Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Now that you're on Twitter...

Who are you?

Twitter really only works if you have followers who are interested in what you have to say. Sure you can use Twitter to just receive information, read articles others send, or see pictures of other people's activities; but the real power is in having people follow you and connecting them to the things you find interesting. Once you start engaging with your followers, the magic of new ideas and learning start to flow!

A quick search through my Twitter followers reveals many of the people I follow have yet to add photos or bios to their Twitter pages. Initially, some users may be hesitant to share or identify themselves on social media. I understand where that fear can come from, but by catering to it, you limit yourself to a world of new ideas. In the social media landscape, people want to know who you are, what you are about, and what ideas you might share with them. A profile like this one gives me no information about who this person is or what they may have to contribute. 

Adding a photo or a basic bio gives your audience a chance to find out a little bit about who you are.  @Astro_Sandy uses a handle and has a picture that makes me think that she is an astronaut, however, I have to visit her Twitter feed before I can really know for sure. Col. Mike Fincke goes one step further by adding a basic bio that lets me know right away that he is, in fact, an astronaut. 

Leland Melvin, while having one of the most epic NASA profile photos ever, goes even one step further and adds a very detailed bio that lets his audience know who he is, what he is interested in, and I can see why I might want to follow him. Since I am interested in STEAM and I can see from his bio that he is too, I know he might share or tweet about information I will like. He's a great person for me to follow.

Since you've taken the time to create a Twitter account and added a few followers, make sure you also take the time to add a picture and descriptive bio to your profile. Check out this video for a guide on How to Upload a Twitter Profile Picture.

If you are just getting started with Twitter and are interested in connecting with other educators to enhance your own learning, check out this great tutorial: Beginner's Guide to Using Twitter for Professional Development.

As always, feel free to reach out to the Ed Tech Department for additional help or support!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Customizing your own blog with Blogger

​It's been awesome seeing so many FSUSD staff starting their own blogs! Several people have approached me, asking how they can customize their Blog template to reflect their school colors or change the layout to meet more of their needs.

Blogger makes this process pretty easy and gives the user lots of options for personalization. Follow these simple steps to access the Advanced Customization editor. For those who are looking for a video to follow, check out the one by The Blog Beautician posted at the end.

Go to your Blog Editor and select Template, then choose Customize.

You are now in the Template Designer. From here you can change anything in the design of your blog. To get to the spot to change your link colors, select Advanced.

Find and Select Links to bring up the options for changing your link colors. There should be a live preview of your blog below the template designer so you can see how the changes will look before you Apply the changes to your blog. Once you are satisfied with your changes, select the orange button and Apply to Blog. 

Blogger: For the Total Newbie by The Blog Beautician

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Anatomy of a New Post in Blogger

This is a little meta, however, for those of you who are new to Blogger, it may be helpful to be reminded of where different features can be found when creating a new post. 

Additionally, if you are creating several short posts to cover different topics, consider just writing one post and use Headings and Labels to let people know what info is contained in your post. 

Remember, if you need ANY assistance, you can reach out to me or your Ed Tech Specialist. We are happy to help!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Getting Started with Blogger: Tutorial Videos

For those of you who are just getting started with Blogger, here are a few tutorial videos to help get you going with creating your posts. We will continue to review these topics during our Task Force Meetings. FSUSD administrators, remember you can always contact me or an Ed Tech Specialist to come walk you through the process.

Creating a New Post with Labels

This video goes through how to create a new post, give it a title and add labels. Remember adding labels helps to keep all your information accessible and lets readers of your blog quickly find posts relating to their interests.

Adding a Photo to your Blog Post

Photos help to keep your readers interested. Review this video to see how to a photo to your next blog post.

Creating a Hyperlink

A hyperlink helps keep information clear while letting your reader connect to other web pages for additional information WITHOUT having to post the entire URL.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Ed Tech Specialists are here to help!

FSUSD is fortunate to have seven full-time Educational Technology Specialists (ETS) working to support teachers who are integrating technology into the classroom.  Ed Tech Specialists are teachers on special assignment who have a passion for technology. Each ETS is assigned to schools in FSUSD and are available to work with teachers to improve their technology skills and assist in the integration of technology into the classroom.

Our goal is to support all district staff in becoming Tech Savvy! If you have questions about how to use the technology available to you, or how to integrate it into your classroom or work flow, please don't hesitate to contact your Educational Technology Specialist!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Twitter for Teachers

Twitter for Teachers is a web page put together by The USC Rossier School of Education.
If you don't want to take our word for it the Twitter is a good thing for you to be on, check them out.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Using a Link Shortener and QR Code Generator

This year many of you a embarking on a new journey to integrate technology into your classroom. Today's Tech Tip is designed to make sharing web addresses with others a little easier.

Web addresses, or URLs, are starting to get quite long. As the information available on the internet continues to expand, web addresses continue to get longer and longer. Normal this isn't a big deal if you are linking through from someplace else, but many of you will find yourself in a situation where you will want students to navigate to a specific web page, or the web link you plan to include in an email takes up 3 lines of text and disrupts the flow of your email, or maybe you are directing parents to a specific site in your class newsletter.  The reasons for needing to share a link are endless. Nothing is more frustrating than having to type in a long web address full of unfamiliar letter and number sequences. I can't tell you the number of times I have thought I typed in a URL correctly only to be one or two characters off. Here's where a link shortener can help!