Monthly Archives: March 2013

Feeling chatty????


Don’t be left behind….

Don’t be left behind….Did you ever feel like the social media take-over can be overwhelming?  That if you’re not engaged in a conversation, that you’ll be left out of all conversations?  I know through my exploration of developing blogs, it is very clear the more you are connected, the more “relevant” you become…as far as the internet goes.  Cross linking and search engine optimization and keywords and tagging and…well the list goes on – seems to be an art and part strategy.

To continue information on Twitter, I thought I would post information on  Twitter chats.  There is an actual twitter chat schedule, where you can delve into “communities” established around specific topics.  At any given night there are a variety of topics you can enjoy.

For the aggies out there, there are several you might be interested in:
#AgChatOz (AgChat Australia)

Did I miss any???



Hashout the Hashtag…

twitter image



# <— It’s everywhere now right?????

Of all the social media I have trouble conquering it is Twitter!  Making connections are everything in social media and blogging and it takes time.  I have several projects going on right now in addition to a full-time job, so I find it challenging to really become conversant with some outlets.  So I thought I would share some resources I am looking at to hash out the hashtag!!!

This is a great site I learned about from Harrisburg University on how Twitter works.  “Mom This is How Twitter Works”.

Here is a list on some top Agriculture hashtags by Janice Person.

Here is a great site on educational hashtags from Cybraryman.

And just for fun, here is the top 100 hashtags on Instagram (since I am semi-addicted to that app) from the Huffington Post blog.




I am constantly trying to find different ways to help students in the classroom. A tool I found that is not very difficult to use and allows for quick use is Socrative.  This platform gives you several different ways for students to respond to your prompts.  Above is the homepage for Socrative.  Here you will “get started” if you already don’t have a log-in.  You will than be directed to the following screen.

Socrative Log-in

Socrative Log-in

Socrative takes little information to register and requires little information to really navigate the site.  Here they ask for an e-mail and password and that is it to enter the site.  You will than be guided to the next page where you are provided a “My Room Number”.  This is a number specific to you and a number you will have to provide to the students in order for them to enter.  When they log in, they will need this number in order to find you.  You will also see a “Students in Room” where once students are logged in, you will see how many students have entered.

Than it will be divided into “single question activities”, “quiz based activities”, and “create, edit or import quizzes”.

Socrative Dashboard

Socrative Dashboard

The single question activities would be used in class where you ask a question according to the type of question (true or false, multiple choice, etc) in class.  For example you may be discussing leadership in class, so you may open up a short answer room (just be clicking on the short answer button) and than ask the class to list the top five characteristics of leaders.  They can than type in the answers and it will be loaded onto your page.  This is most effective if you are projecting your screen at the same time.  I would also recommend you ask the student to list their name with the post so there is accountability.  The students can compare and contrast their peers information.
The quiz options can be utilized with already existing quizzes you may develop. I will write on this at a later date.

Hope this helps!!


Register/Log-in Screen for WordPress

Starting a blog

This is the first of a long list of posts on how to start the process of blogging with  This platform is easy to use, free and allows you to have a good amount of control on our content.  First go to

There you will find this screenshot.

Register/Log-in Screen for WordPress

Register/Log-in Screen for WordPress


If you have never signed up for WordPress, you will need to click on the “Get Started” orange button.  Here you will develop your url name through the WordPress platform.  This is seen here:

URL development for WordPress

URL development for WordPress

This is an important step.  Here you will create all your access information, but more importantly, you will create your blog address.  This is the web address people will use to find your blog.  It will be a reflection of you and your concept.  Please make sure you put some thought into this title.  Once it is created, it is final – you can’t change it without creating another blog site.  Once you are done doing this, you will see the “dashboard” page (shown below).

The control panel or "dashboard" for your blog.

The control panel or “dashboard” for your blog.

I am currently developing a blog for our farm and have used it as an example. If you see in the web address line after the farm name it reads “wp-admin”.  You will use this full web address to log directly into your blog from now on.  This is an alternative to going to the WordPress page.  WordPress does a good job of walking you through on how to get started in the light yellow box.  It would be recommended to spend some time here.  In subsequent posts, I will list some things I’ve learned writing posts and beginning the blog process.



How to shorten pesky long URL’s…

Google URL Shortener

Google URL Shortener

Ever wonder how those weird little short urls get created????  http://goog.Akrl??

Let’s say I take the following URL (a search on ‘Cows are Awesome’):



I plug it into the Google URL shortener function and it draws up this:

This is so nice if you have presentations and need to use hyperlinks.  Thought this might be of use!


Creating a concept or plan for your blog…

I believe it takes the average human between 5-8 seconds to develop a perception of you in person and it does not take much longer for your digital presence to be critiqued as well.  We always have to worry about image, regardless of our topic because anything we post is for the public to see.  So as you begin the blogging journey it is important to think about what your concept is.  So what do you have to offer?  Is it a special skill? Is it a hobby you enjoy?  Or maybe you just want to offer some professional help to colleagues.  Whatever it may be, we must begin to construct how we will be of service to our subject area; are we adding value to the topic?  Another consideration is making sure you don’t make the concept too broad.  This will help you to stay interested and help with readership if you are interested in that aspect.  Finally, do you want to do this just for fun, for profit or just for informational purposes?