Challenge 10 – Sept 2010

Well, this is it!! The last challenge post for the year 2010.

Usually when you finish a project or area of study at school you have to evaluate how well it went. That is what we will be asking you to do for this final challenge.

This final challenge is an audit of your blog since the beginning of September 2010.

  • How many posts did you write?
  • How many were school based, your own interests or set by the challenge?
  • How many comments did you receive from classmates, teachers or overseas students?
  • Which post received the most comments? Why do you think that happened?
  • Which post did you enjoy writing the most and why?
  • Did you change blog themes at all and why?
  • How many widgets do you have? Do you think this is too many or not enough?

Now ask another student and teacher/parent from your school who might not have read your blog to do an audit. Sit beside them while they navigate around your blog, record what you observe as they interact with your blog. When finished, ask them the following questions:

  • What were your first impressions of this blog?
  • What captured your attention?
  • What distracted you on the blog?
  • What suggestions can you give me to improve my blog?

Other activities for this last challenge include:

1.  Change the theme on your blog to reflect that it is Christmas time and the month of December – remember though to change the theme again early in January.

2.  Do you still want to take part in some challenges or write posts for other students to comment on? Then visit these two blogs:

Blogger’s Café,    Bringing us together

3. Write a post you think would be suitable to add to this international student blog.  It will need writing, a question at the end, images, perhaps other media like a poll or slideshare.  What topic will you choose?

If you would like to be an author on the international blog, leave a comment here on this post.  Also remember to hyperlink to this post when you write your challenge so I can visit.  The best challenges will be added to the international blog.

Teachers – if you would be interested in having your class join the international blog, please leave a comment under the page heading “Join us”. I will start organizing the calendar again so each class has about two weeks or a fortnight in which to have control of the blog.

4. A few teachers are starting to put together a teacher challenge blog similar to this student challenge blog. What hints or tips would you give teachers who are starting out on the journey of blogging for themselves or with a class blog or individual student blogs? Write a post with your hints and link it back to this post, so we can then add your hints to our teacher challenge next year.

Finally, I would like to say a big thank you to all the students and classes who took part in this challenge.  I hope you learnt a lot and will be sharing your knowledge with your new teachers in the coming years. Remember the next challenge will start in early March 2011, so visit here again in February ready to register for the new challenge.

Original image: ‘seidener faden
http://www.flickr.com/photos/34187879@N05/4782937576
by: Nils L.

Released under an Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License

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Miss Wyatt will be there

A few weeks ago, another Australian teacher suggested I put forward a presentation about the Student Blogging challenge to this Global Conference.

This week I received notice that my presentation had been accepted.

So on Tuesday 16 November at 4pm (my time) I will be presenting via my home computer and an Elluminate room which allows video conferencing around the world. Closer to the date I will include a link here to the Elluminate room, in case some of you wish to participate as well.

Those students and classes taking part in the blogging challenge:

  • Are there any things you think I should mention in my presentation?
  • What are you enjoying about the challenge?
  • How could it be improved?
  • How have you been connecting in a global world?

Here is the link for the conference information.

Cross posted on my class blog, ‘Kids in the Mid

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March 2010: Challenge 8

So you have now visited lots of blogs and there are some that you want to visit all the time. How can you do this easily?

One option is to subscribe to that blog’s posts.

  1. You can subscribe by email – every time a new post is written you will be sent an email telling you about it, so you can visit and read the post and leave a comment.
  2. You can subscribe by using a reader or personalised homepage like Google Reader, Pageflakes, Yahoo Pipes, Netvibes – this time when a post is written it will be added to your reader or homepage – you will need to visit  often to see if there are any new posts from your friends.

On the top right corner of this blog you will see the orange button which is for the RSS feeds using a reader and you will also see the Feedburner service for email subscribers. On your meta widget on your sidebar there is usually a post/entries RSS feed and a Comment RSS feed which can be used as well.

Sue Waters wrote a post for teachers on how to create a folder in Google reader that might be helpful.

Second option is to have a link to your favourite blogs on your blogroll. You should have done this activity a couple of weeks ago.

Activities for this week:

  • Make sure your meta widget is visible on your blog so your readers can subscribe from there.
  • On your blog, add a Feedburner subscribe by email and reader widget. Or leave a note in a text box telling your readers to subscribe using the meta widget RSS posts. You will need to have a Google account to use these – so check with your parents first.
  • Subscribe by email to at least three blogs you want to read all the time. If under 13, you will need to just add the URLs to your blogroll.
  • Count out three – click on a blog on your blogroll (1), now click on a blog from their blogroll (2) and finally click on a blog from that blogroll (3) – leave a comment on a post at this blog.  Do this activity at least three times and write a post saying which blogs you visited and what posts you left a comment on. Why did you choose that post?
  • Write a post about how you can attract readers to your blog.  If you have been blogging for a while, write a set of tips for new bloggers about attracting a world wide audience.
  • Still more time, write a post of your choice – music, sport, holidays etc Include an image with attribution.
Original image: ‘RSS Combined
RSS Combined
by: Kyle Wegner
Released under an Attribution-NonCommercial License
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My place in the world

Each week I will be showcasing some blogs to visit. These are taken from those who leave a trackback or hyperlink to the original post not just this blog.

Let’s visit:

Argentina, Indiana, California, Secret Harbour, Iowa, California, Wellington, Comox Valley, Dunedin,California, Lawndale, California, Pachuca, California, Stonington, Canadian eventsCanada, Canada, California, Canada, Canada, Canada, Canada, On There You Know oops Ontario – sorry Ryan

Some students have asked questions. Can you answer them?

Aesop162,

Kiko wondered about her family roots around the world.

This class in Victoria have had some great answers to their questions.  Oops, they are in Sydney, not Victoria. My apologies Mrs Miller and class. Check out the comments.

Saskia spoke about breaking down walls globally – some interesting conversation in the comments.

Keep coming back to check out this post as I will add more as other students and classes finish the activity.

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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 <





    Send a Quiz



    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
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