Wednesday, July 28, 2010

More Blogging

I looked at the Edublog Awards to get some ideas of the best blogs.  The winner of the Best Resource Sharing Blog was by Richard Byrne and is called Free Technology for Teachers.  One of the resources I found is a site called where you can make quick polls to add into your blog (or wiki).  You don't have to join the site--you just compose your poll question and Flisti will generate html code.  Below is an example of a poll that took about 2 minutes to make, copy the html, and put it in this blog.
What is your favorite candy?

Monday, July 26, 2010


Click to play this Smilebox collage
I had time to create this using Smilebox, so I thought I'd share.
Create your own collage - Powered by Smilebox
Free picture collage made with Smilebox

Sunday, July 25, 2010


I thought I'd give Chrissy's Tagxedo a try. I used the link to this blog for the words.  So much more control over what you make than with Wordle.  I like the easy image save option, too.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Smilebox for blogs and wikis

When I was searching around for more uses and tools for blogs and wikis, I found a fun web page called Smilebox where you can make interactive "scrapbook" pages. They look fantastic, so check out the web site. Teacher's accounts are free, but at the moment they are not giving any out. That's why I didn't save my scrapbook page and post it. However, I had a blast playing around with it, and the graphics are amazing. You choose a theme, upload pictures, use captions, and publish. I'd love to see how students would use a tool like this. This is something I will definitely look into. Our blogs and wikis will be stylish!

Slideshow in Wiki

Check out the slideshow I added to my class wiki. Sorry, I blocked out faces. I didn't want to spend too much time on a slideshow that I won't actually be using. However, this shows how easy it is to embed slideshows, etc. right into a wiki or blog.

Declicious Social Bookmarking

This is not nearly as advanced as Diigo, but I have used it in the past. I made a quick example to share.

Sample Podcast

This is a sample podcast I made just to demonstrate how easy they are to make. Unfortunately I couldn't get on my computer at school to post a podcast of my students performing Reader's Theater.


Diigo allows teachers to have an educator’s account. This allows you to set up private class accounts that include settings to protect student’s privacy. As with other Social Bookmarking sites, your information is available from anywhere because everything is stored on Diigo’s web server. Tools on their browser help you to collect and access information easily. The diigo server provides a “library” for users to store information they collect. Features include interactive highlights and sticky notes that are saved and appear when you choose a previously saved link. It’s necessary to install an add-on to get the browser tools, but it makes using Diigo very easy. Highlighting and sticky notes are great tools for students to use when reading online—just like writing notes directly onto your textbook or class worksheets. With Diigo, you can use tools similar to Smart Notebook software in order to take screenshots capturing highlighting and notes you’ve made on the page. This is an exciting and fascinating new technology, and I’m looking forward to see how it catches on and is used in education.


I have been particularly interested in podcasting since our Active Research class. In that class I read journal articles about Reader's Theater and how it can motivate students to practice and participate. One way to get students even more interested is to have them practice in order to make a podcast. I have done this a few times with my second graders using Notebook Recorder software (I haven't tried it since the tech finally put Audacity on my computer). Students were very excited to be able to practice and then make a podcast of a play to share with the rest of the class. What a great way to teach intonation. The biggest problem I had was problems with the microphone. I had to be sure it was close to each speaker, and some students were a little soft spoken. So, it took several tries to get things done. Plus, I couldn't edit with Notebook Recorder. I hope to eliminate both of those problems now that I have Audacity. If students mess up, they won't have to restart from the beginning b/c you can edit and cut out pieces. Reader's Theater could also be done as a vodcast, but would require more work. I am interested in the many ways podcasting can be used to truly enhance learning. Students could write and perform radio interviews with famous Americans (Ben Franklin, for example). Working with second graders limits what I can do with this in the classroom, but I could see using podcasting being an extremely powerful tool with students who are a little older.

Wiki Tab

Check out the wiki tab on this page. I added a couple of good resources.

Sample Wiki Page

I have an account with Check out a sample wiki I created that I may use in the fall.


I changed the permissions on this to make it public for now, but if I use this with the students I'll change it back to private.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


With my last post, I did learn quite a bit. First, my embedded slideshow was too wide and overlapped the sidebar. I needed to go back and re-enter the embedding information and change the width and height. Also, my entry did not have the breaks I wanted, and the slideshow was not printing completely below the written part of the post. Now I truly understand why David said that knowing html is so important. I had to go in to edit the html because it was not possible using the regular posting box. If I didn't know the html, I would have been stuck with an awkward looking post. I'm glad I am learning by these mistakes now, rather when I am trying to use blogging with staff or students.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Interesting Use of Wikis

While looking at a variety of educational wikis, I found a site where a 5th grade class uses a wiki to embed a slideshow of each student's poetry.  Students wrote a collection of poems and then used a site to upload the poetry so that each child’s collection was able to be embedded in the wiki in the form of a slideshow. What a great way to make it easy to share writing with classmates. Also, it’s a fantastic motivator to do your best work if you know it will be published online and viewed by others. Students take more pride in their work with a bigger audience. I particularly liked this idea because it seems a quick, easy way to get started with wikis. Students used the website to upload and embed their PowerPoints. Definitely take a look at this site!  I already joined this website, because I want to complete the same poetry project in my class.  Each year I have students complete poetry for slideshows, but this is a way to have all slideshows readily available for students to view at one time. 
Poetry PowerPoints Wiki Site

It's easy to embed these slideshows into a wiki, as you can see below.

Friday, July 2, 2010


Wikis are webpages that can be accessed and edited by many users.  They make it easy for many people to collaborate and share information.  With wikis, members are able to edit the work of others, contribute their own ideas, and save the changes.  Users have access to the wiki whenever they have access to the Internet.  Please see my wiki tab for a more in-depth definition of wikis and the link for an excellent introductory video about wikis.  I'd like to set up a wiki at my school so that staff can share resources, which would be a great benefit to all by reducing workload and increasing access to quality lessons and web sites.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Welcome to Patty's Blog for ET630

In  this blog we will discuss at least three different Web 2.0 technologies.  I'm interested in all of the technologies listed in the project description.  How to choose?  I am thinking about creating a wiki for my school for my internship this fall.  Maybe I can begin to work on that.  This is my first blog.  I may sign up for the AACPS blogging class this summer, although I don't know that I'd use a blog with second graders...maybe with the staff?