30 Day PLN Challenge #5: Using Blogs as Part of Your PLN

PLN Word Cloud

I have been blogging for the last 11 months or so and I find that blogging is a whole lot of fun!  The reason why I started to blog was because it was a requirement for one of my graduate classes.  Well, I have found that this is a format that I rather like.  The reason why to blog is personal: I like to share ideas.  Another reason why I like to write blogs is due to the nature of a blog.  I have been keeping a personal journal for roughly 23 years, every day.  I have a lot of journals.  Some days are longer than others, and some include sketches. So blogging comes natural.

Top Ten Things That I Like About Blogging

  1. Sharing
  2. Having a PLN to bounce ideas off
  3. Your PLN or random strangers can comment
  4. The format of the blog can be what you want it
  5. I can include videos
  6. I can include photos
  7. This is a spot where I can connect with parents/community
  8. I can find cool lesson plan ideas from other teachers in my PLN
  9. You don’t need a degree in journalism to write a blog, it’s for everybody
  10. Other bloggers will help you

Things That I Wish I Would Have Known Before Blogging

  1. When you give your blog a name, make sure it’s a good one.  Kind of hard to change later.
  2. Read a few blogs from different companies.  WordPress is nice but doesn’t let you add certain things for free like cool widgets.  Several 2.0 Web tools don’t embed into WordPress.
  3. Try out different free versions of blogging sites before finding the one that you like best.
  4. Defiantly try Kick Start your Blogging from Edublogs.  I found this to be extremely helpful and fun.
  5. Remember, if you type it the world can see it.  So keep in mind who is your intended and not intended audience; both can see what you write or post. (I actually knew this one before blogging.)
  6. Add tags, they help people find your wonderful post.
  7. Blogging is not just for company or teachers it could be for anybody.

Things That I Do Before I Post

  1. Use a Word document to type out my thoughts first and save the draft (power could go out, or the Internet decides not work when you go to hit post).
  2. Find some sort of visual to go with my post.  I have my blog post an update in Facebook and the program grabs the first picture or visual for your post.  Your image also shows up in Google image searches.
  3. Reread what you wrote.  This works most of the time for me; however, a few spelling grammar or spelling mistakes get by me.
  4. Create a post that is relevant to my blog’s theme.  Mine is blending reading and art together.   Keep reading for my connection below.

Blogs could be used in a classroom where students read each other’s blogs and comment back.  Students could develop their own PLN where they learn together and how to use the web tools.

Parents could also create their own blog and be involved with what their children are creating and saying online.

Go Forth & Post!

-Mrs. Berry

I Taut I Taw a Puddy Tat

1952, Tweety Bird has spotted the sneaky Sylvester and broke out into a song about what he saw.  I have included one of the many different versions via YouTube of Tweety singing his little song.

Now fast forward to 2011, Tweety would now tweet, “I Taut I Taw a Puddy Tat.” By using Twitter Tweety could let his friends and followers know that Sylvester was a foot in less than 140 characters.  His friends could twitter back and give him some advice or follow his updates as how he foiled Sylvester.

This blog is dedicated to: PLN Challenge #3: Using Twitter to Build Your PLN.  I heard about Twitter a few years ago on NPR and thought it was just something that I wouldn’t use.  Why would I?  Well, I have started an account and I am just getting my feet wet about using Twitter. I am using Twitter to expand my PLN and to get new ideas.  Kathleen Morris, a second grade teacher and blogger from Victoria, Australia wrote a great explanation about Twitter.  Click here to read her description.

Twitter screenshot

So I created my account.  I wanted my blog name but it was taken.  So I thought why not use my name and art. That worked and now you can follow my tweets at @MrsBerryArt.  I have set up my blog to give twitter updates automatically.  I set up my account and updated my bio information.  There was only enough space for 160 characters but I fit it in.  I also changed my background to one of my paintings.   I clicked on a few people that I want to follow to see how this works.  There is a spot for messages.  There are a few art companies that I know of that I clicked to follow.

Happy Tweeting!

-Mrs. Berry

P.S.  Tweety might say, “I Tweeted. I Did, I Did!

30 Day Challenge: Personal Learning Networks

I am starting the 30 Day challenge through Edublogs: Personal Learning Networks.  I know; I’m on a WordPress blog platform.

All the cool stuff I have found has come from the Edubloger website, so I thought I would try another challenge and see how it could fit into the classroom with reading and art.  I am looking for inspiration even if it doesn’t come from a formal professional development day.  The artist Grant Wood said, “My best ideas have always come to me while milking a cow.”  So here I am looking for others and ideas.  The first challenge is to write a post about PLNs.  Ok, so what is that?

For me a PLN is people who are looking to learn something new and network with each other to share their ideas.

I tried this website called VoiceThread for the first time.  I think it’s pretty neat because now you can hear what others actually sound like.  I just love to hear the different ways people sound.  Here is the link for the VoiceThread for this challenge.  I am the giraffe.

Now that you have participated it is time to make your own.  For a tutorial on how to useVoiceThread click here.

VoiceThread Screen Shot

A VoiceThread is useful for teachers because this could be used for students who have missed class due to illness or who are traveling.  I created a video with Animoto on how to create a flower.  I have shared this with students in my classroom.  Afterwards we discussed if there were any comments or questions.  Students who are out of the classroom could also participate by watching the videos and my comments and then add their own. Click here to link to my example that I have made. The lesson is an introduction to looking at a flower and painting it. Please feel free to comment.  I am still playing with the features.

Enjoy making your own VoiceThread!

-Mrs. Berry

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