Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Blogging about Blogs

Perhaps this is considered meta-blogging?

Today started off with Ronnie Burt who works with edu-blogs now. Think of edu-blogs as a sort of teachertube of blogger (although I am sure they have a better marketing tagline). Most schools allow edu-blogs through their security filters when other blogs (like mine: would get stuck. Which makes sense, I remember when youtube was blocked in Korea for a week. My lessons were dependent on those videos, I had to run home download a program that would save youtube videos to disk. Transfer those to my mp3 player and then plug that into the computer to make it work...basically it would have been much easier if I had been using teachertube and not had that stressful ordeal.

We went over embedding (which I manged to work out when I used my personal blog) and review some of the other fun web 2.0 things the Internet has to offer

Glogster Which I've checked out before, but at the moment is a bit too graphic for me. Perhaps I'll play with this later tonight and post something tomorrow. (update: Dec 10 2011 I still am not a big fan of Glogster for me, but find it a great took to give to students)

Vokis are essentially speaking avatars. I had never really thought of implementing them into ESL before, but I think I am beginning to stir up some options. Will probably mess with this tonight as well.

watchknow Is sort of like a moderated twitter for videos. Moderators essentially keep a running post of videos they think you should watch. But the catalog is AMAZING

They have a category for English grammar!

Which is then divided into Beginning English Grammar, Active and Passive Voice, Parts of Speech, Sentence Structure, Punctuation, and Spelling. Talk about user friendly! You can also just run a search if you're looking for a specific topic.

So not only could I perhaps find a video I have my students watch as homework about a difficult grammar concept(or use it to brush up myself before the lesson!). I could give them actual authentic content for History or Science in English! Or have them watch a video on hobbies and have them try to replicate it with their own hobby using photostory 3! Really excited about this as I see it as something that can save me a lot of time I usually spend looking through youtube videos.

Wordle isn't a new concept to me (people use it in couchsurfing a lot) but for those unfamiliar: You basically go to the website and either copy and paste a bunch of words, or a link to a web page which has words (in this case I used my blog) and it makes a "cloud" of words. The more a word is used the bigger it is (so my blog is pretty student centered I suppose). It is nice to make one for students before a lesson and use it as a quick attention getter/prediction task.

Wordle: Blog you can mess with how things show up if you like (colors, font, orientation etc).
So the one above is the same as the one below (as far as content) it just has different preferences.
Wordle: different

A few more things and then I'll stop rambling :)

There's "Wall Wisher" where you can create a wall where people can leave sticky notes. I am not sure I really see the applied differences between this and a blog, but I suppose it would appeal more to visual and kinesthetic learners. For now I am envisioning something like this:

There's a theme (in this case regret) and students would need to post relevant videos, songs or stories. In case they need something to start I posted a song in L1 that they could refer to in the target language.

Vimeo is essentially a youtube (video sharing service) but it allows longer videos and seems to have stricter rules...I am not sure would have to look into it.


So many of these websites you just want to try out before you sign up, right (like a test drive BEFORE you buy the car)?

I was reminded of an older website I used to use It is used for free accounts online. Essentially you go to bugmenot and put the website you want to access. If someone has already gone through the hassle of creating a "shared" account you can just take that shared password and username to try the site out.

: This should NOT be used if you plan on using ANYTHING private. As you are using a username and password accessible by anyone ANYONE can access what you do within your account. But I usually use it BEFORE I make an account for a new free service (like Prezi) to see if it is even anything that I would be interested in joining.

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