Monday, January 17, 2011

Kick Start - Activity 3 (Add Some Muscle)

Well today while enjoying the day off in observance of Martin Luther King Jr.'s Birthday holiday, I learned a new trick. I learned how to add pages to my Blogger account so that I could add an About Me page in response to Edublogs' Teacher Challenge. I also updated My Complete Profile which is a built in part of the Blogger platform.

I am excited to now have a separate About Me page on my blog. I feel like a big kid now. Now that I have been successful in Spring cleaning my blog's About Me section let me know what your feelings are about my upgrade. Did I include too much information? Would you add to or delete anything?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Kick Start - Activity 2

Well I've been working on the second activity of the Edublog Teacher Challenge. Since is one of my favorite Web 2.0 tools I decided to create a glog about what makes a great blog post.

I am doing some thinking about the direction I want to take my blog this year. It is definitely a mixed bag of various types of posts - tool reviews, reflective pieces, answers to challenges, etc. I want to write more about what I learn from my PLN and I want to write more often but time seems to get away from me because of the many things I am trying to do each day.

Are you happy with your blog? What is your focus? Do you mind reading someone's blog who writes about quite a mix of topics? What draws you to read a post? What makes you take the time to leave a comment?

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Checking Out Montage-A-Google

Today I read about Montage-A-Google on Jeff Thomas' blog. I tried it out on a couple of searches that I wasn't thrilled with but I finally typed in fleur di lei and got the image below. I guess it has possibilities.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Wildlife Finder from BBC

While doing a search for a bird picture for one of my students, I discovered this BBC site. While exploring the site I found this video and hundreds of others that would be great to use with my students and it's not blocked at school.

Check it out and let me know what you think about it.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Am I Up to the Challenge?

I just found out about the 30 Day Blogging Challenge for Teachers being run by the great folks at Edublogs. I have been thinking about which direction I should be heading with my blog or a couple of weeks now and this challenge might help my find a focus. So here is my response to the first challenge.

1. When did you start this blog?
I started this blog on Sunday, June 21, 2009.

2. Why did you start this blog?
I started this blog because I'd had a classroom blog for a new and wanted a place to post more professional thoughts and reflections.

3. How did you start this blog?
Since I was familiar with Blogger, I decided to use that same platform for my professional blog. I knew what I wanted the title to be and I played around with a few templates before choosing one I liked.

4. What are you most proud of about this blog?
I am most proud of the fact that I have maintained my professional blog. I am proud of the comments I have received from people in my PLN that I admire.

5. What would you like to change about this blog?
I would like to find a focus for this blog. I write reflective pieces, posts about tools I've discovered, and responses to various challenges. Maybe because I don't post on any kind of a regular schedule, I feel that this blog is a hodgepodge of posts.

6. What upsets you about this blog?
I am upset that this blog doesn't have more comments, but I don't think I have developed it in such a way as to have much of a following. Why would people want to read it?

7. Do you read other blogs?
Yes, I learned how to set up an RSS reader when I attended LaCUE in December of 2008. It often gets filled up with many posts that I have fed into my Google reader. I have been setting aside more time lately to read posts of other educators and edtech leaders.

8. Do you comment on other's blogs?
Yes, I do comment on other people's blogs. I tried last year to leave at least one comment a week and am trying to do the same thing this year. I would like to comment on the blogs of new bloggers to offer them encouragement to keep going.

9. Do you Tweet about your new posts?
Sometimes I will tweet out my new post, but sometimes I don't. It depends on the topic of the post. If I feel that I said something that would be interesting to others then I will tweet about it. I'm not usually a shy person, but sometimes I get shy about promoting myself.

10. What do you hope this challenge helps you accomplish?
The two most important things I hope this challenge will help me accomplish is to find a focus or "a voice" for my blog and get me to write posts on a more regular basis. I also hope to find some new connections through this challenge.