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Creating Your First Blog Post With WordPress | Step By Step Guide

Creating Your First Blog Post With WordPress | Step By Step Guide

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First Steps

When YOU created YOUR account on the blogging platform “WordPress” OR when YOU received an invitation on a collaboration blog, most people will have a problem on How To start their first blog post. Here is an easy to follow step by step guide.

First step is looking on the left hand navigation side bar, see screenshot below, please.
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New Blog Post With WordPress-1

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Click on the buttons “Posts“, followed by “Add New“.

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YOU will see now the following screen, see screenshot below, please.

 

New Blog Post With WordPress-2

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First have a look NOW on the right hand navigation bar and click on the button “Visibility: Public” ===> Edit <===, see “red arrow”.


Following screen (see screenshot below, please) will appear.

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The navigation box will pop up and YOU will see more options. Check the “circle” ===> “Private” <=== followed by a click on the button “OK“. YOUR blog post will be NOW “Private“, thus meaning that ONLY YOU can see it and nobody else (NOT PUBLIC PUBLISHING).

WHY this? As YOU are NOT YET comfortable with editing, so this is the BEST way to start as nobody else will see what YOU are doing 😉 NOW YOU can experiment around to learn all the different possibilities

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Learn more:

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Now when YOU want to see how YOUR blog post will look and how others would see it as well, YOU MUST first publish YOUR post, to do so check screenshot below, please.

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New Blog Post With WordPress-4

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On right hand navigation side bar in the editing mode, click the button “Publish“.


NOW YOU will see how YOUR blog post would look in reality. BUT, as already said: it is STILL “PRIVATE” and nobody else could see it! Check screenshot below, please. YOU will see the word “Private” in front of the title of YOUR blog post, this shows YOU that it is NOT YET published to “Public“.

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New Blog Post With WordPress-5

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Switch sometimes between “Editing” and “Publish” to control YOUR precious work and to work on it for excellence 😉 Once satisfied with YOUR creation, make it “Public” by going to the right hand side navigation box and check the “circle” “Public“, followed by a click on the button “OK“.

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WHAT’S BEST way to create a blog post?

That’s a question I get asked very often, so let us go for it: I will show YOU some tips and tricks 😉

Make sure NOT to loose the point about WHAT YOU want to post, so to do this start YOUR blog post first with some keywords and small phrases, remember that it is STILL in “Private Mode“, so GO for writing! Let it go, let it flow…

Here my keywords for creating this blog: first steps, screenshots, easy explaining, no technical words, explaining with simple words, step by step guide, asking for feedback, finding out where learners have problems and adapting (update) the blog post, creating a video about it on How To…

YOU might have remarked ALSO that I use a lot of “BOLD” in my blog posts!? WHY? That are the MOST important parts to remember in my posts. TIP: ONLY read the “BOLD” and YOU would be able to understand 😉

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WHAT’S next step?

As YOU want that YOUR blog post(s) will get found by the “Search Engines” (Google, Bing, Yahoo &…) and that YOUR readers will be able to see about WHAT YOU are writing, it is very IMPORTANT to create “Categories” and ALSO “Tags“! YOU can edit them in the right hand side navigation bar.

Check screenshot below, please.

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WordPress-Categories-1

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Click on “+Add New Category” and insert YOUR text in the field, followed by a hit of the “Return-key of your computer”. Add as much as necessary, BUT NOT too much… I will explain in an next UPDATE why…

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Next is to add the “Tags“, YOU find it also the right hand side navigation bar, check screenshot below, please.

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WordPress-Tags-1

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Insert in the text field YOUR “Tags” and click the button “Add“..

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Stay tuned for next blog posts and for updates for this post 😉

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Using Social Media in Education to Effect Positive Global Change

Using Social Media in Education to Effect Positive Global Change

There is no doubt we now live in challenging times on Planet Earth.  Our burgeoning human population is seven billion and rising.  Resources are diminishing and our iconic species are disappearing at an exponential rate. We do not have to stand by and watch our beautiful planet destroyed and trashed.  In addition to reducing our own environmental footprint and teaching our students to do the same, we now have the power of social media at our fingertips to help raise awareness of important issues right around the world.  This beautiful image appearing in the Arctic Ice before the Sea Shepherd has become a powerful symbol and rallying flag for the cause of our wonderful marine mammals:

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When environmental disasters occur and there are social uprisings of oppressed peoples of the world, no longer do we have to rely on mainstream media, which are often in the pocket of powerful political interests.

We now have Twitter, which in my view is one of the most powerful tools for social change and raising global awareness we have ever had!  Through my own proactive participation on Twitter, I have been able to take part in positive social movements for change in unison with those of like mind.  

One of my most passionate concerns is for our increasingly fragile ecosystem.  Through Twitter I have witnessed the power of the people to shine a light on ecocide and to pressure governments and organisations to change destructive practices.  WE are able to connect with those of like mind and have the power to directly contact news providers and celebrities who have great power and massive followings.  Twitter is an immediate real time global conversation.

Just recently the slaughter of dolphins in Taiji, and the captivity of highly sentient orcas in marine parks has triggered global outrage.  Twitter is playing an enormous part in bringing the plight of these wonderful creatures to the attention of the people of the world.  Groups have been able to organize and participate in a new phenomenon known as Tweetstorms, where many people act in union to make a topic trend around the world. For example the topic #tweet4taiji trended around the world for several days, and resulted in worldwide mainstream media coverage. We all have power when united on social media.  Every individual counts.

OUR students will inherit many difficult political, social and environmental problems, the severity of which we can only imagine.  We are truly derelict in our duty if we fail to empower our students to raise their own voices in the fight for our precious planet and the generations to come.  I intend to initiate a project involving my students researching, debating, creating digital projects and then using Twitter to raise awareness about the shark cull my own government has embarked on in Western Australia.  Using Twitter will enable my students to not only access an authentic global audience, but also to effect real change.  Other schools will also be doing similar projects.

Images and symbols are important in global Twitter campaigns and give students and people a strong focus.  Twitpic can be used to add images to our posts and we can also add links to youtube videos, online flyers, Thinglinks, Padlets and other digital media created by students.  Platforms like TweetDeck and HootSuite enable users to organise their twitter stream into topics and schedule their messages.  We need to teach our students how to use these features.

Never has a generation needed a voice more than now.  We are on the cusp of a major paradigm shift in the way we as humans view and treat our fellow creatures and our environment.  Our students need to become the stewards of the earth not it’s conquerors or exploiters.

===> WE need to teach them how to use social media like twitter safely, responsibly and powerfully to help protect and nurture our planet. <===

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help-books-aj-svgajash01Useful and related links:

 

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HowTo | TEACHing In The 21st Century | THE Change

HowTo | TEACHing In The 21st Century | THE Change

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WHAT Did Change?

First of ALL, WE as teaching persons are NOT anymore teaching in a closed room, NO WALLS anymore as WE are using NOW ICT, the internet and Edtech tools as well as Social-Media! We are visible and can use “Communication“, OHHHH, do We know what that is!? It is a two-way, a “bi-directionalway, MOST are certainly NOT used to it, ONLY used to give the directions to OTHERS and standing in front of the classroom. BUT NOW, there is a NEW pedagogy in general, check, please:

Teaching, blog posts shouldn’t be boring anymore, let us try to give this IMPORTANT message through, please, thanks. Engaging, Motivation, Fun, visual thinking, creativity, passion, should be part of it as well. To make a start, here below a music video 😉

BTW: if WE, as teaching persons don’t show OUR creativity in blogs, posts, HOW could WE expect that Students, Learners will learn it? WE need to be an example for THEM 😉

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And NOW while using the internet, Apps, BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) there comes ALSO another BIG CHANGE: and every medal has its revere, so ALSO these mentioned 😦 WE, as teaching persons can’t and DON’T have the right to ignore that, OR are WE ONLYCherry-Pickers“!? WE have to look on OUR LEARNERS STUDENTS to give THEM BEST Education, right? An Education who follows the needs of the Century and the actual situation, an Up-To-Date Education! Thus meaning: WE MUST have Cyber-Security knowledge, the basics!

This said, it would be good to remind this, please. ===> I am NOT a TEACHER, I am an Awakener! <===

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Teacher-Awakener

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WHAT SHOULD 21st Century Education be in short form? Check ===> 1.) Awareness 2.) Responsibility 3.) THE WHY 4.) The consequences 5.) TEACHing 6.) Collaboration

I would ALSO invite YOU to read the book of “Howard GARDNER” ===> “Five Minds For The Future” where YOU will see below about WHAT it is. In My Humble Opinion: A MUST READ to understand WHAT WE as teaching persons need to take care about for the 21st Century LEARNER.

5 Minds For The Future

help-books-aj-svgajash01To achieve the above mentioned, WE need ALSO skills about Critical-THINKing and Proactive-THINKing, check below, please, for more information:


Thus Meaning – Awareness Is A Must! ===> Adapting To ICT! <===

THUMBS-UPTeachers are getting seen, are visible through Social-Media, parents are ALSO used to ICT and Social-Media and have sometimes good knowledge about it and Newspapers are daily publishing about what is NOW already NOT so new anymore, the problems from the internet, the Cyber-Security issues such as attacks, Malware infections through visiting websites, the MUST of installing Antivirus and Anti-Malware solutions (the condom for internet usage…)…

If TEACHERS, EDUCATORS are NOT prepared for that (EDUcation SHOULD motivate that knowledge, anyway…) THEY will get seen by the masses as #21tCenturyiDiots, as this is already circulating through the Social-media, such as Twitter and Facebook! WE as teaching persons MUST adapt to that situation and learning the basics of Cyber-Security, which is actually NOT that difficult as most people think, it is mostly a REFLEX which WE need to adapt!

Teachers, Educators, who are showing up on Social-Media with mediocre knowledge are certainly NOT anymore that welcome, as THEY show a BAD reputation for the profession of teaching persons!

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TEACHING the Profession THAT creates OTHER Professions

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Learn more:

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Mac Mentality?

Ohhhh, there I am touching some for sure, strange title, isn’t!? WHAT has a Mac-Mentality to do with 21st Century Education? WHY do I mention this here? MORE as MOST would THINK (?), WE go for Deep-THINKing NOW, OUT of School-Cocoon Mentality, WHAT happens in Real-World (BTW: I am NOT against Apple and NOT looking for an OS-WAR… Any OS has its right to exist! 😉

UnLEARNing the OLD 2 adapt 2 the NEW Pedagogy ===> http://www.scoop.it/t/21st-century-learning-and-teaching/?tag=Unlearning … 

Let me explain a bit: my sixteen (16) years of experience (2014) with people who are Mac users (where I have a lot of friends using a Mac) has shown me that these users don’t mostly care about Cyber-Security as Apple told them they shouldn’t have to take care, that Apple products don’t get virus! BUT that has changed over the years and even Apple changed the text as shown below, please check it.

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Apple related products have gained a great marked share now and they are NOW ALSO interesting for the Cyber-Criminals!  The same even for Linux also, Microsoft anybody knows that already since very long! Let us have a look on the market share of the different “Operating Systems” (OS):
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===> OS market share: Windows, 90.66% – Mac, 7.73% – Linux, 1.61% (10/2013) <===
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Please check ALSO my curation about everything malicious about Apple products (in English, French and German):
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NOW WE should accept that =======> Nobody-Is-Perfect <======= and WE SHOULD change OUR way of THINKING about Cyber-Security!
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Priority Change In Education, A MUST!

WE as teaching persons have FIRST to remind us THIS:

TEACHING the Profession THAT creates OTHER Professions

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When WE have a look on the left hand side picture, it SHOULD remind us WHAT OUR task really is, isn’t it!? A BIG Responsibility for sure, and one which WE can handle if WE are Up-To-Date with OUR “Professional Development“, especially when WE know where to set the PRIORITY!

WHAT does the market need? That SHOULD be OUR first THINKing! Employers NOW need people with computer and ICT skills, NO WAY to say I don’t know about that, even in the lowest career! THAT was YESTERDAY! Nearly everything NOW is handled with computer based Technology and every crafts man needs ALSO to have a basic knowledge about ICT!

.By knowing this, WE MUST focus on good basic ICT skills up from the early age to give OUR Students, LEARNers, these skills by teaching them about ICT! And by the way, when we are talking about ICT skills, WE can’t anymore forget about basic skills and knowledge about Cyber-Security! It is OUR responsibility to prepare OUR studenst, learners, for the real world as THEY (employers and WE) are confronted on a daily base with such problems!

In the 21st Century there is a MUST of Priority CHANGE in EDUcation: WE MUST adapt to the change and integrate Cyber-Security in OUR Mentality! YES, I said Mentality, the way WE are THINKING!

Fore more information, please check:


If NO CHANGE, Then WE Are Creating A Society Of NAIVETY!

sharing iconSounds strange, the topic? Try to Deep-THINK and YOU will understand? Let me explain a bit: by being “Cherry-Pickers” and ONLY showing the positive side of the internet WE don’t show the REALITY! Remember YOU that every medal has its reverse, so ALSO the internet and any Apps as also any other EdTech tool! WE should first tell the students, learners that there are dangers and ALSO Cyber-Crime around and that ===> Nobody-Is-Perfect <===. Remind every time also this ===> Forewarned Is Forearmed <===.

SO… NOW by knowing this, remember ALSO that WE are living in a sharing society through Social-Media,OK? Imagine that there will be MORE people without the appropriate knowledge and skills and share it with OTHERS…

I invite YOU to read my blog posts below for more information:


Valuable Resources To Check

THUMBS-UPSee WHAT Researchers and OTHERS (great teachers) say ALSO:

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Keywords for me as a reminder to create this blog post: The filter between OUR ears needs an #upgrade 2 adapt for #21tCentury! After done this WE need daily #Updates 2 keep it up2date, different situation with internet, tools, cybersecurity, cybercrime, Internet-Safety, Digital Footprint, digcit, Responsibility, Awareness, Society, Learners are future workers, Economy, linking back to other created posts, teachers too much used on THEORY and NOW Praxis as well (hard to adapt), Mac Mentality, Naivety, Coach & NOT anymore Teacher, Critical THINKing, Criticism, Proactive-THINKing,reputation of teaching profession…

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Stay tuned for next blog posts 😉

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Digital Citizenship And ALSO Its Terminology

Digital Citizenship And ALSO Its Terminology

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Digital Citizenship And ALSO Its Terminology

When WE want to share OUR thoughts on a global view with OTHERS, who have a different mentality (and that is for sure…), different culture (that is for sure also), different laws (that again is also for sure)  WHEN WE talk about Digital-Citizenship on a global view WE must know that there are a lot of different definitions about it who are dependent on which continent (and country also) one is living! Sounds strange, BUT it is a fact, especially when one is involved on Social-Media (Twitter and Facebook), where outside Europe ===> Internet-Safety, Cyber-Security and Privacy <=== are NOT that much considered! The same ALSO, in general, the TERMINOLOGY of Cyber-Security isn’t really understood by most of people, Educators and Teachers especially…

In my humble opinion, it doesn’t help a lot to speak about something (whatever it would be…) by NOT knowing the TERMINOLOGY, so let us start with that first, please. WE will have a look on an Infographic to explain… By The Way: this is THE BEST Infographic I actually know and it is from EDUDEMIC! A website to bookmark and to follow on Social-Media as well 😉 .

Digital-Citizenship-infographic-EDUDEMIC-BEST1 Click image OR this link  ===> http://www.edudemic.com/teaching-students-digital-citizenship-skills/ <=== .

Check also:

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Terminology

Chat iconSo, let us come back to the Terminology, please. MOST of the employed Terminology is already well known by most users, BUT especially Privacy, Internet-Safety and Cyber-Security are a bit seen as “StepChildren” in Education and THAT shouldn’t be as THEY are a part of 21st Century MUST have knowledge, excuse-me please 😉 WE need to give OUR kids the BEST Education while working and learning with BYOD and any connected device to the internet! We as TEACHING persons don’t have the right to be CHERRY-PICKERS, so as every medal has its reverse WE MUST show that side ALSO to OUR learners, kids, students! THAT is OUR RESPONSIBILITY!

The “Operating System” (OS) doesn’t matter at ALL, they ALL have vulnerabilities and need care, such as “OS Updates” (Windows, Mac, Linux and others…), Browser Updates, Third Party Updates (ALL installed programs on the computer…), and of course special protections such as Anti-Virus, Firewall and Anti-Malware!

SO… To let YOU know about those vulnerabilities, please, have a look here:

So… As there is SO MUCH to know and to understand, let us try to section it by TOPICS…


Privacy

To make it as short as possible with words in this blog, I invite YOU to visit my curation about it where YOU will find ALSO a lot of Infographics which YOU can use in YOUR class.There are a huge amount of it, so make YOUR choice, please. Meanwhile check the video below, who explains very well…

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Internet Safety

Here again, there are so many resources online, where I invite YOU first to check the Infographic below, please, and ALSO to check my curation about the best value articles.

InternetSafety-Infographic

Image credit and article ===> http://dashburst.com/infographic/childproof-internet/ <===

. Useful resources:

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Cyber Security

???-ScreenTo make it as short as possible with words in this blog, I invite YOU to visit my curation about it where YOU will find ALSO a lot of Infographics which YOU can use in YOUR class.There are a huge amount of it, so make YOUR choice, please.


Final Word

community-jpegI wanted to make this blog post a short one, BUT NO WAY, I couldn’t. Anyway YOU have NOW a page where YOU will find a maximum on selected, valuable information available on YOUR finger tips, use it wisely 😉 As any of my blog posts it will get updated (surely…) as quick as I get a new insight and or ideas…

BTW: One can’t explain shortly WHAT life is, so NEITHER one can’t give ALL the necessary advice to become a Digital-Citizen, ===> it’s an eternal adapting process! <===

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Stay tuned for next posts and new adventures in Education 😉 . .

Keywords which I need to create this post to remind me and which are a hint for YOU to THINK deeper: BYOD, Privacy, eCitizen, digcit, Digital Citizenship, Infographics, Curation, blogs, Terminology, Cyber-Security, Internet-Safety, Spam, Malware, Cyber-Hygiene, car, immatriculation plate, black windows on the car, could become a long post???, different countries-different meanings, quality, selective articles, EDUDEMIC, my Curation about…, connecting it with already existing posts, if ideas are going too far-creating NEW post, updating, publishing even if NOT that felt finished otherwise NEVER finishing it…

Got the message? 😉

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Authors Toolbox For Writing And Sharing

Authors Toolbox For Writing And Sharing

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Writing Today On Blogs Is Also Sharing Links And About Basics Knowledge Of Cyber-Security

sharing iconWhen WE work together on collaboration, and ALSO when WE as authors are posting, WE are also sharing files, photos and links, right!? BUT how to be sure that WE share ONLY stuff which is NOT infected with malware!? It’s OUR RESPONSIBILITY to present to the OTHERS ONLY secure stuffotherwise their devices could get infected, so let’s start below to find out on How-To. It’s actually very easy…

It certainly would happen ALSO that WE are confronted with technical words about Cyber-Security and Internet-Safety which whom WE are NOT familiar, right? That is WHY I have added on this blog, on the right hand side navigation menu, some useful ONLINE tools which WE can use to UPDATE the filter between OUR two ears (called also brain) 😉

.Please check the right hand navigation menu and you will see this…

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SANS IT-Security GLOSSARY

Click the image to access the FREE service OR this link ===> http://www.sans.org/security-resources/glossary-of-terms/ <===

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This is what YOU would see, it is easy, use it, please 😉

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SANS IT-Security GLOSSARY

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That GLOSSARY would be a great HELP for YOU, use it please, thx.


Secure Surfing Behavior And Sharing Behavior

THUMBS-UPOne can’t trust any web site and any content published on Internet, don’t be naive! It’s the same as on real world, there are bad guys and good guys, but how to find out? My favorite FREE Software to make me my Online Life easier and more secure as they show me which web sites are trustworthy and which web sites I shouldn’t visit at all because they are malicious and could infect my computer is McAfee SiteAdvisor!!! But don’t forget also, there is and never will be a 100% security!

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Don’t FORGET to read ALSO my blog post who explains in detail:

Concerning this blog, YOU will get provided on the right hand side navigation menu bar with the FREE link of WOT (Web Of Trust), which I recommend strongly to install, BEST would be together with McAfee SiteAdvisor together (that works perfectly, NO problem of interference…).

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WOT (Web Of Trust)

Click the image to access the FREE service OR this link ===> https://www.mywot.com/ <===

NOW, after having installed those two FREE services YOU can surf much more relaxed without fearing to share malicious links.


A Bit More About Internet-Safety – OUR Behavior On The Internet

sharing iconBehavior on the internet is similar to OUR behavior in the real world; WE are copying OURSELVES with OUR character into the virtual world… Therefore it is important to know about how WE are acting and especially on how the bad boys are profiting from it, OH YES, THEY DO!!! WE need to accept that NOT everything is positive on the internet! WE need to learn about NOT being anymore on NAIVETY status!

I will hurt again some with my last phrase, BUT sorry, REALITY must get accepted 😉 Living in a NEW world (BTW: it isn’t different in the Real-World…), the Virtual-World, WE are like NEW born and WE need to learn a lot to not get fooled by the bad boys and by OURSELVES, especially when being Teachers and Educators! WHY especially Teachers and Educators!? Simple reason is: WE as teaching persons can’t forward OUR knowledge when WE don’t have a lot, right!? SO… It’s up to us to learn on a maximum to know what are the dangers of the internet, to know BEST (complete) resources to learn from,to understand them, to change OUR attitudes, and to forward that knowledge to OUR STUDENTS with OUR pedagogical background. WE, as teaching persons are responsible for the future!

I invite YOU to read the following articles and curation, to learn more:

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Gust MEESL’auteur Gust MEES est Formateur andragogique / pédagogique TIC, membre du “Comité Conseil” de “Luxembourg Safer Internet” (LuSI), appelé maintenant BEESECURE, partenaire officiel (consultant) du Ministère de l’éducation au Luxembourg du projet  ”MySecureIT“, partenaire officiel du Ministère du Commerce au Luxembourg du projet ”CASES” (Cyberworld Awareness and Security Enhancement Structure).


The author Gust MEES is ICT Course Instructor, ”Member of the Advisory Board” from “Luxembourg Safer Internet” (LuSI), BEESECURE, Official Partner (Consultant) from the Ministry of Education in Luxembourg, project “MySecureIT“, Official Partner from the Ministry of Commerce in Luxembourg, project “CASES” (Cyberworld Awareness and Security Enhancement Structure).

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. Stay tuned for next free courses and tutorials 😉 .

 

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Learning to balance Digital Citizenship, Research and Publishing!

This article is a reblog from Pippa Davies blog.

own work

To protect or not protect our students from the net, that is the question? Does censorship, or continuing education work? I believe that the more we help guide our students online, the more likely they will, by osmosis, become excellent purveyors of online content, and creators of their own digital identity. They will learn to value what is true, worthy, current and reliable online!

At what age does critical thinking begin; when do we as parents, or teachers help our students learn the critical thinking that goes with the territory of being online in the 21 century? We used to think that around 11/ 12 years of age was the age of logic according to educational theorists like Piaget. However university professors can attest to the fact, that many graduate students still do not understand Bloom’s taxonomy of higher level thinking, when publishing their first hypothesis. So how do we expect children as young as six to assimilate, adapt and formulate their own opinions on what they are reading online? We see toddlers consuming content already on iPads, and we know the research shows that reading digital content is all part of improving literacy skills at younger ages, but again where are the parameters?

Here are some suggestions to help your students incorporate critical thinking skills, and be able to learn how to evaluate online:

  • Parents are encouraged to be involved in providing guidance for their students, with tools to help them assimilate content using computer filters, curation, and organizational apps to help collect websites that pertain to education and their interests. (Bookmarking tools such as Symbaloo, Mentor Mob, Scoopit, Diigo, and RSS feeds, or apps like Flipboard, are all excellent ideas for helping your students traverse the net and share with others). But for younger students, starting with resources like Commonsense Media, or Media Smarts, and our HCOS linking library to help find quality authoritative resources, are also useful. Remember those great, child friendly search engines too, like SweetSearch and Google SafeSearch for Kids. Set guidelines for Internet time appropriate for your family’s needs and balance. Teach digital citizenship lessons using online games for younger students, and for high school students encourage the creation of a digital dossier!
  • Once your students are old enough to enjoy more time online provide some critical thinking lessons. Project based learning will help create an environment to substantiate the kind of cognitive concepts you want to see in place, to ensure your students can gravitate towards aggregating data online. Teach your students to research projects that relate to their passions and interests, which in turn will lead to engaging discoveries!
  • Teach your students about brainstorming a topic using keywords. Discover lessons that help with keyword search in Google Lesson plans. Create topics which include basic questions that include what, when and where, as well as more open ended questions, why, and how?
  • Assess their work based on how they went about the research process, as opposed to the content they listed, copied or shared. Give good marks for a qualitative bibliography, where students have researched links from wiki’s or other references from websites. Share tools like Bib me to make their bibliography stress free! Make sure students have gone beyond Google to find their sites, using educational indexes, following links in wiki’s, and academic databases like Ebscohost. Your school or public library has access to academic databases like Discovery Streaming, BrainPop, and Expert Space.  All of these 21st century tools will help your students take their next project to an A!
  • Applaud if they have used different means for sharing their projects like video, podcasting, animation, virtual worlds, infographics or blogs. All of these online tools teach 21 century skills, and help students create a digital identity which is true to their learning style, and may be collated from Kindergarten through graduation as a reflective tool for online learning, and also for a life long digital portfolio!
  • Help your high school student create their own blog to share their academic authority or hobbies using Ning or Blogger/Wordpress, and if you have a younger student teach them how to blog on moderated sites like Kidblog.
  • If your student is using social media as a means for collaborative learning make sure that you as a parent are fully acquainted with what they are doing online during their school and personal time.  Join their social networks or find out more about their means of communication such as What’s App.
  • Plan the research process using Big Six skills, mind mapping like Popplet, databases like Webspiration, and research/writing websites like Owl of Purdue. Encourage and teach your students to learn how to research what makes an infographic appealing, and then suggest they make their own infographic using tools like Piktochart.
  • Most important before your student has the freedom to explore the net on their own, expand on how to evaluate a website. Kathy Shrock’s Critical Evaluation of Information website has a plethora of lesson plans for you to share with your students on web evaluation. Teach copyright and creative commons to your students if they are already publishing. This could be part and parcel of a middle school journey into becoming an educated, and discerning producer of content.

Once your student understands how to evaluate websites, blogs and infographics, they will be more critically attuned to sharing a digital identity, understand how to assess their own presentations, and be safer online for life.

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