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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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:
Registered for the challenge as either an individual or a class – checked you were on the list
Changed the theme of your blog
Looked at ‘About’ pages and created your own
Posted about why students or classes should visit your blog
Left comments on other student blogs and recommended at least three to visit
Introduced your class or school to the world
Uploaded comment and blog avatars
Linked your avatar to your blog URL
Slideshow of avatars created
Classes looked at commenting guidelines
Classes thought about ways to involve parents
Added tracking widgets to your sidebar
Written in another language
Added translation widget
Posted about global activities
Wrote about Earth Hour
Commented on blogs from other countries
Culture and celebrations from other countries
Created blogroll categories
Added links to blogroll
Created tags and post categories
Post about your community
Created a poll about your country
Finding out about creative commons and using images on your blog posts
Learnt about giving attribution and uploading images to your posts
Wrote a post about your favourite colour
Used different web 2.0 tools to edit images
Zoomed out from an image
Created an image sentence
Wrote a post about an image
Created an animated photo show
Used many web 2.0 tools to be creative
Looked at work, past, present and future
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?
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.
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.
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.
Remember to expand on the questions, give lots of reasons or information and if you used a website on the internet as part of your answer, include a link back to that website or include a bibliography. Give correct attribution for any images you use.
As all schools in Australia are on holidays, or vacation as they say in America, I decided no official challenge activities this week. Instead take time to enjoy your Easter break or catch up on these previous challenges mentioned below. Remember I will be deleting any student participants who have not written a post relating to the challenge.
‘How to leave a comment’ as a widget
“I am” poem
questions for your visitors to answer
questions for your mentor to answer in a comment
create and upload avatar
widgets about your place
evaluate widgets on other blogs
festivals of your state
create game, quiz, slideshow about your state or country
checking your profile
making quality comments
attracting visitors to leave comments
adding to your blogroll
post and link categories
personalize your blog with posts of your interests
using HTML code in comments
adding users to a class blog
writing in your mother language
women and their roles in the world
water and its problems
finding creative commons images
creating an image gallery
images to tell a story
tutorial on how to add images to post
being creative with images
Remember visit lots of other blogs and leave quality comments.
What is this? If you didn’t take the photo, then someone else did. Some photographers get paid money for taking images to use in newspapers, so often online newspapers copyright their images. This means you would have to pay money or have the photographer’s permission to use that photo on your blog.
Why? Your blog is in the public domain and is available for anyone to see. You are not allowed to put copyright images on your blog without the permission of the owner. This means you need to find images that are creative commons instead.
What is that? Watch this YouTube video about sharing your work and creative commons.
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. Larry Ferlazzo also has a great “Best List for images” that you might want to check out as well.
Below is a list of websites that have creative commons images. Remember attribution doesn’t include a URL beginning with http://images.google.com/ or some other search engine.
1. Write a post about your Spring break or Easter holiday. Include at least one image that is creative commons. Include the attribution at the bottom of the post. Here is a post to show you how to insert an image.
2. Do you think you should have a creative commons license for your blog? Why or why not? Is your audience mainly students in your class and/or the blogging challenge or have you had readers that are teachers and/or visitors you don’t know?
3. Visit ten blogs from students in the challenge of different ages. How many of these blogs had images with attribution? How many blogs did not have images at all? Which blogs did you prefer to read and why? Leave your answer here as a comment or leave a comment on each of the blogs you visited.
Why should we use images? How do images improve your blog? This is the first post
How do you add images to your blog?
Where do you get your images?
How do you add the attribution?
Make the second post like a tutorial, so a student new to blogging could follow your instructions about using images in a post.
5. Create a visual post using no more than eight images – where the images tell a story. Remember to give attribution for the images you used. No writing in this post other than the title and attribution.
6. From Bill Ferreirae – I sometimes find a picture and tell students to use that picture to come up with a story. It can be about the picture, what happened before, what will happen next, etc. So, at the top of the student activities is the image I have chosen for you to start with. Copy the image to your post, then write the story. Remember to give attribution. If you don’t have your own blog, tell your story in a comment here.
7. From EileenG – Pick one, or more of your ethnic backgrounds and post about the culture. ANYTHING! Food, religions, sports, festivals, languages, etc. Include a picture of the place in the country/region posted about.
8. Be creative with regard to images – create a collage on a topic or colour etc, use glogster or animoto or prezi. Just remember you must link back to the original image and give attribution for any images used.
If using Edublogs, create a gallery of images to represent your class’s holiday or break. Here is a post on how to create a gallery in your blog. Remember to include the attribution of where you found the images. Perhaps you could also add the ‘Support CC’ button like I have below, on your blog sidebar.