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I've moved the blog!
I've moved my blog to www.coolcatteacher.com as well as all of the posts from this blog. Learn more...
Tuesday, November 03, 2015
Teachers want to help students improve. But this is a time of year when many teachers struggle. Over on coolcatteacher.com there are ten posts that blew the doors off in popularity. Here are the top 10 Blog posts of October 2015 on the Cool Cat Teacher Blog.
Thursday, October 24, 2013
Visit my new blog at www.coolcatteacher.com. Here's more about the move...
It is official, I'm moving from Blogger to Wordpress. It has taken almost 4 months but it is as ready as it is going to get. I've powered up the wordpress over at coolcatteacher.com and made the jump from weebly. (nothing against weebly, it is a great place for static sites.)
I thought some of you might want to know why I am moving and also how I did it:
Why am I moving from Blogger to Wordpress?
First of all, the decision to move is a very hard decision for many reasons. The time it has taken and the learning curve are two big reasons. Plus, it is very easy to really mess up the old site I've spent so much time building.
1. Wordpress has more add ins and flexibility.
I reached the point several years a go that I was having to do a lot of hand coding in HTML on Blogger just to get it do the basics. I even bought 2 different Blogger themes and installed them only to have one break and the other never even work. So, I settled on a standard theme, but I still wasn't pleased with my blogger blog. Images were running off blog post and I found myself fighting at the code level with many posts instead of focusing on good writing. I appreciate all that Google has done with the Blogger platform - it is very stable and has so many great features that are wonderful for beginners. I just got tired of trying to write everything in HTML.
2. I'm concerned about Google's new Terms of Service
Google's new Terms of service is pretty questionable as it relates to claiming ownership to what you write on your blog. I have a sign by my bed cross stiched by my high school guidance counselor:
"A good name is to be had before great riches."
While it is an easy way to be poor, I guess, it is good advice. With the new terms of service anything written on Google plus (or on the blogger blog as I interpret the TOS) can be used in an advertisement that Google shares using my photo and what I said.
Right now, I'm leaving my content here, but I've imported every post to the new site and if Google makes me take everything down but this post because of some crazy endorsements or something, that is what will happen. To take our faces and "endorsements" and turn them into ads without our consent or fair compensation is over the line and is a slippery slope which Facebook first started when they started showing friends who liked a page. (You can turn off Google's shared endorsements by following these instructions.)
3. Free can cost you everything: pay for valuable services
Every March, Google pares down on products that don't make them money. Blogger is free. But there is no such thing is free.
But more importantly, every March, I've started wondering, "when is it going to be Blogger." While it is one of the top blogging platforms - it is free (unless you purchase a domain name) and I have little or no control over outages or problems. There have been times a blog post did extremely well where you might have had trouble getting to the site. Now, I pay for my site and all of that is under my control. Yes, it is costing me money and I'm going to have to hoof it to do some more freelance writing and a tad more advertising, perhaps (not a big fan of ads, just a few).
Free is free. I'm convinced that "free" is an excuse for no customer service and I'm willing to pay for any service I depend upon. I would have paid for Google Reader to stay around as well. But the fact is that if I have a problem on blogger, it is my problem. Google is required to give no customer service and can always argue back "but you're not paying for it - we're giving it to you (wait for it, breathe in) FOR FREE." Gifts don't happen and free doesn't either. Services always cost you something - they always do.
4. Time to move on
I've always resisted the pressure to move "because that is what real bloggers do" just because the traffic on blogspot is so incredibly high. But, there are times you just have to make the move because it is the right thing to do.
5. Coolcatteacher.com won't be blocked in schools like Blogspot
Blogspot blogs are blocked in many schools. Hopefully I can reach more teachers where they are every day instead of having to be read at night or on weekends. That said, many schools depend on the "white list" approach which means someone has to ask for a blog to be read. I'd appreciate if you are one of those people who recommends my blog to others, if you'll check and ask for it to be available at school. Many of you tell me that you do recommend my blog, and for that, I"m very grateful for your trust.
Moving from Blogger to Wordpress in just a few steps
Step A: Purchase domain name and establish ranking in search engines (2-3 years a go)
at 10:09 AM
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
On November 21, 2013, Everyartist Live! will have an exciting project for all elementary students.
Here’s how it works.
Elementary Art Project Theme
How to prepare for this art project:
Visit the website and view videos about the event, creativity, and this year’s theme. Your students don’t need Internet access, but if they have it, they’ll have more places to create.
What will happen:
Teachers, parents, or mentors will upload the gratitude-themed art through the app (to be launched in November) or via the website.
What will happen with the artwork?
The artwork will be displayed in two places: online and at your school as you choose to do it.
Student Art On the Website: The online art work will be displayed for many to see. Student work is only shown by first name last initial (or pseudonym). Adults control the names, so those are set up by the adults uploading the work.
At your school: Display the art as you see fit. Some schools are lining hallways and others are displaying outside. There are so many ways to get creative.
How does this align with what you’re doing in November?
Gratitude fits perfectly with the celebration of the US Holiday of Thanksgiving.
Remember that this is also an important opportunity to help students get creative and be involved with their parents in the conversation about art and gratitude. What a great cross curricular project!
What does this cost?
This project is free for anyone, but you’ll need to sign up at https://signup.everyartist.me/. Parents, teachers, and caregivers will be the adults uploading the artwork to protect the privacy of the kids.
(See my previous article Creativity for Kids: November 21 and every day)
Why are they doing this?
Here's the interesting part of the story. If you want to learn more, you can look at the website, but for me, when I decided to come on board and tell their story was when I read their profile on kickstarter. The profile talks about the founding artist Brendan O'Connell and his story. I'll quote:
That’s why we call ourselves Everyartist.me. We are the story of Brendan O’Connell, Artist – and of Brendan’s vision to democratize that creative experience to kids everywhere.
Brendan is a professional artist.
He believes he was born to make art.
He earns his living as an artist.
Brendan was lucky enough to grow up with a strong support system that helped him develop his creativity into becoming a painter. That support sustained him as he honed his craft as an artist on the streets of Paris. Tough times, but Brendan knew art was what he was destined to do.The more I dig into this story and what they are doing, the more I just love this project and the purpose of everyartist.me. I hope you'll join in on November 21 and be part of the emphasis to support the creativity of every child.
He became an artist despite being told as a child that art was not something he was good at.
That was misguided advice, and Brendan vowed that someday he would figure out a way to keep that kind of thing from happening to other kids.
Now is that time.
Along with some like-minded partners, Brendan created Everyartist.me. Everyartist.me is a child focused movement to support the expression of creativity innate in every child.
Everyartist.me’s purpose is simple . . . Spark Human Creativity"
EveryArtist Live! is an exciting project and with an exciting future and you can join now. Yes, I'm paid for this post, but honestly, it is a post I would have written anyway. As with everything here, I jealously guard your classroom and mine to help you find those new things that are worthwhile additions to your classroom.
I hope you'll take to email this website to people in your school so they can join in too!
Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a “sponsored post.” The company who sponsored it compensated me via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value to write it. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
at 7:21 AM