voki site so you may save your avatar. You can use the same email that you used for your blog.
Create your avatar using the various add-ons like clothing and backgrounds. Be sure you create a message. You can type a message and the site will create a voice. SAVE your avatar so you may capture the code.
Go to the Layout screen of YOUR blog.
Select the HTML gadget.
Paste the code and SAVE.
When you go to the public view of your blog, your character should appear where you placed it on your layout screen.
3. WRITE A BRIEF POST on YOUR BLOG ABOUT GETTING STARTED
You will be writing posts about each of the Tools you investigate. For Tool #1, briefly describe the process you just underwent and how you might incorporate blogs in your classroom.
Please include Tool #1 as part of the title of your post.
4. REGISTER YOUR BLOG
You have created a blog. You have created a Voki avatar and uploaded it to an HTML gadget. You have written a short post about your experience with Tool #1.
Now you need to register your blog with the 11 Tools management.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org and include the following information:
1. Your name
2. Your campus
3. Your blog's url (address) -- it will look like this http://thepartyouchose.blogspot.com/
4. Your blog's title
5. Your identity in your blog -- you selected this when you created your blog. It could be your name, your initials, an alias you created, or even the same as the title.
You will know your blog is officially registered when you get an email back from the 11 Tools team AND your blog title appears on the list of participating blogs. If you do not receive an email within 3 days of sending the above information, please contact email@example.com again.
Tool #1 has been pretty intense. There was a lot to consider in getting started. The rest of the tool investigations should be a little less intense. You will be concentrating on learning about them and how to use them in transforming your classroom and integrating the new technology you are getting.
Enjoy your learning!
Common craft video sharing policy