Upload upgrade this weekend (11-12 Nov)

I’m having really relaxing weekends these days :)

This weekend we’re upgrading the uploading function, unfortunately this won’t give you any more functionality but it will allow for the site to continue growing without all your uploads breaking.

So there’s a good chance that files that you’ve previously uploaded will disappear for a time… but thay’ll be back… promise!

Also laying off the uploads for the weekend is probably a good idea – although they should still work.

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: Top 10 reasons why it is truly the most wonderful time of the year!

The last weekend of November is here which can only mean that the holiday season has officially arrived!

At Edublogs, we love this time of year, and here is our top 10 list as to why:

  1. The hardworking educators and students that use Edublogs get some well deserved time off from school
  2. Great widgets from here make it easy to put yule logs, holiday countdowns, snowmen and more in sidebars
  3. A popular idea to keep students’ minds focused during the upcoming holidays is to ask them to blog while on break – and our support team will be here in case we’re needed!
  4. The free holiday images found here and here are perfect for blogs, class newsletters, cards, and more
  5. Users send us tons of chocolate and gifts – there is still time to contact us for where to send them ;)
  6. We announce the winners of the 2010 Edublog Awards on December 15th
  7. There is so much excitement about how blogging is impacting student learning, and those sharing their experience are about to win BIG!
  8. All of the student mentors of the Student Blogging Challenge are about to receive their Edublogs Pro subscriptions as our way of saying thanks
  9. We all have an excuse to turn on the “Let It Snow” plugin (see the Plugins menu in your dashboard) on our blogs
  10. And we all get to spend time with our families!

Here’s to a great holiday season from the Edublogs team!

(See our CEO James, our support guru Sue, and myself getting in the spirit below!)

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!

Featured Edublog of the Week

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Ms. Edmonds’ Science class

An excellent middle school science class blog!

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

Upcoming Webinars & Live Events

Join us for next week’s live events!

Wednesday the 1st @ 9:30am PSTWhat can you do with your Edublog!?

An informal chat where any of your blogging questions can be answered by our staff.

Thursday the 2nd @ 4pm PSTEdublogs Fine Focus

Join us for our fortnightly “Fine Focus” sessions each week. In these sessions we range across a variety of topics and include discussion (“Talk Time”), how to use various applications (“Techie How To”), and using technology in the classroom (“Tools and Strategies”). In fact anything “e-” that is of interest to educators!

Learn more about our live events here!

Recent Posts You Might Have Missed

Summing it up

As you can see, December is a busy and exciting month.

Make sure to add a bit of festive cheer to your blog if you’d like and have an excellent holiday season!

Edublogs Weekly Review: Taking blogging to infinity and beyond

nasalogo_twitter_reasonably_smallThis week we came across Mrs. T’s Fantastic Fifth Grade Bobcats class blog and this fun video post of a recent field trip to NASA.

In fact, we liked the blog so much that it is our blog of the week!

In addition, it really got us thinking about how blogging can be used to facilitate collaboration between classrooms and different organizations and experts such as NASA.

A little bit of fun research into the different offerings of NASA revealed a few tools and resources that you may find useful to add to your blog.

NASA and Twitter

Follow @NASAJPL_Edu for educationally related news and tweets from NASA. Some great images, videos, lesson ideas and more!

NASA hosts frequent Tweet-Ups at different locations, and if you sign up, you can be invited to come in for a VIP tour and question/answer period. How cool is that?

NASA TV

You can embed many videos from NASA right into any page or post on your blog. The most recent videos can be found here.

Or share this link to a live feed from the international space station on your blog. According to the NASA website, due to the orbit of the space station, there is a sunrise or sunset every 45 minutes caught on video here!

Live Chats

NASA offers live chats frequently with different experts about many different topics. Recent chats discuss comets, the sun, the moon, fuel, and hurricanes – a wide variety that would be relevant to many different types of courses and age groups. Students and teachers can even submit questions before hand to get answered by the expert!

All of the recent chat transcripts – and information on upcoming ones – can be found here.

More NASA Resources

Find teaching and learning materials from NASA by searching through different levels, grades, subjects, and types.

Also, you can sign up to be on NASA’s news list to receive email updates and announcements about NASA’s educational programs, activities, and events.

Top #ebshare tweets from the week:

RT @edublogs: Check out all of the Edublogs live events in November – http://bit.ly/b3Fpsf Hope to see you there! #ebshare #culturainglesaMon Nov 01 23:27:28 via Panoramic moTweets


RT @edublogs: 34 Free Productivity Tools That Will Help You Eliminate Expensive Software via @inspired_clsrm – What a list! http://bit.lThu Nov 04 17:22:36 via web


Looking for ideas on how to help students evaluate web sites http://bit.ly/bLfa6Y #edchat #ebshareFri Oct 29 00:00:07 via web

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!

Featured Edublog of the Week

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Mrs. T’s Fantastic Fifth Grade Bobcats

An excellent example of what a class blog can be!

California, USA

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

Summing it up

Besides NASA, are there other government, business, or non-profit organizations who’s online resources could really compliment your class or student blogs?

Let us know of any you find or how you use outside resources so that we can pass it on to others.

Have a great weekend!

Edublogs Weekly Review – Goblins, ghosts, and Halloween swag for your blog

smileAre you as excited about the chocolate and costume filled weekend ahead as we are?

We thought it might be fun to share a few of the Halloween resources we’ve come across which might make good additions to a weekend blog post or add a bit of holiday fun to your sidebar.

So here goes:

Online Pumpkin Carving

Use this web application from Spookathon.com to carve your own virtual pumpkin.  You can then download the carving as an image or embed the jack-o-lantern right inside of a post or page on your blog.

Halloween Widgets

PrimaryGames.com has kid friendly and fun widgets and resources such as puzzles and countdowns that can be put right on your blog.

Images and Avatars

One of our favorite free-use image sites, FindIcons.com, has many excellent images that would also make a great costume for your normal user or blog avatar as well!

Learning About Halloween

This post wouldn’t be complete without encouraging you to check out Larry Ferlazzo’s The Best Websites for Learning About Halloween list on his blog. This recently updated list is full of web resources on the history and cultural practices of both Halloween and The Day of the Dead.

Top #ebshare tweets from the week:

20 reasons why students should blog http://bit.ly/1HnfjW #edtechMon Oct 25 11:16:03 via TweetDeck


“A Timely Epiphany”…I’ve been reading and reflecting… http://is.gd/goyfo #sjsdblogs #stjosephschools #ebshareThu Oct 28 14:44:28 via Seesmic twhirl


Looking for ideas on how to help students evaluate web sites http://bit.ly/bLfa6Y #edchat #ebshareFri Oct 29 00:00:07 via web

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!

Featured Edublog of the Week

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Giles-Sweet Tech Blog

Chock-full of resources for students!

Ohio, USA

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

Summing it up

If you know any additional Halloween resources to share, please leave a comment below.

Most importantly, everyone have a safe and happy Halloween!

Edublogs Weekly Review: EdCamps and Teach Meets – A new kind of professional development

conferenceOver the past year, a grass roots movement in educator professional development has evolved into a widespread phenomenon.

EdCamps, mostly in the US, and Teach Meets, mostly in the UK, are popping up all over as a new type of collaborative conference.  In fact, they are often called an “unconference” as the attendees are the presenters and the focus is on the needs and wants of those attending.

This week, Edutopia published an Introduction to Edcamp: A New Conference Model Built on Collaboration which includes interesting information on the history of the EdCamp model.  Would you believe that the idea for EdCamp came after a few educators attended a similar “unconference” for computer programmers?

Jason Bedell also posted an exhaustive post on unconferences as part of his ongoing series on “Professional Development 2.0”.  He provides great tips on how to start your own.

One of the differences in these types of conferences is that anyone that attends is also encouraged to present. If you are thinking about presenting about blogging, web 2.0 tools, or other tech uses in the classroom, don’t hesitate to let us know!  We might be able to provide resources or tips for your presentation – we’re always happy to help out whenever we can.

Want to learn more about edCamps and Teach Meets and how to bring one to your area?

Top #ebshare tweets from the week:

A 1:1 Progam is Possible in Your School! Interview with Rich Kiker http://bit.ly/d1qoUv via @shellterrellTue Sep 28 14:03:06 via web


Via @amcollier: Storytelling in higher ed. What are your instructional strategies using storytelling? http://bit.ly/aX4ME4 #ebshareTue Sep 28 13:30:18 via TweetDeck


A post on the impact of PLNs and the climate of American public education. http://alienpedagogy.edublogs.org/Mon Sep 27 12:51:09 via web

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!

Featured Edublog of the Week

edu_featured_dir Learning Science in the 7-8 at PDS
Check out the daily student summaries – what a great idea!

Poughkeepsie, New York

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

Summing it up

The changes and advancements in professional development opportunities are exciting.

Leave a comment below if you know of an unconference near you or know of another great resource to share!  We would also love to hear from you if you have attended an unconference before and what you think about the model.

Have a great October weekend!


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