Student registration

Do you have your own personal blog and want to take part in the March 2014 student blogging challenge?

Then fill in the form below, remembering the following things:

  1. Just use your first name
  2. No need for the http:// bit in your URL – just something like studentchallenge.edublogs.org or eschoolblogs.org.au
  3. Country abbreviations: United States of America - USA,  New Zealand – NZ, Australia – Aust
  4. Age just write the number of years eg 11 or 13 do not include anything else
  5. List two hobbies only with a comma between them eg reading, genealogy or BMX, cycling or chat friends, shopping
  6. Teacher name will not be published but just in case I need to contact them

 

New challenge starting soon

craft drawers
Photo Credit: EvelynGiggles via Compfight

Welcome to the organizational post for the 12th Student Blogging Challenge.

The first challenges will be published on 9th March, 2014.

Registration forms for classes, students and mentors will be published this weekend. These will each be on a separate post with a Google  form asking for certain information. Once you have registered as a class or student, you will be able to visit the participant pages which will be found in the header area of this blog beginning March 1.

Mentors when registering, I will only need name and a way to contact you to send reminders such as an email address. The results from this form will not be published, but you will also be asked to write a short bio in the comment area of the registration post.

We will be having a badge again that can be added to your blog. Watch out for a post by the Edublogs team about how to add the badge to your sidebar.

This year I am hoping some classes will run one of the challenge weeks. But this is still being discussed. If your class would like to run the challenge for one week, please leave a comment mentioning the theme you would like to set challenges for eg global issues, history, my country, nature, and the date for it to be published.

 

Vote for your class blog

If you go to Edublog Awards website, you will find you can vote using List.ly but you need to be 13 or older to have an account.

So to allow our younger bloggers to vote for the best class blog, we have created this poll below. You will be allowed to vote for one blog each day.

How to vote.
Check out all the class blogs at the Edublog Awards link above.
Decide on one you want to vote for.
Come back here and find it in the list.
Vote for it.

Voting will close at 11:59pm EST on Wednesday, December 18th.

STOP PRESS STOP PRESS
One vote per day per IP address. Most schools have the same IP address for every school computer, so students will need to vote from home, libraries, wifi cafes, relatives houses etc.

 

Voting is now open for the best student blog

If you go to Edublog Awards website, you will find you can vote using List.ly but you need to be 13 or older to have an account.

So to allow our younger bloggers to vote for the best student blog, we have created this poll below. You will be allowed to vote for one blog each day.

How to vote.
Check out all the blogs at the Edublog Awards link above.
Decide on one you want to vote for.
Come back here and find it in the list.
Vote for it.

Voting will close at 11:59pm EST on Wednesday, December 18th.

 STOP PRESS STOP PRESS
One vote per day per IP address. Most schools have the same IP address for every school computer, so students will need to vote from home, libraries, wifi cafes, relatives houses etc.

 

Week 10 – Our final challenge

We have now been together for nearly three months. There have been highs ( Wow! that was fantastic finally embedding that poll) and lows (Oh this week’s challenge is boring – do we have to do it?) Time now to evaluate – most teachers ask students to do this after studying a topic for a period of time.

This evaluation is in two parts:

  1. auditing your own blog
  2. evaluating the challenge

This is an audit of your blog since the beginning of September 2013.

  • 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?
  • How many overseas students do you have on your blogroll?

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?

Write a post about your blog audit.

Part 2 Evaluating the challenge. 

This is the eleventh challenge and sometimes I feel like the activities are getting stale especially for those students who have taken part in more than one set of challenges. Please leave some ideas in the comments of good ideas you would like to see included in the challenge in future.

 

 

Nominations now open

Here is the form to fill in with your nominations for the student and class sections of the Edublog Awards.  If you want to check out the other sections, visit this link. If nominating in the other sections, make sure you read how to nominate them. Slightly different to what we are doing here.

If you have nominated here on our form for either student or class, you DON’T have to nominate again on the Edublog Awards page.

  1.  Nominate in both categories if you want!
  2. You can’t nominate yourself ;)
  3. Nominations must be made somewhere public – your blog, a forum on a ning, a school website, etc.
  4. Even if  your favourite has already been nominated, it is best to nominate them again
  5. Categories are competitive, and only the most nominated will make it to the voting round
  6. Share your nominations using twitter (#eddies13), facebook, Google+ and email

 

Week 9 – Part B

Over the last couple of weeks you have been looking at what makes a great post. This week we are expanding that to

What makes a great blog?

Naturally, a great blog will include great posts but what else will there be.

Maybe you will also need to look at

  • the layout of the blog
  • background design
  • sidebars
  • widgets
  • header

A person might write excellent posts, but then have widgets on the left sidebar that overlap on the writing. There might be loud music playing as soon as you open the blog. There might be a noisy pet chirping away in the background while you are trying to read a post. There might be snow falling all over the blog distracting you from the posts.

This year is the 10th anniversary of the Edublog Awards.

You are being invited to take part in the awards by nominating great student blogs and great class blogs. Here are lists of the nominated blogs from last year for students and classes. In my opinion, being nominated is just as important as winning one of these awards. Not all nominations go forward to the final list.

In order for your nomination to count, you MUST do the following.

  1. Write a post on your blog nominating one blog.
  2. Give reasons for the nomination, why you think it is a great blog.
  3. You cannot nominate your own blog.
  4. In your post, include a link to the blog of the person you are nominating.
  5. When you have published your post come back here to fill in the form below. Your nomination will not count, unless you fill in the form below.

You may only nominate one blog for each category. There are other categories you could use such as new blog and individual blog.

So in total, you could write 4 posts nominating a blog in each of these categories – student, class, new and individual. Fill in this form for each post you write.

PS I will add the form later today

Week 9 – Part A

Blue mists at Snoqualmie Falls
Photo Credit: joiseyshowaa via Compfight

The challenge this week is in two parts. You will actually have two weeks to do the challenges in. I will be publishing Part B later on this week.

Last week’s challenge was all about what makes a great post. Having read many of your posts, I came up with the following essentials in a great post.

  1. catchy title
  2. includes a visual whether photo, cartoon, video or another web 2.0 tool like padlet or glogster
  3. interesting topic with the passion of the author coming through
  4. well written and not copy/pasted from somewhere else
  5. shows it has been proofread and spellchecked
  6. written in paragraphs
  7. includes links to other websites on similar topics

So this week’s first challenge is for you to write your best ever blog post. Try to include all those things mentioned above.

Topic choices:

My favourites

Places I want to visit overseas

My future

Your own narrative

When you have finished your post, please come back here to the blogging challenge and leave a comment on this post. Mention which topic you wrote about and leave a link to your post. There is no form to fill in for this challenge.

Week 8 – Questions

question mark ?
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: LEOL30 via Compfight

This week will more or less be free choice but I do have some questions I would like you to answer in a post. Remember to give details not just a one sentence answer for each question.

Activity 1.

  • What makes a great post?
  • When you are out visiting blogs, what makes you stop and read a post?
  • How do you find great posts on a blog?

Activity 2.

Visit at least 10 blogs; even more if you have time. Maybe check out some posts in the flipboard magazines. Leave a comment on each of those blogs. Make sure they are quality comments – address the author, add to the conversation, sign off remembering to include URL of your blog.

G’day Miss W.

I really enjoyed that post about Tasmanian Devils. As you know, I am a well travelled Tassie Devil and luckily have never contracted that facial tumour disease. I did hear though, that some scientists in Tasmania think they have found the cause of it.

From Davo Devil http://mrdevil.edublogs.org

Activity 3.

  • What is a great post you have written?
  • What made it stand out from the other posts?
  • On your blog, are you able to write posts about your own interests?
  • Do you think this would make your blog more interesting? Why?

Activity 4.

Write a post mentioning three great blogs you have visited. Do not include any from your school; at least one must be from another country. In the post mention why you consider it a great blog. Explain in detail.

STOP PRESS  News about next week

1.  Next week you are going to write your very best post for the challenge. While visiting blogs this week, take note of what you consider should be included in a fantastic post.

2.  Next week, you will also be nominating a student blog and a class blog that you think should be part of the Edublog Awards. So make sure you have visited lots of blogs and taken note of those you consider stand out from the others. You will need to explain why they stand out in a post next week.

Here is a link to the winners and nominees for 2012 – Student blogs and class blogs

Week 7 – Connections

How well connected are you? No I don’t mean if you are related to royalty or the president of your country.

I mean are you a connected person?

Twenty three years ago when I did my first trip around the world, I was not very well connected at all. To communicate with my parents I needed to write a postcard or mail a letter. Often I would get home before that letter arrived in the mail. Or I could phone them from a local phone using a phone card that I had prepaid. But I needed to know what time it was in Australia so I didn’t wake them up at 3am for my phone call.

But on my last trip to America, I could communicate immediately via Facebook or email. They could see my photos as soon as I had loaded them onto Flickr. They could read about what I had been doing by visiting my blog. My connected teacher friends could read my tweets.

New technology has changed the way we connect with each other in our small world.

October has been Connected Educator Month around the world (but particularly America) There have been lots of activities for teachers and other interested educators to take part in from online bookclubs, competitions, podcasting, blogging, pinterest etc. But often these special events are only known to those educators who are already connecting often.

Activity 1. Survey or poll the teachers at your school  to find out how they are connected. Did they know about Connected Educator Month? How do they connect with other teachers in their state? How do they connect overseas? How do they connect with family? What do they use to connect? Write a post about your results telling us some statistics about connectedness at your school.

Activity 2. Create a mindmap showing how you connect as a student. Include the tools you use to connect as well as who you connect to. Think carefully about all the ways you connect to different members of your family.

Activity 3. Here is an example of a connected teacher. Do you think this is similar for a connected student? Explain the differences and similarities. Click on the image to get a larger version.

 

Being connected with all this technology means everyone is leaving a digital footprint.

Activity 4. Watch the two videos below then leave a comment on this post about something that you found very interesting in one of the videos. Write a post explaining the differences between the videos. Which did you prefer and why?

Activity 5. After watching the two videos, write a post about your digital footprint. Is it positive or negative? Would you be proud to have your grandparents or your future grandchildren look at everything you have included in your digital footprint? Why or why not? Maybe Google your name to see what is online about you, that you might not have put there.

Activity 6. Imagine your are debating this topic: It is better to have a negative digital footprint than no footprint at all. Give three reasons to support each side of the debate.

Activity 7. Here are some websites to visit related to cybersafety and digital footprints. Visit some of them and write a post, create a poster or glogster, create a cartoon about what you found out. Your teacher might also give you other websites to visit.

  • ACMA Australia – cybersafety for young kids, kids and teens.
  • Google has some digcitizenship adventures relating to digital footprints – more for middle and high school students
  • Kidsmart from the UK has some great tips and information

Activity 8. Mainly middle and high school students – There are 9 elements to being a good digital citizen. Read this post then write your own post about what you consider are the most important parts of the nine elements. Are there certain areas you need to improve on? Why?

Activity 9. There are both advantages and disadvantages to being able to connect and communicate more easily. Write a post or run a debate on this topic. Maybe create a comic strip showing each side.

Security

Teachers

Here are some links to  sites relating to digital footprints and internet safety

Still time left

Visit other student and class blogs, read our flip magazines, add links to your blogroll of blogs you visit often. Try to categorize these eg class blogs, overseas students, my friends etc.

 

Image source from flickr