Are you ready to get started? Great, me, too!!
This entire experience is framed on the seven characteristics of social software as described by Gene Smith in his article, Social Software Building Blocks on his blog at nForm. You can drop by to get some foreshadowing of where we are heading in the next few weeks or just let things unfold, it is up to you!
The first building block I would like you to consider is PRESENCE. Presence in social software can be described in two ways, in my thinking.
First, presence can also mean notification. It is the sense that someone is online and when they are online. You might have seen it in several places already in your online activities.
Some examples of Presence as notification:
If you use Google Talk or other instant messaging, you can see who is available for chat.
If you use Skype, you can set you online presence indicator from Online to Offline, SypeMe or even Invisible!
There is even a presence element in our online course environment (D2L). When you enter our D2L course, click on the Classlist link in the right set of links in the course navigation bar. If you see a green dot next to anybody’s name, you will know that they are logged into the server!
Another aspect of presence is just “being there” in the environment or same space and being a part of the community.
Many of these tools allow you to see if folks you know are also a part of that social network.
For example, you can use the People Find option in Facebook to locate folks and see if they have a presence there. Other social networking sites work the same way. As we move through the weeks, we will be working to find each other’s presence in the tool as well as others we might know.
For your first week, you are going to establish your presence online in the “edublogosphere” – the community of education-oriented bloggers.
That’s right, you are going to get a blog! What I would like you to do with this blog is both to explore how blogging works as well as use the place for reflection on this entire Pellissippi 2.0 experience.
First up, watch a video
Take a few minutes to watch this great video about blogs and what they are
Second: Get a Blog!
If you already have a blog, you can use that but I would encourage you to explore a different blogging platform instead, just so you can expand your knowledge a bit.
Some blogging choices:
I would recommend Tumblr for a good start in blogging. Tumblr is a “tumble blog” that is designed for a very easy to use start at blogging, video sharing, etc. It is often called a microblog as it does not have all of the features of a “full blown” blog but I think it will serve as a great introduction to blogging for you.
Tumblr supports seven different types of entries: text (“traditional blog entries”), links, conversations, photos, quotes, audio clips, videos
If you watched the video linked above, you have already been to my Tumblr blog for our Pellissippi 2.0 experience: Pellissippi 2.0 – AJW
To get a Tumblr blog: http://www.tumblr.com and click the Sign up in 10 seconds link. Provide your email address, password and the name you want to use for your Tumblr blog and you are off! You will then have your own blog with an address something like this: http://yourname.tumblr.com
Posting in Tumblr is really easy:
- Think of something you want to write or discover a photo, video, link you want to share.
- Log into Tumblr – you will then be on your dashboard
- Click the icon for the type of post you want to make.
- Write or copy/paste and add links, etc as you want.
It is easy!
If you already have a Tumblr account, you can add an additional Tumblr blog to it to keep it separate from what you are already doing in Tumblr. (if you want)
If Tumblr is not enough for you and you want to go one step further, then I recommend checking out Edublogs. This is a service based in Australia that provides free full-featured blogs for educators and students. They have had some phenomenal growth, which sometimes translates to slower servers but you cannot beat the functionality for the price! Signup there the same way as Tumblr – give an email, create an account, name your blog and you are off and running. Edublogs offers a good support site with video tutorials and more.
Third: Get into D2L and let us know about your new blog
I have created the group a space in Desire2Learn (D2L), the online site for our web classes, etc. If you have never logged in before, you get to now! Oh boy! Visit: http://www.pstcc.edu/online/ for the login link (use the same username/password as you do for WebMail, campus computers, etc). We also have lots of tutorials about how to use the system.
Once inside, you will see a course called “Pellissippi 2.0”. It is in the Training semester so you might have to expand that semester by clicking on the small plus sign next to its name. Click the name of the course and you will be inside the course. The course homepage has a feed on it for brand new web 2.0 stuff – just for fun as well as an audio file you can enjoy.
In the course, click on COURSE CONTENT (link in the lower left side of the upper navbar). There is a wiki page there, click on it and then on the edit button. YOu can then add your name, your blog name and address as well as the email address you want to use for Pellissippi 2.0 (PSTCC, Yahoo, Gmail or whatever)
- So, get out there, get your blog and explore it a little bit this week. See what you can add to it. See how you can customize it.
- Share the blog location on our course wiki
- Ask questions in D2L (I have a discussion board there for us to ask/answer each others questions).
- Most importantly, have fun!