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This page is tutorial for fellow teachers wanting to create their own blog site.

1. I created this site using wordpress. I choose this blog provider because it was not blocked by my school’s firewall and it is easy to upload many different kinds of media. Feel free to visit the site in the link above and start creating your own blog site. There are many different options in your blog. I can have students post comments on the blog, but all comments have to be approved by me before they are published on the blog site.  Why use a blog? Check out this article on blogging in education and the review I did on it.

2. I have found studycasts (a study guide in  podcast) to be an incredibly valuable teaching tool.  If you are a teacher I know there are times where you wish you just had a recorder to record your answer to questions so you didn’t have to continually repeat them.  A podcast can be the recorder.  Students can listen to you giving a lecture or explaining a concept over and over and over again and what’s better is that they can download it onto any mp3 player and listen to it anywhere.

3.  To get started on a podcast you will need a program that will record.  Audacity is that program.   Audacity is a tool that will help you record and edit your podcast. Download it here.

4. To create a website for your podcast there are a couple sites out there that will let you use some space for your podcast. The one I like the most is gcast. I like gcast because it allows you to create a podcast over the phone, which is VERY convenient and makes use of the commute home.

5. Copyright is an issue that teachers need to be aware of. I have included a paper I have written on the issue of copyright and a quick podcast about copyright and digital media.

6.  The idea for a classroom blog and podcast is far from original.  I was inspired by Eric Langhorst
I really appreciate Eric’s years of experience and innovative use of technology in the classroom.

7. Why use web 2.0 tools in the classroom? Our students are entering job force that demands computer skills and the they need to know how to use these tools if they are going to have a chance of learning the tools of the future. Social networks are a part of this technology. It does take a village to raise a child and the bigger that “village” is the better. If you are still not convinced about web 2.0 tools take a look at this video

8.  Robots in schools?  Why not?  The Lego NXT robot is a great tool for any science classroom.  I have used the NXT robot in my 6th grade science class before and kids love it.  Part of the Missouri 6th grade science curriculum is teaching light and sound waves, these are very abstract concepts.  The NXT robot has sensors that can measure light and sound making them more “real” to students.  You can also start an after school program with F.I.R.S.T. Lego League. FLL is the middle school version of F.I.R.S.T. I am in my 3rd year with FLL and it has really pushed the kids involved to new levels.

9.  Moodle is the open source version of BlackboardMoodle is an online classroom management system.  From my experience Moodle requires server space and your school will need to dedicate a server to Moodle or at least make room on another server.  I am in the beginning stages of creating a classroom on Moodle.  I will be going to a conference later this year and I hope to learn more on how to use it.  Some schools who previously used Blackboard are switching over to Moodle because it is free to use, whereas Blackboard requires a fee.  Here is the current stage of my Moodle website.

10.  Hands on Science is often the best way to teach science to middle school students.  Instead of trying to quell their boundless hormonal energy why not use it to learn something?  This site is where I have learned about many experiments and demonstrations to teach physical science.  The teacher who set it up is a high school teacher who teaches at my alma mater Kirkwood High School.  It includes video demonstrations and procedures for many of the experiments he does in class.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Lisa Mandina permalink
    December 5, 2008 4:45 pm

    I saw that you found a site to publish your podcast for free, I’m going to try that out for my digital library. I really like your site!

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