Posts Tagged "wordpress"
Many teachers reflect on their daily classroom interactions using a classroom blog that’s accessible to parents and students. Frequently, these blogs reflect on the content, skills, and resources used in class on any given day. “What worked” ,“what didn’t work” , and “what I’d do different” are common themes amongst many teacher blogs.
The primary issues I’ve had with the blogging process for classroom reflections are consistency and accuracy. Since I typically blog at the end of the day (or lately, the end of the week), I forget some of the meaningful and trivial events (both of which many parents like to hear about) that happened during each specific class. Rather than waiting until the end of the day to blog, why not do it during class as I’m walking around the room and monitoring student progress? Mobile blogging provides a great solution for achieving this.
Benefits of Mobile Blogging for Teachers:Read More
Data in itself is unimportant; it’s what we do with the data that makes a difference.
Note: The information contained within this post is somewhat technical. While I tried to make it as non-technical as possible, I would still advise you to have someone with a technical background assist you if you’re uncomfortable with technical information.
The picture below illustrates an example of a student’s grades on an assessment, which is available online for around-the-clock access by parents and students. The data (shown in the “Response” column) was collected using eInstruction CPS clickers, exported to a CSV spreadsheet, and then uploaded to a self-hosted WordPress blog. Each student receives a unique user id and password, which allows them to login and view their own specific results on the assessment.Read More
I’ve used a WordPress blog for course management over the last couple of years on my Algebra class’ website, earnthegrade.com. While Wiggio is certainly not a WordPress replacement for everybody, it is for me because of the way I’ve been using it. Here’s why I’ve used WordPress to host my blog at earnthegrade.com:Read More
Like many teachers, I want to provide my school blog in as many accessible formats as possible. One trending outlet for blog reading is through the Kindle; however, as it stands now, you cannot provide your blog free of charge through Amazon. It’s free for you to provide the content, but not free for your subscribers to receive the content through Amazon.
Until that changes, I’ve found a few ways to attain the end results I’m looking for, which is quality-Kindle access to my blog. Although Amazon does a fantastic job of converting blog content for reading on the Kindle, I don’t feel right about asking my students and their parents to pay a monthly fee to access my blog content on their Kindle, no matter how small that fee may be. It’s the principle of the matter I suppose. By searching and experimenting, I several different alternatives for publishing your content for reading on the Kindle for both free and reduced costs.
These are the methods I’m aware of. Below, I describe 3 ways you can publish your content for free, and then provide 3 resources where there’s a fee involved for sending content to the Kindle. If you know of more or have any other ideas, feel free to comment in the comments section at the end of the post.
3 Ways to Publish For Free:
Method 1: Self-Hosted WordPress Blog
Here’s what you’ll need:
In my opinion, this method is the simplest alternative to Amazon’s subscription-based blogs and provides quality delivery.
How to use it:
- Log in to your WordPress blog and access the Dashboard
- Active the WordPress Mobile Pack plugin
- Direct users to navigate to your website on the Kindle by clicking Menu
- Select Experimental
- Select launch browser
- Type in the URL of your WordPress blog
- Use the cursor to access the “go to” button in the url box
- Click the 5-way button
- That’s it! This is what K12mobilelearning.com looks like on the Kindle using this method:
With this method, I highly recommend having your students and their parents adding your blog site as a bookmark on their Kindle so you don’t have to type in the URL every time.
Method 2: Google Reader
By default, this lists all of your subscriptions. Initial access is a little bit clunky, but once you’ve logged in, the text cleans up well.
Recommendation: Have your students,students’ parents, or anyone else accessing your blog create a separate Google account that only has the RSS feeds related to your class or school. This will prevent too many of your subscriptions displaying, which can be a slight nuisance.
How to do it:
- Set up a Google Reader account if you don’t have one or would like to create a new one.
- Add your RSS feeds by clicking “Add a Subscription,” and then search for the blog you’re looking for.
- Turn on your Kindle and access the Home Page. Click the Menu button, and then select Experimental
- Select launch browser
- From the browser page, click “Menu” and select “Advanced Mode”
- Type the Mobile Reader URL (http://www.google.com/reader/m/) into the “Enter URL” bar at the top of the browser.
- You’ll have to log-in to Google Reader on your Kindle now, which is kind of a pain the first time. You’ll probably want to ensure that the box is ticked to remember your settings so that you don’t have to do this frequently.
Method 3: Instapaper (using your USB cable)
I really like this way of accessing my personal content. Not only can your students or parents use Instapaper to access your content, they can aggregate web pages of interest to them by “clipping” their web pages, which will then automatically show up in their Instapaper account. Follow this link to Instapaper’s site to learn more.
How to do it:
- You don’t have to set a password, but I highly recommend doing so. You don’t want anybody being able to just type in your username to access your clipped pages.
2. Follow the instructions on the page that displays after you register
- (All you need to do is just drag the “Read Later” bookmarklet to your bookmarks toolbar)
3. Now, when you (or your students, parents, other teachers, etc.) access a page they’d like to save and read later, simply click the “Read Later” button as shown in the picture below:
4. Plug your Kindle into your computer using the Kindle’s USB cord.
5. After you have all the articles you’d like to read on your Kindle, log back in to Instapaper and select the “Unread” link in the to menu. From there, you should see a Download section that says Kindle (see the picture below).
6. Click this icon, and save the file to your Kindle folder titled documents. That’s it! Now when you turn your Kindle back on, this Instapaper download should show up as a new download.
Free is always great, but some of us don’t mind paying a little bit for added convenience. If your students and parents are downloading multiple news feeds and blog posts, methods 3 and 4 will almost certainly be cheaper than paying Amazon’s fees. Here are two great alternatives that still require a little bit of money:
3 Ways to Publish With Pay:
Method 4: Instapaper (wireless transfer option)
Instapaper is great because they allow two options. Admittedly, I’ve liked the wireless transfer option – it routinely sends my clippings to my Kindle without me ever having to modify settings beyond the first time. But beware – Amazon charges (at the time of this posting) $0.15 to have files sent to you wirelessly.
How to do it:
- Follow these instructions on Instapaper’s website. With new Kindle editions being released, instructions may change, which is why I’m directly linking to Instapaper’s instructions. It’s a very straightforward process, just read carefully and make sure you understand that you’ll be paying $0.15 per delivery through your Amazon account.
- You have the option to receive deliveries at multiple intervals, which is great if you’re looking to receive downloads every day or just once a week.
Method 5: Kindlefeeder
Kindlefeeder is a service that allows you to aggregate your selected feeds and then have them delivered to your Kindle. They have two plans – a free basic version (their service is free, but you’ll still have to pay the $0.15 delivery charge to Amazon from what I understand), which allows you to subscribe up to 12 feeds and have it delivered to you free of charge from them, or a premium service that offers unlimited feeds and extra service features.
Even though it can potentially be a little pricer than Instapaper, it’s still likely to be cheaper than Amazon’s blog subscriptions if you download several news feeds.
How to do it:
- With new Kindle models being released that carry new features, I invite you to read the up-to-date instructions hosted on their website.
- Please, please, please be aware that every time you have a file sent to your Kindle through services like this, you will pay $0.15 (the rate at the time of publishing this post) per transfer!
And lastly… if none of the above methods are appealing to you…
Method 6: Just host access to your blog through Amazon…
Even though your students or parents may have to pay a very small monthly fee (as little as $0.99 per month), Amazon delivers your blog content to the Kindle in high-quality fashion. Maybe your students and parents are less technically inclined, and this route may get you from point A to point B quicker. Again, for me, it’s the principle of the matter that’s turned me off to this method. Perhaps you can justify it by reinvesting your blog’s profits back into your classroom?
Those are just a few methods I’ve seen that will help increase access to your blog through the Amazon Kindle. Are there any other methods you’re aware of that maybe I missed? Feel free to comment in the comments section below.Read More