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I really appreciate you responding to my question about tags.  I suspect I mis-communicated, and/or got my wires crossed somewhere.  I meant to thank you for creating the category “Technology” so that we can sort all our posts by our group.  Having been through several permutations of what to call us, I am liking the Technology Team- almost as if we are a CIG, and I thought that was where your head was going when I noticed the Technology category appear.

In many ways we are conducting an inquiry; posing and answers questions that are problematic to our particular practice, which is of course supporting those awesome Arts Educator 2.0 groups with technology.

Seems fitting then that we have a category to identify our group, and make it really easy for anyone who wants to see our tech talk tips to find them.

If you are out there listening and you missed a tech talk chat and would like to see what we have been yakking about, just click on “Technology” in the list of categories.  You can find the list on the left of the blog right under the names of the bloggers.

And thanks to you, I now know to tag my post “tech talk”.     That means that anyone who goes to the Technology category can also figure out what we are yakking about pretty quickly.  And yep, I know I can add another tag if I want to, and it doesn’t have to be on a list anywhere.  So if my tech talk is about …hmmm… tags for example.. I can put “tags” in as a tag and Voila!  Now anyone looking up Technology and Tags can jump right here.

BTW Brian Nicholson did a great rundown on the whole tag system here.

This system quickly helps anyone reading the blog find things.   So categories and tags help you quickly find:

What’s shakin with Inquiring  heARTS?

How are the Balancing Act’s plans for the final presentation going?

Any new tech resources from the Independents?

What has M & D been up to lately?

Or maybe….

Did anyone read what I read for the Reading 1 assignment? (sort by reading 1)

What is Create, Perform, Respond and why was it a Reading 2 possibility? (sort by reading 2) 

Did anyone other than me feel confused about their inquiry in the first few weeks? (sort by Inquiry 1)

How is inquiry playing out in the classrooms now that we are pretty far along in the year? (sort by Inquiry 2)

Nifty Keeno!

Hello Cory,

There have definitely been times when I need a picture or two to illustrate a point when I write a blog post. And this is one of those times…

But where do I go to find one?

This photo, "Scratched red question mark" is copyright (c) unknown by takomabibelot and made available under a Attribution license

Personally I like to look for images on the Creative Commons area on Flickr. But first, what is Creative Commons? In a nutshell it is a non-profit organization started by this guy (Larry Lessig):

Here is a video called “Shared Culture” that explains the concept of Creative Commons:

A Shared Culture

Creative Commons License

A Shared Culture by Jesse Dylan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike (CC BY-NC-SA) license.

So why would arts teachers want to know about Creative Commons? In an age where it is easy to “grab” a picture for a blog post, it is important to know who owns the rights to the image. Creative Commons licenses allow the owner of an image or other media artifact to share under with all of us under certain specifications. See FAQ for other Creative Commons questions. For more information on Creative Commons licenses, go here. As you can see on the Creative Commons area on Flickr, you can search for images based on the different types of attribution licenses.

Of course every arts educator is concerned with teaching students how to properly cite media on blogs and wikis. This is one resource that is good for every arts teacher to use and model for his/her students: See example 5 for a citing all the information for the image that you use from the Creative Commons area on Flickr. Here is an example of an image that I researched and cited:

This photo, "Scratched red question mark" is copyright (c) unknown by takomabibelot and made available under a Attribution license

So I am looking for an image online…. My rule of thumb is that If I don’t know who owns the rights to an image online or it is unclear whether or not it is Copyrighted, then I don’t use it. The Creative Commons area on Flickr provides one place where creators of images don’t mind sharing as long as we follow the guidelines for attributions for their work. ; )

Another area for finding other media such as videos and music is in the search area on Creative Commons. There are many items for use in blogs (providing that appropriate attribution information is included.

I hope that arts teachers will teach students this skill and talk with students about the ethics of researching and posting pictures with appropriate citations. This is part of teaching digital media literacy research skills. This also goes with the territory when pictures are posted on a blog. Otherwise students (and teachers) may have to spend years responding to emails from media owners saying, “please remove my copyrighted image from your site” or worse yet respond to threats of legal action.

Hope to see you in Creative Commons land!


It’s me again.   Ok first I bet you want to know what that picture is all about.  Read on Macbeth!

The wheels have been turning.  Dangerous I know.  I  just read an article today about teaching students how to deliver a monologue.  It stressed the importance of remembering that even a monologue is a  conversation.  That person is talking to someone – the other person just hasn’t had a chance to speak yet.

Monologues should actually feel like a dialogue.  Share ah ha moments, tell a story, capture interest, open the door to conversation enough so that the audience should be looking over their shoulders to see who is going to answer.

Wonder if blogs should be that way too?  A conversation as if you are talking to someone and expecting an answer.  That would mean I would have to imagine who I was talking to, what might get them interested in answering me, and why I wanted to talk to them in the first place.

And just like when I teach acting I always say that every bit of dialogue has to do with the character’s main issue or through line- blog posts kinda have to do with our main issue, the inquiry.  Right?

And like in any good play, I guess I would also have to make sure that I fill in the back story a little bit- give enough information so that they understand why that picture is important to the inquiry for example.

Wow-  Shakespeare was right- all the world’s a stage! So what do you think?   Am I just a crazy actor or could I be on to something?


I blogged today about RSS feed and how it made my life Really Simpler… Then I looked at the post and immediately had to get to my Dashboard and “Edit”  because I forgot to use categories and tags.

So, first off, my bad!!

Secondly- thanks loads for setting up the Technology category.  Now I can easily keep track of our blog conversations and scope out the latest links you share.

Thirdly – did I tag it correctly?  Can you check?  What was your vision for tags to help us sort information?

I process about 75 emails a day, and on a good day have a backlog of 150+.  So why would I want to get yet one more email? To keep up with what Arts Educator 2.0 folks are blogging, of course. I signed up for email notifications from our blog and I am so glad I did!

Here is just a random sampling of some of the things I’ve learned.  Check out inquiry to compare and contrast Romeo & Juliet with West Side Story.

Or strange and wonderful places to exhibit art works, such as art on their ceiling tiles or in student lockers.

Want to know about the value and challenges of letting students drive the learning? Check out the story of Rodeo,  or the blog post about some data surprises.  (reminds me of the science experiment with the goldfish who kept dying.. but that’s another story) – data driven decision making and inquiry- gotta love it!

And if that is not enough how about ideas like using blogs and wikis with students  convincing your students of the value of practice  (note to students:  be careful what you wish for! unless it is a magical world of course).

These are just some random samplings from the over 140 gems on this blog!

… so much to view.. so little time!! The email notifications I receive are great!   But….remember those 150 emails in my backlog.  Talk about GUILT!

What to do?  What to do?  I know!!!  RSS Feed to the rescue!   I just clicked on this:

and Voila!  WordPress will now send this blog to my Google Reader account.  Now I just check Google Reader every day to keep up with the latest gems from Arts Educator!  I can also get it to go to my desktop whenever I open Google- like MSN News but special :0)  Now that’s Really Simple!!! (RSS- Get it?)  Anybody else game to try?  Give a shout out if you need help!

Check out Kathy’s  guide to Everything! I’ve copied the page relating to iPads in the classroom, but she really has everything you could possibly need to get started on anything here.

Did you know that most people don’t take time to scroll to the bottom of a blog post? This has implications for how many pictures, media elements and amount of text we include in our posts.

For example, while pictures can be important elements to include in a blog post, it is important that pictures don’t create the “never ending scrolling down the page” effect. This is particularly true if there isn’t any supporting text (which is can be very important to include in picture captions BTW). In many cases, it is more effective to include a couple pictures with accompanying descriptions (and citations where necessary).

Too much text can have the same effect… It can be an interesting challenge to write a blog entry that no one has to scroll through to get to the bottom. In fact, people probably read more when they don’t have to work too hard to scroll down the page. What do you think?

These days I don’t really have a lot of time to write long blog posts which is probably a good thing for you… Do your blog posts appeal to others who spend about 3 seconds on your page? Want to learn more about how to be more effective in your blogging? Here are a few quick resources that may help…

For those that are interested in learning more about blog effective practices, go here:

This link has a link to a few student blogs and other ideas for blogging in education:

Here is a link with safe and responsible blog ideas for schools:

I am curious what our participants consider the most important effective practices for blogging? What tips do you have for other teachers who want you to read their entries? Any ideas for blogging with students in the classroom? More coming soon…

As I read some of the blog posts that ArtsEducato2.0 participants are writing, I find myself curious about how technology is embedded in their practice? And how technology supports their work with students?

At the last ArtsEducator2.0 meeting, Donna Fox shared how her students are collaborating with her in a class wiki. Other participants have written briefly about technology embedded in classroom experiences over the last few years and about the potential for others. For example, Bethany Hughes wrote about the potential for mobile devices in one of her posts:

“I think that there are many activities that I could offer students if they were allowed to use their phones, mp3 players, etc. in my class.  In this time of the availability of  information, I feel like my phone, or other mobile technology could help me provide students with new and changing information, as well as, the tools for students to discover this information on their own.”

This makes me wonder what other ways participants are using technology to inform their inquiry work this year? Is anyone blogging with their students? Where? Does anyone have any other examples of how technology is supporting inquiry work and student learning? How would we access them? Or maybe there are other thoughts participants have around technology?

Cory and I had a challenge described in this post in adding the “Itsy Bitsy Blogger” mp3 file to the blog because it was too large for the WordPress blog. After doing some research after the suggestion from Mary Elizabeth about compressing the file, I found some solutions. My friend Jordan also helped with some specific instructions on one way to compress a large file:

“I have always just used iTunes. Under Preferences>Advanced>Import, you can set the bit rate/overall file type compression to lower the quality. You can then, under Advanced menu at the top of the screen, reconvert any file you like to make a smaller size. Unless you’d prefer to just ‘Compress’ the file (or archive depending on which term you use)… this will create a zip file you can then upload.”

However, now I have discovered that only the following file types are allowed to be uploaded to a WordPress blog:

“jpg, jpeg, png, gif, pdf, doc, ppt, odt, pptx, docx, pps, ppsx, xls, xlsx”

Because of this, I decided to just add a direct link to the mp3 music file I have added to the ArtsEducator2.0 wiki, so now you too can sing along! The lyrics are there also. Thanks to David Berlin and Cory Wilkerson who were instrumental in this composition! And to Bethany Hughes who also consulted with us!

February 2020
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