Thursday, July 14, 2011

My Best Tip for Beginning Bloggers...

is to write something everyday.

I've written about my "blogging secrets" in the past so I won't go down that road in this post. I am frequently asked how I find the time and or ideas for writing 4-5 blog posts a day. The answer is really quite simple, I make time for it. I make it a priority to sit down and write every day. Sure there are days when the ideas are harder to come by, but if I "waited for inspiration" nothing would get written. You might not want to blog as much as I do, I don't know a whole lot of people who do, but if blogging is one of the new things you want try doing this summer and into the new school year start by making appointments with yourself to blog on a consistent schedule. Even if you don't hit "publish" on all of your posts, sit down and write for 10-15 minutes and you'll be surprised at what you can accomplish.

This post was inspired by a TED Talk that I watched today. In the TED Talk below Matt Cutts, one of Google's search engineers, talks about making a commitment to try something new for 30 days. Spend four minutes watching it and I think you'll be inspired to try something new.

By the way, my 30 days of trying something new is to make time for some yoga each day.

Name that Famous Painting - Music Video

This morning on the Open Culture blog I came across a music video that might be of interest to art teachers. The band Hold Your Horses (yeah, I'd never heard of them either) produced a music video in which they recreated the scenes of 24 famous paintings. Open Culture listed the paintings and their painters. Flavor Wire has images of all of the original paintings along with still images from the video for comparison. The music video is embedded below.

70 Million by Hold Your Horses ! from L'Ogre on Vimeo.

Applications for Education
At the high school level or higher this video could be used for a fun art history quiz.

eEtiquette - 101 Guidelines for the Digital World

eEtiquette is a simple site that exists for the purpose of sharing electronic etiquette tips. The tips cover everything from email etiquette to social network etiquette to cell phone etiquette. Although the title says there are 101 guidelines there are actually more than 101 guidelines on the site now. Some of the best etiquette guidelines are available on a free poster that you can download from eEtiquette.

Applications for Education
If we're going to have students using digital devices (laptops, tablets, cell phones) in our classrooms, it is a part of our responsibilities to teach students appropriate digital behavior. eEtiquette could be a good place to go to find some guidelines to share with students. You might consider downloading and printing the free poster for your classroom.

10 Ideas to Help You Prepare for Teaching in a 1:1 Classroom

A couple of years ago I was asked to participate in a brainstorming conference call with some folks from the Maine International Center for Digital Learning. On that day we constructed a list of important things teachers should know when they start teaching in a 1:1 classroom. I just came across the list again and thought it was worth posting again.

This list was generated with some help from my Twitter friends @ernieeaster @scmorgan and @edtech4me

1. Not all teenagers are digital natives.
2. The computer itself is not going to create student engagement.
3. Teaching with technology is a heterogeneous experience.
4. It takes longer than you think to get a room full of students on the same webpage.
5. You should keep a list of students' usernames and passwords.
6. Murphy's Law is strongest the first few times you try to teach 1:1
7. Close and Focus.
8. Project design is still about the content.
9. Better to stand behind students than in front.
10. Network administrators are not always up to date on Web 2.0 from the end-user perspective. (There's a difference between hardware people and software people).
Some of these ideas were included in a video series informing teachers about getting started teaching in a 1:1 classroom. The videos can be seen here.

What would you add to this list? Please leave a comment.