Poster session at ISTE2016

Tracy and I had a fantastic time talking about the student blogging challenge at this years conference in Denver, Colorado. We set up a poster session that was created by three students who took part in the March set of activities. It was great to hear the response from other teachers about the skills of the girls in creating their posters and the letters they included about what they have learnt about blogging.

We had about 300 teachers and educators stop by our display to find out about the challenge and how to join the next one in October 2016. Many thanks to Meghana from New Zealand, Anna from Canada and Olivia from Portugal for taking the time to connect with each other to make sure all the posters were different and covered various areas of the challenge.

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Special: Protect the places we love

Every year, the students and classes taking part in the blogging challenge also try to join this special event held in March annually.

The event relates to Earth Hour

Here is a link explaining why we celebrate Earth Hour and how it has progressed since the first one held in Australia in 2007.

Many countries are holding different themes this year – check them out here.

As you can see, Australia is going with

Protect the places we love

So over this weekend please do some of the following:

  1. Switch off your lights for at least an hour starting at 8.30pm on Saturday night.
  2. Write a post about what you did in that hour as a family – did you keep your lights off longer than an hour?
  3. Write a post about the places you want to protect – might be a favourite beach or the Great Barrier Reef or a mountain track you use often or a picnic area you always go to on weekends
  4. What thing related to climate change would you like to see fixed by all countries around the world by the time you are 50 years old? What could you do to help make that fix?
  5. Add the Earth Hour badge to your blog – right click on my image and save to your computer. Add to your sidebar using an image widget or add to a post using Add media.

EH2016 Digital Banner- 300x250

 

 

2016 Student Blogging Challenge Badges Are Here!

Challenge Badge

Here are the new 2016 badges ready to add to your blogs.

You can right click the badge above to save it to your computer, and then follow the instructions below to add the badge to your blog.

Adding A Badge to Your Blog’s Sidebar

Using the Image Widget (Edublogs and CampusPress)

1. Save the image above to your computer.

2. Go to Appearance > Widgets.

3.  Add an Image Widget to your sidebar

Add image widget

  • On CampusPress blogs  you may need to activate the Image Widget plugin in Plugins before you’ll see it in Appearance > Widget.

4.  Click on Select Image.

Select Image

5.  Click on Select File,  locate the image and then click Open to upload the image.

Select File

6.  Click Insert into Widget.

Insert into widget

7.  Add your title.

8.  Add a link to the Student blogging challenge blog (so anyone interested in the challenge can easily click through).

9.  Click Save

Add badge title

10.  You should now see your image widget in your sidebar!

Using a Text Widget

1. Go to Appearance > Widgets.

2.  Add a Text widget to your sidebar.

3.  Give the Text Widget a title (Optional); something like “Student Blogging Challenge 2016” would work well.

4.  Copy and paste the following code into your widget:

<a href="http://studentchallenge.edublogs.org/"><img src="https://studentchallenge.edublogs.org/files/2016/03/sbc2016-s76n2u.png" alt="Student challenge 2016" width="200" height="200" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-2614" /></a>

It should look like this:

Text widget

5.  Click Save.

What’s this challenge about?

So you are thinking about taking part in the Student Blogging Challenge in March but you want to know more about it and what it involves.

The basics of the challenge

The challenge is run twice a year beginning March and October for a 10 week period each time.

It is organized by Miss Sue Wyatt (@tasteach) and help is given by Mrs Sue Waters and her team at Edublogs.

There are three registration forms:

  • educators who would like to mentor a group of students
  • teachers who have a class blog who want to connect with other classes globally
  • individual students who have their own personal blog and want to connect globally with other students

Forms are published as posts in mid February and mid September. Once the form is filled in results are shown in the page area above the header. This way you can start connecting immediately.

Students, mentors and classes taking part can add a special challenge badge to their blog.

A twitter hashtag created each year  #16stubc

All blogs must be set to open to the world – the reader doesn’t need a password to leave a comment etc

Blogs can be any platform eg edublogs, wordpress, blogger, weebly, kidblog etc but when full instructions are given in the challenge they will be for edublogs users. There are links on the sidebar to help with other platforms.

The activities each week

Each week a post is published with a list of activities for students to choose from. They only need to complete one activity each week, but if they want to do more they can.

Some weeks are the similar every time the challenge is run – that is because they are important skills for both teachers and students to have.

  1. About me – creating their avatar and about me page so visitors get to know them – includes being digital citizenship and cybersafety
  2. Let’s comment – teaching what makes a quality comment, how to connect through commenting and again cybersafety and digital citizenship
  3. Using images – teaches about using creative commons images, giving attribution for images, videos etc, tools for using images in posts

The other weeks of the challenge are based around a topic eg food, games, government, history, maths, nature etc

The final post for the challenge is an evaluation and audit of what they have done over the 10 week period of the challenge.

OK, so you think you might be interested in joining the next set of challenges?

Fill in the Subscribe by email in the sidebar so you will be notified when a new post is published.

Check out the Teacher Challenge run by Edublogs where they give lots of hints about blogging with students

 

 

Week 9: Nominations

IMG_6731

Hibr via Compfight

Every year, Edublogs present a digital award for those best educational class and student blogs. You get a chance to nominate then vote for the one you consider deserves the award. There are a few rules about nominating so you will need to

go to this link,

read the post then put forward your nomination. You don’t have to nominate an edublogs blog it could be from weebly like our Serbian bloggers or from blogspot like many of our New Zealand bloggers. It just has to be an educational blog.

Nominations close on December 2nd at 11.59pm EST time in USA

Once you have nominated, the blogs will be shortlisted and then I will write another post including a poll for you to come and vote for the blog you think deserves the award. If you are over 13 you will be able to vote via Listly on the main edublogs voting page, but if under 13 you will need to vote here on the student blogging challenge poll.

If you hope to have your blog nominated, then I suggest you have some fantastic posts ready for any visitors to read and comment on.

When being shortlisted for student blogs, we look for quality of posts, appearance of blog as well as commenting.

Good luck, get nominating and writing.

Admin post

studentlist

Students

We are coming up to half way through the challenge and as I mentioned in one of the earlier posts, some students will be taken off the student list in early November if they have not completed certain activities.

Why do I do this?

We have over 2000 students registered for the challenge but only about half of them get to have a mentor. So if students are not doing the challenge activities I feel they don’t deserve to have a mentor.

Which students will be taken off?

Students who already have mentors need to have completed the following to be left on the list:

  1. An about me page or post
  2. One other post related to the challenge
  3. Settings on their blog must allow comments to be left by anyone
  4. The URL of their blog must be correct on the list

Mentors

I will be asking you to check the students on your list to see that they have completed the above things. If they haven’t could you please email me the names of students I should be taking off the list.  Their country will be left in pink until the end of next week, then if changes have not been made, they will be removed off the student list on November 7. I will then add new students to your list. If you can take extra students please notify me as well.

Classes

I will be removing classes with incorrect URLs or those where the settings don’t allow comments – these are with pink countries. I am presently putting mauve colour on those classes where student blogs are listed on the sidebar. This makes it easier if teachers want to pair up students for commenting.

Have fun during your break

Instagram Photo -- Follow us @pawstruckpets

Creative Commons License Pawstruck.com via Compfight

This is not an official post for the challenge, just lots of websites to go to enjoy yourself.

These teachers have lists of websites used by their students. Some of them might have login details needed.

Here is a link to a previous post I have written all about having fun. Lots of links to fun activities.

Love having widgets on your blog? Sue Waters (The Edublogger) has written a post including 42 widgets – might be handy if your clustrmap has gone grey recently. Here is a post about fixing the clustrmap as well.

Why not visit lots of these links during your holiday or break and write a post about the new sites you enjoyed. Remember to include a link in your post somewhere so others can find the site easily from your post.

Remember to still check out the links on the sidebar of the challenge blog as well as the Get Help links if using blogspot or kidblog.

 

Week 4: Let’s join globally

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR STUDENTS WHO HAVE MENTORS

Remember, I will be deleting any students who have mentors already allocated over the Easter break if:

  1. there is no About Me page or post visible – make sure the pages widget is in your sidebar if your pages don’t appear up in your header area
  2. there is not at least two other posts related to the challenge activities
  3. no comments can be left – country in pink
  4. you haven’t been commenting back to your mentor

UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE

I have now created the flipboard magazine for this set of challenges. I will only be adding posts that:

  • are written in paragraphs
  • have been proofread
  • include an image, sound or video with attribution

So make sure you have taken note of last week’s learning about creative commons.

 

The last couple of months have had many international special days or events happening. How many have you taken part in at either school or at home?

This Saturday is one I take part in each year – Earth Hour.

Check out their video for the 2015 event

  • Now add an image to a widget on your blog sidebar – you might need to change the size to 200 by 200
  • Check out the starter kit for banners, logos and posters. Teachers might get some ideas from the guides to use in class during the week.
  • Find out what is happening in your country and in other countries around the world.

Activities for this week are all to do with the globe or the world we live in.

Activity 1.

Join our Free Rice group called Student Blogging Challenge or create one for your class. Every answer you get right, means 10 grains of rice donated to the World Food Programme. Since October 2011, we have had 86 students join and donate 116, 300 grains of rice. I wonder how many we could have by the end of Easter? Can you add a widget to Free Rice on your blog?

Activity 2.

Write a list of international events you have taken part in since Christmas 2014. What were they celebrating? What did you do to celebrate?

Activity 3.

Visit at least 5 blogs from countries other than your own. Leave a comment on a post at each blog. Now write your own post including the comment you have left and linking to each post you commented on.

Activity 4.

If you could create an international event, what would it be called? What would we be celebrating? Create some of the advertising material you might use – eg logo, banner, image, flyer

Activity 5.

Think of a special celebration in one country of the world. Find three images of the event. Under each image, give a clue as to the event.

On the final line, write a bit more about the event for your visitors to read. Include a link to another website giving more information on the event. Remember to include attribution for each image and perhaps a question for your readers to answer.

Activity 6.

Write about one special event you have taken part in. It might be an educational global event or an international event from the United Nations or a special event from your country. Find an image to add to your post. Remember to use attribution correctly. Include a link to another website giving more information on the event.

Activity 7.

Add at least five international blogs to your blogroll or links ready for a game we will hold after Easter. If you can’t add links on your blog, add them in a post instead.

Activity 8.

What are some games or apps you use that relate to global studies or geography of the world? Include a link to the website or app.

Activity 9.

What could you, your class, your school, your town do to help with the climate change problem for more than the one hour on Saturday 28 March 2015?

 

Previous week’s activities: Visit and leave quality comments 

Eagle Wordsmiths have a question for students or classes in each country in the challenge. Please answer their questions.

Mr Jewell’s class would like some feedback from other bloggers re use of images.

Ms Andrews’ class wrote lots of poems and stories using images

Olivia wrote a brilliant post about copyright

Commenting: Brooke created a Prezi, Tess and Jamie created a video,

A-Z paragraph: Eagle Wordsmiths, 3/4 Coe,

Zoom Out: Brianna and her ladybird, Miss Scarrott and keyring, Lucas and Spencer made a zoom movie, Jennifer used Kizoa for a movie,

Controversy – iPhones at school, BYOT at school, School start later, New York Yankees,

Book Review: Delirium,

Poems: Danielle, AlexR, Kayla, Jazzy, Rachel, Jamie, Xander, Hank, Sophia, Isabel, Paige, Keyan,

Stories to finish: Jonah, Cassie, Andrew, Chelsea, Hannah, Penelope,

Conversations are happening: Kendall and Merry, Nelly and Merry,

About pages: Compare Hobart to your town, Riley, Cloie’s slideshow about family, Hailey, Lucas and family,

Passionate about: Flying with AlexS, elephants with Ava,

Copyright and creative commons: A video about music,

Sentences to read: Erica, Mackenzie, Andrew,

Using images in lots of activities: Renee, Aymen, Nelly, Lucas,

Jigsaw puzzle: Kendall,

 

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 pink then visitors can’t leave comments.

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.

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

Teachers and students please read this

I have started allocating mentors to students over the last couple of weeks.

There is one problem they are having.

They can’t leave comments on some blogs because of the privacy settings you have set up on your blogs.

 

This is especially for those using Blogger or Blogspot.

Can you please make sure that Name/URL is an option on all blogger blogs when leaving a comment?

I will be checking these over the weekend and will be putting countries in bright pink if comments can’t be left on those blogs.

 

Some Edublogs or campus setup blogs also are not allowing comments.

Can you please make sure visitors don’t have to login to leave a comment?

I will be checking these over the weekend and will be putting countries in bright pink if comments can’t be left on those blogs.

2015 Student Blogging Challenge Badges Are Here!

sbc2015

The 2015 Student Blogging Challenge begins in early March. If you want to register, go here.

In preparation for this year’s upcoming challenge, we have the new 2015 badges ready to add to your blogs.

You can right click the badge above to save it to your computer, and then follow the instructions below to add the badge to your blog.

Adding A Badge to Your Blog’s Sidebar (Edublogs & WordPress)

Using the Image Widget

  1. First, save the image above to your computer.
  2. Then, log into your blog and go to Media > Add New and upload the badge.
  3. Then go to Appearance > Widgets.
  4. Add an Image Widget to your sidebar.
  5. Give the Image Widget a title (Optional); something like “Student Blogging Challenge 2015” would work well.
  6. Click the Add Image link and then click the Media Library link to choose the badge image from your library.
  7. Click the “Show” link next to the badge.
  8. When the image details appear, scroll to the bottom and click “Insert Into Widget.”
  9. Once the image is added to the widget, paste http://studentchallenge.edublogs.org/ into the link URL so anyone interested in the challenge can easily click through.
  10. Click Save.

Using a Text Widget

  1. Login to your blog and go to Appearance > Widgets.
  2. Add a Text widget to your sidebar.
  3. Give the Text Widget a title (Optional); something like “Student Blogging Challenge 2015” would work well.
  4. Copy and paste the following code into your widget:
  5. Click Save.