Back to the blog! #DeleteFacebook

Having had my fill of Facebook’s vile business practices, I have decided to leave it behind and to use this blog instead.

Readers are welcome to submit comments. The first comment will be held until I approve it, but after that your comments will appear immediately.

And just for the record: the only data I will have from commenters is their email addresses, and I will never share those with anyone, for any reason. If at any time you would like your comments deleted, just ask.


Class pages, 2007-08

I’ve now posted pages for each of the classes I’m teaching this year: English 7 B Advanced, English 7 A, English 9 B Advanced, Gr. 11 English A1 HL, and Gr. 11 Theory of Knowledge (TOK).

You can find links to each of them in the band at the top of this page, and in the sidebar at the left under ‘My Stuff’ (the English A1 link is only in the sidebar). I will continue to add information and links as needed to each of these pages.

If you are a parent or student and have trouble locating something or finding answers to your questions, please drop me an email or a comment.


Thanks to Anne Davis, I have now installed the AnswerTips javascript on this site and my three class blogs. Now you can double-click on any word on the site, and a pop-up window will give you information about that word. Sometimes the match is not quite right, in which case another click takes you the the web site, where you can find the term you’re looking for.

I’m hoping my students will find this useful. We will see.

WP Theme Essentials for Class Blogs (where my class blogs are hosted) offers a fairly large number of themes as options for your blog, but their selection is just a small fraction of the total number available for bloggers who host their blogs on their own servers.

The problem with the LearnerBlogs themes, however, is not their number. The problem is that many of them lack features that are essential for blogging with a group of students.
Here’s my first-draft list of essential features:

  1. Authors’ names attached to each post.
  2. A login link.
  3. The number of posts displayed next to each Category.
  4. A “Recent Comments” display.
  5. RSS feeds for posts and comments.

It would be good to construct a list of LearnerBlogs themes that meet these requirements. As it is now, you can spend a lot of time trying out pretty designs that don’t function the way they need to.

How about you? What’s on your list of essentials?

Introducing the SSIS English Wiki

The SSIS English Wiki is an experiment in cooperative learning. I’ve invited my English 8 students to join the wiki, and starting Monday they will be adding to the Poetry page based on what they have learned so far this year about poetry. They will be able to add content and edit, expand, or revise content added by others.

I’ve added a link to the wiki in the left-hand column (under “My Stuff”) to make it easy for you to check it from time to time. You can also subscribe to the wiki and receive notification every time someone adds material to it. Click ‘Notify Me’ (upper right) and follow the instructions. For email notification you will need a wikispaces username, but anyone can subscribe via RSS.

Social Bookmarks

When you bookmark a web page, you save its location for yourself. When you ‘social bookmark’ a web page, you save its location for yourself and, if you wish, everyone else. Social bookmarks are saved on sites like Digg, Technorati,, and Rojo. People who view such sites can then check the pages you’ve bookmarked, and you can see the ones they’ve bookmarked. Result? The best—or goofiest—pages on the internet are seen by more people. Continue reading “Social Bookmarks”

Add a comment, please!

Anyone may post a comment on this blog, and I certainly hope you will contribute questions and add your ideas. You do have to register, but this is very easy, and I will never share your email address with anyone. When you post a comment, it won’t appear immediately. This gives me time to preview comments and delete spam or anything else that might be inappropriate. Please join the conversation!

UPDATE: The link for posting a comment should say “Post a comment” but in some cases it may say “No comments” if no comments have been posted yet. Once a comment has been posted, it will say, for example, “2 comments”. I’m trying to eliminate the “No comments” link, which is not very intuitive.

Welcome to the new site

I have maintained a .Mac web site for several years now, but decided recently to divide my projects among several sites to make things easier for readers. I was also inspired by Jon Udell to re-imagine my homepage as a blog.

Laughing Squid is hosting, WordPress is responsible for the blog software, and I’m learning how to manage it all. I expect to update every couple of weeks or so, and encourage you to subscribe via RSS so you don’t have to remember to check the site regularly. (If you haven’t started using RSS yet, I highly recommend it.)

If you have a question or comment, drop me an email!