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Words of Wisdom

October4

The more that you read, the more things you will know

The more that you learn, the more places you will go.

~Dr. Seuss

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Bonus Topic: Online Sharing

December23
Activity 1: There are also a lot of great tools out there that will allow you and your classmates share conversations and/or information together. Here just a few. Try out at least one of them:
Wallwisher: This site lets you create a wall on which you and your friends can add “sticky notes.” The sticky notes can include text as well as images, audio, and video files you embed by linking to the online address where they are stored. You don’t need an account to set up a wall, but you do need to have an email address. If you share a wall address, anyone can contribute sticky notes to it without having an account.
VoiceThread: A VoiceThread is a collaborative, multimedia slide show that holds images, documents, and videos, and allows people to comment on the slides by typing, with a microphone, with a webcam, or by phone. You can use VoiceThread to have conversations, but you can also use it to record an online presentation. You do need an account to create or comment on VoiceThreads. If you are under 13, ask your parents if they are willing to set up a family account on this site for you to use.
Diigo: This site allows you to keep track of all your website bookmarks online, so that you can access them from any computer. You can also share your bookmarks with other people. When you bookmark a webpage, you add as many keyword “tags” as you like to it, so that you can find it later with any of the tags. You can also add a description, highlighting, and sticky notes to the websites you save. If you are under 13, ask your parents if they are willing to set up a family account on one of these sites for you to use.
Scribblar: This site lets you set up and share a multi-user whiteboard with live audio,images, text-chat, and more. If you are under 13, ask your parents if they are willing to set up a family account on this site for you to use.
Activity 2: Now, write a blog posting about what site(s) you explored and how you think you could use this software for school projects or for fun. If you used VoiceThread or Wallwisher, you can embed your work in your blog. For the other sites, create a link to your work in your posting to share what you have created
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Topic 10: Evaluating Information Websites

December22

While there’s a wonderful world of websites out there for you to use both to create – as you have been doing during this tutorial – and to get information. Unfortunately, though, since anyone can publish a website, not all sites are good quality. They may have incorrect or biased information. So, you need to be careful about what sites you select when you are looking for information.

Activity 1: Visit this webpage with “Five Criteria for Evaluating Web Pages” from the Cornell University Library for some questions to think about before you decide to use a site for information. Talk to your librarian about how you can learn more about evaluating websites that you want to consider using for research and information-gathering. Your librarian can also help you with lots of tips on how to find information, too.

Activity 2: When you added images to your blog, you gave credit by creating a link back to the page where you found the image. When you write research reports, you will need to create “Works Cited” list and write a complete citation for each book, website, database, image, and other source you use. There are some excellent citation makers, including Noodletools and Easybib. Try them both. Locate how to make a citation for the MLA format. Write the URL for this site on your planner or other homework helper. USE IT when you have to create a “works cited” list.

Activity 3: Now, write a blog posting about what you have learned about website evaluation and bibliographic citations

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Topic 9: Fun with Books and Reading

December22
Activity 1: There are several websites – ShelfariGoodreads, and Librarything – that allow you to find information about books, keep track of the books you have read or want to read, add comments and/or reviews, and exchange ideas about what your are reading. All three of these options also let you display a “shelf” of your books on your blog. The sites all require that you sign up for a free account. If you are under 13, ask your parents if they are willing to set up a family account on one of these sites for you to use, then add some favorite books to your shelf and embed the shelf on your blog.
Activity 2: Now, write a blog posting about which site you explored and how you think you could use this software for school projects or for fun
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Topic 8: Creating Documents and Presentations

December22
Activity 1: You may already be familiar with office applications like Word, PowerPoint, and Excel, but there are also online Web 2.0 tools that let you create documents, spreadsheets, and presentation files. When you use these Web 2.0 tools, you can access your files from any computer, and you can easily share them with other people. Two options to try are Google Apps and Zoho. Both of these require that you sign up for a free account. Unless your school has already established accounts, you should ask your parents if they are willing to set up a family account for you to use.
Activity 2 (Optional): More to Try
A different approach to presentations is to create an online poster using Glogster. This site lets you design a lively poster display with pictures and text, embedded video and sound, and attached files. Your librarian or teacher can set up a student account for you.
Activity 2: Now, write a blog posting sharing what you created and telling about what you explored and how you think you could use this software for school projects or for fun.
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Topic 6: Creating Your Own Images

December22
You know now from your Flickr searches how to find great images online. There are also a lot of Web 2.0 tools that will help you create your own images by rearranging graphics and words. These are usually called mash-ups or remixes.
Activity 1: Visit one or more of these sites, create an image, add it to your blog, then write about your experience:
ImageChef: This site lets you customize signs and pictures with your own text. These images make fun additions to reports, cards, your blog, and anywhere.
Big Huge Labs: This site lets you “mash” images into magazine covers, puzzles, trading cards, and more.
Wordle: This site lets you turn text into beautiful word mosaics. Use it to create mosaics of your personal traits or hobbies, to analyze a writer’s key concepts, or to evaluate words you may be over-using when you write.
Aviary: This site lets you draw or edit images and record and edit audio. This site requires you to have an account. Your librarian/teacher may be able to set up an educational account on this site for you.
Make Beliefs Comix:  This is a fun site that lets you create comics.  The best part is that you do not need to have an account.  MakeBeliefsComix.com is a fun and easy site to use.
Activity 2: Now, write a blog posting about what site(s) you explored and how you think you could use this software for school projects or for fun. Add the images you created to your blog posting to share them.b
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Topic 5: Good Manners and Commenting

December22

If you haven’t already, it’s time to start visiting your classmates’ blogs and leaving supportive comments. First, though, remember that having good manners online is at least as important as in person. Why? Online, anything you write can spread far and wide before you know it, and it is so easy to misinterpret someone’s intentions when you don’t see their expressions or gestures or hear their tone of voice.

Activity 1: Watch this video about cyberbullying, and think about what precautions you can take to make sure you are always kind and supportive, not hurtful, in everything you write, in comments and everywhere else online.

Activity 2: Now, start visiting your classmates’ blogs and contributing comments. Good comments generally include a compliment, suggestion, and/or question. And, don’t forget to use your best writing skills. Remember that everything you write online contributes to your digital footprint.

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Topic 4: Photos and Images and Giving Credit

December2

Activity 1: Now that you have a blog, you are a publisher. Before you begin searching for and adding images and other items to your blog, you need to learn a little about copyright, public domain, fair use, and Creative Commons, so you make sure that you are only publishing material you are legally entitled to. Watch this fun video to learn about what copyright, public domain, and fair use are. You will notice in it lots of copyrighted images you recognize that are used in a fair use way. (If the previous link is blocked, use this link. You will see a short commercial before the video starts.)

Activity 2: In recent years, a new option has become available to make finding and publishing other people’s material – and sharing what you create yourself – easier: It is called Creative Commons. Watch this video to learn about Creative Commons.

Activity 3: Find Photos & Images

Flickr is a website used primarily for storing and sharing photos. You can use this site to find pictures on any topic. It includes photos taken by individuals as well as from important museums and archives like the Library of Congress. If you open an account, you can also use this site to upload pictures you’ve taken and then you can share them with your family your friends or the whole world.

Flickr includes many Creative Commons images, as well as many that are copyrighted. If you want to publish an image you find at Flickr on your blog, be sure to search for images with Creative Commons licenses. Hint: To find images with Creative Commons licenses, go to the Advanced Search screen, enter a keyword to search, then check.

“ and click Search.

Or, you will probably find it much easier to use the Flickrcc site, which searches just Creative Commons-licensed images on the Flickr site for you.

When you publish one of these images, be sure to give credit by citing and linking to the url of the page where the photo appears. Look for the word “attribution” on the Flickrcc site. Copy that address and paste it under the photo in your post and make it a hyperlink. Remember, it’s very important to give credit to the creator of the original image.
Activity 4: Find at least two Creative Commons images you like and add them, along with a credit link, to a blog posting. Also write about your experience finding the images and why you chose them.

 

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Avatars

October29

Topic 3: Avatars

What’s an avatar? An avatar is a pictorial representation of you. It can look somewhat like you, but in comic form, or it might be a picture of something you like. In the computer world, you can use an avatar to create an online personality while still protecting your privacy.

Activity 1: Try one or more of these sites to create your own avatar:

manga.com

buildyourwildself

dream avatar

pixton comic avatars

abi Portrait Avatar Maker

Piccassohead

Otaku Avatar Maker

DoppelMe

Follow the directions on the site to create an avatar, then save the image. On a Mac, you can very easily save an image by holding down the Command, Shift, and 4 keys all at once, then dragging from one corner to the opposite diagonal corner of the image you want to capture. It will now appear as a .png image file on your desktop. On a PC, you can right click, then “Save As” your image from the dream avatar site, but won’t work for the others that don’t create the avatar as a separate image. This blog posting from Edublogger blog about avatars has some tips on how to save and edit your avatar on a PC. Once you have your avatar saved, add it to your blog sidebar. With Edublogs blogs, you do that by uploading it as your blog avatar, then adding an avatar widget to your sidebar. Also add your avatar as your user avatar so that it appears in your comments. The Edublogger blog post can help you with that task also. With Blogger blogs, you add a picture gadget to your sidebar and upload your avatar file to it. Then, also upload your avatar to your profile under My Account.

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Digital Citizenship, Activity 3 & 4

October25

Activity 3: Create your blog by following the directions on the page titled “Setting Up Your Blog.”   Now you need to register your blog. This means that after you create your blog, you will fill out an online form to give me your email address, blog name, and blog address. I will not share your name with anyone else, but will need it for keeping track of your progress. After you have received notice that I have received your information and approved your blog, then you can begin with all the fun! I will create a “blogroll” – a list of all the blogs for students who are taking this class with you. These are the students you will work with and cheer along the way – that’s the 2.0 way!! Check their blogs regularly and comment on them. Ask them questions about how to do stuff if you’re confused or answer questions for those who might need your help. Cheer them on – have fun! Critique well!

Activity 4: Now that you’ve read the “Blogging Guidelines” on the Valencia High Blog, answer the following questions.  This will be your first blog posting.  In your posting, include answers to these questions:

  1. Being a good digital citizen means…

  2. What are some topics you can blog about?

  3. What do you need to be careful to keep private and not include in your blog?

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Digital Citizenship, Activity 1 & 2

October22

Activity 2: To see whether you have a “digital footprint” established already, try going to Google and searching for your name. You may be surprised by what you find. Your digital footprint will stay with you your entire life, so you want whatever people may find about you online to be positive.

After you set up your blog (in Topic 2), you will write a posting about your thoughts about digital citizenship.

Activity 3: Read the Blogging Guidelines for Students from the link at the top of this page.

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