Saturday, 21 October 2006

A Favicon for your Blog!

I had so much fun today adding a Favicon (short for favourite icon) to my class blog, thinking skills blog and this blog!

If you look above in your address window you'll be able to see exactly what a Favicon is!
It's that cute little picture up there where the "B" for blogger used to be!

Why do I love it.....?
Well it adds a bit of personalisation and professionalism to your page.
Plus if you're using Firefox (which you should be!) the favicon will also turn up on your tabs.... how's that for cute!
Note: Favicons only turn up in Internet Explorer if the site is in your bookmarks.

How to do it!
  • Upload the picture or photo that you want to use as a favicon to this site
  • Follow the directions and ransform it into an ico file
  • Grab the favicon.ico and get it hosted to the internet somewhere: I used Ripway
  • Get the full URL address where your favicon is hosted
  • Use this code and replace what's in the red with your URL (there's two to replace)
  • In your Template place the code next to the head code.
  • Friday, 20 October 2006

    Fabulous Interactive Maths Website

    Rainforest Maths is a fabulous Interactive Maths Website that is great for children.

    It covers many parts of the mathematics curriculum like:
  • number
  • algebra
  • measurement
  • space (geometry)

    I am going to introduce my class to it next week; I am sure they'll really enjoy it.
  • A class!

    Today I set up a account for my class.
    I have been contemplating doing this for a while but was given the prompt after Allanah (from Appleby) and I had a chat about it all the other day.

    This should be very useful and allow parents to have a more secure way of their children browsing the internet. They now will just have to open the page and know that each website has been vetted by myself. It also means that game posts from our class blog will be easily able to find.

    I will promote it with the students and parents next week... I hope it proves to be a hit!

    Monday, 16 October 2006

    Make your own Newspaper Clipping!

    I've just come across a great website, featured on this blog, that lets you make, and personalise, your own newspaper clipping!

    It is easy to use and lots of fun. Just type in your text and click 'generate'

    Click here to make your own newspaper clipping at the Newspaper Clipping Generator.

    Check out this example I made to celebrate my class' achievements at our Masked Parade:

    Tuesday, 10 October 2006

    Keeping Track of Blogs

    Well I guess it's about time to explain how I keep track of the 46 blogs that I read on a regular basis...... hmmm that sounds rather a lot doesn't it once I count them all up..... :)

    I use a blog tracking internet site called Blogarithm to track all those blogs that I read. On a daily basis I get sent a morning email (BlogMail) listing the blogs that I am subscribed to that have been freshly updated.

    Blogarithm can track ANY website or blog. It does all the hard work and will email you to let you know when they have been updated.

    This GREATLY improves my social life as I physically don't have to check each of those blogs. I know when each one is updated and only have to check those blogs if I find the short description something that interests me. This way I never miss a post from one of my favourite educational bloggers from all over the world.

    Get your own Blogarithm account here!

    Some of my favourite blogs I read regularly are:
    * Greg Carroll - ICTPD National Faciliator from Core Ed (NZ)
    * ULearn Blog - News and Info on the ULearn Conference held in Oct 06 (NZ)
    * Derek Wenmoth - Director elearning Core Ed (NZ)
    * Teaching Hacks - teaching with technology
    * Cool Cat Teacher Blog

    Sunday, 8 October 2006

    Slideshare - It's like FREE PD!

    Yesterday I was introduced to Slideshare by Derek Wenmoth via his blog.

    It's in the stage where you have to be invited to join but I found it didn't take long until I was allowed through the gateway.

    Joining has to be one of the best things I've done this holidays!

    Because Slideshare is basically FREE Professional Development!!

    There isn't too much online now at the moment because it has only been operational for less than a week, however there are still gems to be found!

    Check out this one that I found by using the tag: education

    I will definetly be contributing to this when I have useful Powerpoint presentations! Let's all pool our resources and make this a neat community.

    Friday, 6 October 2006

    Getting rid of the Navbar in New Blogger

    Well got rid of that nasty navbar at the top of blogger again!
    WAS going to look later for the hack.... but it turned out I had to do it immediately as it was bugging me...... yeah what a geek right!

    Anyway the hack is here at Blogger Templates. It's actually where I got the original hack from, great to see that it's been updated to combat the New Blogger problem.

    Just be careful if you're cutting/pasting/tinkering with your blogger template, one false key stoke can change things hugely. Always "PREVIEW" your changes first, because you can always undo the edits you have made if it made your blog go all crazy.

    Any probs give me an email and I'll do what I can to help you rid your blog of the navbar! (PS - own risk as it is apparently a breach of TOS??)

    This link here is a download to a step by step Word Document that I have made.
    It may help you, depending on which Blogger Template you are using.

    Just switched over to Blogger Beta!

    Reluctantly, and with my eyes squeezed tightly shut and my heart praying I've just switched over to blogging in Beta.

    Not too many scary things to report as of yet and the change seems to have gone smoothly.
    My page still looks the same and all my template changes seem to have taken the move well. Will have to check, however, that all are functioning correctly.

    One thing I HAVE noticed is that my NAV bar is back! grrrrrr!
    I was NOT impressed to see this, especially since I hunted out a hack to get RID of it, perhaps Blogger Beta is immune to the hack! Will have a hunt later and see if there is some kind of "fix" or hack for this.

    I wasn't willing to take the jump to Beta on my class blog, it is far too precious to go experimenting with, and I have spent FAR too many months perfecting the template to risk it all. Will see how this beta-blogging goes on this blog first!

    Tuesday, 3 October 2006

    Social Bookmarking: it is after all!

    Yesterday I sucumbed to Social Bookmarking!

    Social bookmarking is a web based service, where shared lists of user-created Internet available bookmarks are stored and shared. You can find out more about it on this wiki.

    I was initially not interested in this as I didn't like the idea of other people looking at what I was looking at, perhaps a paranoid privacy issue I have (!) Instead, I have now used it to display and share just a select few of my bookmarks.

    The process of social bookmarking starts with choosing a service, and there are many out there. I chose as it is getting more popular in the educational field. I simply signed up and dowloaded a tool for my browser - Firefox - (which I suggest you use too with Blogger). This icon sits on my navigation bar in Firefox and allows me to tag pages as I see them to my own personal page. I then choose the categories I want that web page to be located under. For example if I put this webpage in I might choose the category tags: blog, blogging, classroom and web2.0. It will then file my page under each of those category tags.

    The advantages of this type of bookmarking is that no matter what computer I use, my bookmarks will be available to me, simply by navigating to my page. It also allows me to see popular options that have been saved by lots of other people, these sites are more likely to be useful.

    I also created a cloud which you can see in my side bar. That provides direct links to my shared bookmarks.


    Sunday, 1 October 2006

    An RSS Calendar addition

    Today I created an RSS Calendar for my Thinking Skillls Blog.

    This will allow me to share the content of each thinking group session with parents/caregivers. They will be able to see at a glance what session is coming up and what the content is. It allows them to click on the title to read additional information also.

    First you register and put your events on the calendar. In "publish" it then provides you with a simple code to copy and paste onto your template or blog post.

    See below for my what my calendar looks like:

    Could be very useful if you want to upload specific information for students/parents/caregivers etc, maybe could also be used for detailing homework tasks perhaps? If you find an interesting use for the RSS Calendar in the classroom please let me know!