You might be a blogger if…

…you take an online blogging course!

i_love_blogging

Well, taking the course doesn’t guarantee that you will actually become a frequent blogger, but it will tell you almost everything you ever wanted to know about blogging, and it will certainly help you get started. I am proud to be an alumni of Blogging 101, or the  “BlogWritingCourse,” and you can take the same course, starting October 12!

Blogging 101 is an 8-week, instructor-led course, and it’s only $59.00! What a fantastic deal!

The instructors are fabulous and trust me, learning how to be a blogger in a class with other newbies helps build your confidence, and it’s so much more fun learning and blogging with others who are just like you! You don’t have to spend hours fiddling with the technology and frustrating yourself; just go into the classroom and ask somebody! Quick answers from instructors and helpful support from classmates definitely motivate you to keep going!

I would recommend this course to anyone who is thinking about blogging, who is already blogging but wants to fine-tune their skills, or who really wants to blog, but is scared by the thought of all that technology. At the very least, go visit the site, and after reading about it, then you can decide if taking the course is something that interests you.

Oh, and it is an online course, so if you have not had the experience of taking an online course, then this would be a great place to start! If you are a traditional teacher, thinking about making the move to online teaching, this would be a great first experience. Most online schools want their teachers to have had the experience of being a student in an online class, so they can understand the problems and frustrations faced by their students. Really, taking (and completing) this class is a win-win situation! Not only do you obtain the knowledge to start your own blog, but you also end up with a little something you can add to your resume! Student

What are you waiting for?

The link is over there in the right-hand column of this page…yep, you have to scroll down a little, but you’ll see the gold and black button; just click on it and poof…there you are!

Okay, for those who are too lazy to scroll…here’s another way to get there:

BlogWritingCourse

Enjoy!

Oh, and please come back and tell me about your experience in the class! I need more blogs to add to my personal “blogroll”!

Until next time,

Laugh a little; learn a lot; live long!

Viki

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YOU MIGHT BE AN ONLINE TEACHER IF…

So, the other day, I received another funny email with what is said to be Jeff Foxworthy’s “YOU MIGHT BE A SCHOOL TEACHER IF…” snippets. I have always enjoyed reading them, and this particular day, the words motivated me to go cyber surfing for something funny about ONLINE teachers. What did I find? Nothing! Can you believe that??!! Well, I said to myself, “harrumph,” and then I decided to “borrow” from Jeff Foxworthy and come up with my own eloquent snippets. I tried to locate an email address for Jeff Foxworthy, so I could ask permission to use his snippets; I really do want to be a good Internet citizen…would that make me a good “Netizen?” <Really hoping so.>Netizen At any rate, I give Jeff Foxworthy credit for his thoughts and thank him for sparking a nugget of witticism in my own brain files. At least, I hope a couple of them will bring forth a smile, especially if you’re an online teacher. I will start by posting Foxworthy’s thoughts beside my own. Then, below the comparison, you will find a few more snippets of my own creation, and a few that are adapted from tidbits I’ve gathered around the Web. My sincere apologies if you recognize any of these; I will be happy to apply credit where credit is due. All you have to do is let me know. I mean no harm; I just like to make people smile and share the love. Oh, and if you have another snippet to add, feel free to comment!

Teacher+Title

YOU MIGHT BE A TEACHER IF…                      vs.   YOU MIGHT BE AN ONLINE TEACHER IF…

Jeff Foxworthy Viki Gardner (me)
1. You can hear 25 voices behind you and know exactly which one belongs to the child out of line. 1. You can hear an email beep when you are in the other side of the house.
2. You get a secret thrill out of laminating something. 2. You get a secret thrill out of being invisible on Skype.
3. You walk into a store and hear the words “It’s Ms/Mr.> _________” and know you have been spotted. 3. You log into your classroom and hear the beep on Skype and know you have been spotted.
4. You have 25 people that accidentally call you Mom/Dad at one time or another. 4. You have 25 people that accidentally forget to take you off their mailing lists.
5. You can eat a multi-course meal in under twenty minutes. 5. You can take all the time you want to eat a multi-course meal, so long as it can sit next to your computer.
6. You’ve trained yourself to go to the bathroom at two distinct times of the day: lunch and planning period. 6. You wait until you can stand it no more, and then you broadcast on Skype, “brb” and run to the bathroom.
7. You start saving other people’s trash, because most likely, you can use that toilet paper tube or plastic butter tub for something in the classroom. 7. You either donate or throw out all your trash, because you can’t use it in the online classroom.
8. You believe the teachers’ lounge should be equipped with a margarita machine. 8. You believe you should set up your desktop in the wet bar.
9. You want to slap the next person who says “Must be nice to work 8 to 3 and have summers off.” 9. You want to slap the next person who says “Must be nice to work 8 to 3 and have summers off.”
10. You believe chocolate is a food group. 10. You believe caffeine in any form is a food group.
11. You can tell if it’s a full moon without ever looking outside. 11. You can’t tell if it’s a full moon without looking outside.
12. You believe that unspeakable evils will befall you if anyone says “Boy, the kids sure are mellow today.” 12. You believe that unspeakable evils will befall you if anyone finds out who you really are.
13. You feel the urge to talk to strange children and correct their behavior when you are out in public. 13. You feel the urge to grab strangers’ Blackberries and iPods and run with them.
14. You believe in aerial spraying of Ritalin. 14. You believe in aerial spraying of No Doz.
15. You think caffeine should be available in intravenous form. 15. You think caffeine should be available in intravenous form.
16. You spend more money on school stuff than you do on your own needs. 16. You spend more money on Web 2.0 applications than you do on your own needs.
17. You can’t pass the school supply aisle without getting at least five items! 17. You can’t read an educational site without clicking on at least five hyperlinks!
18. You ask your friend if the left hand turn he just made was a “good choice or a bad choice.” 18. You ask your friend if his school is “accredited or non-accredited.”
19. You find true beauty in a can full of perfectly sharpened pencils. 19. You find true beauty in a classroom where all the hyperlinks work.
20. You are secretly addicted to hand sanitizer and 20. You are secretly addicted to Diet Mountain Dew and
finally, finally,
21. You understand instantaneously why a child behaves a certain way after meeting his or her parents. 21. You understand instantaneously why a child responds in a certain way after reading the first email from his or her parents.

More from me…YOU MIGHT BE AN ONLINE TEACHER IF…

You panic at the sound of thunder because you know you have to turn off the computer.u28555339

You wander aimlessly through the house during a thunderstorm.

“Sheesh…how did it get so late?” comes out of your mouth at least once a night.

The verbs, “cooking and cleaning” are not in your vocabulary.

You know the meanings of the terms, “digital dinosaur,” “digital immigrant” and “digital native.”

You think that looking out the window is a form of entertainment.

You get flushed and excited when you hear the beep that signals, “You’ve got mail.”

You live in your PJs and fuzzy slippers.

You don’t know if it’s hot or cold, rainy or sunny outside.

Your teaching day starts at 1:00 pm.

“Turning in early” means anytime before 2 am.

You watch television via YouTube, Sidereel or Hulu.

You think of doing the laundry as a social event.

You understand Internet verbs, such as “Facebooking,” “Myspacing,” “Youtubing” and “Twittering” (aka “tweeting”).

You believe that cereal is a meal any time of the day.

You identify schools by their Internet domains.

You have difficulty reading anything that doesn’t have hyperlinks.

The concept of free time scares you.

You use smileys to communicate approval of your colleagues’ ideas. Smiley%20Face_ThumbsUp

You go by your SKYPE screen name.

You have so many usernames and passwords, you don’t have a clue who you really are.

You believe that your colleagues actually look like their avatars.

You buy Visine in bulk.

Your best student demonstrates her intense passion for a discussion by typing IN ALL CAPS.

Your back is hunched from sitting slumped in a chair, not from carrying heavy tote bags.

You realize your students have forgotten the difference between “surfing” and “researching.”

Faculty meetings are held in a chat room on a Friday night.

You take your laptop on vacation and actually work.

You don’t remember your last “weekend off.”

You can email and cook at the same time.

You find yourself citing websites in conversation.

You have ever attempted to track your own progress across the Internet.

You are startled to meet people who neither need nor want to “Twitter.”Twitter_Bird_Logo_by_iPotion.png

You rate coffee shops by the availability of outlets for your laptop.

You tell the time of day by looking on your taskbar.

You regard ibuprofen as a vitamin.

You consider online job applications to be works in progress.

You have your resume in several different “databases” at all times.

You have given up trying to keep your documents and files organized and are now just trying to keep them all in the same general area.

You have accepted guilt as an inherent feature of relaxation.

You live 500 miles away from your school and you commute to class in warm, fuzzy slippers or flip-flops, depending on the season.

fuzzy slippersFLIP-FLOPS

Remember, if you have another snippet to add, feel free to comment!

Until next time,

Laugh a little; learn a lot; live long!

Viki

Hello teachers!

Are you a K-12 teacher? Are you contemplating teaching online (but you’re apprehensive, scared, terrified)?  Then you might want to stop here for a bit and find out if online teaching appeals to you. Wait, did you say you are already an online K-12 teacher?  WOO HOO!!

 

WELCOME TO MY WORLD!

 

Look around.  Put your feet up and relax a while. Here, you will learn about necessary skills, time management, and appropriate attire for working online. You can call me your chum, coach, cohort, collaborator, colleague, companion, compeer, comrade, confidante, confrere, counselor, crony…

 

…aw, heck; just call me “friend.” 🙂

 

We’ll have lots to do and say here, but before we get started…you might want to know more about me and why I love online teaching. I promise we’re going to talk about that A LOT, and I’ll give you my first reason a little later in this post.  For now, we’re still in the getting to know each other phase so first things first.  Let’s talk about why a happy classroom teacher would even consider becoming an online teacher. After all, the traditional classroom teacher has security and benefits. The traditional teacher enjoys several paid time off days, plus a week off at Thanksgiving, a couple weeks off for a winter break, a week off for a spring break and three… well, okay…two months off in the summer.

 

So, it’s a fantastic job with good pay and lots of time off, right?

 

<…waiting for the guffaws to die down…>

 

Well, okay, that’s just what recruiters want you to think. 

 

Since I don’t believe in re-inventing the wheel, I’m going to share with you a fun story that essentially reeks with truth. It’s not subtle, it obviously lays it all right out there on the table for you and explains things better than I ever could, no matter how long I sit here and chew on my pen. (By the way, I used to have a pen addiction, but that’s another story.)

 

This particular message has been circulating through teachers’ email boxes for several years. You’ve probably read it at one time or another, but I’m repeating it here, because I may want to refer to it in the future.  I have no idea who the originator is, or who wrote it. I would very much like to give that person credit and invite them here to talk to us on a regular basis, so if you wrote it, please contact me!

 

Okay, okay, here it is.  Let me set it up for you.  A young, eager, optimistic and newly graduated teacher applicant has just interviewed with an administrator at a public school. After being offered a position and listening to the policies and procedures, the administrator asks the applicant for comments, questions, etc.  Here’s what that young, eager, optimistic applicant replies:    

 

“Let me see if I’ve got this right. You want me to go into that room with all those kids and fill their every waking moment with a love for learning. Not only that, I’m supposed to instill a sense of pride in their ethnicity, behaviorally modify disruptive behavior, observe them for signs of abuse, gang involvement and T-shirt messages.

 

I am to fight the war on drugs and sexually transmitted diseases, check their backpacks for guns or other weapons and raise their self-esteem. I’m to teach them patriotism, good citizenship, sportsmanship and fair play, how and where to register to vote, how to balance a checkbook and how to apply for a job.

 

I am to check their heads occasionally for lice, maintain a safe and nurturing environment, recognize signs of potential antisocial behavior, offer advice, write letters of recommendation for student employment and scholarships, encourage respect for the cultural diversity of others, and, oh yeah, always make sure that I give the girls in my class 50 percent of my attention.

 

I’m required by my contract to be working on my own time summer and evenings at my own expense toward advance certification and a master’s degree; and after school, I am to attend committee and faculty meetings and participate in staff development training to maintain my employment status. If there is a club or extracurricular activity that needs my expertise, I am expected to work on my own time to sponsor, supervise and maybe even raise funds for those extracurricular activities.

 

I am to be a paragon of virtue larger than life, such that my very presence will awe my students into being obedient and respectful of authority. I am to pledge allegiance to supporting family values, a return to the basics, and to my current administration. I am to incorporate technology into the learning, and monitor all Web sites while building a personal relationship with each student. I am to decide who might be potentially dangerous and/or liable to commit crimes in school or who is possibly being abused, and I can be sent to jail for not mentioning these suspicions.

 

I am to make sure all students pass the state and federally mandated testing and all classes, whether or not they attend school on a regular basis or complete any of the work assigned. Plus, I am expected to make sure that all of the students with handicaps are guaranteed a free and equal education, regardless of their mental or physical handicap. I am to communicate frequently with each student’s parent by letter, phone and grade card. I must ensure that no child will be left behind.

 

I’m to do all of this with just a piece of chalk, one computer, a few books, a bulletin board, a 45 minute more-or-less planning/conference time and a big smile, all on a starting salary that qualifies my family for food stamps in many states.” 

 

The applicant sighs heavily and asks, “Is that all?”  

The administrator shrugs.  

The applicant looks straight into the administrator’s eyes and says, 

“And you expect me NOT TO PRAY?”
 

So, reason #1 why I love teaching online: I get to pray anytime I want.

 

If you’re a K-12 online teacher, what’s your #1 reason for teaching online?

 

If you’re a K-12 traditional teacher, what’s the #1 reason stopping you from teaching online?

 

Until next time: laugh a little; learn a lot; live long!