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Are you ready??

Traffic lights
Photo Credit: Sarah Joy via Compfight

A new blogging challenge starts tomorrow (Australian time). But are you and your blog ready for all the visitors you might receive?

Here is a checklist of things to look at now:

Can visitors leave comments and read posts?

You might think they can but try this. Go to your blog but don’t login. Most of your visitors wont be logging in. Can they read your posts? Now try to leave a comment on a post. Can you leave a comment? If you cant read a post or comment without logging in, then neither can your visitors. Check with your teacher about the settings you might need to change. This post from last September challenge shows how to change privacy settings on edublogs, kidblog and blogger platforms.

Have you added the 2014 badge to your sidebar?

Check the post written by the Edublogs team to learn how to embed it. Depending upon the blogging platform you use, the text box or image widget might have a different name.

Are you on the student list only once?

Each challenge we don’t always have enough mentors to cover all students registered, so please check that you’re only on the list once. The list is found above the flags on the challenge blog. This is where you go to visit other student or class blogs. If you are on there more than once or in the wrong age group, leave me a comment on this post giving me name, age, URL and what is wrong and I will make corrections on the spreadsheet.

How are you going to know when the challenge is published each week?

One way of being notified straight away is to subscribe to the challenge blog. Just fill in the subscribe by email widget at the top of the sidebar. An email will be sent to you as soon as I hit the publish button for a new post.

Is there a link to your class blog on your sidebar?

It is helpful for your visitors especially other teachers and your mentor, to have a link to your class blog on the sidebar of your blog. Not sure how to do this, then check out the Get Help section on the sidebar of the challenge blog. This is where I have links to user guides, videos etc for a variety of blogging platforms. If you know of some more links I could add there please let me know in a comment on this post.

Finally, any chance of some teachers from your school being mentors for the challenge?

Maybe some teachers who might be interested in blogging wouldn’t mind being a mentor in this challenge. Direct them to this post where they can register.

Good luck in the challenge!

First set of activities tomorrow!

Get Your 2014 Student Blogging Challenge Badge Here

The Student Blogging Challenge is back in 2014!

We know students, classes and our helpers love having a badge or widget on their blog showing they are taking part in the student blogging challenge.

So here they are!

Just pick the badge that suits you and then follow the instructions below for adding to your blog.

You won’t need to crop or resize the badges as they are 200 pixels in width.

Student Blogging Challenge 2014

HTML code for Class and Student Blogs

Student Challenge mentor

HTML code for Mentor Blogs

Adding your badge(s) to your blog is as easy as:

1. Copy the HTML code for the required badge(s).

2.  Go to Appearance > Widgets in your Dashboard.

3.  Drag and drop a Text Widget into your sidebar.

Add Text Widget
4.  Now just paste your HTML code into the text widget, then click Save and Close.

Or if you are using an Edublogs Pro blog you can add using the Image Widget by following these instructions.

Mentor registration

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 September to November 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. I will also send you an email reminding you about checking this post early in the challenge.

As soon as students start registering in mid February, I will allocate mentors 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

Now fill in the form below.

The spreadsheet created by this form will be for my eyes only, so please include an email as this will be the easiest way for me to contact all mentors. It saves copying and pasting from your comment.

 

Class registration

You have heard about the student blogging challenge and want to join in for this session?

Then fill in the form below remembering the following things:

  1. If your blog URL is very long, then use a shortener such as this one from Google  Also handy if students are registering their blogs 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.

Hope you enjoy this the 12th blogging challenge.

If publicising any posts on twitter, please use the hashtag

#14stubc

 

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