Proposal for EV Online 2005

1. the title of your online session:

Establishing and maintaining 'Web presence'.

2. a brief description of the content:

There are many reasons why teachers might be interested in Web presence. First of all, teachers might want to share with peers information on a particular area of expertise within their field, or they might want to help students establish a web presence so they can write authentically and communicatively to an audience that extends beyond the walls of the brick and mortar classroom. In either of these roles teachers might be either or both members or facilitators of an online community. Such communities are enhanced by participants' getting to know one another through artifacts available in the online environment. Where the facilitator must establish and maintain these artifacts (in the form of web pages) this becomes such a burden on the facilitator that interaction within the community may be compromised.

This session shows participants various ways of establishing web presence and sets out a tutorial that can be used or taught to others to ensure that members of an online community are capable of taking on the responsibility for establishing and maintaining their own web presence, thus freeing the facilitator to devote attentions to other aspects of community building without having to neglect the crucial one of creating a means by which community members can meet and appreciate the skills and personalities of one another.

Content will be presented in this course through web pages that will constantly model

It is also intended to develop a Moodle that will link to the above web pages and itself help manage the learning of the course goals.

In the course of the 6 weeks, participants will learn collaboratively and hands on to:

3. the target audience:

Foreign language, including ESL/EFL, teachers wishing to learn more about setting up web presences for themselves and their students. The focus however will not be absolute beginners to an online community. The target will be those who already interact in online communities and who would like to push up to the next level of managing and archiving their interaction, and those who facilitate such communities and want to inculcate a sense of responsibility in participants regarding setting up and maintaining their own online presences.

4. a brief week-by-week outline of the proposed activities during the 6-week period

Week 1 -

We had a question about how to change a certain template, so I created a test blog in blogger to set one up with the template chosen and then I clicked on the Template tab to view the template. At this point if I had changed my template before I would have copied the entire template and pasted it to a Notepad text file and saved it as a backup to be restored (copied back here) in case the changes I was about to make did not please me.

Next I found the sidebar in your template. It's easy to find because it's the part of the template that says Previous Posts and Archive, the two items now on display there. Here's what it looks like.

< !-- End #profile -->

< h2 class="sidebar-title">Previous Posts</h2>

< ul id="recently">
<li>a href="$BlogItemPermalinkURL$>">$BlogPreviousItemTitle$></a></li>
</BloggerPreviousItems> </ul>

You can change the existing links (maybe not advisable since you'd be eradicating your archives or link to your profile) or (best thing) simply add your own. For example after the End #profile tag add something like the following:

< h2 class="sidebar-title">Worthwhile Links</h2>

< ul>
<li><a href= 05/webpresence.htm>Hey, check out this cool course on Webpresence<!/a></li>

< /ul>

What that does is put in a heading hopefully like the others in the sidebar and then displays an Unordered List with one List Item. The list item is hyplinked with the A HREF tag and between that tag and its URL and the close of the tag </A> there's the text you click on to make the link work.

You can also put a picture here but you have to pay attention to the SIZE of the picture, and I'll await your questions on that one if you don't figure it out from the materials.

One more important thing. When you change your blog you first have to save it and THEN you have to REPUBLISH the blog to see the changes. It's a two step process. You can work on your blog 'offline' as it were and be called away and come back and continue your work later, and everyone sees your blog as it was before. When you're ready with your changes, you have to RePUBLISH your blog so that the world can see.

Elderbob has "thought about some of the myriad mistakes I have made and what I have learned from them."

First, as soon as you select the template you want use, Save it in a .txt Wordpad document or some html editor page (there are lots of editors out there, so I don't want to get into the position of telling anyone which one is best. I have tried several, but I usually use w.bloggar because it has several features that relate directly to blogs. As soon as you start making changes to your blog, start to remember to save your last and final change as the .txt file that you originally started with.

Second, don't panic and don't be afraid. You can shake these blog things, but they are real hard to break. So you have the text editor open and you have made some changes in your template, and "voila"....uh, oh,...something is wrong....what did I do? This is a good time to think about how it is that we can view these temporary screw ups before we publish them so the whole wide world can see. If you are using Blogger, when working in the template, there is a button at the bottom of the page that allows you to "Preview" your changes. Do this as you go along. In conjunction with your previewing, when you are satisfied with even the most minute of changes, learn to "Save" the change. Saving a change will not make a public change yet. You are still in preview mode and you can stay that way for a long time, without anyone seeing your mess up. If you preview a change, and you decide that doesn't look right, but now you can't quite decide which pair of quotation marks you added or where you put can always hit the "Clear Edits" button. This will clear everything back to the last time you saved (now it starts to make sense to preview before you save, because if you save before you look, then you lose the opportunity to use this nice tool, and this tool can be a real life saver). Finally, "Save" is not the same as "Republish Blog". By republishing we, finally let the world see our new improved template. So "Preview" often, "Save" when you are sure, "Clear Edits" if it doesn't look right, and "Republish" when you are ready for the rest of us to see your blog.

I think I mentioned this to another group, but let me post it again here. <!////anything you want to write///> will not be displayed in html, no matter how hard you try. So when you add that new Widget, and you want to find an easy way to find it again in your template so you can work on it, in the line just above the html that creates your Widget, type <!////////Widget Stuff///////>. Now when you want to work on the "widget" you can easily locate this invisible heading in your template and no one will ever know how you found it so fast in all of that code (well, OK, I may know, but I promise, I won't tell)

Don't confuse your "template" with your "posts". The "template" is a semi permanent picture of what you blog will look like all he time. The "posts", change over time you write something new. In Blogger, the "posts" can be changed pretty much like the "templates". With the "posts", the "Edit" and "View" buttons take the place of the "Clear Edits" and "Preview" buttons that you used in Templates. Additionally, posts don't get displayed until you are ready. In fact, you can create a post well in advance of the time you wish to use it, and then not actually "Publish Post" until you are ready to. (Hint here: Don't throw away those lesson plans that you wrote on your blog. Save 'em as new entries, but don't publish them yet. Then when the time comes all you have to do is hit the "Publish" button, and the whole thing gets reposted to the WWW.

One last piece of data. I mentioned w.bloggar earlier, and haven't told you yet why I like it. W.Bloggar is a piece of freeware that is made especially for bloggers to edit their work. You can use this one piece of software, to edit all of your blogs, without much regard for who hosts them. W.Bloggar's home page will tell you all the different kinds of blogs that can be accessed through the software. What's more, you can edit and repost right out of W.Bloggar without having to go on-line from site to site, every time you change blogs. It has a preview pane for editing posts, and you can even pull up the last several posts you have made and change a piece of spelling or a reference to another place or blog. You can work on your template or your posts, all in the same box, and you never have to leave your hard drive. It is great if you don't have a lot of internet access, in that you can see what your changes will look like in a browser with out the browser being turned on. You will find W.Bloggar at I hope you find it helpful. My only complaint about it, is that it does not have an extensive library of pre-formatted html to use like Dreamweaver or Front Page. That's a pretty small price to pay for such a cool tool. Try it out, it won't cost anything, and I think you will come to be as fond of it as I am.

I hope this didn't further confuse anyone.


Week 2 -

Week 3 -

To answer one of Karen's questions in a later message, yes, of course, you can do in Front Page what my tutorials train you to do in code in Notepad. And you can do much more in Front Page. I'm using Front Page 2003 and I'm amazed at some of its features, thumbnail creator for one and the page layouts and templates for another.

But if you don't go through the process of understanding the code that FP generates, then you can't troubleshoot it (which you sometimes need to do) and you can't make leaps, like replacing the thumbnail link to the big picture with a link to a website instead, for example, or understand what all those files are that the template drags along with it (a cascading style sheet file and some jpg images). Also I can't teach HTML on the assumption that everyone has FP or Dreamweaver, or Hot Metal as I do. I find that teaching just enough code, anyone can make web pages AND publish them online at a free host like Tripod (or Geocities, etc). If you want to use FP or DW instead, then do what works for you.

Understanding where the files are is where Susan is at the moment. Here's the way I handle this. I create folders within folders on my computer and then I replicate the same folder structures on my various websites. I've described this in my HTML tutorial under housekeeping here:

When you set things up on your computer so that all the links work folder to folder and then put the same folder structure up at your web site, things will link there as well because all the links are RELATIVE. This means the relationships of the files are maintained, so that to find a file in another folder the machine goes up one folder level (for example) finds folder B and travels down to there to make the link. As long as this PATH is there the link works on your computer, on the web, or wherever you place those files, keeping the same folder structure relationships intact.

The other kind of link is ABSOLUTE which means the link only works by pointing to a specific location on a network or Internet. For example, Susan has two pictures on her website, for which I doubt if she has folders on her own computer. These are not relative links, but absolute ones, that point to specific addresses. The pics do have URLs however (right click on the pic and select properties to see), and can be posted to blogs for example using the IMG SRC tag. In Susan's case:

<IMG SRC=" 014_img.jpg">

Nice car, Susan .. yours?

So at Susan's Tripod site there are two folders, englishonline, with files in them called id1.html and so on; and there is a sitebuildercontent folder with a sitebuilderpictures folder inside that, and at least two pictures there.

In order to work with your site, you would first have to reconstruct it on your own computer and get all the links to work. Actually I suggest you abandon the sitebuildercontent area and reconstruct your links on your own computer placing the photos where you see fit and linking them. First thing you'll notice is that your pic linked above is too big for your page (Tripod may have reduced it for you). You'll have to resize your pics yourself. Find out how here:

Once you have your site working on your computer, then upload the files one by one to Tripod through their free HTML upload manager. I'm not sure what they call it. It's File Manager in Geocities and it will show you the folder structure of your site and allow you to create folders and upload files to the correct folders at your site. (When you find out what it's called write us back and tell us).

Once you have done that, your site should work online.

Good luck,


Week 4 -

Week 5 -

Week 6 -


5. Communication tools to be used: