Supposed to be writing Assignment 2 this morning and I've spent almost three hours reading the most interesting blogs. I started reading Rob Hyndman's blog which I read about this morning in Law Pro. I'm enjoying reading articles other than ed tech articles which have been my major focus for the last three months. I've always loved the law and finding articles and blogs that are law-related which I can use for my Angel site and as a new resource for my USQ course is exciting to me! Anyway - Rob Hyndman is lawyer in Toronto who loves technology. His blog led me to a list of sites setting out blog policies and guidelines which I have added to the reading list for my students. It'll be a great resource for them as one of their activities is to post some blogging guidelines for our class to follow.
I also found a fabulously informative blog called "TechLearning" which I've added to the resources for the Angel Winter Pilot Project. Speaking of which, I'm glad to say we had our first f2f meeting this week and although there were only two of us present, we covered a lot of ground, one of which being that members can now post to the group's site. I am hoping this will encourage some collaboration. Unfortunately all of my personal bookmarks can't be copied over to the pilot site so I am having to insert them one by one. I added a link to Tech Learning on this blog. At the beginning of this course I didn't know how to embed code into a blog - now it's so easy! TechLearning has a link to some great posts on cyberbullying which I added to kG as I don't think I included enough on that topic. I read some terrible stories about the devastating effects cyberbullying can have, the worst of which being suicide. Is there an answer to this problem? Do we ban the internet from school? Do we place the responsibility to teach proper netiquette, policy and guidelines on educators and/or parents? Teachers are tired - they already have to deal with so many social issues and inappropriate classroom behaviour due to a myriad of social issues. And parents - there are so many who are not tech saavy and have no idea what their kids are doing online. But then I read "Cute Cupcakes and Choruses" which motivates me to keep trying to 'be the change.' It's a great article.
Wasting time: Not everything is easy. I was trying to insert an image into Angel which I found in ClipArt. Earlier this semester, when I wanted to save a ClipArt image, I was right-clicking on it, check the path, going to the path (often temporary internet files??), and searching through tons of numbered files, copying it and pasting it into My Pictures. Now I can right-click and Make Available Offline. It'll put it into My Collections. The problem is...where is My Collections??? So I spent another 20 minutes or so going through Explorer looking for it and finally found it in My Pictures in the Microsoft Clip Organizer. I also discovered that .wmf files don't show up in Angel. There's probably an easier way but I insert them into a Word document, format them (learned how to use edit points and take apart pieces of an image and change color), use Snag-It to copy and save as a .png file which then inserts into Angel. Just wish I could figure out how to remove the border.
I also discovered Many to Many: A Group weblog on social software. It includes many of the resources I used for my social network wiki but wish I had found this link earlier. I added it to my kG page today for use by future students. It's amazing that although keeping the wiki page is not required now that the assignment has been graded, I find I keep returning to the site. I can't believe I am saying that kG is addictive - you would have fooled me when this course first began!
It was really satisfying to walk into class yesterday and hear students talking about their results from the Optical Illusion test (which is the same link as on this blog which I got from Jane Ross). It has nothing to do with the legal courses but it's nice to know the students are going to the Angel site other than during class!
Well, it's 12:30 pm and I've got to start writing my paper. However, have I really been procrastinating when I've discovered such great stuff!!??