This winter, from November 2013 through February 2014, I’ll be teaching a seven part course over interactive video (H.323 videoconferencing) on “Mapping Media to the Common Core” through Western Montana CSPD, VisionNet of Montana and the University of Montana. This course goes into detail about the first six products in the “Mapping Media” framework, and …
I visited with a K-3 librarian today who recently received a cart of iPads at her school for teachers to check out and use with students. She was unsure how to share videos the students create and save to their iPad camera rolls, however, with apps like iMovie, Puppet Pals, and Sock Puppets. In this …
Today I recorded a series of six videos, exploring different questions relating to technology integration and multimedia communication for students and teachers. These include: Why are playing with media and mapping media important? What is mapping media to the curriculum or Common Core? Why are words important and how can students practice digital citizenship? Why …
Today in the “apps playground” at the 2013 iPad Academy hosted by Chicago Public Schools, the awesome elementary teacher Autumn Laidler (@MsLaidler) taught me how to use the free iPad app “Little Story Maker” to create ebooks which include BOTH your recorded voice and “text highlights.” Like many books on the website Starfall.com, an eBook …
IFTTT (If This Then That) is a fantastic, free website for filtering and managing information flows. After registering for a free IFTTT account, you can copy this “recipe” I created for my wife’s class blog today which auto-magically tweets out new posts. The trickiest part is probably identifying the “web feed” for your classroom blog, …
Field trips can rock, and so can mobile technology tools like AudioBoo! Our experiences today reinforce how important it is to REGULARLY challenge students to talk about their learning and even record/share their thoughts digitally. These are skills our students need to practice to develop, and many aren’t doing this enough now! Technology can be a powerful amplifier, and field trips with smartphone-wielding parent volunteers can provide ideal opportunities to use tools like AudioBoo to deepen as well as extend student learning.
YouTube can be used in powerful, transformative ways to support classroom learning, especially when STUDENTS create content shared online. Today, as I helped one of our 7th grade geography teachers wrap up a paper-slide video project in which student-created videos were uploaded to his YouTube channel, we discovered that YouTube now permits “bulk modification” of videos in the Video Manager. This means teachers can now change the settings for 30 videos or more, all at once, so comment moderation is REQUIRED.
Comment moderation is turned OFF by default on all YouTube channels, even if your school district uses Google Apps for Education. When comment moderation is turned ON, the teacher / owner of the YouTube channel has the opportunity to APPROVE any comments which are left on videos in their YouTube channel before they show up publicly for others to view. I highly recommend teachers turn on comment moderation on YouTube videos, since (presently) it’s not possible to turn on comment moderation by default. The following steps are also available as a 2 page PDF file, linked from the “Quick Edit Video” page of Mapping Media to the Common Core.
Step 1: Open YouTube Video Manager
Step 2: Select videos to edit / change settings on
We are hearing more about BYOD (bring your own device) initiatives in many school districts these days, but what kinds of technology integration projects can teachers and students realistically do when some (but not all) students have smartphones and the teacher has one laptop? Today’s smartphone (or the smartphone of four years ago, which students may have inherited from parents or older siblings) can be remarkably powerful, but the BYOD environment can make technology integration even more challenging than a 1:1 situation when all students have the same technology equipment and software. Paper-Slide Videos are one practical type of technology integration project which can work well in a BYOD setting, and in this post I’d like to share some lessons learned from last week when I helped one of the 7th grade geography teachers in our district facilitate a three day paper-slide video project which ultimately culminated in 33 short videos (most less than 2 minutes long) being uploaded to his YouTube channel on Friday. To learn more about paper-slide videos as well as access the rubric and planning guide for this project which we co-created, please refer to the “Quick Edit Video” project page in Mapping Media to the Common Core. Paper-slide videos are BYOD projects your students CAN do with guidance and facilitation. I recommend you give this project idea a try after you review some of these lessons learned.
Phillip Ward (the 7th grade teacher) and I had many cards stacked against us for this project: It is testing time in Oklahoma, so no computer labs were available for checkout and use. The library was closed for testing 2 of the 3 days, so its computers weren’t available either. There are not any mobile laptop or iPad/iPod Touch carts available for any teacher to use in our 7/8 middle school building, so literally the only technology devices we had to use were his Macbook Air laptop, his desktop WindowsXP computer, and any mobile devices the students could bring to class. We designed this project to take 3 days, and serve as a culminating activity for the past several weeks when students have been studying Sub-Saharan Africa. These are some of the key lessons learned and takeaways which I had from this project.
SEVEN SLIDE RUBRIC
The most important tool Phillip and I created together during several meetings in the weeks preceding the paper-slide video project was the three page planning guide and rubric which students used all three days. This was based in-part on a rubric and guide Mary Frazier, a Technology Specialist in Buhler, Kansas, shared online a few years ago at the MACE Conference in Manhattan, Kansas.
I work as an “Innovative Instructional Coach for Common Core” in Yukon Public Schools, and it was very important to both Phillip and I that we built in higher-order thinking questions which would require the students to go beyond fact/recall in the project. On page 1 of the student document, we outlined expectations for each slide of the project. Slide 1 and slide 7 were straightforward: a title slide and bibliography / works cited slide. Slides 2 and 3 were fact slides to build background knowledge. Slide 4 is where the higher order thinking kicked in: Why is this topic important to study and understand? Slides 5 and 6 continued with open ended questions the students had to answer, which do NOT have answers which are readily Googleable.
Page 1 highlighted the key rules for a paper-slide video:
DAILY EXIT TICKETS
Page 2 of the planning guide was the class exit ticket for day 1: Students were required to decide in their groups of 2 or 3 who would be responsible for each slide. Students started brainstorming topics and used provided print articles about their assigned subject (which were almost all different) to begin their research process.
Page 3 of the planning guide was used on days 2 and 3 to actually draw illustrations which would highlight the concepts being discussed. Students needed to at least have their own slides (the ones they were responsible for) sketched out and outlined by the end of day 2 as their class “exit ticket.”
This seven slide storyboard proved to work well for the three class periods students had to complete their projects from start to finish. It provided enough structure and guidance that students weren’t lost or unsure about what to do, but still provided room for student creativity in their projects.
PRINTED RESEARCH MATERIALS
Since not all students had a smartphone with access to the Internet, Phillip prepared packets of 1-2 articles per topic for the students to use for research in the project. This provided students with instructional materials they could read and use for their reports, and also sped up the research process since students didn’t have to find and vet sources themselves.
I wish we could have provided each student group with at least 2-3 printed articles, but it worked with each group having just 1 or 2.
This was, in fact, my favorite part of the entire project: Getting to have important conversations with students about historical events and current events. Many of these conversations showed how VERY important lessons and cognitive expectations like these are. SO many of our students have no idea that the United States is still at war in the Middle East today, using drone aircraft as well as military and covert forces to kill suspected terrorists on a weekly basis. Many students don’t understand and can’t explain the reasons why the United States chose to intervene militarily in Iraq and Afghanistan but hasn’t intervened militarily in Darfur and didn’t intervene in Rwanda to prevent or stop the genocide in 1994. These conversations reminded me a lot of why high school and college extemporaneous speaking is SUCH A wonderful and valuable event. Students have to understand and take ownership over their learning to a MUCH greater extent when they are required to speak about a topic and even just carry on an intelligent conversation with someone else about it. I wish we made more time in classes for discussions like these. The requirement to ask students to go “beyond the facts” and utilize higher order thinking skills to summarize, synthesize, evaluate and create is one of my favorite elements of Common Core State Standards.
Phillip did a better job than I did during the actual project work “acting like Socrates” when students asked, “What can I draw for this?” Often his answer would be, “I don’t know, what do you think?” This encouraged students to stop acting like dependent learners waiting for guidance from the teacher for everything they did in class, to instead becoming more independent learners thinking for themselves and also collaborating with others.
BENEFIT OF GROUP WORK AND PRE-SELECTING GROUPS
Phillip wisely chose (for his situation) to pre-select and assign student groups. This sped up the process of students getting into groups, and also let him “stack the deck” in some cases making sure students with special needs were paired with other students who could assist them in helpful and appropriate ways. He also avoided grouping students who had historically demonstrated difficulty working with each other.
It was helpful to set some time milestones for students during day 2 and day 3 of the project. On day 3, we wrote the class “halftime” on the board and told students that by that time they needed to be starting their video recording. When we got to that halfway point in class, we announced it. This helped insure that ALL students started recording in time to complete their video by the end of class, and students didn’t waste too much time on some slides that they didn’t have time to create others. This models the idea I picked up for digital storytelling projects some time ago, “It’s never done, it’s just due.” Students had to go with what they had, and use their time as best they could to complete a final product.
MODELING THE PROCESS AND PRODUCT
Prior to the start of the three day project, Phillip and I had planned a project together using the rubric and planning guide on “China’s One Child Policy.”
Because of illnesses in both our families we weren’t able to co-create this project until the morning of day 2, but that proved ok. I created a sample project (“Egypt After Arab Spring”) on my own before we started, and we were able to show that to students on day 1 as we introduced paper-slide videos. Then on day 2, we showed students our collaborative paper-slide video and they were able to identify several ways it was better as a combined effort. The fact that both Phillip and I took some instructional risks by doing this project and showing students it was ok to use imperfect drawings seemed to raise their confidence in being able to successfully complete a similar project. It also gave us insight into what we were requiring and asking of the students, and helped us identify things we needed to emphasize in our facilitator roles during the project.
SIMPLE UPLOADING WITH IMAGE CAPTURE
One of the best things about a paper-slide video project is that it doesn’t require any technology in the classroom until the final day or phase, when students actually record their videos. I knew the project-turn in process would be important to plan and streamline as much as possible, so we asked each student group to bring an iPhone or iPod Touch with video which they could use to record on day 3. Only a few groups weren’t able to provide one, so I loaned my iPhone to some groups and others shared an iPhone. I brought USB cables for both the iPhone 30 pin connector and lightning connector, and used the free application “Image Capture” to copy the student videos onto Phillip’s district-provided Macbook Air laptop. As I copied each file into a folder for that class period on the laptop with Image Capture, I named the file with the class period, project title, and first names of students who created it. I then immediately uploaded each video to a YouTube channel I helped Phillip create earlier. As I uploaded videos, I used the Mac OS X feature of coloring files to mark uploaded files as “green.” This process worked well and was speedy.
AirDroid lets you use ANY web browser to download video files from an Android device to your computer, provided both your computer and the Android device are connected to the same wifi network with open ports for this sort of thing. Our district public wifi didn’t work, so I pulled out my Verizon hotspot and it worked great. Next week I’m going to talk with our tech director and network admin to see if it’s possible for ports to be opened on our public network so AirDroid can work on it.
If you know about or have used other solutions for transferring videos from an Android smartphone to a laptop besides Airdroid, please let me know with a comment or tweet.
FOCUS ON IMAGES NOT SLIDE TEXT
Another very positive aspect of this project, in my view, was the emphasis we put on students utilizing drawings / images with MINIMUM text on each slide. All too often we see PowerPoint abused in classrooms when students (and many teachers) fill slides with text. In the spirit of Garr Reynolds’ “Presentation Zen” book, Phillip and I did our part last week to try and shift students toward more visual literacy in their media presentations rather than an overuse of written text.
NOTE CARDS FOR SCRIPTS
It worked well for students to write scripts and notes for their paper-slide narration on notecards. Some used notebook paper and some wrote on their planning documents, but most used notecards.
RECORDING VIDEOS IN LANDSCAPE MODE
We asked students before they started recording their videos to hold their smartphones in landscape, rather than portrait mode. This would avoid “letterbox bars” to the left and right of their video, and make the videos full-screen when viewed on a projector. We also asked them to be sure their video mode rotated correctly, so they didn’t record their videos sideways. Despite our warnings, this generally happened at least once per class period. Thankfully, the Mac software program “TransformMovie” is available with a fully-functional, free trial. It can rotate and “fix” a video accidentally recorded sideways MUCH faster than other free programs I’ve used for this like MPEG Streamclip.
QR CODES AND LIST.LY
We did not ask students to create electronic or “clickable” bibliographies for this research project, but I definitely see good possibilities for this using the free web platform list.ly. For more details see my post last week, “Egypt After Arab Spring: A Paper Slide Video Example and List.ly Bibliography.” I also see great possibilities for using printed QR codes to not only help students connect their smartphones directly to research articles so they can follow links for more information, but also to provide scannable QR codes inside paper-slide videos which link to list.ly bibliographies.
There were 4 student groups (out of about 37 total) who did not complete their paper-slide video recordings on Friday. Those students are going to finish up on Monday, and Phillip is going to ask all students to respond to some reflective essay questions about the project and what they learned. Feedback so far has been very positive, and Phillip plans to share all the student-created videos in class in upcoming weeks after state-mandated testing is finally over. Once he identifies several of the best videos, I’m going to write a post about this project and share it on the Yukon Public Schools’ Learning Showcase website. I’m also hopeful we can create a short video with student interviews as well as an interview with Phillip discussing the project elements as well as lessons learned.
The paper-slide video products Phillip’s 7th grade students created last week are not Steven Spielberg quality digital stories, but they DO reflect a considerable amount of thinking, learning, and collaboration on the part of students. This is a great and practical “Common Core aligned” media project. Hopefully this example can inspire other teachers at Yukon Middle School, as well as you, to consider a “Quick Edit Video” project like this in your own class.
Consider a paper-slide video for your next (or first) BYOD project with students!
Transliteracy is the ability to read, write and interact across a range of platforms, tools and media from signing and orality through handwriting, print, TV, radio and film, to digital social networks.
I’ve heard of and read about transliteracy a bit in the past, but I need to learn more about it since this is a paraphrase of my advocacy rationale for the digital literacy framework, “Mapping Media to the Common Core.”
Transliteracy is the new “language arts” in our schools. We live in a “media-centric society” (as Roger Wagner, founder of HyperStudio, said years ago) and the implications of that statement are barely understood by many parents as well as educators today. Leaders in our schools and statehouses know technology is changing lots of things, but few understand LITERACY itself is changing. I heard David Warlick proclaim “Literacy Isn’t What It Used to Be” at NECC 2003 in Seattle, and that idea continues to resonate with me a decade later. Although I didn’t use that term, advocacy for transliteracy was a key part of the presentation “Why Play with Media?” I shared in Yarmouth, Maine, in March 2012. We need to play with media and TEACH multimedia communication because literacy is shifting to become “transliteracy.”
Just this past weekend we had a “transliteracy moment” in our family. Our middle daughter said two students had been kidnapped at her school, and my wife asked her where she heard that. She replied it was posted on Instagram by a friend. Did she verify if any other sources were reporting this headline? Was she critically thinking not only about the source of the information, but also the tools at her disposal (i.e. Google) to verify information? What is her responsibility as an Instagram user, and therefore an information PUBLISHER and disseminator, to verify the accuracy of information before she passes it along to others? These are very relevant, timely, and important conversations, and unfortunately in many school language arts classes students are still reading and discussing a paper-based version of “The Scarlet Letter” like it was 1981. It’s not 1981, or 1961, or 1850, the year Nathaniel Hawthorne published “The Scarlet Letter.”
Who will help “normalize” discussions about and work in transliteracy in your school or college? If not you, then who? As David Jakes wrote eloquently tonight, we need more intentional opportunities in our schools for “practices found on the edge” (like those of transliteracy educators) to influence and ultimately “win over” teachers in “the core.” Jakes wrote:
Would your school climate benefit from the creation of more disruptive edges? Would that promote a change in climate where the conditions for innovation became more favorable? What if educators were intentional and strategic about creating edges? How would this contribute to a climate, and ultimately, a culture of innovation? And, how would the practices found on the edge ultimately inform the core?
Share this idea with another teacher you know this week: Transliteracy is the New Language Arts.
I have started to create a digital badge credentialing process for the media products included in the digital literacy framework, “Mapping Media to the Common Core.” Digital badging is a way to provide credit and recognition for skills learners demonstrate in different contexts. In this case, I’m wanting to use a variety of digital badges to both recognize and encourage teachers to create digital media products both individually and with their students. The first six media products for which I created entry-level (bronze) digital badges today are Interactive Writing, Narrated Art, Radio Show, 5 Photo Story, Visual Notetaking and Narrated Slideshow / Screencast. Eventually I’m going to create “silver” and “gold” level badges for these media products, along with the other six products in the framework. I’m creating these badges so they can also be awarded by others, so if you’re a teacher, instructor or professor wanting to use them to encourage your own students to develop digital literacy skills you can.
At this point I’m thinking the “badge levels” will be:
BRONZE: Individually creating and sharing a media project
SILVER: Facilitating and sharing a STUDENT media project
GOLD: Helping / coaching a colleague to successfully create a media project (earn a bronze badge)
There are certainly many other possibilities, but that’s what I’m thinking about for the initial phase of this. I’d love to hear your feedback and ideas. This is something I’ve been thinking about and planning for many months.
To receive one of these badges, a badge-issuing organization/authority must certify via evidence (a hyperlink in these cases) that the prospective awardee has successfully met the badge award criteria. Check out my personal profile on Credly to see some examples.
Through this work I hope to help redefine digital literacy in practical ways in classrooms and communities around the world. I think digital badging holds great promise for initiatives like “Mapping Media to the Common Core,” which seeks to make the question “What Do You Want to CREATE Today?” a common refrain for learners across the K-20 spectrum.
I’m working with a middle school geography teacher on some technology integration ideas for his curriculum. His students are studying Africa in upcoming weeks. Since the school computer labs are tied up from now through the end of April for online testing (I wonder how many Oklahoma parents, legislators and taxpayers realize this is the NORM now) I’m recommending that he consider “paper slide video” projects. Paper slide videos can be very low-tech in terms of their requirements. While “narrated art projects” are best created with a tablet or smartphone running a specialized app, paper slide videos just require some kind of camera to record along with paper students draw on. In the following video, Lodge McCammon explains why this model of creating paper-based slides and narrating “live” on video can be so powerful. He calls this the “Fizz Video Lecture” method for Flipped Classrooms. This statement near the end of the video resonated deeply with me:
We are modeling a low barrier creative process that requires deep level thinking & a focus on content.
That’s exactly the reason I’m recommending “paper-slide videos” to the 7th grade teacher I’m working with now.
Check out the full video by Lodge, it’s six minutes long and worth watching in its entirety.
Thanks to Linda Clark from Piedmont Schools in Oklahoma, who shared “Paper Slide Videos” in February at EdCampOKC. Her presentation got me thinking more about the value of this relatively “low tech” media project model.
Today my 9 year old and I played with some Microsoft Surface Tablets at the Microsoft Store at Penn Square Mall in Oklahoma City. Rachel immediately wanted to find a painting app, since she’s created a LOT of digital art in the past using “Brushes” on the iPad. She created the following picture in about ten minutes using the Freshpaint App For Windows 8 or Windows RT, and was VERY impressed with the realistic paint-effects which allowed blending and mixing. She created this on a Windows 8 Surface tablet using a stylus.
Anyone know of iPad painting apps which have similar “real paint” effects/features? A few weeks ago I created the Appolicious list, “Best iPad Drawing & Art Apps,” but included several of the apps there on the recommendations of others. I haven’t played with all of them yet, most of my iPad drawing/painting experiences have been with Brushes.
It’s GREAT to have a Microsoft Store locally that, similar to the Apple Store, lets potential customers play and use the tablets available for sale! Rachel was VERY enthusiastic about Surface as a result of playing with the Freshpaint app. Check out the November 2012 article, “Freshpaint App For Windows 8 Opens A New Front In Digital Art,” for more on the app.
Have you played with Freshpaint yet on Surface? What are your impressions?
In this post, I want to highlight the feature differences between five different, FREE blogging platforms which support posting by email. These platforms, in order of my recommendations of them for classroom teachers, are Blogger, Tumblr, WordPress.com, Self-hosted WordPress sites powered by Postie, and “standard” self-hosted WordPress sites. While I’m calling all of these “free blogging platforms,” it’s true you have to pay or find a web host for options 4 or 5, if you use WordPress on a self-hosted site. If you’re needing to MIGRATE an existing Posterous site to another platform, see my February 17th post, “Options & Tips for Migrating a Posterous site to WordPress, Tumblr, or Posthaven.”
From my vantage point as an instructional coach working with K-12 classroom teachers, the key feature which educators need in public media sharing sites used by STUDENTS is CONTENT MODERATION. This was one of the “genius” features of Posterous which made it wonderful for student and teacher media sharing: Teachers could moderate all content which was sent via email to their website before it “went live” for a global audience. Posterous was the IDEAL website to use for sharing student media from a tablet computer like an iPad, because it not only supported moderated sharing of text, images and video, it even supported other kinds of file attachments like ePUB eBooks. Posterous was a classroom media sharing dream, and that’s the reason it featured prominently in my 2011 eBook, “Playing with Media: simple ideas for powerful sharing.”
Although none of these five options support ALL the features of Posterous, each one CAN be used with file sharing sites like DropBox, Box.net, and Google Drive to share links to a wide variety of media filetypes. The grid below shows the differences in features for these five different blogging platforms, as of this writing on March 3, 2013. Each of these sites supports posting by email via a “secret email address” which auto-magically posts content to the blog. Note ONLY Blogger (at this point) supports post moderation (by making posts “drafts” pending approval) when posting by email.
Because Blogger supports content moderation, it’s my top recommendation for classroom teachers today who want to find a free and public media sharing website that supports posting by email. The graphic below shows the settings you need to configure in a Blogger site (under “Mobile and email”) to configure posting by email as “draft” posts.
Note you can include text, links, and images in posts you share to a Blogger site via email. Videos can be uploaded to a Blogger site and hosted by Google, but not submitted via email. If you want to share video to a Blogger site from a mobile device like an iPad, upload it to YouTube or a file sharing site and then email the LINK to the video to your Blogger site. The Blogger FAQ, “Post by Email,” includes more information about setup details.
If your school district has adopted Google Apps for Education, your network administrator can both enable Blogger as well as monitor content shared there. Note you CAN email videos directly to your YouTube channel for posting/sharing, but using your “secret YouTube email address” does NOT permit moderation. For this reason I don’t recommend this for shared class blogs. See the YouTube help article, “Upload videos from phones” for more about this.
Tumblr is a “quick blog” platform similar to Posterous in many ways, but those differences are significant for classroom teachers. The biggest difference is that Tumblr (like all other tools listed here as options) uses a “secret email address” instead of standard syntax emails (firstname.lastname@example.org) like Posterous did. You can find and reset your “secret email address” to post to Tumblr in the settings of your site:
Tumblr DOES support directly emailing videos to your site, but (according to eHow) you’re limited to a maximum file size of 100 MB and a total uploaded video time of 5 minutes per day. See the official Tumblr support article, “Mobile + Email Publishing” for more details. In most cases, with all but one of these Posterous-alternatives (self-hosted WordPress with Postie) teachers and students are best advised to upload video to a DIFFERENT video/file sharing site and then “share the link” on their class blog via email.
Another reason Tumblr is not #1 on my recommendation list is because it hosts sites that are inappropriate for school. There is a Tumblr blog option to check if content is NSW (not safe for work) but that option doesn’t really address the issue when it comes to content filtering at school. I don’t have statistics on how many inappropriate sites are on Tumblr versus Blogger, but I’m sure there are plenty of examples on each platform. The fact that some objectionable content is hosted on a powerful media sharing platform should not automatically correlate to a decision to block that site entirely on a school network. If you use Tumblr for a class blog and your district doesn’t block it, I’d love to learn about your link (please share it in the comments) as well as your experiences using it with students. I’ve used Tumblr for my Photo 365 projects for several years, but don’t currently use it with K-12 students or teachers.
Unlike its self-hosted cousins, the hosted version of WordPress (hosted on WordPress.com) has a straightforward configuration for posting by email. Unfortunately these posts cannot be moderated or shared initially in ‘draft’ mode, however, so this is NOT my recommended solution for classroom media sharing sites.
To enable posting by email on a WordPress.com site, from your dashboard click MY BLOGS and then choose to enable posting by email.
WordPress.com will auto-generate a “secret email address” which you can copy and use to post text with links as well as images to your site.
#4 Recommendation: Self-hosted WordPress sites with Postie
Standard WordPress blogs running on a web host other than WordPress.com only support posting TEXT by email. They do not support the posting of images or video by email unless you install a special, free plug-in: Postie. While this plugin IS free, the configuration is a bit technical and will likely deter many teachers from using it. The Postie installation instructions require that you enter email server credentials for your web host, including the appropriate port numbers for different mail services. While this option DOES support posting videos in addition to images and text/links, it’s too complicated for me to recommend to most teachers. I include it in this list, however, because it IS available and may be a good solution for some teachers who aren’t intimidated by more technical mail server specification requirements.
By default WordPress just supports the posting of text and links by email: Neither images nor videos are supported. Although this support is provided, it’s up to you (the user and blog site administrator) to enter the mail server credentials for your web host into the WordPress dashboard settings.
Like option #4 above, this is just too technical for most teachers to want to mess with. Perhaps someday a better option will come along, but for now this is the situation with self-hosted WordPress sites and posting by email.
The untimely death of Posterous is unfortunate, but it’s also inevitable we’ll continue to see “churn” in the technology startup arena which includes some corporate casualties. In the past few years I’ve been sad to see Gabcast and Cinch.fm close up their doors, in addition to Posterous. It’s important that tech startups find ways to monetize their products and services effectively. Free can be wonderful, but if free isn’t monetized effectively it can’t last. Chris Anderson’s book, “Free: The Future of a Radical Price,” is the best treatise I’ve read to date which highlights many of these issues and offers lots of suggestions for how companies can “monetize around free.”
If you’re a PK-20 educator today, I strongly encourage you to utilize a PUBLIC platform for “interactive writing” with your students. Hopefully we’ll see more options in the weeks and months ahead for “posting by email” to different sites. If you learn of other free tools that support posting by email which I haven’t highlighted here, please share them in the comments. I hope the information I’ve provided here is helpful to you and your students as you share multimedia online on interactive, public sites.
If you’re interested in learning more about sharing media on-the-go with different kinds of mobile devices, I invite you to come to my BYOD session at the ISTE 2013 Conference this summer in San Antonio. My session is titled, “iOS Mobile Storychasing.” It will be fun and I’m sure we’ll all learn a lot!