Edublogs Teacher Challenge – Reflections so far…

Things I have learnt:

Since commencing the Edublogs Teacher Challenge I have been:

Looking at About Pages:

 I liked the humerous grumpy tone of the interview with Mrs W and her Smartboard Blog

Mrs McGriff and her poem about her vision for her classrom really inspired me. I feel like writing my own now. I can feel a future post here in the making !

I have worked with Anne Mirtschin to help present the Ultranet Share N Tell session, but had never actually made it across to her blog ! I liked how her about me page documented her work she has done in the past and how it incorporated photos. (and have now added her to my blog to my ever growing collection in Google Reader)

From the I learnt that good about pages:

  • Give a good insight into the person behind the writing.
  • Feature photos and perhaps other media.
  • Have something different – eg: written in the third person, written in the style of a poem.

I already had an about page prior to this week’s challenge but I’m hoping as more people complete this week’s challenge I’ll have more examples to draw upon and ideas for modifications to make.

Posting Comments on others blogs:

Previously I had only just read others blogs, but now realise the value of adding a comment after you have read something really inspiring. As mrsdkrebs  wrote in a comment I read “I’m realising now how fun it is when it’s a two-way conversation.”

Creating a Disclaimer page:

Given I already had an about page that didn’t really too much work I felt I was getting off a bit easy with this challenge so I thought I would add another page to my blog. I noticed a disclaimer page on Mel Cashion’s Captivating Classroom Blog and Doug Belshaw has a comments policy who based his on the policy of Michael Hyatt.

Setting up threaded comments:

I thought this was one of those things that just happened – apparently not. My blogging mentor Lois pointed out to me that I hadn’t set this up. A few quick clicks under Settings then Discussion and I was able to set this up.

Playing with Google Reader:

A few weeks ago I only discovered Google Reader and what a great tool it is to manage all your blog subscriptions. Prior to this I was subscribing to all my blogs by e-mail and my inbox would be bombarded with messages about new posts on blogs I wanted to read. Google Reader makes keeping up to date with various blogs SOOOOO much eaiser.

Setting up my RSS Feed:

I had a copy of requests from people who had been reading my blog to set this up. Again, thanks to Lois I was able to get this up and running.

Challenges I have encountered:

Adding the Live Stats Bar:

I wanted to add Feedjit Live Blog Stats bars to the sidebar of my blog but couldn’t get it to work. I was hoping it would give me some HTML code that I could insert into a text bar and it would magically appear. Instead it asked me download some zip file and then upload it to the plugins, but I couldn’t find anywhere to do this. If you’ve done this and can point me in the right direction, I’d apprecaite it. In the meantime, I’ll keep playing.

Finding time to write:

I am developing all these great ideas for potential blog posts and writing notes on my blog and saving them as drafts so they are all stored in one location, but I just need to find the time now to flesh them out. I am going to need to allocate time in my schedule for writing in addition to reading all the work of others.

Tags and Categories:

I know this is down to explore further on in the challenge, but I’d kinda like to know what these are and how they work ! Guess I’ll need to wait and all will be revealed !

5 thoughts on “Edublogs Teacher Challenge – Reflections so far…

  1. Mel Cashen

    Hi Scott,

    Thanks for another great post. As you mentioned I also already have an ‘About Page’ but I am currently working on adding a ‘Contact me’ page to add to it.

    I too have also started to add little notes about posts I would like to write about and saving them as drafts. I now just have to work out a way to find time to ‘flesh them out’ as you say.

    Have you any ideas how you will do this? I was thinking of setting aside one night a week to be my blogging night. But I wonder if I will be able to stick to it? It is certainly easier to do over the holidays!


    1. Scott Duncan Post author

      Hi Mel,

      Quick of the mark with your comments there !

      A “Contact Me” sounds like a good idea. How do you think you will set this up ?

      I’m thinking I might work on my posts early in the morning on the way to work; grab a coffee from McCafe and making us of their free wireless internet access. If I do it away from home or school I can see myself being free from other distractions. I also tend to be more alert in the morning and as writing is a task that I really need to think about I think timing it early for me will help.

      I do agree though that keeping up with all this blogging has been far easier over the holidays. Hope I can keep it up once school heads back !

  2. Lois Smethurst

    Tags and Categories are tricky to get your head around. One of the things that helped me was to think of Categories as the Chapter markers of my blog and the Tags are the index section.
    On my class blog I had a Category for each student so they could easily find their work to show their parents. I also had some others like “VoiceThread” so that all my VoiceThread examples could be found at once.
    Tags are more like the keywords or a subject search. You can have more of these.
    Hope this helps

    1. Scott Duncan Post author

      Thanks for the information Lois. I might have a play with some older posts and have a go and create tags and categories for these.

  3. brittgow

    Hi Scott,
    I have been following you on Twitter, but this is the first time I have visited your blog. Great reflections in this post and you have covered quite a lot of ground in one hit!
    I noticed about the threaded comments, which I will try to set up on my blog too. Instead of a Contact page, I have a widget which covers all the ways I can connect online.
    I have noticed a few blogs lately that have an RSS feed in their widgets, which shows the most recently updated blogs they follow. I would find this very useful, so I will have to look at setting that up too!
    Keep up the great work Scott – and let me know if you can think of any good questions to add to my student survey.


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