Had an amazing session with Sue Waters. This was the first session where I really felt I was “getting it” I was able to listen to Sue, communicate with others in the chat, I collected some great resources and learned a few new tips and tricks that will definitely help me be a better blogger, teacher, and member of the online education community.
Rather than review the session and reflect on what I gleaned from Sue’s teachings, I’ve decided to move forward with my own work as a music educator. So I’ll be putting what I’ve learned into practice – and I’ve already started a few posts about music education that I’ll be sharing as they become ready. As a high school music teacher I struggle with time management, so I figured it woud be best for me to stay involved with etmooc by applying what I’m learning directly to my work rather than reflecting and sharing and writing about “this week in etmooc world” I’ll be writing about music education, my use of blogging with my students in my different classes, and my never ending struggle to re-write our districts curriculum while trying to follow the mantra’s of Grant Wiggin’s and Jay McThighe’s Understanding by Design.
I will, however, share a few topics, links, resources, and ideas that I thought were important and relevant.
Using Twitter to Promote Your Blog
Educational Twitter hashtags – how can you get fellow educators online to read your blog? Twitter hashtags of course. I’ve used Twitter for quite sometime now to communicate with parents and students – but I’ve never dug deeply into Twitter. I knew what hashtags were – but didn’t realize how I could use them to promote my work. I’ll be doing some more research as I’m sure there are hashtags that will help my students promote their music and themselves as young artists.
- The A-Z Dictionary of Hashtags – from Edudemic
- Complete Guide to Twitter Hashtags in Education – from Teach Thought
Using Images Properly on your Blog
Sue had some great points about using images on your blog – they are the “eyes” of your blog – what people visually connect with. I’m horrible at adding images, but there were some great resources shared that make it very easy to add images to your blog without breaking copy right law.
- FlickerCC – Flicker’s Creative Commons images for use in blogs
- Pics 4 Learning - free copyright friendly images for education
- CompFight – a Flickr search tool which also has a handy dandy Edublogs ready plugin that doesn’t work – tried using it on this post – eneded up erasing part of my writing. Use the website instead.
- Clker.com – online royalty-free public domain clip art
As I was creating this post, adding the image resource links, and adding my little trumpet image above – I came up with a great workflow for images that works for me. I use GimmeBar to collect images and record their attributes in a comment. The image is then saved in my GimmeBar library and I can post a URL to my blog without uploading memory consuming images to my blog. The image is saved in my GimmeBar library. Pinterest also could work in a similar way, but I’m not sure the image URL would remain – it could be broken. With my own GimmeBar library I’m in control of the URL link – the image is copied into GimmeBar’s library.
Creating a Workflow
So far we’ve learned about social bookmarking and curating, we’ve talked about connecting with other educators through Twitter, Google+, and or blogs. We also experimented (I’m still experimenting – Scoop.It – Pinterest – Evernote – too many choices) with content curation.
The advanced blogging session really brought these ideas together for me – by developing your workflow – how you consume ideas and concepts from the internet and your life, collect and reflect on those ideas, and how you share them. If you don’t have a good workflow – one that allows you to continue working and teaching (and arranging and practicing and rehearsing and listening in my case) – you won’t be able to maintain a presence in your PLN.
While I don’t have a proven workflow in place, I’ve definitely got some great ideas and resources to get started from last night’s session.