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Getting Started with the PS 124 Blogs

September 26, 2006

Hello everyone! Welcome to the first of a series of posts about the PS 124 blogs. This information is designed to help you get comfortable with blogs in general, and understand how the PS 124 blogs will be used. If you have any questions, please add your comments to these posts, or simply contact Rhys or Pablo.

Let’s start with some of the jargon you may be hearing:

  • blog: Short for web log, this just refers to a special type of web site where new bits of information are published regularly. Blogs make it easy for anyone to publish news to the Internet. Also see the blog page on wikipedia
  • Post: A post or “entry” is the most basic form of content on a blog — you’re reading a post right now! To make a post, you have to log in first (more on that later…). As you get more comfortable with blogs, you’ll start making posts on your own blog.
  • Comment: A comment is a reply to a post. Comments can be used to add thoughts, ideas, or questions relevant to the post. You (and your students) will be commenting on posts throughout the year. To make a comment you need to log in first, or provide your name and email address (more on that later…). And of course feel free to comment on this post below!
  • Page: A page is a more “static” or unchanging piece of information. This blog currently has one page linked from the top: How to Use the Tech Pages
  • Save vs Publish: When you’re adding a new post, you can save the post at any time to be sure you don’t lose anything. The post will not appear on the blog until you publish it. Sometimes it’s useful to save a post first then finish writing it and publish it later, or to get feedback from another staff member before you publish it.
  • Categories: Categories are ways to group posts together, so you can browse blog content about a certain topic. The categories for this blog are listed in the left-hand column. Each post is assigned to one or more categories, which are listed at the bottom of the post.
  • Blogroll: A list of other blogs that are pertinent or in some way related to the blog you’re reading. This blog does not have a blogroll yet, though we might add one. Most PS 124 blogs will have a blogroll linking to all the other PS 124 blogs.
  • RSS and feeds: These terms refer to ways of publishing blog content in a way that can be subscribed to by others. For those of us who read many blogs regularly, RSS feeds let us read all of our news at once. You probably won’t need to use these features for the PS 124 blogs, but these are terms that you’ll see everywhere in the blogging world. You’ll notice subscription links for this blogs posts/entries and comments in the right-hand column. For more information, check out this recent post on the PBS “learning.now” blog (and note that we left a comment at the bottom!).

Next, here’s an overview of what PS 124 is doing with blogs:

PS 124 is developing a network of blogs for use by staff and in a guided way by PS 124 students in the classroom. Certain blogs (like this one) will be used for administrative news and announcements, while others will be used directly by teachers and students in the classroom. The blogs will be available at specific addresses within wordpress.com (e.g. ps124staff.wordpress.com) A full list (“blogroll”) will be included in the right-hand column of most PS 124 blogs. All PS 124 staff members who will use the blogs should sign-up for an account at wordpress.com. We’ll be helping you with that individually.

Lastly, here are some general places you can get help or read more:

That’s it for now! We’ll be posting more information about this soon. And again, your thoughts and questions are welcome — just add “comments” below!

— Andy

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