Week 1: G’day, my name is ….

avatarbigrealsueMiss W or tasteach

Whenever you see either of these avatars or images on the world wide web, you will know it is me. I am a retired teacher who began blogging with students in 2008. I still blog with teachers and students in Tasmania, Australia. I also blog about my family history and whenever I travel, Davo the Tasmanian devil keeps a blog about his adventures with me. But the event I enjoy most is running the Student Blogging Challenge twice a year, with the help of the staff at Edublogs.

Teachers – Remember you can adapt the activities to suit what is happening in your class at that time or you can cut and paste parts of it on to your class blog. Just remember to give credit where you found the ideas by linking back to the challenge post somewhere on your post.

Students – Most weeks there will be lots of activities to choose from. You don’t have to complete them all. But by early November, your mentor or I must see your ‘About Me’ page or post as well as two other posts relating to the challenge. If they can not be found, your name will be taken off the list of students participating, especially if you have been given a mentor.

Mentors – They are there to give you some clues about blogging, reminding you of the challenge as well as carrying on conversations in your posts. Remember to read and reply to their comments politely and in a timely fashion.

This challenge we have many new students and classes taking part so let’s get some admin out of the way before we start our activities for this week. Anything written in bold and blue is a link you can click on to take you to another blog or website.

Admin for week 1

  1. Check that your name appears only once on the list of participating students. Leave a comment on that page if I need to remove your name from the list – give me your name, URL and age so I can find you easily.
  2. If all the students in your class have blogs and your teacher has a section called ‘My class’, you should have a widget called ‘Class blogs’. Make sure this is on your sidebar.
  3. Add the challenge badge to your sidebar – here is link explaining how to do that.
  4. Can visitors leave comments on your blog posts? If your country is in bright pink, then you might need to change your privacy settings. Check this post for how to do this using Edublogs, Blogger and Kidblog.
  5. Once you have done your activity for this week, remember to come back here and leave a comment on this post. Include a link to your blog post so I can try and visit in the next week. Great posts will be added to our Flipboard magazine on the sidebar.

With so many new students and teachers taking part, you might like to start with this video created by the team at Edublogs. Here is a PDF activity about blogging terms that you might want to use after watching the video.

Time now for the two activities for this week

Activity 1: Create an avatar to use on your blog.  There are many different avatar creation sites on the web. I have been to many of them and created lots of different avatars. Some you just save and download to your computer to then upload into your blog. Others you need to use the snipping tool to save a square image of your avatar. It is always best to save as a jpg format.

Here is a symbaloo of websites to use for avatar making. Feel free to add this to your blog. Along the bottom are pages where teachers have listed lots of sites as well as shown examples. The easiest to do are on the right hand side and look like my avatar.

 

To add your avatar to your blog, if using Edublogs, check here. If using blogspot, check here.  Teacher might need to change some settings in Kidblog to allow students to add own avatars.

Did you find a great avatar site not mentioned here? Write a post about your avatar and how it represents you. Include a link to the website where you created the avatar.

Activity 2: Write or update your About Me page.

Whenever I visit a blog for the first time, I always check to see who the person is that is writing the blog posts. Do they have similar interests to me?

If you already have an About Me page, you might want to create an About my State or Province page as well. Be creative:

What is the difference between a page and a post?  Check out the information here.

If using Edublogs, below are instructions for creating your page. If using blogspot, check here. If using weebly, check here. If using Kidblog, you will need to write a post.

  1. Login to your blog, go to Settings> Discussion and make sure the default setting is ticked for allow people to leave comments> save the changes at the bottom
  2. Now go to the dashboard>pages>add new
  3. Change the title to About Me or something similar.
  4. If you only have one row of icons above the box, click on the last icon called the kitchen sink or toggle. This opens a second row which allows you to change font colours.
  5. In the box, write a bit about yourself remembering to be internet safe. Make sure you have checked out the pages from other students mentioned – many of them have been blogging for a while.
  6. In the area under the page writing box, you should see a Discussion box – open this and make sure you have ticked Allow comments.
  7. When you have finished click the big  button on the right side of your screen – probably says update or send for review.
  8. Once you have saved your about me page, go back and delete the sample page.
  9. If your theme doesn’t show pages in the header area, then you will need to go to dashboard> appearance> widgets and drag across the Pages one to your sidebar.

Finished the work for week 1?

Then head off to the class or student list above the blog header and start visiting other blogs. You might not want to comment this week but maybe check them out. Are there any students with interests the same as you? Do you have a mentor yet? Have they left you any comments?

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