Tagged: Flickr

Blogging Challenge #7: Searching for widgets

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Image created using Comic Life

Activity #7 in the Teacher’s Blogging Challenge has been very timely for those of us with Globalteacher and Globalstudent blog accounts. When I logged into my blog this morning I found that my URL had changed from “brittgow.globalteacher” to “brittgow.global2.vic.edu.au”, but not only that, my header image had disappeared and so had most of my widgets! This is the part of the change required to consolidate globalteacher and globalstudent campuses, still under the umbrella of edublogs, but facilitated by the DEECD.

  1. So, my first step was to reinstate my header image. This image was created using “Irfanview”, free software that I use everyday to resize, crop, rotate and add effects to images. To create a panorama, like the one I have used, you download “Irfanview” then simply select “Create Panorama image” under “Image” and add the selected images from your pictures folder.
  2. Next I wanted to add a Clustermap – because the URL has changed, I need to start from scratch with a new clustermap. I added the HTML code for the new map and the code for the archived image to a “Text Box”. Why do I like my clustermaps so much? Well, they show me where my visitors come from and even though most people who visit don’t leave a comment, the clustermap shows me that lots of people drop by!
  3. The next widget is “Show Yourself” which provides links to lots of other places where my viewers can find me: Flickr, Twitter, YouTube, Skype, Delicious and Gmail. I noticed lots of people have this information in their “About Me” page, but here it is compact and easy to find.
  4. To add the “Twitter” and “Flickr” widgets I had to activate the Edublogs “Widget pack Plugin” – go to “Plugins” and check “Activate”, and the options should appear in your widgets. (Wow – it sounds like I have learnt to speak Geek!) Now you need to add your Twitter username and select how many tweets you would like to appear.
  5. To add “Flickr” photos is a little more tricky. You need to find the RSS feed, which loooks like the picture below, at the bottom of your Flickr page.RSS feed If you click on the icon, it will give you an API adress that you can copy and paste into the Flickr widget. Then select how many photos you would like to display.
  6. The last step was to add my nomination badge for the Edublogs awards – something I am particularly proud of. Sue Waters has a special trick for adding images to the sidebar in your blog. I have copied her method below:

“The easiest method is just open up a new post (Post > Add New). Grab the image URL and insert the image into the post using the Add An Image Icon. For the box that says Link image to you just add the URL of the page you want to link to. Once you’ve added all those details just click Insert into Post – to add the image to your post. Presto! Your visual Editor has just written the HTML code for you. Now just click on HTML tab and copy all of the HMTL code then paste into a text widget.”

I’m loving Anne’s metaphors for different parts of the blog and widgets really do give your blog legs – they link your blog with other blogs in your blogroll and with your visitors in Clustermaps and Revolver maps.  Some people don’t like the distractions of flashing, glittering and revolving widgets in the side bar, but students enjoy personalising their blogs in this way. So whether you choose a minimalist approach to accessories or go the full bling, widgets are a useful tool for linking your site with others and showing a little more about yourself.

What are your favourite widgets? Which do you think are most popular with students?

“Worth a thousand words”

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Image created in PhotoFunia

“Different people get different things out of the images. It doesn’t matter what it’s about, all that matters is how it makes you feel.” ~ Adam Jones
 

Kick Start Activity 5” in the Teachers Blogging Challenge One is all about images – “The Eyes of the Blog”.  This post is in three parts – (1) Creating Images (2) Finding Images and (3) Using Images. One of the biggest advantages of digital technology is the ease with which we can capture, store and transfer images.  “Facebook”, “Twitter” and many other social networking sites are introducing new ways to share images, and the ease with which this can be done can have unpleasant consequences. However, it also provides great opportunities for learning and makes the internet an ideal medium for me and other very visual learners.  Many of our students will have their learning enhanced by the effective use of images. One of my most favorite things to do is search and find a pertinent image to match a blog post or illustrate a presentation. 

(1) Creating Images

I like to use my own photographs when I can, and I am building a resource of these images by participating in the photo-a-day 365project and posting iPhone photos directly to my Posterous site. If you haven’t used Posterous before, it is a really simple blogging platform that allows you to post text and images by email. There is also a posterous app that allows you to quickly and easily post directly from your iPhone. There are several picture editing apps for the iPhone/iPod/iPad as well, that allow you to crop, rotate, resize and add effects. Chris Betcher has written an excellent review of twelve apps available from the iTunes store at “Snap Happy”. 

Here are a few more apps for photos and images that I have used:

sscropsueyCropsuey allows you to crop, rotate, flip and save images to your album.

 

sscomic_touchComic Touch (from the same company as Comic Life) allows you to create cartoons from your images by adding speech and thought bubbles with your text inserted.

 

ssinstagram Instagram allows you to create vintage effects (like an old polaroid) from your own photos, link to all your different social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Tumblr, Posterous etc) and share your images. With one touch, you can post your image to all these sites simultaneously.

ssFlickr Flickr allows you to search, view, post and organise your Flickr photos.

 

ssphotocard

Photocard has a range of spectacular photos from Bill Atkinson that you can send as a digital postcard. You can also use your own images.

 

ssdoodle_buddyDoodle Buddy  and

 

ssdraw_freeDraw Free allow you to create, send and save digital images you have drawn with virtual pencils, paint and crayons.

 

 

(2) Finding Images

creative commons brieflyWhen I can’t use my own images, I usually use “Creative Commons Search” or Flickr . But it is still important to check that the owner of the image you are using has licensed it for your use.

The image at left shows four different categories of Creative Commons licensing that an owner of an image may choose.  If you are using images from Flickr, it is good etiquette to leave a comment under the image, linking to the post where you have used their photograph or digital image.

Finding images on the internet for classroom use is problematic for many educators, for reasons such as copyright privileges, inappropriateness and wasted time searching. David Kapuler has written a guest post at the TechLearning TL Advisor blog listing the “Top Ten Sites for Images and Clipart” , which links to free options for image searches, suitable for student use. Note that the comments also have a number of free sites available, including Stock.xchng and Wikimedia Commons.

Photos8 is another excellent site for free photos and wallpapers, with over 12,000 images in 24 different categories. Sam Mugraby, a photographer and creator, has made these photos available for both commercial and non-comercial use, as long as you agree to his terms and conditions.

(3) Using Images in Science: Student Actvities

Images are very useful for teaching and learning about classification. Ask students to find images of:

  •  Each of the five Kingdoms of living organisms (Protists, Bacteria, Fungi, Animals and Plants);
  •  Five classes of vertebrates (mammals, birds, fish, reptiles and amphibians);
  •  Monocotyledons versus Dicotyledons;
  •  Five food groups (Carbohydrates, Fats, Proteins, Vitamins and Minerals) 
  •  Different types of Simple Machines 

 and construct a Table or a Venn Diagram.

Students can also use Bubbl.us mind-maps or a Glogster poster to display the images they have collected. Images can also be used to create Digital Stories – but that’s a whole new Blog post!

Responding to our American friends….

Mr. Ardito’s class has left comments on your blogs so I would like you to respond to those.

(1) Open your blogs and log in.

(2)Access comments (fourth tab at top) and see if you have any in moderation. If so, read carefully and decide whether you want this comment on your blog. If so, approve. If not, refer to me to see why and if it should be deleted.

(3) Respond to your new friend by using their email address or (preferably) by commenting on their blog.

(4) On your blog, you may like to explain what we have been up to in the garden and the plans we have for our vegetable and “Bush Food, Fibre and Medicine” garden.

(5) On your Science page, post a picture of your animal (from Flickr) and describe it’s structural, functional and behavioural features.

(6) Good Luck and Have Fun!