Last week I showed the senior grades VoiceThread and SplashCast and suggested that they might like to think about using these type of tools to showcase their “Passion Projects”. I was really impressed today when one of the other grade 6 students came to my room today, memory stick in hand saying she had made a PowerPoint that she wanted to upload to her blog. I was also taken a little aback as I had not quite figured on anybody being that organized.
A little while later I was able to grab some time with the student to set up a SlideShare account. Sitting back assisting with the registration, I was most impressed with her dexterity with the registration and upload process and within ten minutes she had uploaded her presentation. The only hiccup was one induced by my not reading a prompt correctly.
The Globalstudent blogs we use are WordPress based and I thought, (without actually checking it out that we could embed a SlideShare directly into her blog. Alas we were unable to get the share embedded in the blog and time pressures meant we had to try a work around. Capturing a screen grab of the first slide, we ran the image through Irfanview and got a small pic to put into the blog from which we linked to the slide show. As luck would have it tonight I had some more time and as I compose this I have realized another work around that has directly embedded the player in the blog.
Another of my students this time, came in today and with a huge grin said hey check out my project blog. Of course I had to go there straight away. Imagine my surprise to see that he had gone in to modify the blogroll to add links to most of our other blogspaces. Very canny and without any suggestion or input from me.
Another of my last year’s students came in the other day also to show off a PhotoStory that he had made at home about the recent school camp he went on. The resulting movie was really neat though Josh wanted to convert it into a movie he could play on a Mac. I suggested Zamzar and overnight I did a conversion to a .mov format, (I tried to also convert to mp4 but it had problems and wouldn’t convert). When Josh came back today I sent him off to Zamzar to try for himself. I’ll lok forward to a visit from him tomorrow.
Within our classes we have a number of blog based projects beside the passion projects. One of those is the Revelations Blog. This blog, (I posted about it earlier in relation to copyright issues), is slowly developing and we are looking to spruce it up with some images preferably of our own taking. Now some of the topics don’t lend themselves to images we can take so I was looking to go to Flickr as a source but I was worried about just letting students loose in Flickr. I was really pleased then when I came across a great post from David Jakes on how to use FlickrStorm. FlickrStorm allows you to do a pre-search in Flickr and add a selection of images to a “FlickrStorm tray”. The students can then be directed to this tray to make their selection. Today we put it into action and some Lilliums were soon on display on the revelations blog. If you want to learn more browse on to David’s blog as he has some TeacherTube movies as well as a pdf guide to get you started. Neat.
Today I also got an email from another colleague asking for assistance with a new blog he was trying to work with. This colleague is very new to blogging and the blog is to be the repository for a research project. His problem was that he wanted to upload documents to his blog so that others in the project could share them. Now it may have been that he was trying to upload during this past few days when edublogs have been having server changeover issues or it may be that he was just not quite au fait with what to do. I sent back a couple of suggestions on the process I use but I also suggested that Box.net may be a better option for him. How do others do this, are you using a blog as a research vehicle and how do you deal with documentary artefacts?