Thursday, May 5, 2011

New Suggestions!

Our instructor, Dr. John Strange, commented to give us his opinion on our project. He had the idea that this blog would be great for in-service training. So, anyone out there viewing our blog who needs some ideas to start off or to supplement in-service training days, we would love for you to use our blog! You could use the videos, links to exemplary blogs like Mr. C's Class Blog or our EDM310 class blog, or even our own class blogs. All links are on the right margin of the blog page. Check back on our class blogs soon because we will be uploading our final video reflections for the semester by Sunday. Also, comment on this post if you have any requests or would like extra information! We would like to thank Dr. Strange for his honest feedback and high praise for all our hard work. Thanks everyone!
Univ. of South Alabama logo

Saturday, April 30, 2011


Posting videos to your blog can be a really great way to visually share information with your readers. Through our EDM 310 class, we have viewed many informational videos, some of which can be seen in our previous posts, and have learned to create our own using programs such as iMovie for the Mac. This program can be used to record video with the Mac's camera, or to edit photos and sound effects together to create a video of your own.

Posted below are some videos created by Kristen using the iMovie program.

The first is an instructional video in which Kristen teaches her younger sister to create a blog.

This type of video is somewhat easier to make. Simply pull up the iMovie program, click create new project, and start recording. Using a straightforward instructional video like this can be useful when presenting lectures or as a group assignment for the students themselves. Mr. McClung, a blogging teacher in Arkansas, has posted to his several videos created by his students, in which they present short lessons to their classmates on topics like the Missouri Compromise or what makes a great leader. These projects are fun ways to get the kids involved in their own learning, as well as to teach them a little something about technology. 

The second video, is a collection of photos from the children's book, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, pieced together to create a book trailer for one of our latest class projects. 

This type of video requires the creator to either scan photos into their Mac themselves, or look up photos online. One the photos are found and edited to fit the screen, they can be arranged in iMovie and set to play for certain intervals. Kristen's video, for example, plays each shot for a few seconds. When creating this type of video, it is also fun to add sound effects and music to the shots, which can be done by dragging the sounds from the iMovie or iTunes library of the Mac straight to the area that you want it to play.

For a more detailed look at creating these sorts of videos, see Anthony's post on our class blog:

Part 1

Part 2

Friday, April 29, 2011

Videos to Help Get You Started

A 7th Grader's Personal Learning Environment!

Mrs. Kathy Cassidy's Class!

Learn to Change, Change to Learn- Learning to Change the face of Education

How to use Google Presentation

This video posted on Carly's blog for Project Teach Someone will show you what you need to know about Google Presentation!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

On the Lookout!

Are you always on the lookout for new things to add to your blog? Do you spend all day scouring the land (of the world wide web, that is) for new and exciting things? Put down the binoculars! The search is over!

George Dubya Bush on a Blog lookout!

The perfect, and more importantly FREE place to find stuff to add to your blog is known to the State of Alabama as ALEX. Alabama Learning Exchange gives you many options to choose from. You can use ALEX to access state Course of Study, Web Links, Lesson Plans, Web Search, Personal Workspace (to save all the cool things you will find!), Professional Learning, the always amazing Podcast Treasury, and also ALEXville with all sorts of crazy cool links and such. The podcast treasury is really useful because you can view podcasts made by other classes or schools, follow the link to the iTunesU page, and find instructions on creating and submitting your own podcast! You can also follow the links on the bottom right of this page to our blogs to see what we wrote about ALEX in Blog Post #13 for our EDM310 class blog! 

Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts | Edutopia

Harness Your Students' Digital Smarts | Edutopia

We thought this video might inspire you to work hard on your blog!! We really dig this!


What is this?

The picture you see above is what is known as a Glog and their slogan pretty much explains what they are: Poster yourself. It's pretty much a poster where you can add videos, text, pictures, links, even sound.

So, how do you make one?

  1. Go to Glogster and make an account. It's completely free.
  2. In the top right corner of the screen there is a button that says Create A Glog. Click it.
  3. You'll be directed to the editing page. Don't be alarmed if there is already stuff there, that's just the website advertising.
  4. To change the background, click the Wall button in the toolbar that sits on the left of the screen.
    1. There are two walls you can decorate. The Glog wall and the Page wall. The Glog wall is where you'll be placing text, videos, and pictures. The page wall is behind the Glog wall.
      1.  You can choose a picture that isn't in the Glogster library.
        1. Click the Upload button to use a picture you have saved on your computer.
        2. Click the Link button to use a picture straight from the internet.
        3. Click the Grab button to take a picture via your computer's web cam.
      2. You can choose a simple, solid color.
      3. Or you can choose one of the funky designed backgrounds Glogster has created.
  5. To add music or sounds, click the Sounds button.
    1. Click the Upload button to use music or sounds you have saved on your computer.
    2. Click the Link button to use music or sounds from a website.
    3. Click the Grab button to record sound using your computer's microphone.
  6. You can even choose to add a Player for your sound or music. That is, you can choose what your Play, Pause, Stop, etc. buttons look like.
  7. To add videos, click the Video button. You can choose one of your own, or use one from the SchoolTube selection. Again, you can choose what the Player for your video looks like.
    1. Click the Upload button to use a video you have saved on your computer.
    2. Click the Link button to use a video on a different website besides SchoolTube, like YouTube.
    3. Click the Grab button to record your own video with your web cam.
  8. To add pictures, click the Image button. You can also choose a frame to go around your picture.
    1. You can choose pictures from TinyPic.
    2. Click the Upload button to use a picture(s) saved on your computer.
    3. Click the Link button to use a picture(s) from the interenet
    4. Click the Grab button to take a picture with your web cam.
  9. To add text, click the Text button.
    1. You can choose from speech bubbles, stickers, and title boxes.
    2. You're limited to what Glogster has in its library.
  10. To add a graphic, click the Graphics button.
    1. You are limited to what Glogster has in its library here too, though some are even animated.
  11. When you're finished, scroll down to the bottom of the Glog and click Save Or Publish.
    1. Here you can save your Glog.
    2. You can also choose for it to be public or private.
    3. You can publish it to other websites, like Facebook.
    4. You can embed it from here too.
Now, when you place an image or text on your Glog, a few more options will appear. You will have an Edit button, a Bring It Forward button, a Put It Behind button, a Clone button, a Cancel Changes button, and a Delete button.
  1. Edit Button
    1. Here there are even more buttons.
      1. Change the Graphics Color--pretty self explanatory.
      2. Add a Link--again, self explanatory.
      3. Edit Text/Font/Color--yep, this too is self explanatory.
      4. Effects-- Now this, isn't. Under the Shadow tab, you have the options to Blur the shadow, Alpha the shadow (which simply means to darken or lighten it), Angle the shadow, and Distance the shadow (which means how far the left or right of the image or text you want the shadow). Then there's the Alpha tab. There you can change how solid or transparent the whole image and shadow is.
  2. Bring It Forward Button
    1. Simply brings the selected image or text to the front of all the other things you have on your Glog.
  3. Put It Behind Button
    1. Opposite of the previous button.
  4. Clone It Button
    1. Just a copy and paste button.
  5. Cancel Changes
    1. Self explanatory
  6. Delete Button
    1. It deletes the whole image.
You also have the option to re-size your videos, images, and text. You can also tilt them.


Glogs are a great way to make a visual for a project for school or to even just play with and make a poster of your summer vacation. You decide.

My Complaints

  • Font repertoire is small.
  • When you re-size something, you can't make it tall and skinny, or short and wide.
  • If you have text in, say a speech bubble, you can't make one phrase one font or size, and another phrase a different font or size. I imagine the color is the same way.

I believe I've covered everything I intended to. If you have any questions, feel free to comment and ask!

How to: Enhance a post on your blog!

Time to Update Your Blog!
Any half-trained circus monkey can type a bunch of words that half-way make sense. A really meaningful blog post that could help students, has features! It is engaging, interactive, meaningful, etc. It's more than "just stuff to read". Here are some assignments for classroom blogging:

Now that we have already covered a few bases on how to enhance your blog, we also have a few ideas to enhance a blog post itself!
Picasa Movies or iMovie if you are using a Mac/Macbook
Picasa Picture collage
Google Presentation
Google Forms
Glogster posters
Embedding images/videos

TimeToast Timeline 
Google Lit Trips using Google Earth

A little helpful HTML

Will Code HTML for food

The idea of HTML Code can be somewhat scary...and elusive. We actually learned a little useful bit in EDM310 that we would like to share! You never know when it might come in handy!

1. How to make a "button":  Have a link you need to share but want it to look cooler than just a bunch of jumbled up letters? Here's an example: Our blog.
What you do is... For starters, make sure you are working under the tab that says "Edit HTML" and not "Compose". Then, start with the hyperlink. Know what link you want to use first, and also copy and paste it.  Around it you will need this HTML code. <a href="insert link">"Title"</a>
Your link will go in the space that says "insert link" and The name of your link in the space that says "Title".  Make sure you type the HTML code exactly!

2. How to make Alt= and Title= Modifiers.
Alt=  modifiers are there to assist the blind.  They don't know what pictures are on a blog and if it is being read aloud to them by the computer, it may not tell them what the picture is.  Alt= Modifiers are descriptions of what the picture is so that they can know not only that there is an image there and what it is.
Here is how to set up Alt= modifier code.
When you add your image, make sure you are working in the tab that says Edit HTML. When you find your image code, find the part of the code that says: "src". In the space before the letters src, start with alt= and then add your description.  Example: alt="Mickie Mouse Playhouse"

Now for Title Modifiers.  These will tell the world where your image came from.
Now that you have added your Alt= Modifiiers this should be somewhat simple.  Look at your Alt= code above.  After the code you just entered, add title= and then your image source. Example: title=""

Your finished modifiiers should look like this: alt="Mickie Mouse Playhouse" title="" src