Admin for this challenge
- Thanks to all those students, teachers and commenters who have been checking the student list for students mentioned more than once. If you haven’t checked yet, please make sure you are only listed once.
- Commenters and I have visited hundreds of blogs recently. We have left a comment, or flipped the post to our magazine or have mentioned your post in the next blogging challenge post. Have you found one of your posts mentioned yet? Remember you need to fill in the form each week for one of us to visit and comment.
- You can also visit the posts each week as I now have a link to them on the sidebar – any with a yellow cell has not been visited yet by an official commenter, so please go to these first.
Students and teachers please read this before doing the activities
This week’s activities are going to be fun but first there are some things you need to know so please read carefully.
I have been visiting many blogs over the last few weeks. Some students new to blogging have been writing some great posts while others who have been blogging for a bit longer have started adding videos and images to their posts.
Yes, this week we deal with using images, videos, music and sounds in your posts.
But can’t I use any image, music or sound that is on the internet?
No, you must use creative commons, public domain or in some cases the fair use rule.
But where can I find these images, music and sounds? Can’t I use anything when I google an image?
No, your blog is public so you must use creative commons images, sounds, music and videos.
Sue Waters over at Edublogs has created a student blogging bootcamp with lots of interesting posts. Check these out (mainly Edublogs but many also relate to other platforms.) Other posts found here for Blogger blogs.
- Adding your own images or images you have created from apps
- copyright and creative commons images
- Adding videos
Other places to find information on creative commons
- Head to the creative commons website.
- Check out the CC wiki to find out what is happening in your country. What are the different licenses used?
- Teachers check out the education section of creative commons.
- Youtube allows creative commons for videos.
- Teachers: A fantastic guide to copyright, fair use and creative commons has been written by Ronnie Burt and I would suggest you read this to understand more about using images, music and video on your blogs. Also includes what might happen if you use an image etc incorrectly.
- Teachers: Post by Kathleen Morris about using images in blogs
- Larry Ferlazzo also has a great “Best List for images” that you might want to check out as well.
Make sure you check out the links in the Tools to Use symbaloo above the header
Check out Sue Water’s post from the student blogging bootcamp where she shows how to create and upload your own videos as well as where to find videos and how to embed on your blog posts.
Music and sound effects
Now for the activities for this week
Activity 1. Do some more research on the topic of attribution and licenses and perhaps create your own class video about using images, music and videos in class.
This video is the reaction of students in Mrs Yollis’ class when she mislabelled their artwork. How would you have felt?
Activity 2. Take a photo or find an image or piece of music. Add it to your post (with attribution) and write a poem relating to the image or music. Invite your readers to write their own poems. Here is Fernando’s example, Samantha is confused
Activity 3. Similar to activity 2. Take a photo or find an interesting landscape image (include attribution) or create the beginning of a video. Write the beginning of a story relating to your image or video. Remember to include a conflict of some sort between your characters. Invite your readers to finish the story. How many different endings can you get? Which ending do you prefer? You might need to visit some other bloggers and invite them to finish your story. Remember to leave the URL of your post for them to click on.
Activity 4. Write a sentence using just images – no words OR find 5 images that create a story – again no words only the attribution for each image.
Activity 5. Create a slideshow, photo gallery or poster about your interests to add to your about me page or as a separate post. Your final slide should include attribution for each image. Noah created a great gallery with captions
Activity 6. Create your own images and add to a post of your choice. In your post add a link to the website or tool you used to create your image.
Other options for creating your own images include:
Mixing up your images using these types of tools can really spice up your posts! Leave a comment on this post, if you or your class can recommend some other image sites to add to this list.
Activity 7. Zoom out from an image
We first tried this activity in the challenge in September 2010. Choose a picture, and have your readers zoom out, so to speak, by leaving comments. Check out the example from Huzzah who finished their story. 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.
Activity 8. Go back to previous posts
If you have used images in any previous posts you have written, then you are ethically obliged to give the correct attribution or take the image out of the post if it does not have the right creative commons license.
Activity 9. Create a jigsaw from your image. Mrs Schmidt’s class has done this using Jigsaw Planet . Here is her explanation
Last week (2014) my students made some jigsaw puzzles about famous places in our area. First each student created one Power Point Slide showing a photo and some facts about a location in our area. They saved the slide as a JPEG and then uploaded it to Jigsaw Planet. Once the puzzle was created, they published a link to it on their Kidblog. Click on Niamh’s puzzle link. Maggie created a tough jigsaw. Anisha created a jigsaw from her avatar.
Activity 10. Make a game using images. This class in Australia based their game on 4pics 1 word app.
Still got time left this week:
- Check out posts from other students and classes – see link in sidebar – any with a yellow cell has not had an official commenter visit yet
- Check out some good avatar posts I found in the list and I mention below
- Teachers – have you started visiting blogs listed on the class list of blogs? Maybe pair up your students with those on the other class blogs.
- Reply to comments on your own blog
- Start using tags and categories with each post you write to make it easier for people to find posts on certain topics. Make sure you have the tags and categories widgets in your sidebar.
Some class posts
If you speak and write Spanish or want to use a translate widget, why not visit Doctora Merrills blog to leave some comments?
Here are the instructions for adding links to your sidebars.
Have at least five other student and/or class blogs linked on your sidebar – students from other classes and schools – not your own. We will need this for a game we play in a couple of weeks.
Try to have a few different link categories like
- My Overseas Friends
- Other Class Blogs
Having lots of links to student blogs from other countries will help spread the game.
Flipboard magazine – are you in there yet?
I will only be adding posts to the flipboard magazine that:
- are written in paragraphs
- have been proofread
- include an image, sound or video with attribution
So make sure you have taken note of this week’s learning about creative commons.
Most important learning from this week’s challenge is:
Use creative commons images or public domain, not just any image on the net. Always include attribution of where you found the image. Compfight plugin does this for you.
PS If you have done the blogging challenge before, you will find these activities are nearly the same each time. If you have ideas for different activities please leave a comment on this post.
If you do lots of activities this week, only include the best 2 on the Google form, otherwise we will not have enough commenters to visit.
I received an email from one of the teacher’s whose class love commenting but they used to visit the challenge post and look at the comments left there. With our change in commenting not many comments are being left on each post. Instead they are being added to the weekly Google form at the end of the weekly post.
So I will be adding a link on the sidebar for each week’s posts written by students. Some will have been commented on already and some may not. Please visit first those without a comment.
Teachers, if your class would like to comment on a certain number of posts, please contact me and I will add you to the comment list.
Students who have taken part in the challenge before and would like to leave comments may also contact me.
Admin for week 2:
When visiting many blogs last week, I noticed your pages in Edublogs often didn’t allow for comments to be written. You might need to do the following:
- Go to your about me page and open it in your dashboard.
- In top right corner, click on screen options and make sure Discussions and/or comments are ticked. Close screen options.
- Now below the writing area for your page you should see a dropdown labelled Discussions.
- Make sure you have ticked the boxes about leaving comments.
I also noticed some of the About Me pages and posts have too much personal information such as full names, dates of birth, when and where you go to activities after school. Remember not to include this type of information in your posts and pages.
If your About Me page isn’t visible as a link on your blog, you will need to add the widget called Pages to your sidebar.
About week 2: Commenting skills
This is another important week in the challenge. Blogging is all about having your voice heard and connecting with others who might like to read and comment on what you have written. But, as in many things we humans do, there are some protocols bloggers in schools like to follow.
Check out these videos about leaving quality comments. The first video was created for one of the very first blogging challenges back in 2009 by Mrs Yollis’ grade 3 students and it has been seen by thousands of students who have taken part in the blogging challenges since then. This video is suitable for all ages but specifically primary/elementary school or lower. But those in middle/high school or older might like to check out the second video which is more suited to an older age group.
Teachers: You might want to visit the post about teaching quality commenting on the Teacher Challenge blog. It has an excellent video about the possibilities of blogging through commenting. It also includes the videos below and others you might want to share with your class. You also find out about commenting and blogging guidelines, paper blogging and other ways to use your blogs to connect globally.
Mrs Yollis and her third grade class
Nicolas Weiss – Leaving high quality blog comments
Activity 1: Create a ‘How to comment’ page on your blog
Many themes and blogging platforms have different ways to leave a comment. You might need to click on the title of the post, or click on a number in a circle or click on the words ‘Leave a comment’. Write a page for your blog explaining how to leave a comment. You could write it as a set of steps or perhaps create a video showing what to do. Be creative. Here is an example on my family history blog. Mrs Yollis created a video showing how to comment on her blogspot blog. You might prefer to add the instructions in a text widget on your sidebar instead of a page.
Remember, though, if you change themes you might also need to change these instructions. Also if you want a comment left on the page make sure you have followed the instructions in the admin area for this week about ticking boxes for Edublogs blogs.
Activity 2: Make a set of commenting guidelines – you might be able to combine this with activity 1
Explain what you expect when someone leaves a comment on your blog.
- What type of comment is acceptable?
- Which type of comment will you put in the trash?
Here are some examples:
Huzzah commenting guidelines, a Glogster poster about commenting, WarriorKat used a variety of tools for her guidelines, notice how Sophie included a link back to Mrs Yollis’ blog where she got her information from, Hunter created a PowToon, Alane has some commenting guidelines, Sophia included extra info about commenting, Alicia has written in a great format for easy reading, Kate has used two web tools to create her commenting post, Pinky created a commenting recipe, Summer was very creative, Fiona explained her tips in detail.
Activity 3: Leave a comment on this post – you might be able to combine this with activity 4
Each week the best posts published in the Student Blogging Challenge are featured in our Flipboard magazine.
So your 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.
But first you need to know the difference between your BLOG link and your POST link
- Blog link: http://studentchallenge.edublogs.org
- Post link: http://studentchallenge.edublogs.org/2018/01/19/looking-back/
If your teacher is moderating and approving your posts, you will need to wait until this has been done before leaving me a link in a comment.
Activity 4: Use some HTML in a comment
Did you check out Mrs Yollis’ blog? She includes a page with some HTML (code) you can use when commenting especially on blogspot blogs. If leaving a comment on an Edublogs blog, here is a post explaining the HTML to use. If you want to leave a link to your blog that looks neat and tidy, check out this post.
Activity 5: 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. Here are some examples from other students: Allegra , Izzy, Callie , Sally but try to include a link to the actual post you left a comment on
Will visitors to your blog find it easy to search for a post they might be interested in commenting on? Maybe you need to start using Categories and Tags or Labels (blogspot) or Categories (weebly) or Categories (Kidblog) or make sure you have an archive section.
Got more time to fill this week?
I have started adding posts to our Flipboard magazine for #stubc – check in the sidebar.
Check out other student and class blogs located in the participant tabs in the header area.
Check out the page above my header called Post Ideas. Lots of topics and special days to write about in your blog.
If you want a commenter to visit your blog, remember to fill in the form below for only one or two activities you complete this week. Make sure it is a post link as I will be deleting any that are just blog links.
What a great start has been made to this our 20th student blogging challenge!
But I have noticed a couple of things that might need fixing for next week.
Filling in the weekly form
From next week on, I will be deleting any blog URLs that are for just the blog rather than the exact post you have written. Your commenter needs to go to the exact post rather than have to search around on your blog.
Here is an example:
Blog URL: http://studentchallenge.edublogs.org/
Post URL: http://studentchallenge.edublogs.org/2018/03/04/week-1-lets-introduce-ourselves-2/
Notice the difference between these two URLs?
To find the Post URL, go to your blog. Click on the title of the published post you want the commenter to see. This will now open in a window of its own. Look up in the navigation area of your computer browser and you should see the URL of your post. Highlight and copy this URL to put in the weekly form you need to fill in for each activity.
Writing your post
Think about the font, font colour, whether using ALL CAPITALS IN YOUR POST. Which is easier to read for your visitors?
Adding links in your posts
In the avatar post you were asked to add the link to the site where you created your avatar.
I went to http://www.moeruavatar.com/index_en.shtml to make my avatar. (Unlinked)
I went to http://www.moeruavatar.com/index_en.shtml to make my avatar. (Linked)
I went to a Japanese website to make my avatar. (Hyperlinked)
Which of these three sentences looks neater?
Here is a post explaining how to add a link in your post. By using method 2, it will be common to most blogging platforms.
Some interesting statistics:
As at publishing this post, we have:
- 683 students registered
- 66 classes registered – many with student blogs on sidebars or in a page
- 24 commenters – would love to have some more though to spread the load
- We were born or live in 24 countries of the world
Miss W or tasteach
Whenever you see either of these avatars or images on the world wide web, you will know it is me. I am a retired teacher who began blogging with students in 2008. I still blog with teachers and students in Tasmania, Australia. I also blog about my family history and whenever I travel overseas, Davo the Tasmanian devil keeps a blog about his adventures with me. I also blog about my travels around Australia.
But the event I enjoy most is running the Student Blogging Challenge twice a year, with the help of the staff at Edublogs.
When you meet a new person or join a group, there are three things you will most likely do.
- Look at the outside view of the person – do they look like the type of person you would enjoy being with?
- Then you would go deeper by asking some basic questions about the person and their interests.
- Finally, you would connect through shared interests.
We are going to cover those three things this week by creating an avatar to represent our outside view, create our about me page to show your visitors the type of person you are and your interests then you are going searching for other students your age who also have similar interests.
Teachers – Remember you can adapt the activities to suit what is happening in your class at that time or you can copy and paste parts of it on to your class blog. Just remember to give credit where you found the ideas by linking back to the challenge post somewhere on your post.
Students – Most weeks there will be lots of activities to choose from. You don’t have to complete them all. When you complete an activity, remember to fill in the Google form at the bottom of this post. A commenter will visit to give you some clues about blogging, reminding you of the challenge as well as carrying on conversations in your posts. Remember to read and reply to their comments politely and in a timely fashion.
This challenge we have many new students and classes taking part so let’s get some admin out of the way before we start our activities for this week. Anything written in bold and blue is a link you can click on to take you to another blog or website.
Admin for week 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.
- 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.
- Add the challenge badge to your sidebar.
- Can visitors leave comments on your blog posts? If your country is in bright pink, then you might need to change your privacy settings. Check this post for how to do this using Edublogs, Blogger and Kidblog.
- Once you have done your activity for this week, remember to come back here and fill in the Google form.
- You can also leave a comment on this post. Include a link to your blog post so I can try and visit in the next week. Great posts will be added to our Flipboard magazine on the sidebar.
- Teachers: if you are moderating comments, please do this regularly (at least once a week if not once a day) as it is in the comments where the best connections happen between students and classes. I have just visited some blogs where comments I left two years ago are still awaiting moderation.
With so many new students and teachers taking part, you might like to start with this video created by the team at Edublogs. Here is a PDF activity about blogging terms that you might want to use after watching the video.
Time now for the two topics for this week
Looking at avatars
Activity 1: Create an avatar to use on your blog. There are many different avatar creation sites on the web. I have been to many of them and created lots of different avatars. Some you just save and download to your computer to then upload into your blog. Others you need to use the snipping tool to save a square image of your avatar. It is always best to save as a jpg format.
Here is a symbaloo of websites to use for avatar making. Feel free to add this to your blog. Along the bottom are pages where teachers have listed lots of sites as well as shown examples. The easiest to do are on the right hand side and look like my avatar.
- Like Lego figures – click here and here is a post from Brianna about her avatar
- Will used toondoo to create a family avatar
Activity 2: For classes – As a class create a slideshow of your user avatars or add them to your header area. Or check out how to customize your header – here is a post by Mrs Smith about creating avatars – using shapes,
- Mrs Vazquez’s class used google slides to show off their avatars
- Birney Bulldogs created a header with their avatars
This was my very first Animoto created back in 2009. Look at the tools page above the header for other slideshow creators.
Did you find a great avatar site not mentioned here? Leave me a comment mentioning the site so I can add it to the Symbaloo.
Activity 3: Write a post about your avatar and how it represents you. Include a link to the website where you created the avatar. Remember to include your avatar as an image in your post. If writing a post about your avatar, choose an interesting title not just avatar as this will cause an error on your blog.
Activity 4: Create a series of avatars to represent your family members. Use different avatar websites depending upon the person’s interests. Write a post about your family and include the avatar for each person and explain how it represents that person.
Remember – be internet safe, no personal information.
About me page
Activity 5: Write or update your About Me page.
Whenever I visit a blog for the first time, I always check to see who the person is that is writing the blog posts. Do they have similar interests to me?
If you already have an About Me page, you might want to create an About my State or Province page as well. Be creative:
- Write a poem
- Write an A-Z paragraph eg I am an athletic, yet brainy child who decided that saving the environment is one of my future goals. Check out how one of the mentors created her about me page especially for the student blogging challenge
- Create a tellegami like our mentor Dinah has done
- Create a list of things people might not know about you like Ms Herring or write a Who am I like Mrs Keane or Mrs Lyttle
- Students in Ireland paired up to create their about us page, Ms Seitz’ class did the same, Mrs Moore’s class wrote about their school, from Mrs Essen’s class and Mrs McKelvey’s Blogging Frogs
- Warrior Kat, Harry, Daniela, Rajyashori, Jaslyn
- Brianna (ex student mentor) has a great favourites about me page, as well as an A-Z post
What is the difference between a page and a post? Check out the information here.
If using Edublogs, here are instructions for creating your page.
- Login to your blog, go to Settings> Discussion and make sure the default settings are ticked to allow people to leave comments> save the changes at the bottom
- Now go to the dashboard>pages>add new
- Change the title to About Me or something similar.
- If you only have one row of icons above the writing box, click on the last icon called the kitchen sink or toggle. This opens a second row which allows you to change font colours.
- 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.
- In the top navigation area is Screen options – open the drop down arrow and make sure comments is ticked.
- In the area under the page writing box, you should see a Discussion box – open this and make sure you have ticked Allow comments.
- When you have finished click the big button on the right side of your screen – probably says update or send for review.
- Once you have saved your about me page, go back and delete the sample page.
- 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.
Activity 6: What are some apps or websites you could use to create something interesting to add to your About me page? Tell me about them, costs, age to use etc Perhaps a word cloud or glogster – brainstorm as a class.
Finished the work for week 1?
Visiting other blogs
One important aspect of blogging is commenting on other blogs. Classes and student participants are grouped according to similar ages. Visit some other blogs, read posts, get ideas from them, leave a comment. Make sure you include your blog URL so they can come to visit your blog. Are there any students with interests the same as you?
If you want a commenter to visit your blog, remember to fill in the form below for each activity you complete this week.