Thursday, January 22, 2009

Why Let Our Students Blog?

What a great little video. Why should we let our students blog? How many educators are actually asking that question? How many are still asking what is a blog?

I took key themes from the video and created a Wordle summary of why it is important to recognize the power of the blog.

Will Richardson has much to say about students blogging. One of my favourite postings on his blog is titled Why Weblogs? The posting is a running collection of compilations from different sources. The first story interestingly describes the lack of connection students made between their participation in the ReadWriteWeb as active reading and writing. “To them, the Internet and other forms of electronic discourse were not associated with their concept of “reading and writing” in the school sort of way”. As suggested in Richardson’s posting, students may indeed see blogging, texting, emailing etc as recreation, not necessarily associated with formal 'school-type' learning. Encouraging students to take part in the blogosphere can create an authentic learning experience that engages passive Internet participants to create conversations that can continue to evolve anytime, anywhere.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Let’s Talk About EdTechTalk

If you are visiting EdTechTalk (ETT) for the first time and want to find out more about this site, you might just visit the ‘About Us’ section. The opening statement sums up the goal of this highly valuable educational website. “EdTechTalk is a community of educators interested in discussing and learning about the uses of educational technology.” There is no shortage of topics to meet your professional development needs. The plethora of technology shows on the website line-up is well-rounded and sure to satisfy all techy appetites. The current ETT line-up includes:
21st Century Learning
EdTechTalk K-12
Making Connections
Parents as Partners
It’s Elementary
Teachers Teaching Teachers
Women of Web2.0

There are several different ways in which to catch the ETT action:
• Listen to a live webcast
• Access show archives
• Subscribe to a RSS feed

I was first introduced to EdTechTalk last fall during my Web 2.0 graduate course as some of the podcasts were posted on the course Trailfires. Wanting to get to know more about the personalities hosting EdTechTalk, I began following their blogs and reading their Tweets on Twitter. What I can say for certain is that educators who are interested in expanding their knowledge about 21st technologies cannot pass through this website without taking time to sample a webcast.

I have become an avid fan. I have become an avid fan so much so that I have subscribed to multiple shows through my iTunes. What better way to enjoy a webcast at leisure than by uploading the iPod and hitting the play button!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Image to Word Image

A random find. While I was searching through the Internet, I stumbled across Textorizer Generator, a free widget that transforms images and logos into a world of word imagery. I decided to try it out as the examples on screen looked fun and interesting.

There are two ways in which try out this tool, download the application or use the online version. I chose to use the online version. According to the creators, Safari, Opera and Firefox are the browsers that work best and this seems to be the case as I first tried creating an image in Explorer with no success. I then moved into Firefox and had an interesting time trying to create something recognizable enough to post on the blog. After a few failed attempts with different logos and pictures, the blogger symbol was finally a logo that proved to be successful in this textorizing experiment. Little did I know that there is an online community of textorizer images posted on Flickr.

From this...

To this...

I used the phrase Teching Around with Web 2.0 to make up the text imagery. Would this application easily be incorporated into an educational setting? No. Most schools use Internet Explorer as the desktop browser. However, the potential to create some cool digital art is waiting for those who are willing to go on a Safari, perform in Opera or travel into Firefox.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Teching Around in 2009

Happy New Year! With the celebration of welcoming in 2009, I decided that Teching Around needed a makeover. I dedicated some time this week changing colours, gadgets and rearranging components within the template. Out with the old, in with the new…well, at least out with some of the old blog and in with a few new things. I have not given much thought to blogging over the holidays. A much needed break was in order. However, I expect 2009 to bring new insights into 21st century learning, technologies, and ICT skills in the field of education. It is time to start researching more Web 2.0 applications, articles, and catch up on my RSS feeds.

Yes, it is time I updated my blog!