Tuesday: 5 Favorite Blog Posts

My clean iPad screen

My clean iPad screen

For today’s post I thought I would do a quick roundup of some blog posts that caught my attention at various times throughout the day.

Anyway, these are just a few posts from other blogs I found interesting and thought I would share. Enjoy.

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10 iPad Apps Every Teacher with a Blog Needs

My iPad

My iPad

Apps for the Blogging Teacher

In previous posts I have thrown out lists of my favorite apps, apps for teachers, apps for yearbook staffs, and websites for yearbook advisers and students. So, today I thought I would post a list of apps that teachers with blogs might find useful since a great deal of teachers use blogs in the classroom, run their own blog, or do both.

When I started thinking about the iPad apps to put on the list, I decided that I would include apps I use to create posts or pages, help manage the content, or find and store ideas. So, for better or for worse, here it is:

  1. Blogsy ($4.99) There are times when I don’t feel like sitting at a desk or having my laptop restrict my positioning on the couch. So, when these moments hit–and they are becoming more frequent–I can use Blogsy to write and publish my blog posts. It is a pretty cool blogging app that supports multiple blogs for platforms like WordPress, Blogger, Posterous, and Typepad just to name a few. It also makes it easy to insert photos and videos from Picasa, Flickr, and Youtube even if you have multiple accounts at those sites. This is a pretty handy, robust little app when the full-on couch potato mode kicks in.
  2. Diigo Browser (free) A nifty little browser app that lets me highlight and make notes on material from web pages and then save them to my Diigo account. I originally set up the Diigo account to experiment with social bookmarking, but it quickly dawned on me that I could use in conjunction with my blog as one more weapon in my arsenal of tools that lets me save bits of the web for ideas.
  3. Feeddler (free for lite version, $4.99 for Pro version) Whether you follow a multitude of blogs for personal reasons, or need to keep track of student blogs, an app for RSS feed aggregation is a must in my book. This one is my personal favorite.
  4. Twittelator ($4.99) If you use Twitter in conjunction with your blog at all–be it to promote your blog through social media or to simply provide some additional, quick content, Twittelator is an easy app to use for whatever your Twitter needs may be. It is a really nice looking app and is very good at switching between multiple Twitter accounts.
  5. Dropbox (free) I’ve said it before and I will say it again now: I don’t know how I would get through a typical day without using Dropbox. I move a ton of stuff between my laptop and iPad. If you need to do a lot of file juggling, this is the way to go.
  6. Photoshop Express (free) I have been a heavy Photoshop user for years as a result of being a yearbook adviser. And I will admit the idea of using anything with the name “Photoshop” on anything other than a full-blown desktop or laptop still seems strange. That being said, if you need to do a quick crop, noise filter, or other basic adjustment to a photo on your iPad, this app easily gets it done. That is pretty handy if you want all of the photos to be yours so that you don’t have to worry about copyright issues.
  7. Pages ($9.99) As far as my blog goes, Pages comes into play because I keep a list of possible blog topics that I add something to almost every day. I started the list on my laptop using Word, but I decided to upload it to my Dropbox just so that I can get to it on my iPad. Pages lets me add to or edit the list if I don’t have my laptop with me when an idea strikes.
  8. Zite (free) The last 3 apps on the list all fall into the category of apps I use to find and store inspiration or ideas. The Zite app creates a personal magazine for me from a list a topics I choose. I read through it everyday at some point and when I find an article that strikes a chord I can either email to myself or save it using Instapaper or Read It Later. When I run out of memory on the iPad I am sure it will be because of all the articles I have saved after finding them on this app.
  9. Pinterest (free) This app is for the latest hot trend in social media. Pinterest is the fastest growing social media site that has come around in awhile. By letting members clip–or pin–bits of web sites to personal boards they share with others, Pinterest enables people to become curators of information on the web. This app lets you access your account so you can look at what you or your friends have put on their boards–another place to go for ideas and inspiration. Some experts in the Social Media field are saying Pinterest is becoming just as vital to blog promotion as Twitter and Facebook.
  10. Springpad (free) This is the newest app to make it onto my iPad. Springpad is another app that lets you save bits of the web to an account which you can access either through the app or through a web browser on a computer. The twist that Springboard brings to the game is that it tracks prices of all sorts of things–music, movies, books, restaurants, etc. It also has a built-in barcode scanner function if you need to find out prices. While bar code scanning might not affect me that much, I can see how some blogging teachers might find it useful. Oh, Springboard also has a built in audio recorder that could be pretty useful for a blogger.

Well, there it is. I have no pretense that this list is the end-all, be-all list of apps for teachers with blogs. So, if you are a teacher who blogs, what apps do you use or suggest? If you are a blogger of any sort, what apps do you like?  Please feel free to comment, like, or share this post as you see fit. Thanks.

An Eye-Opening Lawsuit

On Friday,  Zite, one of my favorite apps, suggested an article I found very informative and scary. I like learning about new things, especially things that apply to my interests such as blogging.  I suppose that is why this particular article grabbed my attention when it popped up.

The article 5 Easy Ways to Get Sued for Social Media or Blogging by Deb McAlister is posted on her blog. McAlister discusses a court case–which she uses to set up the 5 legal topics at the heart of the article–involving a blogger being sued for comments someone wrote on his blog. I won’t attempt to fully discuss all that McAlister has to say in the article, but it is very informative about the legal topics of Copyright Infringement, Tortious Interference, Product Disparagement, Defamation, and Right of Publicity.

I find the article interesting and helpful because when it comes to legal matters,  I fall into that category of bloggers McAlister describes as “blissfully unaware.” While I was somewhat familiar with some aspects of Copyright Infringement and Defamation, the other areas she discusses were pretty foreign to me. So, I learned some things from the article.

One scary part in all of this is the idea of being sued over what someone else writes. If I understand this correctly, at least most instances of this can be avoided by removing the offending comments from the blog. Another scary aspect is that some businesses and lawyers would use a lawsuit just to get something pulled even when they know they don’t have much chance in winning the case.

So, after reading the article, I learned some new things. I have some new things to think about. I have some new things to research. Not a bad return on a few minutes spent reading.

I’ve Been a Bad Blogger

Okay. I admit it. I have been a bad blogger.  I haven’t posted anything since I first set up this particular blog. The only excuse I can offer is that I got caught up in the day-to-day stuff I have to do–especially once school started back and I found myself with the heaviest schedule I have had in dozen or so years of teaching.

I am going to try to do better.  I don’t know that I would categorize that as a New Year’s resolution, and even if I did, it sounds pretty weak. But, at this point it is the best I can do.

Time will tell.