We have had a great 10 weeks of blogging. You have learnt so many skills to help you improve your blogs. Many of you have improved those writing skills or maybe digital skills with using a variety of tools to embed on your blog. But it is now time to evaluate your progress as well as the progress of the blogging challenge itself.
This week there are two things to do:
Evaluate your own blog
Evaluate the actual blogging challenge
1. This is an audit of your blog since the beginning of March 2015.
How many posts did you write?
How many were school based, your own interests or set by the challenge?
How many comments did you receive from classmates, teachers or overseas students?
Which post received the most comments? Why do you think that happened?
Which post did you enjoy writing the most and why?
Did you change blog themes at all and why?
How many widgets do you have? Do you think this is too many or not enough?
How many overseas students do you have on your blogroll?
Which web tools did you use to show creativity on your blog?
Now ask another student and teacher/parent from your school who might not have read your blog to do an audit.
Sit beside them while they navigate around your blog, record what you observe as they interact with your blog. When finished, ask them the following questions:
What were your first impressions of this blog?
What captured your attention?
What distracted you on the blog?
What suggestions can you give me to improve my blog?
Write a post about your blog audit.
2. Evaluating the challenge.
This is the fourteenth challenge and sometimes I feel like the activities are getting stale especially for those students who have taken part in more than one set of challenges. So over the next few weeks I will be adding new pages that you all can contribute to. Every month of the year, there are special events, festivals, birthdays of authors etc. Which ones do you think it would be interesting to write about? Find the post ideas page for that month and add your ideas in the comments. (These are found above the header area)
Now for your final activity – please evaluate the challenge by filling in the following form.
Still got time to spare:
Visit grandatlas blog for their journey to various countries, Brooke takes you on an interesting journey to 3 countries, Alexandra is going to Japan, France and Switzerland, Willow has done some great work in the challenge but no-one has been visiting
Check out the flipboard magazine – are any of your posts included?
Add student blogs to your blogroll or links so you can continue visiting over summer or throughout the rest of the year
Visit student and class blogs to leave quality comments.
So you have just turned 18, left high school and deciding if you will go onto university. What will you do for the next year? If you are anything like me, you will travel the world, working in lots of different countries and learning about cultures that are of interest to you.
This week’s activities are all to do with travelling. If you don’t like my ideas, do something that is of interest to you but related to other countries.
Please use one or more web tools you haven’t used before – eg glogster, storybird, flipbook, bitstrips, kizoa – there are lots of tools to use on the sidebar of this blog as well as here and Edublogs staff have put together a great list including how to embed into your blog.
Planning your trip
Look at passports, visas, working permits for 3 countries you would like to visit.
Create a map showing your proposed journey – remember this may change
What will you need to pack? Remember weight limits when flying.
How will you travel?
Where will you stay?
Create budget for part of your journey
On your way
International signage for toilets etc, signs on roads
What will my money buy?- exchange rates – how much is a cup of coffee in 3 different countries?
Contacting mum and dad – know your time zones, how to use skype or similar
Flight times – using 24 hour time – how long are flights between major cities?
Visit at least one country in each continent (include Antarctica in Oceania)
Make a collage of where you visited
Teach us some of the language of at least three countries eg How much is a cup of coffee? Where are the toilets?
Create a story of your journey
Interview some of your employers or relatives you stay with
Create a playlist of 9 pieces of music or dance from your journey – not in English
Home sweet home
How will you tell your friends about your journey?
What were the highlights and lowlights of each country?
Where would you visit again and why?
If you need to use images remember to find those that are creative commons. I have also found some at Pixabay where you have to download the image to your computer and then upload to your blog post (just include the name of the photographer at the end of your blogpost) and photos for class where you download an image to your computer and it will automatically have a watermarked attribution included.
Here is a photo using Pixabay – I have added the caption to include the photographer’s name – the image is a jpg and you can choose the size to download. If using Edublogs, you can also choose size of image before inserting into your post.
Pixabay – photographer: Alexas_Fotos
Here is a photo using Photos for Class – it is a png image but you don’t have choice of size to download – if using Edublogs, you can choose size of image before inserting into your post
Still got time this week
Please visit Solana and give her lots of encouragement to continue the challenge. She is only student from her class still participating in the challenge.
Travel the world by leaving comments on blogs from countries other than your own. Write a post about who you visited including a link to the post you commented on.
UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE
Next week will be your chance to shine and show your teachers, fellow students, blog visitors how great you are at blogging. Make sure you know what makes a great post and how to attract people to your blog so they will leave a comment and start or continue a conversation.
Scotty has a blogging goal and this week’s activity could help him achieve it.
I am not sure how many of you have been out and about visiting other blogs and leaving quality comments. But that is the idea of this week’s game.
Before you start,please make sure you have at least 5 other student blogs linked on the sidebar of your blog or in a recent post that your visitors can find easily. Make sure these are blogs from other students around the world, not just those in your class or school. Perhaps have a blogroll or link category called Global students or Global classes. Here is how to add a blogroll if using Edublogs or Blogger. If using Kidblog write a post mentioning at least 5 great blogs you enjoy visiting.
Game week is all about visiting other blogs.
Student and class blogs – new bloggers and old hands at the blogging – mentors as well as participants.
Remember one of the main aims of blogging includes commenting and carrying on conversations with the author of posts and their other readers.
A good commenter will have:
read the post carefully,
checked out the links in the post
read the previous comments before they leave one of their own
added to the conversation with a quality comment – remember that video from Mrs Yollis’ class.
This is a game we have run for many challenges and allows you to connect globally.
Those who have taken part in a challenge before know the game of ‘Count Out Three’. Here are the instructions:
now click on a blog from their blogroll – count two
finally click on a blog from that blogroll – count three
Leave a comment on an interesting post at this third blog. Remember to include the URL of your blog, so that person can visit you as well.
Teachers: If you are moderating student comments, please make sure you are up-to-date with that this week as students can be very disappointed when they think they have no comments, yet many are in the moderation queue ready to be published.
Students: Make sure you are also replying to any comments that have been left for you.
Do this activity at least three timesand finally, write your own post saying which blogs you visited and which posts you left a comment on. Why did you choose that post? Remember to include a link back to the post you left a comment on.
Get to it – start visiting and leaving quality comments that show you have read the post.
How many quality comments could you leave this week? Can you leave 10, 20 or maybe 50?
Write a post about the commenting you have done this week or throughout the challenge so far.
What have you enjoyed about commenting?
What is annoying about commenting?
How have you found interesting posts to comment on?
Are your posts getting lots of quality comments? Why or why not?
Create a list of great comment starters to help new students to blogging. There are some lists on the web but try to create your own. Here are a couple of examples from Anne Davis:
Another thing to consider is…….
I can relate to this…….
This makes me think of…….
Write a post then write 5 great comments as part of the post – use some interesting comment starters for each comment.
Here are some posts from last week that couldn’t be flipped:
Once you have finished your work at school, you can often go and play with something in the room.
But let’s also think about people with unusual jobs – what did they do for play or relaxation?
I think about my great great grandfather who was a whaling captain in the 1870’s. He was stuck on a boat with thirty other men, maybe his wife and a child was also on board. What sort of things did the sailors do for relaxation out in the middle of the ocean?
Here in Australia we are thinking about the soldiers of the Great War – World War 1. If they weren’t fighting in the trenches or charging across the open ground, what could they do for relaxation? If they had been injured and were recuperating in a hospital tent, what could they be doing?
Activities to choose from:
1. Research board games – when, where and why were they invented?
2. Create a new game for someone to de-stress from their lifestyle.
3. Your family are stranded on a deserted island, with nothing but your clothes. How will you entertain yourselves?
4. Research ball games around the world – find out the rules and then try playing something similar at school or home. How did it go?
5. Find out the ways soldiers and sea captains used to relax over 100 years ago.
6. The electricity grid went out in your country. What would change in your lifestyle? How would you relax?
7. Survey class members about games they have at home. Are you going to include computer games? Create some interesting graphs about results.
8. Find an image that has a relaxing feel to it. Write a poem remembering to give attribution correctly.
Make sure you are ready for our game in a week or so. To take part in this game, all classes and students will need the following:
a user avatar if possible
an ‘about me’ PAGE if using Edublogs or a post if using other platforms
a clustrmap or flag counter widget – if your clustrmap is greyed out, check my post here to fix it if using Edublogs widget
at least four interesting posts – could be topics of your choice not necessarily from the challenge
your ‘Recent Comments’ widget on the sidebar with 10 comments as the choice – Edublogs
your ‘Recent Posts’ widget on the sidebar with 10 posts as the choice – Edublogs
Your ‘Pages’ widget on the sidebar or pages in the header – Edublogs
at least 10 student and/or classes linked on your blogroll
at least three overseas blogs on your blogroll
posts tagged or categorized to make it easier to find interesting posts on each blog
the more students or classes you have linked on your blog, the more fun the game will be
The most important of these are the links to other student blogs on your sidebar. Try to have a couple of different headings like
Having lots of links to student blogs from other countries will help spread the game.
Check out Kendall’s right sidebar – she has a list called Blogroll which are her classmates but she also has a list called Blogging Challenge and these are other blogs she visits regularly
Olivia, who has taken part in the challenges over three years, has some great lists of links on her blog – blogroll, class blogs, family and friends, my followers. She also has links to classmates in blogroll in the header of her blog.
Still have time left this week:
Then keep visiting other student blogs and leave great comments including your blog URL. Find some interesting bloggers then add them to your sidebar links. Write some posts about great blogs you have visited, include a link to that blog in your post.
Read the flipboard magazine to visit bloggers who are writing great posts and are then leaving comments on Miss W’s challenge posts. Students with Edublogs free blogs can’t have posts flipped into the magazine, so they are being mentioned on each week’s posts instead.
Check out these blogs
Clara has only just joined the challenge - check out the background, header image and title (all related to what Clara enjoys). She also has some great posts but unfortunately they can’t be flipped into our magazine.
The young students from Grand Atlas blog in Algeria have been visiting lots of other blogs and they would like you to visit them. They have left some great comments on many other blogs around the world.
Mr Helpern’s class have a category for each student – check out their great posts by clicking on their name.
Why not visit lots of these links during your holiday or break and write a post about the new sites you enjoyed. Remember to include a link in your post somewhere so others can find the site easily from your post.
Remember to still check out the links on the sidebar of the challenge blog as well as the Get Help links if using blogspot or kidblog.
This post is going to be for a three week period as schools in Australia are on Easter break soon. The next official post will be on Sunday 19th April. I will do a fun post in between with some great sites to visit.
But our topic this week is favourites. This will give you a fantastic choice for posts.
It will also mean you might get your post(s) added to the Flipboard magazine if your post includes:
at least three paragraphs if you are 11 or older; two paragraphs if younger than that
an image or video or music with correct attribution
a title that grabs the attention of the readers
at least one link to another website so readers can build on the information you have written
a question for readers to answer
Try to use some new tools mentioned in the sidebar of the challenge blog. Leave a comment on this post if there are some tools you use often that I should be adding there. Tell me if it is a web tool or an app so I can separate the lists.
Remember I only know if you have completed a post, if you come back here and leave me a comment with a link to your post. Take note of the difference here:
URL of blog: http://studentchallenge.edublogs.org/
I have to search to find your post especially if I want to use as an example next set of challenges.
URL of post: http://studentchallenge.edublogs.org/2015/03/22/week-4-lets-join-globally/
This takes me straight to the post – you might need to wait until your teacher has moderated your post before leaving the comment on my challenge blog.
Many older studentsdon’t have mentors but would love some visitors. So I am highlighting some class blogs that have lists of student blogs in their sidebars. Please take the time to visit and leave comments on both the class and student blogs. This is thanks to Madeline who left me a comment about this.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR STUDENTS WHO HAVE MENTORS
Remember, I will be deleting any students who have mentors already allocated over the Easter break if:
there is no About Me page or post visible – make sure the pages widget is in your sidebar if your pages don’t appear up in your header area
there is not at least two other posts related to the challenge activities
no comments can be left – country in pink
you haven’t been commenting back to your mentor
UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE
I have now created the flipboard magazine for this set of challenges. I will only be adding posts that:
are written in paragraphs
have been proofread
include an image, sound or video with attribution
So make sure you have taken note of last week’s learning about creative commons.
The last couple of months have had many international special days or events happening. How many have you taken part in at either school or at home?
This Saturday is one I take part in each year – Earth Hour.
Check out their video for the 2015 event
Now add an image to a widget on your blog sidebar – you might need to change the size to 200 by 200
Check out the starter kit for banners, logos and posters. Teachers might get some ideas from the guides to use in class during the week.
Find out what is happening in your country and in other countries around the world.
Activities for this week are all to do with the globe or the world we live in.
Join our Free Rice group called Student Blogging Challenge or create one for your class. Every answer you get right, means 10 grains of rice donated to the World Food Programme. Since October 2011, we have had 86 students join and donate 116, 300 grains of rice. I wonder how many we could have by the end of Easter? Can you add a widget to Free Rice on your blog?
Write a list of international events you have taken part in since Christmas 2014. What were they celebrating? What did you do to celebrate?
Visit at least 5 blogs from countries other than your own. Leave a comment on a post at each blog. Now write your own post including the comment you have left and linking to each post you commented on.
If you could create an international event, what would it be called? What would we be celebrating? Create some of the advertising material you might use – eg logo, banner, image, flyer
Think of a special celebration in one country of the world. Find three images of the event. Under each image, give a clue as to the event.
On the final line, write a bit more about the event for your visitors to read. Include a link to another website giving more information on the event. Remember to include attribution for each image and perhaps a question for your readers to answer.
Write about one special event you have taken part in. It might be an educational global event or an international event from the United Nations or a special event from your country. Find an image to add to your post. Remember to use attribution correctly. Include a link to another website giving more information on the event.
Add at least five international blogs to your blogroll or links ready for a game we will hold after Easter. If you can’t add links on your blog, add them in a post instead.
What are some games or apps you use that relate to global studies or geography of the world? Include a link to the website or app.
What could you, your class, your school, your town do to help with the climate change problem for more than the one hour on Saturday 28 March 2015?
Previous week’s activities: Visit and leave quality comments
Eagle Wordsmiths have a question for students or classes in each country in the challenge. Please answer their questions.
Thanks to all those students, teachers and mentors who have been checking the student list for students mentioned more than once. If you haven’t checked yet, please make sure you are only listed once.
Also we still have some mentors not able to leave comments especially on those blogs from blogger or blogspot. Make sure you have Name/URL as an option when leaving comments.
Teachers: here is a lot of information regarding images, creative commons and copyright which you can use with your students or to refresh yourself about what is acceptable or not on public blogs. Also one of our mentors in 2014, Maria, has put together some lists with great tools when using images and audio. The Edublogger also has a post on free image sources.
This week’s activities are going to be fun but first there are some things you need to know so please read carefully.
I have been visiting many blogs over the last few weeks. Some students new to blogging have been writing some great posts while others who have been blogging for a bit longer have started adding videos and images to their posts.
Yes, this week we deal with using images, music and sounds in your posts.
But can’t I use any image, music or sound that is on the internet?
No, you must use creative commons or in some cases the fair use rule.
But where can I find these images, music and sounds? Can’t I use anything when I google an image?
No, your blog is public so you must use creative commons images, sounds, music and videos.
Sue Waters over at the teacher challenge has written a fantastic post about images, copyright and creative commons. I would suggest you all head over there to read the post. She explains about creative commons and the licences, attribution, how to find images for your blog and how to upload images to your blog. Most of this would be appropriate whether you are using Edublogs, blogger or any other blogging platform. This might be very wordy for some students, but Sue uses lots of images and how to do sections in her posts.
Teachers: A fantastic guide to copyright, fair use and creative commons has been written by Ronnie Burt and I would suggest you read this to understand more about using images, music and video on your blogs. Also includes what might happen if you use an image etc incorrectly.
Larry Ferlazzo also has a great “Best List for images” that you might want to check out as well.
OK I want to use some legal creative commons images and music in my slideshow.Where can I go to get them?
Do you have compfight plugin for your blogging platform? Follow the instructions from Sue Waters’ post.
Maria, a mentor from 2014 and also helping this year, created some lists of tools to use with images and audio.
Other places to get images and music:
You will need to work out how to get the attribution to put on your posts. Check Sue Waters’ post to get more help and more places for images. This post from Edublogs explains how to add media in all its forms to your blog posts or pages. If using blogger, check out the posts from this blog.
Activity 1 Watch this video about sharing work and write a post about what you learned. Include words such as attribution, share alike, licences and derivatives to show you understand what the video was about. Do some more research on the topic and perhaps create your own class video about using images, music and videos in class.
This video is the reaction of students in Mrs Yollis’ class when she mislabelled their artwork. How would you have felt?
Activity 2. Check out this story using remix and fair use of video. What was interesting, positive or negative about it? Could you and your friends create a 20 second video using remix and fair use? Mrs Miller’s class left some comments on her blog about creative commons
Activity 3. Find an image or piece of music. Add it to your post (with attribution) and write a poem relating to the image or music. Invite your readers to write their own poems. Here is Fernando’s example, Samantha is confused
Activity 4.Similar to activity 3. Find an interesting landscape image (include attribution). Write the beginning of a story relating to your image. Remember to include a conflict of some sort between your characters. Invite your readers to finish the story. How many different endings can you get? Which ending do you prefer? You might need to visit some other bloggers and invite them to finish your story. Remember to leave the URL of your post for them to click on. Leave a comment on this postif you want me to visit and finish your story. Check out Kat’s story and endings, Ghost Soldier began his story,
Activity 5. Write a sentence using just images – no words. You still need to include attribution for each image you have used.
Activity 6. Find 5 images that create a story – again no words only the attribution for each image.
Activity 7. Create a slideshow, photo gallery or poster about your interests to add to your about me page or as a separate post. Your final slide should include attribution for each image.
Activity 8. Create your own images and add to a post of your choice. In your post add a link to the website or tool you used to create your image.
Other options for creating your own images include:
Mixing up your images using these types of tools can really spice up your posts! Leave a comment on this post, if you or your class can recommend some other image sites to add to this list.
Activity 9.Zoom out from an image
We first tried this activity in the challenge in September 2010. Choose a picture, and have your readers zoom out, so to speak, by leaving comments. Check out the example from Huzzah who finished their story. If doing this activity, include the word ‘zoom’ in your title so I can find it easily. Remember to give attribution. Most important here is to read previous comments, so you can add to the story.
If you have used images in any previous posts you have written, then you are ethically obliged to give the correct attribution or take the image out of the post if it does not have the right creative commons license. Check out where Holly found her image, Samudra also wrote a great post,
Activity 11.Create a jigsaw from your image. Check out how Mrs Schmidt’s students did this for a previous activity including a tutorial from Mrs Schmidt.
Activity 12.Write a post about different websites to find creative commons images. Are there any widgets you can add to your blog to make this easier?
Visit a mentor:This is for the students at high school or older as it looks at selfies. Elementary (primary) or middle school students comment about robots here.
Previous week’s activities: Visit and leave quality comments
About me pages – Melinda had some great things you should know about her, Sydney wrote about Cassie using a Wordle, Bryce wrote about Jonah, Harlee, Evan wrote about Erica, Charles wrote about Isabelle, Alexis wrote about Tatum,