Tasmanian Blogs

Digital Footprints

My World Footprint

What is a digital footprint?

Wherever you go on the internet you leave little marks like footprints. Hopefully all the marks you leave are good ones. Which of these might be good or bad? Why?

Comments seen on a make believe blog:

  2. G’day Sally, I agree with that comment about digital footprints. I have just joined a course  and will be checking out what my footprint looks like. The course is for students, teachers and parents. Maybe some of your class will join me.
  3. Contact me at 123 49782 65234. I’ll meet you at the Mall in Notown at 6.30pm on Friday night. We can go to the Italian Restaurant at the mall for tea.

What does your digital footprint look like?

Do you have a Facebook page? Are all your comments and updates polite or are some of them not so good? Do you think your grandmother or a future boss would enjoy reading what you have written or looking at the photos you have added?

Have you registered for websites like Club Penguin, MoshiMonsters, Animoto etc. How much personal information did you leave? Have you joined some without your parents knowing? Remember most websites you need to be 13 or older. Why do you think they choose that age?

Add a comment about digital footprints to this voicethread. There are three different images. Click on my picture to see what you are commenting about on that image. If you can’t read what it says, check the questions below the voicethread on this blog.

1. Why should you think about your digital footprint when using the Internet?

2. What might other people have added to your footprint without you realising it?

3. Name three places where you have started leaving a positive digital footprint.

Kathy, who left a comment here, had a great visual on her blog from Intel website showing what she talks about in her digital footprint. I added only my facebook and twitter to it and this is what it created. I don’t know where that 11% shopping comes from – maybe the other members of my PLN.

Footprint on Facebook and Twitter

Image: ‘Footprint-Weltkarte

Reading competition closes soon

Did you know of this competition relating to the National Year of Reading 2012?

I saw a tweet go out on Twitter and wondered if any of our blogging schools were taking part.

Tassie kids be quick-just 10 more days to get your entry into #NYR12 ‘Are We There Yet?’ competition http://bit.ly/GZFeul Entries close 16/7

Here is a link to the website with all the details but it closes on 16 July so you will have to be quick getting your entries organized.

The activities relate to the book “Are we there yet?” by Alison Lester.

Check it out quick as there are lots of things you could be doing relating to reading as well as art.


A blog is not an add on in the curriculum

Often teachers new to blogging find it difficult to get into a routine of using their blog in their classroom. After a few months, no new posts are being added, therefore no new visitors are arriving to leave comments.
Blogging- It is not abuot the Tools...It's about the Skills
Silvia Tolisano from the blog Langwitches has created a great poster about the skills you learn while blogging. She also has posters on using wikis, podcasting, digital storytelling and video conferencing. You can download them from her flickr page to use in your room.

She has also created other pdf documents about blogging – a lesson plan about a unit on blogging and a rubric for writing posts and leaving comments.

Kathleen Morris, who I recently met at a conference in San Diego, also writes many posts about using blogs in the classroom. She has connected with many teachers overseas and regularly joins with teachers in creating global collaborative projects.

Linda Yollis, who I stayed with last year and who often works with Kathleen Morris, has a wiki about educational blogging.

Make sure you check out the student and class blog lists on these two teachers class blogs.

Leave a comment about how you think blogging can be an everyday occurrence in your classroom. How could it be used for literacy, numeracy, science, history, health, music, art, PE etc?


What did you do in your winter holidays?

Well students and teachers are back at work this week in Tasmania.

I wonder what you did for your two week holidays?

  • Did you go to the movies? What did you see? Write a review of the movie in your class blog.
  • Did you visit relatives? Write a post about visiting your relatives.
  • Did you go travelling? Write a post about where you went and what you enjoyed the most.
  • Did you stay at home? Write a post about the exciting things you did at home.

I have been lucky enough to go travelling. I am in Southern California at the moment driving in the high desert area around Blythe, Joshua Tree National Park  and heading to Yuma near the Mexican border tomorrow. After a few days there visiting other national parks and wildlife refuges I will be driving west to San Diego. The temperature has been very high here – outside the car yesterday at 1pm was 108F – wonder what that is in celsius?

I will be presenting about the student blogging challenge at a four day conference called ISTE12. This is the International Society for Technology in Education. There could be over 10,000 educators attending. Hopefully I will bring back lots of freebies and knowledge of new technologies to use with blogging.

Leave a comment below telling me what you did in the holidays.


Have you visited ….?

Remember an important part about blogging is visiting other blogs – check out the widgets, read the posts and most importantly leave great comments. Each month I will write a post suggesting some great local, interstate and overseas blogs to visit.

Local – here in Tasmania, we are still on holidays, but some posts are still being written. Check out Madi, Marcus, Armidale, Hayden, Dakota, student at 45DS, Emily, students at Mrs H, Tayla and Aaron.

InterstatePaolo, Michelle, Mrs N, Mrs Jordan, tmteam, Jalen, Mrs Milton, Epsom and 34Lonnie.

OverseasArizona, using Glogster, stop motion video, England, Canada, California and North Carolina.

Image: ‘Ioni’s world DSC01433

Writing and editing a post

Once you have a username and password, students and teachers can start writing posts on their class blogs. Below is a step by step guide on how to write a post, then how to edit a post you have already published.

How to write a post

  1. Log into your class blog – go to your classblog URL and click on login
  2. Type in your username and password – don’t click remember me – click login
  3. You are now on your dashboard -hover over ‘Add New’ at the top
  4. Click on ‘Post’

You are now ready to start writing

1. Add a great title relating to what the post is about.

2. Click on the kitchen sink icon to make sure the second row of icons appears.

3. Write your post. If you have written your post in Word then highlight the post in Word, copy it, click on this icon and paste.  In Word, don’t do any formatting, just write the post. Make changes to colour etc while in your blog post dashboard.

4. Highlight the words you want to change colour then click this icon.

5. Highlight the words you want to make bold then click this icon.

6. If you want to make bullet points, highlight the lines you want bulleted, then click this icon.

7. Before hitting the publish button, remember to spellcheck your post by clicking this button.

8. Have you ticked your name under categories on the right sidebar?

9. Have you added tags?

10 Now click the big blue button.

Editing your post

You find you need to edit your post – maybe you put in too much personal information or you need to add some punctuation or change some spelling.

1. Log in to your class blog until you are at your dashboard.

2. On the left sidebar, click on the arrow beside ‘Posts’ then click on ‘All Posts’.

3. Find the post you need to edit and hover under the title, click on edit.

4. When you have finished making your changes, click the big blue button again.


Typing games

Some students don’t have very accurate or speedy typing skills. There are many programs on the internet that will teach them the positions of the hands on the keyboard as well as fun games to improve their speed and accuracy.

Below are some that I have used with my students who had set themselves goals to improve their typing so they weren’t using only two fingers when typing up reports or blog posts.

Tests and tutorials

Typing test – this is where we are going to do our first and last tests to see if you have achieved your goal or not.

Upbeat – playing music while practising finger placement for typing correctly. No time to look at the keys if you want the music to play well. Three levels for typing.

Typing tutor – teaches you correct hand position to improve your typing skills.

Dance Mat – this is a typing tutorial produced by the BBC in England for students to learn how to type

Fast fingers – another speedtest to use throughout the week

Practise words and sentences

Foggies – pick some music to type words by. The words appear and disappear into the fog. You stop the game when you require. Two levels.

Typing chef - you are the chef typing words that are in the bubbles coming up from the pots and pans on the stove.

Chameleon – typing sentences as the chameleon tries to catch the flies.

Barracuda – type words as well as capital letters

Trees – choose what words you have eg trees, animals then type them as they fall. Includes capital letters and punctuation. Different levels can be chosen – this will vary the speed.

Practise letters or characters

Alphabet Rain – includes letters and numbers dropping like rain. You need to type the character before it hits the ground. Five levels.

Keyman – a bit like Pacman but you have to eat the letters as well as the pill to get the ghost.

Burst the bubble – type the letter in the bubble – burst the bubble before it hits the surface.

Sheep game – type the letter in the parachute before the sheep lands on the ground

Type against others in a race

Typeracer – you may sign in or use guest account. Record kept if you join. Then you can play against other typists or practise your typing. Do not create private race with chat.

This post was copied from another blog I write and the following is a comment about another program to use.

What a great collection! This ‘Keyseeker’ site helps build keyboard familiarty from an early age … it is designed for students in their first years at school

Have you used any other sites with your students?


Original image: ‘computer lab – 4th grade‘ by: woodley wonderworks

A page about your class

Often when teachers first visit your blog, they look for a PAGE called “About us” or “About our school”. This is an introduction page about you, your students, your school, your town etc.

Why is it a page instead of a post?

Pages are linked to the front of your blog forever, so they are created for information that doesn’t change very often. When you first create a blog, there is a “Sample Page” there for you already. You can edit this page into an “About Us” page instead.

Editing the Sample Page

  1. Go to your class blog and log in to your dashboard.
  2. On the left sidebar, click on the drop down arrow next to Pages.
  3. Click on All pages.
  4. Find the Sample Page, hover underneath and click Edit.
  5. Delete anything that might already be there, then start writing about your class, school, town etc.
  6. Update the page when you have finished.

Check out the “About Us” pages from these class blogs:

eSchool blogs, Mrs Fielding, Kids in the Mid, Mrs Haley, 4-5DS, Mrs Bliss,

Some blogs have sub pages under the heading About Us, so check out:

4KM and 4KJ, Mr Avery, Meet Mrs Yollis,

Discuss with your students what they are going to include there. Maybe you could add a slide show of your avatars – Animoto is an excellent tool for this. Remember to be internet savvy and check with your school administration as to whether they want the school name included or not.

I can’t see the page on the front of the blog!

Maybe the theme you have chosen does not show pages you have created. Go to your blog dashboard, click on appearance> widgets and drag the pages widget across to a sidebar.

Attribution:  Image: ‘Papua New Guinea: Gaire #3

Leave a comment: What other pages could you create for your blog?

Check out what other teachers have done.


I headed north

I have just spent three enjoyable days in the North and North West of the state helping Mr Williams, Mrs Copeland and Mr Weir set up their class blogs. We went through all the activities mentioned for setting up your class blog. I also spent time with the students creating avatars and updating their profiles, especially changing their passwords.

While driving between Cooee and Launceston, I went for a drive and walk through Ferny Glade Reserve near Burnie. It is common to see a platypus in the Emu River there, but they must have all been asleep when I got there at 9.30am.

Remember if you have any questions about blogging, click on the “Questions??” page in the header.


Image: ‘Platypus

Great interactive book

I went to an online session in Blackboard collaborate today. The session was about cyber safety. Tony Richards, running the session, mentioned an online book that would be excellent for teachers, parents and students to read called “20 Things I Learned About Browsers and the Web“. Click the image to be taken to the website.

What did you find interesting in the information?

What was something new you found out by reading the book?