Wednesday, May 3, 2017

One Simple Thing That Can Make Your Blog Better

I am frequently asked for advice about blogging. That's probably the result of blogging for more than ten years and publishing more than 12,000 blog posts. The piece of advice that I give more than any other is, be consistent.

Consistency in blogging means two things. First, publish on a consistent schedule. It helps your readers know when to expect your next posts. It helps you develop blog posts because you have a schedule to stick to. Publishing on a consistent schedule is especially important in a school setting because if you don't show that the blog is important by publishing consistently, your students and their parents won't think it's important to read your blog consistently. I'll cover this topic and many others in Blogs and Social Media for Teachers which starts tomorrow at 7pm EDT.

The other meaning of blogging consistently deals with consistency of purpose. If your blog post topics vary too widely too quickly, your readers don't know what to expect from you and don't have a clear reason to come back to your blog. Of course, if you're an incredibly dynamic person who leads a super-interesting celebrity life then go ahead and write about whatever the heck you feel like on any given day. I'll be talking more about this topic in From Blog to Job in June.

Bust Writer's Block With Slick Write

In my previous post I shared an overview of how Slick Write helps users analyze writing. There is more to Slick Write than just document analysis. It also offers a resource to help people bust through writer's block. Slick Write's Word Associator is a free tool that provides you with a list of words to associate with any word that you enter. As you can see in my video below, you can pick multiple words from the lists and have new lists generated for you. Combine enough words and you're bound to find the start of your next fiction story.

Slick Write Can Help Students Analyze Writing

Slick Write is a free service that students can use to help them analyze their own writing and or that of other writers. Slick Write identifies typical things like word counts, readability, and an estimated reading time for a document. Slick Write will also analyze use of adverbs and prepositional phrases throughout a document. Users can pick and choose what they want Slick Write to identify in a passage. Watch my video embedded below to see how easy it is to use Slick Write.

Practical Ed Tech Live - Tomorrow at 3:30pm EDT

Every week I receive a dozen or more emails from folks who have all kinds of questions about educational technology. Those that I think have broad appeal I include in my weekly Practical Ed Tech Live broadcasts. You can also ask questions during the live broadcasts and I'll answer them on the spot. So send me your questions and join me live tomorrow at 3:30pm EDT on my YouTube channel or on Facebook as I answer your ed tech questions.


Tuesday, May 2, 2017

A Timeline for Transition from Old Google Sites to New Google Sites

Last November the new version of Google Sites was made available to everyone who wants to use it. For many people that marked the beginning of the end of the classic version of Google Sites. In fact, earlier today someone asked me when the old version would be going away. By pure coincidence, not an hour later Google published this blog post explaining when the old version of Google Sites would be phased out. 

The classic version of Google Sites will phased out beginning in Q4 of this year. Tools for migration to the new, current version of Google Sites will be made available to users of classic Google Sites. Once the official deprecation timeline for classic Google Sites is announced, those sites will still be supported for at least a year although you won't be able to create new Sites using the classic editor. 

What all this means is that if you're thinking of building a website by using Google Sites, use the new (current) version of Google Sites because eventually you're going to have to use it anyway. If you already have a site established through the classic version of Google Sites, you have some time before you have to make the switch.