Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Utterz...All-In-One mobile blogging! Free! Finally!

While there are some fantastic mobile blogging resources on the web, such as Gabcast, Gcast, Eyespot, Radar, evoca, Flickr, Jott, and Go@blogger.com, none of them allow you to post video, audio, text, and photos directly to a blog from their account. For example, Gabcast only posts audio, and Eyespot posts video, while Flickr only will post images. Now, of course you can set up accounts in all 3 of the aforementioned resources to post to the same blog, but the data will be housed in 3 separate places online. A little inconvenient for teachers and students. It is a also a reason why many teachers would be afraid to ask their students to mobile blog different types of media, because they do not want to deal with too many different web accounts. Now, I am come accross a resource called Utterz. It is the first resource I have found on the web that lets you mobile blog all 4 types of media to one place, from one account! Even better, it is international! So people from 25 different countries (and more), can use this free resource.

Let's look at the positives:
1) It is international, so people from around the globe can participate.
2) It is free to use.
3) You can use a landline (nice for students and/or teachers who do not have cell phones)
4) You can text, photo, video, or audio blogs from one account!
5) It has private options for posting!
6) You can post audio,text,images, and video on the same post from one phone.
7) You can "reply" to other "utterzs" and "listen" to them on your mobile phone.
8) You can receive alerts when someone comments or replys to your "utter"
9) The utters show up within a few seconds in your utter webspace.
10) You can "utter" back and forth with others via cell phone (no need to have computer or Internet access)

The downside:
1) Unlike some of the other resources I mentioned earlier, it is not a toll-free number (it is probably hard to do this since it is international), so if you use a landline, it will cost money (unless you have unlimited long-distance or use long-distance at an "unlimited talk" time)
2) there is some advertising (although it is off to the side and reasonable).
3) Utterz did show up on my blog posts within 10 minutes, but it showed up in my "drafts" box in blogger. This is not necessarily a negative because teachers who want to moderate posts, can then hit the published button after they have viewed/listened to the post. But if you want it to immediately post to a blog---it seems to have some trouble doing this, it might be because I have comment moderation on? I'm not sure.

Other than not having a toll-free number (maybe that will change?!), Utterz is a great resource for mobile blogging because it is all-in-one media blogging. This would be a great resource for students who are on field trips or a break from school. On their field trip, they could "blog" photos, videos, text, or audio to their Utterz account (or an external blog). Over Spring break students could do the same (maybe for extra credit...), for example if they are studying ecosystems in science class, they could post images of creatures and/or plants they find at the beach. Utterz could also be used as an up-to-date local newspaper. Students could post local event information, video, reports, and images as they are happening in their community.

4 comments:

Adam Zurn said...

Liz,
Great info. I tried it yesterday as soon as I read your intial post.
I guess I had better luck than you with the posting. Mine published within 10 minutes. No saving as a draft.
keep the great information coming. I look forward to your next post!
Adam

Katrin Verclas said...

Liz, thanks :-) Keep 'em coming - this is going to be a great how-to resource. Looking forward to working with you!

Katrin

Tami said...

Liz-

Thanks for this great information. I have become a fan of your blog and all of the innovative things that we can do with students in the classroom. As a former reading/language arts teacher, I would have loved to be able to utilize cell phones and the technologies you talk about. I just find technology to be a new and important component of literacy that is often overlooked. As I work on my Ed.D, I am thinking of ways I can incorporate and model these ideas with the preservice teachers I work with! Thanks!

Liz Kolb said...

Tami
Thanks for the compliment...feel free to add any creative ideas you come up with to the blog! I'm always searching too :-)

Liz

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