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A Few Updates and 12 Days of Blogging

We have a couple of exciting updates to share as we wrap up 2012!

And, you should know, we have big plans to make 2013 the biggest edublogging year yet.

Before we get to the new toys to play with, check out this excellent video from Mr. Avery’s Classroom Blog as his students share their “12 Days of Blogging”.

Here is their list :

  1. friends around the world
  2. mystery skypes
  3. 3 Eddie Nominations
  4. 4KM and 4KJ
  5. math movies
  6. projects funded (from DonorsChoose.org)
  7. students blogging
  8. collaborative projects
  9. students commenting
  10. google maps
  11. new posts
  12. clustrmap hits

A huge thanks to Mr. Avery’s class for such excellent examples of student blogging and allowing us to share your work here!

Let It Snow Plugin

The popular ‘Let It Snow Plugin’ is now back and better than ever. On all blogs, just go to the Plugins menu, click Activate and watch the snow fall on your blog!

Email Subscription

One of the most useful features available is the ability to let parents, students, and visitors signup to get email notifications of all new posts on a blog.

All you have to do is go to Appearance > Widgets and add the Email Subscription widget to a sidebar to set it up.

And as of today, you can now see a list of all those that have subscribed, export a list of subscribers, and delete subscribers when needed.

This is just the beginning of better user and subscriber management tools we have in the works. :)

Happy Holidays!

From all of us here at Edublogs, we wish you, your students, and families a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and an excellent New Year!

Looking for student blogging ideas?

studentchallengeThe first Student Blogging Challenge of the year is under way, and even if you or your students aren’t participating, the challenge blog is an excellent resource for blogging ideas.

So far this challenge, students and teachers have created about pages, avatars, and slideshows, written in a foreign language, edited images, and much more!

As you can see here, this is ‘take a break’ week in the challenge – and it is never too late to start!

Also, the fearless challenge leader, Sue Wyatt, is always looking for volunteers to visit student blogs and leave comments. You can learn more about that here.

Be sure to check out the great student work and consider helping out in the global challenge!

Edublogs Weekly: Skype in the classroom launched

The big education news over the weekend was that Skype launched it’s “Skype in the classroom” website which is now ready for use!

skype

The new free directory promises to make it easy to connect with educators around the globe that are interested in using skype to connect with guest speakers, set up language exchanges, and facilitate class discussions no matter how far apart the classes may be.

And we know this will be successful judging by the thousands of educators each month that visit our own ‘Skype Other Classrooms‘ page – one of our most popular resources for sure!

It only took us about 3 minutes to add ourselves to the directory. Once you submit your class, you can search by location, age, and topic. The filtering in the directory looks great!

Leave a comment below if you register for the site so fellow Edublogs users can more easily find you. :)

notepadFeatured Post of the Week!

Blogger Megan Cashing is a 3rd grade teacher who keeps up with her blog, Teaching: what works and what doesn’t.

Over the past few weeks, she has some excellent and thought provoking posts about homework found here.

Leave her a comment and let her know what you think about homework too after reading the posts.

Have a post that you would like us to consider for post of the week? Send out a tweet using the hashtag #ebshare so we’re sure to see it!

Upcoming Webinars & Live Events

Join us for this week’s live events!

Thursday the 3rd @ 4pm PST – Edublogs Serendipity – PD Out Of A Blue Sky

Join us in our fortnightly unconference sessions. Bring along the burning issues and hot topics YOU would like to discuss. The topic is chosen by poll at the start of the session.

If you’re interested in suggesting a topic, or even better, being a presenter, leave a comment and let us know!

Learn more about our live events here!

We hope to see you there and have a great week!

Edublogs Weekly Review: Move over Google Reader, Facebook is my news reader of choice

Right up there with running more and eating healthier, keeping up with the blogs I like to follow has been my easy way out of New Year’s resolutions the past few years.

How many of you out there have also spent a good amount of time setting up your Google Reader only to let the new articles pile up so much that you give up on reading them all?

As an alternative, I’ve recently moved over to Facebook, a site I probably visit too often as it is, as my “feed reader” of choice.

If you haven’t done the same already, or if you are looking for better ways to keep up with the news and blogs that interest you, hopefully the quick overview below will help you out.

readervsfb

First, there are some drawbacks to the Facebook only method. There are many blogs, especially some of the newer or individual educator blogs, out there that don’t yet have their own Facebook page or RSS feed in their profile. These blogs can’t (as far as I can tell) be brought into your Facebook news feed.

And if you are one of those bloggers who isn’t yet importing your feed to Facebook, this recent article by italkless.com has a good overview on how it can be done.

So how do you turn Facebook into an excellent news reader?

Start off by making sure you “like” or “friend” all of your favorite bloggers, news sources, and websites. You will now find their articles and latest posts right in your live news feed in Facebook!

While that is all you really have to do, you might want to create a new Facebook list and take advantage of the new live feed filtering options in Facebook.

You will see in the image below that I have created a facebook list that includes all of my favorite news sources. This makes it easy to catch up on the latest posts when I don’t feel like seeing the status updates of all my friends at the same time.

Create your list and then click on the down arrow in the upper right corner of your facebook homepage or news feed to filter.

News FeedYou might notice that I have a “limited profile” list too. That is where I keep all of my former students and I greatly limit what they can and can’t see on my profile – but that is for a whole different post. :)

Here are a few more more posts and tips about feed readers and RSS you might find useful:

This week in the Edublog world

Want to share a post, ask others to visit a blog for comments, or show off cool student work?

Use the hashtag #ebshare to let us know so we can re-tweet it for you!

Recent Posts You Might Have Missed

Summing it up

What do you think about using Facebook as a feed reader?

Do you like mixing your personal/social life on facebook with work or news?

Edublogs Weekly Review: Introducing Teacher Challenges – Free Professional Development!

teacher challengeWe couldn’t be more excited to announce the start of a new series of free professional development for educators – something we are calling ‘Teacher Challenges’.

The online trainings will be open and public to anyone that would like to participate. While we will provide a suggested time line and set of activities, you can participate however you like, and once the courses are complete, they will remain live for future reference.

One of our main goals is to model how blogs can be used as effective and collaborative learning tools.

The first topic will be “30 days to kickstart your blogging” and will cover topics such as writing effective blogs posts, embedding media, and building readership.

Future topics will include building a Personal Learning Network (PLN), online student safety, and using the best of the free resources on the web.

Visit the Teacher Challenge homepage and subscribe to the blog there to stay up-to-date as we gear up to start the first challenge on January 10th!

This week in the Edublog world

Want to share a post, ask others to visit a blog for comments, or show off cool student work?

Use the hashtag #ebshare to let us know so we can re-tweet it for you!

Posts you might have missed

Featured Edublog of the Week

edu_featured_dir

The Edublog Awards Site

Find hundreds of excellent resources for social media in education

Find more great blogs like this one in our International Edublogs Directory.

Summing it up

We hope that you will join us in the upcoming professional development series.

As 2010 comes to a close, we wish you the best to you and yours.

Happy holidays!

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