Virtual School Meanderings

July 11, 2016

EDTECH537 – Links Entry: iScoil

As I mentioned in the EDTECH537 – Week 3 entry for my EDTECH537 – Blogging In The Classroom course, I wanted to post a sample of a links entry.

So earlier this year I was down in New York City to meet one of the founders of iScoil – a virtual school in Ireland according to VISCED that was created by the Presentation Sisters.  You can find out more about them from their social networks:

Also, be sure to check out the publications from their website:

I encourage you to check out this innovative program.

EDTECH537 – Week 3

Today begins week three of my EDTECH537 – Blogging In The Classroom course. The students this week have a series of blog entries that they have to complete by the end of the week (i.e., midnight on Sunday).

  • to post a links entry to their blog (i.e., Links Entries are simply entries that provide a list of links. They can be thematic in nature or they can be a random set of links that are published every so often or at specific times. Some bloggers have even set-up their Delicious or Diigo accounts to summarize all of their links for the past week in an entry on their blog.)
  • to post a list entry to their blog (i.e., List Entries are simply entries that provide lists of things. A list of links could be described as a list of things, hence the overlap in these kinds of entries. Personally, I see List Entries as lists of non-web-based things. Some bloggers will provide lists of books or articles they would recommend or the top # of apps for some mobile device or their # favourite movies. The list can be about anything at all really.)
  • to post a discussion question entry to their blog (i.e., Discussion Question Entries are exactly as they sound, entries designed to generate discussion. Typically they are self-contained and have a short introduction to give the reader some context and then attempt to pose an open-ended question. Some bloggers will base their discussion question on something they have read or a current event. The main thing to remember about a discussion question entry is that it is designed to generate conversation among the readers of your blog.)

The readings for the students this week include:

The final thing I have asked them to do is to continue using Twitter throughout the week, and to use the hashtag #EDTECH537 for all class related tweets.

Later today I will be post an example of a links entry, tomorrow I will post an example of a list entry, and on Wednesday I will post an example of a discussion question entry.

July 5, 2016

EDTECH537 – Disclosure

One of the activities for Week 2 in my EDTECH537 – Blogging In The Classroom is to create a disclosure, so today it is time for me to update my disclosure page.

As I mentioned in previous years when I completed this activity, when I first created my disclosure page it was based on the Full Disclosure page that Miguel Guhlin had created at Around the Corner-MGuhlin.org. Essentially, I took what Miguel had written and modified it for my own context (and left a reference to Miguel’s original at the bottom).

In terms of updating it today, I basically added any new consulting projects that I have worked on – and that was about it.

Finally, I double checked all of the links to make sure they were still up-to-date.

Anyway, until next week’s task(s)…

July 4, 2016

EDTECH537 – Week 2

Today begins week two of my EDTECH537 – Blogging In The Classroom course. The students this week have a series of tasks to complete by the end of the week (i.e., midnight on Sunday).

  • create an RSS reader account (I’ve recommended Feedly)
  • add their instructor’s and all of their fellow students’ blogs to your RSS reader
  • add additional blogs of interest to their RSS reader
  • create a Twitter account
  • follow their instructor’s and all of their fellow students
  • post their first tweet (using the hashtag #EDTECH537)
  • create a “disclosure” page on their blogs

The readings for this week include:

  • Shoffner, M. (2007). Preservice English teachers and technology: A consideration of weblogs for the English classroom. Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 7(4), 245-255.
  • Stiler, G. M., & Philleo, T. (2003). Blogging and blogspots: An alternative format for encouraging reflective practice among preservice teachers. Education, 123(4), 789-797.
  • Harrsch, M. (2003). RSS: The next killer app for education. Technology Source, 6(4). Retrieved from http://www.technologysource.org/article/rss/

While not a requirement this week, I did ask them to post a blog entry to get them into the habit of blogging on a regular basis.

June 30, 2016

Statistics for June 2016

This entry is being posted back-dated.

As my EDTECH537 – Blogging In The Classroom is currently underway, I try to post a little more detailed statistics entry (at least compared to the normal quick monthly update)

Over the past month there were 3,114 hits to this blog from 1,980 different visitors, compared to 3,775 hits from 2,074 visitors in May (and 2,876 hits in June 2015).

The top ten entries for the past month were:

  1. Questions About The School Of Tomorrow
  2. We Missed You at Last Week’s Webinar
  3. Special Offer For Your Family From K12
  4. Student Holiday Notice
  5. AERA 2012 – Affective and Motivational Factors of Learning in Online Mathematics
  6. The History Of K-12 Online Education???
  7. Virtual Schooling In The News
  8. Guest Blogger: Examining Accelerated Christian Education
  9. More On K-12 Online Learning In Canada
  10. Review – Frog Dissection

Interestingly, only the “Virtual School in the News” entry was from the past month (and the only one from 2016 to be honest).

If you look at how folks found my blog, you get this picture:

  1. Search Engines
    • Google Search
    • Bing
    • Yahoo Search
    • Google Image Search
    • Ask.com
    • AOL
    • myway.com
    • Google Mobile
    • duckduckgo.com
    • Baidu
    • dogpile.com
  2. Twitter
  3. Facebook
  4. fix-website-errors.com/try.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fvirtualschooling.wordpress.com
  5. WordPress.com Reader
  6. free-video-tool.com
  7. com.google.android.googlequicksearchbox
  8. michaelbarbour.com
  9. pinterest.com
  10. scoop.it

A couple of observations…  Search engines account for approximately 15x the traffic of any other source, and Google represents 95% of all of my search engine traffic).  All of my blog entries are posted to my Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn accounts, so it makes sense that Twitter and Facebook would be near the top of that referrer list (n.b., Google+ and LinkedIn would have been 18 and 19 had I continued that list to 20, instead of stopping at 10).  Finally, this past year – as a part of Darren Cannell’s Increase Your Digital Clout activity I created accounts on Pinterest and Scoop as a way to generate more activity to this blog.

As search engines make up such a large part of my traffic, it is interesting to see the most popular search terms used:

  1. motivational and affective factors
  2. lrn regestered
  3. how to write holiday notice in school
  4. how to write a holiday note for school
  5. ace homeschool graduates
  6. edeneden2016@gmail.com
  7. charter, alternative, virtual schools account for most low-grad-rate schools, study finds
  8. school notice for holiday
  9. school notice on holiday
  10. pictures of online learning
  11. school holiday notice sample
  12. technology counts 2016
  13. permission to use survey instrument
  14. esn webinars
  15. dissertation topivs k 12
  16. school holiday notice
  17. promo code for keystone school
  18. virtual learning apps
  19. school of tomorrow philippines
  20. online vs brick and mortar schools

Another interesting observation is the fact that the vast majority of these search terms have nothing to do with K-12 distance, online and blended learning.

Finally, as most folks know I originally blogged using Blogger – before switching to WordPress.  I have left the old blog site active, as the final entry drives traffic to the current blog.  Each month I still receive the statistics from that old blog site (and it still generates some traffic)…

(more…)

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