Tuesday, January 29, 2013

How to Password Protect Posts and Pages in WordPress Blogs (Including Edublogs) In Two Steps

On Monday I published directions for enabling limited access to Blogger blogs. Today, by request, I'm publishing directions on how to limit access to posts and pages created in WordPress blogs. These directions will work for any blog running on WordPress including Edublogs blogs and WordPress.com blogs. I actually like the options in WordPress better than the options for doing this in Blogger because in WordPress you have the option to restrict access to specific pages and posts. Blogger does not have that same level of specificity in restriction settings.

(Click the images to view them full size). 

Step 1: Create a post or a page in your blog editor. Before pressing publish click the "edit" link next to the visibility setting just above the "publish" button for your post or page.

Step 2: Select "private" or "password protected."

Follow the two steps pictured below to edit the visibility setting on existing pages or posts.

Step 1:

Step 2:

A Teacher's Guide to Classroom Backchannels & Informal Assessment Tools

Later this week I'm running a workshop on the use of backchannels, polling services, and informal assessment tools. In preparation for that workshop, I spent quite a bit of time putting together a 32 page PDF of ideas and directions for using TodaysMeet, Socrative, and the updated version of Wallwisher. The end of the document includes some alternatives to each of those three tools. I've embedded the document below (it's hosted by Scribd) and you can download it from Scribd for your personal use. If you like it, I would appreciate it if you could share it on Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, or Google+.

You may notice that a few pages in the document are marked with these lines, "This copy is for personal, non-commercial use and is not to be distributed in workshops not taught by Richard Byrne. Are you seeing this in a workshop not taught by Richard Byrne? If so, please ask the presenter to acquire a license to use this work." Please contact me if you would like to use this document in a training that you are conducting or if you would like to distribute it to your faculty members without sending them here to get it.

Monday, January 28, 2013

5 Good Mathematics Feeds for Teachers

I subscribe to roughly 300 blogs (honestly, I stopped keeping track a while ago). Usually, when I say that at conference or workshop the follow-up question I get goes something like this, "can you recommend some good blogs for X?" So this week I'm going to publish a short list each day of the blogs that usually come to mind when someone asks me to make a recommendation for a blog related to teaching a particular subject area. Today, I'm recommending five good mathematics feeds.

Even before I had the privilege to see him give a keynote in person and participate in a couple of his workshops, I was recommending Dan Meyer's blog to everyone that would listen. From publishing his entire algebra and geometry curricula to challenging the way that math instruction is delivered, Dan's work is remarkable. Watch Math Class Needs a Makeover to learn more about Dan's philosophy of teaching mathematics.

Whenever David Wees comments on one of my blog posts it's always insightful and it challenges my thinking. David brings those same qualities to his blog posts about mathematics instruction and using technology in the classroom. Read David's recent post about raising mathematicians to get a good sense of what he's about.

Colleen Young's Mathematics, Learning and Web 2.0 is a good blog to subscribe to for practical, do-now, mathematics instruction ideas. When you visit her blog make sure you check out the "I'm Looking For" and "Wolfram Alpha" tabs.

Mathematics and Multimedia written by Guillermo Bautista is the blog that I usually recommend when people ask me for recommendations for learning about GeoGebra. Guillermo's blog has a good collection of GeoGebra tutorials for both beginning and advanced users of GeoGebra.

Numberphile is a neat YouTube channel about fun number facts, rules of mathematics, and the ways that our brains handle numbers. There is currently110 videos in the Numberphile collection. The videos cover things like 998,001 and its Mysterious Recurring Decimals, Pi and Bouncing Balls, and 1 and Prime Numbers. I've embedded Numbers and Brains below.

(I've intentionally left Khan Academy off this list, that's too obvious).

How to Limit Access to Blogger Blog Posts

A question that I often get when I work with elementary school teachers to help them get on the road to blogging goes like this, "can I restrict reading access to just my students and their parents?" The answer to that question is yes. The video below shows you how to do this if you're using Blogger.

Applications for Education
While I prefer to guide teachers in the direction of teaching their elementary school students not to reveal personally identifying information on classroom blogs, I also recognize that sometimes the only way a teacher will try blogging is if they can restrict access to just students and their parents. The directions below cover the same steps covered in the video above. (Click the images to enlarge them).

Step 1:

Step 2:

Step 3:

This Link Will Self Destruct - Create Links to Share for a Limited Period of Time

This Link Will Self Destruct is a free service for sharing links that are accessible for a finite period of time. This Link Will Self Destruct shortens your URL to make it easier for others to copy or remember. TLWSD allows you to specify how long your shortened URL will be active. You can set a limit of just a few minutes, hours, or days. Password protecting your TWLSD links is an option too.

Applications for Education
This Link Will Self Destruct could be a good service to use when you need to shorten and share the long link to a WallWisher or TodaysMeet activity happening in your classroom.