Category Archives: Writing

Elegy for a Dead World – Writing as Gaming

The son, Goat 2, over at Learning, Play, Etc. has gotten my attention with a new game called Elegy for Dead Planet. The concept is fascinating, “Explore dead civilizations, write about what you find, and share your stories with the world.” It is not yet launched but appears to intertwine a gaming story with prompts for the gamer to complete and share. I could see my Tech Club running wild with this and even mElegy for a Dead World - Who is Shey most reluctant writers in my regular class could easily be sucked in. I just hope there is an opportunity to pilot the game in the classroom. As of yet, there seems to be no link for educators. Perhaps this will be another sneak attack like MinecraftEDU. My fingers are crossed that they will offer a trial for education. This could really inspire my students!

For an introductory video, see – https://youtu.be/bfps2HKE4B4

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Filed under Cool Tools, Digital Storytelling, Uncategorized, Web 2.0, Writing

Let’s Give ’em Something to Blog About

Plinky

Need something to blog about?  Plinky may have the answer.  Like my favorite quickie daily inspiration, oneword.com, Plinky.com offers daily ideas for topics to blog about.  Of course teachers will find them useful to inspire students.  The

View through the Glass Floor of the CN Tower i...
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prompt listed today suggests using third person to describe the scariest moment in your life.  Me?  I’ve got a humdinger about discovering that I had a fear of heights, AFTER I had reached the top of the Duomo in Italy.  Really bad timing!

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Presentation Information UTM 9/12/09

In my neverending efforts to keep myself from losing things that I’d like to keep track of by putting them on this blog, I offer some of the links I used in today’s presentation regarding Blogging and Voicethread: Give students a reason to write and an audience.
Parent information letters from Bud the Teacher
New Zealand Student Bloggers
Room 24 Colorado
Mrs. Heaton’s Class, South Carolina
Mr. Smith’s 4th grade, Hannibal, MO
There are many more terrific education/classroom blog examples in the world. Google them. Check on wordpress. Follow the links offered by the educators above. The possibilities are endless. Educators are a creative, innovative bunch of people! Hooray!
A few free blogging options:
WordPress.com
Edublog.org
Blogger.com
Xanga.com

Kevin Hodgson's Blog Kevin Hodgson highlights student creations on

his blog.  The create a variety of different movies

throughout the year.

Mike’s Grade Fives offers examples of students and teacher carrying on educational discussions via their collaborative blog.

For a terrific collection of different Voicethread ideas, please scroll down to the Voicethread entry or click here.

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Mistakes

Sue Waters has a handy-dandy top five list of common blogging mistakes. I wish I’d read this BEFORE I started blogging. Since I’ve been proselytizing about blogging lately, I thought it might be nice to warn my converts. Consider yourself warned. You are are now free to make the same mistakes, learn from them and rest assured that I would NEVER say “I told you so” because well, I can hardly remember what I said 15 minutes ago much less. . . What was I talkin’ about?
Blog! Make mistakes! Blog some more! Forget to blog for a while. Redeem yourself by blogging again!
And by the way, under #4 blogging mistake regarding pingbackNOW I know what a pingback is! Thank you Sue Waters!

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DoGo News

Oh yeah! All the news that’s fit to be read by children! The editors of this site include children and adults. One of the editors is a 14-year-old whose claim to fame is his great duct tape ties! This would be a nice safe homepage for your classroom desk top. I’ll be asking my student of the day to choose their favorite “news” story to report on. This could be a great idea generator for writing and research. These may not be the current headlines, but they are definitely news.

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G-mail Accounts for Students

I have not tried this myself, yet. I would check the acceptable use policy at your school before putting this into use. The method came from one of the groups I belong to:An additional description of this method comes from Kim Cofino who suggests using this for elementary students.

Gmail for Student Accounts

The problem that many teachers face when having students create user accounts for web applications is that most applications require a valid e-mail address to create the account. There is a solution that I learned from Alice Mercer about harnessing Gmail to create “fake” accounts that applications will recognize as legitimate.

Create a legitimate gmail account at http://mail.google.com/. (e.g. username@gmail.com). Then, you can use that base account to “trick” web applications that require e-mail address to create user accounts. The way it works is that you add a + and a student name/alias after the gmail user name (e.g. username+sara@gmail.com, username+tom@gmail.com, username+chris@gmail.com, etc.)

The web applications will recognize those addresses as real e-mail addresses, but students never see an inbox. They cannot send nor receive e-mail because you haven’t actually created an e-mail account for them; they don’t have a password to sign into Gmail. Any e-mail (i.e. registration confirmations, etc.) that are sent to the username+name@gmail accounts will be delivered to the Gmail inbox that only you can access.

I have used this to register students for blogs, wikis, and other Web 2.0 applications. The one catch is that it does not work when registering students for Google applications, like Google Docs, Google Calendar, Google Notebook, etc.

Here are those instructions as steps:

1. Create a legitimate Gmail account at http://mail.google.com/. (e.g. username@gmail.com).
2. Add a + and a student name/alias after the Gmail user name (e.g. username+sara@gmail.com, username+tom@gmail.com, username+chris@gmail.com, etc.)
3. Start registering students for web applications
4. Check the inbox of your Gmail account periodically

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Edmodo and Wiggio, Microblogging with Students

These two sites offer opportunities to microblog with students. Edmodo has a place to post a calendar, assignments and files. Wiggio was designed by college students who needed a better way to collaborate. You can send all kinds of e-mails and messages, work on files together, poll the group and keep a group calendar. I may set one of these up for parents this year or use it with the writing project or . . .

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