So I didn’t blog TechForum

I don’t really know why I didn’t blog from TechForum as I had intended. Perhaps it was because the day became more about meeting people and having conversations, perhaps it was because the new tools I heard about weren’t so new. Whatever the reason, I took a blogging vacation again. We’ll see how it goes to get into blogging again… the school year at TG is wrapping up, I’m smack in the middle of teaching the classroom technology course for Saint Mary’s University, I’m on garden duty for a friend who is doing an AP reading, and I need to finish a 40th birthday present. Another crazy spring but I have some ideas.

Class blogging

I admit, I am stumped. What is now the best (and still free) tool to use with students for blogging? In the past I used Edublogs and it was great. Students were able to design their own blogs, the administrator could approve all posts and or comments if s/he wanted to, it was free, and if students wanted to export their writing to a WordPress blog, they could do that at the end of a class and not lose any of their work.

Now, one of my colleagues would like to start blogging with students next week and it looks like Edublogs has turned my favorite aspects of its program into a paid service. 😦  I did find 21 Classes and it looks great…for a teacher with ten students. Blogger would be a possibility, but the administrative control is not great.  I’m leaning toward exploring Class Blogmeister in the morning, we’ll see how that goes.

Any suggestions? My buddy Ben would throw this out to his Twitter network. I’m not so good at Twitter, but it might be my next stop…

What do we need to know?

Near the close of the school year, I was helping one of my students work around a Mac/PowerPoint problem and she asked how many computer classes I had taken. I realized that technically, I have taken one – it was 13 years ago, a 1/2 day workshop required by the school I worked with at the time. We were officially introduced to ClarisWorks, the first half of the morning was spent in the Word Processing portion of the program, the second in the paint application. We cropped a picture of Calvin out of a Calvin & Hobbes cartoon. There was no mention of copyright, and no obvious application for this tool in the classroom was made.

Next week I will team-teach a Classroom Technology course to 24 MAED students – it will be my first time teaching this specific class. We have four evenings together, and I find myself pondering what will be the most beneficial things for these soon-to-be classroom teachers to know. For that matter, I am not sure what they already know. Beyond theoretical/legal/ethical educational technology topics, I know they have some PowerPoint and iMovie on their syllabus as well as blogging as an assignment and some “Technology-To-Go” items. As I think about all of the tools which could be incorporated, I thought I would open it up to a wider discussion.

What do you think would be the most important to add/include into this course?