Challenge 1: All about you

Welcome to the seventh student blogging challenge.

Looking through the list of participants, we have very few students who have taken part in a challenge before so the activities will be new to you all. A reminder that some activities will be about setting up your blog while other activities will be writing posts or improving your commenting skills. Each week you can choose to do as many of the activities as you like or your teacher might choose the one they want for that week.

Whatever happens – Enjoy your blogging!

When you meet someone for the first time or join a new class, you usually have to introduce yourself. Most blogs have a page called ‘About’ or ‘Sample Page’ or ‘Profile’.

Activity 1. Write or update your ‘About’ page. Tell your readers your first name only, a bit about your interests but remember to be internet savvy and not give out any personal details. Check out these  students – EmmaDaniel , ChloeSimon , Ben and Molly. If you wrote your ‘About’ page last year, things will have changed – so update the information or improve the layout of what you have written to make it easier for your readers to understand.

In Edublogs, log in to your dashboard. On left go to all pages, hover under sample page and click edit. Make sure you change the title and delete what is already written there. Once you have finished, hit the update button. Now remember to go to appearance> widgets and drag your ‘Pages’ widget to your sidebar.

If using Blogspot, check out this blog and all its hints.

……………….

Because Sue Waters (from The Edublogger) and I want to know about student commenting skills, we would like everyone to do the next activity.

Activity 2. Leave a comment on this post to answer the following questions.

Why did you join the blogging challenge?
What do you hope some of the activities include?
Finally, what do you hope to get out of the challenge by the end of the ten weeks?

……………….

Because we can’t all meet face to face (f2f), we have to have an online identity to represent us. Whenever I leave a comment on your blog, you will see a grey haired lady. I love wearing thongs on my feet and drinking iced tea. So that is a picture representing me – these pictures are avatars.

Activity 3 – make an avatar

Step 1. Create an avatar for your blog and for you to use when leaving comments.

Avatars are a representation of yourself. Check out this post about avatars.  Create your avatar using one of the websites below.

Most important is remember to save as a jpeg file if using Edublogs.

MyHero[1] avatar2 avatar3 avatarbig

Any age can use these avatar sites:

From abi-station:

But over 13, need parental or guardian permission for these.

14 or older with parental permission

Step 2. Using printscreen to save your avatar or use the snipping tool

So you decided to create an avatar like “Hero Factory” or “Build your wildself” or “Mini Mizer” where you can’t save it easily. You need to take a picture of the screen first. Most computers have a printscreen button on the keyboard or if using Windows 7 you have an icon called “snipping tool”. Not sure what Mac users have but I am sure there is a similar button on your computers.

When you press printscreen or use the snipping tool an image of your screen or part of it  is now copied to your clipboard. You will still need to crop and resize to get an avatar that fits well on your blog.

Open MS Paint and click control V to paste your image from the clipboard. To save, you need to go to File>Save As> change the name of the file to yourname with ava eg  sueava then underneath change the file type to JPEG. Make sure you save your avatar to your drive.

Go to your drive, right click on the icon for your avatar image and choose “Open with” choose MS Picture Manager. This might be in Microsoft office tools.

In the icons at the top, go to View> task pane.  On the right go to edit pictures > crop.  Now move the black bars on the side of your image in, to crop your picture to what you want in your avatar.

Click OK, then back to edit pictures. Now click on resize. In the box “custom width and height” put  97 in both boxes. These numbers might be slightly different but one has to be 97 and the other smaller than 97. Click OK.

Back up to file>save as> call it sueava2 or similar> make sure it is still JPEG. Make sure you have saved it to your drive again.

Step 3. Upload avatar to your Edublogs blog

Now to upload to your blog.  Go to your dashboard> users>your avatar> browse to find your image on your school H drive>alternate upload.  This is your comment avatar.

Now for your blog avatar. Dashboard>appearance>widget> blog avatar drag to your sidebar.  To upload the avatar, dashboard>settings>blog avatar> browse to find your image on your school H drive>alternate upload. Go to your blog page and refresh. Your blog avatar should appear on your blog now.

If it now looks like a black coloured square then you haven’t cropped the image to the correct size in step 2 using printscreen. Or maybe you didn’t save the image as a JPEG in step 2 using printscreen.

Activity 4 – Write a post describing your avatar.

How much does it look like you? What sort of personality does your avatar have? What makes it typically you? Remember to include your avatar as an image in your post.

Activity 5 – Visit 10 student blogs in the challenge where you have the same interests.

Write a post or leave a comment telling me who you visited and what post you commented on in their blog. Why did you comment on that post?

Activity 6 – Write a tutorial post about creating your avatar

This would be handy for Miss W to have for the next set of challenges. Your post could be used to teach other students or teachers about how to create, resize and upload their avatar especially if using blogspot, kidblog or a Mac computer. Mention in your post what type of computer you were using and the programs used for resizing etc.

Extra activity or as a class – Create different avatars and share them with the world.

Now create an animoto with your images to embed in your blog. Check first if your teacher has a class animoto reference code.

Maybe you know a tool to create a flip book that can show your class avatars with a description similar to activity 4.

If you don’t want to create an animoto, then add the avatars in a gallery to your blog post. Check out how Max created his animoto. Check out the post about his family by Jack.

Remember to leave a link back to this post (see below) if you have written about one of the activities in your blog.

September Challenge 1

Image: ‘merhaba

Challenge 2 – Sept 2010

Lots of choices again this week in the challenge.

1. Create an avatar for your blog and for you to use when leaving comments.

Avatars are a representation of yourself. Check out this post about avatars.  Create your avatar using one of the websites below. Sue Waters from ‘The Edublogger‘ has written a great post about avatars, including giving instructions on how to save them and then upload to an ‘Edublogs’ blog. Many of the sites mentioned below are included in her post. If using Blogger, here is a link to show how to add a photo to your profile.

Most important is remember to save as a jpeg file if using Edublogs.

MyHero[1] avatar2 avatar3 avatarbig

Any age can use these avatar sites:

From abi-station:

But over 13, need parental or guardian permission for these.

14 or older with parental permission

2. As a class, put together a post, movie or slideshow including your avatars.

Mrs Yollis’ class made lucky hat avatars last year.  Here is an example using animoto.

3.  Create a quick brief tour of your classroom or school (walking around showing the grounds/playgrounds/classroom) and then  embed it or upload it to the classroom blog. You might use vimeo , a slideshow, photopeach, YouTube, Smile Box etc.  Next week visit other classes who did the same activity and compare your schools or classrooms.   Thanks Mr Webb for this suggestion.

4.  In a post, please answer this question: When do you think it is appropriate for students to use real photos of themselves on their blogs and why? See if you can research this on the net and find responses from other educators. Remember to link to their post if you use information they mentioned. Hyperlink as well to this challenge post, so I can read your answers. Andrea wrote a great response in March this year.

5. Visit this website and leave a comment on the topic posted.  Look at the other topics to write about at Ignite to Write.  Create a couple of these to put as posts on your blog.  Thanks Tatiana for this suggestion.

6.  Create a Voki to put on your blog sidebar or post. Have the Voki talk about a place you would love to visit. Give at least three reasons why. Try to use an appropriate background for the Voki relating to that place. Don’t actually tell us the place eg Egypt, let your readers guess from the information you mention.

7. Visit Mr Pepper’s blog and leave a comment on this post.  If you are a new blogger, answer the grade 7 question.  If you have been blogging for a while, answer the grade 8 question – you might want to create your own ‘Commandments of blogging’.

Remember, whatever activity you choose to do, create a hyperlink back to this post somewhere in your writing. That way I can visit your blog and add you to one of my ‘Visit these’ posts in the future.

Using Web2.0

Throughout the challenge we will be trying out new tools and learning how to use embed code in our blogs. Here is an animoto I made using only images. Teachers, if you sign up for the education version of animoto, you will receive a classcode that students then use when they signup. Allows you to see their animotos and videos can be more than 1 minute long. Code lasts for 6 months then ask for a new one.

Our environment

Looking through blogs for this week’s Environment challenge, there have been a wide range of responses ranging from movies and animotos to cartoons and poetry. Students and classes have written about what they are already doing to help save the environment, what they would like to do and what they plan to do on Saturday night for Earth Hour.

Great movies

Abbey, Kira, Mason, Ares, Aesop, Mr Miller’s class,

Cartoons

Room 13 – grade 5/6,

Report (some with links)

Andrea, Daredevil12, Kiko, Skye, Jessica, Mercury, Bailey, Cheyenne, Victoria, Ariana, Ganasha,

Comments from students

Miss Nichols

Poetry

AnnaMaria,

March 2010: Challenge 4

ImageChef.comOne of the questions asked at the end of the September 2009 challenge was:  What topic would you like to write more posts about?  One of the most common answers was:

Environment

There are many different ways to look at this topic and across the world this week, there are many celebration days being held:

So again this week, a wide variety of activities to choose from either as a blogger, commenter or class.

  • Research and write a post including links and images on one of those special days.
  • Join in Earth Hour and write a post about what your family did during that hour.
  • Write a post about activities your family could do while the lights are out for that hour.
  • What do you do at school or at home to help protect the environment?
  • Write a comic strip as a hero wanting to save some aspect of the environment.
  • If 13 or older and with parental permission, create a text to movie at xtranormal about the environment.
  • Your worries regarding the environment – what can you do as a student?
  • Create an animoto about the environment – maybe you worry about the polar bears.  Find images from links on this post.
  • Write a post about an environmental field trip you went on, maybe to the rubbish dump or cleaning up a creek etc.
  • Visit these posts from last year to leave a comment: Priscila from Argentina, Ashley from USA, Abbey from USA, Courtney from USA, Hailey from USA

The challenge last year for Earth Hour can be found here.

Created by: OneCarolinaGirl Template: Candy Heart

About Candy Heart: Created on: Friday, 20 February 2009

March 2010: Challenge 2

Last challenge everyone introduced themselves or their blog to their readers. Because we very rarely meet face to face (f2f), we still have to give some visual cues as to what we look like.  But as teachers, we have to make sure you are being internet safe and that usually means not putting any pictures of actual students on the web, and if we do, having parental permission to do so. We certainly don’t name the students in the pictures.

So instead of a real picture we create an avatar. For example, here are some avatars I have made from various websites.  They all represent me.

So now it is time for you to create your own avatar. You can then add it as a blog avatar to appear on your blog. You can also add it as a comment or user avatar so it appears wherever you leave a comment on someone else’s blog. Some websites are for students 13 and older so make sure you choose one that is for your age group.

Any age can use these avatar sites:

From abi-station:

If under 13, sorry you can’t register for these mentioned below. But over 13, need parental or guardian permission.

14 or older with parental permission

Beginner:

Create your avatar using one of the above websites. Sue Waters from ‘The Edublogger‘ has written a great post about avatars, giving instructions on how to save them and then upload to an ‘Edublogs’ blog. Many of the sites mentioned above are included in her post. If using Blogger, here is a link to show how to add a photo to your profile.

Veteran:

If you have taken part in a blogging challenge before, you might have realised that your comment avatar doesn’t always show up on all blogs.  I know I have been annoyed about that, so here is a post explaining where you can upload your avatar so it is recognised globally on all blog platforms. You might want to change your blog or comment avatar and try a different website especially if you are now 13 or older.

In a post, please answer this question: When do you think it is appropriate for students to use real photos of themselves on their blogs and why? See if you can research this on the net and find responses from other educators. Remember to link to their post if you use information they mentioned. Hyperlink as well to this challenge post, so I can read your answers.

PS: Within 6 hours of posting this challenge, Andrea has already written her opinion.

Commenter:

If you are a user on any class blog, you should be able to upload your own user avatar as well.  Leave a comment here telling me why you chose this avatar to represent you.

Class:

After creating avatars for all the students in your class, show them off in some form of slideshow on your class blog. Here are some avatars from Mrs Yollis’ class they made last year.  I created one using animoto last year. Perhaps you could leave a comment here with a link to a website that other classes could use for a slideshow or movie.

Create your own video slideshow at animoto.com.