One of the nice features of the Create-a-Graph site from the NCES is the ability to email the completed chart. In the past I have used this when working with Google Apps for Edu – the children handed their work in to me by sending it to my school email. We had my inbox open on the board so the children could see their submissions.
We have been using Posterous as our class blog platform since September. It is a fantastic site for school or class blogging due to it’s simplicity. I made the link with Create-a-Graph because Posterous is built around being able to email content to a specific address which will then post to the blog.
In a nutshell I have worked out a way for my children to post their charts and graphs from Create-a-Graph directly to the class blog.
Here is how to do it.
**Requirements – the following instructions are only for a Posterous blog, but the idea will work if you have a Blogger site. You can find the email you need in your Blogger “Settings” under “Email & Mobile”. If you have a post via email option for your blogging platform in theory this should also work**
1. Send a graph from Create-a-Graph to your own email. Now locate the sender’s email address – it should be something like firstname.lastname@example.org
2. By default a Posterous blog only allows agreed contributors to post – you need to make email@example.com a contributor to your blog, basically saying content from that source is OK.
3. Go to the Settings of your Posterous account and click on Contributors, add a new contributor and paste the email address we have for Create-a-Graph: firstname.lastname@example.org
4. Now you are ready to post from Create-a-Graph (worth testing this before the kids get a go) – the email you need is the one for contributors as the additional email you have added is not recognised as the primary one for the site. The email address you will need will be at the bottom of the Contributors page (see screenshot above)
5. Add this email into the Create-a-Graph “email this graph” box (leave it as html) and hit send.
6. Your graph should be posted – the nice thing about Posterous is that it will automatically resize the image to suit your blog, which saves a lot of fiddling around with multiple posts. Here is an example blog post we did this week from someone in my class, we were looking at the climate of Australia.
That is pretty much the top and bottom of it – for Blogger just use your unique email address in step 5. Over the period of time we have done this I have a few tips to share:
- Expect to have multiple posts, children click send numerous times as they are unsure it has been done – it takes a bit of tidying up. (I also take a few moments to add the children’s names as tags to the posts so that I am collating work on the class blog)
- Ask the children to add their name to the Graph Title in Create-a-Graph – this is under Data. The graph title will appear as the blog post title and will now include the child’s name for you to see who owns it easily.
- If you display the blog refreshing on the board you can check work quickly and children can have the reassurance their work has been submitted.
- Once submitted the children can still edit their graphs – if you see something you need them to change, delete the post and ask them to correct it and resend.
I hope you find that an interesting tip to perhaps try – good luck with it and let me know how you get on.