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 7 – freedom again

FelicitàOur last three challenges have been fairly serious – adding images to your blog posts, how to get comments and visitors to your blog and looking at your digital footprint.

This week your sole activity is to make sure you are ready for a game we will be playing next week – in fact there will be two games happening.

To play either game you will need:

  •  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
  • 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

The most important of these are the links to other student blogs on your sidebar. Try to have a couple of different headings like

  • My Friends
  • Class Blogs
  • Overseas Blogs

Having lots of  links to student blogs from other countries will help spread the game.

Here are the instructions for adding links to your sidebars.

Edublogs, Blogger, Kidblog – not sure if this widget goes on the class page or each student page

Have you written lots of interesting posts for your visitors to read next week?

Use this week to get some written or use some new tools to create some stories to add to your blog posts.
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: luca nisalli 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 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

Challenge 5: Improving your posts

Sue Waters from The Edublogger, Mr Davo Devil and I (Miss W.) have been visiting lots of student and class blogs over the last few weeks. One thing we noticed was that many students either had just writing or, if they used an image, they did not give attribution for the photographer.

So this week is all about images as a way to improve your posts. Images certainly make posts more interesting to read especially when the image relates to the information in the post.

Can you use any images that are on the internet? The answer is definitely NO!!

But can’t I just go to Google search and use images from there? The answer is definitely NO!! You need to go to advanced search and under usage rights choose use images that can be re-used.

Not all images on the internet are free for everyone to use. Some newspapers have paid a lot of money for a photographer to take images for their newspaper articles and if you want to use these images, you might have to pay money to either the newspaper or photographer. These photos are usually called COPYRIGHT.

But there are some photographers who take photos that are free for others to re-use or mix or use for public display. These images have a CREATIVE COMMONS license. Check out this website for information about Creative Commons. Each country has slightly different licenses.

If you get images from Flickr, then here are what the different licenses mean (Thanks Sue Waters from Edublogs for this image)

Notice, whatever license you use, you HAVE to attribute the original author. This means you have to acknowledge the person who created the original image. At the end your blog post, or linked within the post,  you must attribute the image and you must link the photo back to it’s original photo page.

Well, how can I safely find images to use in my posts?

Check out Miss T’s blog for lots of places to get photos. They might not all be creative commons so be careful to check out the license involved.

 

When using flickrcc, you right click on the photo and copy the image location or image URL. Paste this in first when you upload. Then choose where photo will be on post: left or right are good choices. Now go back to the image on flickrcc and copy the http:// part above the photo. Put this in the section: link image to. Remember finally to add the attribution at the end of the post.

 

When using Compfight, make sure on the left sidebar you have the following in black: tags only, creative commons, show originals and safe.

Once you have found an image you want to use, click on it. You will now go to the image in flickr. Make sure you only use the small or medium size image.

 

When using Pics4Learning the images are often very large. You might have to download to your computer hard drive, then resize. Remember still to give attribution about where you found the image.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Attribution for images used in this part of the post.

Happy Holidays from me and this dog‘ by Zach Klein

Creative commons license by Sue Waters

Los Angeles from the air by Marshall Astor

Establishing Shot: The 405 by Atwater Village Newbie

Mission Beach Boardwalk by Melinda Kolk

Students and classes

So here are nine (9) activities relating to images. You must do activity 1 as this will help for the other choices.

Activity 1 – Visit these blogs

  • Kathleen Morris who expects her Grade 2 students to know about and use creative commons and giving attribution when using images in their blogs. She uses FlickrCC which is not blocked at her school and gives instructions for using with Edublogs blogs. Check out her slideshow in the box.
  • Ronnie Burt from the Edublogs team who gives ideas for using images other than FlickrCC.
  • Sue Waters from The Edublogger who also gives out some easy instructions on inserting images from your computer, an URL from the web and from your media library.
  • Allanah King, New Zealand. Lots of hints for students using blogspot.

Activity 2 – Using tags to find images and adding them to posts

Teachers: You might be interested in checking out these:  resources using flickr, telling stories with images, photo books, photo slideshow, copyright friendly links, photovisi is a collage, paint the world a picture blog post. Here is a link to a great YouTube on Fair(y) use – a parody using Disney films.

Students: Last week we looked at using categories in our blogs, now we are going to use tags (which are similar) to find images.  Below are some great websites to use that have images with creative commons licenses.

Wylio  – need to have a Google account with a Picasa Web Album to store the images you use

Comp fight – See below (attribution)

Flickrcc – above the image (attribution)

Morguefile, Pics4Learning, using Google search with creative commons,

This next section of the post has been written by Sue Waters from Edublogs as part of the teacher challenge held earlier this year. She has also mentioned about the attribution and where to find it in the site.

1.  Go to Compfight

2.  Change to Creative Commons only, choose whether to search tags or text, add your search term and click Search.

Change your Compfight settings

3.  Scan through the search results and click on the Photo you like so that you can view it on its photo page on Flickr.

Flickr photo page

4.  Scroll down right hand side of photo page to view License.

5.  Hold your Ctrl key and left mouse click on “Some Rights Reserved” to open up the license on a new browser tab to read terms of its license on Creative Commons.

  • Only use if license is applicable for your situation.

Checking the license

6.  Now select View All Sizes from the drop down Action list and select the size of the photo you want to use.

View all Flickr Photo sizes

7.  Right click on Image and select Copy Image Location or Copy Image URL (depends on what web browser you are using).

Copy Image URL

8.  Now go to the post you are writing inside your dashboard and click on Add an Image icon

9   In the Add an Image window click on the From URL tab
10.  Add the image URL, image title, select the image alignment, add the URL of its Flickr photo page to the Link Image URL field and then click Insert Into Post

  • In this example the URL of its Flickr photo page is http://www.flickr.com/photos/53611153@N00/309709280/
  • You link to its Flickr photo page as it is a requirement of Flickr’s conditions of use and so that if any one clicks on the photo they can view the original source of the image.

Adding an image from Flickr to a post

11.  Add the photo attribution either below the photo or at the end of your blog post.

  • It’s a requirement of all Creative Commons Licenses that you attribute the original author.
  • This means you can’t just use a creative commons image without acknowledging the person who originally created it.
  • The text below this photo is are examples of how you can attribute an image — look closely at what websites the attributions links to!

Example 1:

Photo by Darwin Bell licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic.

Example 2:

Original image: ‘swinger_girl_01b‘
http://www.flickr.com/photos/82546262@N00/205492421
Released under an Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License

Original image: ‘a piggy in the middle

a piggy in the middle

Released under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License

Please note:

  • Some School Districts block Flickr
  • In these types of  situations you’ll need to download the photo onto your computer and then upload it to your blog post. Even if you have downloaded to your computer, you will still need to give correct attribution.

Activity 3 – Colour a post

Write a post about your favourite colour and include at least three images. Remember to resize them to small or no bigger than about 400 pixels in width. Remember to explain why you chose those particular images and include the attribution correctly.

Activity 4 – Create your own images and add to a post of your choice

Other options for creating your own images include:

  1. Image Generators such as ImageGenerator.org
  2. Comic Generators like MakeBeliefsComix.com,  kerpoof, ToonDoo
  3. Photo Editors like Befunky, fd’s Flickr Tools
  4. Tag Cloud Creators such as Wordle
  5. Graph Creators including GraphJam and Crappy Graphs

Mixing up your images using these types of tools can really spice up your posts! Leave a comment on this post, if you or your class can recommend some other image sites to add to this list.

Activity 5 – Zoom out from an image

We tried this activity in the challenge in September 2010. Choose a picture, and have your readers zoom out, so to speak, by leaving comments. So maybe something simple, like a pillow, and the first commenter describes something bigger around the pillow (like a couch) and the next commenter would write about the room it was in, and the next could zoom out the window and do the house, etc.  If doing this activity, include the word ‘zoom’ in your title so I can find it easily. Remember to give attribution. Most important here is to read previous comments, so you can add to the story.

Check out these zoom pictures: Becky, Jacqueline, Abbey, Teegan,

Huzzah finished their story.

Activity 6 – Pictures tell the story – no words

Here is a post on how to create a gallery in your blog.  Create a visual post using no more than eight images – where the images tell a story. Remember to give attribution for the images you used. No writing in this post other than the title and attribution.

Activity 7 – Tell the story of the picture

From Bill Ferreirae – I sometime find a picture and tell students to use that picture to come up with a story. It can be about the picture, what happened before, what will happen next, etc. So, at the top of this post is the image I have chosen for you to start with. Copy the image to your post, then write the story. Remember to give attribution. If you don’t have your own blog, tell your story in a comment here.

Activity 8 – Create an animated photo show

Think of a theme, try adding images to animoto, slide or other online image animators. Add music, transitions, text etc. Grab the resultant code and add to your blog post.

Activity 9 – Write a sentence using images – no writing

Write a sentence about yourself using just images. For example – I love to read comic books. Remember to give attribution for each image and in the title use the word ‘sentence’ to make it easier for me to find.

Activity 10 – Go back to previous posts

If you have used images in any previous posts you have written, then you are ethically obliged to go back to the post and give the correct attribution or take the image out of the post if it does not have the right creative commons license.

We will be playing a game in a couple of weeks. To take part in the game you need the following completed:

  • a blog avatar and a user avatar
  • an ‘about me’ PAGE not post
  • a clustrmap or flag counter widget
  • at least three 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
  • your ‘Recent Posts’ widget on the sidebar with 10 posts as the choice
  • Your ‘Pages’ widget on the sidebar
  • at least 10 student and/or classes linked on your blogroll
  • at least three overseas blogs on your blogroll

Remember to link back to this post so I know you have written a post using images.

BREAKING NEWS!  BREAKING NEWS! BREAKING NEWS!

There will be an extra post in the middle of this week relating to BAD. Make sure you read the post  written by Ronnie Burt from Edublogs and get organized as it takes place on the day our next lot of challenges will be posted. You will need to have already written your post ready to publish on the set date.

 

Testing Time -Challenge 6 -March 2011

I’ve been reading a few posts lately about testing time occurring in May in many countries. Here in Australia, we have our NAPLAN testing in literacy and numeracy for all students in grades 3, 5, 7 and 9. Many students have been learning how to write in a persuasive style as this is what the piece of written work will assess.

So this week’s challenges will relate to persuasive writing or something to do with testing.

I  asked last week for some more ideas for challenges, so I will also be using them.

Students and classes

Activity 1 – It’s a testing time

Write a post using a persuasive style of writing. You might like to use glogster to create a poster. Maybe wallwisher to get ideas from other students before you write your post.

Topics might include:

  • That mobile phones should be used in classrooms
  • That all students should have a personal blog from Grade 6 onwards
  • That all classes should have a class blog
  • That national or statewide testing has no valuable purpose for the student
  • A topic of your own choice

Activity 2 – Review time

Janis wrote a post about how April is review month ready for the big exams in May. Check out her suggestion for a post. This might be good for those students who have taken part in more than one of the student challenges last year and this year.

Activity 3 – Learning time

Think about something important you have learned outside of school – remember we should all be life long learners not just learners while at school. How did you learn it? Why is it important to you? Who or what taught you about it? How has this learning helped you in your life?

Activity 4 – Widget choice

Since you have been visiting lots of different student blogs, you will have noticed many widgets on sidebars of student blogs. Write a post about the widgets you have added to your blog and why you chose them.

Remember some widgets are for students 13+. Also if adding a music widget, try to have it on silent when your blog opens, or your visitors might be blasted with loud noises when they visit your blog.

Activity 5 – My regular visitors

Have you noticed in your comments, there are certain people visiting often? Or maybe, you have only had one or two visitors. How can you increase the number of visitors to your blog? How can you make sure they leave a comment and start conversations about your posts? Perhaps you could interview one of your regular commenters like Mikayla did in my class.

Activity 6 – Wordle your blog

Have you created a wordle from your blog? Check out the one Abbey created for one of our previous activities. If you have problems embedding your wordle, ask Abbey some questions or try to get rid of some of the extra spaces in the embed code. Remember if you do a printscreen and save as an image, you still need to give attribution to the wordle website.

Activity 7 – Internet safety

The students at our school recently had a drama performance by Bamboo Theatre company from Sydney who were touring around Tasmanian schools. Both students and staff found much interesting information about being safe on the web. Part of it was facebook and your settings. Have you had lessons on being internet safe? Do you use a certain program at school that teaches these things? Write a post about how you learn about internet safety.

Privacy on Facebook – these links might be more useful for the older students taking part in the challenge. How many of you have used default settings when joining Facebook?

Look at this post to see how much can be seen with default settings and how it has changed over the last five years. Here is a newspaper article showing the 170 different privacy settings you could be changing. Here is a tool that can scan your facebook settings and give you hints about where to make some changes. The links to these posts are from a post written by Jenny Luca. An interesting infographic about Facebook. Some statistics from the Facebook press room.

Now that you have checked out these posts, have you made any changes to your Facebook settings? Write a post about your use of Facebook and how it might be affecting your digital footprint on the web. Check out this post by Derek who I found last year by using the count out three game.

The game is on …. The game is on ….

The game is called count out three. Those students who have taken part in a student blogging challenge before will have already played this game. But we have many different students taking part in the challenge this year, so you should be visiting different blogs for the game in 2011.

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 what 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:

Original image: ‘Family Computer

Family Computer

by: Alex Watson

Released under an Attribution-NonCommercial License

Time for a break – March 2011

While checking out many posts this week, I noticed some schools have been on spring break or some form of holiday, so I have decided this week is a catch up time. There will be no official activities, but I am sure no-one has done every activity in all the challenges.

Over the first five weeks, let’s look at what you could have done on your blog:

  1. Registered for the challenge as either an individual or a class – checked you were on the list
  2. Changed the theme of your blog
  3. Looked at ‘About’ pages and created your own
  4. Posted about why students or classes should visit your blog
  5. Left comments on other student blogs and recommended at least one to visit
  6. Introduced your class or school to the world
  7. Created avatars
  8. Uploaded comment and blog avatars
  9. Linked your avatar to your blog URL
  10. Slideshow of avatars created
  11. Looked at your digital footprint
  12. Classes looked at commenting guidelines
  13. Classes thought about ways to involve parents
  14. Added tracking widgets to your sidebar
  15. Written in another language
  16. Added translation widget
  17. Posted about global activities
  18. Wrote about Earth Hour
  19. Commented on blogs from other countries
  20. Culture and celebrations from other countries
  21. Created blogroll categories
  22. Added links to blogroll
  23. Created tags and post categories
  24. Post about your community so Miss W can visit
  25. Post about where you would like to go in the world
  26. Created a poll about your country
  27. Finding out about creative commons and using images on your blog posts
  28. Learnt about giving attribution and uploading images to your posts
  29. Wrote a post about your favourite colour
  30. Used different web 2.0 tools to edit images
  31. Zoomed out from an image
  32. Created an image sentence
  33. Wrote a post about an image
  34. Created an animated photo show

My goodness, I think you need a break after all those things were done in just five weeks.

Remember you need to be ready for the game we will be playing next week, as one of the activities. To take part in the game you need the following completed:

  • a blog avatar and a user avatar
  • an ‘about me’ PAGE not post
  • a clustrmap or flag counter widget
  • at least three 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
  • your ‘Recent Posts’ widget on the sidebar with 10 posts as the choice
  • Your ‘Pages’ widget on the sidebar
  • at least 10 student and/or classes linked on your blogroll
  • at least three overseas blogs linked on your blogroll

The more overseas links you have, the more interesting the game will be.

As we are half way through the challenges, I am starting to run out of ideas for activities. Please leave a comment or write a post about what you would like to see as an activity. If writing a post, make sure you link back to this post so I can visit your blog.

Visit lots of blogs written by students overseas. Leave lots of interesting comments. Get to know our overseas friends. How are they like you? How are they different to you? Ask questions and get conversations going.

Original image: ‘Give me a break…in the pool

Give me a break...in the pool

by: Tommy Wong

Released under an Attribution License