Enjoying the challenge?

I know you have two weeks to complete the images and sounds activities but thought I might mention a couple of things I have been noticing while visiting blogs.

Images

When you use an image from the web you need to include a link back to where you found the image. I should be able to click on that link and it opens the page where the image is found. It is not enough to just say you got it from openclipart or morguefile.

Commenting

Some students have been leaving great comments on blogs. Remember if you want to know if the blog owner responds to your comment, you need to click the little box – see image. Remember then to check your email.

Have you been visiting student and class blogs and leaving great comments? Have you been leaving the URL of your blog so a person reading your comment can visit?

Have you been leaving the URL to a post when you visit the challenge blog to leave a comment? Miss W only visits, comments and/or flips when the URL is for a post rather than just the blog.

Themes

There are hundreds of themes to choose for your blog. Some blogs I can’t read the post or comments because of the background image. You might need to customize your image by making it more transparent.

Some themes have little boxes in the header area. You need to change the wording in these to personalize the blog.

Categories and tags for posts

If you are starting to write free choice posts on your blog then you need to start using categories and tags. This makes it easier for your visitors to find a post that might interest them.

You wrote a book review on “W is for World” a hardcover book written in association with Oxfam. Your category will be book reviews, your tags could be hard cover, Oxfam, world, alphabet, children, Kathryn Cave

So looking at the tags, your visitor could see this was an alphabet book for children in a hard cover format. It relates to things around the world and Oxfam had something to do with it. The author is Kathryn Cave.

Links to other blogs

Have you found some interesting student or class blogs and you visit them often? Instead of coming to the challenge blog to find them in the list each time, why not add them as a link on the sidebar of your blog? You are going to need some links for the game we play later in the challenge so start getting organized now. Add 3 class links perhaps using the link category of Global Classes and add 3 student links using the link category Global Students.

Student and class list

You might have noticed I have had to delete a large group of students from England as we couldn’t get comments set up on their blogs. Instead their teacher will be adding some of the student posts to their class blog here, so make sure you visit in November as they are on break at the moment.

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Week 2: Let’s learn to comment

Admin for week 2:

When visiting many blogs last week, I noticed your pages in Edublogs often didn’t allow for comments to be written. You might need to do the following:

  1. Go to your about me page and open it in your dashboard.
  2. In top right corner, click on screen options and make sure Discussions and/or comments are ticked. Close screen options.
  3. Now below the writing area for your page you should see a dropdown labelled Discussions.
  4. Make sure you have ticked the boxes about leaving comments.

I also noticed some of the About Me pages and posts have too much personal information such as full names, dates of birth, when and where you go to activities after school. Remember not to include this type of information in your posts.

If your About Me page isn’t visible as a link on your blog, you will need to add the widget called Pages to your sidebar.

 

About week 2: Commenting skills

This is another important week in the challenge. Blogging is all about having your voice heard and connecting with others who might like to read and comment on what you have written. But, as in many things we humans do, there are some protocols bloggers in schools like to follow.

Check out these videos about leaving quality comments. The first video was created for one of the very first blogging challenges back in 2009 by Mrs Yollis’ grade 3 students and it has been seen by thousands of students who have taken part in the blogging challenges since then. This video is suitable for all ages but specifically primary/elementary school or lower. But those in middle/high school or older might like to check out the second video which is more suited to an older age group.

Teachers: You might want to visit the post about teaching quality commenting on the Teacher Challenge blog. It has an excellent video about the possibilities of blogging through commenting. It also includes the videos below and others you might want to share with your class. You also find out about commenting and blogging guidelines, paper blogging and other ways to use your blogs to connect globally.

Using Edublogs? Check out these posts about comments: Comment overview,  managing comments,

Mrs Yollis and her third grade class

Nicolas Weiss – Leaving high quality blog comments

 

Activity 1: Create a ‘How to comment’ page on your blog

Many themes and blogging platforms have different ways to leave a comment. You might need to click on the title of the post, or click on a number in a circle or click on the words ‘Leave a comment’. Write a page for your blog explaining how to leave a comment. You could write it as a set of steps or perhaps create a video showing what to do. Be creative. Here is an example on  my family history blog. Mrs Yollis created a video showing how to comment on her blogspot blog. You might prefer to add the instructions in a text widget on your sidebar instead of a page. Remember, though, if you change themes you might also need to change these instructions.

Activity 2: Make a set of commenting guidelines – you might be able to combine this with activity 1

Explain what you expect when someone leaves a comment on your blog. .

  • What type of comment is acceptable?
  • Which type of comment will you put in the trash?

Here are some examples:

Huzzah commenting guidelines,  a Glogster poster about commenting, WarriorKat used a variety of tools for her guidelines, notice how Sophie included a link back to Mrs  Yollis’ blog where she got her information from, Emme created a PowToon, Darcey included some interesting points, Kyndal has her guidelines here

Activity 3: Leave a comment on this post – you might be able to combine this with activity 4

Each week the best posts published in the Student Blogging Challenge are featured in our Flipboard magazine.

To check your posts we need you to leave a comment with a link to your post on this blog whenever you finish a weekly activity.

So your activity is to practice leaving a comment below with a link to your post for an activity you’ve completed this week or last week.

But first you need to know the difference between your BLOG link and your POST link

  • Blog link: http://studentchallenge.edublogs.org
  • Post link: http://studentchallenge.edublogs.org/2017/10/01/week-1-lets-introduce-ourselves/

If your teacher is moderating and approving your posts, you will need to wait until this has been done before leaving me a link in a comment.

Activity 4: Use some HTML in a comment

Did you check out Mrs Yollis’ blog? She includes a page with some HTML (code) you can use when commenting especially on blogspot blogs. If leaving a comment on an Edublogs blog, here is a post explaining the HTML to use.  If you want to leave a link to your blog that looks neat and tidy, check out this post.

Activity 5: Visit other student or class blogs

Visit 4 other blogs on the lists above the header area. Leave a quality comment on one post on each blog. Might be the About Me page or another post you found interesting.  Write a post on your blog mentioning who you visited, which post you left a comment on and why, then include the comment you left. Hint: make sure you copy the comment before you hit the submit button. Here are some examples from other students: Allegra , Izzy, Callie but try to include a link to the actual post you left a comment on

Will visitors to your blog find it easy to search for a post they might be interested in commenting on? Maybe you need to start using Categories and Tags or Labels (blogspot) or Categories (weebly) or Categories (Kidblog) or make sure you have an archive section.

Let’s visit other blogs

Congratulations to the students from Thailand who wrote some great introductions then were first to leave me a comment on last week’s post. Here is their class blog with their names on the side if you also want to visit them.

I also enjoyed reading an A-Z post from Caleb.

Visit some younger classes and read the student posts:

I have started adding posts to our Flipboard magazine for #17stubc – check in the sidebar.

Got more time to fill this week?

Check out the page above my header called Post Ideas. Lots of topics and special days to write about in your blog.

Next week we look at activities relating to digital citizenship week 2017 particularly images and media.

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Week 5: Culture and family

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.

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 audioboom online or from your phone then upload the file to your blog. Make sure you ask permission first before putting it on your blog.

Activity 6: As a family, are there any cultural activities you do together? This might relate to food, celebrations, festivals. Write a post about at least one of them.

Activity 7. Add a widget to find out where your commenters are coming from.

There are many different widgets you can use – clustrmaps, flag counter, feedjit or revolver map.  Have you seen any others while visiting blogs of other students? Maybe you could write a post about why you chose the commenter widget you have put on your blog.

Activity 8. Add one or more widgets about your area of the world

This might include a clock or weather or a translator widget in case students who don’t speak your language can translate your post.

When adding widgets to your sidebar, copy and paste the embed code into a text box on your sidebar. Save then close.
If the widget is too wide, you will have to adjust the number next to ‘width’ in the embed code.
This might appear more than once in the code.
If using blogger rather than Edublogs, you might need to check out the instructions for adding widgets and images etc from Bling For Your Blog, written by a teacher in New Zealand. Thanks Allanah.

If your blog is an Edublogs free blog, you might not be able to put all the widgets in your sidebar. If using Kidblog or Weebly you might not be able to add widgets so put them in a post instead or a widgets page on your blog.

Activity 9 Visit other participants and ask questions

Visit at least five other blogs from students or classes around the world and ask some questions in your comments. How many countries are represented in the challenge participants? Have you been to a blog from each of these countries?

Activity 10 Questions in a post

Write a post including at least 6 questions about the different countries mentioned in activity 9.

Image: ‘Connecting Communities

Still got time left:

Check out these posts from previous weeks

Global issues: Emily, Lauren, Angel, Claudia, Isabella, Logan, Mohamed, Iqra,

Series of posts on one topic: Shahreen on HIV/Aids,

Odds and ends: Molly using scratch, Thunyama , Chloe and Ella want you to finish the story, Chloe on idioms,

UPDATE   UPDATE

As next week is Easter here in Australia, there will be no post on the 16th April. The  next post will be Sunday 23rd April.

Maybe you could use this time to visit other blogs, have a go at some activities you haven’t finished or just write some interesting posts.

Have you been checking out the class blogs as well? Many of these have student blogs attached on the sidebar.

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Week 2: Learning to comment well

Admin for week 2:

When visiting many blogs last week, I noticed your pages in Edublogs often didn’t allow for comments to be written. You might need to do the following:

  1. Go to your about me page and open it in your dashboard.
  2. In top right corner, click on screen options and make sure Discussions is ticked. Close screen options.
  3. Now below the writing area for your page you should see a dropdown labelled Discussions.
  4. Make sure you have ticked the boxes about leaving comments.

About week 2: Commenting skills

This is another important week in the challenge. Blogging is all about having your voice heard and connecting with others who might like to read and comment on what you have written. But, as in many things we humans do, there are some protocols bloggers in schools like to follow.

Check out these videos about leaving quality comments. The first video was created for one of the very first blogging challenges back in 2009 by Mrs Yollis’ grade 3 students and it has been seen by thousands of students who have taken part in the blogging challenges since then. This video is suitable for all ages but specifically primary/elementary school or lower. But those in middle/high school or older might like to check out the second video which is more suited to an older age group.

Teachers: You might want to visit the post about teaching quality commenting on the Teacher Challenge blog. It has an excellent video about the possibilities of blogging through commenting. It also includes the videos below and others you might want to share with your class. You also find out about commenting and blogging guidelines, paper blogging and other ways to use your blogs to connect globally.

Using Edublogs? Check out these posts about comments: Comment overview,  managing comments,

Mrs Yollis and her third grade class

Nicolas Weiss – Leaving high quality blog comments

 

Activity 1: Create a ‘How to comment’ page on your blog

Many themes and blogging platforms have different ways to leave a comment. You might need to click on the title of the post, or click on a number in a circle or click on the words ‘Leave a comment’. Write a page for your blog explaining how to leave a comment. You could write it as a set of steps or perhaps create a video showing what to do. Be creative. Here is an example on  my family history blog. Mrs Yollis created a video showing how to comment on her blogspot blog.

Activity 2: Make a set of commenting guidelines

Explain what you expect when someone leaves a comment on your blog.

  • What type of comment is acceptable?
  • Which type of comment will you put in the trash?

Here are some examples:

Huzzah commenting guidelines,  a Glogster poster about commenting, WarriorKat used a variety of tools for her guidelines, notice how Sophie included a link back to Mrs  Yollis’ blog where she got her information from, Emme created a PowToon, Darcey included some interesting points, Kyndal has her guidelines here

Activity 3: Leave a comment on this post – you might be able to combine this with activity 4

Each week the best posts published in the Student Blogging Challenge are featured in our Flipboard magazine.

To check your posts we need you to leave a comment with a link to your post on this blog whenever you finish a weekly activity.

So your activity is to practice leaving a comment below with a link to your post for an activity you’ve completed this week or last week.

But first you need to know the difference between your BLOG link and your POST link

  • Blog link: http://studentchallenge.edublogs.org
  • Post link: http://studentchallenge.edublogs.org/2016/10/02/gday-my-name-is/

If your teacher is moderating and approving your posts, you will need to wait until this has been done before leaving me a link in a comment.

Activity 4: Use some HTML in a comment

Did you check out Mrs Yollis’ blog? She includes a page with some HTML (code) you can use when commenting especially on blogspot blogs. If leaving a comment on an Edublogs blog, here is a post explaining the HTML to use.  If you want to leave a link to your blog that looks neat and tidy, check out this post.

Activity 5: Visit other student or class blogs

Visit 4 other blogs on the lists above the header area. Leave a quality comment on one post on each blog. Might be the About Me page or another post you found interesting.  Write a post on your blog mentioning who you visited, which post you left a comment on and why, then include the comment you left. Hint: make sure you copy the comment before you hit the submit button. Here are some examples from previous students in the challenge: Allegra but try to include a link to the actual post you left a comment on

Will visitors to your blog find it easy to search for a post they might be interested in commenting on? Maybe you need to start using Categories and Tags or Labels (blogspot) or Categories (weebly) or Categories (Kidblog) or make sure you have an archive section.

Great posts to visit

Some student blogs don’t allow posts to be flipped to the magazine, so I will include links to them at the bottom of each post. Here are some introductions and avatar posts.

Catrina (Australia), Jayson (USA), Maddison (Australia), Emily (Australia), Erandi (USA), Angel? (USA), Anthony (USA), Angela (USA), Angela – avatar (USA), Chelsea (Australia),

Also remember to check out the comments left for last week’s post. These will include links to student, class and mentor blogs you could be visiting.

 

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Week 6: Time to visit

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

Admin this week

I have asked mentors to get back to me with those students who have not been doing the activities relating to the challenge. I have coloured their country pink on the student participant list. I will be deleting these students from the list over the next week if I feel they have not really been participating in the challenge.

Out of 106 comments left on the challenge blog over the last couple of days only 61 included the URL of the actual post I needed to visit. Many students are still leaving just the URL of their blog rather than the post. I only visit and flip to the magazine when a post URL is left here.

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 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

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.

Game 2:

This is a new one I have thought of for this challenge. Many great student posts are being flipped to the #16stubc 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.

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?

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?

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…….

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

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