Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Posterous - A Simple Way for Students to Blog

When Posterous launched I didn't give it much attention. I just took another look at it and think that it could be a good, easy way for students to blog. To get started using Posterous all you have to do is send an email to and your Posterous blog is started. After you send your first email, Posterous will email you back with the url for your new Posterous blog. If you don't like the url you're given, you can change it by creating a Posterous account. For example the url I was initially assigned was richard?, I changed it to

Posting to your Posterous blog can be done through email by email, through the Posterous bookmarklet, or through a direct post using your Posterous account.

Applications for Education
Posterous locks you into one template and one format, but the simplicity and ease of posting makes it an interesting option for student blogging. The Posterous bookmarklet tool could be handy for having students blog about current events stories. To do this have students find and read an article online, click the Posterous bookmarklet, when the dialogue box opens they can then write a response to the article and post it directly to their Posterous blogs.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
How-to Week, Day 2 - Setting Up a Blog
Grading Student Blogging
8 Ways to Build Websites (Not Blogs) for Free

Great Google Maps/ Earth How-to Videos

Joe Wood is an educator in the Sacramento, California area that I met at NECC 2009. Joe has put together a great collection of resources related to teaching with Google Earth and Google Maps. If you've never created content on Google Earth or Google Maps because you weren't sure how to do it, watch the two videos created by Joe and embedded below. For written tutorials as well as great ideas for using Google Earth and Google Maps in your classroom, visit Joe Wood's Google Earth in the Classroom wiki.

Using Google Maps to Create Google Earth Files - Part 1

Using Google Maps to Create Google Earth Files - Part 2

Tips and Tutorials for Everything Google

Google itself publishes some excellent tutorials in written and video form, but you often have to jump from service to service to find the tutorials. Google Tutor (not officially connected with Google) offers an extensive collections of tutorials and tips all things Google. Google Tutor covers everything from simple tasks like recovering your forgotten Google Account password to more difficult tasks like creating charts in Google Docs or modifying Google Chrome to suit your tastes. In addition to tutorials and tips, Google Tutor reports on enhancements and improvements to Google's products.

Applications for Education
Google Tutor is a good place to find clear tutorials for improving your and your students' experience with Google's services.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Create an Online Quiz Using Google Forms
Three Getting Started Guides for Google Docs

The Science of Motivation

In this video, posted yesterday on the TED blog, Daniel Pink explains the science of motivation. One of the themes of the talk that stands out is the idea that "this for that" motivation techniques often do not work. I found this interesting because that is a technique that some teachers try with their students. So what is an effective motivation technique? Giving people autonomy and projects that they are vested-in is a much better motivation technique. Can these ideas be applied to education? I hope so.

Applications for Education
This talk is centered on motivation as it relates to employees, but the ideas could be adapted for an education setting. The ideas in the video could help teachers in their efforts to motivate students. The ideas could also influence how school administrators relate to teachers.

Here is a related item that may be of interest to you:
Three Ways the Brain Creates Meaning