Mentors change of role

As mentioned in my previous post, I am going to be changing the role of the mentor from this challenge onwards.

Reasons being:

  • Some students register for challenge but then don’t do the activities.
  • Mentors time should not be wasted by visiting blogs that did not have posts about the challenge activities.

So mentors are now going to become commenters instead. This will work similarly to 100WC.

Commenters will:

  1. Register to be a commenter via a Google form found on the Register page above the header
  2. If selected as a commenter, receive one email giving the 5 numbers allocated to them to comment on
  3. Receive a weekly email, sent out on Wednesdays Australian time, reminding them to leave comments – will be a link to that week’s student post Google form on the email

Each week:

  1. Click on the link in your weekly email
  2. Find the 5 numbers for the blogs to comment on
  3. Click on URL of blog post to leave a comment – leave comment on that post or any other post from that student blog
  4.  If you want to comment on other student blogs, visit the main challenge blog and check out any comments left there for that week in the normal commenting area

For this to work well:

  • Students need to remember to fill in the form each week at the bottom of the challenge post.
  • You may fill in the form more than once –  for each activity you complete that week
  • Students need to make sure they only fill in the form once their teacher has published their post
  • Make sure you fill in the correct form for the activity you have completed – important if you are behind in the posts because of holidays etc
  • Classes also remember to fill in the form so commenters can visit your class blog
  • Students may also leave comments in the main comment area of the challenge post but these might not be visited by a commenter

Readers: Anything else that might need to be on this post regarding commenters or any questions you might have about this change?

 

 

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Looking back

Looking Back

Creative Commons License Javcon117* via Compfight

I am starting to organize our 20th student blogging challenge – Wow ! those ten years have certainly gone by quickly since I first started the challenge back in 2008.

It started with a tweet from Sue Waters asking for some overseas classes to visit my student blogs to leave comments for them. As I had only been blogging for a few months, I didn’t have many global connections in my personal learning network (PLN).

It was a competition the first time it was run with each class awarding a prize but since then it has become a challenge instead. But the main purpose of the challenge has remained the same.

The most important aspect of this competition, though, is the connection formed between reader and writer.  We would like to see students making friends in other countries, finding out they are not so different wherever they live in the world, asking questions and making conversations by replying to those questions.

We didn’t have a blog dedicated to the challenge, instead it was part of my class blog with the challenge being on pages in the header of the blog.

Here is the link to the participants in  September 2008 – I wonder how many are still blogging but maybe not on their student blog?

Here is the link to the activities for that first competition – you will notice many of these are still being used in challenges run since 2008

Sue Waters and the team at Edublogs decided the challenge was going so well that it needed its own dedicated blog and so this blog was started back in January 2010 ready for the 4th student blogging challenge.

There have been some changes throughout the years including:

  • Google forms for registering classes and students – needed once the numbers of participants increased
  • Mentors to help new bloggers
  • Badges for participants
  • Flipboard magazine for great posts

There is going to be a big change again ready for the next challenge in March but I will write about that in a new post – it relates to mentors.

Readers: Have you taken part in one or more of the challenges? Which activities did you enjoy the most? Are there any skills you think need to be taught to students to allow them to develop as better bloggers?

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Week 10: Farewell from the 19th challenge

Swallow-tailed Kite

Creative Commons License Andy Morffew via Compfight

This is our last post for the Student Blogging Challenge until we start again in March 2018. I hope you have enjoyed the activities and the chance to make connections with other students and classes around the world.

I would like to thank the mentors for taking time to visit and comment on student blogs. I would also like to thank those students aged 16+ who took on the role of mentors.

I would also like to thank those bloggers who allowed me to use their blog posts as part of the visiting challenge.

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 October 2017.

  • 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 nineteenth 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 there is a new page 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 and add your ideas in the comments. (These are found above the header area)

I would like you to leave a quality comment giving your opinion of the challenge. You might want to mention some of the following things:

  • the most interesting challenge for you
  • how often you visited other blogs and left comments
  • whether you read the challenge flipboard magazine
  • a PMI or plus/minus/interesting point about the challenge
  • the most important thing you learnt while doing the challenge

Thanks again for taking part in this challenge. Hopefully you will take part again in March next year. If you have taken part in at least two sets of challenges, you can also become a mentor, so watch out for the mentor post in late February.

Keep writing, keep reading the magazine, and if you have a great post you would like me to add to the magazine over the summer/winter break, feel free to leave a comment here.

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Week 9: Have I improved?

O, Let Me Ne'er Forget

Mike Trimble via Compfight

As many students are starting to leave the challenge due to end of term, I have decided to publish two posts very quickly for the last two weeks of the challenge. Week 9 is about proving your blogging skills learnt this year and Week 10 is reflecting and evaluating your blog and the challenge.

Now is your chance to prove your skills

Activity 1

Write the very best post you can for your teachers and visitors to read.

Remember essentials for a great post:

  1. catchy title
  2. includes at least one visual (with attribution) 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 – at least three of them
  7. includes links to other websites on similar topics – at least two of these
  8. ends with a question to lure your visitors into leaving a comment

Your choice of topics: only write about one of them

  • History
  • Inventions
  • Travel
  • Favourites
  • Science

When you have finished your post and your teacher has published it, then return here to leave a link to the post. We still have some students just leaving a link to their blog rather than the exact post.

Activity 2

Do you have a favourite blog (not from your class though) that you visit often?

Write a post about that blog and why you keep going back there. Remember to include links to a couple of posts they have written. Also leave a comment on their blog to say you have written a post about them.

Still got time left

Visit other blogs and leave quality comments.

Read the magazine and visit posts to leave comments on.

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Week 8: Let’s play a game or two

content-marketing_cover

Creative Commons License Hurca! via Compfight

 

Did you enjoy visiting the students and teachers blogs from a couple of weeks ago?

Did you leave a comment on one or more of them?

Have you checked back if the poster answered your comment?

I know that many comments were left by students and I also know many have been answered. Check these out:

Hello Ms. W,

This week by being one of the students on the list, I noticed quite a lot. Many people like to comment about their own stories and then ask questions to learn more, which is really nice. Their questions typically regarded my travels, so they were fun to answer and talk about, but mostly, I loved to hear people’s stories. It’s so great to hear from people with similar experiences! Thanks for choosing me to be on the list!

Regards,

Caleb

Dear Miss W,

I am very exited to have had participated in this week’s challenge. I received a lot of positive comments and although there were a lot of comments to answer, it was very fun meeting new people and getting to know their ideas. Thank you so much for organizing this week’s challenge.

Greetings,
Alicia

Hello Ms. W,
I have taken the time to answer to most of my comments, I couldn’t answer all of them because 236 comments is a lot.
Thank you,
Agathe

There are five activities this week and two are in the form of a game. They involve visiting other blogs, leaving quality comments and writing a post about the comments you left.

Before playing the games, make sure your blog is ready for visitors.

  1. You have lots of interesting posts for visitors to read and comment on.
  2. Visitors can find posts by using tags or categories on your sidebar.
  3. You have a visitor widget to see where your visitors are coming from.
  4. You have at least five student and/or class blogs from other places around the world on your sidebar.

Game week is all about visiting other blogs.

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
  • read the previous comments before they leave one of their own
  • added to the conversation with a quality comment – remember that video from Mrs Yollis’ class.
  • included a link to their own blog or a similar post on their own blog

Activity 1: Game 1 

This is a game 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:

  1. click on a blog on the student list or class list– count one
  2. now click on a blog from the new student’s blogroll – count two
  3. finally click on a blog from that new blogroll – count three
  4. leave a comment on an interesting post at this third blog.

Teachers: If you are moderating student comments, please make sure you are up-to-date with that this week as students can be very disappointed when they think they have no comments, yet many are in the moderation queue ready to be published.

Students: Make sure you are also replying to any comments that have been left for you.

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.

Activity 2: Game 2

This is a new one I have thought of to add to the challenge. Many great student posts are being flipped to the #17stubc Flipboard magazine, but I am not sure how many of you have actually checked them out. So here are the instructions for this game.

  1. Click on the flipboard magazine link here
  2. Click on the title of the post of what looks like an interesting image or a catchy title
  3. You should now be taken to the actual blog post, read it and leave a comment
  4. Come back to the magazine again and repeat two more times

Write a blog post mentioning the blog posts you read and the comment you left.

 

Activity 3:  Write a post about the commenting you have done this week or throughout the challenge so far.

  • What have you enjoyed about commenting?
  • What is annoying about commenting?
  • How have you found interesting posts to comment on?
  • Are your posts getting lots of quality comments? Why or why not?

Activity 4:  Create a list of great comment starters to help new students to blogging. There are some lists on the web but try to create your own. Here are a couple of examples from Anne Davis:

  •  Another thing to consider is…….
  • I can relate to this…….
  • This makes me think of…….

Activity 5: Write a quick post then include 5 great examples of comments as part of the post – use some interesting comment starters for each comment.

Get to it – start visiting and leaving quality comments that show you have read the post. 

How many quality comments could you leave this week? Can you leave 10, 20 or maybe 50?

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