Sunday, October 27, 2013

A New Direction

So it's time for a new direction. A different twist on the personal learning network I was trying to build using Google Apps for Education and Blogger with my art students. I'll speak to the challenges I had with that situation in a future post.

I've decided to use edublogs with my homeroom. I will be with these students for 4 years and I believe this will be a great experience for all of us.

My motivation for moving to Edublogs and working with my homeroom? I love the personalized support I get from Sue Waters of Edublogs! She is amazing. I had the chance to meet her while she was a guest speaker for my EC&I 831 class at the University of Regina with Social Media and Open Education Guru Alec Couros. Ever since it's like having her on speed dial. I tweet... she gets right to me.

I got personalized advice from Sue today over Twitter. I'm sitting down to breakfast and had the idea to tweet about my project being focused around my homeroom students using edublogs and voila... she was right there with me... and I was in Moose Jaw and she in Australia!

  • Step 1: I had all the kids download the Edublogs mobile app to their devices before leaving for the weekend on Friday. They were not to create accounts, just download the app.
  • Step 2: I'm setting up unique blogs for each one of my students in my home room using the my class feature in Edublogs. I am assigning codes to the blog addresses after being advised by Sue to do so. This makes it easier to sort kids later on if I decide to tie more blogs into this central hub.

Setting up blogs for my students is super simple using Edublogs! I'm able to add them and view their dashboards if I need to make changes. (I made a couple of errors and swiftly changed them on the fly)

Edublogs creates a list of student blog links associated with my class automatically as a menu in the blog. Cool. I'll be sharing the link to my Edublog class site once I have permission to do so from my students.

Tomorrow is the big day. Will my students be able to log in from their mobile devices? Will they blog something interesting to start with?

Sue suggested we take a look at the following video to get us started as well:




Any ideas or advice you would give me as we get started? Any fun projects that would get grade 9 students enthused about blogging? Thanks for your feedback!

6 comments:

  1. Hmm. I don't use edublogs so I have no idea how much they can personalize it. But for a first project, especially if you're looking at visual arts type stuff, maybe something on making the blog their own. How do they visually identify it as theirs? Personalizing notebooks and lockers and bedrooms and such is one of those things so how do they make it different from everyone else's and what does that mean to them? And then you can do some cumulative projects along the way talking about visual identity on the internet, check back in about how the appearance of their blog has changed.

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    1. I like the ideas. This is where I'll start. Edublogs seems to be really easy to use in setting things up for students and changing global privacy settings for everyone in a class. Customizing may be limited in the beginning to templates then full customization later. Thanks for the help!

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  2. Sounds like a great project Jason. Baby steps. Get the students to post short simple posts, then maybe let them try to comment on another student's blog and then build from there. Oh yes, and maybe telling them what is appropriate and not appropriate to post. My thoughts. But, you have been doing this stuff longer than I have so I am sure this stuff you already know.

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    1. I agree. Baby steps. It will take us 2 or 3 days just to get the kids to understand logging in, setting up edublogs on their mobile devices and so on. Digital Citizenship is going to be a big part of the whole piece. I'm looking forward to our class this Tuesday to get some inspiration around internet usage. Thanks for the feedback!

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  3. Sounds great Jason. I want to try blogging with my Life Transitions students next semester so hopefully you can give me some tips once you get started. I have been using Blogger for my ECI 831 blog but if you think edublogs is better or more user friendly, I might have to make the switch. I look forward to hearing how it goes.

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  4. Sounds great Jason. I want to try blogging with my Life Transitions students next semester so hopefully you can give me some tips once you get started. I have been using Blogger for my ECI 831 blog but if you think edublogs is better or more user friendly, I might have to make the switch. I look forward to hearing how it goes.

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