Sunday, January 24, 2010

I've Moved My Blog!

I finally moved this blog to my own domain and into Wordpress. I first tried moving it to Wordpress did an amazing job of moving over 200+ posts and 400+ comments with the click of a button. If you are thinking of switching platforms, I think it is worth it. However, be warned that while it left my YouTube videos intact, it stripped out my Google Forms, Vimeo videos and a few other things.

Today I was talking with Kim Cofino who told me it was easy to set up Wordpress on my own domain. I already knew that on my own install, the media would not be striped out. Since I already have a domain hosted with BlueHost, I gave it a try.

It was incredibly easy. All the media came with it. I could have been done, but of course I had to start mucking around with themes, get Akismet blocking the spam, and other things. I haven't made it all pretty yet, but I need to work on other things, so I am stepping away from the dashboard for the time being.

I haven't figured out how to redirect an RSS feed yet, so please point your browser to my new blog, or change the feed to feed://

Thank you for reading my blog. I appreciate your visits and your comments.

P.S. If you are in need of a domain, give BlueHost a try. I've been hosting a Moodle and a mailing list there since early 2006 and they have been great to work with, constantly giving me more space, faster servers and easier controls. My Wordpress installed with the click of a button, and updates are just as easy.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

What Tech Tools are You Using to Support Writers?

I am preparing a three-part workshop for elementary teachers to familiarize them with different tech tools they could use to support their students as writers.

I am just getting started planning it. I know I will share some tools currently being used by teachers at my school. For example, one teacher has her students posting their poetry to a discussion board in Blackboard. I am amazed by the depth of the comments the classmates are leaving for the poets.

Another teacher is using Google Docs for working on mechanics and writing skills. The children follow a link from his website and then join in the activity, such as expanding a sentence, writing a better ending.

One class has research and then storyboarded movies on cyberbullying. Another uses Movie Maker to have the children create illustrated movies of their poems.

We have teachers using VoiceThread to create student book reviews. Others using Shelfari for students to recommend books to classmates. (NOTE: Most of these were not my ideas. We have a great staff so I am constantly learning from them.)

This will be a three part workshop that should show increasingly more advanced uses with each new sessions. I would very much like to crowd source it. Please complete the survey below to tell me your ideas for using tech to support, enhance, nurture student writers.

I know the survey doesn't work well with this Blogger template. Yet another reason why I need to move to WordPress. Please hit return any time you are in danger of typing off the page.

The last question is optional. However, if you give me your name I will be able to thank you in the credits of my presentation.

When you are done, please scroll to the end and press the submit button.

Thank you.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Using Twitter to Get Real-Time Info on Situation in Haiti

About an hour ago I was trolling the headlines for information on the devastating earthquake that hit Haiti today. The reports were not yet very informative other than that this is a huge disaster which caused much damage and loss of life.

Research done, I was about to turn off the computer for the evening when I saw the following tweet from Clarence Fisher:

I clicked on the usernames and began to read. And read. I was especially moved by following the picture that unfolded from @troylivesay's tweets. He is now up to 964 followers. I wonder how many he had prior to today.

Go ahead and give this use of social networking a try. If you don't already have a Twitter account, go to and read his tweets there. Let the on-the-ground descriptions combine with what you hear from traditional news sources to give you a more complete picture. Let the tweets put a human face on the news.

Monday, January 11, 2010

A Video to Start Your Year

I've seen links to this video zooming around the Twitterverse all weekend so I finally took a look. If you haven't seen it, it is worth your time as well.