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Friday, 29 February 2008

Moblogging and PowerPoints

Keep an eye on www.haythorneg.parislavieenrose.blogspot.com over the weekend as Niamh is going to be getting the students on the Paris trip to moblog (remote blog) using their internet/camera phones from France.

It is easy for you to post a comment for them to read while they are away, if you wish. You will just need to type your e-mail address, an anti-spam word and a comment in the relevant boxes on the website above.

Would welcome any feedback or ideas after the weekend.

Meanwhile, Toby has found out for me how to embed PowerPoints in Blogger. Whilst it is a bit more complicated than the obvious route in edublogs it looks really neat. Sign up to www.scribd.com and upload your file to the scribd website. Then paste the code they give you into the html tab side of a new post in Blogger. Done. If you have problems, it may be that the width of your Blogger template is not sufficient to accommodate the PowerPoint. If that is the case you can go to "Templates" and "Edit" from your dashboard to check out what width you have available and edit te scribd code down accordingly. Anyway, I have to say it worked really easily when I tried (i.e. without extra editing) and you can see the results below.

Uploading PowerPoint to Blogger

Friday, 15 February 2008

Priorities, priorities!

In this activity from www.classtools.net you can ask students to prioritise a list of factors. In this example I am using it to get students to look at tenses, and there is only one correct sequence (it isn't self-correcting, so I'm not redundant yet) but it may be in your subject the order can be negotiable (more fun really). This particular recipe took 5 minutes to cook, and will feed 20 odd students for up to 20 minutes. Good value in my book.

Click here for full screen version

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Dustbin Game

At www.classtools.net you will find 15 flash games or templates you can use to create great activities in class, from essay planning and timelines to prioritising activities and arcade games. You can then embed the activity on an IWB flipchart page or in your blog by copying the code they provide. This is my first attempt (took a grand total of 10 minutes to make) - so if you can still remember your O Level (GCSE?) French, have a go...

Click here for full screen version

Thursday, 7 February 2008

Comments

Some ideas I've used so far for getting students to comment:
rate your mates: this is an idea from Ewan McIntosh (he has a fantastic blog on all aspects of blogging, podcasting and new technologies). once some student work has been uploaded (PowerPoint for example) ask students to post two stars and a wish/two rocks and one sucks for a bit of peer assessment
planning: ask students to post ideas on how to revise, or how they are going to tackle work over the holidays.
ask a discussion or even exam question and get them to share ideas
never-ending story: ask students to write a paragraph of a story and then supply three words for next students to use in their continuation paragraph

So talking of comments, please add your with ideas of how we could use this feature of blogs to get interactive with the students.

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Blog club task two

It was great that we now have several blogs going, including Ian's Economics blog with lesson content and specification details, the English department's Shakespeare quiz, Biology's bird-identifying competition and Jacqueline's library blog with plans to share book reviews.
If you haven't yet started a blog, follow the instructions under "Step One". Once done, go to your "dashboard" (you'll need to log in by clicking on the "Meta" "log in" or "admin" link) and post a few entries - anything will do, you're just practising! Remember posts are displayed most recent at the top. Remember to fill in the "tag" and/or "categories" boxes with as many key words as you wish - it will make your blog much easier to manage and use. If you are using edublogs, go to "Manage pages" and create a few new pages - remembering these exist outside of the usual hierarchy of blog posts. You might assign different pages to different key stages classes, topics, Units or skills. Tabs for your new pages will appear at the top of your main page.
Last task: either do this yourself or ask someone to do it for you. Access the blog without logging in and fill in a comments box (follow in-screen instructions). This is the only way other users will be able to post on the blog, unless you give them authoring rights. In edublogs you will then receive an e-mail, inviting you to moderate that comment. Once you have moderated, it will be posted automatically. Have a think about how you might encourage girls to participate actively in your blog by commenting (some ideas from me next post).
Next bloggers' club will be after half-term. Have a good week off.