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

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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.

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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

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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

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Week 6 – Our World

abuelos
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: 3dom via Compfight

Our world is a very complex one, yet like the song says it is a small world now especially with technology and ease of transportation. This week we are going to look at the world of your grandparents and even further back if you can. Look at how their culture might have affected the world in which you live.

The world of our grandparents

Activity 1. Survey the students in your class or school. Where were their grandparents born? How many are immigrants to the country they now live in?

Activity 2. Are there any foods you eat that come from your grandparents home country? What recipes have been handed down in the family?

Activity 3. Are there any cultural events that directly relate to the old country from which your ancestors came?

Activity 4. How many generations do you go back before you find an ancestor immigrating to your present country? For example on my mother’s side of the tree, I can go back 5 generations to my great great great grandparents who were sent out from England as convicts to Australia.

Activity 5. What is the most important invention created since your grandparents were born? You might need to ask them and others of their generation.

Cultures of the world

Activity 6. Write a post in your native language. We have students from over 20 countries taking part in this challenge, many don’t speak English as their first language.

Activity 7. Visit blogs written by students from other countries.

Activity 8. How different is your world to that of the other students in this challenge? Write a post asking questions for overseas visitors to answer. Think about water, food, transport, technology rather than singers, movies etc. Watch the video to get more ideas for questions.

Activity 9. Check out some of these games and websites about different cultures of the world.

Still got time left this week – visit the classes and students taking part in the challenge. Leave great comments and continue conversations.

Read the post in our Flipboard Magazines. Great posts from this week will be added to the One World, Our World magazine. But remember, you need an image with attribution or links to a blog or website, paragraphing, spellchecker put through your post if you want it included. Also remember to fill in the form below so I know you have written a post.

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