This is me. This is me all last week. This is me trying to do Edublogs Teacher’s Challenge Kick Start Activity 4 and Kick Start Activity 5.
As you can see from the picture above, Images and I are just not friends. We have this delicate relationship. Images likes to be moody, temperamental, difficult and just down right stubborn. Images doesn’t listen. Images doesn’t hear my needs preferring instead to do what it wants. My relationship with Images has become quite torn. We’re at crossroads. Do we continue down the path of stress, anxiety, loss of sanity or do I make a break and run?
I prefer the latter, simply because I’ve vowed this year to get confident with Web 2.0 tools and to become a much more active Blogger. My relationship with Images is just one hurdle in this new challenge.
Learning about RSS and creating my Avatar last week was tough. Task 4 has been the hardest for me so far and I really didn’t think it would be at all. It was fiddle-y and draining. I knew vaguely what RSS was but had never really used it because I really hadn’t read that many blogs until I started doing this challenge. I’m still learning all the functions of Google Reader but it seems, so far, to be a good platform in which to read everything. It keeps everything in the one place. It will certainly make it easier. Visiting one site instead of all your favourite sites is a real plus.
Choosing the blogs to put into my reader has been exhausting. I looked through all of them on the Edublogs Award site (and I literally mean every. single. one.) and was totally amazed at the quality of the blogs. I am enjoying reading them and discovering more and more blogs as the days go on. The Discussion Question asked us how we thought RSS could be used with students. At the time, I really wasn’t sure because it was all very new to me. Now though, having had some time to think about it, I think it could be a fabulous way to encourage students to read. As a Drama/English teacher, using blogs would not only allow students to connect with each other but they would be reading things that are of interest to them whilst at the same time learning about language functions.
The thing I found hardest was creating my Avatar! I’ve used pictures of favourite musicals for years which I feel is representative of my interests in some ways but when I read Sue’s tips about creating a “positive digital identity”, something that identifies you online, I stopped and really thought about it. Did my avatar really represent me? I tried Mr Picassohead and it frustrated the hell out of me. I’m no Picasso that’s for sure. Then I remembered creating a Simpson’s avatar a while back so I went back there and tried again. I wanted something that captured my black frizzy hair and I think The Simpsons avatar doesn’t do too badly. I’m not even that huge a fan of The Simpsons but I guess I just felt it captured me best. I struggled so much with the saving and cropping in MSPaint and even though I changed it to 97×97 pixels it still seems a bit grainy to me.
That’s another thing I’ve noticed with this week’s challenge about enhancing posts with images. The graininess of images. I mucked around in Picture Manager resizing my photos and mucking around with effects only to find that the picture wasn’t particularly clear and rather small. Perhaps it was just the photo I had chosen but I can’t say I liked my effort.
I’ve included my crappy looking photos to show you that this has all been a process that I am still ironing out all the kinks to.
I didn’t know Creative Commons existed so that has been really interesting to learn about. I have struggled however with trying to insert images from Creative Commons into my posts using the right click “Copy Image URL” function. Thus, Images and I not being on the best of terms with each other at the moment. I think there might be another woman – the computer operating system. I have no proof yet though*.
Looking at the sites available to create your own images has been such an eye opener because I really didn’t know so much fun stuff was available. Hopefully, as a result of my blog being an enormous success, this will be me this year:
All in all a tough challenge but I learnt a whole heap. I’m glad there are sites out there like Creative Commons that make it easier for us to access images for our blogs without breaching copyright. I think it’s an excellent resource in itself to teach students about plaigiarism and the need to acknowledge other’s work. I don’t know if I’m that keen to put my own images into blog posts just yet.
Images and I need to take some time to heal and work on moving forward.
*Sue has since confirmed for me that is was “another woman” stuffing up my ability to use Creative Commons images. I have since learnt about Firefox. Who knew that you didn’t have to use IE to browse the web? Not me, that’s for sure.
Image 1: Photo by pollyalida licensed under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)
Image 2: Created in Crappy Graphs @ http://crappygraphs.com
Image 3: “Karla O” avatar created @ http://www.simpsonsmovie.com/main.html?cid=us
Image 4: “My Name In Lights”. Copyright Karla O. 2011.
Image 5: Fake TIME Magazine Cover, Created @ http://www.fakemagazinecover.com