Welcome to the world of Weblogs

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WMWP Workshop Series 2007

"It's amazing in many ways that in just a few short years, we have gone from a Web that was primarily "read only" to one where creating content is almost as easy as consuming it. One where writing and publishing in the forms of blogs and wikis and podcasts and many other such tools is available to everyone. One where we can connect not just to content but to people and ideas and conversations as well."
Will Richardson

Independent Exploration external image explore.jpg

external image blog.jpg Becoming a Blogger
  • Sign up for a free weblog at Edublogs (http://edublogs.org/) which is a community of blogs for educators (This is a tutorial guide to setting up and using Edublog Weblog.)
  • Or you can use Wordpress (which is the more larger blog system not just centered on education -- http://wordpress.com/).
  • Pick a theme for your site, and write a post that introduces yourself to the world using this prompt: write a short Technology Biography of yourself that includes your first use of technology and how you use technology now (as a teacher, writer, whatever). Please provide me with your homepage web address so I can start to create a community for ourselves at WMWP.
  • And here is one blog about Edublogs.
  • Here is another blog about Edublogs (bloggers love to blog about blogs -- a virtual world secret)

Podcasting external image podcast.jpg
  • What is podcasting? See this article or this article that give a good overview of how audio on the Internet is helping some students.
  • So how do you podcast?
    • First, you need to have something to say.
    • Second, you need to record the audio. You can do this with a microphone hooked up to your computer or through an MP3 player that has a voice recorder.
    • Third, you need software for your computer that will record your voice, allow you to do some mixing and then convert your file to an MP3 file format. Audacity will do all that for you and it is free.
      • Here is where you can download Audacity for free. You will also need to download something known as the Audacity LAME encoder, which allows you to use Audacity to covert audio files to MP3 for publishing to the Internet.
      • Here is an online tutorial for using Audacity which can be helpful.
      • Here is another one -- a series of Video Tutorials that will walk you right through the entire process of downloading, installing and using Audacity. Very clear and informative.
      • For a source of music that you can use for your podcast, check out Freeplay Music (http://freeplaymusic.com/), which allows you to use the sounds as long as you do not make a profit from its database.
    • Fourth, you need to export your audio file from Audacity as an MP3 file to somewhere on your computer (make sure you keep track of where you are putting the file).
    • Fifth, you need to have a place on the Internet to host your audio. In Edublogs, you can simply upload MP3 files into the blog itself. (see the tutorial)
    • Finally, make a link from your Weblog to your audio file, and anyone who clicks on that link will be able to hear your voice. (listen to example).
  • OK -- so let's create a podcast of your Technology Biography that you wrote earlier for your Weblog and see if we can make a podcast for you!
  • Extra: This is a link to the Educator's Podcasting Network, which has many resources and uses of podcasting in the classroom.
Other stuff

Have you ever wondered how people follow all those blogs in the world? The answer is something called RSS, or real simple syndication. Every blog has an RSS feed and if you set up an RSS aggregator, it will collect all of the posts from those Weblogs into one site for you to read or ignore.

The easiest one to set up is Bloglines.
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