Last Day of Tech Explorers Class -Letter to Parents

Dear Tech Explorer Parents,

As our technology explorer class comes to a close, I would like to say thank you. Thank you for allowing your child to be part of this wonderful group. Thank you, also, for your support and feedback.

 

To say that I am happy with how this class went would be an understatement. This group has been amazing. They are so cooperative and creative. Their personalities have really emerged in their blogs, and I feel that I really got to know each of them. Finally, I have to tell you how impressed I am with their technology skills and their understanding of how to represent themselves safely and appropriately online.

 

I gave them administrative control over their blogs because I wanted them to have total creative freedom. I made myself co-administrator on each blog and moderated comments from my email. I tried to make them aware that many people were watching them to see how they would handle this responsibility. Their actions would help determine whether students at our school (and maybe even elsewhere) would be allowed to blog and use other such interactive technologies in the future. I told them if there was even the slightest question of whether something was appropriate to post they should wait until they could ask me.

And they have made me very proud.

 

Now that the class is over and summer is coming, I will no longer be acting as co-administrator. If you would like your child to continue working on their blog over the summer, I ask that you become the co-admin. It is easy to set up, and I will do it for you. I will use your email, and comments will come to you for approval before being published on the blog. If you do not want this responsibility, I will be leaving the blog online, but closing students’ accounts. I trust that you understand.

 

If you would like to keep your child’s blog “open” please drop me a note with your email or email me. I will use your email address as the admin email and leave your child as blog administrator. I will send you their log-in information.

 

I hope that this class has been a very positive learning experience for your child, as it has for me.

Thank you again,

Mrs. Hernandez

 

 

Audio Posting

Today we are going to create a talking post. You can upload your voice as a an mp3 file (easier) or, if you are ready for more of a challenge (but not too difficult) you can create a voki, or a talking avatar. First you will have to go into the applications folder to find the audio recording application, audacity. The icon looks like this:audacity-126.jpgOnce you open it you can record your voice directly from the built-in mic on the computer. There are many effects, too, so play around and explore, but remember, your final sound file, the one you post on your blog, should be appropriate, not silly, and should communicate something of interest to your readers. When you have recorded something that you would like to post to your blog, you will have to export the file into an mp3 format, so that it can be uploaded to the blog. Then you upload the mp3 file similarly to the way you upload an image. If you want to make a voki, you should then go here. You create the voki by choosing from the options. Then you upload the mp3 file directly into the voki by clicking on the folder, choosing the file, clicking upload and then click done. Then click publish and it will give you some code to add to your blog. Make sure you choose “wordpress” to get the right code for edublogs.Here’s mine:Get a Voki now!

I have a comment…

An exciting thing happened over the weekend. I got a comment on this blog, and a few of you got comments on your blogs, from Ms. W, a teacher in Tasmania!!!!! How cool is that? I also left comments on all of your blogs 🙂 

One thing that makes blogging different from other types of writing is that blogs are (usually) interactive. We publish online and share our thoughts and ideas with anyone in the world who discovers our blog. One way to get people to visit your blog and leave comments for you is to comment on the blogs of others. What I would like you to do today is leave a comment on someone else’s blog. Many of you have already left a comment on a friends’ blog. Today you will leave a comment on someone’s blog (in our group) that you have not yet visited. You can also visit Ms. W’s blog, follow the links to her students’ blogs (under “students 2008” on the left-hand sidebar) and leave a comment for one of her students.

When leaving comments remember to:

•Be polite. Think about how you would feel if you received an unkind comment. Use respectful language and share something positive.
•Comment on something the person has posted on their blog. Answer or ask a question. Continue the conversation. Try to go beyond the obvious, “Hi. I like your blog.” This is a great opportunity to connect with someone else, maybe someone in another part of the world.
•Leave a link to your blog and ask them to visit your blog, too. 

Image Generators: Fun for your Blog

Today I thought I would show you some image generators. These sites let you create a customized image to promote your blog or show something fun or funny. All the usual rules of safe conduct apply here, however, you are free to use these images without using image citations. They are copyright free and there for people to use.

I got this idea from another teacher and friend, Mrs. Tolisano, who also blogs with her students. Here is something she told her students that I also want my students to remember:

 All of these image generators are free for you to use. There will be advertisement on these pages. Learn to ignore them. DON’T click on any of them, no matter how appealing they seem or how much they say “Click me, Click me!”

Try one or more of these:

Redkid.net  make signs, fortune cookies, all kinds of fun stuff here.

ipod-billboard.jpg

GlassGiant.com Make snowglobes, “glitters,” personalized chocolate bars, boats and stadium signs just to name a few.

boat.jpg 

Have fun. I am excited to see your creations! 

Avatars

Today you will have the chance to create an avatar for your blog. An avatar is an image that is used to represent yourself online instead of using an actual photo of yourself. It is safer to represent yourself with an avatar because no one who sees it can identify you in real life. It is also fun to think about how you will represent yourself.Some choices for making your avatar are to use an art program such as pixie or image blender to draw it, finding a copyright-free photo online at pics4learning or you could use build your wild self to create a fun avatar.After you create your avatar you can upload it to your blog by going to the dashboard and clicking on “upload your blog and user avatar.” You will use the same avatar for both blog and user. After that you can put it on your blog if you would like.Here is my blog avatar: earth_thumb.jpg I chose this to represent this blog because I hope that this class will have the chance to connect with students around the world. I didn’t actually put it on the blog because it was already in the header I created. I got the picture from pics4learning, so I need to give a credit here for the image. You can easily get the image credit on pics4learning by clicking on the picture and copying where it says “bibliography.” Here is the image credit:NASA. earth.jpg. . Pics4Learning. 16 Mar 2008 <http://pics.tech4learning.com>Think about what type of image you would like to use to represent yourself! 

Welcome to Tech Explorers!

Hello Tech Explorers and Parents of Tech Explorers,

We are embarking on a most exciting journey. Each technology explorer will be creating their own blog. Your blog will be your place on the web to showcase your talents and interests, to write about your thoughts and ideas, and to connect with other students around the world.In this class you will have the opportunity to explore whatever digital tools you most enjoy. Because we will be posting our blogs on the Internet to a worldwide audience, we must make sure that we understand how to keep ourselves and our friends safe online. By joining tech explorers we must agree to follow the tech explorers’ code of safe online conduct.

Tech Explorers’ Code of Safe Online Conduct

  • I will not post pictures of myself or my friends on my blog. I will use an avatar to represent myself. If I want to post pictures of myself or people I know on my blog I will use a filter to change the picture so it is hard to identify.
  • I will not use my last name on my blog.
  • I will be careful about sharing too much personal information. If I am not sure if it is ok to say something, I will ask my teacher. For example, I like baseball and want to write a lot about baseball on my blog. That is fine. But I shouldn’t write the full name of my team and where and when we practice.
  • I will not put my email address or my home address or phone number or other contact information on my blog.
  • Anything I post on my blog – words, pictures, video or other projects -will be something I would be happy to have my parents or teachers see. I will use appropriate language and keep in mind at all times that I am representing myself and my school to the whole world.
  • I will use images that I create myself or that I know are from shared, copyright-free sources. When I use other people’s words or images I will give them credit.