Grade 6’s

HELPGrade 6s, there is a lot of information on our classroom blog to help you get started being a great blogger. All you have to do is look around! If you can’t ask a Grade 7 for help, try some of these links:

What is Blogging?

Last year, I posted a link to a short video about blogging called “Blogs In Plain English.” Click the link to go to the short video from September 2009.

How to add an Image to your Post

When adding images, it’s VERY important to use images that the creator has allowed to be used publicly (a Creative Commons liscence). Here is a detailed post explaining how to legally add images to your blog posts.

How to Write a Post, Add a Page, etc.

At the top of the classroom blog page, click on the “Tutorials” tab. There are several short videos which will guide you step-by-step through various blogging activities.

Other

If you have other questions, leave a comment on this post with your blogging question and I can help you in person or by leaving a comment here as well.

HAVE FUN!

Image Source: “Trust”

Blogging

start-blogThis year our class will be writing a blog.  The students and I will keep you posted about what we are learning in class and what is happening around the school.  This will give the students an opportunity to write for an authentic audience and teach them how to be responsible when using the internet.  Your child will use his/her first name only to keep his/her identity private. You may subscribe to the blog to receive updates.  Please feel free to make comments.  Blogging is more fun when it’s interactive.

Blogging Rules

 

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Here’s eight “commandments” for you to follow this year as you begin (or continue) blogging.

1. Assume it’s Public

Some blogs are private so only the class can see them. Other blogs are public and the world can read what you say. Sometimes, it’s hard to tell if the blog you’re on is public or private. Therefore, assume everything you post as a comment on another blog is public.

2. Don’t Comment

Until You’ve Read the Entire Post

In order to make effective and relevant comments on other students’ blogs, do not make a comment until you’ve read the entire post. This will reduce the number of, “I like your blog!” comments, which are never a good thing. This also will stimulate more comments from other readers.

3. Do Unto OthersBe kind and constructive. Use the “sandwich” method to leave a good comment: start with praise, go on to your constructive criticism, and close with praise.

 

4. Build on Previous Comments

Read not only the original blog post, but also the comments from other readers. Then, try to add to the conversation with statements like, “I agree with Peter when he said…” Go on to explain why. The “why” is very important! No one will be able to respond to your comment if you only say, “Me too!” The more explanations you add, the more others will be able to add, too.

5. Use Quotes

If you’re responding to one part of what was said, copy and paste the relevant part of the conversation so other readers will know what you’re talking about.

6. Edit!

Before posting your comment or post, read your writing out loud to see if it sounds right. Then, correct spelling, grammar and punctuation.

7. Protect Your Identity

Do not ever say your last name or where you’re from in any comments. Use only your first name.

8. If You Mention It, Link It!

If you mention a website or get a great idea for a post from another blog or website, embed a hyperlink to it. That way, your readers can, if they choose, visit that site for further reading.

Which 2 rules do you think are the most important? Leave a comment.
 
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Podcasting

I found a great list of suggestions on how to make a great podcast from a blog called Frogbody.

Here is a summary of what I found:

Stuff every podcaster should keep in mind:

  1. Podcasts should be short. 30min is actually too long. Unless it’s just jam packed with goodness, life is too short and it requires too much attention. Keep it short.
  2. Be whimsical. I’ve noticed something about the best podcasts… they’re having fun, and it shows. 
  3. Be Chunky. Make segments short, diverse and put an audio bumper between your segments. It can be music, a sound effect, some whimsical voice trick, whatever. This keeps it interesting. A single droning line of ramble can really make the eyes glaze over. You need variety; we’re an MTV generation, like it or not. We like it fast, varied, pithy and fun.
  4. Don’t Ramble, Be organized. This should seem obvious, but some podcasters just flip on the mic and ramble for 45 min. Horror! If you are interviewing, prepare the questions ahead of time. Send them to your guest so they can be coherent. If you aren’t interviewing, take the time to prepare exactly what you’ll be talking about. Write down an agenda with talking point notes. Move quickly and coherently through them.
  5. Cram, cram, cram as much good stuff as you can into the time. Our minds move quicker than your mouth, so do you best to pack your podcast full of goodness and move quickly.
  6. Be regular, but only if you’ve got quality. I’d rather listen to an excellent quarterly podcast, than a mediocre one every week. Again: this isn’t so much the case with something like a blog post where I can skim and move on, but with a podcast, you have my trust and full attention, use it wisely.
  7. Get a buddy. If you can, get someone who brings another layer of experience and expertise. It helps you be chunky. Two have an easier time that one keeping things moving, plus it’s just usually more interesting.
  8. Have show notes on your blog. If you mention something, make a list of links to explore your topics in more depth.
  9. If you’re doing interviews, let your guest talk. That doesn’t mean sit there and let them ramble. Provide regular engaging questions and keep things moving, but don’t spend time trying to be smart yourself; be a master facilitator in helping your guest share great stuff.
  10. Try to be natural. I guess this is kind of a recurring theme, but don’t try too hard to be stodgy and official. Don’t be lazy and inane, but don’t be stuffy either.
  11. Don’t be scared to throw a show away. It happens. My advice is to use podcasts to put your best foot forward. Because podcasts demand so much attention, they really need to be high caliber. If you write a mediocre blog post your readers can skim, skip and move on. With a podcast, they’re trusting you with very precious attention for that period of time. Treat it with the utmost respect. If in doubt, toss it.
  12. Do some editing. You don’t necessarily need to give us every single utterance made during a period of time. Just like you might prune a copy from a rambling blog post to tighten it up, tighten up your podcast. A little production work goes a long way toward making an excellent podcast.
  13. Use music. Music really softens a podcast up. I don’t want an MP3 of your favorite songs, don’t waste my time. But as an intro, a little  background and as transition material, music can really polish things up.
  14. Verbally identify your podcast at the start of your podcast. Date, issue number, topic/guest, etc.  We need this meta data to give it context. Someone may listen out of sequence or even years or decades later. Take a couple seconds to lay it out at the start.

Image Source: derrickkwa from Flickr.com