Week 6: My visitors

Visitors to New York are sometimes overwhelmed by it all ...
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: Ed Yourdon via Compfight

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 ?

  1. Start using twitter – need to be at least 13 years old – maybe you could have a class twitter account
  2. In your posts, add links especially to other bloggers posts that you have found interesting – shows you are reading other blogs
  3. Write for yourself, and put your heart into it – write posts that have nothing to do with school but are about your passions
  4. Have a really interesting about me profile page so your readers can see what your passions are and comment on them
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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.

NEWS BREAK

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.

 

Week 8 – Questions

question mark ?
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: LEOL30 via Compfight

This week will more or less be free choice but I do have some questions I would like you to answer in a post. Remember to give details not just a one sentence answer for each question.

Activity 1.

  • What makes a great post?
  • When you are out visiting blogs, what makes you stop and read a post?
  • How do you find great posts on a blog?

Activity 2.

Visit at least 10 blogs; even more if you have time. Maybe check out some posts in the flipboard magazines. Leave a comment on each of those blogs. Make sure they are quality comments – address the author, add to the conversation, sign off remembering to include URL of your blog.

G’day Miss W.

I really enjoyed that post about Tasmanian Devils. As you know, I am a well travelled Tassie Devil and luckily have never contracted that facial tumour disease. I did hear though, that some scientists in Tasmania think they have found the cause of it.

From Davo Devil http://mrdevil.edublogs.org

Activity 3.

  • What is a great post you have written?
  • What made it stand out from the other posts?
  • On your blog, are you able to write posts about your own interests?
  • Do you think this would make your blog more interesting? Why?

Activity 4.

Write a post mentioning three great blogs you have visited. Do not include any from your school; at least one must be from another country. In the post mention why you consider it a great blog. Explain in detail.

STOP PRESS  News about next week

1.  Next week you are going to write your very best post for the challenge. While visiting blogs this week, take note of what you consider should be included in a fantastic post.

2.  Next week, you will also be nominating a student blog and a class blog that you think should be part of the Edublog Awards. So make sure you have visited lots of blogs and taken note of those you consider stand out from the others. You will need to explain why they stand out in a post next week.

Here is a link to the winners and nominees for 2012 – Student blogs and class blogs

Holiday or vacation time

For the next two weeks, schools in Tasmania are on holiday so I thought we would take a break from the blogging challenge for just one week.

Oh, no!

What can I do this week when there is no challenge?

Here are some suggestions.

Make sure you have checked the student or class list. Are you  only listed once and  the link to your blog works?  To test this out, make sure you have logged out of your blog and testing as if you are a visitor. Can your visitor read your posts and leave comments or do you need to change some settings?

Have you started visiting the other students in your colour group? Everyone should have written an about me post or page. Leave some comments especially if they have similar interests to you. Remember the comments should be quality not something like

Cool blog. Come and visit my blog too.

Have you checked out the September Flipboard magazine? Compare these posts to yours – do yours need an improvement?

Have you completed the challenges from week 1,2 and 3? Could you improve those posts now that you have checked out some others?

Be warned

During early October, I will be deleting any student blogs that:

  • don’t link properly
  • don’t allow commenting
  • have no posts other than an about me page or post

If you only joined the challenge in late September, I will not be deleting yours.

Why am I doing this?

We try to have mentors for student blogs and if your blog does not work properly or you are not writing posts, then you don’t need a mentor. I can slip another person into your place instead.

Get ready for October

One important activity we do in October is take part in Blog Action Day. Check out their blog, read the instructions, register your blog, add the badge to your sidebar. Start researching the topic and planning your post. Do not publish it though, until the date of the Blog Action Day.

Challenge 9 – Game Week

Wanna play?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.

Game 1

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.

Game 2

I got the idea for this game from Em, who is our youngest student blogger. She has taken part in many challenges and she wrote a post about her favourite posts. So thanks Em for the idea.

This is a new game for this challenge. We have many mentors helping you with your blogging. Most of them are busy teachers with their own class blog or else they are students who have taken part in many prior challenges. I have asked some mentors to write a post highlighting what they consider interesting posts for students to read. Here are the instructions for this game:

  1. Choose at least two of these mentor posts to visit.
  2. Read their post and visit the links they include.
  3. Answer the question left on their post by leaving them a quality comment. This should show you have visited the posts they link to.
  4. Now write your own post including three posts you have found interesting while taking part in this March blog challenge. Could include posts you have written or ones you have read while visiting other students.

Mrs Norton‘s class blog, Mrs Coffa as a guest post on Middle Matters blog, Ethan student mentor, Jakob student mentor, Isaiah student mentor, Astaneh who mentored the older students, Merrybeau class blog, Mrs Tharp‘s class blog

While checking out these blogs look at the layout of the sidebars as well as the layout of the posts. Compare to yours. This might help with the evaluation week activities next week.

If using Kidblog or blogger, leave a comment on this game week post with a link to the post you have written – if using Edublogs just leave a pingback in your actual post.

More time left: Continue on with your favourite things post especially if you want to be included in the list of thirty who have included the images, tags/category and using another tool.

Still more time left: Miss W is travelling around the southern states of USA during June before going to a conference in San Antonio. Recommend 10 places she should visit as she is interested in history and nature.
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: Patrick Q via Compfight

Challenge 5 – Secrets

Sorry I am late getting this post out, but I have just spent a great time with my dad (in his 80′s). We went on a tour to the Top of the World in Maydena, Tasmania. I saw this sign in the forest so this week’s number 10 challenge relates to my image.

What could the secret be that is hidden in the forest?

You could make a list or write a story about the image, maybe use a comic strip with 10 frames or a flip book with 10 pages. Get creative.

Improving your blog:

In a couple of weeks time, we will be playing a commenting game. You need to be ready for it. Make sure the following things have been done:

  •  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 – in kidblog it is a blog directory
  • at least three overseas blogs on your blogroll
  • the more students or classes you have linked on your blog, the more fun the game will be

How are you going getting comments from people other than your classmates?

Have you received comments from overseas visitors?

Has anyone in your family left a comment? Remember you might need to teach them how to leave a comment.

Activity 1: Write a post about your family – include their interests, where you might have been together as a family. Remember to include grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles. Dawso wrote about her dad, Dawso wrote about her family, Alexandra wrote about her family,

Activity 2: Encourage family members to leave comments on your posts over the next few weeks. Check out Mrs Yollis and her class who celebrate family blogging month in November.

Activity 3: How can you increase the number of comments on your blog? Write a post about ways to get more comments on your blog. Be creative and think outside the square – can you find at least ten ways to get more visitors and comments? You might want to make a poster for this activity - glogster or notaland remember to get permission from parents or teacher to join.

Activity 4: Have a family member write a post for you to add to your blog. They could write it and email or post it to you. Does this post attract more visitors or family members leaving comments? One family member regularly blogs on Mrs Yollis’ blog – Where is nonno?   Clarissa’s brother wrote, Matt’s dad wrote, Ryan’s dad wrote,

Activity 5: Interview a family member and write a post about them – include the interview recording. You could use audioboo online or from your phone then upload the file to your blog.

Activity 6: Write a post about the overseas blogs you have commented on – why did you choose that blog and particular post?

Remember to include a hyperlink back to this post on your blog. I am still trying to find out why Kidblog and Blogger pingbacks aren’t working on my blogs. When they do work, I will suddenly have hundreds of blogs to look at.

Challenge 3 – Get creative

1988403964_11b486821fWhich of last week’s  activities did you complete?

  • Post about a passion
  • Post about 10 dream jobs
  • Added tags and categories to all your previous posts
  • Added links to your blogroll
  • Checked out Earth Hour website and joined
  • Post about a special event
  • Research a famous person listed
  • Leave comments on other blogs using the special codes from Mrs Yollis’ blog

While reading tweets on Twitter or reading other teachers’ blog posts, I get the feeling that creativity is being left out of many school curriculums. So this week, we are going to get creative.

Challenge with number 10

I have just finished washing my clothes and found one sock that is now full of holes. I can’t use it as a sock, but list 10 other ways I could use the sock.

Think creatively. You might want to use one of these tools. Remember to leave a link in your post back to this post.

  • Automatoon will not work with Internet Explorer but great way to create an animated movie.
  • Another great site is goanimate – teachers there is an education version of this as well
  • Kerpoof is great for all ages
  • Voki allows you to type or speak what you want the character to say
  • Audioboo – create whatever you want to say on your blog then embed it. Check out Em’s blog for examples.
  • Create a book that flips the pages at flipsnack. Check out the other links at the bottom as well.
  • Make beliefs comics are great for your creativity
  • Little Bird Tales for creative writing
  • Magnetic poetry – create a poem using their words, take a screen shot or submit to their gallery and put link in your post
  • Use Fotobabble  or Blabberize to create a movie or book trailer
  • Create your own art work at artpad
  • Sketching with odopod
  • Use Toondoo to make a comic or embed a book you create there

Challenge to improve your blog

When adding widgets to your sidebars, like a pet, often they might overlap a little into your post column. How do you change this? Maybe just moving the widget to the right hand side sidebar will solve the problem. Otherwise ….

Knowing a little about HTML code will help.

  • Before copying the code from the website make sure the width is no bigger than 180-200 pixels. Check out this post I wrote about adding a cyber pet to your sidebar.
  • Some of you may have noticed that your challenge badge is not circular – that is because the code was not quite right. Thanks to Ronnie Burt, it has now been corrected.  If your badge is more oval shaped, go to your dashboard>appearance>widgets and open the widget for your badge. Look for the code and find where it says width and height. Each of those numbers should be 200. Make your changes, then save, and finally close. Does your badge look better now?
  • Leaving a comment with the URL of your blog in it can be done more neatly by using some code – check out Mrs Yollis’ blog post to find the code to add your URL in a comment. It is included in the section for advanced bloggers about how to add a hyperlink to a comment.

Other challenge posts to do

What is your school doing for Earth Hour this year? Maybe you could do something at school this Friday then take part as a family on the Saturday evening. Check out the ideas here.

 

Use some of the tools mentioned in the challenge for number 10 to do one of the following. Remember to leave a link in your post back to this post.

  • write a creative story including energy efficiency somewhere in the plot
  • write about reducing, reusing and recycling – fits in with Earth Hour
  • look at energy use in your school – what is wasted? How could this change?
  • look at energy use in your home – how could it be improved?
  • do you have a solar model challenge in your state? Check out the results for Tasmania where I live. Here is the world solar challenge. Students designing fuel efficient cars
  • apparently some schools in New York compete to reduce consumption over winter
  • design an energy  efficient house – explain where the efficiencies can be found – maybe make a model and take photos to put in your blog
  • research energy efficiency – here is one from Africa, Mexico, wildlife vs energy,
  • if you or your school took part in an Earth Hour activity, write a post about it

Leaving comments:

We have students and classes from the following countries taking part in the challenge.

Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada, Russia, Tunisia, Trinidad and Tobago, Serbia, Ukraine, Vietnam, Indonesia, Ireland, Honduras

Visit a student from at least 6 countries (not your own) and ask a question about energy or creativity. Remember to read previous comments so you don’t ask the same question. If they have a box at the end of the comments about being notified of replies, tick this box so you will receive an email when someone answers your question.

If you have comments left on your blog, make sure you reply to the commenter. This is how conversations happen. Also make sure you check your spam folder as comments with links often get put in here.

When leaving a comment, use that special HTML code to include the URL of your blog.

Photo Credit: World Bank Photo Collection via Compfight cc

Please Read: Important comment information we need you to read

Some fantastic posts have already been created by Student Challenge participants and Miss W (Tasteach) has enjoyed visiting all the blogs!

There’s only one problem :(

We’ve kept Miss W SO busy leaving comments that some of the student blogs have decided that she might be a spammer commenter.

So we need you all to help us out!

Here’s what we need you to do (if you don’t see a comment from Miss W) and you are using Edublogs platform:

1.  Go to Comments in your blog dashboard.

2. Click on the Spam link.

3.  Looks for Miss W comment and click Not Spam if it was sent to your spam folder.

4.  This will unspam her comment.

5.  Now you just approve it by clicking on All and then Approve under her comment.

6.  Please leave a comment on this post if you don’t have a comment from Miss W as we need to make sure all participants are getting comments. Some of you might not have written a post or page when Miss W was leaving comments.

Important facts about your comment spam folder:

  • A lot of blogs are protected by Akismet which automatically checks all comments submitted on your blog and sends any comments it suspect is spam to your spam folder.
  • A spam comment is normally a comment that is promoting a product or web site.  A spam commenter will either include link to the website they are promoting in the text of the comment or in their URL details.
  • Companies pay people to leave spam comments to promote their products.
  • Akismet is very accurate at detecting spam comments but can occasionally make mistakes.  It is good practice to regularly check your spam folder to ensure a comment from one of your readers hasn’t accidentally been sent to spam.
  • Akismet learns from the comments you mark as spam and from those you unspam.  It is good practice to always mark spam comments as spam rather than delete them.  When in doubt don’t unspam a spam comment.

Other important comment tips:

  • If you are using Edublogs or Edublogs Campus – DON’T have your comment moderation set to “Users must be registered and logged in to comment” in Settings > Discussion as students using other blogging platforms won’t be able to comment.
  • If you are using Blogger - Some students don’t have a Google account, so please have Name/URL as an option for leaving comments. Also remember to give permission for others to read your posts and leave comments.
  • If you are using Kidblogs – Make sure you have settings where readers can read posts and leave comments.
  • If using Weebly – Perhaps have a new page across the top for the student blogging challenge and make sure your readers can leave comments on each post.

Remember to reply back to comments on your posts.  It shows your readers you value their comments.

 

 

Week 3: Let’s visit and comment

An update first: we now have as at today 141 classes, over 1300 students and 44 mentors from 25 countries taking part in the 8th student blogging challenge. I hope you are all enjoying the activities and making the most of visiting other classes and students around the world.

In your profile, have you included your user name and your blog URL? Before leaving a comment on another blog that is the same platform as you eg Edublogs, Blogger, make sure you are signed into your blog. This way you won’t have to fill in lots of information when leaving a comment. Will also mean the owner of the blog you commented on will only have to click on your name or avatar and they will be directed straight to your blog.

As you visit and read other blogs, you might want to leave a comment and then add that blog to your blogroll or links. These are going to be the two things we look at this week  in the challenge.

Blogging

What makes a good comment?

How can I get visitors to leave comments?

Are you going to accept all comments?

  • Some comments you receive are actually spam – Nike shoes, handbags, essay dissertations etc Often these comments will have a link in them directing you to a website where they want you to buy something.
  • Other spam comments often have facebook.com or google.com or yahoo.com in the email address. Sometimes these comments make sense but they will often have a spelling error and they usually have nothing to do with the post you have written.
  • Make sure you don’t approve these type of comments but click  spam instead.
  • Some people might leave a comment like ‘Wutsup?’ – this would go in the trash.
  • Some students who don’t know about quality comments might say ‘This is a cool blog. Please visit my blog at ……’  This would also go in the trash. Or maybe you visit their blog first and thank them for leaving a comment on yours but mention it was not acceptable as it didn’t relate to the post.

Adding great blogs to your blogroll

  1. To make it easy for visitors to find the blogs of your classmates and friends you need to add their link on your blogroll.
  2. If using Edublogs, in your dashboard> appearance> widgets> drag across links or blogroll to your sidebar.
  3. If you want to group your links, then use link categories. These might be ‘My classmates’, ‘Class blogs’, ‘Overseas friends’.  You might also include links about your hobbies so you might need a category for ‘Cricket’ or ‘Tasmanian Devils’ or ‘Online Games’.
  4. To create these link categories, go to dashboard> links> Link Categories> put in the name of a category and save.
  5. Back to your dashboard> links> add new link.  Fill in the name of the person, then under web address put in the URL of their blog. Remember to include the http:// part. Choose which category you want the link to be under then click add link.

Students

  1. Make sure you have read the information above under blogging and checked out the links to other students regarding commenting.
  2. Write a post, create a video or create a poster about commenting. Might be tips to get more visitors,  guidelines for acceptable comments on your blog, examples of good and bad comments – think outside the square.
  3. Most student blogs are created at school, but to personalise your blog, add some posts about topics that are of interest to you – your favourite sports, hobbies, colours, books, games etc. Remember to leave a question at the end of the post as this will invite comments to be left.
  4. Learn some HTML code to include a link in a comment. Mrs Yollis explains this in her post link above. Might be a way to include a link to your blog whenever you leave a comment.
  5. Make sure your blogroll has links to at least ten students – at least five of them who are not your classmates.
  6. Visit some overseas blogs, leave a quality comment which includes some HTML code – a heart, a smiley or your blog URL as an HTML link.
  7. Check out teacher activity 4 on this post to create post categories. These are different to link categories.

Teachers

  1. Make sure you have read the information above under blogging and checked out the class comment links.
  2. Look at your class sidebar. Do you have lots of links for students to visit? Would these be better in a page rather than your sidebar? Check out the subject links on my IT blog and how I have created links to websites.
  3. If your students don’t have their own blogs, but you want them to write posts on the class blog, then add them as users to your blog. Then create a post category or tag  for each student. Check out some classes who do this: WPPS Grade 1 use tags, Climb High use categories, Mr Fachet has contributors on this Blogger blog,  Shirley has categories, Mrs Lucchesi has categories, Mrs Bliss uses categories.
  4. Notice all posts can be categorized. This makes it easier to find posts on similar topics. Create some post categories on Edublogs by going to your dashboard> posts> new category.  Once you have created the categories you need to go back and change it on your posts. To do this simply,  go to dashboard> all posts, hover  under a post and click on quick edit> change the category and save.
  5. Visit at least ten other class blogs. What widgets do they have that might be suitable for your blog and student age group? eg Shelfari, Wonderopolis Write a post about the widgets you have added and why. Maybe include a poll (perhaps using Poll Daddy) about which widget your visitors enjoy the most.
  6. Have you discussed commenting guidelines with your students? Have you included them as a page on your blog? Do your students’ parents know about your blog? Have they started leaving comments? Write a post directed at your parents. Ask them some questions or ask for some answers eg How are computers and technology used in your job?

Remember if you don’t use Edublogs, check out the links in the ‘Get Help’ section of this blog to find tutorials and support pages for your blogging platform.

Next week we look at adding images, using creative commons and giving attribution. We will also look at Earth Hour 2012.

Image: ‘Comment is free . . .

Week 1: All about me

Welcome to the first week of activities in the 8th student blogging challenge. As at writing this first post, we have 112 classes, 748 students and 36 mentors taking part in the challenge. We cover the following 22 countries:

  • Australia, New Zealand, Canada, USA – majority of students and classes from these countries.
  • United Kingdom, Russia, Vietnam, South Korea, Turkey – more than one participant.
  • Netherlands, Hong Kong, Pakistan, Taiwan, South Africa, Colombia, United Arab Emirates, Iran, El Salvador, Bangladesh, Uganda, Malaysia and Indonesia – only one participant or mentor.

Activities will be divided into three sections:

  • Blogging – check if you have done these activities before going on to the other sections. It is here where you will learn how to improve your blog.
  • Students – activities for writing posts or adding comments.
  • Teachers – activities for your classes either writing posts or leaving comments.

Let’s get started!!

Blogging

With participants from so many countries coming to your blog, you will need to have a post or page all about yourself – your interests, your favourites, your family and so on. Remember to be internet safe and not mention personal information like your last name, phone number, email, school name. Check out these great examples: Mara, Colton and Reece  A slightly different version from Nolan

If using Edublogs, go to your dashboard> pages>edit sample page or about page. Remember to rename the title. If your blog header doesn’t include pages, then you will also need to go to appearance> widgets> drag  ‘Pages’ into your sidebar.

You will also need to make sure visitors can leave comments on your blog – you might need to create a text widget to explain how to leave a comment. Check out this blog for an example: Image a Day  To know how to cheat and put this info in your sidebar, visit this post from The Edublogger and start at part 6.

If using other blogging platforms, check out the Get Help links on the sidebar of this blog. I have tried to find tutorials for improving blogs for each of the other platforms. If you know a good tutorial site leave a comment on this post and include the link. I will then add it to my sidebar.

Students

  1. You might need to re-visit your ‘About’ page and update it for this year.
  2. Otherwise check out some interesting ‘I am’ posts from students in Mrs Kelly’s class. You could write one of these for your blog.
  3. Find your name on the student participant list, check that the link works, then visit at least ten blogs with the same colour as yours and leave comments on one of their posts. Write a post, recommending at least three different blog posts to visit and why you think they are interesting.
  4. Who is your mentor? Check on the student participant list, then go to the mentor registration page and find out about your mentor. Write a post as if you are interviewing your mentor. They might visit in the next couple of weeks and leave some answers for you.

Teachers

  1. You might need to re-visit your class  ‘About’ page and update it for this year.
  2. Otherwise check out some interesting ‘I am’ posts from students in Mrs Kelly’s class. You could write one of these for your blog but instead it will be ‘We are’ as a class.
  3. Find your class name on the class participant list, check that the link works, then visit the class on either side of you. Leave a comment on their blog and some of the student blogs if linked on the blogroll.
  4. Write a post posing  some questions to be answered by the visiting classes which might come to your blog.
  5. Check out this post about commenting from Mrs Smith. What type of comments do your students leave?

Everyone:

If you have any great ideas for activities in this challenge, please leave in a comment on this post.

Remember to create a link back to this post if you have completed any of the activities where you are asked to write a post. You might copy and paste this to the bottom of the post: I got the idea for this activity from Student Challenge Blog March 2012

Image: ‘Welcome Piggies

Challenge 8: Are you connecting?

How are you going getting comments from people other than your classmates?

Have you received comments from overseas visitors?

Has anyone in your family left a comment? Remember you might need to teach them how to leave a comment.

Activity 1: Write a post about your family – include their interests, where you might have been together as a family. Remember to include grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles.

Activity 2: Encourage family members to leave comments on your posts over the next few weeks. Check out Mrs Yollis and her class who celebrate family blogging month in November.

Activity 3: How can you increase the number of comments on your blog? Write a post about ways to get more comments on your blog. Be creative and think outside the square – can you find at least ten ways to get more visitors and comments? You might want to make a poster for this activity - glogster or notaland remember to get permission from parents or teacher to join.

Activity 4: Have a family member write a post for you to add to your blog. They could write it and email or post it to you. Does this post attract more visitors or family members leaving comments? One family member regularly blogs on Mrs Yollis’ blog – Where is nonno?

Activity 5: Interview a family member and write a post about them – include the interview recording. You could use audioboo online or from your phone then upload the file to your blog.

Activity 6: Write a post about the overseas blogs you have commented on – why did you choose that blog and particular post?

Activity 7: How do you connect with teachers, family or friends in the real world? Put together a collage showing how you connect – think more than just using technology. Here is an image of a networked or connected teacher. Would student connections be different ? Would parent connections be different?

Finally, this is the week for our game. This is another way 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 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.

Attribution:

Image: ‘NetworkedTeacher