Week 3: Using images

A Picture Says A Thousand Words

Duncan Hull via Compfight

 

A post looks a lot more interesting if you have included an image, as long as it relates to the topic you are writing about.

But where can you get these images?

I’ll Google it

NO NO NO

Not every image on the web can be used in your blog. You need to find ones that have a creative commons license and then you need to give attribution to the owner of that image somewhere on your post.

What’s attribution?

A note to show that someone else took the photo and they have given you permission to use it.

But how can I know that?

Using the correct images, clip art, music and videos is a very necessary skill for both teachers and students. Sue Waters has written a brilliant post showing how to find images, how to give attribution and how to add them correctly to your blog posts.

Please read this post before doing the work this week.

If you want lots of other activities for using images correctly, check out our post from the March challenge. This includes a couple of videos you could use in class regarding images.

compfight1

If you are using an Edublogs blog, you have a plugin called Compfight. Here is part of the teacher’s post that Sue Waters has written about using this on your blog.

To activate, go to dashboard> plugins> find compfight and click on activate> then go to settings and change to look like mine above – #4 is what I actually change.

………………………………………………….

Time now to get to the activities:

Many students mentioned in their About Me posts about their love of family and doing things with them like playing volleyball with cousins, or going camping during summer.  So the activities for this week will need an image included.

Activity 1: Write a post about a favourite time with your family.

Include an image with attribution. If using an actual image of your own family, you need permission from your parents and everyone shown in the image. Make sure you mention in the post that you have permission to use this and maybe that it is copyright to your family so no one else may use it without your family’s permission.

Activity 2: Write a post about a person who has passed away.

Maybe a family member who you have a picture of in your family archives. Or maybe a famous person from your town or country.

Activity 3. Have a relative write a post about their parents or grandparents

They could tell you about their parents/grandparents or you could interview them and ask questions. Find an image of something that was happening in the world during that person’s lifetime. Remember to give attribution.

Widgets

  • Many of you are now starting to get visitors to your blog. They may come from your own country or maybe from overseas.
  • How do you keep a record of that?
  • You add widgets to your blog sidebar. Sue Waters from Edublogs has written a post including 42 widgets including ones mentioning visitors to your blog.

Activity 4. Add at least one new widget to your sidebar and write a post explaining why you chose that particular widget.

Activity 5. What have you learnt about using images on your blog? Write a post, create a poster or video explaining your understanding now.

Activity 6. Write a post in your native language using an image as a prompt. Make sure you have a translate widget on your blog for your visitors to use. Check out the Serbian students linked on this sidebar.

Still got more time?

  1. Visit other blogs either class or student – choose bloggers from other countries, maybe you will start getting some dots on your clustrmap or some flags on your widget.
  2. Look out for another special event post coming soon – lots of creativity for this one.
  3. Check out the magazine on the sidebar – are you featured in there yet?
  4. Also check out the One World Our World magazine – this is where I am flipping the Raise Your Voice posts

Visit these posts from previous weeks which can’t be flipped to our magazine:

Online vs real life – Rachel & Kelly, Walaa, Shay, Isabel, Brianna, Pailyn, Jessica,

Avatars – Miss Brunton’s class,

About me – Kaitlyn, Anthony, Hannah, Elijah, Kaylynn, Jaaron, Emilee, Logan, Cheyanne, Cade, Michael, Chase, Jason, Taylor, Mrs Powers, Autumn, Hailey, Kendall, Brieanna, Zoe, Isabel, Roque, Liam, Grace, Mary Ellen, Caitlyn, Liam,

Commenting guidelines - Lucy used Powtoon to create a video, Mrs McKelvey’s Bloggin’Frogs have created a video, Dinah used bitstrips for her guidelines,

Commenting post – Kataeya, Michael,

Check out the comments on this post: Faithful Leadership students,  Blog action day suggestions

Darcey included a video she created for her RaiseYourVoice post

Raise your voice posts: Mrs Black,  RoybelJoscey, Jared, Jesse,  Isabel, McKayla, Noah, ChloeKathryn, Daniel, Calvin, Dalton,  Larissa, Kaya,  Maddie, Daltin, Ty, Skylar, Nathanial, Alicia, TyW, Addie, Shane, Trae, Shaylee, Amber, Jayden, Kadi, Clove,

Miss W visiting your blogs

Starting next week, I will only be visiting blogs where students or classes have left the URL to the post in a comment with an explanation. If your teacher is moderating your posts, you will need to wait until it has been published before giving me your URL. Check out the difference between a blog URL and a post URL.

Blog URL: http://studentchallenge.edublogs.org

Post URL : http://studentchallenge.edublogs.org/2015/10/10/raise-your-voice/

Special event: Raise your voice

Next Friday is Blog Action Day 2015.

Every year the students and classes taking part in the blogging challenge also take part in #BAD2015

Blog Action Day is one day each year when thousands of bloggers write a post on the same topic.

Read this post to learn about the history of Blog Action Day.

The theme this year is “Raise your voice”

Read this post about why that theme was chosen.

Teachers and students over 13 might want to register their blogs to show they are participating.

You can add a badge to your blog if you are writing a post for Blog Action Day. Click on the badge and save to your computer, then go to your widget dashboard and drag over an image widget – add the image then copy the link they ask you to add

Remember to publish your post on October 16 and not earlier in the week

What could you write about?

Ever been inspired by the actions of a person in your community?

They could be an unsung hero who spends their holidays working with the underprivileged, travelling overseas to help build schools, spends Christmas in a soup kitchen dishing out meals to the homeless. Might be a student who spends their holidays volunteering somewhere rather than going to the beach with friends.

Is there an issue that inspires you?

Maybe animal abuse and what you are doing about it. Think about Malala and her role in improving education for girls around the world.

In some countries, you could be put in gaol for blogging about issues that the government doesn’t agree with. Raise your voice for these bloggers and journalists.

How can technology help in times of disaster?

Often the people of a country can quickly work together in times of disaster, before government departments get organized. Think about bushfires, floods, tsunamis, cyclones and hurricanes- how could you raise your voice at this time?

Indigenous people in your country

Often the indigenous people do not have their voices heard especially when it comes to land rights, voting, the environment and multinationals on their land. Raise your voice for the indigenous peoples.

Refugees and immigration

Often the people of a country are prepared to have refugees live in their country while governments may take a more negative route. What is your opinion on how you can raise your voice for refugees?

One group of students in our challenge have a blog about pressing problems from a student perspective. Maybe you could raise your voice with them.

Remember the power of images in your post or videos or audio - maybe interview someone who has been a refugee or is an indigenous person in your community. Ask them about how their voices were suppressed and what you can do to raise their voice!

So your post is schedule to go live on Friday but you still have time for more blogging. More things to do:

Visit some of these great posts from our week 1 activities: Dinah – mentor, Mrs Black – teacher,

Check out these students from the Huzzahnians – Talia, Alinna, Kassy, Ben, Nate, Elijah, Autumn, Connor, Kalea, Morgan

Read some of the posts that got flipped to our flipboard magazine in the sidebar – Mrs Shirley’s grade 6 students are there

Visit the student or class list and start leaving some quality comments – start making connections.

Other admin for week 2

  1. Check that your name appears only once on the list of participating students. Leave a comment on that page if I need to remove your name from the list – give me your name, URL and age so I can find you easily.
  2. If all the students in your class have blogs and your teacher has a section called ‘My class’, you should have a widget called ‘Class blogs’. Make sure this is on your sidebar.
  3. Add the challenge badge to your sidebar – here is link explaining how to do that.
  4. Can visitors leave comments on your blog posts? If your country is in bright pink, then you might need to change your privacy settings or give me your correct URL. Check this post for how to do this using Edublogs, Blogger and Kidblog.

How do I know you have done your activity?

You come back here to this post and leave me a comment. Make sure you include the URL of your post so I can visit and leave comments. Tell me what you enjoyed most about the activity.

Also great posts get added to our Flipboard magazine on the sidebar of the challenge blog. Your blog must allow search engines to find you to ensure I can flip your post.

 

 

Week 2: Let’s comment!

An important part of the Student Blogging Challenge is connecting with students and other classes by reading posts and leaving comments.

Comments allow you, and your readers, to engage in discussions, share thoughts and connect with your blog.

Most new bloggers find publishing posts easy and commenting harder!  Your bonus activity this week is to learn more about commenting and improve your commenting skills!

What makes a good comment?

Comments transform your blog from a static space to an interactive community.  Commenting is one way a blogger can create conversations.

Your readers leave a comment that hopefully asks questions (which encourage conversation), you reply back to their comments on your blog, then visit their blog to read their posts and engage with them on their blog.

The better your comment that more chance you have in creating conversations.

Start by watching either of the following two videos on Commenting.

Watch Mrs Yollis’s ‘How to Write a Quality Comment‘.  You can also watch it on Vimeo if YouTube is blocked in your School District.

Watch Nicolas Weiss’s Leaving High Quality Blog comments video  if you are a high school student.

Now visit Huzzah’s Commenting Guideline to learn some more commenting tips.

Important tips:

  • Refer to Adding a comment support documentation if you are unsure how to add a comment.
  • Comments may be moderated on your blog.   Remember to check your Comments folder, and comment spam folder,  to approve any pending comments.
  • Include the url (address) in your comment when you leave a comment on another blogger’s post so the blogger can visit your blog and comment.

Below is an example of a comment from Huzzah’s blog that shows how to include your blog URL in your comment.

Comment example

Activity 1: Leave a comment on this post. 

Each week the best posts published in the Student Blogging Challenge are featured in our Flipboard magazine.

To check your posts we need you to leave a comment with a link to your post on this blog whenever you finish a weekly activity.

So your first activity is to practice leaving a comment below with a link to your post for an activity you’ve completed this week or last week.

Here is an example from Ayla last week:

Hi Ms. W,
I have just finished this week’s blogging challenge by uploading my avatar and making my about me page! Here is the link: http://aylaz13.edublogs.org/about-me/
So far blogging I have enjoyed creating my blog and I hope to get lots of comments
Thanks
~Ayla
http://aylaz13.edublogs.org
http://huzzah.edublogs.org

Activity 2:  Practicing commenting on a class blog

Mrs Smith has published an excellent activity that guides you through commenting, learning to read student posts and practicing comments.

Visit Mrs Smith’s I’m New Here post to work through the tasks in her post and then leave a comment on her post.

Activity 3: Write a post, create a video or create a poster about commenting.

Might be tips to get more visitors,  guidelines for acceptable comments on your blog, examples of good and bad comments – think outside the square. Remember you don’t have to approve all comments. It is your blog; send some to the trash and if it is a company trying to get you to visit their blog to buy something, then label it as spam.

Here are some links to commenting guidelines written by students and classes. Class in New Zealand, grade 11/12 class in USA, Huzzah class blog in Canada, Abbey has a blogging guideline page, Mrs Allen created a poster about commenting, Shaffer writers, WarriorKat uses lots of visuals in her guidelines,  Sophie had a great post, the Blogging Frogs have some great tips, Cole wrote about commenting

Activity 4: Visit other student or class blogs

Visit 4 other blogs on the lists above the header area. Leave a quality comment on one post on each blog. Might be the About Me page or another post you found interesting.  Write a post on your blog mentioning who you visited, which post you left a comment on and why, then include the comment you left. Hint: make sure you copy the comment before you hit the submit button.

UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE

There will be two posts this week so this one has been published earlier than normal.

Week 1: Hello, who are you?

I’m tasteach or Miss W when on the internet but in real life I am Sue Wyatt.

I am a retired teacher who loves blogging, travelling and genealogy. When I am online I am a fairly talkative person as you will notice with my posts and comments, while in real life I am quiet unless with friends.

Activity 1. Are you a different person online than in real life? How do you change or not? Write a post about being online then compare yourself to your off line real person.

avatarbigWhen online, you are usually represented by an avatar – these are used in gaming as well as on blogs. An avatar is supposed to represent the real you. Check out mine – I am a white haired lady with reading glasses. I usually have a cup of coffee in my hand and I always wear thongs on my feet – yes that’s where we wear them in Australia.

 

Activity 2. Create an avatar to use on your blog when leaving comments. Here is a post including some avatar sites . To add your avatar to your blog, if using Edublogs, check here. If using blogspot, check here.  Teacher might need to change some settings in Kidblog to allow students to add own avatars.

Did you find a great avatar site not mentioned here? Write a post about your avatar and how it represents you. Include a link to the website where you created the avatar.

Activity 3. On your blog you also need a page or post telling us about yourself. Again you could use a variety of tools to embed on your blog. Be creative:

If using Edublogs, below are instructions for creating your page. If using blogspot, check here. If using weebly, check here. If using Kidblog, you will need to write a post.

  1. Login to your blog, go to the dashboard>pages>add new
  2. Change the title to About Me or something similar.
  3. If you only have one row of icons above the box, click on the last icon called the kitchen sink or toggle. This opens a second row which allows you to change font colours.
  4. In the box, write a bit about yourself remembering to be internet safe. Make sure you have checked out the pages from other students mentioned – many of them have been blogging for a while.
  5. When you have finished click the big  button on the right side of your screen – probably says update or send for review.
  6. Once you have saved your about me page, go back and delete the sample page.
  7. If your theme doesn’t show pages in the header area, then you will need to go to dashboard> appearance> widgets and drag across the Pages one to your sidebar.

Finished the work for week 1?

Then head off to the class or student list above the blog header and start visiting other blogs. You might not want to comment this week but maybe check them out. Are there any students with interests the same as you? Do you have a mentor yet? Have they left you any comments?

Other admin for week 1

  1. Check that your name appears only once on the list of participating students. Leave a comment on that page if I need to remove your name from the list – give me your name, URL and age so I can find you easily.
  2. If all the students in your class have blogs and your teacher has a section called ‘My class’, you should have a widget called ‘Class blogs’. Make sure this is on your sidebar.
  3. Add the challenge badge to your sidebar – here is link explaining how to do that.
  4. Can visitors leave comments on your blog posts? If your country is in bright pink, then you might need to change your privacy settings or give me your correct URL. Check this post for how to do this using Edublogs, Blogger and Kidblog.

How do I know you have done your activity?

You come back here to this post and leave me a comment. Make sure you include the URL of your post so I can visit and leave comments. Tell me what you enjoyed most about the activity.

Also great posts get added to our Flipboard magazine on the sidebar of the challenge blog.

 

 

 

Students: Enrol here (Aussie spelling)

Before filling in the registration form please read the following:

Who should register 

  • Only students who have their own personal blog can register
  • Students who are going to do the activities otherwise mentors’ time is wasted
  • Students who want to connect with other students around the world

A few days after  you have registered

  1. Check the student participants page which will appear in the header area to make sure you are there. Check very carefully under your age group as we don’t need names being doubled up – again that would be wasting time of the mentors.
  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 students your age or with your interests.
  4. Fill in the subscription by email so you are notified when posts are published each week – first challenge will be October 4 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 you have a twitter account, use the hashtag #15stubc to notify others of your posts

So you have read everything above this line, now is the time to register

Class registration October 2015 challenge

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 4 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   #15stubc

So you have read everything above this line, now is the time to register

Mentors needed to help new bloggers

The next student and class blogging challenge starts on Sunday 4 October 2015.

Why do we need mentors in the blogging challenge?

When I first began the challenge back in 2008, there were only about 200 students taking part and I could visit each of them three times over the ten week period.

But in the last few challenges, there have been  over 1300 students and there was no way I could visit them regularly.  So in 2010 I started asking people in education to mentor a small group 20-30 students over the ten week period of October to December or March to May.

If you register to be a mentor, please keep checking back on this post as I will allocate the students to you and mention in your comment reply who you will be visiting.

Once students start registering next week, I will be allocating mentors immediately so please keep checking out the student participant’s page in the main header above to find out who you are mentoring.

Who can be a mentor?

  • classroom teacher or homeschool teacher
  • principal or senior staff or faculty members
  • trainee teachers
  • students who have taken part in at least two sets of previous challenges
  • educational coaches or trainers
  • regular blogger about educational matters

What do you do if you are a mentor?

  • Visit your allocated student blogs at least three times throughout the challenge
  • Leave comments on posts written by the students
  • Continue conversations in the comments
  • Remind them about visiting the main blogging challenge page each week
  • Contact me by email or a comment if having concerns or problems (contact is on right sidebar)

So you have read the above and have decided you have the time to visit the student blogs, now it is time to register.

In a comment below, mention the following:

  • A short bio of yourself including some interests
  • Link to your own blog, especially a class blog or your personal blog – allows me to check validity as an educator
  • Age group you would like to mentor and how many students

Are you getting ready?

Wattle Blossom-02=

John via Compfight

September 1st in Australia is Wattle Day. It is the sign of spring coming. The daffodils are starting to appear and plants are starting to flower.

The same is happening with the blogging challenge. The forms to fill in for enrolling in the challenge are being organized and should be up by the end of next week. There will be two different forms:

  • classes – if you have a class blog where the teacher writes posts and students comment, then the teacher will fill in this form
  • students – if you have your own personal blog, then the student will use this form

Once you have filled in the form, check in the header area to find the link to all the classes and all the students participating. Start visiting and making connections.

We will also need mentors – if you have time to help 10-30 students with their blogging over the months of October, November and early December, then comment on the mentor post next week.

Teachers: Check out the teacher challenge activities as they might be helpful for some of the activities in the student challenge.

Students and classes: What could you be doing now to get ready?

  1. Add the student blogging challenge badge to your blog sidebar – read this post for instructions on how to do this
  2. Subscribe to the student blogging challenge blog so you automatically get an email when a post is published
  3. Write a post for any early visitors to read on your blog – remember a great post will have a question at the end to start the conversation between the blog author and the readers

Week 10: Let’s say goodbye

We have had a great 10 weeks of blogging. You have learnt so many skills to help you improve your blogs. Many of you have improved those writing skills or maybe digital skills with using a variety of tools to embed on your blog. But it is now time to evaluate your progress as well as the progress of the blogging challenge itself.

This week there are two things to do:

  1. Evaluate your own blog
  2. Evaluate the actual blogging challenge

1. This is an audit of your blog since the beginning of March 2015.

  • 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?
  • Which web tools did you use to show creativity on your blog?

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:

  1. What were your first impressions of this blog?
  2. What captured your attention?
  3. What distracted you on the blog?
  4. What suggestions can you give me to improve my blog?

Write a post about your blog audit.

2. Evaluating the challenge.

This is the fourteenth 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. So over the next few weeks I will be adding new pages that you all can contribute to. Every month of the year, there are special events, festivals, birthdays of authors etc. Which ones do you think it would be interesting to write about? Find the post ideas page for that month and add your ideas in the comments. (These are found above the header area)

Now for your final activity – please evaluate the challenge by filling in the following form.

 

Still got time to spare:

Visit grandatlas blog for their journey to various countries, Brooke takes you on an interesting journey to 3 countries, Alexandra is going to Japan, France and Switzerland, Willow has done some great work in the challenge but no-one has been visiting

Check out the flipboard magazine – are any of your posts included?

Add student blogs to your blogroll or links so you can continue visiting over summer or throughout the rest of the year

Visit student and class blogs to leave quality comments.

Week 9: Let’s shine

Shiny, Capt.

Ken-ichi Ueda via Compfight

This is our penultimate week in the blogging challenge.

When you come to the end of a topic, what does your teacher often do?

  • That’s right! They give you a test.

This week’s challenge is a test about your blogging skills.

Having read many of your posts, I came up with the following essentials in a great post.

  1. catchy title
  2. includes at least two visuals whether photo, cartoon, video or another web 2.0 tool like padlet, glogster, wordle etc
  3. interesting topic with the passion of the author coming through, shows well researched topic
  4. well written and not copy/pasted from somewhere else
  5. shows it has been proofread and spellchecked
  6. written in paragraphs – at least three of them
  7. includes links to other websites on similar topics – at least two of these
  8. attribution for any images, video, music or clip art used – including those used in slideshows etc

Here are some examples of posts from a previous challenge:

When you have finished your post, please come back here to the blogging challenge and leave a comment on this post.

So what will the topic be for you to blog about?

ANIMALS     ANIMALS     ANIMALS     ANIMALS

Favourites

Problems like poaching, cruelty, extinction

Anything to do with animals

Make sure you check hints 2, 7 and 8 in the essentials of a great post

Still got time left this week:

  1. Visit Namitha to add some words of help for people in Nepal or write your own post sending words to Nepal.
  2. Keep visiting other student and class blogs to leave comments and continue conversations.
  3. Check out the Flipboard magazine to see if your post is mentioned there and visit some of their blogs
  4. Leave links to your posts on the student blogging challenge blog posts so Miss W can visit and leave comments or flip your posts to the magazine.
  5. Go to the Free Rice site to play games to help donate rice, some of which is going to Nepal