Looking through the list of participants, we have very few students who have taken part in a challenge before so the activities will be new to you all. A reminder that some activities will be about setting up your blog while other activities will be writing posts or improving your commenting skills. Each week you can choose to do as many of the activities as you like or your teacher might choose the one they want for that week.
Whatever happens – Enjoy your blogging!
When you meet someone for the first time or join a new class, you usually have to introduce yourself. Most blogs have a page called ‘About’ or ‘Sample Page’ or ‘Profile’.
Activity 1. Write or update your ‘About’ page. Tell your readers your first name only, a bit about your interests but remember to be internet savvy and not give out any personal details. Check out these students – Emma , Daniel , Chloe , Simon , Ben and Molly. If you wrote your ‘About’ page last year, things will have changed – so update the information or improve the layout of what you have written to make it easier for your readers to understand.
In Edublogs, log in to your dashboard. On left go to all pages, hover under sample page and click edit. Make sure you change the title and delete what is already written there. Once you have finished, hit the update button. Now remember to go to appearance> widgets and drag your ‘Pages’ widget to your sidebar.
If using Blogspot, check out this blog and all its hints.
Because Sue Waters (from The Edublogger) and I want to know about student commenting skills, we would like everyone to do the next activity.
Activity 2. Leave a comment on this post to answer the following questions.
Why did you join the blogging challenge?
What do you hope some of the activities include?
Finally, what do you hope to get out of the challenge by the end of the ten weeks?
Because we can’t all meet face to face (f2f), we have to have an online identity to represent us. Whenever I leave a comment on your blog, you will see a grey haired lady. I love wearing thongs on my feet and drinking iced tea. So that is a picture representing me – these pictures are avatars.
Activity 3 – 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.
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
- Wimp yourself - relates to ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid’
- Mess Dudes
- Hogwarts student – girls only
- 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 or use the snipping tool
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”. Not sure what Mac users have but I am sure there is a similar button on your computers.
When you press printscreen or use the snipping tool an image of your screen or part of it 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. This might be in Microsoft office tools.
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.
Activity 4 – 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 5 – Visit 10 student blogs in the challenge where you have the same interests.
Write a post or leave a comment telling me who you visited and what post you commented on in their blog. Why did you comment on that post?
Activity 6 – Write a tutorial post about creating your avatar
This would be handy for Miss W to have for the next set of challenges. Your post could be used to teach other students or teachers about how to create, resize and upload their avatar especially if using blogspot, kidblog or a Mac computer. Mention in your post what type of computer you were using and the programs used for resizing etc.
Extra activity or as a class – Create different avatars and share them with the world.
Now create an animoto with your images to embed in your blog. Check first if your teacher has a class animoto reference code.
Maybe you know a tool to create a flip book that can show your class avatars with a description similar to activity 4.
Remember to leave a link back to this post (see below) if you have written about one of the activities in your blog.