Wednesday, August 31, 2005

My Open Weekend on blogs 2: add images and audio

** Blogging with Images & Voice facilitated by Sus Nyrop who returns after the success of her initial workshop on blogging. Come one and all: new to blogging or experienced bloggers. Blogging (the online diary) has become a hyper popular and easy way of creating and sharing online content. This goes for the educational as well as the business purposes, from creating students’or teachers' portfolios like work in progress, and group projects, completed with comments from their peers and visitors, to corporate efforts to create loyal consumer community around their products or services.

There exists a multitude of free blog services that you could use for text blogs. When you want to supply text with images and voice (or even video), you would need to find the help programs to realize this.

In this weekend, we’ll have a look at examples using blogs with images and audio, and hopefully also sharing own experiences and trying to help each other with questions and eventual trouble shooting. We'll look at tools and techniques in general. If there's any interest, I plan to host an online synchronous session, probably in my virtual Elluminate office at LearningTimes.

Sus Nyrop has been actively experimenting and exploring how to practice online cmunication and to use the internet for knowledge sharing, cultural exchange and social interaction with educators and students around the world.She has many years of experience with education in general. Today, she works as a free lance online education consultant, community builder and mentor. As an active member of Webheads in Action since 2001, she has taken part in many online blog experiments as a guest teacher conference presenter and mentor. In this weekend workshop, she will use examples from language educators collaborating around blogging, and also share examples from the world of small online business where images and audio blogging help creating the homely atmosphere of a loyal group of clients and consumers.Please jump in and share your ideas - or find out why blogging has besome so popular!

For this purpose, I've created an external blog at the new Yahoo! 360 - fresh & clean from the kitchen lab :-)

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Thinking aloud in the blogosphere

Reading other people’s thinking is sometimes surprising me. And often making me laugh, as well. Only now and then I feel like I could almost have been thinking this or that myself. But I enjoy trying to understand what makes people think what they do – and write it down. After all, thinking is a private action and only when you manage to communicate your thinking one way or another, the thoughts become part of the social communication between tow or more persons. A conversation with only two participants can be very intimate, and may never pass the edge of privacy. But as soon as thoughts are transformed into printed text and published, there a potential audience. Just in case the search engine finds the blog text, or you’re promoting it, perhaps in emails for your friends or on mailing lists. I know I do have a handful of readers and that I’m not really careful with my blog; who are the target readers and for which cause am I blogging? These are questions I’m raising in my thoughts, discussing with myself and occasionally also with some others. What I like best of all about blogs are the feedback you sometimes give to others, or even receive on your own blog. Only a few times I’ve had to delete meaningless or harmful messages thT were posted in my blog disguised as comments. In general, the comments are relevant and very welcome.

Blogging as a phenomenon of making thoughts go public has meant that many people who would perhaps otherwise never have managed to get a voice in public, start thinking of writing for others, instead of just for your dear diary, or the occasional letter among friends of family members.

Blogs - just as easy as text editing

Only those who know the limitations of simple editor for blog posts would understand the ease of being able to publish a text to my blog from a normal text document. This means I’m able to read my message in one frame before posting. I suppose this will make a difference for using blogs in education, such as portfolio blogging.

Blogging from inside my Word program!!

This is really a helpful feature – Blogger for Word!
I’ve installed a Word –to-Blog plugin (for Windows only, sorry mac users), and this means I get my menu buttons in Microsoft Office Word for Blogger settings – where I can login directly to my blog!
Now this will be my very first testing of this tool; I can see many ways this would ease writing and editing before submitting a note on my blog.  

Thanks to Buth in Kuwait for this tip!

Friday, August 05, 2005

Webheads meet Puerto Rico

Today Karen Garcia was back home in Puerto Rico, at the university where she was once a student (must be quite a while?) Karen was presenting at a conference to an audience in a big computer lab, using the Elluminate virtual classroom so that there was room for online presence as well; Doris Molero Martins from Maracaibo, Venezuela, and Renata Suzuki from Japan were co-presenters in a lively dialogue. Also present online in the Elluminate office at Learningtimes were Daf, Venezuela, Tere, Portugal, Sergei Minsk, Belarus and a woman from the UAE (Nuna?) - and at the end of this session we were joined by Vance, also from UAE, and Bob from Texas; a pretty global group. I'll look forward to read the paper written for this presentation!

The presentation was referring to last winter's amazing experience where Doris Karen and Renata were the key persons in the weekly course over 13 weks, Doris in a classroom with colleagues from the university, and about a dozen webheads from all over, working with learning theories applied to practice. We were using a free video material and lesson plan for this, applied in the actual context (Will have to check details and add some links later, but wanted to blog this event before bedtime ).