Welcome to Course 2!
We’ll start off by adding an official Creative Commons license on your blog…and more importantly show you how you can add widgets to your blogs sidebar area. Watch the video below (or download from the media blog, or via iTunes) to learn how.
Now that you know how to add HTML code to your sidebar using a text widget, see if you can add a map to track your sites visitors. This will help you see who’s reading your blog and where your digital footprint is spreading.
A couple of my favorite map widgets:
Tip: In the HTML code you will see width= and height= play with these values to get the widget to fit nicely on your blogs theme. Each blog theme has a different width of sidebar so you’ll have to adjust this based on your blog’s theme.
It’s time we go get some live conversations going. So almost every Tuesday (those I’m available) we’ll have live sessions via a program called Bigmarker. com. You need to sign up for an account (free) and then join the COETAIL community. Once you do that you’ll have an opportunity to participate in our live sessions. Sometimes (like this first one) will be just a conversation between all that show up and I’ll also be giving some clarification on the final project for this course. Other times we’ll have guest presenters. Watch the calendar for details.
“But I can’t make it!”
That’s OK…do the best you can and know that all live sessions will be recorded and then released on this blog, the media site and in iTunes. So if you can’t make the live session, you can always listen to the recording later. If you really do want to join live suggest a Tuesday night time that is good for you and I’ll see what I can do. I’m still working full time at ISB until June so my time isn’t as flexible as it will be for courses 3,4,5. When this will be a big part of my full time duties.
Over the years I’ve heard a lot of excuses of why teachers haven’t been able to finish their work on time. To be honest….you’re all just as bad as the kids.
James Couch contacted me and said he’d be a bit late turning in his work as he has just become a father for the first time.
Congrats James to you and your wife! I guess you can have a couple more weeks.
You made it! I know at times you didn’t think you where going to. Or you were thinking what’s the point of all this (and some of you still are). I know that many of you, via your blog posts, are still putting your own systems into place. Figuring out your blog, your RSS reader, etc.
Well….I told you we were going to push you in the deep end and it’s so good to see you all floating and swimming on your own…maybe not perfect…..but you’re here, you’re thinking, and your learning. Just remember the Dan Meyer quote of “be less helpful” and how much you’ve learned on your own with a little guidance at times and no guidance at other times.
I have been so impressed by your depth of reflection. I truly do think that blogging is some of the best self-directed PD you can give yourself. Reflecting on your practice is one thing, to have to stop and take time to write it down in a form where others can read and respond to it…takes it to a deeper level. You want it to be good, you want it to sound good an because of that you spend time thinking through what you really believe, what you really want, and what you’re thinking and learning. Is blogging a new genre? I think so…..but I’ll let you debate that one.
Course 2 – March 26 – May 6
You’ll notice that course 2 is 7 weeks long as you get to have a built in Spring Break week in there somewhere. Take a week off and enjoy the overseas life of travel and leisure. I’ll be away the week of April 14 – 22. I’m headed to the beach here in Thailand for a little R&R and have booked a hotel with no WiFi….on purpose. I’m looking forward to reflecting offline, relaxing, and just being. I hope you find time to do the same.
Course 2 will focus on copyright, fair-use, and creative commons. I’ll have to say when we started COETAIL this was my least favorite class to teach, but it has turned into one of my favorites as it’s such an important, frustrating, no real answers, topic that I think allows us to do some really deep thinking around what it is you believe is important for your school and your students.
The course 2 project is not a lesson plan, but instead you will be looking at your school’s Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) on technology. You will be working in groups to create new AUPs for your school based on what we’re discussing in this course and what you’ve learned in the previous course as well. More to come on this once we get started.
Enjoy the week off….and be looking for your final grade for the course on your Google grade sheet. A week off from class doesn’t mean you have to give it all up. You are still allowed to blog, encouraged to continue to read your RSS reader and stay active. Being a connected educator needs to become a habit, find ways to keep involved with the conversations.
Until the 26th
I’ve noted that many of you are not yet putting your blog posts into categories. A little tip from experience. The sooner you start categorizing your blog posts the better. Here’s why…
- At some point you’re going to want to go back and find a blog post you wrote. Much easier if you have categories.
- When others visit your site categories help them find structure to your blog and ideas and thoughts.
- The sooner you do this the less blog posts you have to go back and add to a category. Easier now with a few then later on with a lot.
In the end categories and tags are how we bring structure to the chaos. Learn to use them well and they’ll start making sense. You don’t have to use the “course 1″ “course 2″ structure. Find a structure that works for you, you can categorize posts in a number of ways….the only wrong way is not to categorize at all.
As we near the end of course 1 I wanted to point out the Google Calendar you will find embedded on the sidebar of this blog. I HIGHLY recommend that you add the Google Calendar to your own calendaring system. If you’re not using Google Calendars this would be a great time to have a dabble with it.
As this course comes to a close I’m already ramping things up for course 2. We’ll be adding a virtual chat sessions via bigmarker.com. Where we’ll be gathering to just chat about things, bounce ideas or listen to guests talk about their experiences, classrooms, or ideas. I’m already setting up guest speakers, many of them COETAIL graduates as I want teachers talking to teachers about their classrooms and what they’re doing. The best way to get ideas is to hear what others are doing.
These sessions will be open to all COETAILers and will be recorded and released via iTunes. So if you can’t make one, or you live in a country where the Interent is slow know you can still listen in to the conversations.
All of these sessions will be posted on the Google calendar which is why it’s important that you get use to looking at it now for information moving forward.
The other day I was on Cindy Hopkins grade sheet and saw she came online at the same time (you can see this in the upper right corner of a Google Doc, each person is represented by a colored square) and took the opportunity to chat with her in real time.
I often see more than one person looking at the blog list, or one of the Google Docs for the weekly assignments. Take time to chat with other members who might happen to be online at the same time as you are. It’s a great way to build that personal connection with others. You can talk about the class, your school, your kids, or your favorite wine.
There are opportunities all around us to chat and connect, we just have see them and then use them to connect.
As I’m going through all the blogs I’ve noticed that many of you have not set up an “About Me” or “About” page on your blog. You can do this by logging into your blog clicking on Pages – New Page. Also make sure you delete the “Sample Page” as you don’t need it anymore.
This is an important part of having an online profile. When you leave a comment somewhere on the web you leave the address to your blog. This is so people can follow the link back to your blog and learn more about you. It’s also how you evaluate the source of comments, so by having an about page you give yourself some validity on the Internet as people know who you are and where you come from. Matt Kelsey has gone one step further and put his bio right on the front of his blog. There are a number of ways to do it and you can get pretty creative with how you displace the information.
So take some time to tell the world who you are…you’re producing some great content and people are going to want to know the person behind the content.
I just spend the past 7 hours reading and updating everyone’s grade sheet. If you do not have a grade sheet or you don’t see a comment from me then please re-share it with me. Here are the directions again to setting up a grade sheet.
After reading through the blog posts the winner clearly is the RSS Reader in this first course. Many of you talked about using your RSS reader, getting it set up, and how you’re starting to come to terms of skimming to find the relevant information you want to read. RSS is a powerful tool and once you understand it and how it links things together kind of behind the scenes on the Internet you’ll start seeing it everywhere.
iTunes for example runs on RSS. I set up the media blog and then give iTunes the RSS feed to that blog. iTunes just pulls in the media via RSS into iTunes. So anyone can be in iTunes…you just need an RSS feed.
Your Blogs Impress Me!
I have been so impresses with your level of reflection and blogging in this first class. Some great insight into the readings, your own readings, and your students and own kids. It’s been fun to get a glimpse into your head over the past 5 weeks.
What has impressed me the most however is your commenting and supporting of each other through comments. It’s these connections that make a community work, and you are well on your way to becoming a great supportive learning community.
I’m excited that this first course is coming to an end, all the systems are set up, as well as my personal systems to keep track of everything, and we can continue to learn together.
Well, I’ve put this off as long as possible, but I’m afraid it is time to do the paperwork side of things. Part of the reason I have put off you doing the registration is in hopes that you can do both Course 1 and Course 2 at the same time and be done with it.
Nobody likes to fill out paperwork, but without it your grades won’t be posted to SUNY.
So the time has come to get it done.
1. Download the Course 1 Registration Form (also found in your Google Docs)
2. Print it out and complete it, or if you have a digital copy of your signature you can fill it out in Word.
3. Save the completed registration form as a PDF making sure to put your name in the File Name (Example: Course 1 (EDC 607) – Jeff Utecht)
4. E-mail the registration form as an attachment to this e-mail address: upload.Course_.firstname.lastname@example.org
1. Download the Course 2 Registration Form (also found in your Google Docs)
2. Print it out and complete it, or if you have a digital copy of your signature you can fill it out right in Word.
3. Save the completed registration form as a PDF making sure to put your name in the File Name (Example: Course 2 (EDC 606) – Jeff Utecht)
4. E-mail the registration form as an attachment to this e-mail address: upload.Course_.email@example.com
That’s it you’re done!
You do not need to send any money. The $18 of the $718 of your tuition covers the registration fee. I’ll forward on one single check to SUNY on the cohorts behalf. That’s how SUNY likes it.
The Setup…in case you’re interested:
I use a free service called box.net to have you e-mail your registration forms to. I can then send a link to the folder where these are uploaded to SUNY and they can simply download them. Works great!
Also know that box.net is running a special right now. If you download their app on an Android phone and sign up through that app they’ll give you 50GB of free storage. That’s 50GB of free web storage….crazy…and totally worth it!