Challenge 10 – Sept 2010

Well, this is it!! The last challenge post for the year 2010.

Usually when you finish a project or area of study at school you have to evaluate how well it went. That is what we will be asking you to do for this final challenge.

This final challenge is an audit of your blog since the beginning of September 2010.

  • How many posts did you write?
  • How many were school based, your own interests or set by the challenge?
  • 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?

Other activities for this last challenge include:

1.  Change the theme on your blog to reflect that it is Christmas time and the month of December – remember though to change the theme again early in January.

2.  Do you still want to take part in some challenges or write posts for other students to comment on? Then visit these two blogs:

Blogger’s Café,    Bringing us together

3. Write a post you think would be suitable to add to this international student blog.  It will need writing, a question at the end, images, perhaps other media like a poll or slideshare.  What topic will you choose?

If you would like to be an author on the international blog, leave a comment here on this post.  Also remember to hyperlink to this post when you write your challenge so I can visit.  The best challenges will be added to the international blog.

Teachers - if you would be interested in having your class join the international blog, please leave a comment under the page heading “Join us”. I will start organizing the calendar again so each class has about two weeks or a fortnight in which to have control of the blog.

4. A few teachers are starting to put together a teacher challenge blog similar to this student challenge blog. What hints or tips would you give teachers who are starting out on the journey of blogging for themselves or with a class blog or individual student blogs? Write a post with your hints and link it back to this post, so we can then add your hints to our teacher challenge next year.

Finally, I would like to say a big thank you to all the students and classes who took part in this challenge.  I hope you learnt a lot and will be sharing your knowledge with your new teachers in the coming years. Remember the next challenge will start in early March 2011, so visit here again in February ready to register for the new challenge.

Original image: ‘seidener faden

seidener faden

by: Nils L.

Released under an Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License

Challenge 8 and 9 – Sept 2010

What an exciting last two weeks in the challenge! You have had a chance to win big by taking part in the Edublogger’s competition. I have visited there often and noticed there are over 150 comments and links. If you win, congratulations on having a 12 month Pro blog subscription. How will this change your blog?

You also had a chance to nominate blogs for the Edublog Awards. I read on their blog that they had thousands of nominations and had to shortlist all the categories. Again, congratulations to those students, teachers and classes who were nominated for a category. Make sure you visit the Edublog Awards page and vote for your favourite blogs.  Be sure to check out the other blogs as well, because they can give you ideas on how to improve your own blog.

While checking out the Edublogger competition, I noticed Sue Waters had created a post relating to one of the topics in the competition. It was about what you would include if you were in charge of the student blogging challenge.

The challenges for week 9 are:

1.  Use one or more of the tools mentioned in this post on the EdubloggerEmbed your result in a post explaining why you chose that particular tool. Be careful though, some of the tools require you to be 13+ to use it. Make sure you check out the terms and conditions first before adding it to your blog, unless your teacher joins with a class account.

2. Vote for your favourite blogs in the Edublog Awards (see link above).

3.  Visit these class blogs to leave at least three comments altogether – Mrs Ratzel, Mrs Buist, Mrs YollisMr MillerThe Ripple Effect, Miss NicholsClimb HighFreeville Room 5, Mrs Ross’s class,   Through our window ( a competition for December), CO-Connections, Huzzah4/5/6/Learning Centre and 5th grade bobcats.

4. Have you been having some regular visitors to your blog? Maybe it was a teacher who left some comments or some students. Write a post thanking them and explaining why you appreciated them visiting your blog. Find your name on the September Students list and you should find the name of the teacher who was supposed to visit you at least 2 or 3 times over the last few weeks.

5. Start thinking about your post for next week. It will be about reflecting on your blogging journey so far – wait till next week though before writing it as I will leave a few suggestions of what to do for this last challenge.

Original image: ‘Camp Taji obstacle course

Camp Taji obstacle course

Time to nominate

blankmeHave you been reading some class blogs lately where teachers are nominating blogs for the ‘Edublog Awards’? These blogs do not have to be Edublogs platform but can be WordPress, blogmeister, kidblogs etc.  The important thing is you only have until

December 3, 2010

to nominate your blogs.

Here is how Mrs Yollis wrote her post with the nominations – notice she included a link to every blog she was nominating and gave lots of reasons why she was nominating that blog. She also included the category she was nominating for.

Ms Woodward also nominated mainly by including links.

Miss W. has also nominated some blogs at her personal blog. Many of them are student blogs from the challenge.

Students could nominate for one or more of these:

Best individual blog
Best group blog
Best new blog
Best class blog
Best student blog
Best resource sharing blog
Best teacher blog
Best librarian / library blog
Best school administrator blog
Best educational tech support blog
Best educational use of audio
Best educational use of video / visual
Best educational wiki
Best educational use of a social network

So this is the challenge for this week

What do you have to do?

1. Write your post including your nominations. Make sure you include a link to each person’s blog that you nominate. Remember, you can’t nominate your own blog.

2.  Include a link to this blog post so I get a pingback.  http://studentchallenge.edublogs.org/2010/11/27/time-to-nominate-2/

3.  Now come to this post and leave a comment that includes the link to your post where you have written your nominations.

4.  If you don’t do all three things then your nominations won’t be included.

I will be closing off comments on this post on December 3 once the whole world is on December 4.

Leaving links back to a post

Yesterday when I checked all the comments on this blog, I found this one from Olivia.

Hey Miss W,
I was wondering what you have to do to get mentioned…
Please visit my blog at http://olivia110gs.edublogs.org
~Olivia~

So I visited Olivia’s blog and found she had only been linking to the URL for  Challenge Yourself to Blog  eg http://studentchallenge.edublogs.org

If you want to send a trackback or a pingback, you have to link to a post within the blog. eg if writing about your digital footprint activity in Challenge 7, you need to link to this URL  http://studentchallenge.edublogs.org/2010/11/09/challenge-7-sept-2010/

By the time I opened the blog this morning, Olivia had gone back through all her posts and changed the link and now they have appeared on my pingback list.

Well done, Olivia!

Here are a few pages written by Sue Waters from ‘The Edublogger’ about:

Original image: ‘oXidation: Time goes by…

oXidation: Time goes by...

by: Alfonso

Released under an Attribution-NonCommercial License

Have you visited these blogs?

Previous challenges: Jacqueline writes about her culture, inspiring work by Coleman, Windows into 2T about images, Ashley about attribution, Tate adding images, Anni about images, Hayley about images, paragraph beginners by Jared,  digital footprint with JacquelineJared’s digital footprint, Science Girl Em has a footprint, Ashley’s footprint and sentence starters, Ryan improves his posts, Hayley recommends some blogs, Jacqueline’s leading sentences, Jonny’s checking his footprint, Tate looking at his footprint,

More from the game “Count out three” – Jacqueline, Megan also tells about school in same post, Jonny, Grace, Millie, Ashley,

More polls: animals with Hanna, animals with Jonny,

School day: Indy, Jonny, JaredLouise, ShaniaAshleyTate,

Zoom out story:  toy dog with Teegan, Huzzah,

Tutorial: adding tags with Teegan,

Grace has been writing all her challenge answers on a page rather than posts, so I haven’t received any pingbacks. Luckily I was checking her blog before writing her ICT report this weekend.

Krithika writes about the challenges of learning to blog.

Windows into 2T created a slideshow of their school day.

Can you answer Millie’s cyber safety questions?

Original image: ‘Take a step.. Unwind & Relax

Take a step.. Unwind & Relax

by: Yogendra Joshi

Challenge 7 – Sept 2010

Facebook for Dummies, anyone?photo © 2008 David Fulmer | more info(via: Wylio)
In the last couple of challenges, you have had to leave comments on other student and class blogs.

When you get to a blog, how do you find a great post to read that is of interest to you? You could:

  • read all the posts on the visible page
  • read every post on the blog
  • check out where other people have left comments by using the comment widget
  • use the search widget if it is on the sidebar
  • use the category widget
  • use the tags widget

The last three choices will get you straight to a post relating to the topic you want. So our activities this week relate to organizing your blog to make it easier for your readers to find interesting posts they might like to comment on. We are going to visit a couple of other teacher blogs who have already written about categories and tags.

1. Visit Teacher Mom who runs a homeschool blogging course and read her post about categories. Follow her instructions about creating categories for your blog posts. If using blogpost, visit Allanah King’s post on labels.

2. Some classes have a category widget on the sidebar, but they have changed the heading for it. What is the heading I have used here at the challenge blog? Check out these blogs and decide if you are going to change your heading or are you going to leave it as categories? All things QuebecKids in the Mid, Grace.  Notice some categories are drop down menus, others are rotating names (need a pro blog for this.)

3. If you are reading a non-fiction book, you have chapters on different topics – eg a book about frogs might have chapters on where they live, their habitat, food they eat, lifecycle.  These are like categories. But you also have an index at the back of the book with words like: frog, tadpole, pond, lilies, swamp, croak  These are what computer users call ‘tags.

The more often you use the word as a tag, the larger it will look in your tag widget. When you use a search engine like Google, they look for keywords and tags that are found on website pages and in blogs. When you use Flickrcc to find an image, they are also looking at tags the photographers have added to their photos. Sue Waters from ‘The Edublogger’ has written a great post about the differences between categories and tags (2 years old though still applicable today)

4. When writing posts, begin adding categories and/or tags. You should only have a few categories – it is like the chapter heading of a book. Go back to your previous posts and change the category. Check TeacherMom’s post about adding categories to previous posts. If writing a post for the challenge, perhaps a category ‘challenge 10′ would be useful.

The next few challenges relate to posts you might want to write about:

5. What is included in having a positive digital footprint? When should you start using your proper name and photo of yourself rather than an avatar? Who is responsible for showing you how to be internet savvy? What information do you include on profiles when you register at a website?  Write a post about your own digital footprint.  Give examples of where you can be found on the web. Note the links go to posts written by my students from last year. You might want to create a comic strip about your digital footprint. Check the links on the internet savvy posts to find some comic making websites. Danni created a comic on being internet savvy.

6. Mrs Smith at the Huzzah blog is making sure her students grab your attention from the very first sentence you read on their posts. Check these out and then create some really interesting sentence beginnings for your blog. Make sure you link back to Mrs Smith’s blog to show where you got the idea for your post.

7. Mrs Braidwood at the Ripple Effect found an interesting social media counter. Make sure you change the counters at the top for social, games etc as well as the amount of time.  What did you find fascinating about this counter? Has it made you think about your use of the world wide web? You might want to write a post about this counter. Make sure you include a link back to Mrs Braidwood’s blog to show where you found the idea for your post.

8. Privacy on Facebook – these links might be more useful for the older students taking part in the challenge. How many of you have used default settings when joining Facebook?

Look at this post to see how much can be seen with default settings and how it has changed over the last five years. Here is a newspaper article showing the 170 different privacy settings you could be changing. Here is a tool that can scan your facebook settings and give you hints about where to make some changes. The links to these posts are from a post written by Jenny Luca. An interesting infographic about Facebook. Some statistics from the Facebook press room.

Now that you have checked out these posts, have you made any changes to your Facebook settings? Write a post about your use of Facebook and how it might be affecting your digital footprint on the web. Check out this post by Derek who I just found by using the count out three game.

More time for visiting and leaving answers in the polls

10.126 UK election day polling station signphoto © 2010 Nick Anderson | more info(via: Wylio)
There are so many fantastic blog posts being written relating to the challenge activities.  Make sure you check this next lot out, especially the polls.

Previous challenges: Voicethread about Lawndale, Coleman about giftedness, the “I’s” have it, Marcy visits these blogs, must see Luna Park, Ashley’s tips for improving your blog, Theresa’s awesome image, see where Jonny lives, visit Peita for a couple of days, Tate recommends these blogs, all about Peita,

Polling: Fine arts with Abbey, sports with Teegan, book genre with Mr Carson, ducks with Miss Nichols, dogs with Janis, dolphins with Will TR,  King of pop with Michelle, leopards with Kaylita,  musical instrument with Essie,  monkeys with Mike, lollies and sweets with Miss Nichols, smoothies and islands by TJ, school subject with Indy, favourite Wimpy Kid book with Miss Y,

Story by zooming starts with aKeyboardSoda pop can, Koala,

Using images: JacquelineMarcy, ElizabethAlexander, Joe, Clay, Ben, Charlie, Matthew, Stella, Matthew, Jared, Mrs Cliff, Ms Woodward, Millie, Jonny, candy apple gallery with Millie, the fat cat story by Peita, cat and mouse story by Jonny,  Tom and Jerry by Lochie, a story in pictures by Jonny,

My day at school: Finn, Cassandra, Abbey,

Favourites: Hannah,

The game resultsCO Connections, Alexandra, Indy,

Three students in Mrs Yollis’ class have just earned their own blog.

The Scoopers have set a challenge – visit here to learn about it.

Challenge 6 – Sept 2010

There are only a couple of challenges this week, as we still have classes catching up. I am also putting together our school yearbook and it is now time to be writing reports.

1. The Game: Those who have taken part in a challenge before know the game of  ‘Count Out Three’. Here are the instructions:

  • click on a blog on the student list – count one
  • now click on a blog from their blogroll – count two
  • finally click on a blog from that blogroll – count three

Leave a comment on an interesting post at this blog.

Do this activity at least three times and finally, write your own post saying which blogs you visited and what posts you left a comment on. Why did you choose that post? Remember to include a link back to the post you left a comment on so that student gets a pingback or trackback.

2. Favourites: Lots of students enjoy writing about their favourite topics of music, food, books, games etc.

Create a poll by going to PollDaddy and embedding your poll in either your sidebar or a post.  How are students around the world similar in their likes?

Please answer my poll about what you enjoy about blogging.

3. A day at school: Amelia wrote an interesting post asking about a typical day at your school. Oops, link doesn’t work – maybe Amelia deleted this post. Hooray – Amelia has re-posted so visit there now.

  • What time does school begin?
  • How do you get to school?
  • How long is each subject?
  • What choices of subject do you have?
  • Are there after school activities?

Write a post about a typical day at your school. You might be able to take photos about your subjects for that day you are describing.

Time for a visit

Previous activities: Bree on internet security, Nicole’s questions about Britain and Scotland, Mr C and the avatars, Tate has 100′s of questions, Jared on improving blog, leaving a comment with the ScoopersHannah recommends blogs to visit, Matt wants me to visit NSW, good commenting from MatthewAmber invites you to her blog, Proud Canadians in comic form,  going to Las Vegas, visit Casey’s town, Courtney’s must see place, these represent my country,  visit Nicole’s town, please answer this question, and another question, please visit Tere’s town, visit the town of Kaiwaka, Grace and photos on blog, new school just joined the challenge, Tate on commenting, visit Becky’s town, visit the Galapagos Islands, visit the moon with Katya, what can you do without,

Posts on images and attribution: AbbeyR, Ms Woodward, David, Coleman, Mr Carson,

Story with no words: Teegan, Maria,

One picture paints a thousand wordsEileen, Year 6B,

Tutorial for including  images in posts: AbbeyR, Megan, Louise and Shani, David,

Story from a picture: AbbeyR, AlexisAlly, Dominique,

My family cultures: Hannah,

Let’s ZOOM out: 4/5 S begin with a footprint on the beach, Becky from some pencils,

Introducing a commenter: Braxton,

Original image: ‘Blue mists at Snoqualmie Falls

Blue mists at Snoqualmie Falls

by: b k

Released under an Attribution-ShareAlike License

Challenge 5 – Sept 2010

Week 5 so now we are half way through the challenges for this part of the year. Most students have completed the following:

  • added an avatar – both blog and user
  • created an ‘About me’  page – also a post for some students
  • written some interesting posts on their state or town
  • commented on classmates and other student or class blogs
  • added useful widgets like clustrmap, flag counter, cyber pet

This week we want you to start adding images to your posts. If students in grade 2 can learn how to give attribution for images they have used, then so can every student and adult taking part in this challenge.

So here are our activities relating to images. You must do activity 1 as this will help for the other choices.

1. Visit these blogs

  • Kathleen McGeady who expects her Grade 2 students to know about and use creative commons and giving attribution when using images in their blogs. She uses FlickrCC which is not blocked at her school and gives instructions for using with Edublogs blogs. This is a great example of a tutorial type post which we would like you to complete in activity 5.
  • Ronnie Burt from the Edublogs team who gives ideas for using images other than FlickrCC.
  • Miss Wyatt has also written a post giving lots of other places to find images.
  • Sue Waters from The Edublogger who also gives out some easy instructions on inserting images. Notice at the end of her post, she has six more posts you could read about using images in your blogs.
  • Allanah King, New Zealand. Lots of hints for students using blogspot.

2. After having visited the above blogs, write two posts about using images in blogs.

  • Why should we use images? How do images improve your blog? This is the first post
  • How do you add images to your blog?
  • Where do you get your images?
  • How do you add the attribution?

Make the second post like a tutorial, so a student new to blogging could follow your instructions about using images in a post. Thanks to Mrs Theriault.

3.  Visit this wallwisher to add where you have found great creative commons images.

4. Watch these YouTube videos about creative commons and sharing your work

5. Here is a post on how to create a gallery in your blog.  Create a visual post using no more than eight images – where the images tell a story. Remember to give attribution for the images you used. No writing in this post other than the title and attribution.

6. From Bill Ferreirae – I sometime find a picture and tell students to use that picture to come up with a story. It can be about the picture, what happened before, what will happen next, etc. So, at the top of this post is the image I have chosen for you to start with. Copy the image to your post, then write the story. Remember to give attribution. If you don’t have your own blog, tell your story in a comment here.

7. A great suggestion from Dragon – We could do a “zoom” post through comments. Choose a picture, and have your readers zoom out, so to speak, by leaving comments. So maybe something simple, like a pillow, and the first commenter describes something bigger around the pillow (like a couch) and the next commenter would write about the room it was in, and the next could zoom out the window and do the house, etc.  If doing this activity, include the word ‘zoom’ in your title so I can find it easily. Remember to give attribution. Most important here is to read previous comments, so you can add to the story.

8. From EileenG Pick one, or more of your ethnic backgrounds and post about the culture. ANYTHING! Food, religions, sports, festivals, languages, etc.  Include a picture of the place in the country/region posted about.

As we still have some students and classes only on week 2 or 3 activities, I will be postponing the game till next week. To take part in the game you need the following completed:

  • a blog avatar and a user avatar
  • an ‘about me’ PAGE not post
  • a clustrmap or flag counter widget
  • at least three interesting posts – could be topics of your choice not necessarily from the challenge
  • your ‘Recent Comments’ widget on the sidebar with 10 comments as the choice
  • your ‘Recent Posts’ widget on the sidebar with 10 posts as the choice
  • Your ‘Pages’ widget on the sidebar

Original image: ‘take a chance on me ??

take a chance on me ??

by: Andi

Released under an Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License