Sunday, November 09, 2008

What Do I Use to Blog?

There are many free and paid tools available to publish and share children's work on the internet. They can be used to engage and motivate children and can provide an authentic audience for their work.

Blogging (from web log) is simply publishing writing on a personal website, like an online diary. I started off in 2004 using blogger but later changed to wordpress.

Blogger, now owned by google, is an easy way to set up a first blog. It is highly customizable and allows you to easily upload photos, movies and other multimedia elements. it has a selection of themes to choose from to alter the page design. It does have an annoying navigation bar at the top of the page and a "next blog" link that can take the reader to some places that are less suitable for children. With a bit of tweaking and coding this can be removed.

Wordpress became my blog engine of choice because there was no "next blog" link. It has many page templates to choose from, but is a bit more choosy in what it allows its users to upload. Images are fine and if you have somewhere to host your files you can also add a free audio player. Videos can only be uploaded after upgrading your account with an annual payment of US$20.

Both sites are very easy to join, needing only a valid email address (though I think Blogger may ask you to set up a google account). Click on the email you receive as confirmation and that's it - you're ready to go.

Sometimes the login pages of Wordpress and Blogger can present children with accidental access to unsuitable material. To eliminate this I use Windows Live Writer, a free Mocrosoft download. There are other options - you can blog from Word with this blogger plugin or you can use Word 2007 which has a built in publish to blog option.

Our class Wordpress blog
Our new, experimental voicethread Blogger blog.


Sunday, October 26, 2008


A Hoverfly*

So, enough hovering.  Here's where I'll set up a portal for other teachers at school.

I'll post links to software, sites and other items of interest and reflect on some of the things that have worked well for me in class and others that haven't been so successful.

There are heaps of teacher/class blogs and wiki out there that I'll add as links, but I'd like to think that colleagues at school will be more likely to try new things ICT if they know that this is my space and that they can discuss things with me if they want to. 

I could introduce them to Twitter instead. I've been making class web sites and blogs since 2001, but always in isolation, an island entire.  Now, via Twitter, I'm learning from others again!  For years I've been the guru that people have come to for ICT help, but today I'm getting help myself from ethereal colleagues.  It feels good.

*Hoverfly "painted" in Artrage 2.5 - some post work (copy and flip the wing) in

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Next Year

I need to think about how I'm going to set things up for next year...
  • Adding Live Writer to all the class computers for children to post to glenview9
  • Rearranging the physical layout of the classroom
  • Introducing PBWiki in term one or even during meet the teacher at the end of term four
  • Publicizing the blog and wiki to parents (and the school community) and encouraging comments and participation
  • Integrating it all into the classroom and replacing some of the bookwork children do
  • and...???
Where to start? I've hovered around the fringes of Web 2.0 for the past few years dipping my toes in the water here and there - time to jump in.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

What now?

So.. back at school for nearly two weeks now and what have I done? Not a lot. I just can't see a way to fit it all in and meet the requirements of "if it's not on paper it's not real".

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Blood Pressure Update

All clear!  Turns out the doctor had been using the wrong size blood pressure cuff.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


I've been back from Christchurch for two days now and the ideas are still buzzing so much that I can hardly get my head around the next few weeks.

We have to give a presentation to the Principal and Board of Trustees sometime in the next few weeks to show what we learned and to make suggestions for the future direction of ICT and learning at school. I have had the idea of trying to make sure that some of the Room 9 students are on the wiki during the presentation or perhaps inviting some of the twitter crowd to hang out that evening.

I'll spend the next few days collating my notes and gathering my thoughts and themes. I think I'll try and use pptPlex.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Blood Pressure


Forty-nine tomorrow and here's my early birthday present from the doctor - a 24hr ambulatory blood pressure monitor.

The past few times I've been to the doctor my blood pressure has been raised.  After several readings they've decided to let me wear a 24hr monitor (for $150) to make sure I'm not suffering from "medical practitioner induced hypertension".

I'll let you know the results.

(image courtesy of used without permission)