Texas Bluebonnet Writing Project Blog

Friday, September 28, 2007

Why do you blog?

What a great question with some equally interesting responses.

Here are some of my faves from a discussion posted on Sandhill Trek.

"Anne Mathewson of Fishbucket says,

Herman Melville put it best when he said, "We cannot live for ourselves alone. Our lives are connected by a thousand invisible threads, and along these sympathetic fibers, our actions run as causes and return to us as results." A perfect description of blogging, don't you think?

I started blogging some years ago largely to pass time and share experiences. A small part of me, however, was selfishly hoping for admiration and affirmation; a shallow attitude I've long abandoned. Eventually, I discovered the joy found via "invisible threads" and "sympathetic fibers" - those human connections made along the way. Blogger tend to be a lovely comfort of strangers.

Dervala Hanley says,

When I set up my first Blogger account three years ago, the form asked for a tagline. For want of anything better, I put "A love letter." By the time I had fifty thousand words on the clock, it got a bit clearer what I'd meant by that.

It's all about lurve, baby.

I blog for the same reasons that Alistair Cooke read those Letters From America until he was ninety-six or seven. I'm an emigrant. My family is thousands of miles away, and my friends are scattered around the world. Each entry is a letter home, wherever that is, and it's also a letter _about_ home, wherever that might be.

It's a love letter to some kid not yet born, and to the friends, strangers, sisters, exes, and former classmates who might stop by. (Funny how those circles overlap.)

And it's mostly (even when I'm cranky) a letter about the things, people, and places that I love. I could store up enthusiasms until I burst, but writing them down is a better way to absorb and share them.

I haven't much interest in the debates that seem to go on--that weird A List thing, the blogging-versus-journalism angst, the schism between warbloggers and cat diarists. I'm not much of a linker or an argufier. I still hate the word 'blog'.

My blog is a message in a bottle with a FedEx tracking number. Hello World."

So why do you blog?

More Ideas with VoiceThread

Thank you, Miguel Guhlin for your ideas on this. We actually started playing with VoiceThread this summer, and I love having this tool.

Here's Miguel's post:

Digital Storytelling with VoiceThread

Technology Applications:TEKS (TA:TEKS) teachers attending The Power of Comprehension workshop were some of the first teachers to see VoiceThreads, an exciting digital storytelling tool. The power of VoiceThread is that it can be used regardless of what type of computer you have since it is web-based. VoiceThread describes itself in this way:

A VoiceThread allows every child in a class to record audio commentary about the ideas and experiences that are important to them. Whether an event, a project, or a milestone, children can tell their story in their own voice, and then share it with the world.

For teachers, VoiceThreads offer a single vessel to capture and then share all the diverse personalities of an entire class. You will hear the pride and excitement in their voices as the students "publish" their work.A VoiceThread can be managed with little effort, creating an heirloom that can be shared by students, parents, and educators alike.
Read More

In addition to using VoiceThread for digital storytelling, you are able to use it for a variety of purposes. Some of those include (note the links to examples):

There are many more VoiceThreads available online, spanning a variety of media genres including poems, self-portraits, lectures, book reviews, multimedia presentations, and digital stories. Why not add your students

Want to use VoiceThread in your own classroom? Consider these resources to get you started:

The SAISD Office of Instructional Technology Services is happy to work with you and your students. Please feel free to contact Miguel Guhlin at mguhlin@saisd.net or by phone at 210-527-1400.

We're here!

Here's the first pic from the NWPTX meeting at Texas State University.

Shelley and Dianna drove, and we got here safely despite the crazy traffic.

We are discussing NWPTX's mini-grant to discuss Web 2.0 to sustain and increase capacity for our state network.... Scott, why aren't you here?

We miss you all!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Free. Quality. Self-selected. Your pace. Your place.

What else can I say about the technology sessions offered in the k12online conference? Check out the poster below, and then check out the site. This is your chance to learn new technologies and the pedagogy behind them without having a class full of people sitting around you. No pressure to move on until you are ready. Yet, there is a ton of free support offered in this as well, so you are not left stranded. The conference is one I highly recommend.

Oh, did I mention it is free?

If you need help getting an RSS feed reader set-up so you can follow the conference happenings easier, let me know. I am always more than happy to help out.


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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Oh My Gosh!!! This site is awesome!

Now, we all know there are several great resources out there, but this one is SOOOOOO valuable to upper grade educators.

Hippo Campus has videos, both instructional and informational. These things ROCK! I realize you may not be as excited about it as I am, but cool, free, awesome resources are so needed with our curriculum these days. Kids can access these from the house for help with homework. They can use them to enrich current lessons or presentations. You can use them to give a twist to your lessons while letting the students know they are out there for reference. Your students will love it.

You are in luck if you teach one of these courses:
  • US History (AP and regular)
  • Algebra (Elementary, IA, and IB)
  • American Government (AP and Regular)
  • AP Biology
  • Calculus (AP I & II, General, and Intro)
  • Environmental Science (AP and Regular)
  • Physics (AP B & C, College Prep, General, and Intro)
  • Religion
Please check this site out. My post cannot do it enough justice for the value of the content found here. (Or am I just too PBS or something?)

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