Week 5: Let’s talk school

I wonder how similar or different your school day is! I know we have students taking part that are home schooled, or are from an international school or have a one room school as well as go to university or a normal school.

So this week’s theme is all about school. I am going to give you some suggestions but what you post about is up to you. Use one of my ideas or think of something for yourself. Check out what these three students wrote last year:

  • Kaiya – lunch time choices
  • Brooke – interview a staff member – make sure they know beforehand you will be putting it on your blog for the world to see
  • Maraya – report on an event at school

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 an audio app 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 #17stubc or #globalclassroom if you are doing it yourself.

Check out this gallery of classrooms around the world Remember to click on ‘i’ to get more information about the country and classroom.

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

Teachers:

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 listening to the archives of recordings from the Global Ed Conference held in 2016. Maybe join the Global Education Network that has over 24000 members around the world. The 2017 conference starts next week.

New bloggers publishing great posts

I loved the commenting post from Sophia, great A-Z introduction by Elizabeth, a challenge from Alicia,

New class has joined the challenge – Ms Blewett’s Crew – lots of great work in the student blogs on the sidebar.

Remember to leave one comment here including  post URL(s) telling me which activity/s you have done. If your post is great, it will be added to the Flipboard Magazine.

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Week 4: Free choice

Cabra hispanica Montserrat

Pedro Luna Guillen via Compfight

The first three weeks of the challenge were mainly learning lots about blogging skills you need when working on public sites on the internet. You should have learnt the following so far:

  • Avatars – what they are, how they are used, how to create one and upload to your blog
  • About me pages – difference between page and post, what is private information and what you can say on your blog, being a good digital citizen
  • Commenting – what makes a great comment, what you expect from a comment on your blog, guidelines for blogging and commenting in your class
  • Images, sounds, video – what is creative commons, how to find safe and usable images, what is an attribution and how to write it, websites with great images, creating your own images, using images for puzzles and games, an image paints a thousand words when writing a story or poem

In a couple of weeks, we will be playing a commenting game. But you need to get prepared for this.

Make sure you have at least 5 other student/class 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/classes around the world, not just those in your class or school. Perhaps have a blogroll or link category called Global students and/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. Your teacher may be able to add links on the class part of the Kidblog.

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.

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?
  • Does your background image make it hard for your visitors to read your posts?
  • Have you written some interesting posts for your visitors to comment on?

This week’s activity is free choice

Have some interesting posts for your visitors to read when they get to your blog.  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. Also take note of the page titled ‘Post ideas’ above my header.

Having read many student 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(s), please come back here to the blogging challenge and leave one comment on this post. Mention what topic(s) you wrote about and leave a link to your post(s). Check out how Roman left one comment for all posts completed.

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. Help here from Edublogs and Blogger.

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/pages relating to images, avatars or how to comment. You might need to search around the blog to find pages or click on the 3lines under each other to find a sidebar.

Also thanks to those mentors who are writing back on student blogs. There have been some great story endings where mentors have joined in the activity. The students really appreciate these comments.

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 this time in the lists above the header of the challenge blog.
  • Reply to any comments left on your blog especially if from a mentor.

Find student blogs on the sidebar

Work using images

Some great stories to finish are found here: Fiona, Roman, Anusha, Christian, Leon, Idyl, Tristan, Quincy, Nate, Caleb, Layla, Isabella, Emma, Kait, Stefan, Phakamon,

Some jigsaw puzzles to try are found here: Mai Thao, Vince, Van Anh, Brandon, Isma3el, Jori, Anusha,

If using free Pixabay images, check here to see how Mai Thao wrote the attribution links

Caleb used a different comic strip creator

Remember YOU have to visit other blogs, leave comments and the URL of your blog before you will get any comments on your blog. This is how the conversations and connections get made – by visiting and commenting on other student and class blogs.

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Enjoying the challenge?

I know you have two weeks to complete the images and sounds activities but thought I might mention a couple of things I have been noticing while visiting blogs.

Images

When you use an image from the web you need to include a link back to where you found the image. I should be able to click on that link and it opens the page where the image is found. It is not enough to just say you got it from openclipart or morguefile.

Commenting

Some students have been leaving great comments on blogs. Remember if you want to know if the blog owner responds to your comment, you need to click the little box – see image. Remember then to check your email.

Have you been visiting student and class blogs and leaving great comments? Have you been leaving the URL of your blog so a person reading your comment can visit?

Have you been leaving the URL to a post when you visit the challenge blog to leave a comment? Miss W only visits, comments and/or flips when the URL is for a post rather than just the blog.

Themes

There are hundreds of themes to choose for your blog. Some blogs I can’t read the post or comments because of the background image. You might need to customize your image by making it more transparent.

Some themes have little boxes in the header area. You need to change the wording in these to personalize the blog.

Categories and tags for posts

If you are starting to write free choice posts on your blog then you need to start using categories and tags. This makes it easier for your visitors to find a post that might interest them.

You wrote a book review on “W is for World” a hardcover book written in association with Oxfam. Your category will be book reviews, your tags could be hard cover, Oxfam, world, alphabet, children, Kathryn Cave

So looking at the tags, your visitor could see this was an alphabet book for children in a hard cover format. It relates to things around the world and Oxfam had something to do with it. The author is Kathryn Cave.

Links to other blogs

Have you found some interesting student or class blogs and you visit them often? Instead of coming to the challenge blog to find them in the list each time, why not add them as a link on the sidebar of your blog? You are going to need some links for the game we play later in the challenge so start getting organized now. Add 3 class links perhaps using the link category of Global Classes and add 3 student links using the link category Global Students.

Student and class list

You might have noticed I have had to delete a large group of students from England as we couldn’t get comments set up on their blogs. Instead their teacher will be adding some of the student posts to their class blog here, so make sure you visit in November as they are on break at the moment.

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Week 3: Using images

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 29 October. It is also a chance for classes that have been on Fall break or holidays to do some catching up. These activities also relate to Digital Citizenship week 2017 which runs in USA and Canada over this first week. Ideas from Edmodo as well.

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. Some students (who already have a mentor) will soon be deleted from the lists if they have not been participating in the challenge activities.
  3. I have visited hundreds of blogs recently. I have left a comment, or flipped the post to our magazine or have mentioned your post in the next blogging challenge post. Have you found one of your posts mentioned yet? Remember you need to leave me a link to one of your posts for me to visit.

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 Edublogs has created a student blogging bootcamp with lots of interesting posts. Check these out (mainly Edublogs but many also relate to other platforms.) Other posts found here for Blogger blogs.

Other places to find information on creative commons

Images

Make sure you check out the links in the Tools to Use symbaloo above the header

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. Do some more research on the topic of attribution and licenses 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. 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 3. Similar to activity 2. 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 4. Write a sentence using just images – no words OR find 5 images that create a story – again no words only the attribution for each image.

Activity 5. 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. Noah created a great gallery with captions

Activity 6. 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 7.  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 8.  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.

Activity 9.  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. Maggie created a tough jigsaw. Anisha created a jigsaw from her avatar.

Activity 10. Make a game using images. This class in Australia based their game on 4pics 1 word app.

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

Still got time to read more posts

Mrs Caudill’s class wrote great introductions then wrote about their avatars

Check out all the interesting links, including student blogs, on the sidebar of the Tech Kids blog

Phakamon created a commenting recipe

Make sure you leave a blog link on Summer’s blog when you comment or it might go in the trash

 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.

Flipboard magazine

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/

 

Great game to play about being internet awesome from Google – found this in a comment on Edmodo

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Visitor widgets

As this week’s challenge is all about commenting, it would be a great time to have some visitor widgets on your blog sidebar.

Sue Waters, from Edublogs, has a demo blog for widgets you can use. Check out her post but don’t go overboard putting hundreds of widgets on your blog. To get a widget, click on the widget or the link underneath it in Sue’s sidebars.

  • Perhaps choose a revolver map, clustr map or flag counter.
  • Maybe include a weather widget for the area where you live and a clock widget.

If using blogger, here is a post about adding gadgets to the sidebar in general. Here are specific posts for adding a site counter and revolver map and adding a clock.

Visiting a few blogs over the weekend I have noticed some fantastic conversations starting particularly with the students from Louisianna who are mentoring groups of 5 younger students. Keep up the great work!

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