Thursday, March 1, 2012

Topic 5: Good Manners and Commenting
If you haven’t already, it’s time to start visiting your classmates’ blogs and leaving supportive comments. First, though, remember that having good manners online is at least as important as in person. Why? Online, anything you write can spread far and wide before you know it, and it is so easy to misinterpret someone’s intentions when you don’t see their expressions or gestures or hear their tone of voice.
Activity 1: Watch this video about cyberbullying, and think about what precautions you can take to make sure you are always kind and supportive, not hurtful, in everything you write, in comments and everywhere else online.
Activity 2: Now, start visiting your classmates’ blogs and contributing comments. Good comments generally include a compliment, suggestion, and/or question. And, don’t forget to use your best writing skills. Remember that everything you write online contributes to your digital footprint.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Topic 4: Photos and Images and Giving Credit
Activity 1: Now that you have a blog, you are a publisher. Before you begin searching for and adding images and other items to your blog, you need to learn a little about copyright, public domain, fair use, and Creative Commons, so you make sure that you are only publishing material you are legally entitled to. Watch this fun video to learn about what copyright, public domain, and fair use are. You will notice in it lots of copyrighted images you recognize that are used in a fair use way. (If the previous link is blocked, use this link. You will see a short commercial before the video starts.)
Activity 2: In recent years, a new option has become available to make finding and publishing other people’s material – and sharing what you create yourself – easier: It is called Creative Commons. Watch this video to learn about Creative Commons.
Activity 3: Find Photos & Images
Flickr is a website used primarily for storing and sharing photos. You can use this site to find pictures on any topic. It includes photos taken by individuals as well as from important museums and archives like the Library of Congress. If you open an account, you can also use this site to upload pictures you’ve taken and then you can share them with your family your friends or the whole world.
Flickr includes many Creative Commons images, as well as many that are copyrighted. If you want to publish an image you find at Flickr on your blog, be sure to search for images with Creative Commons licenses. Hint: To find images with Creative Commons licenses, go to the Advanced Search screen, enter a keyword to search, then check.
and click Search.
Or, you will probably find it much easier to use the Flickrcc site, which searches just Creative Commons-licensed images on the Flickr site for you.
When you publish one of these images, be sure to give credit by citing and linking to the url of the page where the photo appears. Look for the word “attribution” on the Flickrcc site. Copy that address and paste it under the photo in your post and make it a hyperlink. Remember, it’s very important to give credit to the creator of the original image.
Activity 4: Find at least two Creative Commons images you like and add them, along with a credit link, to a blog posting. Also write about your experience finding the images and why you chose them.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Topic 3: Avatars (due Thursday, Dec. 1, 2011)
What’s an avatar? An avatar is a pictorial representation of you. It can look somewhat like you, but in comic form, or it might be a picture of something you like. In the computer world, you can use an avatar to create an online personality while still protecting your privacy.
Activity 1: Try one or more of these sites to create your own avatar:
Follow the directions on the site to create an avatar, then save the image. On a Mac, you can very easily save an image by holding down the Command, Shift, and 4 keys all at once, then dragging from one corner to the opposite diagonal corner of the image you want to capture. It will now appear as a .png image file on your desktop. On a PC, you can right click, then “Save As” your image from the dream avatar site, but won’t work for the others that don’t create the avatar as a separate image. This blog posting from Edublogger blog about avatars has some tips on how to save and edit your avatar on a PC. Once you have your avatar saved, add it to your blog sidebar. With Edublogs blogs, you do that by uploading it as your blog avatar, then adding an avatar widget to your sidebar. Also add your avatar as your user avatar so that it appears in your comments. The Edublogger blog post can help you with that task also. With Blogger blogs, you add a picture gadget to your sidebar and upload your avatar file to it. Then, also upload your avatar to your profile under My Account.
Activity 2 More to try: Voki lets you create an animated avatar. To upload this to your blog, copy the html to your computer clipboard, then paste the html into a widget or gadget in you sidebar.
Note: The dream avatar and Voki sites offer the option of creating accounts, but you don’t need to create an account to use them.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Topic 1: Digital Citizenship
Here are some questions for you to think about:
  • What is digital citizenship?
  • What are the rights and responsibilities of a digital citizen in today’s world?
By exploring new online tools and using them to publish online in this tutorial, you will get to experience many new ways to be creative. You will also have the freedom to interact with friends in new ways and possibly even with people from around the country or the world. With that freedom, comes the responsibility to practice good etiquette as a digital citizen.

Activity 1: To help you explore these topics and try to answer the questions above for yourself or through conversation with your friends and classmates, here are a few short videos for you to watch:
Activity 2: To see whether you have a “digital footprint” established already, try going to Google and searching for your name. You may be surprised by what you find. Your digital footprint will stay with you your entire life, so you want whatever people may find about you online to be positive.
After you set up your blog (in Topic 2), you will write a posting about your thoughts about digital citizenship.
Activity 3: Read the Blogging Guidelines for Students from the link at the top of this page.
(Due Date: 11-4-11)

Topic 2: Blogging
What is a blog? A blog is an online journal. Watch this short video tutorial to get a better idea. (There is a short commerical before it starts.)
Now, you are going to get to make your own blog!
Blogs are very public and you will be sharing your blog address with your teacher, your parents, and your fellow students. All of these people might comment on your blog. You can add comments to your friends’ blogs, and you can encourage your friends and your parents to makes comments on yours. So spread the word among your family and friends.

Activity 1: (Optional) Set up an email account. You may use the email address you already have. If you do not have an email address, you can set up an account with gmail by Google if you are 13 or older. In addition to having an email, it is important to know how to access your email online so you can send and receive email from any computer. If you are under 13, ask your parents if they are willing to set up a family account for your use.

Activity 2: If you have an email account, you can set up your own blog. Edublogs, Google’s Blogger, and Posterous are three options. This site was created using Edublogs. Your librarian or teacher will probably suggest which software to use. Sign on with a name that does not identify you. Depending upon what your librarian/teacher suggests, you can use just your first name or you can invent a screen name. Then, choose a password and complete any additional steps set out on the blog site to complete your blog. If you don’t have an email account, your teacher or librarian will set up a blog for you.

Activity 3: Register your blog. This means that after you create your blog, you will fill out an online form (above) to give your teacher/librarian your email address, blog name, and blog address. He/she will not share your name with anyone else, but will need it for keeping track of your progress. After you have received notice that he/she has received your information and approved your blog, then you can begin with all the fun! Your teacher/librarian will create a “blogroll” – a list of all the blogs for students who are taking the tutorial with you. These are the students you will work with and cheer along the way – that’s the 2.0 way!! Check their blogs regularly and comment on them. Ask them questions about how to do stuff if you’re confused or answer questions for those who might need your help. Cheer them on – have fun! Critique well!

Activity 4: Write your first blog posting. In your posting, include answers to these questions:
  • How can you use your blog? What do you think you will enjoy including and writing about?
  • Being a good digital citizen:
    • What are some topics you can blog about?
    • What do you need to be careful to keep private and not include in your blog?
(Due Date 11-9-11)