Tagged: Education

What Platform to choose for classroom learning?

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Sue Walters who develops workshops on E-learning and web 2.0 and is also a Support Manager for Edublogs conducted  a research study of 259 educators such as middle school teachers (72%), students (12%), professors (5%), librarians (4%), trainee teacher (4%) & other (5%) were interviewed on various topics about blogging in the classroom such how blogs are been used & different platforms that they used.  The results of this research came to show 50% of the educators believes that using Edublogs is the best platform to interact, create and use blogs in the classroom. The second best platform would be WordPress with 21% of the votes.

Both websites are great for blogging; however, they both have very different approaches and different tools that allows the users to do different things depending what are they priorities and what are they looking for. One hand you Edublogs, which is a great, easy and convenient tool that is used in many schools. An educator who prefers Edublogs over WordPress states that it has an “Excellent and fantastic support. The support given is wonderful when you are in a jam.  Support is reliable and prompt, it is reasonably priced and specifically focused supporting students and teachers. Lots of help and support material available as well as the incredible support team which are only a tweet or email away”.   As a WordPress user, the support that is offered by Edublog is not found at WordPress and it may take sometime until you can get a response from someone of their team in case an educator is having technical difficulties.  Having always someone to help is a priority for an educator there is no doubt that Edublogs would be a better fit for their classroom then WordPress.  In addition, Edublogs allows many features to be added to students or educator blogs such as “widgets, online tools and different types of media into posts, pages and text widgets”, which can all enhance and create a better communication platform between students and teacher. But, the price for this great platform is not free! Edublogs is a paid platform that needs a payment in order for a school or for a classroom to have access to it. The fee starts as low as $500 a year, but it depends how many access codes will be needed. If money is an issue around a school, Edublogs would not be the best decision since it requires a fee payment in order to use the service.

On the other hand, WordPress with 21% of the educators using it becomes the second most used platform in the classroom.  As a WordPress user I find it very user friendly, but the user will need to play around with it a little bit in order to understand its full functions and what you can and can not do with WordPress. An educator best described WordPress as a “powerful, easy to learn, easy to use, mobile device friendly” account that can be used in the classroom.  One concept of WordPress that is very important to take into consideration when deciding which blog would be the best for your own classroom is how the platform chosen can be integrated with other technologies. The technology world is constantly changing and it is very hard to keep up with it. WordPress is very phone friendly. It allows students and educators to post through their phones and their emails at their own convenient time without the need to sit in front of a computer or laptop in order to post or create something. Another positive attribute of WordPress is the fact that is free of charge. Teachers can create countless amount of profiles for their students or request them to make it their own, the only requirement of creating your blog at WordPress is that it only needs  unique email for each blog that is created new. The downfall of WordPress is the limitations of interaction that an educator can have with a students in terms of posting and controlling comments on the webpage. In addition,  widgets and really customizing WordPress is not the best since it requires an upgrade and that is paid.

Finally, this study comes shows that choosing a platform really depends on what type of tools an educator is looking for and what is their priories when it comes to the blogs that they want create. Both tools Edublogs and WordPress are great tools for teachers to start improving their classroom and adapting to the 2.0 Elearning system.

Waters, Sue, and Ronnie Burt. “The State of Educational Blogging in 2012.” Web log post. The Edublogger. N.p., 26 July 2012. Web. 26 Sept. 2013. <http://theedublogger.com/2012/07/26/the-state-of-educational-blogging-in-2012/#respondents&gt;.

annotated 2

Wilson, Pamela. “8 Incredibly Simple Ways to Get More People to Read Your Content.”Copyblogger. Copyblogger Media, LLC, 10 Dec. 2010. Web. 26 Sept. 2013.

 

This article teaches businesses and other fellow bloggers on how to keep readers and customers engaged. Wilson states that in order for people to understand and read your content and reply is by keeping an article short and snappy. There are so many people who “scan” articles, instead of genuinely reading through the whole article, word by word. They look for what they want and just breeze through the article. She even suggests writing some paragraphs with just one sentence. She suggests bulleted information, which shows that people are so used to reading short and quick articles.

My essay’s main point is that people want quick information because we are so used to the quick paced world. This depicts my thesis very well, showing examples of how to write quick articles. As the title of this article states, there will be more readership and followers if the articles are succinct. “79% of readers scan rather than read the whole article.” This proves that more people would rather get more information by visiting many different sites and reading quick information.

Copyblogger is a trustworthy site because it has won many awards for being the best blog and for giving great information. The founder has also been mentioned in many books. Copyblogger has been founded in 2006, and ever since the beginning, they have been teaching businesses how to market.

creative commons

 

It is honestly annoying if someone takes your idea and broadcasts it as their own. You put your dedication and time into your work, and someone takes it. This is why you need a license via the Creative Commons so that your work gets its proper credit and your name gets acknowledged and known. Creative Commons makes sure that your work gets attributed.

It is so important to use media from the Creative Commons search site because it allows users everywhere to use different media based on the license. One does not have to feel guilty or uneasy when using a photo on their site that is not originally theirs. No artists or photographers will track one down and demanding that their original work gets deleted on ones site. As long as one does not go against the license and its restrictions, all is fine. It’s important to use media via the C.C. so that everyone gets their proper share of acknowledgement.

If one is great at drawing or great at taking pictures, and one wants to show the world their amazing work, they should upload it onto a website with a Creative Commons license. By uploading it with a license, one can restrict who takes the original work and what they can do with it. Some people might be devious and use an original work and sell it or say they are the original creators without crediting the producer. Some people do not properly give credit to the original artist, and it is unfair. They should stop and be more courteous when using images and other forms of media that are not theirs!

9 Benefits of Blogs in the Classroom

Morris, Kathleen. “The Benefits of Educational Blogging.” Primary Tech. N.p., 8 Mar. 2013. Web. 20 Sept. 2013. <http://primarytech.global2.vic.edu.au/2013/03/08/the-benefits-of-educational-blogging/&gt;.

Blogs in the classroom have increased highly in the past 6 years mostly due to the high success rates and positive research on the benefits of blogging in the classroom.  Kathleen Morris describes on her blogs that there is a nine benefits that arrises when teachers or professors starts to use a blog for the classroom.  The benefits as described by Morris are ” Social Skills and Confidence, Internet Safety, Literacy, Maths, Home- School Connection,ICT Skills, Classroom Community, Authentic Audience and Global Connections”.  Blogging is not only a way to get students more involved in the classroom, but it is also the path to the future that will be filled with technology and virtual interactions. Starting teaching kids young about the benefits of such great too will only prepare them for the high tech community that we will be facing soon.

people want shorter articles!

Nielsen, Jakob. “Nielsen Norman Group.” Long vs. Short Articles as Content Strategy. NN/g, 12 Nov. 2007. Web. 17 Sept. 2013.

This article states that “people prefer to read short articles.” It states that people who read shorter articles, save two minutes and has 7 benefit units- the value and information they get from a website. It concludes that after an hour, people who read shorter articles have 105 benefit units per hour compared to those who read the longer articles with 100 benefit units per hour. It states that shorter articles are more focused and great to grow readership and great for advertising. It uses an example of people preferring shorter articles when looking for symptoms of an illness, compared to reading a long article that states it in the middle. Even with both a mix of short and long articles read, people still benefit more from shorter articles. Jakob Nielsen (the author) and his NN/g group was founded in 1998, and has been conducting numerous researches, trainings, and consulting, and has uploaded so many different tests and strategies, so he is definitely a source that I can rely on. They have sold books and gone on many tours.  It goes great with my thesis because I want to prove that people prefer reading shorter articles and not longer articles. I feel more sturdy with my topic now. This article is not biased at all and is very informative and neutral.

Time & Dedication!

Photo by: wikimedia

Not everyone starts out as blogging prodigies; it takes a lot of time and effort to create the perfect blog and gain a lot of audience. For starters, bloggers should research about different blogging platforms and learn about different techniques. They should search for tips that would help them grow and engage with their followers. They should also think deeply about a topic that they are passionate about.

Whatever experience with technology one has, a person should definitely get a hands on experience with blogs. They should create a mock site and play around with different features. There is no better way to learn than actually getting a hands on experience. When I first started blogging, I followed different range of bloggers and learned their techniques. A lot of them used the famous hashtags while others just had a funny sense of humor. It took me a few months to get used to blogging, and eventually I learned a lot of shortcuts that can be taken to create new links or add new media, etc. I am still not the best at blogging, but after constantly blogging for an entire summer, I can say that I’m not that bad at it! It took a while to get used to everything, but blogging is one of the simplest things life has to offer.

Many blogging sites come with easy features that can easily be learned in a few hours to a few days. Nothing can get easier than clicking a button that says, “New Post.” These type of blogging sites will be great for beginners to novices who just want to experience what a blogger’s life feels like. These will be best for those who just want to get their opinions across while reaching out to a certain audience. One does not have to be a big techie for these type of blogs. Tumblr, WordPress, Xanga, Blogger, etc. all are simple blogging sites that just require a few hours of clicking around and learning. There are also tutorials and support forums that anyone can read and contribute to.

For the extremely technological masters, codes are the way to go. I feel like it would be best for these advanced bloggers to create their own site. It would take a bit to get used to, but practice makes perfect! These technology folks are lucky because they know what codes to create to make their blog the best looking. But the easy buttons, for us technologically challenged folks, are our way to making a successful blog. We get to browse through hundreds of themes and choosing the best that will fit our personalities.

No matter what level one’s love for technology is, practice is the way to go. The more one blogs, the better they will get at it. The more one wants to advance in blogging, the more they will look at different blogs, take notes, and learn. Once more time is put into this task, blogging will be a piece of cake. It honestly does not require much technological knowledge to create the best blog. Your content, personality, design, and passion is what creates the perfect blog.

Mini Tips… from a college kid

I will start a blog that has mini tips created by me, a college kid. I feel as if I can relate to almost every college kid and not just one specific group of people.

Advice from a Twenty Something

Not just an ordinary blog… it combines everything that relates to a 20 something year old lady! Fashion, nail ideas, makeup tips, decorative aspects, etc. Amanda really knows how to give tips in a funny yet serious manner. Her blog design consists of pastel/spring colors which are not hurtful to look at. It is simple yet beautiful. Easy to search for tips. Easy to navigate. Easy to follow!

She has her own voice, and it seems as if she’s in-person, talking to you. She uploads pictures to accompany her tips. Which is great. She links fashion posts to different clothing websites.

There is no archive, which isn’t bad but might be useful! Other than that, I’m in love with this blog!

Lifehacker

Not focused towards fashion, but more focused on technology and the business world. These tips are great for computer challenged folks and interesting to read. Lifehacker has many tips and is constantly updated. It never lags in the news world either. Simple yet so neat! So easy to navigate as well. Definitely an interesting blog that has a sense of humor. Simple layout. I wish it could have been a bit fancier. It is easy to read though.

Dumb Little Man

Sort of a discouraging link, no? The boring layout follows along. It isn’t constantly updated, and it lacks a sense of humor and style. There are so many popup ads, too!

It does however, help bring one up in spirits. It gives nice advice for stress or low confidence. This site offers advice on which phone to purchase to simple workouts. I wish it was easy to navigate through this site. I wish the blog was more organized with their display. It lacks color, but is a pretty awesome blog. The tone is of an Elderly who has experience in many fields: health, business, education, etc. There is so many tips you can discover on this site. Thankfully, there are pictures to help bring this site to life!

All these blogs are original and successful!