2018 Student Blogging Challenge Badges Are Here!

 

Here are the new 2018 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.

You can either add the badge to your a sidebar using the Image Widget or by pasting the image URL into a Text Widget. Both options are explained below:

Adding A Badge to Your Blog’s Sidebar

Using the Image Widget (Edublogs and CampusPress)

1. Save the image above to your computer or download it here

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.

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 the Custom HTML widget

1. Go to Appearance > Widgets.

2.  Add a Custom HTML widget to your sidebar.

3.  Give the Custom HTML a title (Optional); something like “Student Blogging Challenge 2017″ would work well.

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

<a href=”http://studentchallenge.edublogs.org/”><img class=”wp-image-3666 size-medium aligncenter” src=”https://studentchallenge.edublogs.org/files/2018/02/SBB2018-2j2v19i-xygxj7-300×295.png” alt=”” width=”300″ height=”295″ /></a>

It should look like this:

5.  Click Save.

March 2018 students register here

Before filling in the registration form please read the following:

Who should register 

  • Only students who have their own personal blog can register
  • Students who want to connect with other students around the world
  • Register only once – I can usually work out incorrect URLs by visiting class blogs or contacting teachers

A few days after  you have registered

  1. Check the student participants page which will appear in the header area to make sure you are there. Check very carefully under your age group as we don’t need names being doubled up
  2. If you are not on the participants page, register again being careful that your blog URL is correct.
  3. If you are on the participants list, start visiting other students your age or with your interests.
  4. Fill in the subscription by email widget so you are notified when posts are published each week – first challenge will be March 4 or if you have Edublogs reader, click on follow then you will be able to read posts in your reader.
  5. Make sure you have some great posts written so others can start leaving comments.

If you have a twitter account, use the hashtag #stubc to notify others of your posts – note no numbers in the hashtag from now on.

Read everything above this line, now is the time to register

March 2018 classes register here

Before filling in the registration form please read the following:

Who should register

  • Teachers who have their own class blog can register, can be any blogging platform
  • Classes which want to connect with other classes around the world

Reminders before registering

  1. If your blog URL is very long, then use a shortener such as this one from Google  Also handy when students are registering their blogs on their form (especially if kidblog as the URL is usually long).
  2. In case I need to contact you, an email is the easiest way, so please fill that in on the last question on the form. This is not published but other teachers could contact me in case you don’t have a contact spot on your blog.

A few days after  you have registered

  1. Check the class participants page which will appear in the header area to make sure you are there.
  2. If you are not on the participants page, register again being careful that your blog URL is correct
  3. If you are on the participants list, start visiting other classes of similar grade level.
  4. Fill in the subscription by email widget so you are notified when posts are published each week – first challenge will be March 4 or if you have Edublogs reader, click on follow then you will be able to read posts in your reader.
  5. Make sure you have some great posts written so others can leave comments.

If publicising any posts on twitter, please use the hashtag   #stubc  Note the change – no numbers from now on.

 

Mentors change of role

As mentioned in my previous post, I am going to be changing the role of the mentor from this challenge onwards.

Reasons being:

  • Some students register for challenge but then don’t do the activities.
  • Mentors time should not be wasted by visiting blogs that did not have posts about the challenge activities.

So mentors are now going to become commenters instead. This will work similarly to 100WC.

Commenters will:

  1. Register to be a commenter via a Google form found on the Register page above the header
  2. If selected as a commenter, receive one email giving the 5 numbers allocated to them to comment on
  3. Receive a weekly email, sent out on Wednesdays Australian time, reminding them to leave comments – will be a link to that week’s student post Google form on the email

Each week:

  1. Click on the link in your weekly email
  2. Find the 5 numbers for the blogs to comment on
  3. Click on URL of blog post to leave a comment – leave comment on that post or any other post from that student blog
  4.  If you want to comment on other student blogs, visit the main challenge blog and check out any comments left there for that week in the normal commenting area

For this to work well:

  • Students need to remember to fill in the form each week at the bottom of the challenge post.
  • You may fill in the form more than once –  for each activity you complete that week
  • Students need to make sure they only fill in the form once their teacher has published their post
  • Make sure you fill in the correct form for the activity you have completed – important if you are behind in the posts because of holidays etc
  • Classes also remember to fill in the form so commenters can visit your class blog
  • Students may also leave comments in the main comment area of the challenge post but these might not be visited by a commenter

Readers: Anything else that might need to be on this post regarding commenters or any questions you might have about this change?

 

 

Looking back

Looking Back

Creative Commons License Javcon117* via Compfight

I am starting to organize our 20th student blogging challenge – Wow ! those ten years have certainly gone by quickly since I first started the challenge back in 2008.

It started with a tweet from Sue Waters asking for some overseas classes to visit my student blogs to leave comments for them. As I had only been blogging for a few months, I didn’t have many global connections in my personal learning network (PLN).

It was a competition the first time it was run with each class awarding a prize but since then it has become a challenge instead. But the main purpose of the challenge has remained the same.

The most important aspect of this competition, though, is the connection formed between reader and writer.  We would like to see students making friends in other countries, finding out they are not so different wherever they live in the world, asking questions and making conversations by replying to those questions.

We didn’t have a blog dedicated to the challenge, instead it was part of my class blog with the challenge being on pages in the header of the blog.

Here is the link to the participants in  September 2008 – I wonder how many are still blogging but maybe not on their student blog?

Here is the link to the activities for that first competition – you will notice many of these are still being used in challenges run since 2008

Sue Waters and the team at Edublogs decided the challenge was going so well that it needed its own dedicated blog and so this blog was started back in January 2010 ready for the 4th student blogging challenge.

There have been some changes throughout the years including:

  • Google forms for registering classes and students – needed once the numbers of participants increased
  • Mentors to help new bloggers
  • Badges for participants
  • Flipboard magazine for great posts

There is going to be a big change again ready for the next challenge in March but I will write about that in a new post – it relates to mentors.

Readers: Have you taken part in one or more of the challenges? Which activities did you enjoy the most? Are there any skills you think need to be taught to students to allow them to develop as better bloggers?

Classes register here

Before filling in the registration form please read the following:

Who should register

  • Teachers who have their own class blog can register, can be any blogging platform
  • Classes which want to connect with other classes around the world

Reminders before registering

  1. If your blog URL is very long, then use a shortener such as this one from Google  Also handy when students are registering their blogs on their form (especially if kidblog as the URL is usually long).
  2. In case I need to contact you, an email is the easiest way, so please fill that in on the last question on the form. This is not published but other teachers could contact me in case you don’t have a contact spot on your blog.

A few days after  you have registered

  1. Check the class participants page which will appear in the header area to make sure you are there.
  2. If you are not on the participants page, register again being careful that your blog URL is correct
  3. If you are on the participants list, start visiting other classes of similar grade level.
  4. Fill in the subscription by email widget so you are notified when posts are published each week – first challenge will be October 1 or if you have Edublogs reader, click on follow then you will be able to read posts in your reader.
  5. Make sure you have some great posts written so others can leave comments.

If publicising any posts on twitter, please use the hashtag   #17stubc

You have read everything above, now is the time to register

I am on holidays

Just a note to everyone that I leave for a month holiday around Australia. As I am not sure what the internet connections will be like, I wont be able to check the blog every day and approve comments. I will try and do it at least once a week and also to flip posts that can be flipped to the magazine. I will also be checking those blogs that are in pink or have been mentioned to me by the mentors as students not completing activities.

As I have already scheduled the posts for the rest of the challenge, I wont be able to add other blogs to visit at the bottom of the post. So please check the comments on each post and visit student posts from there.

I will be writing about my trip on either of the following blogs if you want to follow my trip.

Davo Devil who will be with me or when using the iPad, Image A Day.

Mentors and students: please read this

We are getting close to Easter Break here in Australia. That means we are half way through the blogging challenge. Over Easter, when I am travelling around Australia, I will be starting to remove students on the participants list if they haven’t completed the following:

  1. An about me page or post
  2. A post or page relating to commenting
  3. A post relating to images including attribution

Why do I do this?

Most students in the challenge don’t have a mentor, so the first students to be removed will be those who do have mentors but are not keeping up with the challenge activities. It is unfair on the other students who are taking part, that they don’t get to have a mentor.

Mentors By the beginning of Easter, can you please send me via email or in a comment on this post, the blog URLs that I should be deleting.

High school students: If you have some time and would like to mentor a group of 5-10 younger students, please leave me a comment on this post and include your URL so I can check you out first. If I do allocate some students to you, it will be mentioned as a reply to your comment. So remember to click the little box about notifying you of replies to this comment.

Teachers: please read this

Many thanks to those teachers who are allowing their students to take part in the March 2017 student blogging challenge.

There are many comments being left on the challenge posts but some students are only leaving the URL of their blog rather than the URL of the specific post or page they want me to visit. Also some posts I go to visit, but I need to login to view the blog or post.

If you are using Edublogs or WordPress platform, there have been some changes made to the default settings from previous years. This means I often can’t flip a great post to the blogging challenge magazine.

To change these settings, do the following:

  1. On your main blog dashboard> settings> reading>  site visibility to allow search engines. Save the changes.

Now if you are using ‘My Class’, you also need to do the following:

  1. Dashboard> My Class> settings> Privacy> Allow all visitors to all blogs. Then save the changes. This may take a while as it has to update this setting to each student blog attached to your main class blog.

Please check previous challenge posts to see if any of your students are mentioned in the list of posts I couldn’t publish to the magazine. If they are there, then you probably need to change your settings as mentioned above.

 

2017 Student Blogging Challenge Badges Are Here!

 

Here are the new 2017 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.

You can either add the badge to your a sidebar using the Image Widget or by pasting the image URL into a Text Widget. Both options are explained below:

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.

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 2017” 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/2017/02/sbc2017-12xpnkp.png" alt="Student challenge 2016" width="200" height="200" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-2614" /></a>

It should look like this:

5.  Click Save.

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