Blogger: More Ways to Share

Blogger is always making changes. Recently I've discovered several 
newer options that make sharing your blog easier.  
  • Share Buttons:
    You can add share buttons to the bottom of your posts so visitors can quickly share your post on one of their favorite social media sites, like Twitter or Facebook. This is a handy feature, but unfortunately the buttons are small and appear in gray scale. Maybe blogger will work on this. In the meantime, add these buttons by going to Design, then click on the Edit link in the Blog Posts box. Try the buttons for yourself at the bottom of this post.
  • Follow by Email:
    This is a new gadget that allows visitors to quickly enter an email address into a box in the sidebar to receive automatic blog updates by email. When you add this gadget Blogger will walk you through the steps to get you up and running. See sample in the sidebar
  • View Options:
    Everyone has a preferred method of viewing, and while I'm going to stick with the traditional web log format, it's nice to know your visitors can choose to view your blog in a variety of ways. To do this, simply add a backslash followed by the word view to your blog address. Modifying the address will take you to a new page with a variety of viewing options. As far as alternate views go, I am fond of the timeslide view. Here is an example:
My blog address:
Alternate viewing options:
Look in the upper right-hand corner of the new screen to switch views.

    Google Apps Aligned with Bloom's Taxonomy

    Kathy Schrock, has aligned Google Apps with Bloom's Taxonomy. Please visit her site to access the amazing interactive map she has assembled, then submit a quick form to add your ideas and justifications for why you might have students use these tools in the respective cognitive areas in which they appear. Thanks Kathy!

    Go to Kathy Schrock's Bloom's Revised Taxonomy page:
    View live version, courtesy of Kathy Schrock

    Wordle Flashback

    Two years ago I was excited enough about Web 2.0 tools to actually start this blog. I started with Wordle, a simple word cloud generator. After all this time, I must admit I am still passionate about using Wordle. I find myself using it regularly in my teaching, even though several new word tag generators have evolved, including Taxedo, Tag Cloud, and the ever-popular WordPress rotating tag cloud.

    Still, I love Wordle for it's simplicity. Just go to the Wordle website, type some text into a box, click a button and your text becomes a Word Cloud. Anyone can do it, but the real trick is in how it's used. After all, words that appear more frequently within the text appear larger in size within the word cloud.

    Here are my top 3 favorite ways to use Wordle:
    1. Copy and paste the text from a few good articles about a specific topic into Wordle to get the main ideas and vocabulary. Use it as a starting point for a lesson to help students construct knowledge.
    2. Copy and paste student generated text into Wordle for self-analysis of writing. Words and phrases that are overused will jump out.
    3. Wordle a current event topic, then use it to generate a classroom discussion.
    My goal this week is to see if we can build on the Wordle ideas we started a long time ago. Please view the list of ideas and contribute ideas of your own.
    This Blog, Wordled

    Qwiki - A Multi-Media Search Engine

    Qwiki is a multi-media search engine designed to improve the way people experience information by appealing to users on a human level. A Qwiki search delivers content in the form of a narrated, interactive slideshow that tells a story. Although it's relatively new, there are millions of topics available for searching now.

    Dipity: Create Multimedia Timelines

    Dipity is a cool tool for creating multimedia timelines with a variety of viewing options. Click on any event in the timeline to view details and images, or choose to view as a flipbook, list, or map instead.

    AnswerGarden: A Quick and Easy Feedback Tool

    AnswerGarden describes itself as a minimal tool for maximum feedback that can be used for creative brainstorming. It's simple, just create a question and publish it. The answers are immediately displayed as tags in a word cloud, which means responses that appear more frequently appear larger in size. Try it for yourself by answering the question below.  No login is required

    Person-First Language

    Two teachers at Brooks Middle School in Oak Park are using VoiceThread to spread the word about Person-First language. Learn more by viewing their VoiceThread, then record a comment to make your pledge on the appropriate page. Please pass this along and spread the word!