Challenge 2: My Place

Last week we learnt all about you – your interests, your favourite foods, music and lots of other things when you wrote your ‘About’ page. This week we are going to learn all about the area in which you live.

As many of you know, I will be visiting the USA and Canada (in fact I am in California now). When you write your posts or use web 2.0 tools, remember to be internet safe and not give away any personal information. Check with your teacher or parent, to find out if you can mention your school name or town.

But firstly, a few administration pointers.

Please check to make sure you have the following widgets visible on your blog’s sidebar: blog avatar, pages, recent comments, recent posts, blogroll or links, categories. If not using Edublogs, the names of these widgets might be different.

Have you made sure you are getting an email whenever someone leaves a comment on your blog so you can moderate this? It can be annoying for your mentor to go to your blog and find no comments have been approved for the last month or so.

In your profile page, do you have your blog URL included? – this links to your name for when you leave a comment.

Now let’s get to the activities.

Activity 1. Add a widget to find out where your commenters are coming from.

There are many different widgets you can use – clustrmaps, flag counter, feedjit  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 2. 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.

Activity 3. Write a post about a tourist attraction in the following  states or provinces.

Miss W and Mr Davo Devil will be visiting these states and provinces: California, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, North and South Dakota, Iowa, Illinois, Ohio, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah and back to California. They enjoy visiting national parks and historical places. Where would you suggest they go while in those states and provinces? Suggest a tourist attraction in at least 5 places.

Activity 4. A year in your town

Write a post, create a glogster, make an audioboo tape, create a Storybird or add a Voki telling Miss W about the festivals held in your town throughout the year. Which festivals do you enjoy the most and why? When are the festivals held in case she can visit one while she is travelling? If under 13, check with your teacher or parent if you want to use a web 2.0 tool rather than writing a post in your blog.

Activity 5. 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. We have participants from Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada, Hong Kong, China, South Korea, Scotland, Ireland, Denmark, Russia, Colombia, Taiwan, Greece and Indonesia taking part in the challenge.

Activity 6. Questions in a post

Write a post asking questions about the different countries mentioned in activity 5. Have at least 6 questions in your post.

Activity 7. Where I would love to visit and why

Write a post or use a web 2.0 tool telling your readers about a place you would love to visit and why. Try to include some hyperlinks (links that are underlined in your post and take your readers to another website)

Activity 8. Create a game or quiz about your town, state or country

A few places to do this include: Quiz Revolution, Class Tools,  Remember to check with your teacher or parent before using these web 2.0 tools. Sometimes your teacher or parent will create an account that is moderated by them and is therefore safe for students to use. Do you know any other places to create games and quizzes?

Copy this trackback link in any posts you write about these activities: Challenge 2 Sept 2011  so I will know to visit your blog and read your post or else leave a comment on this post directing me to your blog.

Attribution:

Image: ‘party in the sky

 

Going global – Challenge 3-March 2011

How many students and classes do you think are taking part in this challenge?  If you guessed about 100 classes and 1300 students you were correct. In fact we are represented by 18 different countries of the world, so we are definitely going global.

This week’s activities relate to all things global – tracking widgets, maps, translators and other forms of global challenges.

Students

Activity 1How do you know where your visitors are coming from?

Do you have a widget tracking these visitors? If not,  then perhaps you could put one or more of these widgets on your blog.

Remember, if you have a free Edublogs blog, often you can’t embed widgets in your sidebar because of the coding.  Check if your teacher has a paid pro blog where they can then upgrade 50 student or teacher blogs, then you will be able to use code.

Can you recommend any other tracking widgets suitable for class or student blogs? Leave a comment if you can.

Activity 2 – How do you read a blog written in a language other than your mother tongue?

Natasa, a teacher of one of the class blogs, is located in Serbia and her blog is written in Serbian. How can you translate that page so you can read it in English or Spanish if that is your mother tongue? Do you leave a comment in English, your mother tongue or Serbian?

A visitor from Colombia has come across your blog and wants to read it in their mother tongue, how will they translate it?

A good idea would be for you to have a translator button or widget on your blog. Visit the widget box to find one that you think will do the job of translating your blog into another language. Add the widget the same as instructions for the flag counter.

Activity 3 – Write a post in another language

Most students around the world have to learn another language as part of their school curriculum. This might be a challenge for those who are just beginning their language learning but for students like Dominique, this should be a breeze. Make sure you have a translator widget on your blog to make it easier for your visitors to read the post.

Activity 4 – Write a post about a global activity you have taken part in

Have you taken part in :

  • World Maths or Spelling Day
  • World Water Day – this is happening on Tuesday, March 22 – theme is water for cities
  • Earth Hour – this is happening on Saturday, March 26 – see video in class section of challenge

These global events often have widgets or buttons you can embed on your blog.

Activity 5 – Leave a comment on ten blogs

Each blog must be from a different country of the world. Check out the list of students and classes taking part. Remember there are actually 18 countries represented – some have only one person taking part, so you might need to check carefully.

Classes

Activity 1 – Complete student activities 1, 2 and 4

What other types of global activities have you taken part in as a class? ePals, postcards from home, quadblogging – tell us about it in a great post with images if possible. Or write a post linking to other global activity posts you have already written about.

Activity 2 – Take part in Earth Hour this year and write a post about how students, teachers and families  spent that hour. Earth Hour began three years ago in Australia in one town – see how it has now grown to be a global activity.

Activity 3 – How many languages are spoken by the students in your class?

  • Is your class multicultural or is it predominantly a one language classroom?
  • What are some of the cultural activities you might celebrate in your classroom?
  • What do your students  celebrate at home?

Perhaps you could create a poll to put on your class blog and have parents and grand parents answer where they came from originally.

Perhaps one of them could write a post, with their child or grandchild, about a celebration from their country to put on your class blog.

Activity 4 – Visit at least ten blogs each from a different country

Remember when writing your posts to include a link back to this post.

http://studentchallenge.edublogs.org/2011/03/20/going-global-challenge-3-march-2011/

……………………………….

Original image: ‘3d person and globe

3d person and globe

Released under an Attribution-NonCommercial License

March 2010: Challenge 3

It’s a very small world we live in now.

Only 220 years ago, it used to take a sailing ship about 4 or 5 months to sail from England to Australia with convicts on board.  It took me 24 hours to fly from Australia to Vancouver, Canada with a short stop in Hawaii for a couple of hours. Yet it took only seconds for my class to connect to Ashley in Connecticut in 2008  when we used Skype to make a call.

Students born in the last twenty years  should be taking it for granted that they will be working collaboratively with students and teachers across the world using modern technology.

So this week’s challenge is to tell the world about the area you live in – your town, your state or province, your country in general. But hopefully you will also be having international visitors coming to your blog, so you need some way of knowing where they are coming from. There will be many options of what to do this week ranging from adding widgets, writing posts, leaving comments by visiting international blogs and  adding images so I am posting a couple of days earlier than usual to give you time to complete them.

Adding widgets

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.

Writing posts

If I were to visit your state or province, what would be the ‘must see’ places and why? Include an image (flickrcc about Tasmania creative commons) and a link to a website.

Instead of writing, speak this time using a Voki then embed in either post or sidebar.

We have students and classes from these countries taking part in the challenge:

  • Australia, Canada, U.S.A, Mexico, Argentina, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Thailand, Hong Kong (China), U.A.E (United Arab Emirates), Norway and South Africa. Many of the older Australian students are refugees from other countries so make sure you read about them from their links on this blog.
  • Write a post asking one or two questions about each country or leave your questions as comments on the student or class blogs. eg Do kangaroos hop down the main streets in Australia? How many people live in the state or town you live in?

Images

  • Flickr slideshow
  • Take photos of your local area and put in a post as a gallery
  • Create a quiz at mystudiyo about your state or province. Then embed it in your blog post. Here is one I made about Tasmania.
  • #!/usr/bin/perl -w
    use strict;
    use CGI qw(:standard);
    my $srcURL = param(‘srcURL’);
    my $text = param(‘text’);
    my $gigyaWidth = param(‘gwidth’)|| 300;
    my $gigyaHeight = param(‘gheight’)|| 260;
    my $eWidth = param(‘ewidth’) ||300;
    my $eHeight = param(‘eheight’) ||360;

    print < Status: 200 OK\r
    Content-type:text/html; charset=utf-8\r
    \r

    PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN"
    "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd">






    EOF

    Which activity did you do? Did you try more than one? Which did you enjoy the most? Remember to leave a pingback or trackback in your post by linking back to this challenge post.

    Attribution: Image: ‘It’s a Small World!
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/51035555243@N01/16600310