Saturday, December 11, 2010

What else can I add to my professional wiki?

Question: What else can I add to my professional wiki, in addition to the minimal requirements for our assignment?


I recommend looking at some of the professional portfolio examples on our classroom wiki / professional portfolio resource page to get ideas for what else you might include in your professional portfolio.

Andrea Smith's professional portfolio is well organized and can give you some ideas. Under her "Administrative and Supplemental" category at the top of her wiki, she has pages for her summer school teaching experiences, her background, experiences and philosophy surrounding curriculum development, her experiences with WEB (Where Eveyone Belong,) and other supplemental positions she's held at schools where she's taught.  Andrea has done a good job of "chunking" the information she wants to share into six main categories, which are listed as navigational links at the top of the page:
  1. Introduction
  2. Documents and Videos
  3. Administrative and Supplemental
  4. Meeting the Standards
  5. Gallery
  6. Contact Me
As a pre-service education student, I recommend you draw on some of the projects and things you've learned in your other classes to date and considering sharing some of those on your professional wiki. Also consider sharing other experiences you've had working with children and developing your teaching skills on your site. In your career as you advance, you will make changes to this of course - but overall I'd think of your professional wiki as a space where you "tell your story" about who you are, what you've done, what matters to you, and gives others a clear picture of the kind of school and classroom you WANT to work in.

Rachel Boyd's professional wiki is another exemplar to consider and study. In addition to including links to other sites where she shares links and information, and builds her "professional learning community, she maintains an updated bio page as well as a page where she lists past presentations she's shared about education, learning, leadership, educational technology, and other topics.

I don't think I have a professional wiki which is as high quality as either Andrea or Rachel, but I use several sites to represent my "professional digital footprint." I use my professional wiki now ( to primarily share links to my presentation and workshop resources. I also use that site to share information about past grant projects I've worked on (like TxTIP) and other resources. I have a more "traditional" website (created with an HTML editor, not a wiki tool - Kompozer) where I maintain my biovitae, a contact page, and other personal information. ( I do think it's important to include a way for others to contact you. I use ClaimID ( to share the different websites I use and update. Until recently I didn't list my resume on a public website, but I do now using the free service Emurse. ( I like the way Emurse takes care of all the formatting, and provides multiple options to download and share a current resume copy. I've added the embedded "badge" for my Emurse-powered resume to my public vitae page. You might consider building a resume (for free) on Emurse and including / embedding it on your professional wiki.

Dr. Helen Barrett is a "guru" of ePortfolios for teaching and learning. Her website,, has links to a variety of other resources related to ePortfolios that may be of interest.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Find the direct link to a blog post

For our "checkpoint blog post quizzes" for class, and other assignments, you need to copy and paste the DIRECT URL or web link to the blog post you wrote for a specific class assignment. The following screenshot shows where you can click on our blog posts to get a particular blog posts' "permalink." Make sure you copy THAT link, instead of the link that happens to be at the top of your web browser when you are viewing a post.

21classes permalink

This is similar to the way you need to copy the direct link of a Google Map in a specific place. (See this FAQ post for more on that.)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

How should I give image attribution in a VoiceThread?

VoiceThread provides a great way for students to provide "clickable" links to the websites where they originally found images used in their interactive digital stories. When editing an image in VoiceThread, click below the image in the thumbnail in the left column of the screen to add a title and link:

Click to add a VoiceThread title and link

Then add the desired title and link. You'll want to copy the link first from a web browser. It's a best-practice for students to copy down the web addresses / URLs of websites where they find images they are using in projects AS they find them during the research process.

Add VoiceThread title and links

The final VoiceThread will show the image title and link when a visitor mouses over the lower right corner of thumbnail images in the VoiceThread.

Links to VoiceThread images

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Entering websites in Moodle Quiz

Q: Where do we enter our blog post websites / URLs in the Moodle checkpoints quizzes?

A: Enter each website / URL in the blank field after each question, as shown below. Make sure you copy the "permalink" address which is included near the bottom of each post.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Create a new post on our blog

These are the steps to follow to create a NEW POST on your own blog, which is part of the class blog portal we're using this semester on Remember the web address to our site (which you'll use to login) is Some instructions about using your blog are also available on the 21classes support site.


Blogging Step 1

Blogging Step 2


Blogging step 3

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Make a custom Google Map

Beth Helm created the following 3 minute, 30 second screencast explaining how to create a custom Google Map. The only things I'd add to this excellent overview are:

  1. Remember you can use the Google Maps search bar FIRST before dropping a placemark and editing it. You can also pan and zoom within the displayed map view, so you can get the exact place you want to mark.
  2. Remember to click the RICH TEXT option when editing a placemark if you want to add a hyperlink or image, as Beth demonstrated.
  3. Remember to copy the direct link or embed code for a specific map by clicking the LINK button in the upper right corner of you map, instead of just copying the website shown in your web browser's address bar at the top as you work on your map.

Great job Beth!

Make a PowerPoint with 20 photos FAST

Kylee Woodard created this 1 min, 50 second screencast showing how to create a PowerPoint presentation VERY quickly using all the images in a single folder. In this case she used 20 pictures which she had downloaded/saved for her Pecha Kutcha presentation. Great demo Kylee!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Embedding a Google Doc on WikiSpaces

It's very straightforward to embed a Google Doc on a Google Site (when editing a page choose INSERT - DOCUMENT) but a bit more challenging if you're using WikiSpaces.

This post shows how to do this for WikiSpaces. You'll first need to publish your Google Doc under the SHARING options for the document.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Setting view permissions for your Google Doc

Why can people not view my Google Document (unit plan) which I've embedded in my Google Site?

You probably need to change your SHARING settings so everyone can view your document. The two screensnaps below show you how to do this.


Allow anyone to view your document

Embed a Google Document on a Google Site

How can I embed my unit plan (a Google Document) into my Google Site, so I can turn in this assignment for a grade?

This 4 minute screencast shows you how. On the Google Site page you want to edit, go to the INSERT menu and choose Document. Then find the Google Document you want to insert, and click OK. Save your Google Site page. You can submit the direct link to that page to turn in your assignment.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Copy direct link to a custom Google Map

How can I copy the direct link to my Google Map?

When viewing your Google Map, in the upper right corner click on LINK. Then copy the link field which is shown.

Copy Google Map Link

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Copy the direct link to a VoiceThread

How can I copy the direct link to my VoiceThread digital story?

When viewing your VoiceThread, in the upper left corner click MENU and then SHARE.

VoiceThread - Get a direct link

Next, click COPY LINK AND SHARE to copy the direct URL to your clipboard.

VoiceThread - Click COPY LINK

Now you can paste it in a blog post using the link tool, or in a WebCT/Blackboard quiz, as needed.

Unit Plan Will Not Upload


I am unable to upload the Unit Plan to google documents. It will not allow me to upload since the file size it is 91.5 K.

That file size is less than 1 megabyte, so unless you have exceeded your total storage quota on Google Docs it should work. Try deleting 1 or more of the largest files you have in Google Docs, and then uploading again. This support page from Google gives more information about file storage quotas.

File size limits for Google Docs

Google documents will only allow 10 mb presentation files. My file size is 13 mb for my Petcha Kutcha. I have tried to convert it and change the file size on my images. But it has only increased the file size (very time consuming battle). Any reccomendations or other places we could upload this to?

There are a couple ways you can handle this.

  1. If you don't want to change the images you have in your presentation, create an account on and upload your presentation there instead of to Google Docs. Slideshare will accept files up to 100 MB in size.
  2. You can reduce the file size of your PowerPoint by copying and using smaller photos in your presentation. This will require you to locate the same images again, and copying the smaller versions. Most likely you can use the ones that are 500 pixels in width. This should substantially reduce your file size.
  3. You can create your presentation directly in Google Presentation, and upload media separately. Google Docs will give you 100 MBof space, so with this method you can upload images which will exceed 10 MB each. This might be a faster option than #2 above, since you already have all your images saved. Do this by creating a new Google Presentation, adding a slide, and then clicking the ADD IMAGE button and browsing to it on your computer or flash drive.

VoiceThread for Pecha Kutcha

I am doing my petra cutcha presentation in voicethread i have all my photos and voice recorded now how do i upload it onto google docs??


You don't need to upload your VoiceThread to Google Docs, you'll embed it in a blog post.

You will need to create a photo-only version of your presentation in Google Docs, however, and also embed that in the same blog post.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Classmate comments for week 10


Where would you like us to post the comments we left on classmate blogs thsi week (10)?

You don't need to post links to these comments anywhere. I just want you to make them / share them.

Presentations over Skype


In week 6 one, of the video discussed using Skype to bring presenters to speak to audience.  Instead of being present in person they are present via Skype.  This got me to thinking and I have a questions.  Most speakers are paid to speak in person.  When speaking via Skype are presenters still paid or does using Skype change the payment process and fees?

Presentations are shared over Skype for free and for fees. It all depends on what is negotiated between the organization or individual bringing in the guest speaker over Skype, and the speaker. I've given presentations for money over Google Video, and many presentations for free over Skype. An organization in North Carolina is paying me later this week to share a 45 minute presentation over video, and initially they wanted me to use Skype. They changed their mind, however, and now I'm going to use Ustream. There are benefits and drawbacks to each format.

Generally speakers will charge LESS for a virtual presentation over video than they would charge for a face-to-face presentation. That is the case with me.j

I heard that earlier this year (I think in February) well known educational technology expert Alan November shared a keynote address with educators in New Zealand over video. I'm not sure exactly where Alan was, but he lives in the Boston area. I think he presented over H.323 video, which has been a higher definition video format and more reliable (typically) video connection format than desktop video options like Skype.

HD video


In one of the video for week 6 it mentions HC video.  What is HC video?

Can you tell me specifically which video mentions this? I'd guess the video is referring to "HD video," which stands for "high definition" video. This means there are more horizontal and vertical pixels in the video image. Read more about HD video on WikiPedia.

Unit Plan Assignment Format


What should the outline for our unit plan be formatted and what should it include?

Does the assignment of adding the outline of unit plan refer to the template document we received in week 4?

Is there a place I can access examples of unit plans?

How can I type in the Unit Plan Template given to us during Week 4?

See the March 12th FAQ blog post, "Unit Plan Template and Rubric." That post provides a link to the Google Document we are using. You should have created a copy of this during week 11 and shared it with me.

Yes, the outline of the unit plan refers to the template document shared in week 4, and also linked in the post above.

No, I do not know of a location online where examples of other unit plans can be accessed. That is a very good idea, however. Because our unit plans are modifications of the "traditional" unit plan done in this class, ours will look a little different. We are using the same rubrics, but you should be including some of the technology tools in your unit plan that we have discussed. Dr. Owens in week 11 suggested using at least one teacher-focused technology tool, and one student-focused technology tool. To receive full credit for the assignment, you'll need to use at least one tool we've discussed appropriately.

You need to edit and open the Google Document to type in it. Use the above link to copy it into your own Google Docs account, where you can edit it.

Embedding Google Slide Shows in a Blog Post


How can I link and embed the 2 slideshows, Google Search Tools and Options from Week 6, into my Scribe Post?

You can embed a Google presentation, like the ones included in our week 6 curriculum, by following these steps.

First, click on the MENU icon in the lower right corner of the Google Presentation, as shown in the screenshot below:

Click on the menu button
Second, click inside the embed code field in the upper right corner of the window, as shown below, and copy (EDIT -  COPY or right-click and copy) the embed code to your computer's clipboard:

Copy embed code

Third, paste this embed code in your in your blogger post, remembering to first click EDIT HTML so you can paste the source code.

Refer to the T4T FAQ "How can I embed a video in my blog post?" for a screencast showing the steps of pasting embed code, as well as using the hyperlink tool to add a link.

You can add links to other resources on the week 6 curriculum by copying those links and using the same LINK button in the Blogger post composition window.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Viewing results of a Google Form Survey

How can I view the results of my Google Form survey?

Open your Google Spreadsheet, and in the FORM menu choose SHOW SUMMARY OF RESPONSES. This screencast will show you how.

Finding Course Communication Tools

How can I find the course communication tools for our class, like our Scribes blog?

Visit This screencast also shows you how.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Unit Plan Template and Rubric

Here are the two documents you'll need to complete for your T4T Unit Plan Assignment. These are both shared as Google Documents, which you can COPY and add to your own Google Docs account. Do this by clicking the EDIT THIS DOCUMENT button in the lower right corner of the screen, as you are viewing the document.

Edit and Copy a Shared Google Doc

 You can edit the template on Google Docs or in MS Word, before submitting it through Passport.
  1. Unit Plan Template (you will fill this out and turn it in)
  2. Unit Plan Rubric (check this to see how your plan will be graded / assessed)
I recommend you add both these documents to YOUR Google Docs account, so you'll have your own local copies. Read the template first, and then look over the rubric.

For your Google Site assignment (week 7) you just need to write a brief outline of what you're planning to do for your unit plan. If you want you can link to a read-only version of your Unit Plan Template on Google Docs. If you do that, I (and potentially others) can give you specific feedback on what you've written and done so far.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Granting public access to your VoiceThread

I received a message that my VoiceThread cannot be viewed publicly, so I can receive a grade for the Miniproject 1 assignment. How can I make my VoiceThread public?

You do not have access (VoiceThread)

Here are the steps you should follow:

  1. Log into your VoiceThread account.
  2. Click the "gear icon" and choose to EDIT your VoiceThread.
  3. At the bottom of the VoiceThread browser window, click PUBLISHING OPTIONS.
  4. Make sure the FIRST THREE boxes are checked. (Allow anyone to view, allow anyone to comment, and moderate comments)
  5. The last checkbox is optional and up to you. If you want others to be able to find / browse to your VoiceThread, select this. You don't have to, however.
VoiceThread Publishing Options

Make sure you click SAVE after you make these selections. Your VoiceThread will now be visible on your blog, if/once you've embedded it on a post there.

You will NOT have to reblog/ repost your VoiceThread there, the permissions change will take place and it will be visible to others who visit your blog.

The VoiceThread appears visible to YOU before you do these steps, if and when you're also logged into VoiceThread. To check the visibility of your VoiceThread (how it will look to others who visit your blog) you need to log OUT of VoiceThread, and THEN visit your blog post.

Embedding a video in WikiSpaces


In a wiki I created in wikispaces, how can I embed video?

To add a video to a Wikispaces page:

Before working on your WikiSpaces site, copy the embed code for your video from the website where you found it or uploaded it. The steps to do this are:

  1. Edit your page on which you want to put a video.
  2. Click WIDGET in the toolbar.
  3. Click VIDEO and choose the source of your video.
  4. Alternatively (if you want to embed video or other media from another site) click OTHER HTML. Paste your embed code.
  5. Click SAVE.

This 1 min, 43 second YouTube tutorial demonstrates these steps.

VoiceThread commenting options


I tried to use voice memo on my iphone to upload voice comments to my VoiceThread, but its telling me that to do this I have to upgrade my VoiceThread account and pay for it. What other options do I have?

VoiceThread - Commenting options

The screenshot above highlights your five options. These are visible in VoiceThread when you click the COMMENT link under a photo.
  1. Record a voice comment with a microphone connected to your computer.
  2. Type a text comment with the keyboard.
  3. Upload an audio or video comment you record with another website or program. ( is a free phonecasting service you can use, or Audacity is a free audio recording program that will work. Either way you'll want to get a mp3 audio file, and then upload that to VoiceThread.) Your iPhone memo recorder works too, but you'll have to sync your iPhone to iTunes, find the Voice Memo playlist which iTunes automatically creates, and then drag the recorded memo to your desktop or other location where you can subsequently find it / upload it. See below for upgrade options, if you register for the FREE educator account you can (I think) upload audio and video.
  4. Use a computer webcam to record a video comment.
  5. Use a phone to directly record a comment. That was the option you tried, and as you discovered only 3 minutes are provided for free. Use one or more of the other five options listed here to comment.
If you don't see all five of these options, you probably didn't register for a free K-12 educator VoiceThread account. You can register for that account using your .edu address, or alternatively pay a one time $10 fee upgrade your account to "Pro Educator" status.

Posting to the T4T Scribes Blog


Once I'm in the T4T Scribes blog, how do I post my blog. I did choose to follow the blog.

First, log into Blogger with your Google ID.

Second, you will need to click NEW POST underneath the title of the "T4T Scribes blog," as shown in this screenshot.

Posting to the T4T Scribes Blog

Be sure you click NEW post under the correct blog! Some people have inadvertently posted to our Scribes blog when they intended (I think) to post to their own reflections blog. All your posts for our class should go on your own reflection blog, EXCEPT your weekly summary blog post. Remember the assignments for our weekly summary posts are listed on both our FAQ blog and the Scribes blog.

Third, you'll write your post and click PUBLISH POST!

Citing homegrown images / media


When you are using home grown media in voice thread do you just leave the link blank for every picture, since there is not a link for them?

VoiceThread: Insert Titles and Links

You are correct, you can just leave the "link" for the VoiceThread photo blank if it is one you have taken yourself / own. (Homegrown media)

You can optionally include a link to your own website (like your blog) or a photo sharing page where you've uploaded and shared the image. If you choose to insert images from a Flickr Set that you've created, VoiceThread with automaticaly insert the image title and links back to VoiceThread for you. This is a VERY cool feature, but is not required.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Attribution links to Homegrown Images in VoiceThreads


When you are using home grown media in voice thread do you just leave the link blank for every picture, since there is not a link for them?


If you want to provide a credit link to your own website, you certainly can do that. Sometimes I use images I posted on Flickr, and then provide the link back to that photo. When you provide an attribution link like that for others, you are permitting them to get more information about the source of the image. I've had people contact me via Flickr and ask to use my photos in commercial print publications as well as online journals / blogs. When it's your image, it's up to you. You might want to "claim" it, however, so others will know exactly who owns it and where it came from!

This evening my 6 year old wrote a short 4 page story, and we recorded her reading it using VoiceThread. Since I posted these images to my own Flickr account, in a new Flickr "set," I was able to readily import these into VoiceThread and it AUTOMATICALLY made those attribution links for me! This is really slick. This also works for other media you directly link to within Flickr, like the NY Library which has thousands of available images.

Tell a story in 5 photos and VoiceThread


I am confused.  In week 3 there is a mini project that is due and in week 4 there is a story in 5 different pictures.  Are these the same assignments or 2 completely seperate project and assignments?

These are 2 assignments, but if desired you can use the 5 photos from the first assignment ("Tell a Story in 5 Photos") in the VoiceThread digital story.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Creative Commons and Flickr


I don't understand the difference between Creative Commons and Flickr.  To me they look like they are interconnected with each other.

Creative Commons is a nonprofit organization which was created primarily to allow people to legally declare conditions under which others are authorized to reuse their creative works. They provide licenses anyone can use, called "Creative Commons licenses," for free without having to pay a lawyer. Their website is Their page "What is Creative Commons" provides a good, succinct overview. My favorite video overview of Creative Commons is "Get Creative," which was created in 2002.

Flickr is a photo sharing website which is now owned by Yahoo. One of the features of Flickr is that users can choose to license the images / photos they share using Creative Commons licenses. This has resulted in VERY large collections of Creative Commons images on Flickr, under different licenses. All of these are accessible from Click on the "See More" links after each license to view more images and search for images which use just that license.

In our T4T class, we are using the websites Compfight and Flickr Storm to search Creative Commons images. Both these sites (as far as I know) just search for images on Flickr. These sites are more user-friendly and offer good functionality not found on the "standard" Flickr Creative Commons search site. These sites are essentially "search portals" for photos hosted on Flickr, licensed via Creative Commons.

For further reading about the differences between Creative Commons and Flickr, I recommend you read (or scan) the English WikiPedia articles for each organization / entity:

What should I save to my social bookmarks


When making a link, for your pictures, on flickr is it a good idea to save it to Diigo also?  I guess what I am asking is it necessary or beneficial to do this?

Two answers to this question.

First of all, for our course assignments in T4T you do NOT have to save photos you find for the "Tell a Story in 5 Photos" assignment or for the VoiceThread assignment to Diigo. If you want to, you can, but you don't have to.

Secondly, you basically want to save things to your Diigo account that you want to find later (if desired) and/or you want to share with others. Social bookmarks are just like your "favorites" or "bookmarks" on your own computer, except they have many more "powers" and features since they can be shared collaboratively online.

Posting versus bookmarking on Diigo


What is the difference between posting and bookmarking on Diigo?

There is not a difference, those terms ("post" and "bookmark") are synonyms. They can be used interchangeably in the context of social bookmarking.

Emotion and text-based communication


Does texting or blogging remove the emotional side of interacting with each other?  In other words, if someone is crying you would not know.

Writing with text alone undoubtedly changes communication dynamics, since at a minimum the non-verbal language normally present in face-to-face communication is absent. People do find ways to compensate for this, however, and one way people show emotion when typing is by USING ALL CAPS. This is considered "shouting" in an email or text message, and is generally poor form. The English WikiPedia article for "all caps" addresses this a little, and also provides a link to the related "Netiquette" page.

An excellent new television series by PBS Frontline started on February 2, 2010, titled "Digital Nation." This question of emotion in writing and the ways digital communication is perhaps changing social skills as well as norms is addressed in several of the online video clips, including this one titled, "Rewiring Young Brains." It's important to recognize, when viewing this clip, that the speaker does not cite research, he just basically says, "I'm worried about this."

Sources for blog commenting assignments


Do the student blog comments have to come from netvibes or the class bundle for blogs?  Can it come from somewhere else as long as it is a class blog?

Assigned comments on a K-12 classroom blog can come from anywhere. We don't have those linked to our netvibes portal currently. Our K-12 Classroom Blog Finder page has suggestions, but you don't have to just go with those. The main thing is to try and find ACTIVE blogs which are in use currently, so you can provide feedback to students and teachers who are blogging NOW and will see/respond to your constructive input.

Starting with week 4, we are alternating required comments on EITHER classmate blogs or K-12 classroom blogs. Week 3 is the only week in which BOTH types of comments were required. (With hindsight, that was probably too much to assign for a single week.) Hopefully all our class blogs are now listed in my Google Reader bundle. If there is another classmate's blog you know about and can access, please:

  1. Feel free to comment on it during weeks when classmate blog commenting is an assignment (of course you can comment more frequently too if you want!)
  2. Let me know that blog website / URL with a comment here or a message in WebCT, so I can add it to my Google Reader bundle.

Remember to use our "Constructive Commenting with Social Media" rubric when commenting on all blogs.

3 hours wasted trying to join a Diigo group


I have spent the last 3 hours trying to figure out how to join the t4t group from my diigo account.  How do I do this?  When I click on my groups it just tells me I have no groups that I have joined.

If you are spending more than two hours per week on your T4T class homework, you need to call me and get my direct help. You should not be spending this much time. If you get stuck and cannot get help from someone else, call me so I can assist. (I know you did call yesterday, and that was the right thing to do, but I certainly would have been glad to help you avoid spending 3 hours trying to join a Diigo group.)

Based on what I understand happened, you correctly chose to join our T4T Diigo group. I have our group set for "moderated membership," however, which means until I approve people who request to join those account holders are not yet part of our group. Yesterday after our phone call I approved three more members in our Diigo group, including your account. So, essentially you were waiting 3 hours for me to approve your account request, but because I was not online and looking at that page in Diigo I did not see your request.

If you setup your own Diigo group at some point and opt to moderate membership (which is a very good idea for any type of K-12 group you work with) you can opt to receive email notifications immediately or daily which include group requests.

This situation highlights something very important when it comes to learning new technology skills, and that is the time to STOP trying to do something and GET OUTSIDE HELP. I've struggled with this myself at times, particularly when it came to figuring out how to remove viruses/malware from Windows computers I worked with in the past. I can have a tenacious personality when it comes to some things, and I don't want to stop trying to figure it out. It can be a BIG time waster, however, to keep plugging away at something when you're not making any headway and the possibility exists of getting outside help.

I really appreciate your honesty and transparency in sharing this situation with me, and I again repeat I wish I could have assisted you with this sooner. We'll take about this in class in week 6, because I suspect this is a situation others have encountered as well. It is inevitable that some situations will arise which we can't figure out on our own, and those times demonstrate the value of having a bigger learning community to which you can turn for support and assistance.

One of the changes I've made to our T4T course curriculum starting in week 6, based on the input and survey results from our class, is to provide graphical time estimates of each assignment each week. I'm also reducing the number of assignments, to hopefully simply things a bit and possibly help people feel less overwhelmed.

Do we need to setup a Delicious account


When reading through Ingredient 1: Social Bookmarking, are we supposed to follow the directions (starting with the section the Procedures) and set up an account on the delicious site or just read about?

No, you do not have to set up a account.

Chapters for the "Powerful Ingredients for Blended Learning" book are provided as additional background / supplementary reading for our course, but they do NOT include your course requirements.

Course requirements are listed on our T4T course website. In the case of Week 2: Social Bookmarking, those are spelled out on the page for that week. Nothing is mentioned there about setting up a delicious account, so you don't have to.

That said, some people may be interested in setting up and using a delicious account as well as a Diigo account. One reason is for backup purposes. I am certainly among those who hope websites like and won't go bankrupt and cease operations, but that is always a risk. It is possible to setup your Diigo account so everything you save automatically cross-posts to Delicious. I have my accounts setup this way, so I actually have TWO versions of my social bookmarks on two different sites. This is an advanced thing to do, and is NOT something students in T4T are required to do. That gives you a bit more background about this, however.

I like the collaboration aspects of Diigo which Delicious does not offer, but I still think Delicious has a very straightforward and simple design which makes it easier to navigate. I actually had difficulty deciding which tool for social bookmarking to for T4T this term, but settled on Diigo because of the thriving groups it has and some of its more collaborative functionality. The core saving / tagging features are the same on both Diigo and Delicious.

Confused about NetVibes


I am confused about the netvibe account.  Is it an account we post to and if it is how do we post to it.

Our class Netvibes website is read-only for all students. As the site creator, I'm the only one who can change / customize it. This site is like a digital newspaper for our class. Once you link TO someone's blog, you can comment there, but you can't manipulate or change information on the actual Netvibes page.

In week 6 we are going to discuss "aggregators" in more detail, and specifically set up accounts on Google Reader. If you want to setup a Netvibes account you could, and then you could create a "custom portal" of information feeds as I've done for our class. You're not required to do that, however.

I created our class Netvibes portal so everyone can experience what a feed portal / aggregator is, and another option for creating one in addition to Google Reader. Google Reader is a personalized aggregator / digital newspaper which does offer some sharing options, but it's not entirely public in the way a Netvibes page / portal is.

Hopefully this will all make more senses after our week 6 in-class discussions about aggregators and Google Reader.

Where are scribe post assignments listed?

Where are scribe post assignments listed?

These are listed on the post, "Scribe Post Assignments (Spring 2010)" which is on our scribes blog. Here are the direct links:

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Blog comment moderation: How and Why?

How can I turn on comment moderation on my Blogger blog? Why is this recommended?

I recommend all educators turn on comment moderation for ALL blog posts and other social media websites they setup for use with K-12 students in the United States. There are several reasons for this:
  1. Prevent cyberbullying: Sometimes people can be mean when they comment online. By turning on moderation, you (as the owner / administrator of your blog) must approve EVERY comment before it shows up "live" for others to see. This can prevent your students from being victims of cyberbullying, including vicious attacks from others. It also can prevent / stave off spam comments. We are using our "Constructive Commenting with Social Media" rubric in Technology 4 Teachers to intentionally encourage an ethic of responsible and respectful blog commenting. Unfortunately not all blog commenters will follow this ethic, but by turning on blog moderation you can PROTECT your students and learning community from those people and/or trolls.
  2. Avoid a public relations nightmare: An unmoderated class blog can potentially cause problems. The situation at Owatonna High School (Minnesota) in November 2009 is a case in point. Given the litigious nature of our US society today, it makes sense to moderate posts before they "go live" on your class blog. The last thing you want in setting up and using a class blog is for a post on it to get parents, other students, or your entire community in an uproar. In cases like the one at Owatonna, the "problem" may not be "the blog," but often people will blame technology in those situations. They also might blame the teacher who did NOT setup comment moderation. Some situations like this might be avoided by turning on comment moderation. If you are using the blog as a TEAM blog, where students also can post, you might want to consider using a blogging tool/platform which lets you MODERATE contributor posts. Wordpress does this (and is used by educational blog sites/services like EduBlogs) and so does Class Blogmeister. I'm not sure about Kidblog.
  3. Monitor the conversation: If you setup and use a class blog, you have a responsibility and obligation (I would argue) as the teacher to monitor it and "keep the pulse" of the conversations taking place there. By monitoring the comments, you serve as the gatekeeper of conversations there and can more readily monitor what people are saying and WHO is saying them.
By default, blogs in Blogger do not allow ANONYMOUS commenting. This is a very good idea. On whatever blogging platform you use, I recommend you do NOT allow anonymous commenting. While people can (on some platforms) still setup an account with a disposable email address and leave a comment, it takes longer to do that and requiring that people be logged in can prevent some "trolls" from leaving unwanted messages on your site.

Student writing on blogs can and should be a positive and motivational experience for all concerned. Blog monitoring and moderation is not a guarantee that this goal will be achieved, but it certainly is a pre-requisite.

The following graphic shows how you can turn ON blog MODERATION on your Blogger blog:

Turning on Comment Moderation on Blogger

Links to blog posts do not work


My links to my blog comments do not work because I accessed the blogging websites through links from our T4T course page. When I went back to check on them they do not show up. It requires you to login to UCONNECT instead. I don't know how to fix this, or keep it from happening in the future.

Go ahead and log into UCONNECT and try the links you made on your blog. Hopefully they will work and forward you to the correct website. You need to go in and "fix" the links in your blog post, however, so others who visit your blog and click your links won't have to log into UCONNECT. (Of course people who visit your blog and don't have a UCONNECT account won't be able to get past that login screen.)

Take a look at the past FAQ post here, "Where are direct hyperlinks / URLs?" As shown in that post, the key is opening the blog website you are going to link in a NEW / SEPARATE tab or window on your browser. When you do that, you should see in the address bar (at the top of your browser window) the website / URL which does NOT start with "" Instead, the URL (website address) should start with "www..." or the domain name of the website hosting the blog you're reading.

Problems commenting on student video project wiki (week 3)


I can't figure out how to leave a post in the wiki for 21st Century Global Leadership videos. I joined the wiki so I could comment, but I can't.

I think the teacher administering the wiki has now changed the permission settings so you do NOT need to join that actual wiki, but rather just register for and log into a WikiSpaces account. This is the comment now on the wiki front page:
Please visit the students' pages and respond to their projects by clicking the discussion tab at the top.
You do not need to join this specific wiki, but you will need to join Wikispaces if you are not already a member.

We welcome comments from anyone and everyone, and we're hoping to see some interesting conversations develop in the discussion are

Please let me know via a comment here if you're now able to leave comments in the discussion area of the project you viewed.

Can we use Google Images for our VoiceThread Project Pictures

I'm not really sure what were are supposed to be doing for this [our VoiceThread mini-project], but I'm trying to at least get pictures for it. I was just wondering if we have to use the picture websites you gave us or can we get pictures of google and other public sites?

No, you may not use Google Images for your VoiceThread mini-project.

You must use Creative Commons images you find using Compfight and/or FlickrStorm to get your images for your project, unless you use homegrown (personal) or public domain images. The reason for this is I want you to practice finding "copyright friendly" images from these sources. When you typically do an image search on Google or another search engine, the images you find do not readily permit you to know your LEGAL rights to reuse and republish those images. When you use Creative Commons images, you CAN know your legal rights of re-use because those are specified by the Creative Commons license used by the image owner / publisher.

Remember a series of 7 screencasts are available explaining how to use VoiceThread and create your mini-project using it. Two screencasts are available which specifically show you how to use Compfight and FlickrStorm.

Locate copyright friendly images with for an educational media project (link to Compfight - cross-posted to YouTube

Locate copyright friendly images with Flickrstorm for an educational media project (link to Flickrstorm - cross-posted to YouTube

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Screencasts for Using VoiceThread

How do I create a VoiceThread for our first mini-project?

Watch the following screencasts to learn how to create and share your VoiceThread. The first link for each of these connects to the Screenr website, which will provide an iPhone / iPod Touch / iPad compatible version if needed for the device you are using to view this content. Remember for your VoiceThread "miniproject" you'll need to use at least five "copyright friendly" images, include the source URLs/websites for those, and either create a VoiceThread for the "Great Book Stories" project or create a VoiceThread about a topic about which you are passionate about and want to teach others.

1 - Create a free Educator Account on VoiceThread (cross-posted to YouTube)

2 - Locate copyright friendly images with for an educational media project (link to Compfight - cross-posted to YouTube)

3 - Locate copyright friendly images with Flickrstorm for an educational media project (link to Flickrstorm - cross-posted to YouTube)

4 - Part 1 of 3: Creating a VoiceThread (images) - (cross-posted to YouTube)

5 - Part 2 of 3: Creating a VoiceThread (comments) - (cross-posted to YouTube)

6 - Part 3 of 3: Creating a VoiceThread (sharing) - (cross-posted to YouTube)

7 - Embedding a VoiceThread on Blogger - (cross-posted to YouTube)

Open Lab Opportunity Jan 29: On Ustream!

Since the university is closed Friday, January 29th during our scheduled "open lab" time, we will still have open lab time for questions and answers but connect online via Rather than meet from 9 am to 10:50 am CST tomorrow (Jan 29th,) we will start our open lab time at 10 am CST and go till at least 11 am. If we have more questions, we can go longer. To participate, you'll need to be an a high speed Internet connection and have the Flash plug-in installed on your web browser. At or a little before 10 am CST, use the following link to view our live "open lab" session. You will be able to "text chat" in your questions, and view desktop video from my computer during our session. Hope to see you online tomorrow!

Video chat rooms at Ustream

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Where are direct hyperlinks / URLs

I am working on my post from the digital generation project youth portriat: Cameron.  I can not figure out what the hyperlink to this video is or where to find it.

To view a post's direct hyperlink / URL so you can copy it, first make sure you are viewing the blog OUTSIDE WebCT and not inside it. Right click / control click a link to the blog to open in a new tab or window if necessary.

Next, click on the blog post title to view the DIRECT link to just that post.

Now you can click and highlight the blog post's direct hyperlink / URL by finding it at the top of your web browser, in the address bar. This is the link you want to copy and share.

Questions on classroom blog commenting

When responding for the k-12 blog are we supposed to respond to one person's different blogs or can it be two different students? Also, I went through and tried the different links you gave us for these blogging communities, most of them are not active and the ones that are usually don't have the students' blogs, almost all of them are for teachers' blogs. Do these have to be student blogs or can they be teacher blogs that we are responding to? Do you have any direct links that are guaranteed active student blogging links that you can recommend specifically?

You can write comments on multiple posts on the same K-12 classroom blog, you don't have to comment on different blogs. Ideally I'd like you to develop a relationship with students and a teacher on a specific blog that is active. I recognize that may not be possible. I'll work on getting direct links to active classroom blogs. For now here are a few you can try and use:

You can leave comments on a teacher's blog for week 2, but I really want you leaving comments on student blogs. They ARE "out there," and I'll work on getting more links for us! :-)

Blog comments not showing up


When commenting on another person's blog, for some reason it does not show up. I have re-sent the same comment 4 times on one blog and it will not show up. I attempted to send another comment to a different person's blog and yet still received the same result. I have subscribed to the different blogs as well. Do we have to wait for approval on a comment? Or am I missing a step?

If the blog author or person who setup the blog has turned on comment moderation, you will have to wait before the comment shows up. If you've chosen an active blog (which has recent posts on it) then hopefully the administrators of the blog will check up on it frequently and moderate comments. If your comment doesn't show up by the time you write your post linking to your blog comments, just note that in your post.

Generally most blogs will show a message like "Your comment will show up after approval by the blog owner" if moderation is being used.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Final Exam and Assignment Points / Percentages

Will we have a final? What are the respective percentage values of different assignments and assessments in our class?

Our Petcha Kutcha Presentations will take the place of a written final exam. The point values for different assignments in our T4T course are detailed in our Course Overview. They are:
  1. Quarterly Checkup Quizzes: 40 points (10 points x 4 checkup)
  2. Elective Mini-Projects: 90 points (30 points x 3 mini-projects)
  3. Assigned Class Scribe Post: 10 points
  4. Course Learning Blog: 30 points
  5. Complete ePortfolio Website: 30 points (including Integrated Unit Plan)
  6. Screencast: 20 points
  7. Petcha Kutcha Presentation: 20 points
  8. Class Participation: 10 points
TOTAL: 250 points

The percentages for these different assignments are listed in the Course Syllabus. They are:
  1. Quarterly Checkup Quizzes: 16%
  2. Elective Mini-Projects: 36%
  3. Assigned Class Scribe Post: 4%
  4. Course Learning Blog: 12%
  5. Complete ePortfolio Website: 12% *
  6. Screencast: 8%
  7. Petcha Kutcha Presentation: 8% **
  8. Class Participation: 4%
TOTAL: 100%

See the FAQ, "Tests in T4T" for more information about assessments.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Checklist for Weekly Assignments


I hope I did everything for week one. Check list- join k12, twitter, google account. Save url addresses. Blog about kid. Anything else????

I've created a short checklist  of questions at the bottom of our curriculum pages for both week 1 and week 2, for things you should readily be able to provide / answer based on the assignments you should have completed. I've copied them below. I'll continue to do that for the rest of our course, in the review section for each week.


What is the URL / website for your T4T reflection blog?
What is your Google account ID? (not your password - this is the email address you use to log into Google)
What is your Twitter ID?
What is the direct URL / link to the people / other educators you are following on Twitter? (There should be at least 10 on this list)
What is your K-12 Online Conference Ning profile URL / website?
What is the direct URL / link to your introductory blog post?
What is the direct URL / link to your blog reflection about Cameron's video?
What is the direct URL / link to your blog reflection about the Blogging Buddies video?


What is the direct URL / link to your social bookmarks library on Diigo? (Example:
What is the direct URL / link to your Diigo groups? (This should include at least the three OTHER groups on Diigo you joined, not including our T4T Diigo group. Example:
What is the direct URL / link to your blog reflection about Nafiza's video?
What is the direct URL / link to your blog reflection about Rachel Boyd's "Peek for a Week" video?
What is the direct URL / link to the first K-12 student blog post on which you left a thoughtful and constructive comment this week, following our "Constructive Commenting with Social Media" guidelines?
What is the direct URL / link to the second K-12 student blog post on which you left a thoughtful and constructive comment this week, following our "Constructive Commenting with Social Media" guidelines?
What is the direct URL / link to the first blog post written by one of your T4T classmates on which you left a thoughtful and constructive comment this week, following our "Constructive Commenting with Social Media" guidelines?
What is the direct URL / link to the second blog post written by one of your T4T classmates on which you left a thoughtful and constructive comment this week, following our "Constructive Commenting with Social Media" guidelines?

What is the direct URL / link to your blog post including links to at least 2 comments you left on K-12 student blog sites, and at least 2 comments to posts written by your T4T classmates?