Week 2: It’s a small world

Welcome to the second set of activities. But first a little bit of

ADMIN

Firstly, with over 1000 students now registered, I am sorting out mentors to be allocated to students. I don’t want one student to end up with  more than one mentor but this will happen if you are on the student list more than once. So PLEASE check the student list and leave a comment on this post if you are on there more than once. I will need your name, URL, country and age to make it easier for me to find you on the list.

Secondly, we still have some classes and students who have privacy settings not allowing others to read posts and/or comment. To check if this is you, go to your blog but DON’T login. Now  try reading and commenting. Are you allowed to? If not, then neither will your visitors. Please change the privacy settings. Any students or classes who still don’t allow comments by Easter will be deleted from the lists.

Thirdly, instead of filling in a Google form each week of the challenge, please come back to the post and leave a comment including the URL of your blog post.  In April I will be starting a new flipboard magazine and will be adding the great posts from both students and classes to that.

Now let’s get to the challenge.

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, including time zone changes, 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  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, creating avatars, writing posts, leaving comments by visiting international blogs.

Activity 1 Adding widgets

When adding widgets to your sidebar, go to your dashboard>appearance>widgets> drag text box to sidebar area. Now copy and paste the embed code into your text box.

  • 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.

Activity 2. So that you are known globally, you need to have an avatar that represents you.

But can’t I use a picture from Google?

No, most pictures on Google or other search engines are copyright and belong to someone else.

Here is a post with links to lots of different avatar sites for you to create an image that looks like you and here is a post for Edublogs or wordpress explaining how to upload your avatar. Blogpost or blogger students check here to upload, Kidblog check here,

Activity 3. Being such a small world now, many classes take part in global events such as Earth Hour (coming up very soon, so register this week), Safer Internet Day (back in February), Global Read Aloud Day (ideas for books needed), Pi Day (just passed) and Clean Up Day (just passed in Australia). Write a post or posts about special global events you or your class have taken part in. What did you learn from the event? Why should it be global?

Activity 3If I were to visit your state or province, what would be the ‘must see’ places and why?

Activity 4. Create a quiz about your state, country; this website is good for embedding a quiz. Try my quiz about Tasmania

Thanks to Celia for reminding me that this site is only for those over 13 years old.

Activity 5. Finally, just for fun, if you have completed one of the other activities perhaps you could try this activity.

When “daddysitting” my father who is just out of hospital, I asked him to give me an activity relating to the topic for this week. He said what about a story about the journey of a small animal like an ant. Remember be creative, use a different webtool and embed into your blogpost.

Still got time left this week:

  • Visit other student and class blogs and read the about pages. Leave quality comments.
  • Check out these maths challenges from Ms Hutchison’s class.

Remember, come back to this post and leave a comment when you have written your post or embedded your quiz. Include the URL of the actual post not just your blog in general.

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

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