Thursday, September 29, 2016

525-Session 4 & 5--Edublogs and Knowledge Management

Welcome back!

I would like to start this week by offering some congratulations!

Let's start by congratulating both Luz and Leslie for volunteering to be our "Facilitator Guinea Pigs" they did a fantastic job at prompting the conversation and pushing the content ideas deeper.  I developed the concept of 'students' trying the role of 'Facilitators' because it seems to be a natural extension of my teaching philosophy of pragmatic learning.  You can't learn to swim without getting wet, and practicing with these tools in our course should give you the security of feeling like it is a very protected place to work out the kinks w/o being in front of your own classes.

An additional set of congrat's goes out to both Gail and Sharyn for experimenting with Movenote, creating a presentation, recording it, and sharing it with us.  This will serve as the bulk of their Deliverable #1 (details in syllabus). Ladies, if you could repost your links under the D1 entry that I'll post next week and include the rest of the details below with it, then that would be great.

#1 – Choose or create a potential teaching /learning unit– (either classroom or professional development/training session) and provide an outline of the participants, their learning needs, topics to be included, setting (face-to-face, online, hybrid, etc.), and timeline for course/session. This may serve as the foundation for development of your final project. - Due by the end of week 4 (10/5).

As for the rest of the class, if you have experimented with Authorstream and Movenote and are still looking for something else then play with a few of the 'free' resources w/i this list.  Yes, some cost, so focus on the 'free' ones.  One of you mentioned wanting to gather information about who is viewing, so you may like KnowledgeVision on this list.

So there may still be some skepticism in some of you about the practicality and positive uses of this technology. After all, it does seem like every time we hear or read about blogs and children from the news media--- they have a negative connotation. Briefly skim this report published by Nielsen. I am sure that you will be convinced that blogs are not a passing fad. You can't fake these numbers (and its nearly 10 years old). That's probably a reality check for those of you that are just getting familiar with blogs.

Most of you have already begun creating your own blogs (As they are posted I'll place links to them in the left-hand margin.  I may only be missing one now.). Check them out, as well as some of the past participants' blogs and give them a comment or two. It'll be good practice.

I have merged the content for Sessions 4 & 5 this week because they are so interconnected that I struggled with trying to separate them. You can now access it here or view it from w/i the blog below.


More presentations from Dave Fontaine

Additionally, I'd like you to watch this tutorial. It is on 'Social Bookmarking.' Give this link a skim to get familiar with the term.

We are all familiar with the ability to save favorite websites in our "Favorites" folder, but what if you had the ability to see other edc525 participants' favorites? What if you could benefit from the greatest sites found by other teachers, professors, and professional development trainers in your field? What if you could access their favorites, as well as your own, from any Internet connected computer? Check out this tutorial and sign up for an account, (optional) and help us by 'tagging' all the great sites you find with an 'edc525' label. If you are apprehensive, visit and do a search for 'edc920' and you'll find all the websites used from that course. I haven't started tagging for this course, but maybe we could do it together.  Grab a coffee or other drink of your choice and kick back for the next few videos:

Pace yourself these two weeks. Some weeks will be easier than others---these two weeks will not be that way. There is a lot to go over, so don't put it all off until the weekend, and don't forget to visit your fellow participants' new blogs.  I'm creating a link to each one in the left hand margin.

Session 4 & Deliverable #1

To gear you up (and psyche you up) for this session I'd like you to watch this. You have to click on it twice. "Did You Know? 2.0" :

As you begin to work on, and think about, your project for Deliverable #2, (details in the syllabus, due Week 8) consider using these resources to guide your integration with the students:

One of the education blogs that I subscribe to also recently wrote on a topic we discussed during our first f2f class---the overuse of PowerPoint.  As I said then, every tool has its place and I use it for its convenience, ubiquity, and for its ease in sharing the content while licensed under Creative Commons, so that you may easily modify the content for your own use.  But there is such a thing as too much, so here is a great resource for you to read and pass on to all of your future classes. Check it out:

On another topic---some of you were discussing the editing ability of blog posts. Blogs are more static than wikis (which we'll be discussing later in the semester), so when you post a comment to someone else's blog and you want it changed, then your only option is to delete it and rewrite it. Someone correctly mentioned that when you are in your own blog and you write a posting then you can always go back and edit it when you are in your 'Dashboard' screen, so these are some options.

One of my previous students also mentioned,

"As the availability of 'going online' becomes more affordable and the price
of technology continues to decrease, I'm sure we'll see even more families in
our classrooms join the world wide web. With this in mind, educators must also
do everything we can to use the tools that our students are using in order to
reach them. It makes me think back to when the second or third generation ipod
came out... I remember hearing about the first colleges that were making
podcasts for their students to listen to.

Well he mentions how some colleges and universities are making podcasts, but it goes much further than this. Dozens of schools are now recording professor's lectures (some video, but most just audio) and putting them online, along with the support material for the course for free, spend some time checking the sites out below, but even more powerful than this is the fact that they are also allowing the lectures to be accessed from anyone in the entire world.

It is part of the "Open Educational Resources" movement we've mentioned. If this topic interests you, and you decide to explore this path, then check out some of the cool things out there, like this interactive site on "Trapezoids."  Simple, interactive edugames and manipulatives like this make it much easier for students to practice, play with, and experiment with.  This is so that they may access any number of their "Multiple Intelligences" to better aid in teaching and learning.

Even more important however is the number of colleges that are beginning to subscribe to this philosophy. Just check out this list of schools, and then take a look at all 2200 different courses that MIT makes freely available.  Here are some additional links for you to spend some time on, but beware of the clock several hours can fly by: Coursera.orgMIT,  OEDb...   We go into a lot more depth on this topic in my edc922 course, "E-Books and Digital Content".

I also subscribe to this 'open' philosophy. By now most of you have noticed that all of our weekly sessions are licensed under Creative Commons. We'll go into more detail later about this movement when we begin talking about 'wikis' and start to create and edit some.
David also mentions,

"I remember Professor Fontaine mentioning that he doesn't even have to log on to the
blog to make comments... he can do it from his email. Was I just hearing things
wrong? If not, I am not sure where to go to set up my blog so I can work though
my email. If that is possible, then I could open one less application and work
solely though email."

Well, when you are logged into your Blogger account, go to the Dashboard option and from there choose, 'Settings' and then , 'Mobile and Email .' Once there look for "Posting Options". You'll see the options to email postings to your blog, as well as have every comment emailed to you.

Lastly, keep on checking each other's blogs and don't be afraid to post a comment or two. Those who have already begun using them in class can use your comment as an example to the students that there are other people around the world reading their work.

Also, remember that if you are having trouble downloading a session you can always find a back-up copy at Once there just do a search for edc525 and pick the appropriate session.

Happy blogging,

PS----One last reading for this session. It's worth the quick skim:

PPS--The readings and assignments for Week's 4 & 5 have now been updated on our class syllabus, so please revisit them to make sure that you are up to date.


Welcome to Part 2 of this week

"The World of Wikis!"

This second part will take us down a new path!

A path that leads to more collaboration--

more cooperative learning---

and more opportunities to create differentiated instruction and visual learning---all with the goal of helping foster literacy, and learning, for our students.

Don't worry if you have barely heard of the word, 'Wiki'. Here is a taste of the excitement that awaits you when you download session 4/5.

and then watch this:

Good luck and take plenty of notes because I don't want to miss any of your ideas, excitement, or insights when you post your comments!

Your last instructional video is how to use a wiki as  your learning management system:

Enjoy and have fun!

Friday, September 23, 2016

Session 3-Research Supporting Edublog Usage

This session is research-based, and a little heavy on the statistics, so take what you can from the information, save the citations, and use them in the future if you need to substantiate and legitimize edublogging in the classroom.  You'll notice that many of the readings were written 6,8, or even 10 years ago and discuss the impact of edublogging, technology, and collaborative software for the children.  This was done intentionally for two reasons:
1-The students that were included in the demographics w/i the statistics are now old enough to be your students in the Adult Ed. program of your particular setting, and
2-They have been exposed to, and have been using these digital tools throughout most of their educational lives, so it is imperative that we integrate them into our own instruction.  They expect nothing less, and that's why I've been immersing you in these tools from the start.

This session will be spent gaining background knowledge on the research out there suppporting edublogs in the classroom. It has been embedded below using  But before we begin please check out just a few of your peers' blogs and post a comment to theirs. They should have set-up the ability to have each post emailed to them, so that they know you left it.

I have been posting links in the left-hand margin.  If you don't see your name, then I may have missed it.  Please send me your blog address again.

Also, I'd like you to begin experimenting with adding additional multi-media to your blog.  Add an interactive, video, poll..---experiment and play with it.  Nothing is permanent.

Additionally, one older posting that I really like is from:
this is from just one of the blogs that I subscribe to. It addresses the "Rationalization for Educational Blogging." It is very well written and a great place to start when trying to substantiate edublog usage in the classroom.  When you are finished skim some of the 'comments' as well.  Then wrap your head around the fact that this was written over 8 years ago.

I mentioned earlier that my presentation was uploaded to   After you view it below and go through the assigned readings, I'd like you to practice this week with setting up a free account with Authorstream, then try uploading a slide show (like a PowerPoint) and then embedding it (or someone else's to your blog).

One of the areas that was mentioned, during our first session, was that people wanted to experiment with alternative forms of presentations.  Authorstream gives you lots of options, for example you can 'present live' using the directions here.  You should also scroll to the bottom of their home page and go through the "Why Authorstream" directions.  Once you have had a chance to immerse yourself in this tool, please share your reaction in Week 3's comment's section and let us know if you can see any practical applications to this tool.


More presentations from Dave

This week also try:  and

Good luck and have fun!


As I mentioned on the first day of class, I've been writing courses and building curricula for online instruction at URI for over 10 years. Edublogging has been around a long time (as you will see looking through the 'comment archives' below.  Past participants' comments from one of my previous courses about using blogs in education:

and older past participant comments and insights may be accessed here.