Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Class Web Pages:

This afternoon we looked at a website for Pukehina. Following John Phelps advice we are going ahead using Front Page. We also discussed each class having their own page and how Classblogmeister could fit so well into this aspect. What I liked was that nothing would be published without the prior approval of the teacher. Remember too to have student and parent permissions to publish student work and photos and to use the Internet, email etc. Well we were off. Grace and John both registered and created a class page each. Well the initial stages of them anyway. We learnt that:

- To register you each have to register the school.
http://classblogmeister.com/?blog=rethink
You are then each given our own unique log in password (scroll down to see this).
- In Edit mode you see adverts etc. These do not appear on your published blog unless you specify this.
- Once logged in, enter your specific details, own password etc,
- You can choose one of 8 templates and provide a title for your blog
- Select "articles" link to post your comments on to the blog
- To add students, you need to add a class first. Click on the Class link and then Class Roster.
- Under Display names we chose first name and last initial for safety reasons
- Pictures can be added if they have been uploaded to flickr first. To load images on to flickr you need to join.
http://www.flickr.com/ To join you will first have to register for a yahoo account if you don't have one already.

We struck a problem adding pictures uploaded to flickr until I discovered they were actually gifs that we were clicking on. When we tried it again with jpg files we had no problem at all
  1. We copied the URL of the image from the image properties
  2. In the article box we typed all the following inside sharp brackets: img src="image_url" width="pixels" align="direction"
  3. We replaced img_url with the image URL
  4. We replaced pixels with the pictures pixels approx 72 pixels per inch
  5. We replaced direction with either left or right depending in which side we wanted the image to appear.

Students - you too can also add podcasts. These can be created in Audacity http://audacity.sourceforge.net/ It's free! Once done, export as an mp3

3 comments:

Tom Sheehan said...

Lorraine,
You can also copy the html code from Flickr and paste it into Blogmeister.

You don't need to add any code and the picture then becomes a link back to the Flickr site. (Flickr actually prefer users to use this option.)

Your blogmeister instructions were awesome. David has a wiki with heaps of instructions. Click the Documantation tab in the control tabs to find it.

All the best.

Lorraine said...

Hi Tom - Thank you so much for these further tips. You have lit the pathway for us and been instrumental in these developments.

What do you think are some of the most powerful aspects for students in using their own blogs in learning?

Best wishes,
Lorraine

Tom said...

First of all I'd like to say that not all the children and parents here at our school see the possibilities yet. In fact its been pretty slow. Many homes still do not have internet and most that do are still on dial up. Watching a streaming video is not always a great experience at those speeds. Children are also low on the computer pecking order in most homes.

Those children that do love to blog take to it like its no big deal at all. They are happy to share their experiences and thoughts with an audience and simply love getting comments. Some will even comment to themselves.

Rarely is it seen as work or a task to complete. It is reading and writing in a most pure form.

I really like the use of pictures to support the text too so I am making a big effort to post up heaps of photos on Flickr. I bought a Pro account and reduce the size of the pictures as I upload. Flock makes the process easy for the kids and I hope to develop this further.

At present the children write about what is important to them - I have rarely assigned topics unlike most of the USA blogs I have seen.

I am also starting to relax my 'surface feature has to be perfect stance'. I am starting to correct 3 - 5 errors, require slightly higher standard of editing but then publish. Most blogs need to be published immediately.

A few thoughts on a Thursday - had a release day today, have been for a run and just had tea. Life is good !

Tom

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