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Latin 2.0: Personal Learning Networks

A Bolchazy-Carducci Webinar for Summer 2009 - FIND OUT MORE

Scheduled Date: July 30, 6:00-8:00 p.m. E.T.

 

Are you wondering what all the Web2.0 fuss is about?

Curious about blogs, tweets, wikis, widgets and nings?

This webinar will help you build a PLN,  a "personal learning network,"

using free web-based tools that are part of a whole new world of Latin online.

 

YOUR INPUT IS NEEDED! Please fill out this anonymous online survey to indicate which tools you are most interested in learning about. Click on this link to take the survey, or click on the survey image below. You can also contact me by email if you have questions about or suggestions for the webinar: laurakgibbs AT gmail DOT com. If you are not sure about what some of these tools are, take a look at the list down at the bottom of this page, where you will find information about each one, along with examples to look at. 

 

 

ONLINE TOOLS: 

 

Blogs: Blogging is the single fastest way to put content - text, links, images - online. Blogger.com is Google's free blogging tool, and allows you to get started in just minutes. For an example of a Blogger.com blog, check out the Bestiaria Latina.  You can have as many blogs as you want for free at Blogger.com, and the blogs are all ad-free. You can even create group blogs, with up to 100 editors contributing to the same blog.

 

Podcasting: Podcasting is really just blogging with audio. If you have a regular supply of audio that you wish to distribute in this way, you can use Blogger.com to create and distribute your podcast. For an example of a simple Latin podcast, see the Heri Hodie Cras Latin podcast. To subscribe to people's podcasts, you can use iTunes or any other podcast reader, such as Bloglines.com (you can see a whole range of podcast subscriptions options here).

 

RSS Feeds: You can use the RSS feed for a blog or a website to keep up with the latest content being added to that site, and then read that content in an RSS reader such as Bloglines.com. You can also use the Feed2JS.org tool to take the RSS feed from any blog or website and redisplay it inside your own blog, wiki or webpage.   

 

Email Newsletter: Once you have a blog, it's easy to create a free email subscription service for that blog using Feedburner.com. People can sign up for the email list - you don't have to do anything to manage the list. Then, each day that you publish something new in the blog, an email goes out to the people who have subscribed, with the full contents of the blog post (including images) included in that email. You can see the email sign-up option at my Bestiaria Latina blog - it's in the upper right-hand column.

 

Wikis: A wiki is a quick way to build a website online, and PBWiki offers ad-free wikis for educators. You can have a wiki that is private (only people you invite can view the pages), or public (everyone can view the pages). You can also allow other people to edit the wiki with you. For an example of a wiki with only one editor, take a look at my Latin Via Proverbs wiki. For an example of a collaborative wiki, take a look at the Comenius Lexicon project or Bob Patrick's Latin Best Practices: Oral Latin wiki.

 

Link Libraries: If one of the main reasons you want to publish a webpage is to keep a list of links for your students, consider using an automated links library like Del.icio.us instead. You don't have to create the list! You just "tag" the websites and webpages that you want to include in your list, and Del.icio.us automatically creates the pages listing the material you have tagged. Over the years, I've accumulated almost 1000 links for my online course resources. Del.icio.us maintains the list for me, and lets me link to specific sublists. So, in addition to all my links, I can look at the "Greco-Roman Ebooks" or I can see my Student Projects on King Arthur, for example.

 

Image Editing: When working with images, it's helpful to be able to crop and resize those images to meet your own needs. For a free online image editing too, try Picnik.com.

 

Image Libraries and Slideshows: There are a number of services that allow you to upload and share images online, and most of these services also offer a "slideshow" creation tool, that allows you to create slideshows and then embed them in other blogs, wikis, and webpages. For an example, here is an image slideshow created with the Google's Picasa image library service:

 

 

Ning: Ning.com offers free social networking software, which allows you to create a Facebook-like website for any kind of group, large or small. You can keep the Ning private, or it can be public (with open membership, or membership by invitation only). Ning offers ad-free Nings for high school classes, or you can pay a monthly fee to remove the ads from the site. For examples of Nings, see my Aesopus Ning, or the eClassics Ning, or Evan Millner's all-Latin Schola Ning.

 

Twitter: Twitter is a way you can quickly distribute messages online or via cell phone. I've got a Latin Proverbs Twitter feed, for example. You can use the RSS feed to redisplay a Twitter stream on your webpage or blog; for example, you can see how my Latin Proverbs "tweets" are displayed in the right-hand column of this blog.

 

Widgets: Widgets are a way that you can use content created by other people inside your own blog, wiki or website. To find some widgets I've created for Latin and the ancient world, visit SchoolhouseWidgets.com. If you want to create widgets like these to share your own content with others, you can use the RotateContent.com tool, which allows you to build widgets by entering text into a simple HTML table. You can see some widgets in action over to the right, in the sidebar of this wiki.

 

GooglePresentations: You are probably used to creating Microsoft Powerpoint slideshows - but if you use Google's free online Presentations tool, you can distribute your slideshows online, embedding them in other webpages. GooglePresentations can also be used collaboratively, with multiple editors contributing to the slideshow. Here's an example of one of my Simplified Fable Slideshows:

 

 

GoogleDocs: In addition to Powerpoint-like presentations (see above), GoogleDocs also offers the ability to create Word-like documents and Excel-like spreadsheets. You can keep these documents private, or you can share them, either with users you invite to view the document, or by publishing the document online. You can also invite others to collaborate with you in editing the document. Here's an example of a class handout shared online with GoogleDocs.

 

GoogleSites: If you need to create a website quickly, GoogleSites is a great free option. For an example of a website built with GoogleSites, check out this student project for one of my online courses.

 

GoogleBooks: You can find hundreds of great old Latin and Greek books at the giant GoogleBooks repository. Books in the public domain are available for viewing online or for downloading as PDFs. You can save books in your GoogleBooks Library, and share the contents of that Library with others. Here, for example, is a link to My GoogleBooks Library.

 

GoogleCalendar: Google Calendar allows you to keep multiple calendars, merging one calendar with another, and also sharing calendars with others, either by invitation or publicly on the Internet. If you have a public shared calendar, you can embed that calendar in a blog or wiki or webpage. For example, here is a Roman Google Calendar I've created, which anybody can take and merge with their own Google Calendars. 

 

Polls and Surveys: The survey on this page was created with PollDaddy.com, which also allows you to create quick polls like this one:

 

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