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

 

Registering a class blog

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 so you are notified when posts are published each week – first challenge will be October 2 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   #16stubc

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

 

Are you getting ready for the October challenge?

So you are thinking about taking part in the Student Blogging Challenge in October 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 – this is usually a post rather than a form
  • 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.

  • About me – creating their avatar and about me page so visitors get to know them – includes being digital citizenship and cybersafety
  • Let’s comment – teaching what makes a quality comment, how to connect through commenting and again cybersafety and digital citizenship
  • 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

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.

20160628-124232.jpg

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.