My office or not

Glossary for blogging with students

The prompt for this week’s EdublogsClub is to write about your office or classroom. As I am no longer a full time teacher, I don’t have a classroom. Instead I work wherever and whenever.

Since retiring at the end of 2011, I am now employed one day per week to teach blogging to interested teachers and students around Tasmania. I go to them; sometimes they come to me. I work in a classroom, a library, a computer lab or maybe at a coffee shop.

To do this I have to be organized. So I try to have everything written in blog posts on this, my work blog. If I am running a day training session or refresher course, one post will give the outline for the day including links. This means teachers of all levels can start where they want and progress as slowly or as quickly as they need. They can also get one to one help if they get stuck but they can also work together and help each other.

When working with students I generally go to their school and start off the blogs with them personally but for it to work well, they need a teacher who is also keen on blogging and allows them time in class to use them.  Sometimes I work online with students through a Blackboard Collaborate room where they login via a link and they then can share their work with me even though I might be 300 kilometres away from their school.

If a teacher wants some one on one help I can meet at their house or a local coffee shop with wifi or I can use the Blackboard Collaborate room with them as well. More often though, they email me their problem and we sort it out that way as I am on my email at least 12 hours per day.



Carol Vorderman's Sudoku red number 1

Leo Reynolds via Compfight

I have decided to join the #EdublogsClub where every week they email a prompt for a post relating to blogging and education. The first prompt is

My Blog Story

Most of my readers know I began blogging in 2008 after some help from Sue Waters. I was so new to blogging I wrote a post about a week later asking why people weren’t commenting.

This is where I found out the value of a PLN or personal learning network. You need to become a connected educator for blogging to succeed. Read other people’s blogs, leave tweets about posts you have written, connect with other teachers who also blog.

After a month or so blogging personally, I thought this would be great for my students, so I started a class blog. Then some students wanted their own blogs to write about things they were passionate about. One student wrote about archery – she is now a Tasmanian champion in the sport but no longer blogs.

Students weren’t connecting and having comments from around the world so Sue Waters sent out a tweet for other classes to leave comments and that began the first Student Blogging Challenge. In 2010, the challenge got its own blog and it is still being used 7 years later.

In 2010 I began teaching IT to all the students in grade 6/7 at my school so I began a blog for the Kids in the Mid. This blog became a teaching area showing students where to find information about blogging, being safe on the internet and so on. All the students had their own blog attached to the sidebar but unfortunately it was only used during IT time or if I taught the students in other subject areas.

2011 was the first year that I  travelled to America for a conference called ISTE – International Society for Technology in Education. I decided to take with me a little Tasmanian Devil soft toy and have him write a blog about our 3 month trip around America.

Since retiring at the end of 2011 I have also started other blogs: one for photography called an Image a Day even though I haven’t yet completed it for a full year, another for Family History and finally this one for the work I do for the Education Department blogging one day a week with teachers and students around Tasmania.


Global Education Conference

Mini globe

Roselinde Bon via Compfight

Are you interested in connecting globally with your class?

Maybe you want to connect with other teachers around the world.

Every year, there is an online conference for global education. It is actually on at the moment. Now I am retired, I offer each year to be a moderator and help with setting up and closing the sessions.

One I went to last night was by Rob Martin, a Social Studies teacher at the American international School in Chennai, India. He was speaking about “Out of Eden” project where students from various countries get together and follow Paul Salopek and his walk around the world.

Rob’s talk will be archived on the Global Education Conference website but here are some links to information from his session.

If you want to take part in the Global Education Conference, you will need to have Blackboard Collaborate installed on your computer and have headphones to hear the sessions.

One session that will be interesting is at 11pm tonight with Anne Mirtschin from Hawkesdale College in Victoria. Anne does a lot of skyping with classes around the world. Click on the title of her session and it will open up further. Then click on the session link with sas.elluminate in it.

Hope to see some of you in there tonight or at one of the other sessions during this conference.

Holidays coming again

We will all be on holidays again at the end of this week.

Edublogs have notified me that our blog domain will be being moved to a new server in Australia over the dates 26-30 September.

So if you login and find you can’t write posts or leave comments at that time, just come back in a few days and it should be OK to use again.

Also starting over the holiday period is the student blogging challenge which I run twice a year for ten weeks.

Student challenge 2016

I noticed we have one student already registered, Lucy from Ringarooma and I am sure she would love some visitors to her blog to leave comments.

If you want to register your class blog, here is a link to the form.

If you have students with their own personal blogs who would like to join in, here is the link to the form for them to fill in.

If you have time to be a mentor and look after a group of 10,20 or 30 students, then here is the post to leave a comment on and I will then allocate some students to you.

Adding music to your powerpoint

You need to create a powerpoint as part of a parent session. You have lots of images of students doing activities in the classroom and on excursions. You have found a fantastic piece of music (creative commons as you will be playing to an audience) and you want it playing in the background of your powerpoint.

Find creative commons music and then save the piece of music to your own PC.

If using Powerpoint 2013, here are instructions and a video to help with adding audio to your powerpoint.

Microsoft gives even easier instructions for playing across all slides using Powerpoint 2013 or 2016.

Earlier versions of powerpoint have instructions here, but they are similar to those mentioned above.

eLearning with blogs


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