Week 9: Show off

O, Let Me Ne'er Forget

Mike Trimble via Compfight

So we are one week away from the end of the challenge. As some schools finish soon, I will be posting the last challenge early this week instead of next weekend. Look out for it about Wednesday.

Do you think you have improved your blogging skills since you began earlier this year?

Now is your chance to show off.

Activity 1

Write the very best post you can for your teachers and visitors to read.

Remember essentials for a great post:

  1. catchy title
  2. includes at least one visual (with attribution) whether photo, cartoon, video or another web 2.0 tool like padlet or glogster
  3. interesting topic with the passion of the author coming through
  4. well written and not copy/pasted from somewhere else
  5. shows it has been proofread and spellchecked
  6. written in paragraphs – at least three of them
  7. includes links to other websites on similar topics – at least two of these
  8. ends with a question to lure your visitors into leaving a comment

Your choice of topics:

  • Favourites – eg music, author, colour, holiday etc Just write about one of these.
  • Science – any topic within science – astronomy, chemistry, physics, the environment, animals etc
  • Travel – where to go, where you have been, future travel, what to take when travelling, planning a trip etc

When you have finished your post and your teacher has published it, then return here to leave a link to the post. We still have some students just leaving a link to their blog rather than the exact post.

Activity 2

Do you have a favourite blog (not from your class though) that you visit often?

Write a post about that blog and why you keep going back there. Does the author deserve to be nominated in the Edublogs Awards? Give reasons for you nominating them.

Still got time left then visit other blogs and leave quality comments. Read the magazine and visit posts to leave comments on.

Week 8: Community

Bioretention Gardens in Detroit

Creative Commons License University of Michigan School of Natural Resources & Environment via Compfight

A week or so ago, I took part in a global education conference. The people who presented and listened to all the sessions are part of a network of educators around the world. They have their own little community or network.

As a student or teacher what type of communities or networks do you have both in school and outside of school hours?

These communities might include

  • sporting groups
  • after-school activities
  • networks online such as Twitter, Facebook, Minecraft
  • local community groups eg gardening or Boy Scouts
  • country level groups
  • global groups

This week the theme to write about is community.

You might like to think about the following and mention some in your post.

  • The pros and cons of being in a community
  • Which communities you are part of now
  • Which communities you would like to join or be part of later in life
  • Roles within a community
  • Responsibilities when part of a community
  • How to find out about communities to join
  • Value of being in a community

Remember to have your post flipped to the magazine you need to have a great post as mentioned in previous posts in the challenge. This week I have flipped about 200 new posts to the magazine but I have also left comments about making sure you have included images and links within your great posts.

Keep visiting other students and reading posts from the magazine.

Next week

You will have a chance to nominate a great student and class blog for the Edublog awards. These blogs do not have to be from the Edublogs platform but just be a blog about education.

You will also have a chance to show how well your blogging has improved since beginning this challenge.

Week 7: Let’s talk school

It has been interesting reading posts from students in different countries of the world. I wonder how similar or different your school day is! So this week’s theme is all about school. I am going to give you some suggestions but what you post about is up to you. Use one of my ideas or think of something for yourself. Check out what these three students have done:

Kaiya – lunch time choices

Brooke – interview a staff member – make sure they know beforehand you will be putting it on your blog for the world to see

Maraya – report on an event at school

I have included a few videos and links  you might like to check to give you ideas for posts.

So what could you do for a post this week?

  • Create polls about how people get to school or work, or favourite school subject or …..
  • What is your weekly timetable like, compare with other students – time you start and finish school, number of lessons each day, breaks during the day, days in year you go to school
  • Choices of subjects at school – remember to explain abbreviations you might use eg LOTE , ELA
  • Your dream of what you will be doing once you leave school
  • If you were principal for a week, what would you do? If you were a teacher for a week, what would you do?
  • Research the history of your school and create an about my school page
  • Research a famous person who attended your school
  • Technology in your school
  • What do you do at break times?
  • School bell has gone – what do you do now?
  • Food you eat at school – what is in your lunchbox or your school meal – good activity for taking photos
  • If you could improve your school, what would you do?
  • Your ideal school – maybe include a map of what it would look like
  • How has schooling changed over the last 100 years? Maybe interview parents, grandparents and ask questions about schooling – use an audio app then embed in blog
  • The view outside your classroom window – maybe explain plants that might be seen, the weather, seasons etc
  • Hold a debate about uniforms or school starting times or subjects or …..
  • Anything else that relates to schooling around the world

If you create polls or surveys, make sure you contact me so I can publicize on Twitter to get other classes around the world to join in. Use #16stubc or #globalclassroom if you are doing it yourself.

Check out this gallery of classrooms around the world

Martha Payne’s blog turned viral overnight – check out this interview and her blog about school lunches  Make sure you read her very first posts on her blog.

Collaborate with some other schools to create a video like these global classrooms did – Dancing around the world

Teachers:

Check out how you can connect with other schools using Skype in the classroom – Here is link to Hello Little World Skypers  Perhaps join in some of their projects.

Make more global connections by listening to the archives of recordings from the Global Ed Conference that has just been held. Maybe join the Global Education Network that has over 24000 members around the world.

Remember to leave a comment here including a post URL telling me which activity you have done. If your post is great, it will be added to the Flipboard Magazine.

Week 6: Time to visit

content-marketing_cover

Creative Commons License Hurca! via Compfight

There are two activities this week and they are in the form of a game. They involve visiting other blogs, leaving quality comments and writing a post about the comments you left.

Admin this week

I have asked mentors to get back to me with those students who have not been doing the activities relating to the challenge. I have coloured their country pink on the student participant list. I will be deleting these students from the list over the next week if I feel they have not really been participating in the challenge.

Out of 106 comments left on the challenge blog over the last couple of days only 61 included the URL of the actual post I needed to visit. Many students are still leaving just the URL of their blog rather than the post. I only visit and flip to the magazine when a post URL is left here.

Before playing the games, make sure your blog is ready for visitors.

  1. You have lots of interesting posts for visitors to read and comment on.
  2. Visitors can find posts by using tags or categories on your sidebar.
  3. You have a visitor widget to see where your visitors are coming from.
  4. You have at least five student blogs from other places around the world on your sidebar.

Game week is all about visiting other blogs.

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.
  • included a link to their own blog or a similar post on their own blog

Game 1: 

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:

  1. click on a blog on the student list or class list– count one
  2. now click on a blog from the new student’s blogroll – count two
  3. finally click on a blog from that new blogroll – count three
  4. leave a comment on an interesting post at this third blog.

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 times and 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.

Game 2:

This is a new one I have thought of for this challenge. Many great student posts are being flipped to the #16stubc Flipboard magazine, but I am not sure how many of you have actually checked them out. So here are the instructions for this game.

  1. Click on the flipboard magazine link here
  2. Click on the title of the post of what looks like an interesting image or a catchy title
  3. You should now be taken to the actual blog post, read it and leave a comment
  4. Come back to the magazine again and repeat two more times

Write a blog post mentioning the blog posts you read and the comment you left.

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 quick post then include 5 great examples of comments as part of the post – use some interesting comment starters for each comment.

Week 5: Free choice

Cabra hispanica Montserrat

Pedro Luna Guillen via Compfight

Next week we will be playing a commenting game. But you need to get prepared for this.

  1. Make sure you have at least 5 other student blogs linked on the sidebar of your blog, in a page near your header area 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.
  2. Have some visitor widgets on your blog sidebar – maybe a revolver map or a flag counter – this way you can see where your visitors are coming from. Remember only one visitor in 30 will actually leave a comment.
  3. Make sure your blog looks interesting – maybe change your header to suit what you are writing about. Do your pets make a noise as soon as your blog is opened in a tab? That can be annoying so make sure the visitor can click on the sound button if they want to hear your animal pet. Have you changed the tagline under the title of your blog? Have you included some tags or categories to help your readers find a great post?

This week’s activity

Have some interesting posts for your visitors to read when they get to your blog. Last week you visited some class blogs and throughout the challenge you have visited some student blogs.  I am not going to give any clues as to what to put in your posts but remember the following, especially if you want a post flipped to our magazine.

Having read many of your posts, I came up with the following essentials in a great post.

  1. catchy title
  2. includes at least one visual (with attribution) whether photo, cartoon, video or another web 2.0 tool like padlet or glogster
  3. interesting topic with the passion of the author coming through
  4. well written and not copy/pasted from somewhere else
  5. shows it has been proofread and spellchecked
  6. written in paragraphs – at least three of them
  7. includes links to other websites on similar topics – at least two of these

When you have finished your post, please come back here to the blogging challenge and leave a comment on this post. Mention what topic you wrote about and leave a link to your post. Those posts covering the seven things mentioned above will be added to the flipboard magazine. Many students are forgetting to add links to other websites relating to the topic they have written about.

Mentors:

Can you please check your students blogs this week and get back to me via email or comment with names of students who are not really participating in the challenge activities? By now students should have an about me page or post and at least two other posts relating to images, avatars, their country, emergency preparedness, games at school, Gaia or how to comment.

Classes

  • The students in Serbia presented about Shakespeare – to read in English, go to the translate button under the challenge badge.
  • Students in Mrs Ives class wrote about fun facts for their country.
  • Beech class have lots of great book reviews for you to check out – use the category on the sidebar area.
  • This teacher in Portugal created a survey to see how well you read the information on Eugene’s post about South Africa.

Students

  • Thanumi from Thailand is showing her video skills with this fun facts about Greece
  • Celeste is part of the WriteAbout community and has written some posts for you to comment on.
  • Roman created a jigsaw puzzle using an image
  • Naani has an interesting story and she would like your opinion .
  • Kaan decided to get ready for the apocolypse

 

Still more time left this week

  • Read some of the posts in the flipboard magazine – your teacher might want to create a class flipboard magazine to add to your class blog
  • Visit other classes and students in the lists above the header of the challenge blog.
  • Reply to any comments left on your blog especially if from a mentor.

Week 4: Guest posts

Serious but Happy

Aikawa Ke via Compfight

Different activities this week but first some posts worth visiting. These students and classes have been leaving the URL of their POST so I could visit easily. Many of you are only leaving URL of your blog rather than the actual post, so I only approve those comments but don’t visit.

Students:

Classes:

Lots of posts have been added to the #16stubc Flipboard magazine – is one of your posts in there yet? Over 500 posts are there from the two sets of challenges in 2016.

Now to this week’s activities

Instead of me writing a post, I invited some other teachers, educators and mentors to create posts on their blogs. So you will need to choose where to go. You can visit one or as many as you like.

Remember if you leave a comment on the post, make sure it is a quality comment. If you include a link in your comment make sure it goes to your blog or the post you have written on your blog.

Mike Farmer

A retired science teacher (living in Spain) and mentor in the challenge invites you to discuss the Gaia hypothesis. Visit here if under 12 years old, here if 12 and older.

Mrs Yollis

Grade 3 teacher (from California) who creates videos for the challenge, invites students to talk about playing outside at school. PS Make sure you leave excellent comments here – maybe include some HTML code to impress Mrs Yollis and her students. Leaving a comment here will be different to your normal Edublogs blog.

Mrs Smith

Grade 6/7 teacher (from Vancouver Island, Canada) invites you to discuss how prepared you are for emergencies where you live. This includes a survey she would like you to fill out.

Eugene

Member of staff at Edublogs, invites you to visit, virtually, his country South Africa – lots of activities to choose from here

Still got time left this week?

  • Visit other classes and students taking part in the challenge.
  • Read the #16stubc Flipboard magazine – link on sidebar
  • If you have some favourite blogs you visit, make sure you have them linked on your sidebar or in a page on your blog or in a special post. You will need these links in a couple of week’s time when we play a game.

 

Week 3: Images and attribution

October 16-22 is Digital Citizenship Week in USA. CommonSenseMedia have lots of great ideas for activities.

One important aspect of being a responsible digital citizen is our topic for this challenge.

There is a lot to learn in this challenge so it will be running for a two week (fortnight) period. The next challenge will be posted on 30 October and will be a guest post.

Admin for this challenge

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Some students (who already have a mentor) will soon be deleted from the lists if they have not been participating in the challenge activities.
  4. I have visited hundreds of blogs recently leaving many comments or flipping posts to our magazine. Have you found one of your posts in there yet?
  5. We now have a few more students who have been asked to be mentors. They will be leaving comments and giving hints just like the adult mentors.

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. Above the challenge blog header is a page containing a symbaloo with many tools to use on your blog – many relate to images.

Students and teachers please read this before doing the activities

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.

……………………………………………….

Have you read Sue Waters’ post yet?

Off you go then come back here for more information and the activities for this fortnight.

………………………………………………

Other places to find information

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, 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.

Images

Make sure you check out the links under creative commons in the sidebar of the challenge blog.

Music and sound effects

JamendoCCMixter, post with 14 websites for music, post with 20+ websites for music, post with 55+ sites with sound effects

Now for the activities for this fortnight

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?

 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.

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:

  1. Comic Generators like MakeBeliefsComix.com,  ToonDoo
  2. Photo Editors like Befunkyfd’s Flickr Tools
  3. Tag Cloud Creators such as Wordle

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.

Check out these zoom pictures: BeckyJacquelineAbbey

Activity 10.  Go back to previous posts

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.  Samudra  wrote a great post about using wikipedia commons.

Activity 11.  Create a jigsaw from your image. Mrs Schmidt’s class has done this using Jigsaw Planet . Here is her explanation

Last week (2014) my students made some jigsaw puzzles about famous places in our area.  First each student created one Power Point Slide showing a photo and some facts about a location in our area.  They saved the slide as a JPEG and then uploaded it to Jigsaw Planet.  Once the puzzle was created, they published a link to it on their Kidblog. Click on Niamh’s puzzle link.

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?

Still got time left this fortnight (two weeks):

1. Visit other student and class blogs – leave some quality comments

2. Teachers – have you started visiting blogs listed on the class list of blogs? Maybe pair up your students with those on the other class blogs.

3. Reply to comments on your own blog

4. Start using tags and categories with each post you write to make it easier for people to find posts on certain topics. Make sure you have the tags and categories widgets in your sidebar.

5. Have at least five other student blogs linked on your sidebar – students from other classes and schools – not your own. We will need this for a game we play in a couple of weeks.

Try to have a few different headings like

  • My Blogging Friends
  • Other Class Blogs

Having lots of  links to student blogs from other countries will help spread the game.

Here are the instructions for adding links to your sidebars.

EdublogsBloggerKidblog – not sure if this widget goes on the class page or each student page

 Most important learning from this fortnight’s challenge is:

Use creative commons images, not just any image on the net. Always include attribution of where you found the image. Compfight plugin does this for you.

PS If you have done the blogging challenge before, you will find these activities are nearly the same each time. If you have ideas for different activities please leave a comment on this post.

UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE

I will only be adding posts to the flipboard magazine that:

  • are written in paragraphs
  • have been proofread
  • include an image, sound or video with attribution

So make sure you have taken note of this week’s learning about creative commons.

Miss W visiting your blogs

From this week onwards, I will only be visiting blogs where students or classes have left the URL to the post in a comment with an explanation. If your teacher is moderating your posts, you will need to wait until it has been published before giving me your URL. Check out the difference between a blog URL and a post URL.

Blog URL: http://studentchallenge.edublogs.org

Post URL : http://studentchallenge.edublogs.org/2015/10/10/raise-your-voice/

Visit these blogs that couldn’t be flipped or were very interesting to read:

Students:

Grace finally wrote her About Me page, Palin used Thinglink,

Classes:

Mrs Arendt has three classes of students so visit them all

Mrs Kimball has five classes blogging – check them out here under 7ELA blogs

Mr Ellsworth is a new challenge class and they have their blogs here

Mrs Vazquez’s class update their Meet the class page each challenge

Ms Farley’s class in England made a great google slide presentation – the students write on their class blog rather than have their own

Mrs Beard has her student blogs in a list under the posts

These students from Portugal have a survey for you to fill in after checking out their info about their school and country.

Special: Blog Action Day (BAD 2016)

Every year on  16 October, bloggers around the world take part in Blog Action Day (BAD). Generally there is a theme to write about like poverty, pollution, raise your voice and so on. But this year due to family commitments, the three volunteers who run this day are unable to get things organized like they normally do. But they would still like to see bloggers doing some writing.

So they have suggested, write about something you are passionate about.

The special event here at the student blogging challenge will be:

Is there something in your town, state,  country, the world that you feel needs to be improved or changed?

  • It might be having ramps into all public buildings in your town to help the elderly in wheelchairs and using walking sticks.
  • It might be ways to stop plastics being sent into our oceans.

Think small, think big, think local, think global.

What can you as a student do to help make this change you would like seen?

Remember a great post will have:

  1. catchy title
  2. written in paragraphs
  3. include links to other web pages
  4. include visuals like images and videos
  5. be proofread carefully

Make sure you include the hashtag for #BAD2016 somewhere in your post. Also include #16stubc so I can find posts quickly.

You might also like to design a badge that you can use on your own blog to show you wrote as part of BAD2016

Still got some time left:

Make sure you visit these posts that couldn’t be flipped to the magazine:

Annie’s About Me page and her avatar post

 

Week 2: Time to comment

Admin for week 2:

When visiting many blogs last week, I noticed your pages in Edublogs often didn’t allow for comments to be written. You might need to do the following:

  1. Go to your about me page and open it in your dashboard.
  2. In top right corner, click on screen options and make sure Discussions is ticked. Close screen options.
  3. Now below the writing area for your page you should see a dropdown labelled Discussions.
  4. Make sure you have ticked the boxes about leaving comments.

Each week, I am going to highlight some well written and interesting posts for you to check out. Remember to check Flipboard as well.

Elena and her avatars, Issaka loves magic and eSports, Victoria and her experiences,

About week 2: Commenting skills

This is another important week in the challenge. Blogging is all about having your voice heard and connecting with others who might like to read and comment on what you have written. But, as in many things we humans do, there are some protocols bloggers in schools like to follow.

Check out these videos about leaving quality comments. The first video was created for one of the very first blogging challenges back in 2009 by Mrs Yollis’ grade 3 students and it has been seen by thousands of students who have taken part in the blogging challenges since then. This video is suitable for all ages but specifically primary/elementary school or lower. But those in middle/high school or older might like to check out the second video which is more suited to an older age group.

Teachers: You might want to visit the post about teaching quality commenting on the Teacher Challenge blog. It has an excellent video about the possibilities of blogging through commenting. It also includes the videos below and others you might want to share with your class. You also find out about commenting and blogging guidelines, paper blogging and other ways to use your blogs to connect globally.

Using Edublogs? Check out these posts about comments: Comment overview,  managing comments,

Mrs Yollis and her third grade class

Nicolas Weiss – Leaving high quality blog comments

 

Activity 1: Create a ‘How to comment’ page on your blog

Many themes and blogging platforms have different ways to leave a comment. You might need to click on the title of the post, or click on a number in a circle or click on the words ‘Leave a comment’. Write a page for your blog explaining how to leave a comment. You could write it as a set of steps or perhaps create a video showing what to do. Be creative. Here is an example on  my family history blog. Mrs Yollis created a video showing how to comment on her blogspot blog.

Activity 2: Make a set of commenting guidelines

Explain what you expect when someone leaves a comment on your blog.

  • What type of comment is acceptable?
  • Which type of comment will you put in the trash?

Here are some examples:

Huzzah commenting guidelines,  a Glogster poster about commenting, WarriorKat used a variety of tools for her guidelines, notice how Sophie included a link back to Mrs  Yollis’ blog where she got her information from, Emme created a PowToon, Darcey included some interesting points, Kyndal has her guidelines here, Meghana used Canva to create a poster, Taylor included some great commenting tips

Activity 3: Leave a comment on this post – you might be able to combine this with activity 4

Each week the best posts published in the Student Blogging Challenge are featured in our Flipboard magazine.

To check your posts we need you to leave a comment with a link to your post on this blog whenever you finish a weekly activity.

So your activity is to practice leaving a comment below with a link to your post for an activity you’ve completed this week or last week.

But first you need to know the difference between your BLOG link and your POST link

  • Blog link: http://studentchallenge.edublogs.org
  • Post link: http://studentchallenge.edublogs.org/2016/10/02/gday-my-name-is/

If your teacher is moderating and approving your posts, you will need to wait until this has been done before leaving me a link in a comment.

Activity 4: Use some HTML in a comment

Did you check out Mrs Yollis’ blog? She includes a page with some HTML (code) you can use when commenting especially on blogspot blogs. If leaving a comment on an Edublogs blog, here is a post explaining the HTML to use.  If you want to leave a link to your blog that looks neat and tidy, check out this post.

Activity 5: Visit other student or class blogs

Visit 4 other blogs on the lists above the header area. Leave a quality comment on one post on each blog. Might be the About Me page or another post you found interesting.  Write a post on your blog mentioning who you visited, which post you left a comment on and why, then include the comment you left. Hint: make sure you copy the comment before you hit the submit button. Here are some examples from previous students in the challenge: Allegra but try to include a link to the actual post you left a comment on, Meghana who has linked to both the student’s blog and their blog post where she left the comment.

Will visitors to your blog find it easy to search for a post they might be interested in commenting on? Maybe you need to start using Categories and Tags or Labels (blogspot) or Categories (weebly) or Categories (Kidblog) or make sure you have an archive section.

UPDATE   UPDATE   UPDATE   UPDATE

There will be a special post during the week relating to Blog Action Day on October 15. Make sure you visit the challenge blog again about Wednesday for this post.

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?