Songhai Concepts

Media Literacy/Digital Archiving Instructor

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Creating Your Education Blog

In order to truly remain a paperless classroom, we will need to use tools that allow us to create electronic documents in a variety of ways. So far we have used tools like Google Docs and Google Presentation to compile our answers for the Digital Literacy Questionnaire, the Brain Food Questionnaire and the Did You Know Project. You also were instructed to use Google Presentation to create a screenshot project of nine specific tabbed pages in iGoogle, Netvibes and Pageflakes.

Yesterday, I showed you how to create a blog. For the benefit of those who missed yesterday's class, I am including an audio slideshow that shows you step-by-step, how to create a blog.
A blog is a no frills web page that anyone with an e-mail account can create in minutes. You will use a blog in this class to publish your best textual work and your best multimedia work.

Click here to see how to create a blog using Blogger.
(You must sign up for an account with Voicethread before you can view the slideshow. It's simple, your e-mail address and a password)
If you have questions, or if you would like to leave an audio comment, you can do so right in the slideshow, just click on the record or type buttons within the slideshow.

H. Songhai

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Electronic Word Art

Starting 10/24/07, all students in my Media Literacy class must post a daily reflection on the "Habari Gani? What's The News" page in Google Groups. Our Google Group name is,
The Paperless Classroom.
The Paperless Classroom Page
is a space for you to post reflections, proverbs, quotations, electronic word art and various current event topics.

The page will change monthly. Next month's page will be called "Habari Gani? What's The News - November."
You will earn a daily grade for your posts so please, do not miss commenting - daily!

Post your comments on the Habari Gani? What's The News PAGE.

In order for Media Literacy students to join The Paperless Classroom Group, you must send me an e-mail. In the subject box of your e-mail, please type Google Groups, and in the message box type, e-mail from me and include your first name and your last name. Once I receive your e-mail, I will send you an invitation to join the group. See me right away if you have questions or concerns.

H. Songhai

Friday, October 19, 2007

Desktop Photography

One of Window's best kept secrets is the Print Screen (PrtScn) key. Did you know that the Print Screen key is a high powered copy command. Pressing the Print Screen key takes a screenshot of your desktop and copies that information to your clipboard. From there, you simply paste the copied information into your favorite image editing program - Paint, Photoshop, Corel Draw, etc., then save the image as a JPEG file. Next you can insert that image into a slideshow app like Google Presentation, Zoho Show, Slideshare or PowerPoint.

For this assignment, you will need to take screenshots of the following tabs inside of your Personal Start Pages:

News Tab: (Netvibes, Pageflakes, iGoogle - take three screenshots)
Home Tab: (Netvibes, Pageflakes, iGoogle - take three screenshots)
Google Tools: (iGoogle only - take one screenshot)
Web 2.0/Blogs: (Netvibes, Pageflakes - take two screenshots)

Remember, your tabbed pages should contain specific content as per my 10/16/07 post, Information Islands on Your Desktop.

Take a total of nine separate screenshots of your Personal Start Pages in iGoogle, Netvibes and Pageflakes. (Mac users Press Shift+Apple +4)

Screenshot of NEWS TAB from Pageflakes

You must paste each of the nine images in Microsoft's Paint, Photoshop, or Corel Draw, then name the image and save it as a JPEG file.

Finally, create nine slides in Google Presentation and insert one screenshot image on each slide. Write a three to four sentence description for each screenshot. In your three to four sentences, talk about the information on each screenshot and the usefulness of that information in a paperless classroom.

H. Songhai

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Information Islands on Your Desktop

Over the last two weeks, we've been talking a lot about Personal Start Pages like iGoogle, Netvibes and Pageflakes. We've spent a lot of time subscribing to various blogs and education feeds and we've spent a lot of time adding tabs and themes to our Personal Start Pages.

Try to think of your Personal Start Page (PSP) as your personal Cathedral of Learning, your personalized University of Sankore at Timbuktu, with iGoogle serving as your North Campus, Netvibes as your South Campus and Pageflakes as your East campus. Think of the tabs on your PSPs as academic departments - math, science, anthropology, art, music, technology, videography and more. Click any tab and a world of information is right at your fingertips.

What an incredible time to be a student: information islands on your desktop, universities and cathedrals of learning at the click of a mouse, portable, virtual, archive(able) world.

Media Literacy students, please add the following feeds to your PSP tabs:

News Tab- BBC News, Times Online, Trinidad & Tobago Newsday, Washington Post, Philadelphia Inquirer,

Podcasts Tab - (This is a new tab)
Please add the following feeds - Buzz Out Loud, This Week In Tech, The Word Nerds, NPR Music, NPR Technology, NPR Arts & Culture

Home Tab - Calendar, a dictionary, an e-mail module, my blog page, one local news feed, Google Maps (iGoogle), Map Flake (Pageflakes) Map My Word Dictionary (iGoogle only)

Your Web 2.0/blogs Tab should include feeds from Speed of Creativity, Read/Write Web, Mr. Mayo, Weblogged, Learning is Messy

Feel free to stock your other tabs (Music/Entertainment, Photos/Video) with content of your own choosing.

See me right away if you have questions.

photo of University of Sankore

photo of Cathedral of Learning, University of Pittsburgh

Mr. Songhai

Friday, October 12, 2007

Skype conference with Maryland 8th graders

Today, six of my Media Literacy students here in Philadelphia, participated in a Skype conference with educator, George Mayo and two of his eighth grade classes in Montgomery County, Maryland. George Mayo is an author, an innovator and one of the country's leading edu-bloggers.

My high schoolers talked to George Mayo's eighth graders about peer pressure, forming good habits and the importance of doing well in middle school. The Skype conference was a big success. My students enjoyed giving advice to the younger middle school students and the middle school students passionately expressed their thoughts of the session in series of thoughtful blog posts. Read some of their posts here.

Thanks George, for inviting us to share and learn with your students and for giving us another opportunity to stretch the boundaries of the classroom. Continue to push the ed-tech envelope!

Let's do it again soon.

H. Songhai

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Organizing your Personal Start Pages

Today's assignment was to create a series of indexable tabs on your iGoogle, Netvibes and Pageflakes pages. Tabs help you organize your information feeds into user-friendly links. Tabs literally put your online knowledge base at your fingertips.

All students were asked to create four tabs. You may create more if you like, but all students must have a tab for the following subject areas: Web 2.0/Blogs, Photos/Video, Music/Entertainment, News

(Tabs created in iGoogle)

(Tabs created in Netvibes)

(Tabs created in Pageflakes)

You can easily drag and drop gadgets from one tabbed location to another and it is easy to change the names of your tabs.

Part two of today's assignment was to create an authentic hypertext document on your "home city" of Philadelphia. Please use Karl Fisch's Did You Know presentation as your guide. Create this hypertext document in Google Presentation (Google Docs) and use the Karl Fisch Did You Know syntax as your model for presenting your facts.
The document must be e-mailed to me no later than Monday, October 15, 2007.

See me right away if you have questions.

H. Songhai

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

iGoogle, Netvibes and Personal Learning Communities

Last week all Media Literacy students were asked to create Personal Start pages in iGoogle and in Netvibes. All students were asked to add Google Docs and Google Reader to your personal start pages. You will use Google Docs to create authentic hypertext documents that are both engaging and interactive, and in lieu of textbooks, you will study and read online works from Moving at the Speed of Creativity, Read/Write Web and other cutting edge, educational sites. These sights will keep you abreast of the latest news and developments in the areas of 21st century learning, media literacy and safe digital social networking.

As we cover more ground in this course, you will begin to discover that your personal start pages are like personal learning communities. One of the great things about iGoogle and Netvibes is that they both allow you to create tabs on your start pages. These tabs will allow you to index your learning around many of the important issues I feel you should know as well as allow you to index knowledge feeds according to your own individual passions and interests.

If you have not set up your personal start pages in iGoogle or Netvibes then see me this week so I can assist you in getting started.

H. Songhai

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Media Literacy Students

Today, we will continue to work at completing the following tasks:

The Digital Literacy Questionnaire is meant to gauge how computer savvy each of you are. You must answer all of the questions from the list. Many of the questions you should know already. Some of the questions may require some research. You may use wikipedia to find some of your answers, but you are not to copy and paste entire entries and pass that information off as your own.

You must answer all of the Brainfood Questions to receive credit for this assignment.

Today I will review adding hyperlinks to your Digital Literacy Questionnaire and to your Brainfood questions.

H. Songhai