Week 6: Time to visit

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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.

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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.
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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.

 

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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.

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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

 

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