Monthly Archives: October 2011

Online Identities and Creating an Avatar

Lately, I’ve been thinking about identity and what makes us unique and how does this translate when we are in the virtual world.  Identity can be very fluid and changeable.  Avatars are the little online images that represent us in the digital world.   

In the next few weeks, I’d like everyone to reflect on the digital world and our online identity.  Sometimes our online identity can be totally different to what we are like in real life.  We can pretend and be imaginative but of course we always have to be careful that we don’t violate any social rules of the worlds and networking sites that we are participating in.  We always want to behave in a way that will make us proud not ashamed of who we are.

However, as you know anyone can say anything they want to online and pretend to be what they are not in order to take advantage of other people.  Unfortunately, whether in the real world or the digital world there are always unscrupulous  people – people you have to be careful about.  So you mustn’t be too trusting online and remember to follow all the safety precautions such as not giving out private information such as your real name, address, birthday etc. 

If you look on the side of this blog I’ve been having fun with a Voki Avatar and creating a special spooky character for Halloween.  Of course that’s not really me unless that’s a real green shimmer I detect on my skin.   I have tried to disguise my voice a little bit but I’ve used the avatar to have a bit of fun and create a Halloween character as it’s October. 

Task:

 I would like everyone to have a go at creating an avatar.  Next, have your avatar read a review or part of your favourite book.  You might check out the Horror section and create your own Halloween character too.

Please note, as the computers in the LRC don’t have a microphone you will have to use the text to speech facility which means you type the words you want your character to say.

To begin, click on the Voki word to take you to the Voki site.

You don’t have to sign up to create an avatar.

If you do sign up, remember to use the school email and a nickname.

Then you can create the character and save it.

And most importantly have fun! 🙂

Reading and Writing as a Social Activity

Welcome back to term 4.  I hope many of you had fun reading on the holidays.  I certainly did.

It’s interesting to reflect on all the different platforms that you can now use to read, eg:  traditional print books, PC, e-reader, iPad, mobile phone.

Recently you would have heard that Steve Jobs died and people have been reflecting about how there have been so many changes in the way we consume information and the way that we read.  For you the changes may have not been so big but if you ask your parents they would certainly tell you how quickly things have changed since they were young.

One big change is that reading doesn’t have to be an activity that you do alone anymore.  For example people use social networking sites such as facebook and goodreads.com to share information about reading.  Goodreads.com is an excellent site but you cannot register until you are 13.  It is a site you can use to keep track of what you are reading, set goals, review and share your reviews with friends.  You can see what I have been reading if you examine the book shelf on the side bar.  You will have to scroll down the page and it is under the Voki.

Site to explore:

Go to Inside a dog 

This is a site managed by the State Library of Victoria. 

Here you can read reviews/blogs and form clubs.  

There is information for students and teachers. 

Remember if you are registering, protect your privacy by using your school email and a nickname. 

Tasks:

During the lesson explore the site. 

Register and request membership to our Year 7 or Year 8 Banksia Book Club.  Think of an interesting nickname and remember to use your school email.

 Find 5 books that sound interesting and post a comment on my blog.  Remember find the tiny word ‘Comment’ at the end of this post. 

 List the book titles and authors you are interested in in the comment that you post to me. 

Keep a copy of the titles and authors in your own personal workspace on your computer so you can follow them up.

Go the OPAC (the search computer)  and see if you can find any of these books in our collection.

WRITE A BOOK IN A MONTH

Are you interested in being an author?  Want to write a novel in a month? 

NaNoWriMo - Write a Book in the month of November

NaNoWriMo - Write a Novel in the month of November

NaNoWriMo Young Writers Program  is designed for young people who want to set a writing challenge. 

Check out the website and write that best seller you have always been dreaming about.

The url ends in .org so we know that this is a commercial organisation and not an educational website.

As this is also a social networking site remember not to be too trusting and to protect your privacy. 

Use your school email to register and use a nickname or pseudonym. 

There is a lot of supportive material about learning to write.  The challenge begins in November but you can start planning now.  That is allowed.  I would be very happy to support anyone who would like to attempt the challenge.

At the end you do get a certificate and the satisfaction of improving your writing.

NANOWRIMO – Word Count and Other Rules

You might want to check out word count goals and other frequently asked questions for the challenge before you begin.

Remember though great writers also READ.  So please borrow lots in your library lesson! 🙂