Friday, January 28, 2011

Web 2.0 Toys

 I have used three Web 2.0 tools in this post: Voki, Google Docs, and Polldaddy.  I've used Voki and Google Docs before, but not Polldaddy.  they were all relatively easy to use, but a lot of the time when I go to embed something I have made, no matter what platform I am using, and the platform I am using is not a choice for the embed code.  It's really frustrating.  Sometimes I use the generic ones, but other times I just have to play with it and try them over and over again.

I like using Voki to create talking avatars to give instructions for tasks.  Unfortunately, students tend to listen to the avatars more than they do to me.  I guess it's just the digital age.

I love Google Docs.  I use it for everything.  I also use it to compile student information at the beginning of the year.  My survey would not fit on my blog so I just linked it.  It was made with Google Docs.
Web 2.0 Survey

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A Story Without Words...The Version I Wanted

At work today, I could not get Slide to work on my computer.  That's why I had a voice thread in my previous post.  As I suspected, it had something to do either with my work computer or their firewalls.  So, here is what I had wanted to post.

A Story Without Words

Saturday, January 22, 2011


My Favorite Avatar
I like having students create avatars, but I find a few things difficult about them.  I want students to create their own avatar, but even putting a time limit on it doesn't help them move faster.  I can understand why.  I just spent two hours playing with avatars.  I also find some of the logistics difficult; student following directions, is sometimes an issue.  Then, there's the issue of the sites not always offering easy ways to upload the avatar (aka. a link or something).  Finally, the biggest issue I have is that almost all sites have at least one thing (item of clothing, etc.) that I'm afraid my administration would find inappropriate.  Because of this, I normally choose the Build Your Wild Self avatars to use with my students.  Though...I really should branch out and trust them.  

I already had an avatar for blogger and another one that I have used for all of my other accounts since then, but I had fun making another one.

If I Could Add an About Page...

From what I can tell, Blogger does not have the capability to add pages.  So, my about page would look similar to the one for my class.  Mine is very short, because I just made the page and have not been able to upload pictures to it.  Plus, with my class site, I don't like to put a lot of personal information on it. 

An Effective Post

Different blogs have different purposes.  There are blogs for informing and blogs that are supposed to create discussion.  5 Good Resources for Learning the Periodic Table is an effective post for an informational blog.  Informational blog posts should be chunked into sections  and/or have headings.  When you are reading blog posts you're not expecting a dissertation.  Discussion blog posts are meant to provoke discussion and therefore need to be longer and have questions or opinions to discuss.

Friday, January 21, 2011

5 Steps to Writing an Effective Blog Post

  1. You need a catchy title for your blog post and it shouldn't be too long.  This is also a good rule for emails.  Plus, it is equally annoying when reading a blog to have an untitled post as it is to get an email without a subject.
  2. There is such a thing as a post that is too short and a post that is too long.  Too short would be one of those one-liners.  Really?  What was the point of the post?  Give at least a good paragraph.  There is such a thing as too long, also.  To me, if you have to scroll the length of the screen more than twice and the post is all words, then your post is too long.
  3. When you mention a website, a post, and other things such as that, please link to it.  Preferably, make the link open in a new window, so you can see the link and keep your place in the post.
  4. Explain! Explain! Explain!  Don't assume everyone knows what you are talking about.  If needed put definitions in your post (a post is an entry in a blog; it is similar to a journal entry, but on the internet).
  5. Break up the monotony with pictures.  It gets boring to look at words the whole way through the blog.