Welcome VSTE 2007 Attendees
60% of my teachers have been in our county for less than 3 years (and, most of these newcomers, have never worked with a 1 to 1 initiative). More than 40% of my teachers have put less than 3 years into this vocation. With this in mind, I have created a space, online, for teachers to discuss instruction, vocation, and solutions for our school. I hope it will be a community building experience that gives teachers as much time as they can to the process without having to commit to meetings. Following the lead of Alan Levine with Tom’s guidance, I started by sketching out my vision. I wanted a place that was password protected and required unique usernames for participation. This site would be a safe place where teachers could speak their minds in a professional manner. At the same time, I wanted to foster open communication, so anonymous responses would not be an option. I didn’t want a traditional blog format. The U/I needed to be as intuitive as possible, and I wanted meta-data to be presented in a way that encourage conversation. I sketched up two different layouts and solicited some feedback from my faculty. The overwhelming response was for the second layout. After sifting through themes that mirrored my sketch, I decided on Blue Earth. […]
A couple of people at work were discussing how to make a good website for a school newspaper. I couldn’t help but point out the beauty that is The Collegian and mentioned it was based on WordPress with some theme tweaking. So one thing led to another and now a number of people are interested in learning how to do this type of thing. I’m the one-eyed guyToo obscure a reference? who’s attempting to guide them. I’m no master of CSS, PHP or even WordPress but I have managed to do a few things over time- usually through trial and error. The movie below kind of talks about why CSS exists and then delves into using FirebugI find this plugin to be nearly magical and highly encourage you to use it for this and a variety of other purposes. to explore website and learn how/what to change in the CSS to tweak themes. Firebug Introduction from Tom Woodward on Vimeo.
Soooo, I had to do another presentation on blogging and “Bob on Blogs” wasn’t really the style I wanted for the UR crowd. Time for something new. This is my basic thought process in case it might interest someone. Concept (learning objective): There are two key things I want viewers to come away with A blog is just an easy way to get content (multimedia and otherwise) on the Internet and you don’t have to do commenting, regular posts, etc. There are lots of interesting ways to use blogs in education The problem I ran into was that I had lots of blog examples but when I started trying to break things down to show the flexibility it got way too complex. I was initially trying to show things like: Group blog, with comments, using text and images Single user blog, without comments, using text Group blog, aggregating via RSS, with comments using text, video and images So, instead I divided the presentation into two parts. The first portion would be a more traditional presentation with slides to add some humor and associate some interesting visuals with the relatively dry topic of the conceptual use of blogs, their limitations etc. I really wanted to keep the audience engaged and thinking about things in terms that made sense to them. The […]