Week 6: Let’s celebrate

There is only one challenge activity for the next two weeks.

Throughout the year, there are many celebrations held around the world.

Your challenge over the next two weeks is to design your blog to show one celebration you take part in throughout the year.

Places to find celebrations you could choose from

Your celebration might be a festival or event that is held in your country, state or town. It doesn’t have to be a world celebration.

Here is an example of a Halloween themed blog – check out the Thinglink in the header, the scrolling words in the sidebar

What could you do to your blog?

  • You could add a header or background representing your celebration
  • Change to a more appropriate theme
  • Maybe write some poetry or stories about the celebration
  • Find some widgets relating to the celebration
  • Include some images you have taken or you have found using creative commons
  • Write a post about the history of that celebration
  • Write a post explaining where you found all the headers, images, widgets information used in your post
  • Use lots of different tools to be creative such as powtoon, thinglink, padlet, glogster, soundcloud, poll daddy – classes maybe have students work in groups each using a different tool

If you use Kidblog and can’t decorate your blog very easily, you might want to create a paper blog instead and take a picture of that and put the image in a post.

Check out some of these resources I have found:

Halloween:

Home School Towers – Ms Mara has written a post about how she has decorated her blog to celebrate Halloween. She includes how to make backgrounds and headers and where to find them on the web.

Warrior Kat has written some posts related to Halloween as well as decorating her blog.

Sue Waters from Edublogs has found some resources to use in your classroom

Headers:

Check out the holidays section – remember to link back to them – attribution as the header belongs to them

Link to five websites for free headers

How to create a header image using picmonkey

If using Edublogs check out these posts about headers, customizing your theme, design and decorate your blog – many of these are also mentioned in Ms Mara’s blog post

Other blogs

Larry Ferlazzo has lots of links for activities, games, infographics, slideshows about Christmas, Hannukah and Kwanzaa

Remember, I would like to see your creative blogs once you have finished designing it. Come back here and leave a comment so I can visit your blog. I can only visit if you include the URL of your blog.

Week 5: Pictures and videos

Admin: This week I am starting to highlight student names and classes from the participants list, if either I or your mentor feel you have not completed enough challenge posts. I know some classes have been on holidays and fall break, so to stay on the list, you need to have completed the following:

  • an about me page or post
  • 2 other posts related to challenge activities

I will be highlighting in red those students  that I will be deleting next weekend. Anyone who still has the basic blog with no posts at all will be deleted immediately.

Now to this week’s challenge

I have been visiting many blogs over the last few weeks. Some students new to blogging have been writing some great posts while others who have been blogging for a bit longer have started adding videos and images to their posts.

Yes, this week we deal with using images, music and sounds in your posts.

But can’t I use any image, music or sound that is on the internet?

No, you must use creative commons or in some cases the fair use rule.

But where can I find these images, music and sounds?

Sue Waters over at the teacher challenge has written a fantastic post about images, copyright and creative commons. I would suggest you all head over there to read the post. She explains about creative commons and the licences, attribution, how to find images for your blog and how to upload images to your blog. Most of this would be appropriate whether you are using Edublogs, blogger or any other blogging platform. This might be very wordy for some students, but Sue uses lots of images and how to do sections in her posts.

……………………………………………….

Have you read Sue Waters’ post yet?

Off you go then come back here for more information and the activities for this week.

………………………………………………

Other places to find information

Head to the creative commons website. Check out the CC wiki to find out what is happening in your country. What are the different licenses used? Teachers check out the education section of creative commons. Youtube allows creative commons for videos. Teachers: A fantastic guide to copyright, fair use and creative commons has been written by Ronnie Burt and I would suggest you read this to understand more about using images, music and video on your blogs. Larry Ferlazzo also has a great “Best List for images” that you might want to check out as well. Mrs Yollis did an activity with her students about creative commons.

OK I want to use some legal creative commons images and music in my slideshow.Where can I go to get them?

Do you have compfight plugin for your blogging platform? Follow the instructions from Sue Waters’ post.

Other places to get images and music:

You will need to work out how to get the attribution to put on your posts. Check Sue Waters’  post to get more help and more places for images. This post from Edublogs explains how to add media in all its forms to your blog posts or pages. If using blogger, check out the posts from this blog.

Images

Music and sound effects

JamendoCCMixter, post with 14 websites for music, post with 20+ websites for music, post with 55+ sites with sound effects

Now for the activities for this week

Activity 1 Watch this video about sharing work and write a post about what you learned.

 Activity 2. Check out this story using remix and fair use of video. Leave a comment below after watching the video. What was interesting, positive or negative about it?

 Activity 3. Find an image or piece of music. Add it to your post (with attribution) and write a poem relating to the image or music. Invite your readers to write their own poems.

Activity 4. Similar to activity 3. Find an interesting landscape image (include attribution).  Write the beginning of a story relating to your image. Remember to include a conflict of some sort between your characters. Invite your readers to finish the story. How many different endings can you get? Which ending do you prefer? You might need to visit some other bloggers and invite them to finish your story. Remember to leave the URL of your post for them to click on. Leave a comment on this post if you want me to visit and finish your story.

Activity 5. Write a sentence using just images – no words. You still need to include attribution for each image you have used.

Activity 6. Find 5 images that create a story – again no words only the attribution for each image.

Activity 7. Create a slideshowphoto gallery or poster about your interests to add to your about me page or as a separate post. Your final slide should include attribution for each image.

Activity 8Create your own images and add to a post of your choice. In your post add a link to the website or tool you used to create your image.

Other options for creating your own images include:

  1. Image Generators such as ImageGenerator.org
  2. Comic Generators like MakeBeliefsComix.com,  ToonDoo
  3. Photo Editors like Befunkyfd’s Flickr Tools
  4. Tag Cloud Creators such as Wordle
  5. Graph Creators including GraphJam and Crappy Graphs

Mixing up your images using these types of tools can really spice up your posts! Leave a comment on this post, if you or your class can recommend some other image sites to add to this list.

 Activity 9Zoom out from an image

We first tried this activity in the challenge in September 2010. Choose a picture, and have your readers zoom out, so to speak, by leaving comments.  Check out the example from Huzzah who finished their story. If doing this activity, include the word ‘zoom’ in your title so I can find it easily. Remember to give attribution. Most important here is to read previous comments, so you can add to the story.

Check out these zoom pictures: BeckyJacquelineAbbey

Activity 10Go back to previous posts

If you have used images in any previous posts you have written, then you are ethically obliged to go back to the post and give the correct attribution or take the image out of the post if it does not have the right creative commons license.

Activity 11Create a jigsaw from your image. Check out how Mrs Schmidt’s students did this for a previous activity. Here is a post from Mrs Schmidt with a tutorial on how to create the jigsaw images.

ready to goActivity 12Tell the story of the picture

From Bill Ferreirae – I sometimes find a picture and tell students to use that picture to come up with a story. It can be about the picture, what happened before, what will happen next, etc. So, here is the image I have chosen for you to start with. Copy the image to your post, then write the story. Remember to give attribution. If you don’t have your own blog, tell your story in a comment here.

Photo Source: from Miss Wyatt’s Flickr account

Activity for 13

Find 13 websites for creative commons images, clip art, music, videos. This can also include tools for finding these images. Write a post including a link to each site or tool.

Still got time left this week:

1. Visit other student and class blogs – leave some quality comments

2. Reply to comments on your own blog - if your country is in yellow then your mentor has been leaving comments but you haven’t answered.

3. Start using tags and categories with each post you write to make it easier for people to find posts on certain topics. Make sure you have the tags and categories widgets in your sidebar.

4. Have at least five other student blogs linked on your sidebar – students from other classes and schools – not your own. We will need this for a game we play in a couple of weeks.

Try to have a few different headings like

  • My Blogging Friends
  • Other Class Blogs

Having lots of  links to student blogs from other countries will help spread the game.

Here are the instructions for adding links to your sidebars.

EdublogsBloggerKidblog – not sure if this widget goes on the class page or each student page

 Most important thing to take away from this week’s challenge is:

Use creative commons images, not just any image on the net. Always include attribution of where you found the image. Compfight plugin does this for you.

PS If you have done the blogging challenge before, you will find these activities are nearly the same each time. If you have ideas for different activities please leave a comment on this post.

 

Blog Action Day 2014 Inequality

Stand With Malala @ ICT Discovery
Photo Credit: ITU_Pictures via Compfight

I thought how appropriate #blogactionday was to have the theme of inequality, especially after the announcement of the winners of the Nobel Peace Prize.

Both winners, Kailash Satyarthi from India and Malala Yousafzai from Pakistan, are trying to restore inequality equality especially for children. (Thanks Ms Scott)

The United Nations states have signed the Convention on the Rights of the Child including India and Pakistan. Here is a photo story from UNICEF about children’s rights.

Where has childhood gone
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: Brett Davies via Compfight

One of these rights is to be protected from exploitation – yet child labour is still prevalent in India. Mr Satyarthi founded the Save the Childhood movement known as Bachpan Bachao Andolan. He is a children’s rights activist who fights against child slavery, child trafficking and child bondage which have been common within India. He believes all children have the right to a quality and meaningful education. Read some of these stories of children who have been saved from rug making forced labour. Here is a game about a shoe sweatshop – could you survive?

Malala Yousafzai speaks at World Bank headquarters on the International Day of the Girl
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: World Bank Photo Collection via Compfight

Another of the rights is to an education – yet in Pakistan the Taliban attempted to assassinate Malala because of her outspokenness regarding the rights of girls to have an education. Despite winning the prize, there are many in Pakistan who believe Malala is a puppet for the Western governments who are anti Islam. Since being shot and recuperating in UK, she has travelled to other countries where girls are often not given the right to an education including Nigeria, where many schoolgirls were kidnapped.

But you ask what can one person alone do to help with inequality around the world?

Malala is one person who is making a difference – and it began with her making a speech and blogging about schooling under the Taliban. She now has an organization helping to spread the word around the world.

Kailash also has an organization now backing him while he works to solve the problem of inequality regarding children in his country.

What am I doing to help solve this problem?

I sponsor a child through World Vision - even though I can’t be there in person, my money can help with building schools, providing safe drinking water, teaching about safe health practices all of which improve the lives of families and hopefully get the children into school rather than walking miles every day to collect water.

I also have about 25 loans at the moment through Kiva – I mainly donate to women who are trying to improve their businesses or start one from the home. This also will then help their family and hopefully allow children to attend school for a good education.

I also have a student blogging challenge group on the Free Rice game where students can win rice that is then donated through the World Food Program to needy people around the world.

 

Online game to end hunger

 

What are you and your class doing to help solve the problems of inequality around the world, especially for children?

Week 4: Digital Footprint

This week there are three parts to the challenge.

Man Friday
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: Alan via Compfight

Part 1 is about your digital footprint where you need to visit Mr Bogush’s class blog to find out the activities to try. Remember to leave a comment on his post about the activity you completed and why you chose that activity. Then come back to this post on the student blogging challenge and leave a comment mentioning you have completed a week 4 activity so I can visit your blog to leave a comment.

Part 2 is about BAD14. Are you going to write a post, create a video or take part in Blog Action Day on 16th October? Remember the theme is Inequality. Check out this wordle for some topics you might want to research then  write about. Publish your post on 16 October or if your teacher moderates first then publishes, make sure you have your post in early enough.

Comment is free . . .
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: Shakespearesmonkey via Compfight

Part 3 is about commenting. Every time you write a post relating to the blogging challenge activities, remember to visit the appropriate challenge post and leave a comment. That way Miss W can visit your blog to read your post and leave a comment.

Did you complete an activity for:

Week 1: your About Me page or post, create an avatar, or challenge about 13 – here is the link to leave your comment.

Week 2: commenting, widgets, 13 in different languages – here is link for week 2

Week 3: country, state, currency, haunted places – leave a comment here on week 3

Week 4: digital footprint, Blog Action Day 14, 13 new blogs on blogroll

Challenge for number 13

Visit 13 student or class blogs and add 13 links to your blogroll ready for a game in a couple of weeks.

Warning …. Warning

any-direction-you-want_www-txt2pic-com

Students … students…

  • Have you been keeping up with the challenge activities?
  • Have you completed an about me page or post?
  • Have you written at least two other posts related to the challenge?
  • Have you been moderating your comments and replying to mentors?

In two weeks time, starting 19th October, I will be removing students off the student list if I feel they haven’t been doing the challenge activities mentioned above. Or if their country is in red still.

Why???

We have lots of students who don’t have mentors and have been doing the challenges. They deserve to get a mentor who can help them more with their blogging.

Classes… classes…

I will also be removing any class blogs that have no posts relating to the challenge at all.

I will keep those that have information posts telling students what to do on their own personal blogs relating to the challenge.

I will keep those where students have been writing posts on class blogs.

Mentors… mentors…

If you could get back to me around 19 October (via email) with a list of students in your group who have not completed activities mentioned above, that would help me when removing student names.

Once I have removed the names of non participants, I will then allocate a few more students to your list.

 Online Image Creators

Time for a break

Japanese Kit-Kat
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: jpellgen via Compfight

Next weeks activities will relate to digital citizenship and digital footprints and we will also be taking part in a global blogging activity with millions of bloggers around the world.

This is called “Blog Action Day 2014″ and is held every October. The theme for this year is “Inequality”  Please visit the blog action day website, register your blog if you are over thirteen, add the badge to your blog sidebar and start researching what you are going to include in your post on the 16th October. For ideas about inequality, visit the websites of the partners mentioned on BAD14 or look at their wordle here.

Many schools have been on holiday or breaks recently or may have only just joined the challenge. So this week does not count as a formal week in the challenge instead it is a time for being creative. Have a go using some of the tools mentioned on the sidebar of the student blogging challenge blog, leave a comment if there is another app or website you would recommend I add to the list.

We want to see or hear your creative masterpiece so you might need to make a screen shot to save as an image to add to your post. Otherwise add a link to where your creative work can be found.

Remember if you are under 13, you will need to get parent and / or teacher permission to use many of them.

Art

Writing

  • Magnetic poetry – create a poem using their words, take a screen shot or submit to their gallery and put link in your post
  • Use Fotobabble  (13+) or Blabberize to create a movie or book trailer
  • Register at Educaplay to create lots of games and literacy activities
  • Create a book that flips the pages at flipsnack. Check out the other links at the bottom as well.
  • Make beliefs comics are great for your creativity
  • Little Bird Tales for creative writing
  • Another great site is goanimate – teachers there is an education version of this as well

Music and audio

  • Isle of Tune is fantastic for creating your own musical items
  • Voki allows you to type or speak what you want the character to say
  • Audioboom – education version, create whatever you want to say on your blog then embed it.
  • Create tones to use on mobile phones at Wolfram – need quicktime plugin
  • Use keyboard, guitar or violin at this site
  • Play drums here, but use a headset
  • Create your own music and become a composer
  • Music activities for all ages

Science

Simulation Games

  • African Expedition - follow the route Henry Stanley took when he tried to find Dr Livingstone
  • Ayiti - make your family of five survive the years in Haiti
  • Refugees in Sudan - keep your refugee camp safe from militia
  • Shoe Sweatshop - create your own shoes to earn money for your family
  • Stop Disasters - develop a disaster plan to save your country
  • Third world farmer - develop your farm in Africa and survive with your family

Creating your own images include:

  1. Image Generators such as ImageGenerator.org
  2. Comic Generators like MakeBeliefsComix.comToonDoo
  3. Photo Editors like Befunkyfd’s Flickr Tools
  4. Tag Cloud Creators such as Wordle
  5. Graph Creators including GraphJam and Crappy Graphs

Sites suggested by previous students in the blogging challenge

Wacky Web Tales from Dawso

Stykz – similar to Pivot from Isabel

Edheads – try knee surgery from Gabriela

One of our mentors Maria, suggested these sites for creating quizzes

QuizBean,  SocrativePurpose Games,  Quizdini,   AnswerGarden,   FlipQuiz,   eQuizShow,  Quizlet

More new tools from students in the 2014 challenge

Zara recommends Audiotool for making music

Week 3: Town and country

Remembering The Past
Photo Credit: Ian Sane via Compfight

Admin:

  • Have you checked that your blog URL is on either the class or student list once only? Leave me a comment on this post if I need to change something on the spreadsheet. DON”T register again.
  • Have you been checking your comments and replying to those that are quality comments?
  • Have you got a link to your main class blog on your sidebar?
  • Have you added the challenge badge or mentor badge?
  • Are you remembering to include the URL of your blog whenever you leave a comment?

Let’s get down to this week’s challenge.

Most schools in Australia and New Zealand will be on holidays at the moment. I will be travelling also for the next two weeks. One place I am visiting is the capital city of Australia, Canberra. There will not be an official post for next week, but I will include some great places to get creative. It will also be a week for classes to catch up on activities if they have missed them.

realsue

Miss Wyatt loves history, museums and nature.

Mrs Waters

Mrs Waters enjoys chocolate, food and popular sights of the area.

Activity 1

If we were to visit the capital city of your country, what are three places you would recommend either of us see?

Activity 2

If we were to visit the capital city of your state or province, what are three places you would recommend?

Activity 3

All countries have their own currency. Research the history of your currency. What was the first type of currency? Which animals and people appear on your currency now and in the past? Write a post relating to currency, maybe include an image of some of yours. You might choose just one note or coin or write a general post, but remember to write in your own words. Here is a great post about wildlife on currency. If we were to visit your country, how much would we get for $100 Australian? How much would a cup of coffee and sandwich cost us? How much would a block of chocolate cost?

Activity 4

Create a quiz about your state, country; this website is good for embedding a quiz. Try my quiz about Tasmania

Reminder that this site is only for those over 13 years old. If you know of other websites or apps for creating embeddable quizzes, leave a comment so I can add it to our tools list on the sidebar.

Activity 5

Where would you prefer to live – in a small town in the country or in a big city? Give pros and cons for both

Activity 6

If you could live anywhere in the world, universe or world of books, where would it be and why?

Activity 7

Write a post asking 5 questions about a country for your overseas visitors to answer. eg Where is the best place to view wildlife in your country? Which National Park has the best scenery in your country? Where would you recommend not visiting in your country and why? Remember to ask them to leave the name of the country they are from as well as the URL of their own blog so you can visit them.

Activity 8 – more for middle school, high school students

What makes an Australian/Russian/American etc feel proud of their country? What makes you an Australian/Russian/American etc? Do you have to be born in that country or taken out citizenship of that country? Think about you and your country. Write a post about your feelings about being a citizen of your country. What about dual citizenship? Should you be allowed to hold office (be a politician) if you don’t have citizenship in that country?

Activity  relating to 13

Some people believe in superstitions and haunted places. Are there any ghost towns or haunted places in your country? Have you ever visited them? Would you stay overnight in them? Here is a slideshow of some ghost towns around the world.

Still got time left??

Make sure you are visiting lots of other student and class blogs. I have seen some great posts being written and some fantastic conversations starting to happen.

Remember to leave a comment on this post when you have finished an activity. That way I can visit your blog and leave a comment.

Check these out from the last couple of weeks: Mrs Yollis and Bubbe, do you have Maria as your mentor?, Shaffer writers starting blogging, War Kat wrote about family and used avatars, Bri and Ella writing a novel, Ms Seitz’s grade 4 class wrote about themselves as did the Bloggin’Frogs from California and Ms Nichol’s grade 6 class, Jazzy wrote why she is excited to be in the challenge, Alex, Victoria, Paige, Jaelynne and Leo introduced themselves, Mrs Muller’s students have introduced themselves – see list on her sidebar,

 

Week 2: Start talking

Cuatro causas por las que tu empresa no funciona bien en los medios sociales
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: infocux Technologies via Compfight

Admin:

Students – Check to see if you have a mentor assigned to you. Remember to check your comments and reply to any left by your mentor. Their first comment will probably be on your first post or your about me page that you created last week in the challenge.

Also check to see you are only mentioned once on the spreadsheet. Do this by using CTRL F and typing in your name. It will then allow you to scroll through to find out if you are mentioned more than once. Leave me a comment mentioning your name and URL and how many times you are on the list.

Classes - Please start making connections with other classes of a similar age or subject area in the higher grades. If you find a link on the spreadsheet that goes to a student blog rather than a class blog, please email me so I can take it off the list. Remember to leave a link on challenge posts once you have completed one of the activities for that post. I will visit to leave comment and also add you as a possible example for the next challenge in March.

Mentors - if you filled in the form AND left a short bio in the comment area of the registration post, then you should have been assigned a group of students. Please check the comment area of this post to find out which group of students you will be looking after.

COMMENT COMMENT COMMENT

Back in 2010 I asked Mrs Yollis and her students to create a post about commenting.

She included using HTML code when writing comments. This will interest our older bloggers.

So please visit her first before doing the activities below.

……………………………………………………………………………..

Are you still here?

Off you go, visit Mrs Yollis’ blog on commenting.

……………………………………………………………………………..

That was quick.

Are you sure you visited Mrs Yollis’ blog

to learn about HTML code in your comments?

……………………………………………………………………………..

OK, what did you learn while reading the blog and listening to Mrs Yollis and her students tell you about how to write great comments? If your school didn’t allow you to go to her post, I have included the video at the bottom of this post. I have also included a video for high school students about commenting. Teachers: a link to teaching quality commenting including more videos and information.

Let’s start talking online

It has been great to see a number of students and classes starting to visit other blogs and leave comments. Which of the following comments would you prefer to find on your blog?

how do you add a video

this is a great blog. i like Katy Perry too. plz visit my blog at ……………..

G’day John, I enjoyed reading your post about Talk like a Pirate Day. We also did that in our class. We dressed as pirates, spoke using pirate terms, but also found out there are still pirates roaming the seas even in modern times. Do you know how they are different to the old time pirates? Visit our class blog to read what we found out. …………….  Miss Wyatt

Activity 1: Write a post, create a video or create a poster about commenting.

Might be tips to get more visitors,  guidelines for acceptable comments on your blog, examples of good and bad comments – think outside the square. Remember you don’t have to approve all comments. It is your blog; send some to the trash and if it is a company trying to get you to visit their blog to buy something, then label it as spam.

Here are some links to commenting guidelines written by students and classes. Class in New Zealand, grade 11/12 class in USA, Huzzah class blog in Canada, Abbey has a blogging guideline page, Mrs Allen created a poster about commenting

 Activity 2: Write a really interesting post that you think will get lots of comments.

Often writing about one of your passions will get lots of comments, so will something controversial where your readers could agree or disagree with your opinion. Remember to end with a question so your readers can give an answer. If you are on Twitter use the hashtag #14stubc to mention your post. Otherwise leave a comment on this challenge post so I can add it to twitter.

Here are some posts written by students saying how to attract visitors to your blog – Alexandra, Jake, Ashleigh, Leif,

Activity 3: Have a family member write a post for you to add to your blog.

They could write it and email or post it to you. Does this post attract more visitors or family members leaving comments? One family member regularly blogs on Mrs Yollis’ blog – Where is nonno?

Activity 4: Write a post about the overseas blogs you have commented on.

We have over 30 countries represented in our class and student blogging participants. Visit some of them, read their posts and leave a quality comment. Why did you choose that blog and particular post?

Check out how Ms Bliss’ class wrote their post.

Here are the countries from classes and students participating in this challenge: USA, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Chile, China, Argentina, Venezuela, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Canada, UAE, Belarus, Russia, Scotland, UK, Switzerland, Ireland, Philippines, South Korea, Germany, Kyrgyzstan, Ecuador, Taiwan, Slovenia, Spain, Brunei, Indonesia, Cambodia, France, Colombia and Ghana. You will need to search the lists to find them – any that have red countries or pink teachers mean you might not be able to read posts or leave comments.

Activity 5: Adding great blogs to your blogroll

Now you have started visiting other blogs, there might be some you want to visit often. Instead of having to go to the student participation page each time, you can add them as links on the sidebar of your blog.

PS Students using Kidblog might have to write a post including the links as I don’t think you can have a blogroll on your own sidebar.

  1. To make it easy for visitors to find the blogs of your classmates and friends you need to add their link on your blogroll.
  2. If using Edublogs Pro or campus with My Class activated, in your dashboard> appearance> widgets> drag across Class blogs to your sidebar.
  3. If using Edublogs free version and you want to add classmates, overseas blogs or links to other websites you use often like mathletics, reading eggs etc then dashboard> appearance> widgets> links or blogroll
  4. If you want to group your links, then use link categories. These might be  ‘Overseas friends’ or for links about your hobbies you might need a category for ‘Cricket’ or ‘Tasmanian Devils’ or ‘Online Games’.
  5. To create these link categories, go to dashboard> links> Link Categories> put in the name of a category and save.
  6. Back to your dashboard> links> add new link.  Fill in the name of the person or website, then under web address put in the URL of their blog. Remember to include the http:// part. Choose which category you want the link to be under then click add link.

Click here for blogspot, click here for weebly, teachers click here for kidblog

Activity 6:  Learn some HTML code to include a link in a comment or to improve the look of a comment.

Mrs Yollis explains this in her post link above. Might be a way to include a link to your blog whenever you leave a comment. On my challenge blog, I have a post called do not publish and this is where I keep HTML code to help with my blog URL at the end of a comment. You might want to leave a comment on this post and tell me what you have found interesting about commenting. Use some HTML code in your comment.

Activity 7: What makes a great conversation in the comment area?

Check out these students – Max and Abbey, Jack and Abbey, Colton and Lily – take note their conversation continues further down the page, Merry Beau and Mackenzie – lots of conversations

These are threaded comments where the reader clicks on reply underneath the first comment – this is then indented slightly and the next reply is indented further.  Some themes are good for 5 threads while other themes you might end up with only one word on each line on the 5th thread. To change the number of threads go to dashboard> settings> discussion and change to whatever number you want from 1-10

Do you have to answer every comment? That is up to you. Some comments allow for a great conversation while others might just need a “Thank you for leaving a comment on my blog.”

How do you know if someone has answered your comment on their blog? When you leave a comment on a blog, there might be a tick box about notify me by email. Click on that box and you will be notified every time someone leaves a comment on that post. You can easily unsubscribe later if you want to stop having the emails, by checking the bottom where there should be an unsubscribe link.

Activity 8: Add a widget to find out where your readers are coming from.

There are many different widgets you can use – clustrmapsflag counterfeedjit  Have you seen any others while visiting blogs of other students? Maybe you could write a post about why you chose the  reader widget you have put on your blog. Remember you might get lots of readers, but not everyone is comfortable leaving a comment.

 Activity 9. Questions in a post

Write a post asking questions about one country mentioned in activity 4. Have at least 6 questions in your post. If your questions are interesting you might get lots of comments. Remember to tweet about it or leave a comment on this post, so I can tweet.  #14stubc

Activity re 13

Research how to write 13 (thirteen) in 13 different languages. Maybe make a poster or slide show.

Still got more time? Comment, comment, comment

Week 1: G’day from downunder


Creative Commons License Photo Credit: Rebecca via Compfight

For those who are new to blogging, anything that is in blue colour is a link that you can click on. It will take you to another website. They should open in a new tab or window.

Before we start the actual challenge, please make sure you have read this post as it has some important things you need to have done to make the challenge more enjoyable.

You need to know the difference between a PAGE and a POST.

On the challenge blog, PAGES are found above the header. It depends on which theme you have chosen, but some themes do not have pages visible. You will need to go to dashboard> appearance> widgets and drag over the Pages widget to your sidebar. PAGES usually have information that doesn’t change very often, so on the challenge blog I have the registration page as well as the lists of classes and students that are participating in the challenge.

POSTS are published on the main part of your blog in reverse order, so the newest posts are at the top of your blog. Eventually a post will disappear off the front of your blog – you will still be able to find it by clicking on older entries.

OK Time to start the September challenge

Introducing yourself

Check out how these students, classes and mentors have introduced themselves by using a page or post.

Students

Warrior Kat,  Felix,  Nicole,  Kendall,  Tina,

Classes

5SK in Queensland,  First class Rm 12Blogs by the sea with Mr Jewell, 3/4 in Tasmania, Tipperary cattle station in Australia, If only the best birds sang from Ireland, Rm 1 from New Zealand,

Mentors and teachers

DinahMs HerringMrs Keane, Mrs Yollis, Mrs Muller,

Activity 1- comparison

Write a post comparing the different about me pages. Which one did you like the most and why?

Activity 2 – about me page

Create your own About Me page or post. Be careful about how much personal information you include. Try to be creative in both your words like Felix, or by including visuals like Warrior Kat.

If using Edublogs, here are instructions for creating your page. If using blogspot, check here. If using weebly, check here. If using Kidblog, you will need to write a post.

  1. Login to your blog, go to the dashboard>pages>add new
  2. Change the title to About Me or something similar.
  3. If you only have one row of icons above the box, click on the last icon called the kitchen sink. This opens a second row which allows you to change font colours and to insert from a word document.
  4. In the box, write a bit about yourself remembering to be internet safe. Make sure you have checked out the pages from other students mentioned – many of them have been blogging for a while.
  5. When you have finished click the big blue button on the right side of your screen – probably says update.
  6. Once you have saved your about me page, go back and delete the sample page.
  7. If your theme doesn’t show pages in the header area, then you will need to go to dashboard> appearance> widgets and drag across the Pages one to your sidebar.

Activity 3- apps or websites

What are some apps or websites you could use to create something interesting to add to your About me page? Tell me about them, costs, age to use etc Perhaps a word cloud or glogster – brainstorm as a class.

Creating avatars

Now you have introduced yourself to your readers, you need to have something to show who you are when you leave comments on other blogs. This is called your user avatar. By clicking on each of the images below, you can go to different websites to create your own avatars. These sites are suitable for all ages.

      

   

   

doppelme avatar  

Activity 4 – create user avatar

Create your user avatar. Save it to your own computer drive as a jpeg file format no larger than 200 x 200 pixels. You might need to crop and resize.

If using Edublogs, check here. If using blogspot, check here. If using kidblog, check here. Teacher might need to change some settings in Kidblog to allow students to add own avatars.

Activity 5 – avatars for family

Create a series of avatars to represent your family members. Use different avatar websites depending upon the person’s interests. Write a post about your family and include the avatar for each person. Remember – be internet safe, no personal information.

Activity 6 – Class activity

As a class create a slideshow of your user avatars or add them to your header area. Below is an old example using animoto. Or check out how to customize your header – Mrs Smith has used artwork rather than avatars.

This was my very first Animoto created back in 2009.

 

Activity 7 – Write a post describing your avatar.

How much does it look like you? What sort of personality does your avatar have? What makes it typically you? Remember to include your avatar as an image in your post.

Activity 8 - apps or websites

What are some apps or other websites you could use to create an avatar? Tell me about them, costs, age to use etc  Maybe write a tutorial telling how to create the avatar on that website or app.

Still got time left this week?

As this is our 13th challenge, every week will be an activity to do with good/bad luck, superstition or something similar. Here is this weeks number 13 challenge.

Activity 9 – 13th challenge

The answer is 13. What could the question be?

Don’t just use maths – how else could you get an answer of 13.

Activity 10 – visiting other blogs

One important aspect of blogging is commenting on other blogs. Classes and student participants are grouped according to similar ages. Visit some other blogs, read posts, get ideas from them, leave a comment. Make sure you include your blog URL so they can come to visit your blog.

Most students also have a mentor who will be leaving comments. Make sure you read their comments and reply back to them. In fact, you should reply back to any interesting comments you receive – that is how conversations get started.

Leave a comment on this blog post when you have finished your activity or activities for this week. What activity did you do? Why? What did you enjoy about doing the activity?  What else could we do regarding about me pages and avatars. Remember to include your blog URL so I can come to visit you and leave a comment on your post.

Getting organized

Welcome to the organizational post for the 13th Student Blogging Challenge.

The first challenges will be published on September 14, 2014.

Registration forms for classes and students  have already been published. These were each on a separate post with a Google  form asking for certain information. Once you have registered as a class or student, you will be able to visit the participant pages which will be found in the header area of this blog as well as below here.

We will be having a badge again that can be added to your blog. Read this post by the Edublogs team about how to add the badge to your sidebar. Depending upon the blogging platform you use, the text box or image widget might have a different name.

Can visitors leave comments and read posts on your blog?

You might think they can but try this. Go to your blog but don’t login. Most of your visitors wont be logging in. Can they read your posts? Now try to leave a comment on a post. Can you leave a comment? If you cant read a post or comment without logging in, then neither can your visitors. Check with your teacher about the settings you might need to change.  This post from last September challenge shows how to change privacy settings on edublogs, kidblog and blogger platforms.

Are you on the student list only once? Are you on the correct list?

Each challenge we don’t always have enough mentors to cover all students registered, so please check that you’re only on the list once. The list is found in the header area on the challenge blog. This is where you go to visit other student or class blogs. If you are on there more than once or in the wrong age group, leave me a comment on that page giving me first name, age, URL and what is wrong and I will make corrections on the spreadsheet.

How are you going to know when the challenge is published each week?

One way of being notified straight away is to subscribe to the challenge blog. Just fill in the  subscribe by email widget at the top of the sidebar. An email will be sent to you as soon as I hit the publish button for a new post.

Is there a link to your class blog on your sidebar?

It is helpful for your visitors especially other teachers and your mentor, to have a link to your class blog on the sidebar of your blog. If using Edublogs, you might have a class blogs or class directory widget you can add to your sidebar. This will show your class blog and any other students blogs connected to the class blog.

Teachers using Edublogs, here is the post on how to set up class blogs. Using another blogging platform, then check out the Get Help section on the sidebar of the challenge blog. This is where I have links to user guides, videos etc for a variety of blogging platforms. If you know of some more links I could add there please let me know in a comment on this post.

Any chance of some teachers from your school being mentors for the challenge?

Maybe some teachers who might be interested in blogging wouldn’t mind being a mentor in this challenge. Mentors when registering, I will need your name and a way to contact you to send reminders such as an email address. The results from this form will not be published, but you will also be asked to write a short bio in the comment area of the registration post.

Finally, do we have a class which would like to run the challenge for one week?

This year I am hoping some classes will run one of the challenge weeks.  If your class would like to run the challenge for one week, please leave a comment mentioning the theme you would like to set challenges for eg global issues, history, my country, nature, and the date for it to be published. The journalism students from Cactus Canyon, Arizona ran one of the challenge weeks during the March challenges. Check it out here for an example of what can be done.

Get your blog organized, have at least one interesting post written before the challenge starts, so any visitors will be able to leave a comment.

You have just over 2 weeks till the first challenge is published.