FAQ

About Creating Websites


Which blog/wiki/website service do you use?

I have tried several. I have a self-hosted blog on my own domain that runs on WordPress. I have used Blogger, Movable Type (which Typepad is built on), WordPress.com, Weebly, and Edublogs. I also have experience with Wikispaces and PBWorks.

I'm really stuck on which service to choose. What do you recommend?

For blogs, I would steer new bloggers to Weebly. I have yet to see another service that compares in terms of features and ease of use, though none of the blog services I discussed are difficult. For wikis, I highly recommend Wikispaces. Obviously, I chose to use it myself to deliver this professional development course. You can't beat Wikispaces for ease of use and features in my opinion. As for website services, I don't use any, but you can create a really nice website using something like WordPress to manage all your content.

What feed reader do you use?

I personally use Google Reader. I like the integration with my e-mail account. I have never been one for personal homepages, however, so if you like a one-stop-shop landing page that has all the stuff you like, you might prefer one of the other readers I discussed.

Why is it important for teachers to learn about fair use/copyright/Creative Commons?

Simply put, it's a good idea to abide by copyright restrictions, and I think most teachers will admit they are quick to claim the privilege of using copyrighted materials under fair use for educational purposes, but not many of them understand what that is and why using alternatives, like Creative Commons, might be better. Knowing about copyright, fair use, and Creative Commons can help you keep your website "legal."

Why did I have to embed an image, an audio file, a video, and text in my website?

You will want to know how to do all of these things eventually because the web has become a multimedia-rich experience. You want to be able to provide that experience for your website's visitors, so the sooner you learn how to do all of those things, the better your site will be.

About Creating Podcasts


Why should I make podcast available on iTunes?

Because the iPod is the most popular mp3 player, making your podcast available for subscription through iTunes will ensure a wide podcast-listening audience can easily access your podcasts.

What software do you use to create podcasts?

I have a MacBook that came bundled with GarageBand, so it was easy for me to just use what I had. I have been very impressed with GarageBand's capabilities, but it is not available for PC's. Audacity is a fairly easy program that will do what you need it to do.

I'm nervous about editing. Do you have tips?

Save early and save often so that you can easily go back if you make a mistake. Use your software's native format so that you can easily edit the audio, and don't export to mp3 until you are ready to share your final product.

About Teaching Students How to Create Websites


I'm stuck for an idea for my students to create websites. Do you have any suggestions?

My suggestion would be to seek out models and examples to discover what other teachers are doing with their students. You will find a wide variety of ideas.

What equipment do I need?

Your students need access to computers, so ideally you should have access to a computer lab or laptop cart. If you don't have the access to computers that you need, you may wish to write a grant for your project or see if you can get your project funded through Donors Choose. Alternatively, talk with your instructional technology director and find out if they can help you obtain the equipment you need for the project.

About Teaching Students How to Create Podcasts


I'm stuck for an idea for my students to create podcasts. Do you have any suggestions?

My suggestion would be to seek out models and examples to discover what other teachers are doing with their students. You will find a wide variety of ideas.

What equipment do I need?

Ideally, your students need a quiet computer lab and microphones. If your computer lab is constructed in a way that might cause students to interfere with each other's recordings, you might wish to stagger their recordings so that you have only one group at a time recording. Make signs so that visitors are aware they need to be quiet.

What kind of microphone do I need?

You can make that decision based on the level of production quality you wish to have; however, I have used a microphone that cost less than $20 and is available from stores like Wal-Mart and Target with good results.

How can I pay for the equipment? I don't have microphones or computers.

You may wish to write a grant for your project or see if you can get your project funded through Donors Choose. Alternatively, talk with your instructional technology director and find out if they can help you obtain the equipment you need for the project.

I Have a Different Question

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