Tuesday, February 5, 2008

A Note from Konrad Glogowsky - Our Special Guest

Hello everyone,

First of all, I'd like to thank Carla for the invitation to be part of your online workshop. I enjoy working with educators and am very interested in how electronic environments can help educators engage in meaningful professional development. I know that participating in this workshop will be an illuminating experience.

I've been asked to contribute to this workshop by submitting a blog entry on my experiences with blogging. Those of you who have seen my 2007 Online Conference presentation on initiating and sustaining conversations in blogging communities (http://k12onlineconference.org/?p=166) know that I am very interested in the role of the teacher in the context of a blogging community. I am currently researching various approaches to engaging students as writers and creating an online environment where students see themselves as contributors and not mere pupils. My most recent blog entry addresses some of the strategies that I've been implementing in my own grade eight classroom in order to engage students as thinkers and writers. Specifically, I am interested in strategies that can help create and sustain student blogging communities as places of mutual support and empowerment for students. The entry that I've written to initiate our conversation focuses on a specific handout that I developed to help students become more reflective bloggers.

I look forward to your feedback and our conversation on blogging.

The entry can be found here:


- Konrad

Friday, February 1, 2008

Week 4: Tools we love!

We all have our favourite tools and widgets.
You might ask yourself, WHAT´S A WIDGET?

WIDGETBOX gives the following definition:

"A widget is a little mini-application that you can put into your blog or web page."

Widgets are fun and really bring life to your blog. Some of them are more than fun, they´re actually useful, for example they can show you who the visitors to your blog are, they can bring updated news or even provide a free space for chat.

This is a video which shows some widgets you can use.

When creating a new blog, what are your favorite tools or widgets? And why? We posed this question to bloggers around the globe via Twitter, and here are their replies. After reading these, let´s share our favourite tools in the comments area!

Blogging4Educators announces a Twitterpoll

carlaarena @BlogEd08 Hard to decide...but I'll go for http://voicethread.com as you can embed it in a post or in the sidebar with audience interaction 10:31 AM February 01, 2008 from web in reply to BlogEd08

fceblog @blogging4educators Hmm hard to choose a widget...http://tinyurl.com/2qcgpq 12:04 PM February 01, 2008 from TwitterFox

@BlogEd08 My favourite tool is Pownce http://snurl.com/1yr82 12:48 PM February 01, 2008 from twhirl in reply to BlogEd08

Durff @BlogEd08 favorite blog tool? Statcounter 11:26 AM February 01, 2008 from web in reply to BlogEd08

anamariacult @BlogEd08 My favourite blog tool is a geovisite globe counter which tells me how many daily visitors my blog has had and where they´re from 02:00 PM February 01, 2008 from web in reply to BlogEd08

csessums in re: favorite blogging app-- Twitter! 3:53 PM February 01, 2008 (Direct message via Twitter to Carla Arena)

susaneb I like wordpress -this is my blog http://susaneb.wordpress.com/
I also like blogspot and PBwiki....all fun (Direct message via Twitter to Carla Arena)

Dennis_Phoenix Favorite blog tool (blogs for students): onelook.com Explanation following. 04:46 PM February 01, 2008 (from direct message to BlogEd08)

Dennis_Phoenix Why onelook.com? Besides Encarta, American Heritage, Mirriam-Webster, Cambridge, Oxford, others, also phrasal verbs & idioms. Very useful. 04:47 PM February 01, 2008 (from direct message to BlogEd08)

@BlogEd08 so many: iPod player 4 fun; clustermaps 4 visitors' locations & twitter 4 micro communication.can't pick just 1!thanks Mary ;-) 06:58 PM February 01, 2008 from web in reply to BlogEd08

alicebarr @BlogEd08 Favorite Blog Tool: EduBlogs Favorite Widget http://www.dbachrach.com/sh... 08:12 PM February 01, 2008 from Snitter in reply to BlogEd08

cheryloakes50 My favorite blog too,is how I can blog right from my browser in FLOCK.
My favorite widget is the weather widget so I can see when it is snowing.
Next favorite widget is any twitter collector. 9:24 PM February 01, 2008 (E-mail message to Carla Arena)

Vicki Davis My favorite blog tool is the Firefox tag generator found at - https://addons. mozilla.org/ en-US/firefox/ addon/1384

It is very important to generate technorati tags for your blog if you want to be part of the conversation, this tool not only tracks your previously used tags but generates them automatically for you. Vicki Davis 9:36 February 01, 2008 (E-mail message to Carla Arena)

joaoa @cristinacost Not a very easy question for me but at the moment I am loving the Flickr widget. 09:04 AM February 02, 2008 from Snitter in reply to cristinacost

illyac @BlogEd08 I'd choose cocomment: http://www.cocomment.com/ which lts me know when someone responds to a comment I made on another blog 12:14 PM February 02, 2008 from web in reply to BlogEd08

gladysbaya @BlogEd08 IP2 maps - anonymous for visitors, yet encouraging for bloggers" 12:08PM February 4, 2008

Now it is YOUR turn! What is your favorite blog tool or widget and why?

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Week 3: Tagging

Rashmi writes in the blog post A Social Analysis of Tagging (or how tagging transforms the solitary browsing experience into a social one)

"I strongly believe that all good social systems need to serve the individual motive. Tagging works because it strikes a balance between the individual and social. It serves the individual motive of remembering, and forms a ad-hoc social groups around it. If you are designing a tagging system you need to understand how it serves the individual and what sort of social formations it supports."

In order to profit from tagging, folksonomies, you need to understand the concept behind it and the reasons for doing it.

This is your place for asking questions or just speaking your mind on the topic of tagging. We'll all be here to discuss it with you.

The Blogging Team

Monday, January 14, 2008

Week 1 - Personal Reflections

Think Before You Blog

Now our course is just beginning, so let's take some time to think about our previous experiences with blogging for educational purposes, or to dream of how blogging could be used as a vehicle for professional development or for the benefit of the students enrolled in your courses.

Please share your experiences and reflections about blogging with the group. In your comment, please reflect on any or all of the following questions:

Have you ever blogged?

Have you ever blogged with your classes?

How might a blog contribute to your professional development?

What might you do with a blog in your classes?

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Week 1 - In your own words

In your own words, can you explain the difference between a blog, a wiki, and a web site?

This week we are just beginning our blogging journey, so let's try to identify what a blog is! Right now you are looking at our group's blog, and you may also know that our group also has a wiki. Finally, let's look at the TESOL web site.

After looking at the blog, wiki, and web site, can you explain the difference in your own words? Especially consider how people can interact with the information presented in these various formats!

In your comment, let us know how you distinguish between a blog, a wiki, and a web site!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008


Welcome to Blogging for Educators!