The availability of web applications that allow you to use embeded code has increased dramatically over the last year. This in itself has had a major impact on how I publish to the web. As a once strong proponent of frontpage and html and part time website administrator I have been pleasantly relieved of many of my prior trials involving our school website. Over this past school year I have had to tinker very little with the Upper Primary School website once it had been restructured for sy 07/08. Much of this is due to our school's new blogging system which has allowed me to convert the teachers in Upper Primary into blog masters instead of the traditional webmasters that were previously required. This in itself has been a great step forward and empowered more people with not only the tools but the enthusiasm to go forth and publish
All of this is wonderful, but perhaps the greatest intitial hook for many staff members and students is that not only can they publish written work with ease, but they can embed a great range of presentations into their blog posts. The cool factor is what snags them immediately! This year we have experimented with mind maps using bubble.us, slide shows with picture trail, slide, picassa, We have begun to experiment with Time Line Creator, as well as other apps. While this list appears short there are a huge number of other web applications out there and we have a long trial list ahead of us. I have to keep reminding myself that as exciting as this is there is a need to take it slowly in order to determine which are the best tools for our school to adopt for our students. This in itself can be challenging.
I must admit that while I am a huge proponent of web applications with embeddable code, the versatility of which has spoiled me in many ways. Being spoiled can sometimes lead to disappointment when things don't go as expected. I came across wordle over a week ago and fell in love with it immediately. As soon as I had my playtime I took the next logical step, trying to paste my word cloud into a blog. Initially I thought my frustration might have been the result of a goof-up on my part, but no, it appears that while you can link from this application you cannot embed your work. On further investigation, I found out that I wasn't alone in that particular boat, others, many others had bemoaned the same tragedy. I can't figure out why someone would go to the trouble to create such a great application and then allow it to fall short by not supplying embeddable code. That said I am an optimist and expect that there is a good reason for it. Maybe it is in the works still. I certainly hope so as I can see such educational potential in wordle.
This is my cloud. I print screened it then cropped it and saved as a pic. The long way around but here it is-my del.icio.us tag cloud. Not very original, in the sense that I am probably the millionth person to wordle their tag cloud, but very informative...just look at the large words and you can tell immediately where my interests lie.