Getting Started with Global2

Yesterday I ran a professional development day for teachers called Technify Your Teaching in 2013.

While my colleagues Matt Limb and Simon Collier ran sessions on iDevices, Google Apps, Evernote and web 2.0 tools, I presented workshops on blogging with my team teaching partner, Kelly Jordan. One of our sessions was on setting up your class blog for 2013.

I created a step-by-step handout for the event called “Getting Started with Global2”. This is based around the guide that John Pearce created a few years ago (thank you, John).

If you are wanting to set up an educational blog and you’re working in a DEECD or CEO school, I strongly recommend you head straight to Global2. Global2 is a DEECD sponsored Edublogs Campus Site. That means you get all the best features that Edublogs offers for free! Support for Edublogs Campus subscribers is extensive.

2013 will be the sixth year that I have used Global2 and I have found it to be an excellent platform for my class, student and teacher blogs.

The following guide takes you through six initial goals when setting up a Global2 blog

  • signing up
  • writing a post
  • changing your theme
  • adding widgets
  • writing a post
  • adjusting general settings

I hope you or your colleagues find it useful.

Getting Started With Global2 by Kathleen Morris

If you are having trouble accessing the Scribd document, you can download the PDF version here Getting Started with Global2

If you are looking for more advice about setting up a class blog, check out Five Steps to Starting a Class Blog which I published last year.

What are your blogging plans for 2013?

A New Blog Design for a New Year

As 2012 comes to an end it is timely to reflect on what a fabulous year it has been.

I’m also launching a new theme to mark the start of a new year. Integrating Technology in the Primary Classroom is now called Primary Tech. The URL has not changed.

Some of my 2012 highlights include:

  • Blogging – educational blogging has continued to be a large part of my classroom in 2012. It has been encouraging to see my grade four students improve in so many ways through blogging and global collaboration. 99 posts were published on the 4KM and 4KJ blog during 2012. Over 4000 comments were received and we recorded 33,000 visits on our Clustrmap during the year. A blogging highlight was coming third for the Best Class Blog category in the worldwide Edublog Awards in December.
  • Having a wonderful PLN – my professional learning network is wide and diverse. Each person in my PLN helps me to become a better teacher. Every day I am reflecting, brainstorming, questioning and chatting with a really inspirational bunch of educators via Twitter, email, Skype or blogs. I couldn’t teach without you!

In 2013 I am looking forward to:

  • Going 1:1 – we are introducing a Grade Four Netbook Program into our school in 2013. Eventually, this will be a program for grades four to six. I’m excited by the possibilities of going 1:1 and look forward to again working with a dynamic team of teachers. If you have any suggestions to make about 1:1 curriculum, I would appreciate you commenting on this post.
  • Technify Your Teaching in 2013 PD – I have been writing Tech Tools for Teachers for three years. Each fortnight Simon Collier, Matt Limb and I produce a how-to guide for an online tool. For the third time, we are running a full day of hands-on professional learning at my school in Geelong. There are just a small number of spots still available. If you are interested in attending you can find out more here.
  • Exploring new technologies and pedagogies – with the introduction of the 1:1 program, I’m looking forward to using the technologies that are already common place in my classroom even more, while exploring new technologies with my students. I’m always getting new ideas from my PLN and love trying new things!

My blog and I are taking a break and I look forward to posting again after the new school year begins in late January.

Thank you for all your support this year!

What were your highlights of 2012?

What are you looking forward to in 2013?

Instructions for Using Creative Commons Images in Blog Posts

Many bloggers are not aware that you can’t just use any images off the internet in your blog posts. Not only is this ethically incorrect but you could leave yourself open to copyright infringement.

I teach my student bloggers to “do the right thing” by using their own images or Creative Commons images in their blog posts.

Wanting to make this process clear to my student bloggers, I created a document explaining copyright, copyright infringement and Creative Commons. The guide provides step-by-step instructions on how to use FlickrCC and Wikimedia Commons to upload and attribute images in blog posts. Obviously, there is more than one way to do this, however, I wanted to keep the instructions as straightforward as posssible for my students.

I have embedded this document below. Feel free to use it with your students to teach them about these important blogging habits.

Using Creative Commons Images From FlickrCC and Wikimedia Commons in Blog Posts

If you are having trouble viewing the document, you can download it here as a PDF. Using Creative Commons Images from FlickrCC and Wikimedia Commons in Blog Posts

More detailed advice on using Creative Commons images in blog posts can be found in the Teacher Challenge guide by Sue Waters.

How do you go about using Creative Commons images?

Do you have any more advice?

Free Online PD: Learn About Blogging and Global Collaboration

In June I travelled to the USA to present at the ISTE conference with my long time blogging buddy, Linda Yollis.  Read more about it here.

If you weren’t at ISTE and would like to see our presentation, Linda and I are joining together for an online professional development webinar next week.

What: Tech Talk Tuesdays

Where: Blackboard Collaborate Room

Link to the Session

Date: Tuesday 21 August (GMT+10)

Time: 4:00 – 5:00pm

Click here to find out what time this is for you.

If you can’t make the session, the recording will be found here after the event.

About our Session: Flattening Classroom Walls with Educational Blogging

In early 2009, Linda came across my class blog. One comment has lead to years of learning and collaboration through blogging and global projects.

In our presentation, we will share our story and also offer you

  • insights into the benefits of educational blogging and global collaboration
  • a summary of how our students have worked together on blogging and global projects
  • an overview of how we use a variety of technologies in our collaboration
  • ideas on integrating blogging and projects into the curriculum
  • tips for getting started on your own journey with global collaboration

Please spread the word and join us if you can!

Five Steps to Starting a Class Blog

I have revised the posts I have written in the past to create a nine page, five step guide to beginning a class blog. Feel free to view, print or download the document to help you get started on your blogging journey.

Five Steps to Starting a Class Blog

If you’re having trouble with the Scribd document, you can access the PDF here Five Steps to Starting a Class Blog

Good luck!

New Teacher Blog: Guiding Digital Nomads

I first met Aine Murphy (@ainetmurphy) when she was completing teaching rounds at my school in 2010. We bonded over a common interest in technologies, blogging and global collaboration.

Aine taught in Ireland for ten years before moving to Australia and retraining at Deakin University. She is now teaching Grade Three/Four at Point Lonsdale Primary School having previously taught Spanish.

Last year, Aine and I taught post-grad education students at Deakin University and together we injected some new ideas and tools into the curriculum.

Aine has recently started a new blog called Guiding Digital Nomads: The Wanderings of a Teacher in the 21st Century

http://digitalnomads.global2.vic.edu.au

I recommend subscribing to Aine’s blog as I’m sure her posts will be full of new ideas and excellent reflections.

Aine also recently started a new blog for her Grade Three and Four students and is looking for other blogging classes to collaborate with. Contact her via either blog or Twitter if you’re keen!

Why not head over to Guiding Digital Nomads now and introduce yourself?

Five Steps to Starting a Class Blog in 2012

I revised this post in August 2012 to create a nine page, five step guide to beginning a class blog. Feel free to view, print or download the document to help you get started on your blogging journey.

Five Steps to Starting a Class Blog

If you’re having trouble with the Scribd document, you can access the PDF here Five Steps to Starting a Class Blog

Good luck!

School is out for 2011

2011 has been a fabulous year! In true “Kathleen Morris style”, I have taken on a lot and juggled many different pursuits, but it is all worthwhile to reflect on what has been achieved.

Some of my 2011 highlights include:

  • Blogging – it goes without saying that blogging was a big highlight of my year. We published 112 posts and 4660+ comments on our class blog, and received nearly 25,000 visitors. Out of my 22 students in 2KM, nine students earnt their own blog which is quite an achievement for seven and eight year olds. They all say they will continue next year. I hope so!
  • Writing for BayFM – As author, Mem Fox, says, “we’re currently wasting a lot of time by giving unreal writing tasks in our classrooms….You and I don’t engage in meaningless writing exercises in real life—we’re far too busy doing the real thing”. Writing for a real media outlet was an incomparable experience for my grade twos! Read more about it here.
  • Edublog Awards – even though my class received some good results in the 2011 Edublog Awards, this is irrelevant. Seeing the students excited about nominating and reflecting on their choices was fabulous. They felt like they were a real part of the blogging community by participating in these awards. At the award ceremony, class morale was high as we cheered for people we did and didn’t know.  That is what blogging is all about – reflection, collaboration, creating and celebration!
  • Sharing and Encouraging Other Teachers – I have enjoyed presenting at various events this year, both online and face-to-face. It’s terrific to see teachers become excited about new possibilities! Teaching a unit to post-grad education students at Deakin University was also a source of rich professional growth and enlightenment for me.
  • Having a wonderful PLN – my professional learning network is wide and diverse. Each person in my PLN helps me to become a better teacher. Every day I am reflecting, brainstorming, questioning and chatting with a really inspirational bunch of educators via Twitter, email, Skype or blogs. I couldn’t teach without you!

In 2012 I am looking forward to:

  • Teaching Grade Four – I am teaming up with my teaching partner, Kelly Jordan, again and we hope to convert our two classrooms into one. I’m excited by the possibilities of working with older students!
  • ISTE – last week, L.A. teacher, Linda Yollis and I were accepted to present together on how our classes collaborate through blogging. ISTE is being held in San Diego in June. My class has been collaborating with Linda’s class for three years. We have become good friends and we have never met in person!
  • Technify Your Teaching in 2012 PD – I have been writing Tech Tools for Teachers for two years. Each fortnight Simon Collier, Matt Limb and I produce a how-to guide for an online tool. We decided to run a full day of hands-on professional learning to kickstart 2012. The response was overwhelming and we filled up all available spots in less than two weeks. I’m looking forward to the day and hope it will be the first of many Technify Your Teaching PDs.
  • Exploring New Technologies – blogging, global projects, iDevices, Skype and web 2.0 tools will continue to be a big part of my classroom. Next year I’m interested in trying Edmodo and I want to delve more into movie making. I’d love to get my students using Skype in ways other than whole class sessions. I’m always getting new ideas from my PLN and love trying new things!

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What were your highlights of 2011?

What are you looking forward to in 2012?

Are You On Twitter Yet?

Earlier this year, Kelly Jordan and I gave a few presentations on using Twitter for educators at various events.

If you’re not yet on Twitter, read this post to find out some reasons why you should be.

Confused about the Twitter language? Hopefully this brief explanation will help.

Need more tips? Check out my post of 10 Twitter Tips.

Twitter has certainly had an impact on my grade two students. Discover one example of how Twitter has impacted a student, here.

Finally, click here if you want to learn more about hashtags, which seem to be popping up more and more in a wide range of media.

twitterfollow

New Blog by Shawn Avery: Tech Tutorials

One member of my PLN who I have formed a strong connection with is Shawn Avery (aka @mr_avery).

Shawn is a 6th grade teacher in Massachusetts and his class blog is http://mravery.edublogs.org

Shawn has some excellent ideas for integrating technology in the classroom and has done some inspiring work with movie making (check out his new Math Move Network).

Shawn is a big supporter of teachers and students around the world so please take a moment to check out his new blog, Tech Tutorials.

This blog reviews web 2.0 tools and provides screencasts (how-to videos) on how to use the tools.

You can subscribe to Shawn’s blog by entering your email address on the right hand side of his blog. You will then receive an email every time he publishes a new post.

Tech Tutorials

Enjoy Shawn’s blog and spread the word!