Replied to The Edubloggerโ€™s Guide To Podcasting by Kathleen Morris (The Edublogger)
This guide helps teachers and students learn how to consume and create their own podcasts.
This is a thorough guide Kathleen. I think that podcasts offer so much potential. I have written before about creating podcasts with Edublogs, as well as collected together a number of resources and reflections.

One of the challenges I have faced of late is creating using a Chromebook. I love Audacity, but this is not an option. I wonder if the addition of Android apps will alleviate this. Interestingly, it is easier to edit video on a Chromebook, than audio.

A development that I have engaged lately is the idea of microcasts. I think that as a model, it offers a different entry point. In some ways Flipgrid captures some of this.

Another useful tool is Jon Udell’s work around clipping video and audio. This then allows you to embed snippets, therefore offering yet another entry point.

Replied to Typing Tips: The How and Why of Teaching Students Keyboarding Skills by Kathleen Morris (Primary Tech)
There are so many great games and online tools designed for younger students. Once students begin recognising the alphabet, I think they can begin learning to type. This can complement your teaching of traditional writing and literacy. Some schools of thought suggest that typing might be the new cursive. So instead of investing time in teaching students how to join their writing in middle primary school, perhaps there could be more of a focus on improving keyboarding skills.
Interesting post Kathleen.

It feels like we spend so much time debating handwriting sometimes that we forget about typing. I really like how you compare the different applications in a concise fashion.

You might be interested in this post from Catherine Gatt, in which she reflects on the development associated with learning to type.

Why Teachers And Students Should Blog: 18 Benefits of Educational Blogging

Kathleen Morris summarises a range of benefits associated with student blogging. This is a useful provocation. My only question is the potential of developing a social media space. Maybe this is covered by the idea of an ‘online hub’.

Bookmarked Different Approaches To Using Student Blogs And Digital Portfolios by Kathleen Morris (The Edublogger)
I have observed differences in how student blogs work in a variety of areas. There appears to be a spectrum in at least six key areas
Kathleen Morris provides a series of steps to follow when setting up blogs in the classroom. She also created a graphic to capture this:

Having said this, she is also mindful that every school has its own context and exists at a different point on the continuum of six aspects: duration, privacy, content, reflection, quality and control.

Bookmarked 10 Tips For Making Your Blog Posts Easier To Read by Kathleen Morris (The Edublogger)
Here are ten tips for making your blog posts easier to read.
Kathleen provides ten tips:

  1. When it comes to writing online, paragraph structure is more of an art than a formulaic science.
  2. Professional bloggers generally opt to use larger sized fonts now as it enhances the readability of online text.

  3. Heading tags not only enhance your blog post visually but help organize the content of your blog. This helps search engines like Google scan and categorize your information.

  4. Most writers know the value of bullet points. Listicles, or posts with numbered lists, are hugely popular too (hey, this whole blog post is a listicle!).

  5. From a visual point of view, hyperlinks or bold words are another good way to make key pieces of information in your post stand out. It draws you in when youโ€™re skimming or scanning the page.

  6. Breaking up your text with some visuals can definitely make your blog posts easier to read.

  7. If you do use color, remember to be consistent

  8. Left aligned text is best

  9. If you want visitors to be reading your blog posts, you probably donโ€™t want them distracted by too many widgets on your sidebars. Furthermore, excess widgets can slow down the loading time of your blog.

  10. You might not realize that vision impaired visitors to your site may be using assistive technology like screen readers or other software which reads the page out loud. This software will read the alternative text (alt text) instead of the image.

Personally, the headings was only a recent realisation, with Tom Woodward even going to the length of removing H1 as an option, while Amy Burvall talks about developing a palette involving two core colours.