Monthly Archives: February 2011

Tech Talk Tuesdays and eT@lking – this week’s webinars

Tech Talk Tuesdays: Tuesday, 1st March, 4-5pm  Melbourne Australia time (gmt+11)

Topic: Little Big Education

About the session:- The guest presenter this week is Adrian Camm, who is an innovative, mutli-award winning teacher at both the national and state levels in Australia. Adrian won the coveted Outstanding Secondary Teacher for Victoria last year.

In this session, Adrian will talk about some of the great things he has been doing since this award, his current role at Quantum Victoria and the international conferences that he has attended. As part of his new role, Adrian will share some of the new technologies that he is working on at Quantum, Victoria eg augmented reality and the Little Big Planet 2. No matter what subject or tier or area of education,  you are interested in, there will be something for you.

Here is the link to the recording. Please join us.

eT@lking: Wednesday 2nd March 8-9pm, Melbourne Australia time (gmt+11)

Topic: A Digital Journey

About the Session: Penny Bentley will be the guest presenter. Listen to one educators’ journey into the successful uptake of technology – from where Penny Bentley started to today! Penny will share with us her digital journeys over the last 12 months from early beginnings to now, where she is establishing her own learning network. Where and how to start with technology, how do you get connected, how to find a learning network etc right through to today, where Penny has commenced a facebook page for her network, is actively involved online and keen to teach online. Follow Penny’s e-footsteps with us and continue or commence your own.

Here is the link to the session. Please join us.

eT@lking: The Student Blogging Challenge

The Student Blogging Challenge site

Sue Wyatt who organizes the Student Blogging Challenge, expertly led us through a session explaining this session. So far there are more than 600 students from 35 schools from across many countries.

A global audience was present.  Participants, some of whom are registered for the Student Blog Challenge,  came from Australia, China, USA and Ireland. Sue walked us through  both the upcoming Student Challenge and the current edublog’s Teacher  Challenges. Here is the link to the recording.

Sue explained the following:-

  • how to enrol for the challenge,
  • how to find the posts,
  • what is needed to be done,
  • what the last challenge looked like etc.

The bloggers cafe was also demonstrated.

Such challenges are a wonderful way to learn more, with a strong support network, establish learning networks for both the teacher and students, and to develop further potential projects. Have you participated in one of these challenges before? Are you enrolled in the current challenge?

What do you see as the benefits or pereived benefits of being involved?

Tech Talk Tuesdays: Educational Blogging: Teaching Commenting and Parent Participation

What an inspiring session we had on blogging  this week on Tech TalkTuesdays with Linda Yollis. If anyone doubts the need for and value of blogging, this session is a MUST to view! Linda walked us through commenting on blogs, the value of comments and ways to teach students the need to make effective comments. Literacy and numeracy have all inbuilt into blogging. Linda also shared ways to keep students engaged and motivated with blogging, including guest posts from grandparents etc.

In the latter part of the session, Linda showed how she has made firm partnerships with parents and encouraged their participation in blogging activities – all of which has empowered the learning of her students.

Here is the link to the recording.

Following are some sites that Linda has shared with us

  1. Mrs. Yollis’ Classroom Blog
  2. How to Compose a Quality Comment – youtube video
  3. Blog post on How to Compose a Quality Comment
  4. Educational Blogging Wiki
  5. Video:  Blogging is Learning
  6. What We’ve Learned From Blogging post (student/parent responses)l
  7. Welcome Video (First Day of School)
  8. Kathleen Morris’ How to Navigate 2KM/2KJ Blog pdf for parents

Tech Talk Tuesdays and eT@lking – this week’s sessions

Two great webinars this week –  both on blogging. There is something for everyone!

Tech Talk Tuesdays: February 22nd 4-5pm Melbourne Australia time (gmt+11)

Topic: Educational Blogging – Teaching Commenting and Parent Participation

Presenter: Linda Yollis, Los Angeles, USA

About the session: In this session, Linda will share the way that she approaches the all important commenting element of blogging and will also discuss how to get parents involved. Linda, from Los Angeles, USA, has been an elementary school teacher for 24 years. She is committed to meaningful integration of technology in the classroom and is passionate about educational blogging. Don’t miss this exciting session!

About our Presenter: Linda was highly successful in the recent Edublogs Awards 2010:-
1. Winner of Lifetime Achievement 2010
2. First Runner Up of Best Classroom Blog 2009, 2010
Linda is responsible for a very successful and effective class blog called Mrs Yollis’ Classroomand has written guest posts for the Challenge Yourself to Blog project. Her class created the “How to Compose a Quality Commenting video”.
Here is the link to the recording


eT@lking:– Wednesday, 23rd February, 2011, 8-9pm Melbourne Australia time (gmt +11)

Presenter: Sue Wyatt

Topic:- The Student Blogging Challenge

About this session:- Sue Wyatt who has co-organised a number of successful global student blogging challenges in conjunction with edublogs will speak about the upcoming global Student Blogging Challenge.

With more than23 classes and  600 students registered already, Sue will cyberwalk us through the challenge and explain how it all works – the nature and benefits of the challenge, the posts, pages etc . Countries involved include:-  Ireland, Colombia, Thailand, UK, NZ, Australia, Canada and USA. Hope that you can join us!

Here is the link to the session

Colour your “Day in a Sentence” released

Many colours were represented in this week’s “Day in a Sentence”, including multicolours. The most popular colours were  red and yellow. The sentences showed a wonderful variety of emotions, experiences and events. The two different hemispheres were contrasted with the differences in climate being featured. From the “Land Down Under”, I wish to thank Bonnie Kaplan for allowing me to be host for the week and to thank you one and all for sharing your many coloured days! Enjoy the sentences! If it was your first time for Day in a Sentence this is a great weekly challenge so please continue to get involved.


  1. Deb Hogg:- Hi Anne, this today moment is the palest shade of pink – ballerina pink – having read the blog of a young Australian dancer and her view of what happiness is… visions of tulle and point shoes… amazing how blogs give you an opportunity to see the world through the eyes of a young dancer! Priceless pink moment!


  1. From Mrs S:- Turquoise is my day as I reflect upon the busy start to a new school year as the sky is reflected in a summer sea.


  1. Trish Dower:- Yellow is the colour of wonderment and inspiration. My day was yellow because we had an amazing education consultant work with us on how to build student well being and engagement through an oral language focus. I am excited. I am YELLOW!
  2. Robert Dart:- Yellow is the colour of my day. My yellow Cuban hibiscuses are finally in burst into golden flowers and are making my usually average garden look awesome!
  3. Nancy C :- Yellow  The sun was shining so brightly today and the temperature was near 50 today which warms my heart!!
  4. Whatedsaid Yellow. The light going on as teachers realise that focusing on learning rather than teaching can totally change their practice.


  1. Dr. Fowler My color today is red to remind me of those I love and to remind me of those with heart disease and to remind me of the fingerprint hearts and love bugs I made this morning with 4 year olds.
  2. Nancy C RED! Red is the color in support of the teachers and public workers in Wisconsin today who are fighting against budget cuts.
  3. Kathryn:- My colour is red, for the hot weather at present that has me sitting next to a fan.
  4. Murcha Red is the colour of my day, as today is Valentine’s Day, and also the day of  my (or should that be our) wedding anniversary!


  1. Georgina Pazzi Orange is my colour today as it represents the wonderful brightness and creativity teachers showed during elearning workshops.
  2. shawnurban:- This was a good day full of luke orange successes and small accomplishments.


  1. lynnjake:- Purple is the color of the day for me, as I get out of my car and see the huge patch of violets that gives such a balm to my spirit.
  2. Cheryl Oakes This is mid-winter for me and the color I love in winter is purple mountains majesty.
  3. Verona Gridley Positively purple after pirates, picnic, planning and proud of pupils performance.


  1. Kevin Hodgson:- Green is what I want to see — not white — as the snow begins the meltdown that can only eventually lead to Spring.
  2. Britt Gow Today (and many days) my colour is green – I have spent all morning in the garden, mowing and weeding and cutting back the expansive growth brought on by our wet summer this year. It is very strange to have such a green lawn at the end of February – usually it has dried to a crisp this time of year!
  3. Linda Yollis:- Green! The rain is over and the sunshine is turning everything a gorgeous green. Green is the color of growth and new beginnings…and that is what is happening for my 80 year old mother who is living with us. She’s recovering from a broken ankle and is learning to walk again!


  1. Penny Bentley:- Today my colour is blue because that’s what I see looking out my window at the sky this morning
  2. tsheko Blue is my colour today – after a difficult couple of weeks with things weighing me down, the grey clouds have finally(!) cleared and I feel the freedom expressed by clear blue skies.
  3. Mr. Salsich:- The color of my day is deep blue for all the blueberries I ate with my waffles this morning. Mmm, mmm!


  1. Denise Krebs:- White is the color (colour  of my day because I’m feeling sheepish because of a mistake I made in American history class today.
  2. Theresa White is my color for the white ball I’ll be watching being hit back and forth this weekend at my daughter’s volleyball tournament! (Great activity by the way!)


  1. Marg Yore Silver is the colour of my day! I’ve had a great response to my classroom tweets today so feel like every cloud has a silver lining- so much material for tomorrow’s lesson- and all of it from around the world!


  1. Mif says:- Hi Anne. The colour of my day today is grey/blue/grey/blue, which is a typical Melbourne day, especially as it is windy today, so the white clouds are flying across the sky!
  2. blkdrama Cold, what color is cold? Wind? What color is wind? That’s what I a feeling today, this week, for way too long. But soon, a week from Monday, I will have a clear color- YELLOW! the sunshine of Aruba, the BLUE of the ocean.

MS Powerpoint gets (be)Funky

Do you want to?

  • add engaging effect can be given to headers, images that contain text etc.
  • add effectiveness to blog posts and other online sites
  • put something together very quickly
  • stimulate creativity

Then combine user friendly MS Powerpoint with befunky.

See some examples, that were quickly put together to add impact to blog posts. Can you tell which are originals and which are the ‘befunked’ version?

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


  1. Add text to MS Powerpoint slide
  2. Add any images
  3. Add a colour background, goto Design>background colours>bacground styles>format background>gradient fill>preset colours
  4. Goto Save As>look for Save As Type>choose jpg file interchange format.

How to use befunky (the free version)

  1. Register for befunky, activate email, logo
  2. Choose “start creating now” and “upload now”
  3. Upload your MS Powerpoint image file
  4. Choose to edit, apply art and photo effects, graphics, shapes, text, speech bubbles, add frames/borders etc

Have you used MS Powerpoint images in creative ways? If so, how? Have you used befunky? What do you use to create a quick engaging image together?

    So you want a best selling blog!

    Many of us would love our blog to be a  best seller . The final challenge in the Kick Start Your Blog asks participants to reflect on building readership for our blogs. This can take time, experience and a lot of ‘cyber (elbow) grease’. There are two types of audiences:-

    1. The deliberate audience:- those who come via subscriptions, RSS feeds and  your network and those who chance upon your blog via a search engine.
    2. The accidental audience:- readers who search online and chance upon your blog. (can  often account for the majority of visitors).

    Following are some of my tips for building readership.

    The deliberate audience

    1. Network, network, network! Become highly networked – Join emailing lists, twitter, plurk, social networking groups eg classroom2.0, Linkedin, facebook
    2. Read others’ blogs, leave comments that include your url. Wait for them to return to yours.
    3. Ensure that your blog address is found within any and all of your profile pages, including twitter.
    4. Seek out ideas for blog posts that may be high in demand: Search for questions that people are asking on twitter, emailing lists, social networking groups, write a post responding to them.Read the Edublogger. Sue Waters shares some great posts, always ending with a question. Respond to the question in a blog post of your own and share the link back as a comment on her post.
    5. Write posts on topical educational or technological issues eg When yahoo announced it was going to close delicious, write a post on delicious and alternatives – perfect opportunity for a captive audience
    6. Join in  blog challenges eg Kick Start Your Blog
    7. Share you blog everywhere – on blogging wikis, social networking sites, emailing lists. Add it to your signature in all emails you send.
    8. Attend online webinars eg classroom2.0LIVE, Tech Talk Tuesdays or some of the Australia series and share your blog url in the chat and on your elluminate profile.
    9. Have a business card prepared, take it with you to conferences and share with people you meet.
    10. Add a ‘like’ button to your posts.

    the accidental audience

    1. Make sure you tag fully and add appropriate categories before publishing posts and add appropriate categories. The more hits you get the higher up the search engine list you go.
    2. Check out what is being asked in online forums, twitter, current newsworthy technological events. Write posts on these topics.
    3. If your blog provides statistics look for the key search words that people used to chance upon your blog. This will give further ideas of what is topical, or what people are googling for (I feel another blog post coming on!
    4. Seek out your most popular posts (using the stats) and write extensions on these topics.

    Here is a screen dump of terms that people searched for to get to my blog on one particular day. It gives ideas for further posts.

    Search Views
    Reasons that students blogcartoon students 2
    people mountain people sea 1
    singapore international friendship day information 1
    word cloud your tweets 1
    racial harmony day 1
    xtranormal export 1
    blogs for students 1
    generation y bikes 1
    how to retweet with comments 1

    What do you do to increase readership of your blog? Do you have other ways in which that “accidental audience” can be encouraged?

    eT@lking: Blogging – a 21st Century Digital Literacy

    Great conversations were shared in this session. There were participants who had not blogged and others who were experienced with blogging. Questions were sought from the participants and then answers were gained from the interactive discussions in the chat and on the whiteboard, ranging from:-

    1. How do I get a blog?
    2. How do you decide on a name for your url and blog title?
    3. Privacy issues
    4. How much time will I need to put in?
    5. Sorting out categories and tags
    6. How to keep motivated when comments don’t come in!
    7. and much more!

    As Penny and Whatedsaid had microphones, they walked us through their fabulous blogs and explained the elements of and reasons for having their blog content.

    Some of the other bloggers who were present included:-

    1. Celia
    2. HiHelen
    3. Mentone Mif
    4. murcha

    If you want to know more about blogging, don’t miss the recording to this session.

    Blogging – a Digital Literacy of the 21st Century

    Date:- Wed, February 16th

    Time:-  8-9pm (Melbourne, Australia gmt+11)

    This session will continue on from our theme of microblogging over the last few weeks. Blogging is a digital literacy of the 21st century. It is essential that as we become increasingly digital and have an online presence that there is a base for people from across the country and globe, to connect and communicate with each other. Blogging provides the perfect platform for asynchronous connections.

    In this session the following may be discussed depending on the participants who are present:-

    • what is a blog?
    • how can blogs be used?
    • where should we start with blogs?
    • what makes an effective blog?
    • the recent Teacher blogging challenge and the upcoming student challenge with edublogs (to be continued next week with Sue Wyatt)
    • how can we increase our readership and our connections?
    • and other questions that participants may pose.

    Please join us, bring along the things you would like to be shown or discussed and share in the conversations.

    Here is the link to the session


    Colour your Day in a Sentence

    G’day everyone!

    It is with great pride, that I host the “Day in a Sentence” post for this week. This acitivity is a great networker where participants share their days (and lives) in a differing format each week. Thanks Bonnie Caplan for organising and sponsoring this fabulous weekly activity. (Okay, you can tell I am from the ‘land down under’ as my spelling is probably different to some of you!)

    The challenge for this week is to talk about your “Day in a Colour”! Think about a colour that reflects your day or week  and tell us why in a sentence or more. Please add your sentence as a comment to this post. The results will be shared with you early next week. If you have not participated before, we would love you to join in with us now.

    Here is my sentence:-

    Red is the colour of my day, as today is Valentine’s Day,  and also the day of  my (or should that be our) wedding anniversary!

    Looking forward to reading your colours in a day!