Thank you all

Photo Credit: Sean MacEntee via Compfight

I have been checking out the shortlisted finalists in the Edublog Awards and I noticed many of our student and class blogs were included.

Congratulations to all those who were nominated.

More congratulations to those who made the finalist shortlist.

There were about 500 classes nominated – many several times – shortlisted to about 40.

There were nearly 250 student blogs nominated – many several times – shortlisted to about 50 blogs.

But I also noticed someone had nominated the student blogging challenge under the Educational Use of a Social Network and then Sue Wyatt (that’s me) under the lifetime achievement awards.

So if you are 13 and over, please sign into and add some votes to these two sections. It would be appreciated. You can find the links in these images.

Vote for student blogging challenge


Vote for Sue Wyatt (@tasteach)



Week 10: Farewell to our 13th challenge

Bye Bye... See Ya!
Photo Credit: Lisandro M. Enrique via Compfight

We have now been together for nearly three months. Time now to evaluate – most teachers ask students to do this after studying a topic for a period of time.

This evaluation is in two parts:

  • auditing your own blog
  • evaluating the challenge

This is an audit of your blog since the beginning of September 2014.

  • How many posts did you write?
  • How many were school based, your own interests or set by the challenge?
  • How many comments did you receive from classmates, teachers or overseas students?
  • Which post received the most comments? Why do you think that happened?
  • Which post did you enjoy writing the most and why?
  • Did you change blog themes at all and why?
  • How many widgets do you have? Do you think this is too many or not enough?
  • How many overseas students do you have on your blogroll?
  • Which web tools did you use to show creativity on your blog?

Now ask another student and teacher/parent from your school who might not have read your blog to do an audit.

Sit beside them while they navigate around your blog, record what you observe as they interact with your blog. When finished, ask them the following questions:

  1. What were your first impressions of this blog?
  2. What captured your attention?
  3. What distracted you on the blog?
  4. What suggestions can you give me to improve my blog?

Write a post about your blog audit.

Part 2 Evaluating the challenge.

This is the thirteenth challenge and sometimes I feel like the activities are getting stale especially for those students who have taken part in more than one set of challenges. So over the next few weeks I will be adding new pages that you all can contribute to. Every month of the year, there are special events, festivals, birthdays of authors etc. Which ones do you think it would be interesting to write about? Find the post ideas page for that month and add your ideas in the comments. (These are found above the header area)

Now for your final activity – please evaluate the challenge by filling in the following form.

Vote for best class blog

If you go to Edublog Awards website, you will find you can vote using but you need to be 13 or older to have an account.

So to allow our younger bloggers to vote for the best class blog, we have created this poll below. You will be allowed to vote for one blog each day.

How to vote.

  1. Check out all the class blogs at the Edublog Awards link above.
  2. Decide on one you want to vote for.
  3. Come back here and find it in the list.
  4. Vote for it.

Voting will close at 11:59pm EST on Monday, December 15th. Click here for other timezones.

One vote per day per IP address. Most schools have the same IP address for every school computer, so students will need to vote from home, libraries, wifi cafes, relatives houses etc.


Vote for best student blog

If you go to Edublog Awards website, you will find you can vote using but you need to be 13 or older to have an account.

So to allow our younger bloggers to vote for the best student blog, we have created this poll below. You will be allowed to vote for one blog each day.

How to vote.

  1. Check out all the blogs at the Edublog Awards link above.
  2. Decide on one you want to vote for.
  3. Come back here and find it in the list.
  4. Vote for it.

Voting will close at 11:59pm EST on Monday, December 15th. For other timezones, check here.

One vote per day per IP address. Most schools have the same IP address for every school computer, so students will need to vote from home, libraries, wifi cafes, relatives houses etc.


Week 9: Time to show off

This is our penultimate week of the challenge this year. It is time for you to show off the skills you have learnt over the past eight weeks of the challenge.

What could you have learned if you did every challenge?

  • Week 1 – blogging terminology, post/page, about me page, avatars, uploading to blog, creating a slideshow or customizing your header
  • Week 2 – finding your way round a blog, commenting skills, adding HTML in comments, HTML code for your URL in a comment, commenting guidelines, getting family and friends involved in your blog, adding blogs to your blogroll, adding widgets to your sidebar
  • Week 3 – creating and embedding a quiz, visiting overseas blogs, commenting on other student/class blogs
  • Week 4 – digital footprint, googling yourself, Blog Action Day 2014
  • Week 5 – adding images and videos, creative commons, attribution, ways to create your own images, make a jigsaw puzzle from an image, tags and categories
  • Week 6 – new tools like Powtoon, changing themes for a celebration, customising header, countdown widgets
  • Week 7 – flipboard magazine, creating polls, interviewing relatives for posts, connecting with other schools
  • Week 8 – visiting blogs game, nominating great blogs for awards

The one and only activity for the next two weeks:

global issues

Write a post on a global issue you would like to help solve

I chose this topic because I have just spent 5 days attending a fantastic online conference about global education #globaled14. Check the hashtag for some great links to use for your challenge post.

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

  1. catchy title
  2. includes at least two visuals whether photo, cartoon, video or another web 2.0 tool like padlet, glogster, wordle etc
  3. interesting topic with the passion of the author coming through, shows well researched topic
  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. attribution for any images, video, music or clip art used – including those used in slideshows etc

Here are some examples of great posts from last challenge:

Mark wrote about what family means

Nathan wrote about global issues in general

Kaitlyn wrote about education around the world

Pranav wrote about travelling overseas

Jannat wrote about my future

When you have finished your post, please come back here to the blogging challenge and leave a comment on this post.

Mention which topic you wrote about and leave a link to your post.

Those posts covering the eight things mentioned above will be added to our special flipboard magazine called One World, Our World.

Nominations are nearly closed

PS Have you remembered to nominate some people for the Edublog Awards? Time is running out for the deadline for nominations. November 24

Week 8: Game and nominate

Creative Commons License Photo Credit: Toni Blay via Compfight

We are now into week 8 of the challenge and it is time to make sure you have been visiting lots of blogs. In fact I am publishing this post earlier than normal so you have extra time to get organized for the game and to visit lots of other blogs.

Before you start, please make sure you have at least 5 other student blogs linked on the sidebar of your blog or in a recent post that your visitors can find easily. Make sure these are blogs from other students around the world, not just those in your class or school. Perhaps have a blogroll or link category called Global students or Global classes. Here is how to add a blogroll if using Edublogs or Blogger. If using Kidblog write a post mentioning at least 5 great blogs you enjoy visiting.

Game week is all about visiting other blogs.

Student and class blogs – new bloggers and old hands at the blogging – mentors as well as participants.

Remember one of  the main aims of blogging includes commenting and carrying on conversations with the author of posts and their other readers.

A good commenter will have:

  • read the post carefully,
  • checked out the links in the post
  • read the previous comments before they leave one of their own
  • added to the conversation with a quality comment – remember that video from Mrs Yollis’ class.

Game rules

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:

  • click on a blog on the student list or class list– count one
  • now click on a blog from their blogroll – count two
  • finally click on a blog from that blogroll – count three

Leave a comment on an interesting post at this third blog.

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.

Nominate Nominate Nominate

You will notice in the title of this post the word nominate.

Every year at this time, students and classes get a chance to nominate the best student blog and best class blog for this years Edublog Awards. Here is a link to the awards blog, where you will find instructions on how to nominate in each category. Notice you can’t nominate yourself and you can only nominate once in each category. This means you need to really think that person’s blog is the very best that you have been reading this year. Perhaps you could check out the previous winners.

How to find great blogs to nominate:

  1. Check out the student/class lists on the challenge
  2. Read comments from students in the blogging challenge posts and visit their blogs.
  3. Check out posts in the flipboard magazine by clicking on the title of the post to go to their blog.

Once you have nominated

I would like you to write a post telling me who you nominated and why. Then come back here to leave a comment telling me you have written that nomination post.

Notice there is a time limit to when you can get your nomination in.

Next week is our penultimate week  for the September challenges.

It will be a chance for you to show what you have learnt about blogging in the last three months. You will be asked to write a post, including an image with attribution, links to at least two other websites where you found your information to use in your post as well as use another web tool.  The topic will be set next week. See you then.

Week 7: Let’s talk schooling

3 février 1975 ...
Photo Credit: Môsieur J. [version 9.1] via Compfight

It has been great checking out all the celebration themes created on student and class blogs. Remember there are two easy ways to find other blogs to look at.

  1. Check out the comments left here on the challenge blog. They usually have a link to the student blog included. Sometimes you might have to add the http part though.
  2. Or look at our new flipboard magazine for this set of challenges. This is in the sidebar. Teachers: Here is link to post about using flipboard at school. So far I have only included weeks 1 and 2 posts. If you want to be included in the magazine, you need to have left a comment on the appropriate challenge post and have included your post URL correctly.

Blog URL

Post URL

Now to this week’s activities

Let’s have a look at schooling around the world.

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 soundcloud or audioboom 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 #14stubc 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


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 joining the Global Ed Conference 17-24 Nov. Here is link to more information.

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: Let’s celebrate

There is only one challenge activity for the next two weeks.

Throughout the year, there are many celebrations held around the world.

Your challenge over the next two weeks is to design your blog to show one celebration you take part in throughout the year.

Places to find celebrations you could choose from

Your celebration might be a festival or event that is held in your country, state or town. It doesn’t have to be a world celebration.

Here is an example of a Halloween themed blog – check out the Thinglink in the header, the scrolling words in the sidebar

What could you do to your blog?

  • You could add a header or background representing your celebration
  • Change to a more appropriate theme
  • Maybe write some poetry or stories about the celebration
  • Find some widgets relating to the celebration
  • Include some images you have taken or you have found using creative commons
  • Write a post about the history of that celebration
  • Write a post explaining where you found all the headers, images, widgets information used in your post
  • Use lots of different tools to be creative such as powtoon, thinglink, padlet, glogster, soundcloud, poll daddy – classes maybe have students work in groups each using a different tool

If you use Kidblog and can’t decorate your blog very easily, you might want to create a paper blog instead and take a picture of that and put the image in a post.

Check out some of these resources I have found:


Home School Towers – Ms Mara has written a post about how she has decorated her blog to celebrate Halloween. She includes how to make backgrounds and headers and where to find them on the web.

Warrior Kat has written some posts related to Halloween as well as decorating her blog.

Sue Waters from Edublogs has found some resources to use in your classroom


Check out the holidays section – remember to link back to them – attribution as the header belongs to them

Link to five websites for free headers

How to create a header image using picmonkey

If using Edublogs check out these posts about headers, customizing your theme, design and decorate your blog – many of these are also mentioned in Ms Mara’s blog post

Other blogs

Larry Ferlazzo has lots of links for activities, games, infographics, slideshows about Christmas, Hannukah and Kwanzaa

Remember, I would like to see your creative blogs once you have finished designing it. Come back here and leave a comment so I can visit your blog. I can only visit if you include the URL of your blog.

Week 5: Pictures and videos

Admin: This week I am starting to highlight student names and classes from the participants list, if either I or your mentor feel you have not completed enough challenge posts. I know some classes have been on holidays and fall break, so to stay on the list, you need to have completed the following:

  • an about me page or post
  • 2 other posts related to challenge activities

I will be highlighting in red those students  that I will be deleting next weekend. Anyone who still has the basic blog with no posts at all will be deleted immediately.

Now to this week’s challenge

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?

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 week.


Other places to find information

Head to the creative commons website. Check out the CC wiki to find out what is happening in your country. What are the different licenses used? Teachers check out the education section of creative commons. Youtube allows creative commons for videos. 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. Mrs Yollis did an activity with her students about creative commons.

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.

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.


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 week

Activity 1 Watch this video about sharing work and write a post about what you learned.

 Activity 2. Check out this story using remix and fair use of video. Leave a comment below after watching the video. What was interesting, positive or negative about it?

 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.

Activity 4. Similar to activity 3. Find an interesting landscape image (include attribution).  Write the beginning of a story relating to your image. Remember to include a conflict of some sort between your characters. Invite your readers to finish the story. How many different endings can you get? Which ending do you prefer? You might need to visit some other bloggers and invite them to finish your story. Remember to leave the URL of your post for them to click on. Leave a comment on this post if you want me to visit and finish your story.

Activity 5. Write a sentence using just images – no words. You still need to include attribution for each image you have used.

Activity 6. Find 5 images that create a story – again no words only the attribution for each image.

Activity 7. Create a slideshowphoto 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 8Create 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. Image Generators such as
  2. Comic Generators like,  ToonDoo
  3. Photo Editors like Befunkyfd’s Flickr Tools
  4. Tag Cloud Creators such as Wordle
  5. Graph Creators including GraphJam and Crappy Graphs

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 9Zoom 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 10Go back to previous posts

If you have used images in any previous posts you have written, then you are ethically obliged to go back to the post and give the correct attribution or take the image out of the post if it does not have the right creative commons license.

Activity 11Create a jigsaw from your image. Check out how Mrs Schmidt’s students did this for a previous activity. Here is a post from Mrs Schmidt with a tutorial on how to create the jigsaw images.

ready to goActivity 12Tell the story of the picture

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, here 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.

Photo Source: from Miss Wyatt’s Flickr account

Activity for 13

Find 13 websites for creative commons images, clip art, music, videos. This can also include tools for finding these images. Write a post including a link to each site or tool.

Still got time left this week:

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

2. Reply to comments on your own blog – if your country is in yellow then your mentor has been leaving comments but you haven’t answered.

3. 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.

4. 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 thing to take away from this week’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.


Blog Action Day 2014 Inequality

Stand With Malala @ ICT Discovery
Photo Credit: ITU_Pictures via Compfight

I thought how appropriate #blogactionday was to have the theme of inequality, especially after the announcement of the winners of the Nobel Peace Prize.

Both winners, Kailash Satyarthi from India and Malala Yousafzai from Pakistan, are trying to restore inequality equality especially for children. (Thanks Ms Scott)

The United Nations states have signed the Convention on the Rights of the Child including India and Pakistan. Here is a photo story from UNICEF about children’s rights.

Where has childhood gone
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: Brett Davies via Compfight

One of these rights is to be protected from exploitation – yet child labour is still prevalent in India. Mr Satyarthi founded the Save the Childhood movement known as Bachpan Bachao Andolan. He is a children’s rights activist who fights against child slavery, child trafficking and child bondage which have been common within India. He believes all children have the right to a quality and meaningful education. Read some of these stories of children who have been saved from rug making forced labour. Here is a game about a shoe sweatshop – could you survive?

Malala Yousafzai speaks at World Bank headquarters on the International Day of the Girl
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: World Bank Photo Collection via Compfight

Another of the rights is to an education – yet in Pakistan the Taliban attempted to assassinate Malala because of her outspokenness regarding the rights of girls to have an education. Despite winning the prize, there are many in Pakistan who believe Malala is a puppet for the Western governments who are anti Islam. Since being shot and recuperating in UK, she has travelled to other countries where girls are often not given the right to an education including Nigeria, where many schoolgirls were kidnapped.

But you ask what can one person alone do to help with inequality around the world?

Malala is one person who is making a difference – and it began with her making a speech and blogging about schooling under the Taliban. She now has an organization helping to spread the word around the world.

Kailash also has an organization now backing him while he works to solve the problem of inequality regarding children in his country.

What am I doing to help solve this problem?

I sponsor a child through World Vision – even though I can’t be there in person, my money can help with building schools, providing safe drinking water, teaching about safe health practices all of which improve the lives of families and hopefully get the children into school rather than walking miles every day to collect water.

I also have about 25 loans at the moment through Kiva – I mainly donate to women who are trying to improve their businesses or start one from the home. This also will then help their family and hopefully allow children to attend school for a good education.

I also have a student blogging challenge group on the Free Rice game where students can win rice that is then donated through the World Food Program to needy people around the world.


Online game to end hunger


What are you and your class doing to help solve the problems of inequality around the world, especially for children?