This week we look at the subject areas of history and geography including languages of the world. Our area for improving the blog will be widgets which fits in well with our subject areas. But first:
Have you added your badge to your blog sidebar yet? Check out this post for help in doing so.
Have you checked your spam folder for my welcoming comment? Check out this post for an explanation.
Have you checked your settings for mentors and readers leaving comments? Read here or you might be missing out on some great conversations.
Now let’s get started with
Improving your blog
When you first get a blog, there are some widgets included in the sidebar. Once you change themes, some widgets disappear and you need to go to your dashboard> appearance> widgets and drag them across to your sidebar. It would be handy for your teachers and your readers if you could have at least these widgets: blog avatar (can be same as your user avatar), recent comments (10), recent posts (10), links or blogroll, pages, categories, archive and meta.
Do you have a widget tracking your visitors? If not, then perhaps you could put one or more of these widgets on your blog. Check out this post in the teacher challenge by Sue Waters about widgets for class blogs and how to embed them.
What other types of widgets could you include? Check out the widgetbox gallery and browse the different categories.
Some posts are not written in English. Is there a widget for translating posts that you could include on your blog?
Visit other student and class blogs– check out what widgets they have on their blog. A few classes to visit are mentioned in the Sue Waters post above.
- Do some of the widgets detract from the blog?
- Do some of the widgets overlap into the writing area?
- Are some widgets too noisy?
- Are there too many widgets on some blogs?
Write a post about the extra widgets you have added to your blog and why you chose them. Remember to add a link back to where you can sign up for that widget. Did you check the minimum age for having that widget on your blog?
Which widgets do your students consider should be on every class blog? Why? Write a post about your class widgets.
Create a poll asking visitors to your blog to vote for their favourite widget on your blog? Why do you think that widget was so popular?
When adding widgets to your sidebar using Edublogs or a campus blog:
- Go to your dashboard> appearance> widgets.
- Drag a text box to your sidebar.
- Copy and paste the embed code into the text box.
- Save then close.
- If the widget is too wide, you will have to adjust the number next to ‘width’ in the embed code. This might appear more than once in the code.
If your blog is an Edublogs free blog, you might not be able to put all the widgets in your sidebar. Instead put them in a post, but remember to change your post tab in your dashboard to HTML instead of visual when you are pasting in the embed code. If your teacher has a Pro blog, she might be able to upgrade your blog to allow code.
Ideas for posts in geography, languages of the world and history.
- Write a post about tourist attractions in your state. Try to include at least five places that Miss W, your mentor , Davo the Tasmanian Devil or Squirrel would like to visit.
- Write a post, create a glogster, make an audioboo tape, create a Storybird or add a Voki telling your readers about the festivals held in your town throughout the year. Which festivals do you enjoy the most and why? Remember to include the date of the festival in case your reader might want to visit. If under 13, check with your teacher or parent if you want to use a web 2.0 tool rather than writing a post in your blog.
- Visit at least five other blogs from students or classes around the world and ask some questions about their town, school, country in your comments. We have participants from 14 countries taking part in the challenge.
- Create a game or quiz about your town, state or country. A few places to do this include: Quiz Revolution, Class Tools, Remember to check with your teacher or parent before using these web 2.0 tools. Sometimes your teacher or parent will create an account that is moderated by them and is therefore safe for students to use. Do you know any other places to create games and quizzes?
- Create a slideshow about your school and embed on your blog. Check out examples from Miss T and Mr Lamb. Maybe you could use a Prezi as suggested by Justin from Penbank.
- Write a post with questions you would like your visitors to answer in a comment. Try to find out some interesting information about where they live.
- Write a post or use a web 2.0 tool telling your readers about a place you would love to visit and why. Try to include some hyperlinks (links that are underlined in your post and take your readers to another website)
- Create an A-Z flip book about your state then embed in your blog. Must be 13 or older so maybe work as a class.
- Is someone from your class travelling at the moment? Have them write a post about where they are and what they are doing?
- Write a post about a global activity you have taken part in Have you taken part in :
- World Maths or Spelling Day
- International Peace Day – happened on Friday September 21
- Blog Action Day – we will be taking part on 15 October 2012 – perhaps register your class blog or student blog and embed their badge
- ePals, Postcards from Home, FlatClassroom, quadblogging
- Write a post in another language Most students around the world have to learn another language as part of their school curriculum. This might be a challenge for those who are just beginning their language learning but for students like Dominique, this should be a breeze. Make sure you have a translator widget on your blog to make it easier for your visitors to read the post.
- The pupils at Goca have a blog written in Serbian. How can you translate that page so you can read it in English or Spanish if that is your mother tongue? Do you leave a comment in English, your mother tongue or Serbian?
- A visitor from Colombia has come across your blog and wants to read it in their mother tongue, how will they translate it?
- How many languages are spoken by the students in your class?
- Is your class multicultural or is it predominantly a one language classroom?
- What are some of the cultural activities you might celebrate in your classroom?
- What do your students celebrate at home?
Perhaps you could create a poll to put on your class blog and have parents and grandparents answer where they came from originally.
Perhaps one of them could write a post, with their child or grandchild, about a celebration from their country to put on your class blog.
These are some of the key inquiry questions used as part of the Australian history curriculum. Answer one or more of these questions but make it relevant to you and your country and the people living there. Perhaps you could create a timeline, a booklet, a poster, research and present in a Voki – think about other ways to present rather than just writing a post.
Grades 1/2 look at themselves in their family and local community
- What is my history and how do I know? What stories do other people tell about the past? How can stories of the past be told and shared?
- How has family life changed or remained the same over time?
- What aspects of the past can you see today? What do they tell us? What remains of the past are important to your local community? Why?
- How and why do people choose to remember significant events of the past?
Grades 3/4 look at world exploration and the first people living on our land
- Why did the great journeys of exploration occur?
- What was life like for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Peoples before the arrival of the Europeans?
- Why did the Europeans settle in Australia?
- What was the nature and consequence of contact between Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Peoples and early traders, explorers and settlers?
Grades 5/6 look at the colonies of Australia and their development into a nation
- What do we know about the lives of people in Australia’s colonial past and how do we know?
- How did an Australian colony develop over time and why? How did colonial settlement change the environment?
- What were the significant events and who were the significant people that shaped Australian colonies?
- Why and how did Australia become a nation?
- How did Australian society change throughout the twentieth century?
- Who were the people who came to Australia? Why did they come? What contribution have these immigrants made to the development of Australian society?
Grade 7 looks at the ancient civilizations of the Mediterranean or Asian cultures. Questions include
- How do we know about the ancient past?
- Why and where did the earliest societies develop?
- What emerged as the defining characteristics of ancient societies?
- What have been the legacies of ancient societies?
Grade 8 looks at the medieval period around the world. Questions include
- How did societies change from the end of the ancient period to the beginning of the modern age?
- What key beliefs and values emerged and how did they influence societies?
- What were the causes and effects of contact between societies in this period?
- Which significant people, groups and ideas from this period have influenced the world today?
Grade 9 looks at the making of the modern world from 1750-1918 including World War I. Questions include
- What were the changing features of the movements of people from 1750 to 1918?
- How did new ideas and technological developments contribute to change in this period?
- What was the origin, development, significance and long-term impact of imperialism in this period?
- What was the significance of World War I?
Grade 10 looks at 1918 to the present time but especially Australia as part of a global community. Questions include
- How did the nature of global conflict change during the twentieth century?
- What were the consequences of World War II? How did these consequences shape the modern world?
- How was Australian society affected by other significant global events and changes in this period?
Remember to look at the history questions as they relate to your country eg How was Serbian society affected by other significant global events and changes in this period?
Still got more time left this week
Visit students or classes from other countries and leave comments or questions that could relate to history, geography or languages. If you want to check back to see if they have answered your questions, you will often see a box to tick that will send you an email when other comments have been made. Or add that student’s blog as a link in your blogroll on your sidebar.
Remember to leave a trackback in your posts so I can come and visit to leave comments. So far Mr Pepper’s class have been great at doing that.