Week 2: It’s a small world
Welcome to the second set of activities. But first a little bit of
Firstly, with over 1000 students now registered, I am sorting out mentors to be allocated to students. I don’t want one student to end up with more than one mentor but this will happen if you are on the student list more than once. So PLEASE check the student list and leave a comment on this post if you are on there more than once. I will need your name, URL, country and age to make it easier for me to find you on the list.
Secondly, we still have some classes and students who have privacy settings not allowing others to read posts and/or comment. To check if this is you, go to your blog but DON’T login. Now try reading and commenting. Are you allowed to? If not, then neither will your visitors. Please change the privacy settings. Any students or classes who still don’t allow comments by Easter will be deleted from the lists.
Thirdly, instead of filling in a Google form each week of the challenge, please come back to the post and leave a comment including the URL of your blog post. In April I will be starting a new flipboard magazine and will be adding the great posts from both students and classes to that.
Now let’s get to the challenge.
Only 220 years ago, it used to take a sailing ship about 4 or 5 months to sail from England to Australia with convicts on board. It took me 24 hours, including time zone changes, to fly from Australia to Vancouver, Canada with a short stop in Hawaii for a couple of hours. Yet it took only seconds for my class to connect in 2008 when we used Skype to make a call.
Students born in the last twenty years should be taking it for granted that they will be working collaboratively with students and teachers across the world using modern technology.
So this week’s challenge is to tell the world about the area you live in – your town, your state or province, your country in general. But hopefully you will also be having international visitors coming to your blog, so you need some way of knowing where they are coming from. There will be many options of what to do this week ranging from adding widgets, creating avatars, writing posts, leaving comments by visiting international blogs.
Activity 1 Adding widgets
- To tell people about your area – check out the widgetbox for weather, news and clocks
- Tracking your visitors – Sue Waters from Edublogs has included in the user guide lots of widgets to add.
- Translate your page in case readers do not speak your language.
When adding widgets to your sidebar, go to your dashboard>appearance>widgets> drag text box to sidebar area. Now copy and paste the embed code into your 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 using blogger rather than Edublogs, you might need to check out the instructions for adding widgets and images etc from Bling For Your Blog, written by a teacher in New Zealand. Thanks Allanah.
Activity 2. So that you are known globally, you need to have an avatar that represents you.
But can’t I use a picture from Google?
No, most pictures on Google or other search engines are copyright and belong to someone else.
Here is a post with links to lots of different avatar sites for you to create an image that looks like you and here is a post for Edublogs or wordpress explaining how to upload your avatar. Blogpost or blogger students check here to upload, Kidblog check here,
Activity 3. Being such a small world now, many classes take part in global events such as Earth Hour (coming up very soon, so register this week), Safer Internet Day (back in February), Global Read Aloud Day (ideas for books needed), Pi Day (just passed) and Clean Up Day (just passed in Australia). Write a post or posts about special global events you or your class have taken part in. What did you learn from the event? Why should it be global?
Activity 3. If I were to visit your state or province, what would be the ‘must see’ places and why?
Activity 4. Create a quiz about your state, country; this website is good for embedding a quiz. Try my quiz about Tasmania
Thanks to Celia for reminding me that this site is only for those over 13 years old.
Activity 5. Finally, just for fun, if you have completed one of the other activities perhaps you could try this activity.
When “daddysitting” my father who is just out of hospital, I asked him to give me an activity relating to the topic for this week. He said what about a story about the journey of a small animal like an ant. Remember be creative, use a different webtool and embed into your blogpost.
Still got time left this week:
- Visit other student and class blogs and read the about pages. Leave quality comments.
- Check out these maths challenges from Ms Hutchison’s class.
Remember, come back to this post and leave a comment when you have written your post or embedded your quiz. Include the URL of the actual post not just your blog in general.