Tuesday

Tool #1: Getting Started - Creating your blog!

...and establishing a web presence

So, what is a blog? A blog is a webpage that is set up in a series of posts, like entries in a journal. Blogs are a part of the online social networking world, and in the case of blogs used in schools, a part of the larger online educational networking world.

Blogs are great tools for reflection and for sharing thoughts/ideas on a particular subject. They also provide an avenue for feedback/discussion through comments elicited from those who read or follow your blog. Conduct a Google search on just about any topic, and you are likely find several blogs on the topic.

Blogs have really opened the classroom doors for many educators! There are hundreds of blogs by classroom teachers who share their instructional strategies and lesson ideas online and develop relationships with readers not only within the US but with others half-way around the world! We can also broaden the audience for our students. Student blogs (online journals) are a good way for students to share their knowledge and thinking with others outside of the classroom and are also an option for an eportfolio. 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."

If you have little experience with blogs, view this video from theCommon Craft guy Lee Lefever that explains what a blog is.
You will create and use a blog to post your "work/assignments" for each of the 11 Tools activities.  Your blog will be your online presence for you to share your experiences with your campus group (and beyond) so that you can learn from one another. Through your posts, you will share your ideas and reflections about each tool and how you will bring the ideas/tools to your classroom for your students.


Enhancing your online experience! - Creating an AVATAR!
To further personalize the online experience, most users create a two-dimensional icon, picture, or avatar, to express their personality and provide more information to other users. Users may use a favorite photo of themselves, a pet, an object, or a drawing. Or, users may create caricature online through services such as Voki . You can spend hours creating just the look you want, it is up to you!

Note: When using online tools with students, it is always good practice for safety reasons for students to create a drawing or use one of these avatar creators, rather than to have students use pictures of themselves.

For your Tool #1 Assignment:

  1. Set up your blog using Blogger through your SBISD Google Apps account. Need help? This video should help you get started!
video
  • 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://11toolsSBISD.blogspot.com/ The "11toolsSBISD" portion is the unique portion of that url. You can never change the url (address.) You may want to write down your url address NOW, you’ll need to refer to it later (and you may not remember it).
    • 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. You may want to write down your url address NOW, you’ll need to refer to it later (and you may not remember it).
  1. Create an avatar at Voki. DO NOT CREATE AN ACCOUNT AT VOKI. It is unneccesary. Just say No, thanks when prompted. Then, watch this video on how to add it as a gadget to your blog.  
  2. Write a brief post about your experience to date. Did you find the experience fairly easy? Did you face any challenges?
  3. REGISTER YOUR BLOG with your campus librarian. Your librarian is your 11 Tools “project manager.” He/she will add your blog to your campus wiki and is available to help you move through the tools. Send your librarian an email with the following information:
        1. Your name
        2. Your campus
        3. Your blog's url (address)
        4. Your blog's title
        5. Your display name for 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 your librarian AND your blog title appears on the wiki of participating blogs. If you do not receive an email within 3 days of sending the above information, please contact karen.justl@springbranchisd.com.
Note: You’ll constantly be moving between the 11 tools blog and your own blog (both Blogger blogs). This video will describe how to set up Google Chrome with bookmarks to both blogs! That way you can easily navigate between the two!

video
Congratulations! You’re ready to explore the web and record your findings on your blog!


Next up: Tool #2: Building Community in the Online Environment

48 comments:

  1. Had too much fun doing this beside some of my team members ~ Not quite sure how this will actually look in an educational setting yet, but we shall see!

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  2. Today marks a new day for me. I started my first blog. My intention is to use this blog for classroom exercises with my English I and II students. I am still not sure how this is going to work out. I am optimistic regarding the potential, positive effects this tool could have on my students.

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  3. Today I am recovering from my eye surgery I had yesterday. Now that I cannot do much, I am working on these 11 Tools and have found that I can do a Voki, thanks to more direction from fabulous Ms. Moore.
    I am hoping to continue using my blog page more next year with my new group of students. They seem to enjoy it.

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  4. 11 tools
    Well, tool number one was fun! I set up and designed my blog. Though it was a little tricky at times, I enjoyed the designing part very much and also creating a Voki. I have not been able to figure out how to add my Voki as of yet.

    Thank you Karen for checking my site for my comment and directing me to the video directions for my avatar!!

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  5. 11 Tools

    I was thinking that we would have step by step instructions for each tool. However, I will continue to work through this. Glad to hear others are being challenged too!

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  6. Tool 1

    I found that creating a blog was fairly easy. The setup was easy and clear. The website is easy to navigate and I really like all of the customizations available. The creation of an avatar was also fun. The instructions from the "Tool # 1 Getting Started Entry" were very clear and to the point. Overall, I am very impressed with what I have learned so far....

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  7. I created my blog back in June but am just now getting to to this post. I apologize for the randomness, but that seems to be the pattern of my world. Creating the blog was easy. Creating the VOKI was simple as well. I had to play around with it quite a bit, however, to get the imbed code to work. It is nice knowing how the imbed codes work. I hope I have time to update the blog.

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  8. It wasn't difficult to do the blog - I got a big stuck on trying to add the avatar as a "gadget". The avatar was a lot of fun. I've used blogs a lot already for my university classes and am beginning them this year with my students. I'm looking forward to the 11 tools.

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  9. Set up was easy...avatar...a struggle. Yes...I am challenged:) I hope it works today!

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  10. I've created a few blogs on blogger before, so this was pretty straightforward. I haven't received my confirmation email from VOKI yet, so I haven't been able to create an avatar or add it as a gadget. Hopefully that will come through soon. Otherwise, Tool #1 instructions were good and I found the videos particularly helpful.

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  11. Just started this morning. I was able to get the blog and the Voki going fairly easily. The directions were really good. However, I do not like the voice on my Voki.......got to work on that.

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  12. Creating a blog is easy. I have several. The hardest part is remembering your password, so find a safe place to keep all your passwords. I am looking forward to learning about the rest of the tools.

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  13. Honestly, I don't like this stuff. I don't think it will help my students learn chemistry any better or worse. I also haven't received my confirmation email from Voki.

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  14. I have been reading many blogs over the years. It was exciting to set up my own blog and to be working on the "other" side of it. The written directions and videos are easy to follow and make it easy to get started. Now I'm looking forward to the other tools since I was able to do this one successfully.

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  15. I am hopeful to find what works best for me, a wiki, blogger, or Edmodo...I am excited to be learning it all.

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  16. I guess you can teach an old dog new tricks. I've made it this far!!

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  17. I found that creating a blog was easy. The setup was easy and the instructions were easy to follow. The website is easy to navigate and I really like all of the customizations available. The creation of an avatar was a lot of fun. The instructions from the "Tool # 1 Getting Started Entry" were very clear and to the point.

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  18. Creating the blog was easy, the instructions were easy to follow. I love the voky idea, I had fun creating it. I am looking forward to learning about all the other tools.

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  19. Creating the blog was easy, the instructions were easy to follow. I love the voky idea, I had fun creating it. I am looking forward to learning about all the other tools.

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  20. Blog has been created and voki has been added to the blog successfully

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  21. A blog is central to the Web 2.0 concept - one half of the essential equation at least. It's use represents the Push side of the Pull/Push aspect of the Personal Learning Network. Blogging or Push on its own is a bit like being dressed up and spending the evening alone. Pull the post and push back! http://eduheretic.blogspot.com/2011/10/11toolsblog-creation.html

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  22. Creating this was easy enough but the choices for Voki's were not that great. Honestly I was disappointed with that whole part.

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  23. The instructions made this easy to follow.

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  24. Been using blogger for a couple of years now. Nothing new and voki has been created and added to current blog.

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  25. Created a new blog and avatar with ease. The instructional videos are very helpful for first time users.

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  26. I have used blogger and voki before in my class and at a summer tech camp. All of my students this year have blogspots and avatars as well. I love this technology and made a goal this year to have my students post their digital creations on their blogspots. I have had some success in doing this, but we often run out of time to post all of their work. We have also run into glitches when it comes to posting documents from Google Docs, but that is another story for another day.

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  27. Easy to do, just follow instructions. Takes longer than expected.

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  28. Directions are straight forward and easy to follow. I prefer less video and more written instructions.

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  29. Good read. There are certain e-learning training courses in the Internet that also shares the basic things to learn in creating a website or blog mostly for beginners.

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  30. I am not sure if our post was supposed to be HERE, or on our blog, so I've posted in both places. This has been easy so far. YAY!

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  31. Well, it was easy now to search out somethings to blog about.

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  32. It was fairly easy to create a blog.

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  33. Today I created my first blog. For the most part do not participate in blogging. With that being said, this was a very new experience for me. I would never have considered creating an avatar BUT once I got started, I found it to be an easy and enjoyable process! I currently use Google Chrome (which I love) and learned more about the bookmark feature. One thing I wish was explained more was the Google Drive account. This is something I have seen advertised but have not partaken in. A quick navigation brief would have been helpful as a new user.

    Summary of the Day
    Awesome technology is available to me. With just a little time set aside, I can make greater sense of the world around me!

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  34. Pretty familiar with blogger. Looking forward to the next tool.

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  35. Today was a bit of a challenge! I am thankful for the step by step video. I must admit creating the avatar was a lot of fun.

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  36. Already have a blog so this was more of a refresher.

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  37. the blog itself is no big deal... I've been doing it a while for my classroom. However, I am frustrated by voki. I have attempted to create an avatar twice, and neither time was I able to get the html text to apply it as a gadget on my blog. :(

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  38. Tool #1: Creating a blog:
    The task of creating a blog is incredibly simple and fun. The 11 tools course is an excellent in assisting with the areas that may be somewhat challenging. Overall, there have been no areas of frustration or difficulty in the design and creation of the blog.

    *After I posted this I realize that I am not clear as to how link a separate page to my home page.

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  39. I think the blogger interface has changed recently, so some of the instructional videos may need updating. The Google interface is really easy to use, though, especially if you just take the time to allow yourself to play around before creating.

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  40. This is fun but a little time consuming.

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  41. Catching up to the knowledge my kids have

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  42. I am finding so many new things......

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