Thursday, February 24, 2005

WSI Free and Open 2

Welcome to the Western Sydney Institute Staff who have asked me to run a workshop in the use of free and open software for teaching and learning (primarily online).

If you are the WSI staff I'm referring to, you have probably come to this site after receiving an email from the email group called TeachAndLearnOnline. When you have finished looking around, come back to this article and commence step 1.

Step 1. Set up your own blogspot.
If you scroll to the top of this website you'll see in the top right corner a button reading "get your own blog". Right click that button and open the link in a new window.
Blogger.com has opened in that window, and it is Blogger.com that will allow you to set up your site. Follow the very easy instructions to "create your own blog"

Step 2. Download and install Hello.

If you right click the Hello link, and open it in a new window, you will open the Hello website. Find the download Hello button and install Hello on your computer.
Hello is a little Internet chat program that also allows you to send images to not only the person you are chatting with, but to your Blogspot!

Note: If you are working on an organisation's computer, chances are that their network security will stop Hello working properly. Also, at the moment Hello only works on a Windows PC. See below for an alternative way to store and display images for free.

Alternative to Step 2: Open a Geocities account to store and link to your images
There are other alternatives as well, but this is probably the most flexible. If you open a Geocities you will give yourself 15 megabytes of Internet storage that you can upload images and other files to. Once they are uploaded to your Geocities site, all you have to do is link to the files from within Blogger. The Blogger text editor has a number of buttons at the top to help you do this.

Another alternative is to open a Flickr account and upload your images there. The good thing about using Flickr is you won't have to worry about compressing your images, it will do it for you.

Step 3. Take a photo of yourself and send it to your Blog through Hello - or with one of the Step 2 alternatives
If you are with me in the face to face workshop, I have brought along a digital camera to take your picture. This being your first time with Hello, you may feel a bit unsure - give it a go, if you have trouble Hello will help you.

Step 4. Use your uploaded photo in your Blogger profile.
Now that your picture is on the Internet! You can use it all over the place. Display your image in your blog, right click it and view profile. In the profile is an Internet address ending in .jpg. This is the definitive location of your image. Select that address, right click the selection and copy it. Now view your profile from the link in your Blogspot. Click edit your profile, scroll down the fields and paste the address in the field called "Photo URL". Then press save. It may take a while to show up, just keep clicking refresh, it will show.

There's the very basics of setting up your own website. You're either confused or buzzing with ideas. If you are confused, leave a comment at the bottom of this article, and I'll come in and help you.

This is only the beginning! There are so many tools you can use that are easy, free and have a big number of people ready to help you out in learning how to use them. You will get a lot of help from this site alone.

Click this link to open an article with information on a good range of free tools to teach and learn online.

1 comment:

Leigh Blackall said...

Found out today that Hello does not work behind the DET firewall. No chat or peer to peer program does! Beats me?