@ONE Webinar: Blogging and Best Practices in Online Teaching

@ONE Webinar: Blogging and Best Practices in Online Teaching


>> Welcome to the session today [on the board]. My name is Donna and I will be the moderator for the session today. Catherine Hillman is the web master and an adjunct faculty member at one of our community colleges, and has been teaching online since 2001. She has earned an MS in education with a concentration in the online education from Cal State University East bay. Catherine, it is all yours. >>SPEAKER ONE: welcome everyone. Before I get started here, we will be covering quite a lot of stuff and I have some things to give to you, including links and handouts. We will take a little tour-I will actually take you into the nuts and bolts of setting up a web log. So a lot of stuff that I will cover. I may speak a little bit too fast myself sometimes. If I throw a question out there, I will slowdown and cover what ever you need to cover. But I will try to leave at least five or 10 minutes at these ended the session for your questions. -at the end of the session for your questions. So we will be talking about what is a blog? Why should students be doing that? How you set one up? Guidelines? We will be looking at some student web logs on the Internet. We will look at student assignment ideas, and look at how it actually-how it actually affects our students forever presence on the World wide Web that they may not realize they are building at this point. As we get started, I am going to assume that most of us have seen a web log, or at least we have an idea of what they are [on the board]. In a nutshell, they are a personal journal that are made public. Although most corporations have a public Journal as well. Let’s have a show of hands-how many of you read a web log on and every day or every week basis? How many of you are avid readers of the Web Next question-how many of you do your own web log? Did you contribute to on a regular basis? OK. And at some point I will show you mine as well. I do not consider myself to be a very good or just a quick note about it-it began pretty much in the late 1990’s. The word blog is a contraction of Web log. It gained popularity and notoriety during the presidential election in 2000. Web content has shifted over the last five for 10 or 10 years from just basic information to Web 2.0. Most of them use a content management system-most of us use a content management system that includes a Web log. So whether you’ll our Web locking or identify sites of others who are, the mechanism behind it has become very transparent, very much a part of our daily Internet experience. And today we have web logs as well as Micro blog. Like Twitter. But I will really focus today on the Journal type of blog as we talk about using Just a little bit of terminology here on the screen-many of them are free. You can paper ones that will provide you with advanced features, and you can even make money off of them if you know how to do that. They will show up in Google surges. You can subscribe to them, and you can get information from them through really simple syndication; and you can comment on them publicly, which contributes to the networking relationship, being able to talk back and forth through a web log. And today’s software allows you to post audio, video and graphics as well, so it is a very rich media. Why should students do this? [on the board]. There are many great reasons but I will give you a link that gives you 20 great reasons why they should. But as I was thinking about the concept myself-because all of my students are doing it-as I thought about the concept, Donna made the earlier comment, as we were growing up, most of us who grew up had the concept that a diary has a lock on it. In order to snoop on somebody, you had to have a key or wrestled the diary away from them. This is how we would find out someone’s personal thinking in the past. For all lot of the digital generation, there is a cultural shift where they are assuming that every single word that they say it will be seen not only by their network of friends but potentially an even ideally millions of people. They have an understanding of the concept of a crowd sourcing and viral messaging. The Culture shipped moves away from the concept of writing for an audience of one-usually the When you get to that shift, shifting from writing for an audience of one too many people, you open yourself up to a lot more scrutiny and criticism. And that can be a good thing. There is a lot of motivation in that to write in an authentic manner, to write any way that projects a positive image of yourself out there. And to create a lasting positive public image. Even though students may not totally have that concept yet-they are still posting things on Facebook that may hurt them in the future; they still understand the concept that they are writing for many. And so we as teachers need to help them with the concept that when you write for millions, you want to do your best work. So there is a lot of motivation to write really well. That is one of the reasons I love to have my students do this. Another reason is that when they get out into the corporate world, they will be more familiar with web logs. These are things that can be found by potential employers in the future. These are all really good reasons why students should be blogging. I encourage all of you to take a look at this website. I think the writer has done a terrific Hopefully you understand what a Web log is in general, and we will look at some examples, and you are already on board with the idea that students should be doing because it is a good idea for them to do this. So now I would like to talk with you about how to set one up. We will see what one is, and I will give you three options to use with your students. There are other options, but these are the standard ones. There are some really good reasons for using these with your students that I will talk about. I In my own classroom, I have my students use the word press. It has really become the industry standard. Many of my students come in understanding that they are going to be blogging. They are typically students who are studying Web Technology, so they have a little bit higher technical capability in that sense. When I showed this to you however, I will show you the blocker site, because that is where my personal site is located. When I started doing this, I started when blogger was the personal option. So you do want to use Word Press.com, not .org, because .com allows you to post elsewhere. At the other one just allows you to have the free website. So let me get started here. (pause). ? Great. there is a problem? Let me make sure one. . OK. What I am showing you right now, this is my personal blog. Very similar to Word press. So as I am talking with you about how to set one up and how to do all this, if you are using word price it will be very similar to this. When you actually look at a blog within the blogger website, they have changed did all a bit. you will see that I am not a prolific writer. About once a month. And everything that I do has to do with teaching online. Whether it is Web 2.0 or my personal experiences as an online teacher or what I do with my students. So these are the ones that I have done. I would like to show you a posting in action. I am going to post for you. Let me try to find where I have hidden my web log site. There we go. Now you should be seeing my dashboard, is that correct? OK. Behind the scenes, when you set one up, setting it up is really as easy as having an e-mail address; signing up for an account; and then they take you into a section like this. As I scroll down here, you can see that I have some that I have posted, my readers have posted etc.. And as I go into the dashboard, I can create a new posting, I can change posts that have already been up there-many things that I can do to customize this to make it a little bit more personal. What I would like to show you is how easy it is to post a blog entry. Here [on the board] is one that I have written. One of the things that I have found, something about sitting down and writing on the platform is really sterile. Most of the way that I do it is I sent myself an e-mail. I sent myself a topic. And then when I think about it a little bit more, I respond to my original e-mail. And after a few e-mail’s, I have several ideas that I can distilled down into a single thought about my web log. So here is what I have [on the board]. I have a title, and all of my material in the body [on the board]. I really ready to go. I copied and pasted this from a Microsoft word document. I am-I’m going to publish the post. Now it becomes a life post. Now if I want to look at this [on the board], and you can see that it shows up-actually, let me go back-it shows on top of the previous posting. So it is in reverse chronological order. Can so I am posting personal thinking in a very public place. I want to demonstrate that because you watch me do the postings live. that is really how easy and how scary it is to do this. There are a few other things that you can do-it can include different things. But literally, that is the blog portion of its. The difficult part is in the riding, coming up with ideas. As I said, I have my students use were press, which is similar to this piece of software. It is the Cadillac standard of blogging. But I want to show you something that is much easier to use, called toaster. And I want to slow down all little bit and asked Everyone if you are able to keep up with what we’re doing-are there any questions on this first couple of websites before I move on to the next one? OK. I am looking at some very compressed tabs up here. So on to poserous.com (chat window). This is one of the easiest ways to get your students started. You do not have to create an account to use this and post. The only thing that you do in order to use or post something on this website is to send an e-mail to the website. And it is automatically posted. Now, if you would like to control the posting and do something with them-make sure that all of your students are in the same spot, etc., you will need to sign in and create an account. So I am going to show you what one of those accounts looks like. [on the board]. It should all be seeing the screen now. This is a blank account. This is an account that has never had anything posted to it ([on the board]. I am going to show you how ridiculously easy it is to pull something. I have just pulled up my Google Mail account and I have a draft post here. So this is an e-mail that I have created with in Google Mail. So I have copied and pasted some material into an e-mail. And the address is up here at the top [on the board]. Suppose you use your course name up here. Watch what happens when I click send. Now I will go back to the website and refresh the page. It may take just a moment for the e-mail to be posted. There we go [on the board]. So you just saw a real time posting on my website, and all that I did was send an e-mail to it. The really great thing about this-let me go into the background and sign in. (pause) just a moment. I am sorry. Let me see here. I will try this one more time. Of course, this is the fun thing about doing this in real time. I cannot find the proper button right now. Donna, can you help me? This is one of those things->> Moderator: this is actually the email link. Yes, this is the fun stuff. I was supposed to come in here earlier and sign in. The account, there is a sign in here somewhere. And I typically get there through a different portal. Thank you. The person who said, scroll to the right. Thank you. Let me try that again. There we go. Just to let everybody know, we had all little incident just before I got here. It has been quite an interesting morning over here. So I had about five minutes to set everything up, and I am still taking breaths from that earlier issue. OK. Here we go. So this is the dashboard that we are looking at. If you remember the earlier-board, it was much more complicated. Is what has a very simple interface. -this one has a very simple interface. You can create a web page, and notice this tab called contributors. If I have a list of all the e-mail addresses of my students, I can click on that tab and I can include all of them, and that is how I control who gets to make postings to my site. So only my students can post. But then all of OK. So that is this company website. Now I want to show you weebly.com (chat window). And let me sign into this one right here. Here is my weekly account, and I actually have not posted anything. A great question in the chat window (chat window). This website [on the board], is kind of the same concept. But is kind of like a marriage of the Cadillac version, word press, and blogger, with the ease of use and simplicity of posterous. kind of a nice combination of those. What I want to show you is, I have done nothing to this so far. But if I click to edit, and entered the design mode. You can see that I have only put in a paragraph. If I click on the design tab at the top, this gives me the opportunity to select from a bunch of different pre-existing photographs. This allows me to create a really nice site that is branded. Then I will click on the tab for Pages, and then click the add new blog button. I will give it a name, and then I can go in and make my first post. So that is how easy it is to get this up and running. Once again, you can link all of your students blog sites together. Or have each person have their own. This one is a little bit easier to set up and use them were han wordpress or blogger. I do not know the maximum file size. They do have a link directly into YouTube. So if you have a video, you can embed that that way. so what ever you have, I would have that hosted elsewhere, and then have a link in here. The paragraph so here are several options that I have shown to you-and all of these different sides have different aspects to them that may or may not work for your students. You will know where your students are in terms of their capabilities better than I. Now we will shift all little bit to talking about blogging guidelines and rubrics. But before we leave this, are there any other questions about these four different platforms? (pause). I have some files for you-(chat window question). Option for privacy? Yes. You can have a hidden page within that platform. So you do not have to make a web page public. You have to know the link to be able to send it out. So that is one way of doing it. You have that option. If you think about it, really you want to encourage students to be able to blog publicly. They can always keep their posting private until it is ready to be seen. But when you If the students keep that in mind, it drives home the point that spelling and grammar are important. The way that we treat one another and talk about each other on-line really matters. So I would say that even though you have the option for privacy, you should make it public. Because that is where the rubber meets the road, as far as their understanding the importance of really putting yourself out And Donna, I would like for your assistance here because I have a couple of files and some links. One of the files is the blog tips, and the other is a checklist. Once again, blogging is a very public thing, and as long as the students are not speaking about personal issues that are really sensitive,-And definitely that is something to take into consideration. >> IT the files go up? >> Moderator: did everybody get those? Great. Save those and you can use them locally. One of the reasons that I talk about plagiarism and establishing learning objectives and using rubrics-students today are really familiar with the idea of a match up. shup. they do it with music. They find poetry and images. They take a popular video and recreate the video with themselves included. And this is all very creative and a great way of expressing themselves. But the concept of a mashup does not lend itself to a blog platform, because a blog is supposed to be a unique authentic voice. So I really try and impress upon my students that this is their personal voice. This has to be unique. I do run the blogs through Google and turn it in. I did have one young man Unfortunately last semester who decided to create a blog about sporting events. He probably ran out of time for the class, and for his final project he turned in a series of articles from ESPN. He included his own private pictures, but of course that was not All of my students had to give a demonstration on the last day. This was an in class assignment. They put it up on a projector and talked about what they did. Tracy, how is my voice now? Is everybody As my students are going through their material-as this young man got up there, there was a murmur going through the classroom. Because the other students recognize that he had not written the material himself. Run the Web log through Google? (chat window). Just copy and paste. Click search, and you can’t tell what comes up-if there is a string of words that comes up, you pretty much know that it has been copied. But in my classroom, the other students were frustrated with this other student. Because the whole idea of the unique voice had become very important. It takes a lot of work to write something on your own. On the reverse side, another student, her first Web log was this incredibly well written, beautifully narrated adventure story. As I read through it, I had a sense that something was not right. I put it through a bunch of different systems and it came back clean. During the course of the class, I started to realize that this woman is just a wonderful, prolific writer. And she But always run the material through something to make sure that there is no plagiarism going on. Definitely you want to foster the idea that a unique voice is an important voice. Now I want to show you the class rubric-and once again, I have given you some tips and a checklist of things that you should students should do before they publish. -that your students should do before they publish. It will not be able to read this very well but I wanted to show you this rubric. Donna, did I give you the link? Great. OK. This is broken up into levels. I told the students that they had to come in at the apprentice level. Toward the end of class, I told them I wanted them to be an expert. So the grating criteria escalated through the class. And I wanted them to understand that as they were going through, I expected their skills to get higher and higher. And that is one of the things we saw in the class. In the document that I gave to you, the check list-let me see if I can find this on my notes really quick. I may not have given Donna the link to this. Because I talk about using headlines. (pause). I will give you a link but I will not demonstrate this. Because some of this is possibly not appropriate for this setting. Use this with caution. But if you go to this website (chat window). They talk about how to write catchy headlines. You can put in any title, click the button, generate, and they will give you a bunch of headlines with your keyboard. A great way to create headlines . or it will give you a topic that is thought provoking. Nine reasons why unicorns are more important than hot dogs. Giving you something you may never have thought about. Gets you thinking about different things. So one of the things on the checklist, and one of the things I tell my students to do is to take a look at the headlines, look at them both before and after. For Facebook also, yes. (chat window). Take a look at the head line before and after. You want to make sure that it encapsulates what is going on. Because the Headline will show up in a search engine. OK. Let’s talk quickly about a student blog. And I am going to take you on a tour for this. (pause). And I have a link to a CNN article on this website. This particular website is eight student journal. This is a Canadian college student. She talks about living with cystic fibrosis. I have a difficult time reading this without crying. Because one of my best friends in college passed away from the disease when she was 21. I truly wished that my friend Karen had something like this available to her when she was dealing with cystic fibrosis, because it would have put her in touch with a lot of people with similar issues in their life, on a regular basis. But this woman has one of the most beautiful voices I have seen in a student blog. A very sophisticated and poetic writer. She passed away in March of this year, and she blogged up until the day before she passed away. I share this with my students to show them the power of a web log. What one person can do. Her family has carried on her block site. They og site. they have sold some of her-or posted some of her artwork, to raise money for research. Very powerful. Share this with your students, if it is appropriate for your discipline. But a n incredible example of a powerful student voice. i have told you that I have all of my students doing web logs. This student [on the board] started off blocking about her singing career. She is a semi professional singer. She thought that would be the focus of her blog, until she discovered that our local state there was calling for entries for the Miss State Fair pageant. On a whim, she tried out and she was exempted. Unfortunately, she did not win the pageant. But she told me that she had so many things to include in the blog about the pageant, and someday she will get back to her singing. So I’ve been watching this to see if she would continue posting. The middle of the month of May is when she got into the Here is another of my students [on the board]. This was done by another singing student. He is a rap singer. He just returned to this country from a world tour, where he was singing. He came into my class, and he was one of those students who would sit back in a sweatshirt and look like he wasn’t sure why he was there. He started writing this blog, and I realized that there is a reason why he is a good singer. Because he can write. But only that, his music encompasses several different styles. He loves the music of the 1920’s and 1930’s. So he has incorporated a great deal of jazz and other types of Rather than continue his career, he realized he wanted to promote other musicians with a similar style. As he was blocking, he began to interview other rap musicians. As a result, he broke this terrific blog, with interesting interviews, and he started reaching out and doing all of this. I put him in touch with a friend of mine who is a music promoter in the Bay area. That was fun because she did go into his web log site, and see what he is doing. When I last talked with them, they were still talking about doing some collaborative work up there. So this is an example of a web log that actually got the student out there into the real world, after the class was finished. So that was really great. I have some other students that I want to show to you-actually, I will show you just one more because I want to keep some time available. (pause). The great thing about this one [on the board]-this student found out that he really loves to write. He is a prolific writer. He is a transplant from Great Britain. He is over here looking for a career, and so he has a little bit of a different viewpoint on American politics. But the really wonderful thing that has happened through this is that-his family had lost touch with him. They were sure what was going on with him. He would check in with them once in awhile. But his mother started falling his web log, and actually sent a message to me, thanking me for having him do all this. Because now she could keep track of him and know that he was OK. So that was interesting for me to know that there is this whole group of people over in Great Britain, who are actually fal following this blog very closely. Just to know that he is alive and well in scary California. So you never know what the OK. Hopefully we are back to the student blog area. OK. Let’s take a look at some assignment ideas [on the board]. I will not read all of these to you. But I do encourage you to type in your assignments-if you are familiar with blooms taxonomy, some of the higher levels-thank you so much, Donna. This is a wonderful image (chat window). If you look at the digital taxonomy, which was modified recently, you will see that blogging is a very high up on the levels. And True Church created this site, and he has some wonderful — Andrew Church — has some great resources on tying together student blogs. So I The digital taxonomy image (inaudible). Continuing quickly with the assignments, I have several different websites here. If you have never been to the sites-how many of you have been to the TED site before? wonderful. So many great ideas out there. A great way to get ideas for blogging. Controversial issues. You can have an on-line debate. And the last one- “I Write Like” — iwl.me site. if you have your student do a post, and then run it on this website, it will compare your student to a famous writer. Very inspirational. And finally, Digital tattoos. I try to impress upon my students that their postings on Facebook and Twitter is very public and very prominent. However, a blot does give the opportunity for modification, which is great for professional development. Having a quality website can be a real benefit. I also have a link there for the monster article on electronic reputation. Another website that I like to send my students to is called specified. y. (chat window). This specifically tracks and individuals boasting on the Internet. So this drives home the point that the students need to really guard their reputation. I really rushed through that last part. Are there any questions that I can answer for anyone? Go back to anything at all? I feel like I just went really quickly through a lot of information. Any ideas? Have you given your a students any web log assignments that you would like to share with us? >> If you are on the telephone, you can talk with us. Or if you’re on the computer, types something into the chat window. >>SPEAKER ONE: (chat window question). When I have a student make a post, I can ask them for further clarification. I would say, part of the Instructor aspect of this is to include those comments, and really dropped pieces of the post that you what the student to follow on or comments about further. On some-taking pictures of their surroundings to illustrate visual terms. Awesome. (chat window). And a blog really lends itself well to various media. Did I answer your question? It is anyone else using blogging? Are you having your students do any public writing? Or does anyone use it website that we have not talked about? Great question-linking were pressed to face book? Absolutely. Facebook will automatically pick up pictures from your blog as well. Some of the websites, posterous and weebly, will allow you to broadcast your Web log to a whole variety of social networking site. Twitter, Facebook. Ning is awesome. they just went to a pay per use format. fantastic. I am glad that I was able to help you. If you have any questions later, or ideas that you would like to run past week, feel free to send me an e-mail. [on the Another great question-the process for gathering and sharing the links with the class-I use a blog roll. I have the student provide a list of the blocks that they are reading. (speaking rapidly). We actually have a discussion board where they do that. Very cool. And I think we are pretty much there. Yes, they live on forever. Thank you very much. Donna, is there anything else that you want to include? >> Moderator: I think you did a great job. We have posted her e-mail address in the chat window, so if you want to contact her after the session, please do so. If you would take just a moment after the session to fill out the survey, we would certainly appreciate that. Thank you very much, for spending your summer afternoon with us. Hopefully it is sunny where you are and you are able to enjoy the rest of the afternoon. And when school starts up in the fall, you will be ready to go with your blog. >> And if you end up doing this with your students, and you have some wonderful work,

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