Week 4: Free choice

Cabra hispanica Montserrat

Pedro Luna Guillen via Compfight

The first three weeks of the challenge were mainly learning lots about blogging skills you need when working on public sites on the internet. You should have learnt the following so far:

  • Avatars – what they are, how they are used, how to create one and upload to your blog
  • About me pages – difference between page and post, what is private information and what you can say on your blog, being a good digital citizen
  • Commenting – what makes a great comment, what you expect from a comment on your blog, guidelines for blogging and commenting in your class
  • Images, sounds, video – what is creative commons, how to find safe and usable images, what is an attribution and how to write it, websites with great images, creating your own images, using images for puzzles and games, an image paints a thousand words when writing a story or poem

In a couple of weeks, we will be playing a commenting game. But you need to get prepared for this.

Make sure you have at least 5 other student/class blogs linked on the sidebar of your blog, in a page near your header area or in a recent post that your visitors can find easily. Make sure these are blogs from other students/classes around the world, not just those in your class or school. Perhaps have a blogroll or link category called Global students and/or Global classes. Here is how to add a blogroll if using Edublogs or Blogger. If using Kidblog write a post mentioning at least 5 great blogs you enjoy visiting. Your teacher may be able to add links on the class part of the Kidblog.

Have some visitor widgets on your blog sidebar – maybe a revolver map or a flag counter – this way you can see where your visitors are coming from. Remember only one visitor in 30 will actually leave a comment.

Make sure your blog looks interesting:

  • Maybe change your header to suit what you are writing about.
  • Do your pets make a noise as soon as your blog is opened in a tab? That can be annoying so make sure the visitor can click on the sound button if they want to hear your animal pet.
  • Have you changed the tagline under the title of your blog?
  • Have you included some tags or categories to help your readers find a great post?
  • Does your background image make it hard for your visitors to read your posts?
  • Have you written some interesting posts for your visitors to comment on?

This week’s activity is free choice

Have some interesting posts for your visitors to read when they get to your blog.  I am not going to give any clues as to what to put in your posts but remember the following, especially if you want a post flipped to our magazine. Also take note of the page titled ‘Post ideas’ above my header.

Having read many student posts, I came up with the following essentials in a great post.

  1. catchy title
  2. includes at least one visual (with attribution) whether photo, cartoon, video or another web 2.0 tool like padlet or glogster
  3. interesting topic with the passion of the author coming through
  4. well written and not copy/pasted from somewhere else
  5. shows it has been proofread and spellchecked
  6. written in paragraphs – at least three of them
  7. includes links to other websites on similar topics – at least two of these

When you have finished your post(s), please come back here to the blogging challenge and leave one comment on this post. Mention what topic(s) you wrote about and leave a link to your post(s). Check out how Roman left one comment for all posts completed.

Those posts covering the seven things mentioned above will be added to the flipboard magazine. Many students are forgetting to add links to other websites relating to the topic they have written about. Help here from Edublogs and Blogger.

Mentors:

Can you please check your students blogs this week and get back to me via email or comment with names of students who are not really participating in the challenge activities? By now students should have an about me page or post and at least two other posts/pages relating to images, avatars or how to comment. You might need to search around the blog to find pages or click on the 3lines under each other to find a sidebar.

Also thanks to those mentors who are writing back on student blogs. There have been some great story endings where mentors have joined in the activity. The students really appreciate these comments.

Still more time left this week

  • Read some of the posts in the flipboard magazine – your teacher might want to create a class flipboard magazine to add to your class blog
  • Visit other classes this time in the lists above the header of the challenge blog.
  • Reply to any comments left on your blog especially if from a mentor.

Find student blogs on the sidebar

Work using images

Some great stories to finish are found here: Fiona, Roman, Anusha, Christian, Leon, Idyl, Tristan, Quincy, Nate, Caleb, Layla, Isabella, Emma, Kait, Stefan, Phakamon,

Some jigsaw puzzles to try are found here: Mai Thao, Vince, Van Anh, Brandon, Isma3el, Jori, Anusha,

If using free Pixabay images, check here to see how Mai Thao wrote the attribution links

Caleb used a different comic strip creator

Remember YOU have to visit other blogs, leave comments and the URL of your blog before you will get any comments on your blog. This is how the conversations and connections get made – by visiting and commenting on other student and class blogs.