Time to nominate

Well the official part of the challenge is finished until September 2010 when we will start all over again. But there is one more thing we would like you to do.

Over the past ten weeks, you have been visiting lots of different blogs from students and classes around the world. Some of them you have found more interesting than others. What was it that made you re-visit a blog more than once? What makes one blog stand out above all the other blogs you visited?

Nominating a blog for the Edublogs awards later this year

There are some rules you must follow to make it easy for the Edublogs team to find and visit your nominated blog(s).

  1. You may nominate, if you wish,  a student blog from your school, a student blog from anywhere else in the world and a class blog.
  2. You must write a post explaining why this blog is deserving of the student or class blog award. Give lots of reasons why this blog is fantastic and why you want to nominate it. If nominating more than one blog, you must write a post for each nomination.
  3. Each post must have 2 links: first to the blog you are nominating and second back to this post explaining how to nominate. (That means I will get a pingback and Edublogs team will be able to check easily from my one post.)
  4. You must then come back to this challenge post and leave a comment saying which blogs you have nominated and leaving their URL, in case the pingback doesn’t work.

Remember, nominate the very best blogs you have found during the challenge. The student blog or class blog does not have to be officially taking part in the challenge. You might have found one while clicking on blogrolls in some of the activities we have done. The blog must have recent posts when judging occurs later this year.

By the end of June there will be badges you may copy to your sidebar, saying you took part in the March 2010 student blogging challenge, so keep checking here over the next few weeks.

Good luck with your blogging and hope to see you all again in September.

March 2010: Challenge 10

Well, it is time to say farewell, so long or adieu from this first set of challenges in 2010. For those keen classes and students we will start again in September with a new set of challenges. So keep coming back here, early September, so you can register again.

But this final challenge is an audit of your blog since the beginning of March 2010.

      • How many posts did you write?
      • How many were school based or your own interests?
      • How many comments did you receive from classmates, teachers or overseas students?
      • Which post received the most comments? Why do you think that happened?
      • Which post did you enjoy writing the most and why?
      • Did you change blog themes at all and why?
      • How many widgets do you have? Do you think this is too many or not enough?

      Now ask another student and teacher/parent from your school who might not have read your blog to do an audit. Sit beside them while they navigate around your blog, record what you observe as they interact with your blog. When finished, ask them the following questions:

      • What were your first impressions of this blog?
      • What captured your attention?
      • What distracted you on the blog?
      • What suggestions can you give me to improve my blog?

      From these audits, you should be getting an idea of what makes a great blog.

      Next week, even though the challenge will be over, there will be a post about nominating a great class blog and student blogs ( one from your class and one from elsewhere) ready for the end of year Edublogs Awards. So make sure you are still visiting the other blogs.

      Also if your class would like to be in charge of the ‘Bringing us Together” blog for a period of two weeks, please leave a comment on this post and I will add you to the calendar. This is a blog for classes to use in between the challenges, so we are still working together. Teachers, if you want your class blog to be added to the blogroll, leave a comment here as well.

      Original image: ‘Come Back Soon
      Come Back Soon
      by: Thomas Hawk
      Released under an Attribution-NonCommercial License

      March 2010: Challenge 9

      Time is running out and the penultimate challenge is about to start. I hope you have enjoyed the challenges for this first part of the year. Remember another set of challenges will start in September 2010. Perhaps you will also join then.

      So what can we do for this – the second last challenge?

      Most blogs you have visited have been either classroom blogs or other blogs written by students taking part in the challenge. This time I am going to direct you to a few  interesting infographics I have found relating to teenagers and their use of the web.  Look at these infographics and write a post mentioning:

      • your opinion of the information on the graphic
      • how well do you fit into that infographic
      • is this typical of your friends

      How are teens using their cell phones – remember you can go back to the article and leave a comment.

      Look at the growth of facebook over the last 6 years

      How often do you check twitter and facebook or take a phone message?

      What type of online user are you?

      Leave a comment here about which infographic you found most interesting and why.

      Reminder, next week we are going to ask you to nominate one student blog and one class blog that you feel is outstanding and deserving of an Edublogs award at the end of the year. Make sure you have visited lots of blogs that are not from your school, as you will not be able to nominate anyone from your school.

      I suggest you check out the list of student blogs and class blogs on the sidebar and see if you feel any are as good as or better than those that won last year. Check out 2009  nominations here: class and student.

      Original image: ‘5 vor 12
      5 vor 12
      Released under an Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License

      March 2010: Challenge 8

      So you have now visited lots of blogs and there are some that you want to visit all the time. How can you do this easily?

      One option is to subscribe to that blog’s posts.

      1. You can subscribe by email – every time a new post is written you will be sent an email telling you about it, so you can visit and read the post and leave a comment.
      2. You can subscribe by using a reader or personalised homepage like Google Reader, Pageflakes, Yahoo Pipes, Netvibes – this time when a post is written it will be added to your reader or homepage – you will need to visit  often to see if there are any new posts from your friends.

      On the top right corner of this blog you will see the orange button which is for the RSS feeds using a reader and you will also see the Feedburner service for email subscribers. On your meta widget on your sidebar there is usually a post/entries RSS feed and a Comment RSS feed which can be used as well.

      Sue Waters wrote a post for teachers on how to create a folder in Google reader that might be helpful.

      Second option is to have a link to your favourite blogs on your blogroll. You should have done this activity a couple of weeks ago.

      Activities for this week:

      • Make sure your meta widget is visible on your blog so your readers can subscribe from there.
      • On your blog, add a Feedburner subscribe by email and reader widget. Or leave a note in a text box telling your readers to subscribe using the meta widget RSS posts. You will need to have a Google account to use these – so check with your parents first.
      • Subscribe by email to at least three blogs you want to read all the time. If under 13, you will need to just add the URLs to your blogroll.
      • Count out three – click on a blog on your blogroll (1), now click on a blog from their blogroll (2) and finally click on a blog from that blogroll (3) – leave a comment on a post at this blog.  Do this activity at least three times and write a post saying which blogs you visited and what posts you left a comment on. Why did you choose that post?
      • Write a post about how you can attract readers to your blog.  If you have been blogging for a while, write a set of tips for new bloggers about attracting a world wide audience.
      • Still more time, write a post of your choice – music, sport, holidays etc Include an image with attribution.
      Original image: ‘RSS Combined
      RSS Combined
      by: Kyle Wegner
      Released under an Attribution-NonCommercial License

      March 2010: Challenge 7 – Late, late, late again

      After spending time over the Easter break leaving comments on many student blogs, I also decided to check out the class blogs.  I noticed many of them were preparing for Earth Day on Thursday 22 April. In fact, it is the 40th anniversary of Earth Day yet I hadn’t really heard about this before.

      Then I started looking at the tweets on Twitter and many educators were mentioning about teaching paperless on Earth Day. So I want you to check out Mrs Yollis’s class and Mrs Braidwood’s class. Perhaps you could leave your pledge on Mrs Yollis’ wallwisher. Remember to leave a great comment about what you are doing to celebrate Earth Day.

      Other celebrations this week are on April 25th. The first is for World Malaria Day and here are some resources to look at – with global warming this problem is going to be affecting more and more people in the world over time. The other important celebration affects those of us in Australia and New Zealand – ANZAC Day.  Many schools will be running ANZAC Day sports and assemblies and will be laying wreaths at cenotaphs or special memorials for the returned soldiers.

      So the challenges for this week are:

      • Write a post about Earth Day, World Malaria Day or ANZAC Day. How did you celebrate at your school or in your town? Did you check out some resources and which did you enjoy? Try to find a creative commons image as part of your post and remember to give attribution.
      • By next week you need to have visited between 20 and 50 blogs outside those of your classmates.  We will be asking for your opinion about some blogs to submit for Edublog awards at the end of the year – so start making some decisions about what makes a great blog.
      • Visit some of the class blogs as well, because there are also awards for the best class blog in the Edublog awards at the end of the year. Check out the student blogs mentioned on the class blogrolls as well.
      • Make sure you have at least 20 blogs mentioned on your blogroll – try to categorize into class friends, class blogs, students who I visit often or something similar. You will need this done by next week for an activity we will be running.
      • Leave a pledge on Mrs Yollis’ wallwisher or at least a comment on either of the class blogs mentioned
      Original image: ‘Blood sucker‘   http://www.flickr.com/photos/27501927@N00/3157213356
      by: Aquila  Released under an Attribution-NonCommercial License

      March 2010: Challenge 6

      I hope you have all been visiting other class and student blogs over the last few weeks. If you haven’t, then please make sure you have visited some during the next week. We have lots of teachers visiting student blogs to leave comments over this month and I noticed an excellent conversation happening between Mrs Yollis and Shelly. Check it out here!

      Another great conversation through comments is between Saskia and her visitors, who have been students, teachers, uni lecturers. Check it out here!

      Clare has responded to another teacher’s post, by writing her own and quoting some parts of the original post by Mr Watt. Check it out here! Again another fantastic conversation happening through comments.

      It is great to see so many students with their own blogs participating in the challenge.  Remember though, there are also some students on class blogrolls. Visit them to read their posts and leave comments as well.

      What is a blogroll, you ask? Now that you have started visiting other blogs and looking at the March 2010 student  list to find students with similar interests, you might start finding some blogs that you really like.  You might visit these every day, but how do you remember their URL?  This is where a blogroll comes in handy.

      If you look near the bottom on the sidebar of this blog, you will notice I have certain subheadings such as:

      • blogs to visit
      • get help

      These are part of my blogroll.  Notice the subheadings or link categories are alphabetical beginning with numbers.  So you will need to think about what the names are for your categories.

      If using Edublogs, to create the link category headings, go to  links > link category  To add some links such as this blog and your friends blogs, go to links>add new.  Remember to say what category you put the link under and also use http:// in front of the URL.

      Just to confuse you and your teacher, there is also another heading called ‘categories’. This though, relates to the posts you write about.  These categories appear in the header area or at the footer section of your post.

      What are your posts mainly about?

      • family and friends
      • schoolwork
      • my interests
      • my future

      You might use these as post categoriesIf using Edublogs, to set them up from your dashboard go to posts>categories. Why are categories and tags important when writing your posts?  See if you can find out that answer over the next week.

      You will notice the categories I have used for this blog are:

      • Information
      • March 2010
      • Type of challenge
        • Beginner student
        • Class
        • Commenter
        • Teacher
        • Veteran student
      • Visit these

      Your challenges this week

      1. Add at least 10 blogs to your blog roll.  Make sure you have at least two different link categories.
      2. If you have taken part in a previous challenge,  you also need to write a post recommending at least 5 blogs you think students and classes should add to their blogroll.  Remember to give reasons why that blog should be added.
      3. When writing posts, begin adding categories. You should only have a few of these – it is like the chapter heading of a book. Go back to your previous posts and change the category.  If writing a post for the challenge, perhaps a category ‘challenge March 2010′ would be useful.
      4. If you already have categories organized for your blog, write a post explaining why you chose those particular categories.
      5. Make sure you have a user avatar created. Go to dashboard >users> your avatar and upload one you have created. This could be the same as your blog avatar or you might create a different one.  Then whenever you leave a comment on someone’s blog, this avatar will show.  Also make sure in users >your profile, you have a name displayed publicly as and that you have your blog URL  on the line website.  The owner of the blog where you leave a comment now only has to click on either your name or your avatar and it should take them to your blog.
      6. If you still have lots of time to do some more challenges, then visit the blog run by last year’s participants.  Leave some comments on the posts and perhaps you will also find some other links for your blogroll. Check out the categories used on this blog in their blog roll.
      Original image: ‘Flickr ; Statistiques pour votre compte – 20 Novembre 2008 – 2
      by: Mathieu L.-Fiset
      Released under an Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License

      March 2010: Challenge 5

      Creative commons, images and attribution

      What is this? If you didn’t take the photo, then someone else did. Some photographers get paid money for taking images to use in newspapers, so often online newspapers copyright their images. This means you would have to pay money or have the photographer’s permission to use that photo on your blog.

      Why? Your blog is in the public domain and is available for anyone to see. You are not allowed to put copyright images on your blog without the permission of the owner.  This means you need to find images that are creative commons instead.

      What is that? Watch this YouTube video about sharing your work and creative commons.

      Below is a list of websites that have creative commons images. Remember attribution doesn’t include a URL beginning with http://images.google.com/   or some other search engine. Attribution is the URL of the original image.










      Finally a link from Mr Bogush’s class for their links to photos to use


      Write a post about your Spring break or Easter holiday. Include at least one image that is creative commons. Include the attribution at the bottom of the post. Here is a post to show you how to insert an image.


      Do you think you should have a creative commons license for your blog? Why or why not? Is your audience mainly students in your class and/or the blogging challenge or have you had readers that are teachers and/or visitors you don’t know?


      Visit ten blogs from students in the challenge  of different ages. How many of these blogs had images with attribution? How many blogs did not have images at all?Which blogs did you prefer to read and why? Leave your answer here as a comment or leave a comment on each of the blogs you visited.


      If using Edublogs, create a gallery of images to represent your class’s holiday or break.  Here is a post on how to create a gallery in your blog. Remember to include the attribution of where you found the images. Perhaps you could also add the ‘Support CC’ button like I have below, on your blog sidebar.


      The original comic of this YouTube video remix can be found here: http://wiki.creativecommons.org/Sharing_Creative_Works

      Support CC

      Enjoy your break?

      I hope you have all enjoyed your break from the challenge. I know many schools in the northern hemisphere are on spring break while some schools in the southern hemisphere are on Easter break or term 1 holidays.

      So I thought, why not have a break from blogging? It will allow some students to catch up on some challenges they might have missed due to camp or other school activities.

      Did you enjoy your break? What did you do? I hope you visited some of the blogs I have highlighted in previous posts. Maybe you visited  some blogs to leave comments.

      Leave a comment here about what you did in your break.

      Image: ‘Desk (Noted)
      Desk (Noted)

      March 2010: Challenge 4

      ImageChef.comOne of the questions asked at the end of the September 2009 challenge was:  What topic would you like to write more posts about?  One of the most common answers was:


      There are many different ways to look at this topic and across the world this week, there are many celebration days being held:

      So again this week, a wide variety of activities to choose from either as a blogger, commenter or class.

      • Research and write a post including links and images on one of those special days.
      • Join in Earth Hour and write a post about what your family did during that hour.
      • Write a post about activities your family could do while the lights are out for that hour.
      • What do you do at school or at home to help protect the environment?
      • Write a comic strip as a hero wanting to save some aspect of the environment.
      • If 13 or older and with parental permission, create a text to movie at xtranormal about the environment.
      • Your worries regarding the environment – what can you do as a student?
      • Create an animoto about the environment – maybe you worry about the polar bears.  Find images from links on this post.
      • Write a post about an environmental field trip you went on, maybe to the rubbish dump or cleaning up a creek etc.
      • Visit these posts from last year to leave a comment: Priscila from Argentina, Ashley from USA, Abbey from USA, Courtney from USA, Hailey from USA

      The challenge last year for Earth Hour can be found here.

      Created by: OneCarolinaGirl Template: Candy Heart

      About Candy Heart: Created on: Friday, 20 February 2009

      March 2010: Challenge 3

      It’s a very small world we live in now.

      Only 220 years ago, it used to take a sailing ship about 4 or 5 months to sail from England to Australia with convicts on board.  It took me 24 hours to fly from Australia to Vancouver, Canada with a short stop in Hawaii for a couple of hours. Yet it took only seconds for my class to connect to Ashley in Connecticut in 2008  when we used Skype to make a call.

      Students born in the last twenty years  should be taking it for granted that they will be working collaboratively with students and teachers across the world using modern technology.

      So this week’s challenge is to tell the world about the area you live in – your town, your state or province, your country in general. But hopefully you will also be having international visitors coming to your blog, so you need some way of knowing where they are coming from. There will be many options of what to do this week ranging from adding widgets, writing posts, leaving comments by visiting international blogs and  adding images so I am posting a couple of days earlier than usual to give you time to complete them.

      Adding widgets

      When adding widgets to your sidebar, copy and paste the embed code into a text box on your sidebar.

      • Save then close.
      • If the widget is too wide, you will have to adjust the number next to ‘width’ in the embed code.
      • This might appear more than once in the code.

      If using blogger rather than Edublogs, you might need to check out the instructions for adding widgets and images etc from Bling For Your Blog, written by a teacher in New Zealand. Thanks Allanah.

      Writing posts

      If I were to visit your state or province, what would be the ‘must see’ places and why? Include an image (flickrcc about Tasmania creative commons) and a link to a website.

      Instead of writing, speak this time using a Voki then embed in either post or sidebar.

      We have students and classes from these countries taking part in the challenge:

      • Australia, Canada, U.S.A, Mexico, Argentina, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Thailand, Hong Kong (China), U.A.E (United Arab Emirates), Norway and South Africa. Many of the older Australian students are refugees from other countries so make sure you read about them from their links on this blog.
      • Write a post asking one or two questions about each country or leave your questions as comments on the student or class blogs. eg Do kangaroos hop down the main streets in Australia? How many people live in the state or town you live in?


      • Flickr slideshow
      • Take photos of your local area and put in a post as a gallery
      • Create a quiz at mystudiyo about your state or province. Then embed it in your blog post. Here is one I made about Tasmania.
      • #!/usr/bin/perl -w
        use strict;
        use CGI qw(:standard);
        my $srcURL = param(‘srcURL’);
        my $text = param(‘text’);
        my $gigyaWidth = param(‘gwidth’)|| 300;
        my $gigyaHeight = param(‘gheight’)|| 260;
        my $eWidth = param(‘ewidth’) ||300;
        my $eHeight = param(‘eheight’) ||360;

        print <

        Send a Quiz


        Which activity did you do? Did you try more than one? Which did you enjoy the most? Remember to leave a pingback or trackback in your post by linking back to this challenge post.

        Attribution: Image: ‘It’s a Small World!