Could you be a mentor?

The next student and class blogging challenge starts next week on Sunday 1 March 2015.

Why do we need mentors in the blogging challenge?

When I first began the challenge back in 2008, there were only about 200 students taking part and I could visit each of them three times over the ten week period.

But in the last few challenges, there have been  over 1300 students and there was no way I could visit them regularly.  So in 2010 I started asking people in education to mentor a small group 20-30 students over the ten week period of September to November or March to May.

If you register to be a mentor, please keep checking back on this post as I will allocate the students to you and mention in your comment reply who you will be visiting. I will also send you an email reminding you about checking this post early in the challenge.

As students have already registered, I will be allocating mentors immediately so please keep checking out the student participant’s page in the main header above to find out who you are mentoring.

Who can be a mentor?

  • classroom teacher or homeschool teacher
  • principal or senior staff or faculty members
  • trainee teachers
  • students who have taken part in at least two sets of previous challenges
  • educational coaches or trainers
  • regular blogger about educational matters

What do you do if you are a mentor?

  • Visit your allocated student blogs at least three times throughout the challenge
  • Leave comments on posts written by the students
  • Continue conversations in the comments
  • Remind them about visiting the main blogging challenge page each week
  • Contact me by email or a comment if having concerns or problems (contact is on right sidebar)

So you have read the above and have decided you have the time to visit the student blogs, now it is time to register.

In a comment below, mention the following:

  • A short bio of yourself including some interests
  • Link to your own blog, especially a class blog or your personal blog – allows me to check validity as an educator
  • Age group you would like to mentor

2015 Student Blogging Challenge Badges Are Here!

sbc2015

The 2015 Student Blogging Challenge begins in early March. If you want to register, go here.

In preparation for this year’s upcoming challenge, we have the new 2015 badges ready to add to your blogs.

You can right click the badge above to save it to your computer, and then follow the instructions below to add the badge to your blog.

Adding A Badge to Your Blog’s Sidebar (Edublogs & WordPress)

Using the Image Widget

  1. First, save the image above to your computer.
  2. Then, log into your blog and go to Media > Add New and upload the badge.
  3. Then go to Appearance > Widgets.
  4. Add an Image Widget to your sidebar.
  5. Give the Image Widget a title (Optional); something like “Student Blogging Challenge 2015″ would work well.
  6. Click the Add Image link and then click the Media Library link to choose the badge image from your library.
  7. Click the “Show” link next to the badge.
  8. When the image details appear, scroll to the bottom and click “Insert Into Widget.”
  9. Once the image is added to the widget, paste http://studentchallenge.edublogs.org/ into the link URL so anyone interested in the challenge can easily click through.
  10. Click Save.

Using a Text Widget

  1. Login to your blog and go to Appearance > Widgets.
  2. Add a Text widget to your sidebar.
  3. Give the Text Widget a title (Optional); something like “Student Blogging Challenge 2015″ would work well.
  4. Copy and paste the following code into your widget:
  5. Click Save.

Students read this

Before filling in the registration form please read the following:

Who should register

  • Only students who have their own personal blog can register
  • Students who are going to do the activities otherwise mentors’ time is wasted.
  • Students who want to connect with other students around the world

A few days after  you have registered

  1. Check the student participants page which will appear in the header area to make sure you are there. Check very carefully as we don’t need names being doubled up – again that would be wasting time of the mentors.
  2. If you are not on the participants page, register again being careful that your blog URL is correct
  3. If you are on the participants list, start visiting other students your age or with your interests.
  4. Fill in the subscription by email so you are notified when posts are published each week – first challenge will be March 1 or if you have Edublogs reader, click on follow then you will be able to read posts in your reader.
  5. Make sure you have some great posts written so others can leave comments.

If you have a twitter account, use the hashtag #stubc15 to notify others of your posts

So you have read everything above this line, now is the time to register

Register as a class

Before filling in the registration form please read the following:

Who should register

  • Teachers who have their own class blog can register, can be any blogging platform
  • Classes which want to connect with other classes around the world

Reminders before registering

  1. If your blog URL is very long, then use a shortener such as this one from Google  Also handy when students are registering their blogs on their form (especially if kidblog as the URL is usually long).
  2. In case I need to contact you, an email is the easiest way, so please fill that in on the last question on the form. This is not published but other teachers could contact me in case you don’t have a contact spot on your blog.

A few days after  you have registered

  1. Check the class participants page which will appear in the header area to make sure you are there.
  2. If you are not on the participants page, register again being careful that your blog URL is correct
  3. If you are on the participants list, start visiting other classes of similar grade level.
  4. Fill in the subscription by email so you are notified when posts are published each week – first challenge will be March 1 or if you have Edublogs reader, click on follow then you will be able to read posts in your reader.
  5. Make sure you have some great posts written so others can leave comments.

If publicising any posts on twitter, please use the hashtag   #stubc15

So you have read everything above this line, now is the time to register

 

Will you be taking part?

Sharapova

 James G via Compfight

The next student and class blogging challenge

will be starting in early March.

Check out the next few posts this week as they will contain the registration forms for classes and students wanting to take part.

There will also be a post for those who would like to mentor a small group of students.

But you can get ready by subscribing to this blog by filling in the widget on the sidebar. That way you will receive an email as soon as I publish the posts. You will get in early when registering, making sure you will be first in line to have a mentor.

Thank you all

congratulations
Photo Credit: Sean MacEntee via Compfight

I have been checking out the shortlisted finalists in the Edublog Awards and I noticed many of our student and class blogs were included.

Congratulations to all those who were nominated.

More congratulations to those who made the finalist shortlist.

There were about 500 classes nominated – many several times – shortlisted to about 40.

There were nearly 250 student blogs nominated – many several times – shortlisted to about 50 blogs.

But I also noticed someone had nominated the student blogging challenge under the Educational Use of a Social Network and then Sue Wyatt (that’s me) under the lifetime achievement awards.

So if you are 13 and over, please sign into list.ly and add some votes to these two sections. It would be appreciated. You can find the links in these images.

Vote for student blogging challenge

 

Vote for Sue Wyatt (@tasteach)

 

 

Week 10: Farewell to our 13th challenge

Bye Bye... See Ya!
Photo Credit: Lisandro M. Enrique via Compfight

We have now been together for nearly three months. Time now to evaluate – most teachers ask students to do this after studying a topic for a period of time.

This evaluation is in two parts:

  • auditing your own blog
  • evaluating the challenge

This is an audit of your blog since the beginning of September 2014.

  • How many posts did you write?
  • How many were school based, your own interests or set by the challenge?
  • How many comments did you receive from classmates, teachers or overseas students?
  • Which post received the most comments? Why do you think that happened?
  • Which post did you enjoy writing the most and why?
  • Did you change blog themes at all and why?
  • How many widgets do you have? Do you think this is too many or not enough?
  • How many overseas students do you have on your blogroll?
  • Which web tools did you use to show creativity on your blog?

Now ask another student and teacher/parent from your school who might not have read your blog to do an audit.

Sit beside them while they navigate around your blog, record what you observe as they interact with your blog. When finished, ask them the following questions:

  1. What were your first impressions of this blog?
  2. What captured your attention?
  3. What distracted you on the blog?
  4. What suggestions can you give me to improve my blog?

Write a post about your blog audit.

Part 2 Evaluating the challenge.

This is the thirteenth challenge and sometimes I feel like the activities are getting stale especially for those students who have taken part in more than one set of challenges. So over the next few weeks I will be adding new pages that you all can contribute to. Every month of the year, there are special events, festivals, birthdays of authors etc. Which ones do you think it would be interesting to write about? Find the post ideas page for that month and add your ideas in the comments. (These are found above the header area)

Now for your final activity – please evaluate the challenge by filling in the following form.

Vote for best class blog

If you go to Edublog Awards website, you will find you can vote using List.ly but you need to be 13 or older to have an account.

So to allow our younger bloggers to vote for the best class blog, we have created this poll below. You will be allowed to vote for one blog each day.

How to vote.

  1. Check out all the class blogs at the Edublog Awards link above.
  2. Decide on one you want to vote for.
  3. Come back here and find it in the list.
  4. Vote for it.

Voting will close at 11:59pm EST on Monday, December 15th. Click here for other timezones.

STOP PRESS STOP PRESS
One vote per day per IP address. Most schools have the same IP address for every school computer, so students will need to vote from home, libraries, wifi cafes, relatives houses etc.

 

Vote for best student blog

If you go to Edublog Awards website, you will find you can vote using List.ly but you need to be 13 or older to have an account.

So to allow our younger bloggers to vote for the best student blog, we have created this poll below. You will be allowed to vote for one blog each day.

How to vote.

  1. Check out all the blogs at the Edublog Awards link above.
  2. Decide on one you want to vote for.
  3. Come back here and find it in the list.
  4. Vote for it.

Voting will close at 11:59pm EST on Monday, December 15th. For other timezones, check here.

STOP PRESS STOP PRESS
One vote per day per IP address. Most schools have the same IP address for every school computer, so students will need to vote from home, libraries, wifi cafes, relatives houses etc.

 

Week 9: Time to show off

This is our penultimate week of the challenge this year. It is time for you to show off the skills you have learnt over the past eight weeks of the challenge.

What could you have learned if you did every challenge?

  • Week 1 – blogging terminology, post/page, about me page, avatars, uploading to blog, creating a slideshow or customizing your header
  • Week 2 – finding your way round a blog, commenting skills, adding HTML in comments, HTML code for your URL in a comment, commenting guidelines, getting family and friends involved in your blog, adding blogs to your blogroll, adding widgets to your sidebar
  • Week 3 – creating and embedding a quiz, visiting overseas blogs, commenting on other student/class blogs
  • Week 4 – digital footprint, googling yourself, Blog Action Day 2014
  • Week 5 – adding images and videos, creative commons, attribution, ways to create your own images, make a jigsaw puzzle from an image, tags and categories
  • Week 6 – new tools like Powtoon, changing themes for a celebration, customising header, countdown widgets
  • Week 7 – flipboard magazine, creating polls, interviewing relatives for posts, connecting with other schools
  • Week 8 – visiting blogs game, nominating great blogs for awards

The one and only activity for the next two weeks:

global issues

Write a post on a global issue you would like to help solve

I chose this topic because I have just spent 5 days attending a fantastic online conference about global education #globaled14. Check the hashtag for some great links to use for your challenge post.

Having read many of your posts, I came up with the following essentials in a great post.

  1. catchy title
  2. includes at least two visuals whether photo, cartoon, video or another web 2.0 tool like padlet, glogster, wordle etc
  3. interesting topic with the passion of the author coming through, shows well researched topic
  4. well written and not copy/pasted from somewhere else
  5. shows it has been proofread and spellchecked
  6. written in paragraphs – at least three of them
  7. includes links to other websites on similar topics – at least two of these
  8. attribution for any images, video, music or clip art used – including those used in slideshows etc

Here are some examples of great posts from last challenge:

Mark wrote about what family means

Nathan wrote about global issues in general

Kaitlyn wrote about education around the world

Pranav wrote about travelling overseas

Jannat wrote about my future

When you have finished your post, please come back here to the blogging challenge and leave a comment on this post.

Mention which topic you wrote about and leave a link to your post.

Those posts covering the eight things mentioned above will be added to our special flipboard magazine called One World, Our World.

Nominations are nearly closed

PS Have you remembered to nominate some people for the Edublog Awards? Time is running out for the deadline for nominations. November 24