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March 2010: Challenge 10

Well, it is time to say farewell, so long or adieu from this first set of challenges in 2010. For those keen classes and students we will start again in September with a new set of challenges. So keep coming back here, early September, so you can register again.

But this final challenge is an audit of your blog since the beginning of March 2010.

      • How many posts did you write?
      • How many were school based or your own interests?
      • 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?

      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:

      • What were your first impressions of this blog?
      • What captured your attention?
      • What distracted you on the blog?
      • What suggestions can you give me to improve my blog?

      From these audits, you should be getting an idea of what makes a great blog.

      Next week, even though the challenge will be over, there will be a post about nominating a great class blog and student blogs ( one from your class and one from elsewhere) ready for the end of year Edublogs Awards. So make sure you are still visiting the other blogs.

      Also if your class would like to be in charge of the ‘Bringing us Together” blog for a period of two weeks, please leave a comment on this post and I will add you to the calendar. This is a blog for classes to use in between the challenges, so we are still working together. Teachers, if you want your class blog to be added to the blogroll, leave a comment here as well.

      Original image: ‘Come Back Soon
      Come Back Soon
      by: Thomas Hawk
      Released under an Attribution-NonCommercial License

      Lots of discussion with the infographics

      Wow! There was certainly a variety of opinions when the students and teachers looked at the infographics regarding teenagers and their use of social media such as Facebook, Twitter and use of cell phones. Read some of their answers for yourself and add a comment to keep the conversation going.

      Teachers: Miss Nichols,

      Students: Emily, Sparky, Mimi, Ares, Tulsi, Anthony, Nathan, Andrew, Livy, Pomona, Cheyenne, Reece, Jessica, Angelina, Dominique,

      Original image: ‘Facebook
      Facebook
      by: Mike Stimpson
      Released under an Attribution-NonCommercial License

      March 2010: Challenge 9

      Time is running out and the penultimate challenge is about to start. I hope you have enjoyed the challenges for this first part of the year. Remember another set of challenges will start in September 2010. Perhaps you will also join then.

      So what can we do for this – the second last challenge?

      Most blogs you have visited have been either classroom blogs or other blogs written by students taking part in the challenge. This time I am going to direct you to a few  interesting infographics I have found relating to teenagers and their use of the web.  Look at these infographics and write a post mentioning:

      • your opinion of the information on the graphic
      • how well do you fit into that infographic
      • is this typical of your friends

      How are teens using their cell phones – remember you can go back to the article and leave a comment.

      Look at the growth of facebook over the last 6 years

      How often do you check twitter and facebook or take a phone message?

      What type of online user are you?

      Leave a comment here about which infographic you found most interesting and why.

      Reminder, next week we are going to ask you to nominate one student blog and one class blog that you feel is outstanding and deserving of an Edublogs award at the end of the year. Make sure you have visited lots of blogs that are not from your school, as you will not be able to nominate anyone from your school.

      I suggest you check out the list of student blogs and class blogs on the sidebar and see if you feel any are as good as or better than those that won last year. Check out 2009  nominations here: class and student.

      Original image: ‘5 vor 12
      5 vor 12
      by:
      Released under an Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License

      March 2010: Challenge 8

      So you have now visited lots of blogs and there are some that you want to visit all the time. How can you do this easily?

      One option is to subscribe to that blog’s posts.

      1. You can subscribe by email – every time a new post is written you will be sent an email telling you about it, so you can visit and read the post and leave a comment.
      2. You can subscribe by using a reader or personalised homepage like Google Reader, Pageflakes, Yahoo Pipes, Netvibes – this time when a post is written it will be added to your reader or homepage – you will need to visit  often to see if there are any new posts from your friends.

      On the top right corner of this blog you will see the orange button which is for the RSS feeds using a reader and you will also see the Feedburner service for email subscribers. On your meta widget on your sidebar there is usually a post/entries RSS feed and a Comment RSS feed which can be used as well.

      Sue Waters wrote a post for teachers on how to create a folder in Google reader that might be helpful.

      Second option is to have a link to your favourite blogs on your blogroll. You should have done this activity a couple of weeks ago.

      Activities for this week:

      • Make sure your meta widget is visible on your blog so your readers can subscribe from there.
      • On your blog, add a Feedburner subscribe by email and reader widget. Or leave a note in a text box telling your readers to subscribe using the meta widget RSS posts. You will need to have a Google account to use these – so check with your parents first.
      • Subscribe by email to at least three blogs you want to read all the time. If under 13, you will need to just add the URLs to your blogroll.
      • Count out three – click on a blog on your blogroll (1), now click on a blog from their blogroll (2) and finally click on a blog from that blogroll (3) – leave a comment on a post at this blog.  Do this activity at least three times and write a post saying which blogs you visited and what posts you left a comment on. Why did you choose that post?
      • Write a post about how you can attract readers to your blog.  If you have been blogging for a while, write a set of tips for new bloggers about attracting a world wide audience.
      • Still more time, write a post of your choice – music, sport, holidays etc Include an image with attribution.
      Original image: ‘RSS Combined
      RSS Combined
      by: Kyle Wegner
      Released under an Attribution-NonCommercial License

      March 2010: Challenge 7 – Late, late, late again

      After spending time over the Easter break leaving comments on many student blogs, I also decided to check out the class blogs.  I noticed many of them were preparing for Earth Day on Thursday 22 April. In fact, it is the 40th anniversary of Earth Day yet I hadn’t really heard about this before.

      Then I started looking at the tweets on Twitter and many educators were mentioning about teaching paperless on Earth Day. So I want you to check out Mrs Yollis’s class and Mrs Braidwood’s class. Perhaps you could leave your pledge on Mrs Yollis’ wallwisher. Remember to leave a great comment about what you are doing to celebrate Earth Day.

      Other celebrations this week are on April 25th. The first is for World Malaria Day and here are some resources to look at – with global warming this problem is going to be affecting more and more people in the world over time. The other important celebration affects those of us in Australia and New Zealand – ANZAC Day.  Many schools will be running ANZAC Day sports and assemblies and will be laying wreaths at cenotaphs or special memorials for the returned soldiers.

      So the challenges for this week are:

      • Write a post about Earth Day, World Malaria Day or ANZAC Day. How did you celebrate at your school or in your town? Did you check out some resources and which did you enjoy? Try to find a creative commons image as part of your post and remember to give attribution.
      • By next week you need to have visited between 20 and 50 blogs outside those of your classmates.  We will be asking for your opinion about some blogs to submit for Edublog awards at the end of the year – so start making some decisions about what makes a great blog.
      • Visit some of the class blogs as well, because there are also awards for the best class blog in the Edublog awards at the end of the year. Check out the student blogs mentioned on the class blogrolls as well.
      • Make sure you have at least 20 blogs mentioned on your blogroll – try to categorize into class friends, class blogs, students who I visit often or something similar. You will need this done by next week for an activity we will be running.
      • Leave a pledge on Mrs Yollis’ wallwisher or at least a comment on either of the class blogs mentioned
      Original image: ‘Blood sucker‘   http://www.flickr.com/photos/27501927@N00/3157213356
      by: Aquila  Released under an Attribution-NonCommercial License