Advanced Blogging

Image: ‘string of pearls’
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Had an amazing session with Sue Waters. This was the first session where I really felt I was “getting it” I was able to listen to Sue, communicate with others in the chat, I collected some great resources and learned a few new tips and tricks that will definitely help me be a better blogger, teacher, and member of the online education community.

Rather than review the session and reflect on what I gleaned from Sue’s teachings, I’ve decided to move forward with my own work as a music educator. So I’ll be putting what I’ve learned into practice – and I’ve already started a few posts about music education that I’ll be sharing as they become ready. As a high school music teacher I struggle with time management, so I figured it woud be best for me to stay involved with etmooc by applying what I’m learning directly to my work rather than reflecting and sharing and writing about “this week in etmooc world” I’ll be writing about music education, my use of blogging with my students in my different classes, and my never ending struggle to re-write our districts curriculum while trying to follow the mantra’s of Grant Wiggin’s and Jay McThighe’s Understanding by Design.

I will, however, share a few topics, links, resources, and ideas that I thought were important and relevant.


Using Twitter to Promote Your Blog

Educational Twitter hashtags – how can you get fellow educators online to read your blog? Twitter hashtags of course. I’ve used Twitter for quite sometime now to communicate with parents and students – but I’ve never dug deeply into Twitter. I knew what hashtags were – but didn’t realize how I could use them to promote my work. I’ll be doing some more research as I’m sure there are hashtags that will help my students promote their music and themselves as young artists.

Using Images Properly on your Blog

Sue had some great points about using images on your blog – they are the “eyes” of your blog – what people visually connect with. I’m horrible at adding images, but there were some great resources shared that make it very easy to add images to your blog without breaking copy right law.

  • FlickerCC – Flicker’s Creative Commons images for use in blogs
  • Pics 4 Learning - free copyright friendly images for education
  • CompFight – a Flickr search tool which also has a handy dandy Edublogs ready plugin that doesn’t work – tried using it on this post – eneded up erasing part of my writing. Use the website instead.
  • – online royalty-free public domain clip art

 As I was creating this post, adding the image resource links, and adding my little trumpet image above – I came up with a great workflow for images that works for me. I use GimmeBar to collect images and record their attributes in a comment. The image is then saved in my GimmeBar library and I can post a URL to my blog without uploading memory consuming images to my blog. The image is saved in my GimmeBar library. Pinterest also could work in a similar way, but I’m not sure the image URL would remain – it could be broken. With my own GimmeBar library I’m in control of the URL link – the image is copied into GimmeBar’s library.

Creating a Workflow

Photo Credit: Saad Faruque via Compfight cc

So far we’ve learned about social bookmarking and curating, we’ve talked about connecting with other educators through Twitter, Google+, and or blogs. We also experimented (I’m still experimenting – Scoop.It – Pinterest – Evernote – too many choices) with content curation.

The advanced blogging session really brought these ideas together for me – by developing your workflow – how you consume ideas and concepts from the internet and your life, collect and reflect on those ideas, and how you share them. If you don’t have a good workflow – one that allows you to continue working and teaching (and arranging and practicing and rehearsing and listening in my case) – you won’t be able to maintain a presence in your PLN.

While I don’t have a proven workflow in place, I’ve definitely got some great ideas and resources to get started from last night’s session.

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10 Responses

  1. spuchinsky says:

    Love the Serendipity article – thanks!

  2. spuchinsky says:

    That one session really turned everything on in my head. You really helped bring the pieces together – twitter, blogging, curation, sharing – the whole PLN concept. Thanks again for all of your help and encouragement!

  3. spuchinsky says:

    I agree – sometimes I feel like I spend more time preparing to do my work than actually doing my work. Not good. The key is to keep it moving I think. Not lose focus of why I’m in etmooc – “don’t put the horse before the carriage” to coin an old phrase. What’s great about etmooc is that it’s acting as a catalyst for me in some respects – it’s getting me to move in the right direction – but I’ve also had some Copernican moments in my own head where I’m seeing educational tech and blogging in a new light – from a different point of view – looking at it differently and how it fits into my work and my students’ work.

  4. susancampo says:

    I really enjoyed Sue’s session as well! I like your idea that you will mostly be putting your learning into practice instead of summarizing it. I will be using a lot of the ideas I learned during Sue’s session with a group of teachers next week when I teach an Intro to Blogging session. Serendipity! As Michael Buist says.

    P.S. Love your theme! I use it too…

  5. Sue Waters says:

    Hi Serge

    It’s been interesting for me to see which aspects of the blogging sessions have helped the most.

    Workflow was the end topic that I didn’t have enough time to do it enough justice. Workflow is important as reflecting on your processes helps you think about the steps you follow and how you might improve / speed up the process. The other key aspect of workflow is it is fluid; reflect, tune and adjust as needed.

  6. Heather Davis says:

    I really enjoyed reading your blog post. I didn’t get an opportunity to listen to the Advanced Blogging session until this morning (Saturday). I thoroughly enjoyed what Sue was talking about and I wished I could of been able to be part of the conversation. I have been thinking all day about the concepts presented and how I could best put them into action. Coming across your post was such an encouragement as you were able to put into words what I have had floating around in my thoughts. Your decision to move forward seems to be the key. I think we can get bogged down in trying to get it perfect before we begin and then never move forward. Thanks for putting it out there.


  7. spuchinsky says:

    I keep several blogs – this one is my professional blog – the others are class blogs and include student work. ETMOOC is making me re-think not only how my own workflow and how I blog professionally, but also with my students. Going to be making some changes – hopefully for the better. Thanks for the comment!

  8. Jeff Merrell says:

    Spending a few minutes scanning #etmooc blogs this morning and bumped into yours (it was the pic that grabbed my attention first, btw).

    Thanks for summarizing how you’re taking Sue’s tips and putting it into practice. I was not able to attend the session but am struck by two things you note: Workflow (yes! and always a struggle) and just moving forward with your own work as a music educator.

    Funny. On that last point, I have been blogging off and on for a few years. Mostly for my own learning and keeping track of my half-baked thoughts in one place. But recently I’ve just started more explicitly using it as part of what I teach (I teach grad school courses in learning and organizational change). I really am finding it liberating. I love what I teach, and the students I work with (really, learn from). So am finding that the writing comes easier when it’s all about expressing the passion for your profession.

    Makes working on workflow a little less painful, too. :-)

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