Looking for News

Try the following suggestions to increase your daily intake of news feeds.

  • Surf the latest headlines from all over the world. Results are based on google search rankings, the larger the font –> the more hits in google, I recall. Headlines link to an array of news organizations.
  • Aggregate a few headlines from, say, cbc.ca/rss in your own blog sidebar.
  • Create your own online newsreader at bloglines.com or google reader.

Add your own suggested news feeds or feed aggregators in a comment or trackback here.

Pingback Trackback of the Canadian Outback

English 20(Chem)
Your task is to complete Writing Activity 1 from my canpoets blog.

Just following those instructions will not be enough, however.

Your assignment will not be complete until a “trackback” or “pingback” appears in the comment section on my Writing Activity 1 post.

trackback_options.png

trackback_url.png

I’ll have a bag of cookies on standby. Cookie of choice to STJ blogger(s) who completes a pingback trackback of the Canadian outback.

What happened to the animals in BNW?

What happened to the animals in BNW?

  • Suggest a brief history of “pets” up to AF632.
  • What attitudes do people have towards animals?
  • Why are there no “conditioned” animals as pets?
  • What are the attitudes towards animals on the reservation?

Consider our society. Are pets necessary? Why?

Oh and I have a searchable BNW etext with a growing blogroll here.

PS. What is lupus? Who, in BNW, has it? Why?

New features Gallery2 and Subscribe2

Gallery2 integration works, mostly. Well the sidebar and full page embedding works, more to come. Activate WPG2 by pointing it to http://stjschool.org/gallery2/ and it should autodetect the rest. Then place the STJ Galley widget in your sidebar.

Subscribe2 allows you to email, automagically, site updates(a new post for example) to your subscribers. A new Subscribe link appears in your footer.

Audio Posts (But not quite podcasts, yet)

Or rather, Audio in Posts.

They’re not iTunesey podcasts, yet, but they’re simple enough.
Your mp3 file must be less than 2MB and uploaded to your blog in the normal way.

Go find the menu in Dashboard–>Options–>Audio Player.

Read the check boxes, the third check box will automagically change your mp3 links in your posts to embedded flash players. Easy-peezy.

Look at wmcauley’s mp3 links.

Flickr Plugin works, again.

Flickr changed how you access your images in early September. So I’ve updated the plugin. You’ll need to have an “API Key” and a “Shared Secret”, now.

It is a good idea to put images on Flickr instead, or in addition to, stj servers. Flickr badges are cool, too.

Do not activate the Flickr plugin if you don’t have a Flickr account. You lose the ability to browse your blog’s upload folder while Flickr plugin is active, I still don’t know the fix.

Look here, see if you can find a fix, too.

Here’s an idea that could snowball!

Find a “copyright-free” etext online at, say, Project Gutenberg or here or here

Start a new blog.

Parse your etext into manageable chunks and insert into your blog.

Add graphics and organizers. Edit theme. Voila.

Look at Castle of Otranto and The Jesuit Relations and the History of New France as examples.

Search for works by the following at Gutenberg:
Austen, Jane
Barrie, J.M.
Brontë, Charlotte
Brontë, Emily
Dickens, Charles
Burroughs, Edgar Rice
Carroll, Lewis
Chesterton, G. K
Christie, Agatha
Twain, Mark
Collins, Wilkie
Connor, Ralph
Conrad, Joseph
Corelli, Marie
Defoe, Daniel
De la Mare, Walter
Doyle, Arthur Conan, Sir
Eliot, George
Galsworthy, John
Haggard, H. Rider
Hardy, Thomas
Henty, G. A.
James, Henry
Jerome, Jerome K.
Joyce, James
Kingsley, Charles
Kipling, Rudyard
Leacock, Stephen
Mansfield, Katherine
Maugham, W. Somerset
Maupassant, Guy de
McClung, Nellie L.
Melville, Herman
Montgomery, L. M.
Moodie, Susanna
Moore, Clement Clarke
Nesbit, E.
Oppenheim, E. Phillips
Potter, Beatrix
Sabatini, Rafael
Scott, Walter, Sir
Shaw, George Bernard
Shelley, Mary Wollstonecraft
Sinclair, Upton
Stevenson, Robert Louis
Stoker, Bram
Swift, Jonathan
Thackeray, William Makepeace
Trollope, Anthony
Wallace, Edgar
Walpole, Horace
Wells, H. G.
Wilde, Oscar
Wodehouse, P. G.
Woolf, Virginia
Yonge, Charlotte Mary

Bloggiest start to the bloggiest year ever.

What a funny word, “bloggiest”. Should I say it is a “most bloggy” start to the year? Does correct English matter in a blog?

All students I teach have begun a blog, of sorts. For the most part, I’ve insisted the content of the blog must be school or course related, the myriad responses to Macbeth fit this category. Other responses are more like “snowflakes”, snowflakes is my term to describe the phenomena of no two responses to the same prompt being identical.

I aggregate(not related to the term aggravate) RSS feeds from each class to aid in tracking down assigned work. Each student has a spreadsheet I term the Data Collector that averages rubric scores and totals moderated comment feeds, too. I then collect the Data Collectors periodically to determine scores to enter into GradeLogic. The data collectors serve a dual purpose, a foundation to build a grade obviously, but a powerful device to bring a landslide of peer pressure and collaborative assistance on the lazy, slower, or reluctant bloggers. Those that finish first have always shown a willingness to “share their secrets” with others.

Students are also instructed to collect and deposit appropriate comments on each other’s blogs, too. It is proving to be a fine art to learn to comment. Last year I found the aspect of commenting to be more valuable than the creation of the posts. Comments must contain evidence of critical thinking, I said, not simply “gladhanding”. If you troll the blogs you’ll notice the biggest difference right now between a veteran blogger and a newbie is the quality/quantity of appropriate comments. Students complete work earlier to benefit from positive/any attention from peer “commentors”. Any student who doesn’t get their blog post done on time, gets punished by receiving low or no rubric scores from their peers. However, unlike class discussions, the very nature of blogging allows anyone to catch up at any time. The students themselves seem to have an unofficial pecking order for who writes the best comments. They have internalized their own standards for what they will accept as a comment on their blog and are very persuasive at convincing each other to measure up. A few students are positively verbose and comment on all they can. Others choose fewer responses yet measure their words very carefully. Those that finish writing a post early, are left to hustle remaining students.

The grade 10s are shifting their attention to Keyboarding modules for a while, although I keep prodding them about “Turing Tests”. iGod is our most recent fascination.

The grade 9s get their prompts from Mrs. Fraser’s class then I help them become a bit more tech savvy.

The Grade 11s are in the midst of Macbeth and may see no reprieve for at least 2 more weeks, I figure. The more traditional assignments I’ve used for the last 14 years are as appropriate in a blog as they have ever been in my class. Doing it with blogs is just so cool!