Much of this post has been cross posted from my class blog, ‘Kids in the Mid‘.
What an unusual title? I wonder what we are going to be doing this week in the challenges?
Answer: Heads (avatars), feet (digital footprint)
Once you are starting to create online, you often need to have a special identity. This is usually in the form of an avatar. You created them for World Maths Day, you have them in Facebook and, of course, you have them when leaving comments on blogs. So, this week’s activities relate to avatars and online identities including creating a positive digital footprint.
Activity 1 – make an avatar
Step 1. Create an avatar for your blog and for you to use when leaving comments.
Avatars are a representation of yourself. Check out this post about avatars. Create your avatar using one of the websites below. Sue Waters from ‘The Edublogger‘ has written a great post about avatars, including giving instructions on how to save them and then upload to an ‘Edublogs’ blog. Many of the sites mentioned below are included in her post.
Most important is remember to save as a jpeg file if using Edublogs.
Any age can use these avatar sites:
- Build your wild self – middle left
- Mini-mizer – middle right
- The Hero Factory – far left
- Adventurer Maker – girls only * some students suggest 10+ years old
- Wimp yourself - relates to ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid’
- Mess Dudes
- Hogwarts student – girls only *some students suggest 10+ years old
- Mii character
- Harry Potter and others saves as GIF
- Block head – like Lego
But over 13, need parental or guardian permission for these.
- Wee World
- Bless this chick
- Hero Machine
- Marvel Hero
- Doll Maker
- Grabba Beast
- Sega Sonic
- Manga face maker
- Make your avatar
14 or older with parental permission
Step 2. Using printscreen to save your avatar
So you decided to create an avatar like “Hero Factory” or “Build your wildself” or “Mini Mizer” where you can’t save it easily. You need to take a picture of the screen first. Most computers have a printscreen button on the keyboard or if using Windows 7 you have an icon called “snipping tool”.
When you press printscreen an image of your screen is now copied to your clipboard. You will still need to crop and resize to get an avatar that fits well on your blog.
Open MS Paint and click control V to paste your image from the clipboard. To save, you need to go to File>Save As> change the name of the file to yourname with ava eg sueava then underneath change the file type to JPEG. Make sure you save your avatar to your drive.
Go to your drive, right click on the icon for your avatar image and choose “Open with” choose MS Picture Manager.
In the icons at the top, go to View> task pane. On the right go to edit pictures > crop. Now move the black bars on the side of your image in, to crop your picture to what you want in your avatar.
Click OK, then back to edit pictures. Now click on resize. In the box “custom width and height” put 97 in both boxes. These numbers might be slightly different but one has to be 97 and the other smaller than 97. Click OK.
Back up to file>save as> call it sueava2 or similar> make sure it is still JPEG. Make sure you have saved it to your drive again.
Step 3. Upload avatar to your Edublogs blog
Now to upload to your blog. Go to your dashboard> users>your avatar> browse to find your image on your school H drive>alternate upload. This is your comment avatar.
Now for your blog avatar. Dashboard>appearance>widget> blog avatar drag to your sidebar. To upload the avatar, dashboard>settings>blog avatar> browse to find your image on your school H drive>alternate upload. Go to your blog page and refresh. Your blog avatar should appear on your blog now.
If it now looks like a black coloured square then you haven’t cropped the image to the correct size in step 2 using printscreen. Or maybe you didn’t save the image as a JPEG in step 2 using printscreen.
Step 4. Linking avatar to blog URL
Lastly, to make sure your avatar is linked to your blog URL, go to dashboard> users> profile and make sure you have a nickname and your blog URL is in the website box. This means whenever you leave a comment, the reader will just have to click on your name or avatar and it will take them to your blog. Include the http:// part in the URL.
Activity 2 – 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 3 – Create a slideshow or gallery of avatars
You really enjoyed creating your avatar on line. Create them for your family or multiple versions of yourself. Now put them in a slideshow using animoto, smile box or photopeach. Or use the gallery format on Edublogs. Are there any other great slideshow tools you could use?
Activity 4 – What is a digital footprint?
Watch this video, then write a post about what might be included on your digital dossier or digital footprint.
- What sites have you joined?
- How much information did you give them when you joined?
- Have you filled in more than the *asterisk questions?
Google your name or nickname but include your town as well.
- What did you find?
- Are you on the web for sports teams, named in newspapers and where else?
- How many cookies or footprints are you leaving behind?
Activity 1 – Create a class avatar slideshow similar to activity 3 for students.
Activity 2 – Create a class poster or video about your commenting guidelines
Commenting is one part of our digital footprint, so it is important students know how to comment in an appropriate way.
- Check out this video by Mrs Yollis and her students.
- Check out this page by Ms Edwards.
- Check out this pdf by Kathleen Morris.
- Check out this glog by Mrs Allen.
Activity 3 – Involve parents in leaving comments on your class blog
- How many parents are involved in your class blog?
- Do they check it out regularly or is the blog just something you and the students do at school?
- How could you involve parents more in the blogging process?
Kathleen Morris and Linda Yollis have some great ideas about involving parents or grandparents. Check out this handout about blogging, navigating the class blog, family blogging month winner and grandparents comment.
Next week we look at global activities getting ready for Earth Hour at the end of March.