Thursday, September 23, 2004

Dealing with long posts

Glen mentioned a concern for the length of his blog page in his post: HSC Advanced English Blog Advancing!.

Many other blog hosts (and certainly most more-sophisticated blog software that you can install yourself like Wordpress, which I used for provide a simple tag such as <more> that can be added to a post to make only the text up until that point display on the main page and the <more> will show as a link that will take you to the full post.

Blogger doesn't have that facility, yet, but they do give instructions on how you can achieve this effect by using a trick with CSS (something else for my "Blogger wishlist"!).

The relevant help post is How can I create expandable post summaries? if you're feeling game.

New tools in Blogger

As Elizabeth noted in and earlier post, Bloggger has addded a few new tools, including a WYSIWYG editor (what they call "Compose Mode").

I haven't had much of a chance to play with it. It seems to add only a few minor formatting tools, all of which we learnt how to do manually in Session Two.

The weblink tool isn't as good as the one in HTML mode. It only converts the URL you supply into a link. It doesn't give the option to add separate link text as does the tool in HTML mode.

They have also introduced the option to send a post to a friend via email. This option needs to be turned on in the settings. I've turned this on for this blog.

Now if they could only offer a proper link list manager (like a lot of other blog hosts do), instead of expecting us to update the template manually every time we want to add a link to the list!

He's Ba-ack!

Yes, I'm back from the good ol' US of A. I had a great time (thanks for asking!)

I did tell many of you I would set up a travel blog to document my adventures and post the URL here, but I found Net access hard to come by in the States, and when I found it, it was often very expensive.

I also realised once I was travelling that I didn't want to spend a lot of the limited time I had in a another country sitting in front of a computer!

I'm looking forward to running some more workshops with you next term.

We had slated to run a workshop on preparing images for the web and photoblogging and one on RSS and news feeds.

Please let Wendy or I know if you are interested in either of these topics or if there are any other areas in online journalling, blogging or Moodle that your section could benefit from and we will see if we can run something for you.

There is also the possibility of running one-on-one sessions if you need a bit of that personalised attention from yours truly. Just drop me a line to arrange a time.

I'm also available to assist you develop specific creative projects using self-publishing tools with your students. I can work with you and your class to develop an online newsletter or group storytelling site or music review site, for example.

I can bring into the classroom a deeper level of web design and HTML skills if this is something you (and your students) would like to learn in the context of a creative project. We can also look at working with adding students' images and artwork, or even music and sound files.

Again, if you're interested, let Wendy or myself know.

Friday, September 17, 2004


I can't boast that I have reached the degree of sophistication that I one day would like to achieve in blogging, but I have been very evangelical about it and have been starting blogs left right and centre.
Here is one Louise started & she has handed over to me
Assessment Validation
I have also started one for a group of people I am studying with at UTS.

I am thinking of incorporating some E-learning into my Masters, but I might have to be creative about it as units on e-learning are generally only offered to people enrolled in that degree.
At one level I feel as if I am making progress in online learning, but then today I read an article on the CILT site about Mlearning & I realise I am only splashing about in the shallow end.
I try to encourage staff to look at the blogs we have started , but they are not always as enthusiastic as I am & I realise that we as educators and colleagues have to be relaxed about how people deal with these activities.
As a participant in 2 Learnscope projects this year, I am reflecting on how different the ways in which we can learn to use technology. As an adult educator, we are told (and it is intuitive) to go from the known to the unknown , but it almost does not matter in the case of online learning. Whilst a beginner needs to have some skills,& confidence, it does not matter that they do not , for example, know basic packages like Word, before they can blog.Instead of a linear & accumulative development of skills it feels to me more like being surrounded by a flight of butterflies and trying to catch hold of one or two for a closer look!

Thursday, September 16, 2004

End of Term Regrouping

Hello Everyone,

I wonder what adventures you've all had since we last got together. I don't know about you but I really enjoyed the expanded networking that we enjoyed through this project.

As the end of the year draws near I'm hoping that some of you might have a bit more time for your own personal learning. So if you'd like to put together a blog or a moodle site for your next year's class we can help.

Sean is now available for one on one help with individual projects. Please email

We will be having a couple more sessions next semester to wrap up the project so please post up here any ideas on what you'd still like to do.

Also if you have a blog or Moodle site going please post the URL so we can check it out.