Why use edublog?

10 ways to use your edublog to teach

1. Post materials and resources

The web is a fantastic tool when it comes to distributing resources – all you have to do on your Edublog is upload, or copy and paste, your materials to your blog and they’ll be instantly accessible by your student from school and from home. What’s more, you can easily manage who gets to access them through password and plugin safety measures.

2. Host online discussions

If you’ve ever struggled to create an online discussion space – you’re going to love what edublogs will do for you. Students can simply respond to blog posts and discuss topics you’ve set them through comments of through our simple forum functionality – commentators can also sign up to receive emails when their comments are replied to and you can easily manage and edit all responses through your blog’s administrative panel.

3. Create a class publication

Do you remember the good old days of class newspapers? Well, they just got a lot easier with your Edublog – you can add students as contributors, authors and even editors in order to produce a custom designed, finely tuned and engaging collaborative online publication by your class.

4. Replace your newsletter

Always enjoyed photocopying and stapling pages and pages of newsletters on a Friday afternoon? Though not! It’s ridiculously simple to post class information, news, events and more on your edublog

5. Get your students blogging

It’s all very good sending your students off to blog sites, or even creating them for them, but you need to operate as a hub for their work and a place where they can easily visit each others blogs from. Your Edublog can be used to glue together your students blogs, and besides which, if you’re asking your students to blog… you should certainly be doing it yourself.

6. Share your lesson plans

We all love planning and admin, right? Well, using an Edublog can turn planning and reflection on classes into a genuinely productive – and even collaborative – experience. Sharing your plans, your reflections, your ideas and your fears with other educators both at your school and around the world using an edublog is a great way to develop as a teacher, and a brilliant use of a blog.

7. Integrate multimedia of all descriptions

With a couple of clicks you can embed online video, multimedia presentations, slideshows and more into your edublog and mix it up with your text and static resources. No cds required, no coding necessary – just select the video, podcasts or slidecast you’d like to use and whack it in your blog to illustrate, engage and improve your teaching toolbox.

8. Organize, organize, organize

You don’t only have to use your edublog as a pedagogue… you can equally easily use the tools to organize everything from sports teams in your school, to rehearsals for the upcoming production. You can set up as many edublogs as you like, so don’t be afraid to use a dedicated one for a dedicated event – your can even use it as a record to look back on down the line.

9. Get feedback

There’s nothing that says you can’t allow anonymous commenting on a blog (although you’re also entirely within your rights to put all comments through moderation!) but why not think about using a blog as a place for students – and even parents, to air issues, leave feedback or generally tell you how great you are.

10. Create a fully functional website

One of the great things about Edublogs are that they are much, much more than just blogging tools. In fact, you can use your edublog to create a multi-layered, in-depth, multimedia rich website – that hardly looks like a blog at all. So, if you’d rather create a set of static content, archive of important information or even index for your library – you can bend an Edublog to suit your needs.

This helpful information was found at http://edublogs.org.

How do you feel?

About recycling and helping America to go GREEN?

Or, how do you feel about OLPC ($100 Laptop Project)?

Study sites and develop ideas on visualizing and sketching out what would the “desktop ” would look like, what features would the computer have on it, what types of programs are most important?  We will compare your ideas.

http://www.laptopgiving.org/en/index.php

http://laptop.media.mit.edu/faq.html

BCIS in the Spring

We are polishing presentations in PowerPoint, Producer, MovieMaker, PhotoStory and Publisher.  Presenting ideas and facts in a creative, attractive style catches attention and makes the reader want more.  Being informed and confident when you speak causes people to listen.  In BCIS we are working on the mechanics of presentation.

Two interesting websites I recently became aware of:

www.dailycandy.com

and

www.todayinaustin.com

Wow … people continue to think outside the box in delivering up-to-date ways of spreading their messages!

Homecoming Newsletter

YOU DID A GREAT JOB ON YOUR HOMECOMING NEWSLETTERS!  I enjoyed reading and visualizing from your pictures.

Create a 4-page newsletter (major grade, due Oct. 30) with a WHS Homecoming theme.  Include articles, interviews, artwork, photos, and information about the excitement of the football game against Seguin, pep rally, dance, tailgating, Homecoming court, and special themed attire.  Add pull quotes, drop caps, borders, shading pictures for increased reader interest.  Using a template lends professionalism to your document.

Excel, here we come

Microsoft Excel is electronic spreadsheet software.  You can use Excel to produce professional reports that perform simple business or personal calculations, financial or scientific calculations, or database management and event let you create charts.  Excel is powerful but easy to use.  A spreadsheet is the computer equivalent of a paper ledger sheet. It consists of a grid made from columns and rows. It is an environment that can make number manipulation easy and somewhat painless.

What makes a spreadsheet work. Spreadsheets are made up of

  • columns
  • rows
  • and their intersections are called cells

In each cell there may be the following types of data

  • text (labels)
  • number data (constants)
  • formulas (mathematical equations that do all the work)
  • Formulas are entries that have an equation that calculates the value to display. DO NOT type in the numbers; instead, type in the equation. This equation will be updated upon the change or entry of any data that is referenced in the equation. In our first example, the solution was $252.61
    This was NOT typed into the keyboard. The formula that was typed into the spreadsheet was:
    =PMT(C4/12,C5,-C3)

    C4 (annual interest rate) was divided by 12 because there are 12 months in a year. Dividing by 12 will give us the interest rate for the payment period – in this case a payment period of one month.

    It is also important to type in the reference to the constants instead of the constants. Had I entered =PMT(.096/12,60,-12000) my formula would only work for that particular set of data. I could change the months above and the payment would not change. Remember to enter the cell where the data is stored and NOT the data itself.

    Formulas are mathematical equations. There is a list of the functions available within Excel under the menu INSERT down to Function.

    Formulas OR Functions MUST BEGIN with an equal sign (=).

    Again, we use formulas to CALCULATE a value to be displayed.

  • This example brought by Brad James

Business Letters

 

Finding employment is never easy, but it helps if you have an updated resume and cover letter ready to send when opportunities pop up. You can always edit the letter for specific companies you are interested in. Please, please know and use acceptable formats (letter parts) and spacing for block letters and modified block letters … the accepted standard in the market place. This is not a casual, “anything goes” matter. Impressions are created the moment your letter and resume are received.  You want to get THAT interview … make your first good impression on paper!

PURPOSE OF COVER LETTER

A cover letter is used to:

  • Introduce yourself and ask for consideration of your qualifications for a position with that organization.
  • Summarize your qualifications for a particular position or for any position in that organization.
  • Direct the employer’s attention to something specific on your enclosed resume concerning your background and their needs.
  • Communicate your interest in and enthusiasm for the position and that employer.
  • Ask the employer for an interview.

Resumes … the good, the bad and the ugly

10 Ways Your Resume Irks Hiring Managers

By MARY LORENZ, CAREERBUILDER.COM WRITER

Fashion designer Coco Chanel had a personal rule: Before she left the house, the style icon always removed one piece of her ensemble to avoid the faux-pas of wearing too many accessories.  Were Chanel alive today and working as a hiring manager, she would likely offer similar advice to job seekers: You don’t have to include everything. 

Job seekers do themselves a disservice when they send out resumes with more information than they need. Most employers don’t have the time or patience to sift through the irrelevant details. Here are 10 things your resume could do without:
1. Spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. “If you are careless enough to send out this most important document with a mistake … I immediately assume you’ll never care enough about the work you send out representing my company,” says Jose Bandujo, president of New York-based Bandujo Advertising. He recalls one candidate who misspelled Manhattan, despite having worked in the city for a decade and another whose great educational background didn’t compensate for the fact that he couldn’t spell “education.”
2. Opening objectives. “These are generic … They do nothing to differentiate one candidate from another,” says Donna Flagg, president of The Krysalis Group, a human resource and management consulting firm in New York. 
3.  Personal attributes. Listing personal information such as height, weight and age and providing photographs is a pet peeve for Heather Mayfield, vice president of training and operations for Snelling Staffing Services. “It is amazing that we still see this on the resumes of today, but they are out there.”
4. Interests and hobbies.  If these points of information don’t pertain to the job in question, there’s no need to include them.  “Create a mystery and save these kinds of data points when you start the job,” advises Roy Blitzer, author of ‘Hire Me, Inc.: Resumes and Cover Letters that Get Results.’ 
5. Details of every task you’ve ever performed in every job you’ve ever had. “It’s too much information. Managers and recruiters need to know at-a-glance what makes a candidate special,” Flagg says. Focus on those details that pertain to the job for which you’re applying.
6. Excessive bragging. Stating one’s accomplishments can be helpful, but when it’s overdone, the candidate can come across as narcissistic, a huge turnoff for employers, Flagg says.
7. Outdated information.  Leave off the activities that you did in high school if graduation was a few years ago and omit jobs you held 10 or more years ago, as the information is probably irrelevant to the position you’re trying for now.
8. False information. “Putting that you have a B.S. on a resume when you do not have one is BS,'” jokes Stephen Viscusi, author of ‘On the Job: How to Make it in the Real World of Work.” Not only is lying on a resume unfair and dishonest, it’s also not very intelligent.  “Companies verify dates of employment — often after you start. If you have lied, they fire you…Nobody wants to hire a liar. Nobody.”
9. Unexplained gaps in work history.  While job seekers should account for these gaps, they should be careful with their wording.  “One of the weirdest things that I ever saw on a resume … was a candidate who explained a 10-year lapse in work experience as being in jail during those years for killing her husband,” recalls Linda Goodspeed, marketing recruiting manager at VistaPrint.  In such a situation, she says, the best thing to write would be “left work for personal reasons,” and the candidate would be able to explain the criminal record later. 
10. A lack of professionalism.  Colored paper, cutesy fonts, links to personal web sites and childish e-mail addresses all scream unprofessional and are a turn off to hiring managers.  One otherwise qualified applicant didn’t get an interview at Bandujo’s firm solely because of the name in her email address: “weird2themax.” “I recognize the advertising industry is full of talented, interesting ‘characters’,” Bandujo says, “but did I really want one who thought she was weird to the max?” No, he decided, he did not.

Copyright 2007 CareerBuilder.com.

Get Noticed!

From www.careerbuilders.com

Top Secrets of Resume Writing

By Steven Provenzano, CPRW

These days, job hunters downplay their resume as a piece of paper that usually doesn’t work. Maybe you’re one of those who believes, “My resume isn’t perfect, but I’ll explain myself in the interview.”

But there’s the catch: You may not get the interview for no other reason than your resume, which often gives employers their first impression of your professional standards and talents.

Even topflight executives can have trouble writing a decent resume. They’re not sure how to make the link between what they really want to DO in their next job with the needs of potential employers.

An effective job hunt means having a complete, professional job search strategy, and your resume must be a key part of that strategy.

Rather than try to explain (yet again) all the ins, outs, and details of effective resume writing in this brief article, here are a few Key Factors and philosophies I’ve developed and used with great success over the past 15 years. These Key Factors help explain why most (possibly yours) resumes fail, and how you can really stand above the crowd and get noticed. When you implement these ideas in the next update of your resume, you will almost certainly have better success in getting more interviews.

First and Foremost: Tell Employers What They Really Want to Know!

Look at the hiring process from the employer’s point of view. There you are with a stack of resumes on your desk and a job to fill, right now. You’ve got some key requirements that candidates must meet before you’ll even consider calling them in for an interview. All you want to know from each person “sitting” on your desk is: What can you do for me? How can you fill this job effectively? Why should I talk to you? So you start reading resumes and you see the same old stuff employers have been getting for decades: page after page of job descriptions, A.K.A. Chronological resumes.

But wait a minute. As an employer, I want to see what you can do for me, but all you’re telling me is what you’ve done for someone else. Of course this is important, and I need to review your previous work experience and accomplishments. But does all this really apply to my situation? Of course not, and I really don’t have time to read 10 or 20 years of your work history before I decide to call you in.

This is why purely Chronological resumes, for the most part, are on the way out, and why the next Key Factor is so important:

Consistently Market Your Skills and Abilities

Take a moment and really think about what this means. Does your current resume really market your most applicable skills and abilities, or is it a listing of your past? You must extract your most applicable skills and abilities from your past work experience and sell them at the very top of your resume in a summary section, titled PROFILE or EXPERIENCE. Driving home this point are two top recruiters at Motorola headquarters in Schaumburg, IL.

Billy Dexter is Manager of University Relations and Rodney Gee is Manager of Staffing for the Land Mobile Products Sector. This sector is one of six in the company, and each sector can get up to 600 resumes per week from executives, professionals, and new graduates. “I have 900 resumes on my desk right now,” said Gee.

“A resume must be clear and tell us what you really want to do. Lead us in the direction you want to go,” they said during a conference call.

“We don’t have much time to look at a resume, so it must have structure and consistency” said Dexter. “If a resume is too broad, we’ll pass it over. Tell us about special projects, skill sets, computer languages, leadership activities, people or team leading skills, and types of things outside the classroom. If I have to search through a resume for these items, I probably won’t read it.” Your Summary gives you control over your resume, and lets you focus on these key points.

Although you may have heard otherwise, an Objective on your resume can be very useful when targeted and concise, but leave it out if you’re afraid it may block you from certain positions. In that case, give the reader a focus with the first points of your summary. If you do use an Objective, make sure that it quickly defines what you’re looking for in one or two sentences. It’s important to note that unlike a Functional resume, the Summary section in a Combination resume is not really about previous jobs, but rather develops those skills and abilities you believe are most important and relevant to the position you’re seeking right now. Your skills must be isolated and sold to the reader, whether they were acquired through work, school or volunteer work isn’t discussed in this section.

This is the heart of a Combination resume format. It combines a modified Functional (ability/skill) resume with a Chronological (job listing) resume. This gives you a two-pronged approach, and the best of both worlds. Your job descriptions substantiate your abilities on top.

If this sounds easy, it is. But it only works if you use clear, concise language describing tangible, no-nonsense skills: “Skilled in payroll processing, audits, and inventory control… “Effectively hire, train, and supervise staff in… “Plan and implement strategies for capital investment; assist in mergers, acquisitions, and financial planning… “Proficient in COBOL, C++, AS 400, and Lotus… “Experience in long and short-term strategic planning…” And so on.

Always steer clear of using fluff words in your summary such as “Self-motivated, hands-on professional with an excellent track record of…” Let’s face it. The first two items in this sentence could be said about almost anyone. As for your track record, let the employer decide if it’s excellent by reading about your abilities (on top) and your duties and accomplishments (under the Employment section). Avoid the ubiquitous (and space-filling) “References Available Upon Request” at the bottom of your resume. If employers really want your references, they’ll ask. When conducting a confidential job search, consider “CONFIDENTIAL RESUME” at the top of your resume, and/or stating this in your cover letter. Always respect the reader’s intelligence!

“Predigest” Your Information

Employers really don’t want to think when they’re reading resumes. Why trust an employer to study your entire work history and hope they find something interesting? Most resumes get only a few short seconds to grab the reader’s attention.

Research the company’s brochure, annual report and job advertisement, if any, and tailor your resume as much as possible to the position.

If you have a Chronological resume, no matter how well it’s written, it’s still a listing of your past, and therefore not job specific or future-oriented. Your resume must be a brief advertisement. How many resumes are actually written along these lines? Very few.

Some Final Thoughts

Although personal networking is the best way to get a job, having an excellent resume is another way, often just by itself, to get an interview which can lead to a job.

Of course, a brief cover letter should be targeted to the hiring authority whenever possible. Tell the reader what you know about their operation, and why you want to work specifically for his/her company. Make them feel like they’re the only person getting your resume. Be sure to check the tips on correct resume use below the quotes at the end of this page.

When treated as a genuine writing project and not just something you “put together,” your resume becomes a professional advertisement and really can get you more, high-quality interviews. It can also save you time, money, and frustration. Consider this: a resume that’s only slightly more effective than the one you have now could help you get a job weeks, or even months sooner than your old resume.

Your resume is your life, your career on paper. Isn’t it worth doing right?