Well, this is our second last week in the March challenge for 2014. Over the last 8 weeks, you have learnt a lot about blogging if you have done most of the activities and checked out the links included in my posts.
It is now your time to do your best and show your teachers and myself what a great blog post looks like.
The one and only activity for this week:
Write a post on one of the following topics
- What makes a great family
- A global issue you would like to help solve
- My future
- Visiting overseas
Having read many of your posts, I came up with the following essentials in a great post.
- catchy title
- includes at least one visual whether photo, cartoon, video or another web 2.0 tool like padlet or glogster
- interesting topic with the passion of the author coming through
- well written and not copy/pasted from somewhere else
- shows it has been proofread and spellchecked
- written in paragraphs – at least three of them
- includes links to other websites on similar topics – at least two of these
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. Those posts covering the seven things mentioned above will be added to the flipboard magazine.
Still more time left this week:
Visit other student and class blogs.
Read posts and leave comments.
Decide on a student blog and/or class blog you would like to nominate for the Edublogs Awards in November/December this year. You will get a chance next week to write a post about the blog you have chosen. HINT: Can’t be your own blog nor one from another student in your class.
There are many different types of schools around the world. Most of the students in the challenge go to a government or public school, I think. But some are homeschooled like Warrior Kat and Ghost Soldier. Visit their school blog written by their mother. We have some students go to specific religious schools yet others go to international schools.
How is your school the same or different to a government or public school?
Answer some of these questions by writing one or more posts or present using a variety of tools mentioned in the sidebar:
- What time do you normally get up to go to school?
- What do you normally have for breakfast, recess, lunch, tea (dinner, supper)?
- How do you get to school?
- How long does it take to get to or from school?
- A typical lunch at school
- Subjects you have to do – remember to explain abbreviations like LOTE and ELA
- Specialist subjects or electives, options
- Technology in your school
- A typical schoolday with timetable and breaks
- What do you do at break times? Games, activities etc
- School bell has gone for end of day – what happens now?
- Do you have to wear uniform?
- How many days per year are you at school? How is this arranged – terms etc?
- What do you enjoy most about school?
- If you could improve your school, what would you do?
You might like to run some surveys in your school re questions 1,3,4 and 10 above. Collect data and create graphs. If you create a google doc to gather data around the world, make sure your teacher contacts me to publicize this over twitter where other classes can join in adding to your data.
Check out this video on how some students get to school in their country. Find images of children going to school and put together a photo collage or slideshow showing ten interesting images. Remember to include the attribution for the images on the last slide of your slideshow. Here is the link to a video from UNESCO about children getting to school – also includes some statistics re education funding.
Compare your classroom to these pictures from around the world in the Guardian newspaper. Write a post about what you see and feel when looking at these images. Would you like to be in any of these classes? Why? Also check out the statistics included in the information below each image. What does this tell you about these classes?
How has schooling changed over the last 100 years? Interview parents, grandparents, great grandparents, people from other countries and ask them questions about their schooling. Write a post from your results.
If you have completed at least one of the activities above, you might want to take part in our commenting game.
Before you start, please make sure you have at least 5 other student blogs linked on the sidebar of your blog or in a recent post that your visitors can find easily. Make sure these are blogs from other students around the world, not just those in your class or school.
Game week is all about visiting other blogs.
Student and class blogs – new bloggers and old hands at the blogging – mentors as well as participants.
Remember one of the main aims of blogging includes commenting and carrying on conversations with the author of posts and their other readers.
A good commenter will have read the post carefully, checked out the links in the post and have read the previous comments before they leave one of their own. Good commenters add to the conversation with a quality comment – remember that video from Mrs Yollis’ class.
This is one we have run for many challenges and allows you to connect globally.
Those who have taken part in a challenge before know the game of ‘Count Out Three’. Here are the instructions:
- click on a blog on the student list – count one
- now click on a blog from their blogroll – count two
- finally click on a blog from that blogroll – count three
Leave a comment on an interesting post at this third blog.
Do this activity at least three times and finally, write your own post saying which blogs you visited and which posts you left a comment on. Why did you choose that post? Remember to include a link back to the post you left a comment on so that student gets a pingback or trackback.
Next week is our penultimate week for the March challenges.
It will be a chance for you to show what you have learnt about blogging in the last three months. You will be asked to write a post, including an image with attribution, links to at least two other websites where you found your information to use in your post as well as use another web tool. The topic will be set next week. See you then.
Very early in the blogging challenge, I asked if anyone had ideas for new challenges. Amber left a comment about world leaders. So thanks to her, this week the challenges are all about being a leader.
Activity 1: Characteristics of a leader
Think about some famous leaders like Nelson Mandela, Queen Elizabeth, Mao Tse Tung and Ghandi. What makes them stand out as leaders of the world? What characteristics are common to all four leaders? Perhaps create a Venn Diagram comparing 2 or 3 of these leaders.
Activity 2: Chances for leadership
As a student, you often have chances to show leadership while at school. What are some of these leadership roles available at your school? Would you try to take on one of these roles? Why or why not?
Activity 3: Outside school
Perhaps you are part of a sport team or in the Guides or Scouts. How can you show leadership outside school and in any clubs you might be a member of?
Activity 4: Famous or Leader
Sometimes younger students might think a famous singer, musician, writer is a good leader. Name five famous people who you think show great leadership skills. Explain why and what those skills are?
Activity 5: In the family
Cesar Millan, the dog whisperer, has a show about being “Leader of the pack.” Are the skills needed to be a leader of the pack different to being a leader in the rest of family life?
Activity 6: Leadership comic, poem or story
Create a comic, poem or story showing leadership skills being used.
Classes: Extra activities
Have a go at a couple of leadership games mentioned at these links.
- Perhaps move the egg from this page.
- Leadership game and leadership scenarios from this page.
- Too many to choose from on this page.
NEWS UPDATE NEWS UPDATE
Next week, we will be playing a commenting game. To take part in this game, all classes and students will need the following:
- a user avatar if possible
- an ‘about me’ PAGE if using Edublogs or a post if using other platforms
- a clustrmap or flag counter widget
- at least four interesting posts – could be topics of your choice not necessarily from the challenge
- your ‘Recent Comments’ widget on the sidebar with 10 comments as the choice – Edublogs
- your ‘Recent Posts’ widget on the sidebar with 10 posts as the choice – Edublogs
- Your ‘Pages’ widget on the sidebar or pages in the header – Edublogs
- at least 10 student and/or classes linked on your blogroll
- at least three overseas blogs on your blogroll
- posts tagged or categorized to make it easier to find interesting posts on each blog
- the more students or classes you have linked on your blog, the more fun the game will be
The most important of these are the links to other student blogs on your sidebar. Try to have a couple of different headings like
- My Friends
- Class Blogs
- Overseas Blogs
Having lots of links to student blogs from other countries will help spread the game.
Here are the instructions for adding links to your sidebars.
Have you written lots of interesting posts for your visitors to read next week?
Use this week to get some written or use some new tools to create some stories to add to your blog posts.
You have been blogging now for at least five weeks.
Have you been getting many visitors?
Have you been receiving many comments?
If your answer is no, then what are you going to do about it?
How can you attract readers to your blog?
When I first began blogging back on January 18, 2008 I was expecting hundreds of comments on my blog posts. They were interesting and describing my journey in teaching using a Smartboard and technology in my classroom. Then I wrote a post less than a week later asking why nobody is commenting on my blog.
I didn’t realise I would have to spend time working out ways for people to find my blog first and then to leave a comment. By the way, I had 16 people leave comments on that post, mainly due to the fact that Sue Waters from Edublogs had tweeted out about my post.
So what hints did my readers leave me ?
- Start using twitter – need to be at least 13 years old – maybe you could have a class twitter account
- In your posts, add links especially to other bloggers posts that you have found interesting – shows you are reading other blogs
- Write for yourself, and put your heart into it – write posts that have nothing to do with school but are about your passions
- Have a really interesting about me profile page so your readers can see what your passions are and comment on them
- Write posts that give guidelines or how to’s – how to do something in minecraft especially helpful for newbies, create video about how to add a certain widget
- Read and share on other blogs – visit lots of other blogs, leave a quality comment including the URL of your blog – they will often come and visit if your comment is interesting
- Treat every post as a conversation – reply to every person who leaves a comment
Activity 1: Write a post explaining what you are going to do to attract readers to your blog
Activity 2: Write a post about one of your passions – maybe a hobby, sport, animal, music etc Remember though to write in your own words and not copy/paste from another website. If you use information from a website, include a link to it in your post. If you include an image, add the attribution as well.
Activity 3: Visit at least 5 blogs from other students or classes but not from your school. Add to the conversation in the comment area of a post. Maybe check out our Flipboard magazine to find some more blogs to read.
Activity 4: Write an interesting how to post – create an origami, make a screencast, create a movie on an ipad, use a certain web tool
Activity 5: Add at least 5 new bloggers to your blogroll or links on your sidebar. Have to be from other countries not your own. Create a link category for overseas bloggers.
Activity 6: Check through all your comments and reply to your readers. If they have asked you to visit their blog, go there and check out a post or two, leave a comment as well.
Activity 7: Many of you have mentors for the blogging challenge. Make sure you have read their comments and continued the conversation with them. If you have not yet had any comments, leave a comment here on the challenge blog, mention one of your great posts you think I should read and comment on – remember to include URL of your blog.
As many schools have just had Spring break and many are having a holiday over Easter, there will be no set challenges next week.
Instead, keep visiting other blogs. There have been some great story starters and poetry written for week 4 challenge.
Catch up with any challenges you might have missed due to testing and holidays.
Read the flipboard magazine, find out if any of your posts are in there. Visit other posts from there, you think might be interesting.
Read comments left on my challenge posts for each week. Visit some of the bloggers who have left links in their comments. Add to some of the comments left on the challenge posts.
Finally enjoy your break and come back to the challenge all refreshed and ready to add to more conversations.
Every year in November/December Edublogs runs an award program. They ask for nominations for student,class, group, individual blogs and a variety of other things. Once nominations are in, they are looked at and a shortlist is created ready for bloggers around the world to vote on.
The winners for best class blog in 2013 are our guest bloggers for this week’s set of activities. This school runs a journalism course for students in Junior High. They have their own blog where students report on events at the school, interview local people, write about the happenings in their community. This week they have set our challenges.
Once you have visited their blog, completed your activity and left them a comment, come back here and check out the other things you could do this week.
Off you go, click on this link to go to this week’s challenges.
You still here, go.
Going, going, gone.
Still got time left this week
Visit lots of other blogs from the student and class list.
- In particular visit those students who don’t have mentors yet – their name is not in colour.
- Make sure you visit lots of students not from your school.
- Leave interesting comments as some students have not yet received any comments.
- Remember, whenever you leave a comment include the URL of your blog in the comment, otherwise that person wont know where your blog can be found, so they wont be able to visit and leave you a comment.
- Also make sure your comment is a quality comment not just: This is a good blog, come and visit mine http://studentchallenge.edublogs.org
- Your comment should look like some of the great ones that have been left on the challenge blog. Check some of them out.
- Come back here and in a comment tell me of three blogs you left comments on. Why did you choose those three?
Did you notice we have a new flipboard magazine?
Have any of your posts been included? If no, then you probably haven’t left a comment on the challenge blog once you have finished an activity. Remember I am choosing posts that are well written, paragraphed, great spelling and interesting to read.
Do you use twitter?
If yes, then check out our hashtag for the challenge #14stubc You will find out when new posts are published and some interesting posts to go and visit.