Creating a Blog Site

Before we get started, take a moment to look at the photo below. I’d like us to think critically about what it means to be a “21st century classroom” this semester. Is this it?

From a Technology Integration Textbook

From a Technology Integration Textbook

Wrap up from Monday

Creating Learning Environments: Let’s take a moment to make sure everyone is able to attach/insert a screen shot on your page.

Would anyone like to share their page? Also, just to remind you, you should now have your digital generation reflection complete. I know we are completing a lot of assignments towards the beginning of the semester, but later our projects will last almost 2 weeks. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to support you at this point in the course.

Web 2.0 (and introduction to RSS feeds)

Do you remember this video from last class?

In the video above, a reader application using RSS (Really Simple Syndication) is shown. The user is seen dragging anthropology blogs into their reader. The reader saves the articles into one place, accesible from any device (including your phone or kindle). When you subscribe to a RSS feed (like our class blog site), your reader will update each time a new post is created. In essence, you control what knowledge, ideas, and media come to you, rather than always searching the web.

With your group, complete a KWL chart about reader applications and RSS feeds:

  • K = What we know already (don’t be afraid to include ideas you’re unsure about)
  • W = What we want to know more about
  • L = What we learned [leave this blank for now – we will investigate RSS feeds next week]

Blogging Survey

Before we get started with class today, pleases complete this Blogging Survey. We will review the results for our class when everyone is finished.

We have been blogging in response to the class readings on our Google Site. Unfortunately, Google Sites does not allow others to comment unless they are given site permissions. Why might this be problematic?If blogging allows us to write and receive comments from the global community, we need a platform that allows this type of activity. Maybe Google Sites will change the way they manage permissions, but for now let’s explore another option.

WordPress OR Blogger

Before we get started, let’s view this introductory video on WordPress, which also includes a link to some great tutorials to get us started.

I’ve considered having each of us create a Tumblr blog, but similar to Google Site, the comment feature is absent. I know WordPress has a slight learning curve, but I think this is a Web 2.0 tool that can benefit all of you long after you finish this course.

For those of you nervous about using WordPress, you are welcome to use Blogger. Here’s an introductory video for that. In addition, Blogger seems to be an easy blog site to use, manage – above all, it’s now tied in with your GMail account.  See WordPress vs Blogger  comparing the two sites.

Open Up WordPress

Today, we will be setting up a WordPress site. Similar to when we created our Google Sites, I’d like you all to help your classmates if you see them frantically searching for that “hidden” button. I’ve also created a guide in our “How To” tab for reference outside of class.

Screen shot 2013-01-24 at 7.26.12 PM

Let’s explore a few of these functions in WordPress to help you blog.

  • Setting up site
  • Dashboard functions
  • Creating pages (in dashboard view)
  • Creating posts (in dashboard view)
    • Insert media (photos, video, files, etc.)
    • Creating a link
    • Select different fonts and headings
    • Adding tags to posts
  • Settings: Themes Widgets (under “Appearance” menu) personalizing your profile

What else would you like to learn? Think about this and bring your ideas for Monday. We will continue working on our blog sites in class Monday. I don’t expect your site to be complete as we will continue setting these up next week.

Transfer Blog Postings from your Google Site

Now that you have a WordPress/Blogger site, go ahead and try to copy and paste your posts from your Google Site to WordPress/Blogger. In addition, please complete this form now so that I can make a class list of blog sites. When I have everyone’s site, I’ll post them on our blog so that we can access these easily.

For Monday:

1. We will continue to develop our blog sites in class on Monday. If you’d like to get a head start, try (or continue) copying and pasting your Google Site blog postings to your new site. If you haven’t completed this form, do so now so that I can make a class list of  sites. When I have everyone’s site, I’ll post them on our blog so that we can access these easily.

2. Over the course of the semester, I’d like to draw on aspects of these three documents. Go ahead and browse one this week. (Browsing means finding something that interests you – you’re not being tested on the material and I don’t expect you to read the whole document.) However, I will expect you to respond to the reading, either in a class discussion or through writing in the future. For example, you may be interested in mobile technologies and only read that section of the Horizon Report.

1. 2012 Horizon Report

2. Roadmap for Educational Technology

3. 2010 National Technology Education Plan

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