Keep a Record of your Edublogs blog

skitch

There are several reasons why you may want to keep an archive of your posts on an Edublogs site. These include:

  • you’re leaving a school and will lose access of your site
  • you would like to keep an archive of your year
  • You would like to collate a series of posts for your eportfolio

It is a good idea to export your Edublog site as an xml file. This will allow you to upload your posts to a new blog e.g. a free one at http://www.wordpress.org or http://www.blogger.com (make sure that you register/login with a personal google account, not your work account). The xml file will contain your posts and comments. When you import the xml file into a new blog, the new blog will try to make copies of your media from your old blog; this means that the old blog must still be online. Note that this process sometimes fails.

Whether or not you’re successful creating a new blog that’s an image of your old blog, you may be interested in accessing your old blog as an ebook. It is not possible to “read” an xml file. If you want to read your posts without creating a new blog, it is a good idea to create an ebook from your posts. I have tested the following sites with okay results (details follow):

  • http://www.blogbooker.com/ saves in pdf format with good formatting; book in chronological order; includes images and links to online video/sites
  • http://bloxp.com saves in epub format with no media and little formatting; book in reverse chronological order; embedded media ignored. Limit of 250 posts.
  • http://blog2book.pothi.com/app/ saves in pdf format with images; book in reverse chronological order; embedded media ignored; 100 posts limit within the given time range; only includes posts within the last year.

If you’ve embedded media in your blog by uploading them directly to Edublogs, you may want to download them. This is also important if you haven’t imported your xml file into a new blog or if you had any problems copying the media into the new blog from the old blog. Since you uploaded the media to your blog in the first place, you probably have it saved on your computer (and have backed it up). If that’s not the case, you can use DownThemAll on Firefox. It’s the best tool that I’ve found for this purpose. Even if you’re a devout Chrome or Safari user, pull out Firefox for this task.

 

How to Download Media with DownThemAll

  1. Install the DownThemAll addon to Firefox
  2. Log in to your Edublogs site dashboard and go go the Media page
  3. For each of your media pages:
    1. Go to Tools | DownThemAll Tools | DownThemAll!…
    2. Go to Pictures and Media and press Start!
    3. The files will be saved in your default downloads folder. I suggest creating a folder and moving all your blog backup items (including the media) into that folder.

Comparing Picasa Web Albums and Google+ Photos

You search for Picasa web and click the first result, but instead of the interface that you’re used to, you see a new, unfamiliar page. What’s going on?

Google has integrated Picasa Web Albums with Google+ Photos. When you upload a file to Picasa Web Albums, it also shows up in your Google+ Photos and vice versa. Similar, if you delete a picture in one place, it is also deleted in the other.

google+ photos

Google+ Photos

picasa_web_albums

Picasa Web Albums

 

In Picasa Web Albums, you can set the permission for your photos and albums as one of three visibility options: Screen Shot 2015-04-28 at 11.16.14

 

I have two albums that are public, one with limited visibility and one private one. See what my albums look like when I am logged into each account:

Albums when logged in to Google+

Albums when logged in to Google+

Albums when logged in to Picasa Web

Albums when logged in to Picasa Web

People who visit my Google + Profile page can only see my public albums:

Google+ Public page

Google+ Public page

 

To include slideshows to your blog posts, you may upload your photos to either Google+ or Picasa Web Albums, but you must get the slideshow embed code in Picasa Web Albums.

Need help with another step? Post a comment and I’ll be happy to create a blog post for your situation.

How to Use YouTube Capture

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Do you take many video clips in your classroom? Would you like to merge them into one video? YouTube Capture lets you do just that.

YouTube Capture lets you easily merge two or more video clips together, trim parts of each one as desired, add music and upload the completed video to YouTube using only one app.

Here’s a tutorial video to show you how to use YouTube Capture. Before you start to watch the tutorial (or maybe even instead of it), I recommend that download the app and take a look at it yourself to see what you can discover. Here are some questions to guide your independent exploration:

  • How do you combine clips to form a video?
  • How do you trim a clip?
  • How do you add music/sound?
  • Can you edit any sound that you add?
  • What happens to clips if you restart the recording?
  • How do you log out?
  • Do clips take in YouTube capture get saved in the camera roll?

If you’ve used YouTube capture, please share your ideas/lessons in the comments.

Now Crop Images Inside Google Documents

New Feature Alert
New Feature Alert

New Feature Alert

I’ve often added in an image to Google Docs, only to realize that it needed to be cropped. It’s been a source of annoyance to me that I had to crop the image in another program and re-import it to Google Docs. This problem no longer exists!

 

To crop an image that you’ve inserted in a Google document, select the image and select Crop from the Format menu.

Crop an image inside Google Documents

Crop an image inside Google Documents

I think that this is a great enhancement to Google Docs. How much will you use this new feature?

Cross posted at http://blogs.isp.cz/esit/2014/05/07/now-crop-images-inside-google-docs/

Moving Files to a New Computer

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20130110-175759.jpg

Perhaps you got a new computer from a generous spouse or parent for Christmas. Or you may have, like me, purchased a new computer for yourself to replace an old computer. Here are a few tips (on one method) for moving to a new computer.

Equipment needed:

  • new computer
  • old computer
  • external hard drive that you can read and write to on both computers

Steps

  1. Sort through the items on the hard drive. Delete what you don’t need. Avoid the temptation to be a pack rat and delete those files that you’ve had for years and are tempted to keep just in case …
  2. Make sure that the remaining files have logical names and are organized appropriately in folders.
  3. (Optional) Partition your external hard drive if you want to use it both to store the files that you don’t use very often and back up your new computer’s files. If you do not know how to partition hard drives or prefer to keep your computer backup separate, get two external hard drives.
  4. Move sorted items that you don’t need on a day-to-day basis to a folder (or the partition if you made one in step 3) on one external hard drive.
  5. Move sorted items that you will need on a day-to-day basis onto your new computer’s hard drive.
  6. Back up your new computer to your backup external hard drive (or partition).
  7. Create a schedule for backing up your computer and add it to your calendar.

When you are done, you will have

  • files that you usually use saved on your new computer
  • files that you rarely use saved on a partition on an external hard drive
  • a backup of your new computer on the second partition of your external hard drive (or on a second hard drive)

Review your Facebook Activity

  1. Click on Activity log below your cover photo. The number indicates the number timeline/tag reviews that are pending on your account.
  2. Activity log shows you a list of everything that you’ve done on Facebook. It is only available to you.
  3. From here, you can filter through your different types of activities. 
  4. For example, to access your hidden activity (to change visibility or out of curiosity , click on Hidden.
  5. To change visibility for an item, click on the beside it.

Securing an iDevice for a Child using Restrictions

It is a good idea to enable security settings in iDevices before giving them to (especially younger) children. These security settings are called restrictions. They allow you to set up a variety of options including what kind of content a child can access on the device, whether they can delete and install apps, whether they can modify accounts, and whether they can make purchases without passwords. To set up restrictions, follow these instructions.

  1. Go to General on your iDevice.
  2. Click on Restrictions.
  3. Click on Enable Restrictions.
  4. Type in a restrictions password and confirm it.
  5. Click off for any restrictions that you would like to set e.g. Ping, Explicit Language, Deleting Apps.
  6. For allowed content, you can set ratings. There are two important settings here: Turn off In-App Purchases and set the time limit for how much time should pass between asking for your password when making purchases. 
  7. You also have the option to turn off Game Center settings (recommended for young children).
  8. Please note that if you forget your password for restrictions, you will have to restore the iDevice.

Using Diigo as Part of your PLN

Diigo is a social bookmarking tool. You may be familiar with bookmarking using Firefox or Internet Explorer. These tools are great if you’re going to always use the same computer. But nowadays, we use a variety of tools for accessing stored information. In my case, I use a desktop at work, my Macbook and my iPhone. I wanted to find a tool that would let me bookmark from any device and access it from all my devices. I previously used delicious to do this. Some of you may use google bookmarks. For me, the master of them all is diigo. I think that diigo leads the pack in terms of features. It allows lists, groups, annotations and highlighting, networks, and of course tags.

Delicious is a good bookmarking tool. I used it for several years before discovering diigo. My main reason for moving to diigo was to be able to create and participate in groups.


Sharing ~ Part II of Diigo V4 tutorial series

Diigo — making Researching, Sharing, and Collaborating faster, easier and more effective!

More diigo help – http://help.diigo.com/home/get-started

Let’s get started

  1. Create a diigo account. Use http://www.larkin.net.au/020_technology_howtos.html to help you with the setup.
  2. Check out some existing libraries that you might like to follow/emulate: http://www.diigo.com/user/wgraziadei, http://www.diigo.com/user/nagoyais, http://www.diigo.com/user/drpresident
  3. Install the diigolet or diigo toolbar.
  4. Researching on diigo – http://vimeo.com/6747389
  5. Using
    the diigolet (to bookmark) – http://vimeo.com/6775948
tips
  • Tags are categories that you can use to create groupings for your bookmarks. It’s worthwhile to think about how you will use. I didn’t think about this when I started and I’ve had to go back and clean up tags. I still have to do that sometimes. In fact, my first account is a huge mess because I had no idea what I was doing. For example, consistently use singular or plural terms so decide on blog or blogs for example.
  • Decide how you will deal with spaces in tags. Will you use camelcase or underscores or hyphens etc. e.g. DigitalStorytelling, digitalstorytelling, digital_storytelling, digital-storytelling, digital~storytelling.
  • When you’re searching other people’s bookmarks, note that they may use a different tagging convention than you.
discussion

Can you think of how this can be useful to you or your students? Please leave any ideas in the comments or email them to me.

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