Avatar, Avatar on the Blog…Edublogs Teacher Challenge week 4

To avatar or not to avatar? I guess the question should really be, to avatar a cartoon or other created image, or to avatar a photo?

I really liked Murcha’s Picassohead avatar idea. And so I made my own Tam Picassohead. But sadly, I could not figure out how to get the actual image into this post.

I really, really like the idea of using animated avatars when blogging with kids. I haven’t yet started blogging with the kids in my classes at school, largely because I know there are so many privacy and security issues that I have to wrap my head around before I can present this to parents. I know that I need to be confident and knowledgeable in my responses to questions about student safety. And I don’t feel that I’m there, just yet. But protecting kids’ identities through using avatars such as these, sounds like a brilliant idea.

However, for myself, I’m quite happy to have my own identity out there. When I looked at Murcha’s picassohead and then her own picture on her blog, I felt much more connected to the “real person” Murcha, rather than the picassohead. And then when it came to choosing a photo for my avatar, well, I just love this one.

It was taken last February during the Winter Olympics in Vancouver. I was a volunteer and in this photo I am wearing my official blue “smurf” Vancouver 2010 volunteer jacket, my volunteer Vancouver blue toque, and those great red Winter Olympic mittens that had maple leafs (or is it leaves?) embroidered into the palms.

This picture was taken right outside of the Vancouver Convention Centre, which became the Vancouver Olympic Media Centre throughout the duration of the Winter Olympics, and was right next door to the plaza that housed the Olympic Flame.

The globe had nothing to do with the Olympics, it was, and still is in the convention centre. I’m not even really touching it, if you couldn’t tell. The globe is huge, and is hanging at least two stories above where I am standing with my arms in the air. But I love the idea that all of us volunteers, Vancouverites, Canadians, and really everyone,  were carrying the weight of the world on our shoulders for those two weeks, and we all had great big smiles on our faces. And we did. We really did. The 2010 Winter Olympics got off to such a shaky and tragic start, with the death of the Georgian luger in his practice run on the day of the opening ceremonies, the snow that never came to Cypress, but the events went on incredibly well there, and we had some of the warmest winter weather on record. But we found our groove, and people rose to the occasion. For two weeks, we weren’t “no-fun-couver” anymore. People were happy, and excited, and friendly. It was incredible to feel the spirit in the city during those weeks last year.

And this picture, and those memories, still puts a great big smile on my face.

For part deux: RSS feeds:

Yes, I use them and I really like them. That said, I only have four subscriptions right now, but I am constantly overwhelmed by the number 1000+ of items in my reader. It’s too much! I’ll add more as I learn more about how to use hte Reader effectively, and convince myself that I really don’t have to keep up with everything.

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5 Responses to Avatar, Avatar on the Blog…Edublogs Teacher Challenge week 4

  1. murcha says:

    I love the avatar of you at the Vancouver Olympics too. It is unusual, catches my attention and makes me explore the details of the photo, wanting to know more. With the picassahead avatar, I made a screen dump to get it into my post.
    Do you have a PC or a Mac? I hope that you have a PC as that is what I use. On a mac you have to press three keys at once to make a screen dump. With the PC, look at your keyboard and find the print screen key. It might be called PrtSc but it should be on the right hand side and up the top (it is next to F12 on my keyboard). Press that key. It takes a photo of your screen. Goto MS Paint>edit>paste. The digital image should appear on the MS Paint screen. You will need to crop the image with the cropping tool in Paint, goto Edit>copy. Ask for a new Paint file, goto Edit>paste. Then save as a jpg image in your folder. Now you can insert this image in your blog post.
    I think picassa lets you save it in their gallery and might then give you embed code, but for me screen dumps was the quickest. Does this make sense? Please let us know how you get one. I also add hyperlinked text, saying that I made this avatar using Picassahead and link back to their site.

  2. Love this post – and YES our Picasso heads look very spookily alike don’t they?

    Love the write up about Vancouver and the Olympics too – have a soft spot for Vancouver having visited a few years back to meet my biological father and half brother who live there. Loved the place actually. Some tourist people used my bear photo for some brochure somewhere. http://www.flickr.com/photos/14591357@N06/2686597915/in/set-72157602747870913/
    Can’t wait to be back there too!

    Have linked your blog to mine so I can see your updates too. Always good to be quite selective over RSS feeds otherwise the ‘bog down’ effect kicks in.

    Loving that smurf outfit too – brilliant! 🙂

  3. Pingback: Posts of the Week – Visit these blogs – Weeks 2/3 | Teacher Challenge

  4. I love your picture too, Tammy. You have got the world on your shoulders and you are smiling. It’s a great photo. Love the clothes too. Must have been great helping with the Olympics.
    Personally I would feel uneasy if someone published my son’s photo on their site. I do it sometimes in my blog, but not often. So, yes, I guess avatars are much safer for kids.
    I am glad I visited your blog because now I know how to embed a Picassohead. I created one too.

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