Replied to Poll: Has The Meaning Of The Word “Blog” Changed? (The Edublogger)

In recent years I’ve noticed something interesting. People have been calling posts, “blogs”. Do you? Take our quick poll!…,In recent years I’ve noticed something interesting. People have been calling posts, “blogs”. Do you? Take our quick poll!

Kathleen, I wonder if the idea of what constitutes blogging is different for different people in different points in time? I wonder if it is as simple as talking about ‘posts’ and ‘blogs’? Or maybe what I doing here with post kinds is even blogging at all?
Replied to Messenger Kids: Pros and Cons of the Facebook Communication App for Parents and Teachers

If you’re in North America, this wouldn’t be news to you but in Australia and many other countries worldwide, Facebook’s Messenger Kids has just been launched.

I’ve been exploring Messenger Kids over the last few days and have found some pros and cons.

This post shares what Messenger Kids is all about so you can decide whether it might be a good idea for your own children or something you’d recommend to the parents of your students.

I always enjoy the way in which you break things down in your posts, thank you. In particular, I was left thinking about your point about play and how students interact online.

One thing that instantly annoyed me about Messenger Kids is that there are so many distractions from the core features of messaging and video calls. There are filters, stickers, and mini games (like spinning to choose a llama head during a video chat… go figure… kids love it!).

My 6 year old is SO drawn to these features as are her friends. So far, this is their main interest during video calls. They don’t talk very much. They just play.

Initially, I kept prompting in the background, “ask them what they’ve been doing”, “stop playing with the effects and talk!”

Then I took a step back and thought, this is what they want to do. This is play. They’re only 6/7 and if they were playing together in the same room, they probably wouldn’t be sitting chatting about what they’ve been up to. They’d probably be playing in a way that’s sometimes hard for adults to understand.

So my way of thinking now is that it’s okay. Maybe the novelty won’t last. However, when my daughter is talking to her grandparents, for example, I’m insisting that she talks rather than simply playing with the effects. It’s about changing your interactions to suit who you are communicating with; a vital lesson for both online and offline encounters.

Bookmarked The Educator’s Guide To Using Video In Teaching And Learning (The Edublogger)

In an era of remote teaching and learning due to the global pandemic, teachers and students are relying on video more than ever before.

Video in education can mean a lot of things:

  • Teachers finding and sharing videos someone else has made
  • Educators creating their own videos, often as a screencast or piece to camera
  • Teachers hosting video conferences
  • Students creating their own videos — tutorials, reflections, stop motion, animation or more

Video is an everyday part of most students’ lives and can be a crucial tool in a remote learning curriculum.

But what tools and equipment should you use to create videos, screencasts, or live conferences? Where can you find high-quality videos that others have made? And what’s the best way to share videos you’ve made with others?

This guide will help.

Kathleen Morris has continued sharing resources to support with the move to online learning. This time it is a thorough guide on the use of video. This includes forms of video, applications, techniques, editing software and means of sharing.

A couple of applications that I have found useful in the past are TouchCast and Adobe Spark Video.

Bookmarked 10 Tips For Parents Homeschooling Young Children – Kathleen Morris | Primary Tech | Resources to help teachers with technology in the classroom
With so many parents being forced or deciding to keep their children home from school, Kathleen Morris shares her experiences of homeschooling. A useful post, especially alongside Austin Kleon’s reflections. It is interesting to consider this list and compare it to what does and does not happen in school.
Bookmarked Resources For Teaching Online Due To School Closures (The Edublogger)

Our guide will give you insights into how educators around the world are approaching school closures.

Thousands of teachers worldwide are currently sharing snippets of their experiences via social media or their blogs. We’ve compiled, curated, and built on some common themes and ideas to create this extensive guide.

Click on the links in the menu below to help you navigate the post. 

You’ll get ideas on:

This post also includes a range of useful graphics to help you that you’re free to use and share.

Kathleen Morris provides a number of topics and tools to consider if forced to move learning online. This includes how to structure online learning, what are some options for a learning hub, the different tools available to support learning experiences and some things to consider if moving online. The post provides a great summary of what is possible and often links out to other Edublogger posts on various applications. However, I think the post useful parts are the list of obstacles and school closure checklist at the end.

Although technology provides something of a solution to the problem at hand, I think we need to be mindful of rolling out such changes seemingly overnight. As Audrey Watters reminds, we must not forget the accessibility and privacy implications. I am concerned that once the miasma clears we will look at each other and wonder what informal agreements we have signed, especially with so many offering ’90 days free’ for those impacted by the coronavirus.

Bookmarked 8 Tips For Sharing Your Blog Posts On Twitter (The Edublogger)

Let’s recap the eight tips:

  1. Break down your blog post (create bite-sized content from quotes, tips, images etc.).
  2. Build interest (give your followers a reason to click and read your blog post).
  3. Create a custom image to catch your followers’ eyes.
  4. Try emojis (perhaps as bullet points) and white space to make your tweets stand out.
  5. Use hashtags in your tweets but don’t overdo it. One or two is plenty.
  6. Tag others wisely especially if you mentioned them in your blog post.
  7. Replicate what works and make the most of the provided analytics.
  8. Be part of your community — give and take is the key to success.
I remember thinking about this a few years ago, I also discussed some different applications that can be used to support visuals and methods for sharing on Twitter, I never properly unpacked the differences as you have done in this post Kathleen.
Replied to A New Year And An Update – Kathleen Morris | Primary Tech | Resources to help teachers with technology in the classroom

Up until May 2019 I was quite dedicated about posting twice a month. Having a goal kept me accountable. I’m so much more about “going with the flow” these days as things can change by the minute or hour now. So we’ll see how often I post throughout this year.

Thoughts with you and your family during these times. Life has a strange way of providing perspective at times.
Bookmarked A Guide To Google Drawings For Teachers, Students, And Bloggers (The Edublogger)

Google Drawings is a versatile free tool that’s very useful for teachers, students, and bloggers. This post explains what Google Drawings is, how to use it, classroom examples, and how to embed Drawings into blog posts. ,Google Drawings is a versatile free tool that’s very useful for teachers, students, and bloggers. This post explains what Google Drawings is, how to use it, classroom examples, and how to emb…

As always, Kathleen Morris provides a thorough introduction to Google Drawings.
Bookmarked 12 Tips For Teachers Communicating With Parents Via Email (With Poster)
Kathleen Morris provides a number of tips associated with email, such as using an email service provider and canned responses. Doug Belshaw provides a different take on email and efficiency, collecting together a number of resources and references on the matter. It is also good to remember that email is a flawed technology.
Replied to 7 Ideas To Find Inspiration For New Blog Posts by an author (The Edublogger)

There are two types of bloggers.

One has a never-ending list of blog post ideas but just can’t find the time to write them all. The other wants to write more blog posts but is stuck for ideas.

Which type of blogger are you?

If you’re the latter, you’re in luck. This post offers you 7 ideas to help you find inspiration for your future blog posts.

These ideas apply to both student and teacher bloggers.

This is a good collection of ideas Kathleen. One thing that I do not see discussed a lot is post formats and the possibilities that this can provide in regards to collecting and curating ideas? Personally, I use post kinds, which is a different flavour, but achieves a similar outcome.
Replied to A Plan For Writing A Weekly Blog Post In 10 Minutes A Day (The Edublogger)

This post outlines a simple approach that will see you develop consistency with your blogging and publish one blog post a week. You only need 10 minutes a day to reach your blogging goals!

I love the idea of breaking blogging down into a deliberate and sustainable habit. Not sure it would work for my complex and sometimes chaotic workflows, but I could see it working for some.
Replied to Should I Use Seesaw Or A WordPress Blog In The Classroom? Pros And Cons Of Digital Portfolio Tools

This post will help you evaluate whether Seesaw is something that’s worth using in your classroom. Or, if blogging with WordPress is a better option to replace or complement Seesaw.

Thank you Kathleen for breaking down the differences and similarities between Seesaw and Edublogs (and blogs). Reading your discussion of ‘dumping’ evidence verses crafting a presence, made me think of my own practice of collecting posts (such as this) versus crafting longer responses.

Some of the further thoughts I had about the differences were around:

  • Parental Engagement: Once set up, Seesaw is easy to engage with either via desktop or mobile. It often feels as if blogs involve more effort.
  • Platform verses Process: I wonder if a focus on Seesaw versus Edublogs overlooks the question of process? I know you touch upon digital presence This was something I tried to grapple with recently in a presentation on using GSuite to support ongoing reporting.
  • Transfer-ability: The one thing that I love about WordPress and Edublogs is that I can easily take my data and load it somewhere else. I am yet to work out what I would do with all the artefacts I collect in Seesaw.

In the end I think that the biggest question that people need to consider is what is trying to be achieved and which tool will help this.

Bookmarked Teaching Digital Citizenship: 10 Internet Safety Tips For Students (With Cyber Safety Posters) by an author

While it’s unlikely young people will never experience an issue online, I believe it is a good aim to both minimise potential harm and ensure students feel like they always have someone to talk to.

Digital citizenship education is an ongoing process, and the work of one teacher is not enough. Ideally, we need parents, students, educators, community members, and school leaders to unite.

Most of all, we need to create a positive culture where students feel empowered to use technology safely and purposefully.

Kathleen Morris outlines her four layered approach to teaching digital citizenship. This focuses on integrating the various skills within the curriculum, providing real world stories to reflect upon, building up student toolkits and developing lines of communication. Associated with this, she also provides ten tips for students.
Bookmarked 12 Tips For Maintaining Momentum With Blogging by an author (The Edublogger)

So you’ve made it this far and started 2019 with a great start to blogging. How do you keep it going?

Here are 12 tips to offer you some inspiration. Different things work for different people and we’d love you to share your own tips in a comment!

Closing off the 28 day blogging challenge, Kathleen Morris provides a list of strategies for maintaining momentum. On the flip side, Aaron Hogan provides a list of blogging rules that you do not have to follow. These include the idea that blogs need to look a certain way or be perfect.

10 Blogging Rules You Don't Have to Follow

Replied to

I have experienced a combination of LMS (Sentral, Compass, Synergetic) and social media (Facebook pages). I have discussed the use of Slides for newsletters in the past. I also think that there is scope for storing ‘newsletters’ in Google Drive to embed elsewhere.

Personally, I think that it is a balance between where parents are and where you want them to be. I think a lot of people baulk at something like Edublogs because it is another space to log into, however I have significant concerns about sending people to places like Facebook and other such sites because of the issues with algorithms and advertising.

What annoys me most though about most forms of notifications is that they often send out a link to the information with just enough detail to get you to click, but not enough to be content.

Replied to 10 Productivity Tips For Teachers (And Students) (Primary Tech by Kathleen Morris)

Not all strategies are for everyone. I like hearing tips and workflows from others but it’s up to you to decide what will work for you.

I really like your point Kathleen that not every strategy works for everyone. The thing that I would add to that is that not every strategy that works for you will work every time.

In my new role I really had to think hard about what strategies I use to stay productive. This was working until I changed teams and subsequently work. Being a lot more collaborative and involving a centralised response system, I have tried (and failed) a number of strategies to make it all work for me. One approach was to create a Google Sheet, which was organise into categories and had a status column which allowed me to prioritise.

I liked this setup as it allowed me to easily change the statuses and add links to further information. The issue is that it involves a lot of doubling up between systems.

In the end, I am getting what needs to be done completed at the moment, but I am still looking for something more productive.

Replied to

Now I know what my problem has been all these years … Colour! If only my principal had allowed me to print in colour I could have made so much more difference.