Day 2 ISTE

Well it is Monday and we will be presenting again this afternoon. No need to be rushing around going to lots of different sessions at ISTE but I am finding some of the booths in the lobby interesting – seeing what other schools are doing using technology in their curriculum.

Whenever I am not wandering around the conference, I am sitting in the Blogger’s Cafe, networking with other teachers. Was great to put a face to many Aussie and overseas teachers who I know from Twitter or blogging.

As well as the booths there are the exhibit halls. Rows and rows of products being shown. In our ISTE bag, we were given a booklet of coupons but it took ages to fill in the back of each before putting them in the raffle draws at each product booth. All the raffles will be drawn on Wednesday at noon and people will be notified by 1pm to pick up their prizes. I am aiming to win an iPad and or Kindle. Would be great to take back to use in Australia with the eSchool blogging classes.

One thing I have noticed is that most people are using a smartphone and an iPad for tweeting and writing blog posts. I am finding my laptop is very heavy, so if I don’t win an iPad I might have to invest in one for the future. So many sessions are about using iPads and apps for them. There was even an app to use for the conference instead of lugging around the printed version of the conference website.

Will write more about the exhibition hall tomorrow as I plan to take my coupons home tonight, fill them all out, put them in numerical order then start up and down the aisles leaving them at each exhibit.

Official Day 1 at ISTE12

Exhibit hall not open till tomorrow so a nice relaxed morning. Headed to ISTE12 just before lunch after a walk down to the waterfront from my motel. Saw the  old wooden boat called the Star of India and what looked like an old submarine just behind it.

Took part in the Global Ed Summit run by Lucy Gray – saw Anne Mirtschin from Australia talk about how her school is working globally. Glad I took some business cards I made to this session. They had a draw like a raffle and guess who won the prize – Sue Wyatt – yep tasteach won a copy of Vicki Davis’ and Julie Lindsay’s book about Flattening Classrooms, Engaging Minds.

Time to hang out at the Blogger’s cafe and meet some more people who I recognized by their twitter avatars. A quick bite for tea, then down to the lobby area to set up for our presentation on the Student Blogging Challenge. Many thanks to Tracy Watanabe, Sue Waters, Ronnie Burt, Linda Yollis, Kathleen Morris and her hubby Nate for being there to help talk about the challenge.  If everyone we spoke to joins the September challenge, I think we might need to have a committee start running it instead of just me with the help of the Edublogs team.

It was great to see so many people interested in the challenge and what blogging can do for students in creating global friendships as well as how it can work as part of your everyday subjects at school. In fact, we were asked to run the session again the next afternoon as some people had cancelled their sessions and they needed to fill the booths again.

I want to thank Sue Waters and her son Liam, for organizing the Aussie goodies for people to try while listening to us talk – Tim Tams, Caramello Koalas and Smiths Chips.

Not being a party animal like the others, I headed back to the hotel to chill out and get a good night’s sleep as I know there will be a lot more walking tomorrow.

Day 1 at ISTE2012

Arrived at the San Diego Conference Centre about 8.30 after a great shuttle bus ride. Talking with driver and after having mentioned I had visited 37 states of the USA, she decided to count up how many she had visited. She was still working it out after I left the bus – hope to get on her bus tonight.

Into the registration area – presenters had separate lines but with #ISTE12 not officially starting until tomorrow, the lines weren’t that long. But the amount of stuff in the bag was enormous, will check it out when I get back to the hotel later today.

Well officially, it isn’t day 1, instead it is called SocialEdCon. It used to be EdubloggerCon, but the name has now been changed. Began at 8am this morning, finished 4pm. Participants arriving early came up with ideas for discussions. These were added to a wiki, given a meeting room and by 10am, the first sessions were on.

First session I attended was blended learning with collaboration – many different meanings to blended learning – is it mix of online and facetoface? is it cross curricula with digital overlay? Many schools doing different things but finding more students are engaged when learning is blended rather than the traditional face to face only or online only. Some schools have no specific subject lessons – everything is student based. No specific lessons means no bells for changeover time etc. Other schools are looking at how the classroom space can be best utilised when doing blended learning.

Second session I attended was about using social media to build school and community relationships. Also looked at bullying on social media eg facebook and twitter. Was great to hear that participants believed it was necessary to start in the early grades teaching about what is appropriate or not on the internet and building your own dossier. Angela Maiers was there talking about Twitter and YouTube and what is trending with them at the moment. Also a discussion about social media user policies in schools. Link to page from Cybraryman, Jerry Blumgarten.


Time then for a quick picture on the steps of all those at SocialEdCon. Wonder if you can see me? Brown top, far left near wall.  Lunch then with Sue Waters and her son Liam, Tracy Watanabe and her husband, Ronnie Burt, Paul Harrington and myself at the Hard Rock Cafe – tuna melt sandwich very filling with an apple flavoured coleslaw.

Back for the last sessions – creating online courses – great discussion about creator not always the facilitator, platforms to create courses, teaching teachers how to write and facilitate courses. Most important point was that many kids or teachers can’t cope well with a total online course – they do need some face to face whether that is attend the school or use skype or BBcollaborate etc.

Time to head home to the hotel to check out the bag of goodies and decide if I am going to the party tonight – not a party person at all – maybe the Karaoke party will be enough on Tuesday!!

Image from this source.

Why talk about ISTE on this blog?

The reason why I am writing daily posts about ISTE on this blog is because the Student Blogging Challenge is presenting at this world wide conference being held in San Diego.

Where and when you ask?

Sunday evening 7:00pm–8:30pm, SDCC Halls DE Lobby , Table: 35

Here is a copy of the powerpoint I will be sharing at the session. Then there will be time for lots of questions and chatting with Miss W (Sue Wyatt aka tasteach) from Australia, Tracy Watanabe from Arizona, and hopefully Mrs Yollis from Los Angeles and Kathleen Morris from Australia. Also on hand will be Sue Waters and Ronnie Burt from Edublogs who do a lot of background work with the challenge.

View more PowerPoint from Sue Wyatt
If you attended this session at ISTE12, would you please leave a comment on this post.
  • What did you find interesting?
  • Would you like to join the next challenge in September 2012?
  • Ideas for topics in the challenge
  • Questions you have about the challenge

Week 10: Time to evaluate

I am sure that your teachers ask you to evaluate your work at the end of a topic. We are doing the same here in the challenge.

There will be two evaluations:

  1. a survey of the actual student blogging challenge – we want your ideas of the plus, minus and interesting about the challenge. Most questions are tick a box or find answer from drop down arrow.
  2. a survey of your blog by someone who has not seen it before such as your principal, another teacher, your parent, a sibling or cousin, next door neighbour.

Survey of challenge

Survey of your blog

This is an audit of your blog since the beginning of March 2012.

  • 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?

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?

 Nominating a blog for the Edublog Awards 2012

This year we would like classes to nominate two blogs they feel are excellent student blogs. They can be blogs from anywhere in the world. Choose a student from your class to write about the nominations in a post after you have discussed this as a class. eg best student blog or best new blog. Make sure you have a link back to this post of the challenge otherwise we wont know you have nominated for the awards.

Teachers you may also take part in the nominations but you might like to check out the other sections where nominations will be available later in the year.

Mentors we would also like you to nominate one or two of the blogs you have been mentoring to go in either the best student blog or new blog sections.

Students we would prefer you work with your teachers to nominate some great student blogs, but if there is a student blog (not from your class or school) that you feel deserves a nomination then write a post and make sure you have a link back to this post of the challenge otherwise we wont know you have nominated for the awards.  Remember, as a student, you can’t nominate a blog from your class or school.

After the challenge is over


Week 9: Count out three

As the second last week of the blogging challenge, this is your chance to visit lots of other blogs and leave comments on great posts you read. In previous weeks, you have had lots of chances to write your own posts. If you haven’t then maybe start writing some excellent posts relating to your interests in life before you play the game.

How to play the game.

Step 1: Visit the participants page of the student blogging challenge.

Step 2: Right click on a link to a student blog, open in a new tab. Make sure this is not a student in your class – preferably another country.

Step 3: Read at least three posts on their blog and leave a quality comment on one of those posts. If there are no really interesting posts, go back and choose another student from the challenge.

Step 4: Take note of the URL of the blog and the post you left the comment on, as these will be added to a post you will write about the game.

Step 5: Look on the blogroll of this student. Right click open in a new page, a link from this blogroll. Try to get someone who is not from their class. Often teachers will use a pattern eg s600 or hz2 at the end of a student name when they create the blogs.

Step 6: Do steps 3, 4 and 5 until you have visited and left 3 comments.

Play this game at least three times – you will have left 9 comments on 9 different posts, hopefully from 9 students not in your class.

Write a post about your visits. What type of posts did you find interesting? What did you say in your quality comments? Which countries did you visit? Did students have blogrolls that included students from other countries or were they mainly their own classmates? Be sure to include a link to the actual post you wrote your comment on eg I visited Sue’s post about the “Count Out Three” game.

Still got more time? Go back to each of your posts – Have you included tags and categories? Do images have attribution? Are the posts written in paragraphs which makes it easier for visitors to read?


We would like you to do something special for Sue Waters and Ronnie Burt from Edublogs. You can be using any blogging platform to do this activity. Please visit this website to fill in a survey about the state of educational use of blogs in 2012. Statistics such as those gathered in the survey are important for educators to use when talking blogging with their school administrators.

Next week there will be a chance to tell us your thoughts about the student blogging challenge. Please think about the PMI – positives, negatives and interesting aspects of the challenge. We will be using that information at ISTE2012 in San Diego where the student blogging challenge will have a poster session – please visit us if you are attending and introduce yourselves to me, Sue Wyatt (the grey haired lady avatar) as well as the other presenters.


Image: ‘the nine

Week 8: Game preparation

We’ve been working hard and had some time to relax.  Now it is time to get organized for the game next week, then the evaluation in week 10.

To take part in the game you need the following completed:

  • a blog avatar and a user avatar
  • an ‘about me’ PAGE not post
  • a clustrmap or flag counter widget
  • at least three 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
  • your ‘Recent Posts’ widget on the sidebar with 10 posts as the choice
  • Your ‘Pages’ widget on the sidebar
  • at least 10 student and/or classes linked on your blogroll
  • at least three overseas blogs linked on your blogroll

The more overseas links you have, the more interesting the game will be. If you are not using Edublogs, have many of these things visible,  maybe as links on a post.


Many of you are getting ready for exams or in Australia, NAPLAN testing.

How do you prepare for these exams or tests?

You go back over what you have already learnt that year. You make sure you are up-to-date with your notes. You check with friends or a teacher that you understand how to sit a test.

Well, this week, you are going to cover all that but with regard to your blog. It is going to be a revision week to make sure you are up-to-date with all the things you should have done on your blog.

Preparation for week 10 evaluation

Over the first seven weeks, let’s look at what you could have done on your blog:

  1. Registered for the challenge as either an individual or a class – checked you were on the list
  2. Changed the theme of your blog
  3. Looked at ‘About’ pages and created your own
  4. Posted about why students or classes should visit your blog
  5. Left comments on other student blogs and recommended at least three to visit
  6. Introduced your class or school to the world
  7. Created avatars
  8. Uploaded comment and blog avatars
  9. Linked your avatar to your blog URL
  10. Slideshow of avatars created
  11. Classes looked at commenting guidelines
  12. Classes thought about ways to involve parents
  13. Added tracking widgets to your sidebar
  14. Written in another language
  15. Added translation widget
  16. Posted about global activities
  17. Wrote about Earth Hour
  18. Commented on blogs from other countries
  19. Culture and celebrations from other countries
  20. Created blogroll categories
  21. Added links to blogroll
  22. Created tags and post categories
  23. Post about your community
  24. Created a poll about your country
  25. Finding out about creative commons and using images on your blog posts
  26. Learnt about giving attribution and uploading images to your posts
  27. Wrote a post about your favourite colour
  28. Used different web 2.0 tools to edit images
  29. Zoomed out from an image
  30. Created an image sentence
  31. Wrote a post about an image
  32. Created an animated photo show
  33. Used many web 2.0 tools to be creative
  34. Looked at work, past, present and future
  35. Wrote about global challenges affecting us all in particular water.

Students and classes

Activity 1 – It’s a testing time

Write a post using a persuasive style of writing. You might like to use glogster to create a poster. Maybe wallwisher to get ideas from other students before you write your post.

Topics might include:

  • That mobile phones should be used in classrooms
  • That all students should have a personal blog from Grade 6 onwards
  • That all classes should have a class blog
  • That national or statewide testing has no valuable purpose for the student
  • A topic of your own choice

Activity 2 – Learning time

Think about something important you have learned outside of school – remember we should all be life long learners not just learners while at school. How did you learn it? Why is it important to you? Who or what taught you about it? How has this learning helped you in your life?

Activity 3 – Watch video and write post about your digital footprint

Watch this video, thinking about what might be included on your digital dossier or digital footprint.

  • What sites have you joined on the internet?
  • How much information did you give them when you joined?
  • Have you filled in more than the *asterisk questions?

Google your name or nickname but include your town as well.

  • What did you find?
  • Are you on the web for sports teams, named in newspapers and where else?
  • How many cookies or footprints are you leaving behind?


Check out these student’s digital footprints from the March 2011 challenge: Naomi, Emily, Sahiba, Allie, Jennifer, Shania, Adam, Heather, Marshall, Aisling.


Image: ‘Wanna play?

Visit these – week 7

This week instead of mentioning individual students, I am going to mention class blogs to visit. Make sure you also check out those with student blogs listed in their blogroll.Some of these classes and students have had very few visitors, so please leave a comment when you get there.

Class blog – no student blogs

Mrs Zwettler, Mrs McKelvey, Mrs Lucchesi, Mrs Norton, Mrs Shirley, Mrs Jundef, Miss McLeod, Mrs Bulger, Mrs Bliss, Room 15, 6B Vietnam, 6A Vietnam, Mrs Wunder, Mrs Swift – check pages,

Class blog – check out the student blogs on sidebar

Mrs Kelly, Mr Martinez, Mrs Benn, Ms Simonsen, Miss T, Mr Miller, Mrs Beaulieu, Mrs Schmidt, Mrs Massman, Mrs Sanderson, Room 1 class, Mrs Sage, Ms Vogt, 8LD, Mrs Martin, Emerson Eagles, Mrs Heckstetter, Mrs Flower, Mrs Barinova, Mr Woods, Mrs Ramirez, Hobloggers, Mrs Guna, Mrs Martin,

Week 7: Too much work, now have fun

Well, I think I gave too much work last week. Many posts about volunteering and dream jobs. So this week it is time to relax. Let’s have fun on the internet.

This week I want you to show off your creativity. I have suggested some sites you might want to visit. If you know some other sites to show off your artistic talents then tell us about them in a comment and we will add them to the list.

We want to see or hear your creative masterpiece so you might need to make a screen shot to save as an image to add to your post. Otherwise add a link to where your creative work can be found.

Remember if you are under 13, you will need to get parent and / or teacher permission to use many of them.



  • Magnetic poetry – create a poem using their words, take a screen shot or submit to their gallery and put link in your post
  • Use Fotobabble  or Blabberize to create a movie or book trailer
  • Register at Educaplay to create lots of games and literacy activities
  • Create a book that flips the pages at flipsnack. Check out the other links at the bottom as well.
  • Make beliefs comics are great for your creativity
  • Little Bird Tales for creative writing

Music and audio



  • Automatoon will not work with Internet Explorer but great way to create an animated movie.
  • Another great site is goanimate – teachers there is an education version of this as well
  • Kerpoof is great for all ages


  • Think this might be a girlie site called Pop studio
  • Check this page for lots of computer links for creativity

Sites suggested by students last year

Wacky Web Tales from Dawso

Stykz – similar to Pivot from Isabel

Edheads – try knee surgery from Gabriela


Activity 1 – Visit at least three different creativity sites and write a post about what you did on the site. Remember to include a screen shot and or link to your creative masterpiece.

Activity 2 – Find a website where you can collaborate with another student from a different country – you might be able to create a story together or something else more creative.

Activity 3 – Make sure you have lots of links to other students and classes on your blogroll. If on weebly,  maybe create a post with at least ten links of other students around the world. You are going to need this for a game next week.

Activity 4 – Write a post about creativity and how you are creative in your life. If possible display your creativity eg photography, video, music. Check out this blog by chillibasket in Ireland. He is showing his creativity each week with the photos he has taken.

Activity 5 – Leave a comment about another site on the web that you think is showing creativity. Remember to leave the URL of the site.

If you still have time, visit lots of blogs of other students around the world. Leave comments on their posts and make sure you include a link to your blog so they can return the favour and visit your blog to leave a comment.


Visit these – weeks 5 and 6

Over the Easter break I visited many blogs to check if students had written at least one post during March that related to the challenge. I have also included some from week 6 about work.

Here are some posts that caught my eye:

Sophia – tutorial about embedding flag counter

Oscar – travelling around Australia for 3 months with his family

Madeline – prezi about her dream job. Also check out her Easter posts

Lily , Emma, Malia, Nick, –  perfect job with great explanation

Gisela , Hannah, Astanah, Mikayla, – volunteering post

Christian , BooBoo, Jonathon, Ana-Maria, Clay, Dharyl, Letty, Breeyana, Cassidy, Jose, Chey, Paloma, Lupita, –  including survey

Natalie , Olivia, Kerry, – experimented with pictures using Animoto

Malia , Kiley, Lauren, Eli, Cate, – A-Z of work – choose and leave a comment

Caroline , Collin , Riley, Ashley, Drew, – includes a poll about work

Mrs McKelvey’s class had a great spring break

Mr Miller’s class looked at volunteering and writing surveys

Mrs Norton’s class created a poll

This video from Em’s post last year came in handy for some students when finding images

Other interesting posts – Chasen, Natalie, Amro, Eddie, Kiley, Lauren, Jason, Hannah, Andrea, Skylure, Jarrod,

Vacation posts – Jake, Alexis, Isaiah, Nick, Gabby, Olivia,

Mentors recommendations:

Kaity, Yen Khe, Kayla