March 2010: Challenge 6

I hope you have all been visiting other class and student blogs over the last few weeks. If you haven’t, then please make sure you have visited some during the next week. We have lots of teachers visiting student blogs to leave comments over this month and I noticed an excellent conversation happening between Mrs Yollis and Shelly. Check it out here!

Another great conversation through comments is between Saskia and her visitors, who have been students, teachers, uni lecturers. Check it out here!

Clare has responded to another teacher’s post, by writing her own and quoting some parts of the original post by Mr Watt. Check it out here! Again another fantastic conversation happening through comments.

It is great to see so many students with their own blogs participating in the challenge.  Remember though, there are also some students on class blogrolls. Visit them to read their posts and leave comments as well.

What is a blogroll, you ask? Now that you have started visiting other blogs and looking at the March 2010 student  list to find students with similar interests, you might start finding some blogs that you really like.  You might visit these every day, but how do you remember their URL?  This is where a blogroll comes in handy.

If you look near the bottom on the sidebar of this blog, you will notice I have certain subheadings such as:

  • blogs to visit
  • get help

These are part of my blogroll.  Notice the subheadings or link categories are alphabetical beginning with numbers.  So you will need to think about what the names are for your categories.

If using Edublogs, to create the link category headings, go to  links > link category  To add some links such as this blog and your friends blogs, go to links>add new.  Remember to say what category you put the link under and also use http:// in front of the URL.

Just to confuse you and your teacher, there is also another heading called ‘categories’. This though, relates to the posts you write about.  These categories appear in the header area or at the footer section of your post.

What are your posts mainly about?

  • family and friends
  • schoolwork
  • my interests
  • my future

You might use these as post categoriesIf using Edublogs, to set them up from your dashboard go to posts>categories. Why are categories and tags important when writing your posts?  See if you can find out that answer over the next week.

You will notice the categories I have used for this blog are:

  • Information
  • March 2010
  • Type of challenge
    • Beginner student
    • Class
    • Commenter
    • Teacher
    • Veteran student
  • Visit these

Your challenges this week

  1. Add at least 10 blogs to your blog roll.  Make sure you have at least two different link categories.
  2. If you have taken part in a previous challenge,  you also need to write a post recommending at least 5 blogs you think students and classes should add to their blogroll.  Remember to give reasons why that blog should be added.
  3. When writing posts, begin adding categories. You should only have a few of these – it is like the chapter heading of a book. Go back to your previous posts and change the category.  If writing a post for the challenge, perhaps a category ‘challenge March 2010′ would be useful.
  4. If you already have categories organized for your blog, write a post explaining why you chose those particular categories.
  5. Make sure you have a user avatar created. Go to dashboard >users> your avatar and upload one you have created. This could be the same as your blog avatar or you might create a different one.  Then whenever you leave a comment on someone’s blog, this avatar will show.  Also make sure in users >your profile, you have a name displayed publicly as and that you have your blog URL  on the line website.  The owner of the blog where you leave a comment now only has to click on either your name or your avatar and it should take them to your blog.
  6. If you still have lots of time to do some more challenges, then visit the blog run by last year’s participants.  Leave some comments on the posts and perhaps you will also find some other links for your blogroll. Check out the categories used on this blog in their blog roll.
Attribution:
Original image: ‘Flickr ; Statistiques pour votre compte – 20 Novembre 2008 – 2

http://www.flickr.com/photos/21773038@N02/3048301272

by: Mathieu L.-Fiset

Released under an Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License

March 2010: Challenge 5

Creative commons, images and attribution

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.

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. Attribution is the URL of the original image.

http://flickrcc.bluemountains.net/

http://johnjohnston.name/flickrCC/

http://compfight.com/

http://www.behold.cc/

http://www.pics4learning.com/

http://www.morguefile.com/

http://www.freefoto.com/index.jsp

http://www.imageafter.com/index.php

http://www.djusd.k12.ca.us/technology/images.htm

Finally a link from Mr Bogush’s class for their links to photos to use

Beginner

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.

Veteran

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?

Commenter

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.

Class

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.

Attribution:

The original comic of this YouTube video remix can be found here: http://wiki.creativecommons.org/Sharing_Creative_Works

Support CC

Enjoy your break?

I hope you have all enjoyed your break from the challenge. I know many schools in the northern hemisphere are on spring break while some schools in the southern hemisphere are on Easter break or term 1 holidays.

So I thought, why not have a break from blogging? It will allow some students to catch up on some challenges they might have missed due to camp or other school activities.

Did you enjoy your break? What did you do? I hope you visited some of the blogs I have highlighted in previous posts. Maybe you visited  some blogs to leave comments.

Leave a comment here about what you did in your break.

Image: ‘Desk (Noted)

Desk (Noted)

Our environment

Looking through blogs for this week’s Environment challenge, there have been a wide range of responses ranging from movies and animotos to cartoons and poetry. Students and classes have written about what they are already doing to help save the environment, what they would like to do and what they plan to do on Saturday night for Earth Hour.

Great movies

Abbey, Kira, Mason, Ares, Aesop, Mr Miller’s class,

Cartoons

Room 13 – grade 5/6,

Report (some with links)

Andrea, Daredevil12, Kiko, Skye, Jessica, Mercury, Bailey, Cheyenne, Victoria, Ariana, Ganasha,

Comments from students

Miss Nichols

Poetry

AnnaMaria,

Student blogging challenge helpers

ImageChef.comWhile this challenge is on, I try to visit each individual student blog at least three times, but with more and more students registering their own blog, I am finding this more difficult to do.

So today Sue Waters from TheEdublogger allowed me to send out an urgent request for helpers in the challenge.  You can read the post here.  Within an hour of the post being published and a few tweets sent out on Twitter, we had six helpers for commenting.

Role of the helper

I have allocated about 30 blogs for each helper to visit. By the middle of April, they will visit each of their blogs at least once. Each helper will leave one or more comments on your blog. The comments might be on your about page, or on a post and might include some clues to improve your blog. Hopefully the comment they leave will also allow you to keep carrying on a conversation with the helper.

If you want to know more about your helper, look at the comments on this post as they will be writing a short little bio in the comments.

Created by: EnoughEeyore
Template: Sketchpad

Created on: Wednesday, 15 April 2009

March 2010: Challenge 4

ImageChef.comOne of the questions asked at the end of the September 2009 challenge was:  What topic would you like to write more posts about?  One of the most common answers was:

Environment

There are many different ways to look at this topic and across the world this week, there are many celebration days being held:

So again this week, a wide variety of activities to choose from either as a blogger, commenter or class.

  • Research and write a post including links and images on one of those special days.
  • Join in Earth Hour and write a post about what your family did during that hour.
  • Write a post about activities your family could do while the lights are out for that hour.
  • What do you do at school or at home to help protect the environment?
  • Write a comic strip as a hero wanting to save some aspect of the environment.
  • If 13 or older and with parental permission, create a text to movie at xtranormal about the environment.
  • Your worries regarding the environment – what can you do as a student?
  • Create an animoto about the environment – maybe you worry about the polar bears.  Find images from links on this post.
  • Write a post about an environmental field trip you went on, maybe to the rubbish dump or cleaning up a creek etc.
  • Visit these posts from last year to leave a comment: Priscila from Argentina, Ashley from USA, Abbey from USA, Courtney from USA, Hailey from USA

The challenge last year for Earth Hour can be found here.

Created by: OneCarolinaGirl Template: Candy Heart

About Candy Heart: Created on: Friday, 20 February 2009

My place in the world

Each week I will be showcasing some blogs to visit. These are taken from those who leave a trackback or hyperlink to the original post not just this blog.

Let’s visit:

Argentina, Indiana, California, Secret Harbour, Iowa, California, Wellington, Comox Valley, Dunedin,California, Lawndale, California, Pachuca, California, Stonington, Canadian eventsCanada, Canada, California, Canada, Canada, Canada, Canada, On There You Know oops Ontario – sorry Ryan

Some students have asked questions. Can you answer them?

Aesop162,

Kiko wondered about her family roots around the world.

This class in Victoria have had some great answers to their questions.  Oops, they are in Sydney, not Victoria. My apologies Mrs Miller and class. Check out the comments.

Saskia spoke about breaking down walls globally – some interesting conversation in the comments.

Keep coming back to check out this post as I will add more as other students and classes finish the activity.

March 2010: Challenge 3

It’s a very small world we live in now.

Only 220 years ago, it used to take a sailing ship about 4 or 5 months to sail from England to Australia with convicts on board.  It took me 24 hours to fly from Australia to Vancouver, Canada with a short stop in Hawaii for a couple of hours. Yet it took only seconds for my class to connect to Ashley in Connecticut in 2008  when we used Skype to make a call.

Students born in the last twenty years  should be taking it for granted that they will be working collaboratively with students and teachers across the world using modern technology.

So this week’s challenge is to tell the world about the area you live in – your town, your state or province, your country in general. But hopefully you will also be having international visitors coming to your blog, so you need some way of knowing where they are coming from. There will be many options of what to do this week ranging from adding widgets, writing posts, leaving comments by visiting international blogs and  adding images so I am posting a couple of days earlier than usual to give you time to complete them.

Adding widgets

When adding widgets to your sidebar, copy and paste the embed code into a text box on your sidebar.

  • Save then close.
  • If the widget is too wide, you will have to adjust the number next to ‘width’ in the embed code.
  • This might appear more than once in the code.

If using blogger rather than Edublogs, you might need to check out the instructions for adding widgets and images etc from Bling For Your Blog, written by a teacher in New Zealand. Thanks Allanah.

Writing posts

If I were to visit your state or province, what would be the ‘must see’ places and why? Include an image (flickrcc about Tasmania creative commons) and a link to a website.

Instead of writing, speak this time using a Voki then embed in either post or sidebar.

We have students and classes from these countries taking part in the challenge:

  • Australia, Canada, U.S.A, Mexico, Argentina, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Thailand, Hong Kong (China), U.A.E (United Arab Emirates), Norway and South Africa. Many of the older Australian students are refugees from other countries so make sure you read about them from their links on this blog.
  • Write a post asking one or two questions about each country or leave your questions as comments on the student or class blogs. eg Do kangaroos hop down the main streets in Australia? How many people live in the state or town you live in?

Images

  • Flickr slideshow
  • Take photos of your local area and put in a post as a gallery
  • Create a quiz at mystudiyo about your state or province. Then embed it in your blog post. Here is one I made about Tasmania.
  • #!/usr/bin/perl -w
    use strict;
    use CGI qw(:standard);
    my $srcURL = param(‘srcURL’);
    my $text = param(‘text’);
    my $gigyaWidth = param(‘gwidth’)|| 300;
    my $gigyaHeight = param(‘gheight’)|| 260;
    my $eWidth = param(‘ewidth’) ||300;
    my $eHeight = param(‘eheight’) ||360;

    print < Status: 200 OK\r
    Content-type:text/html; charset=utf-8\r
    \r

    PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN"
    "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd">






    EOF

    Which activity did you do? Did you try more than one? Which did you enjoy the most? Remember to leave a pingback or trackback in your post by linking back to this challenge post.

    Attribution: Image: ‘It’s a Small World!
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/51035555243@N01/16600310

Avatars galore!

As classes have been creating their avatars and embedding them in a program to be in their blog, I have been checking them out, (if teachers have added a hyperlink or pingback back to the original post in the challenge.)

Mrs Turvey adapted my post to suit her class.

Check out these wild things with the 2R Shining Stars, classy moeruavatars from Grade 5/6 – 13, Alexander from room 162,  The Powerhouse, the SuperScoopersPublishing corner in Mexico, plasticine avatars with Mrs Grist and Miss T’s new avatars.

Students have been posting about whether you should have a real photo of yourself on the web and when this might be appropriate.

Julio the zombie, Isaiah the monster, Star Struck Lauren, On Fire Alexis, Purple Addie, Jacob from Fresco World, Angel Mushabelly, Joe from Lojo, Kim or Cleo, Cheyenne, Ryan, Austin, Hannan, Ashley,   Abbey and Matt.

Some students who hadn’t included trackbacks but are worth reading: Haley,

March 2010: Challenge 2

Last challenge everyone introduced themselves or their blog to their readers. Because we very rarely meet face to face (f2f), we still have to give some visual cues as to what we look like.  But as teachers, we have to make sure you are being internet safe and that usually means not putting any pictures of actual students on the web, and if we do, having parental permission to do so. We certainly don’t name the students in the pictures.

So instead of a real picture we create an avatar. For example, here are some avatars I have made from various websites.  They all represent me.

So now it is time for you to create your own avatar. You can then add it as a blog avatar to appear on your blog. You can also add it as a comment or user avatar so it appears wherever you leave a comment on someone else’s blog. Some websites are for students 13 and older so make sure you choose one that is for your age group.

Any age can use these avatar sites:

From abi-station:

If under 13, sorry you can’t register for these mentioned below. But over 13, need parental or guardian permission.

14 or older with parental permission

Beginner:

Create your avatar using one of the above websites. Sue Waters from ‘The Edublogger‘ has written a great post about avatars, giving instructions on how to save them and then upload to an ‘Edublogs’ blog. Many of the sites mentioned above are included in her post. If using Blogger, here is a link to show how to add a photo to your profile.

Veteran:

If you have taken part in a blogging challenge before, you might have realised that your comment avatar doesn’t always show up on all blogs.  I know I have been annoyed about that, so here is a post explaining where you can upload your avatar so it is recognised globally on all blog platforms. You might want to change your blog or comment avatar and try a different website especially if you are now 13 or older.

In a post, please answer this question: When do you think it is appropriate for students to use real photos of themselves on their blogs and why? See if you can research this on the net and find responses from other educators. Remember to link to their post if you use information they mentioned. Hyperlink as well to this challenge post, so I can read your answers.

PS: Within 6 hours of posting this challenge, Andrea has already written her opinion.

Commenter:

If you are a user on any class blog, you should be able to upload your own user avatar as well.  Leave a comment here telling me why you chose this avatar to represent you.

Class:

After creating avatars for all the students in your class, show them off in some form of slideshow on your class blog. Here are some avatars from Mrs Yollis’ class they made last year.  I created one using animoto last year. Perhaps you could leave a comment here with a link to a website that other classes could use for a slideshow or movie.

Create your own video slideshow at animoto.com.