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.

 

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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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Are you getting organized?

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 first Sunday in 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 late February and 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  #17stubc

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 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 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

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Great blogs to visit

In one of the last challenge posts, I asked for nominations of great blogs. Because there are no Edublog awards this year, I have decided to add to this post all those blogs you have nominated and who nominated them.

Please visit these blogs and decide why some students thought they were great. Now read the post written for the nomination.

Is your blog on this list?

Remember to keep coming back as I add more blogs that have been nominated to each list.

Student blogs

Jayden – nominated by Margaret

Thanumi – nominated by Maria’s English on the spot students, Summer, Danika,

Jagga – nominated by Anisha, Rit,

Jada – nominated by Sabrina

Alyssa – nominated by Aya

Seb – nominated by Fauzan, Marianne Ella,

Alexandra – nominated by Karah

Anna – nominated by Philip – need to be Edublogs user to read Anna’s blog

Jennifer – nominated by Thunyama

Be That Girl – nominated by Angela

Abby – nominated by Tosita

Eli – nominated by Hannah

Ella – nominated by Emily

Louisa – nominated by Bryan

Fernando – nominated by Ashton

Ryan – nominated by Ryder

Ella – nominated by Leila

 

Class blogs

Story behind a photo – nominated by Owen

Eugene’s SA blog – nominated by Maria’s English on the Spot students

5C in Qatar – nominated by Emily

 

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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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