Week 8: Game and nominate

Rubik
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: Toni Blay via Compfight

We are now into week 8 of the challenge and it is time to make sure you have been visiting lots of blogs. In fact I am publishing this post earlier than normal so you have extra time to get organized for the game and to visit lots of other blogs.

Before you start, please make sure you have at least 5 other student blogs linked on the sidebar of your blog or in a recent post that your visitors can find easily. Make sure these are blogs from other students around the world, not just those in your class or school. Perhaps have a blogroll or link category called Global students 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.

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
  • 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.

Game rules

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:

  • click on a blog on the student list or class 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.

Nominate Nominate Nominate

You will notice in the title of this post the word nominate.

Every year at this time, students and classes get a chance to nominate the best student blog and best class blog for this years Edublog Awards. Here is a link to the awards blog, where you will find instructions on how to nominate in each category. Notice you can’t nominate yourself and you can only nominate once in each category. This means you need to really think that person’s blog is the very best that you have been reading this year. Perhaps you could check out the previous winners.

How to find great blogs to nominate:

  1. Check out the student/class lists on the challenge
  2. Read comments from students in the blogging challenge posts and visit their blogs.
  3. Check out posts in the flipboard magazine by clicking on the title of the post to go to their blog.

Once you have nominated

I would like you to write a post telling me who you nominated and why. Then come back here to leave a comment telling me you have written that nomination post.

Notice there is a time limit to when you can get your nomination in.

Next week is our penultimate week  for the September challenges.

It will be a chance for you to show what you have learnt about blogging in the last three months. You will be asked to write a post, including an image with attribution, links to at least two other websites where you found your information to use in your post as well as use another web tool.  The topic will be set next week. See you then.

Week 10 Part A Great blogs

Over the last couple of weeks you have been looking at what makes a great post. This week we are expanding that to

What makes a great blog?

Naturally, a great blog will include great posts but what else will there be?

Maybe you will also need to look at

  • the layout of the blog
  • background design
  • sidebars
  • widgets
  • header

A person might write excellent posts, but then have widgets on the left sidebar that overlap on the writing. There might be loud music playing as soon as you open the blog. There might be a noisy pet chirping away in the background while you are trying to read a post. There might be snow falling all over the blog distracting you from the posts. You might not be able to read comments because of the background colours.

This year is the 11th anniversary of the Edublog Awards.

You are being invited to take part in the awards by nominating great student blogs and great class blogs. Here are lists of the blogs from last year for students and classes. In my opinion, being nominated is just as important as winning one of these awards. Not all nominations go forward to the final list.

How to find some great blogs?

  • Check out the flipboard magazine
  • Read lots of other student or class blogs

In order for your nomination to count, you MUST do the following.

  1. Write a post on your blog nominating one blog.
  2. Give reasons for the nomination, why you think it is a great blog.
  3. You cannot nominate your own blog.
  4. In your post, include a link to the blog of the person you are nominating.
  5. When you have published your post come back here to fill in the form below.
  6. Your nomination will not count, unless you fill in the form below.

You may only nominate one blog for each category.

There will be other categories to nominate in later in the year when the actual awards are publicised.

 

Nominations now open

Here is the form to fill in with your nominations for the student and class sections of the Edublog Awards.  If you want to check out the other sections, visit this link. If nominating in the other sections, make sure you read how to nominate them. Slightly different to what we are doing here.

If you have nominated here on our form for either student or class, you DON’T have to nominate again on the Edublog Awards page.

  1.  Nominate in both categories if you want!
  2. You can’t nominate yourself ;)
  3. Nominations must be made somewhere public – your blog, a forum on a ning, a school website, etc.
  4. Even if  your favourite has already been nominated, it is best to nominate them again
  5. Categories are competitive, and only the most nominated will make it to the voting round
  6. Share your nominations using twitter (#eddies13), facebook, Google+ and email

 

My nominations

I am having to do a lot of thinking about who I am going to nominate for this year.  There are so many great student, class, teacher and new blogs out there but I have to get it down to just one in each section. So here we go:

Best new blog or best student blog

This student has only been blogging since February this year and she has established a great blogroll with many return commenters to her blog. She is extremely creative and this is seen in her many and varied posts. She took part in the recent September student blogging challenge and wrote 33 posts over the three month period. Most of these were her own choice rather than just those suggested by the blogging challenge. She is extremely quick at responding to comments left on her posts and she has many long conversations with her readers. Congratulations on being nominated by me – Amy of the creative mind!

Best new blog or best class blog or best group blog

I’m not sure which category to put this one in either.  A group of 6 students are organizing their blog ready for the new school year in 2013. This is actually a class blog but totally run by students. The teacher is there in the background but all posts and comments are being written by the students who are all administrators of this blog.  They are all grade 5 this year but will be the mentors for any classes at their school who wish to start a new blog next year. Congratulations on being nominated by me – FEASTS – acronym for their names!

Best teacher blog

This one was also very difficult to decide who to nominate but this teacher always writes extremely informative posts relating technology to how it can be used within the common core curriculum and in the classroom. She reflects upon her learning all the time and has many conversations with her large following of readers. Comments are quickly added to with her special way of writing. She is always there for both the school district she works in but also for her large PLN who follow her blog all the time. She is also a great tweeter and always has many links in her blog posts to allow her readers to follow up the topic by visiting other writers as well. Congratulations on being nominated by me – Tracy Watanabe!

Best Librarian blog

This teacher is an inspiration to her students. As well as teaching in the library about skills needed in this digital world, she has students creating book trailers, writing book reviews, connecting globally with other readers. She presents at conferences and always reflects on what is happening in her digital world. She has a strong PLN who thoroughly enjoy her postings. Congratulations on being nominated by me – Julie Hembree of the Bulldog Readers!

Best twitter hashtag

Again there are so many to choose from but as an educational blogger I couldn’t go past #comments4kids  Will Chamberlain developed this hashtag so teachers and other educationalists could visit great student posts to leave comments for the students. I use this hashtag often when I read a great post by a student who is in the student blogging challenge or on one of the blogs at the eSchool blogs I run. Congratulations on being nominated by me – #comments4kids

Best ed tech or resource sharing blog

I accidentally came across this blog late last year and have since had it in my Google reader. The author writes many posts about all topics relating to educational technology and mobile learning. I don’t  really know how he also has time to teach. Congratulations on being nominated by me – Med Kharbach from Educational Technology and Mobile Learning

Best Educational wiki

If you want lots of handouts for staff PD or student use relating to Bloom’s Taxonomy, web 2.0 tools, learning styles etc, then this is the wiki to go to. Run by a teacher in New Zealand, I am always recommending this great wiki to teachers – even for a fantastic read about the different topics in 21st century learning or for ideas in the classroom. Congratulations on being nominated by me – Andrew Churches at Edorigami.

Thanks to Edublogs for allowing us to nominate blogs, wikis, tweets etc. It doesn’t really matter who wins, it is the connections we make and the new blogs we find out about that allow us to further develop as educators – retired or otherwise!

Challenge 10 – Evaluate

I am sure that your teachers ask you to evaluate your work at the end of a topic. We are doing the same here in the challenge. You also have the chance to nominate blogs for the Edublog Awards. Nominations close on 26th November, so get in early and check what you have to do to make your nomination count.

There will be two evaluations:

  1. a survey of the actual student blogging challenge – we want your ideas about the challenge. Most questions are tick a box or write a short answer.
  2. a survey of your blog by someone who has not seen it before such as your principal, another teacher, your parent, a sibling or cousin, next door neighbour.

 

Survey of your blog

This is an audit of your blog since the beginning of September 2012.

  • 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?
  • How many overseas students do you have on your blogroll?

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?

 Nominating a blog for the Edublog Awards 2012

This year we would like classes to nominate blogs they feel are excellent student blogs and or class blogs. They can be blogs from anywhere in the world. Choose a student from your class to write about the nominations in a post after you have discussed this as a class. eg best student blog or best new blog. Make sure you have a link back to this post of the challenge otherwise we wont know you have nominated for the awards.

Teachers you may also take part in the nominations but you might like to check out the other sections where nominations are now available.

Mentors we would also like you to nominate one or two of the blogs you have been mentoring to go in either the best student blog or new blog sections.

Students we would prefer you work with your teachers to nominate some great student blogs, but if there is a student blog (not from your class or school) that you feel deserves a nomination then write a post and make sure you have a link back to this post of the challenge otherwise we wont know you have nominated for the awards.  Remember, as a student, you can’t nominate a blog from your class or school.

Make sure you read the instructions at the Edublog Awards site so your nomination is written correctly. Write post on your blog, include links to blogs you are nominating and to this post in our challenge. Then send email to edublogs via their nomination form on the awards site.

After the challenge is over

Continue:

Time now to vote

Did you nominate any blogs for the Edublog Awards?

Check out the shortlisted blogs under each category in their sidebar.

You have until December 13 to vote.

 

I would like to thank the teachers and students who nominated some blogs that I run:

Best new blog – Travelling with Mr Davo Devil

Best use of a social network – Student challenge

Lifetime achievement – Sue Wyatt   (aka Miss W aka tasteach)

 

Remember to also check out the class blogs and student blogs categories where your nominations might be found.

Challenge 10: Evaluating and nominating

I’m sorry to say we are at the last challenge for 2011. Remember we start again in March 2012, on this blog again. But even though the challenge is over, you can still keep up with your new friends by visiting their blogs and leaving comments. The list of class and student participants will be left up on the blog until early February 2012.

Activity 1 – students and classes

Please evaluate the challenge mentioning something about the following topics:

Registration: Is two weeks early enough for registration to begin before the first challenge?

Subscription: Did you subscribe by RSS or email in order to get the posts as soon as they were published?

Student and class participants: How useful are these pages in the header of the blogging challenge?

The challenges:

  • Did you visit the actual challenge on the blog each week or did your teacher have a post on your class blog?
  • Which challenges were the most useful?
  • Which challenges were the most interesting?
  • What would be some other topics you would like included in future challenges?
  • Are more tutorial type challenges needed? eg how to make a link in your post
  • Were the ‘Visit these’ posts useful?
  • Were the challenges where you had to embed ie polls, cartoons, wallwisher etc interesting or could you not embed due to being a free Edublogs blog or a blogging platform that didn’t allow embedding?
  • Were there enough chances to visit blogs from overseas and make links with other students/classes?
  • Classes that registered – were there enough activities specific to classes?
  • Did you make global connections?
  • Anything else you would like to mention about the challenge in particular

Activity 2: This is an audit of your blog since the beginning of September 2011.

  • 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?
  • How many overseas students do you have on your blogroll?

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?

Activity 3: Nominating a blog for the Edublog Awards 2011

This year we would like classes to nominate two blogs they feel are excellent student blogs. They can be blogs from anywhere in the world. Choose a student from your class to write about the nominations in a post after you have discussed this as a class. eg best student blog or best new blog.

Teachers you may also take part in the nominations but you might like to check out the other sections where nominations are available.

Mentors we would also like you to nominate one or two of the blogs you have been mentoring to go in either the best student blog or new blog sections.

Students we would prefer you work with your teachers to nominate some great student blogs, but if there is a student blog (not from your class or school) that you feel deserves a nomination then write a post and fill in the nomination form. Remember, as a student, you can’t nominate a blog from your class or school.

Here are the rules you will need to follow to make your nomination valid. Notice you only have until the end of November to put in your nominations. Remember to write your post and then send in this nomination form with a link to your blogpost.

Also remember to visit the Edublog Awards page to vote between 2nd  and 13th December. You will only be able to vote for one in each section. Winners are announced on 14th December.

After the challenge is over

Continue:

Congratulations to:

  • gamekid27  who has earned over 8000 grains so far
  • bbsam and bbjoseph  who have earned over 4000 grains each so far
  • Jake G, teeganr4 and Gpower12 who have earned over 3000 grains each so far

Finally, leave a comment on this post about who you nominated or ideas for the next challenge in 2012.

 

Challenge 9: Favourites

This is the penultimate week of the student blogging challenge for 2011. Only one more week to go to prove to your teachers that you are blogging well and showing improvements in your posts and commenting skills.

So this week, the theme is FAVOURITES. This allows you lots of choice. But to show a great post to your teacher you will need to include:

  • at least three paragraphs of writing
  • an image with correct attribution
  • a link to another website where you found information

Your teacher will also be looking to see if you have used tags and categories in your posts. If you need help with these, check out the guides for your blog platform eg Edublogs, Kidblog, Blogger, Weebly etc

You might want to write three or four posts on this theme.

Next week, we will be asking you to nominate a student blog  and a class blog for the Edublog Awards. You will need to write a nomination giving reasons why you love that blog, as well as leaving a comment giving reasons as well. Think about the blogs you have visited, so you are ready when the directions for nominating are given next week. You will not be allowed to nominate a blog from your class so make sure you are visiting lots of other blogs around the world.

Next week you will also be doing an evaluation of your blog so make sure your blog is the best it can be. If you have a blog avatar in your sidebar, make sure it is one you have created. Make sure there are some widgets about your state or country, at least 10 comments and posts can be seen via the sidebar, as well as the archives as you will be comparing your first post in the challenge to your last one about your favourites. Make sure you have completed lots of the challenge activities from the September 2011 challenge.

Next week you will also be evaluating the blogging challenge by filling in a Google document survey.

Time to nominate

blankmeHave you been reading some class blogs lately where teachers are nominating blogs for the ‘Edublog Awards’? These blogs do not have to be Edublogs platform but can be WordPress, blogmeister, kidblogs etc.  The important thing is you only have until

December 3, 2010

to nominate your blogs.

Here is how Mrs Yollis wrote her post with the nominations – notice she included a link to every blog she was nominating and gave lots of reasons why she was nominating that blog. She also included the category she was nominating for.

Ms Woodward also nominated mainly by including links.

Miss W. has also nominated some blogs at her personal blog. Many of them are student blogs from the challenge.

Students could nominate for one or more of these:

Best individual blog
Best group blog
Best new blog
Best class blog
Best student blog
Best resource sharing blog
Best teacher blog
Best librarian / library blog
Best school administrator blog
Best educational tech support blog
Best educational use of audio
Best educational use of video / visual
Best educational wiki
Best educational use of a social network

So this is the challenge for this week

What do you have to do?

1. Write your post including your nominations. Make sure you include a link to each person’s blog that you nominate. Remember, you can’t nominate your own blog.

2.  Include a link to this blog post so I get a pingback.  http://studentchallenge.edublogs.org/2010/11/27/time-to-nominate-2/

3.  Now come to this post and leave a comment that includes the link to your post where you have written your nominations.

4.  If you don’t do all three things then your nominations won’t be included.

I will be closing off comments on this post on December 3 once the whole world is on December 4.