Let’s play tag -Challenge 8 -March 2011

Most weeks in the student challenge, I have asked you to visit lots of other student or class blogs and to leave comments on posts you have found interesting. For this week’s challenges, you are going to need to know how to create links in your posts. Check out Sue Waters post on linking in the Edublogs tutorials.

Linking or creating hyper-links is one of the most important aspects of blogging. When you link to a website or another blog post, it shows your readers that you have searched the internet for information to back up what you are writing about on your post.

Here are some great examples of linking in a post:

Nicole in a mystery story she wrote included links to some drinks mentioned in the story

Teacher Jane includes many links for scuba diving and animals you would see when diving

Miss W (me) wrote a post for her students about resources to use when studying a family relative who was a member of the armed forces in Australia

So here are the challenges for week 8.

Students and classes

Activity 1 – return to previous posts

Go back and read some of your previous posts.

Where could you add some links to improve your post?

  • Perhaps the place you would most like to go to
  • If  Miss W came to your community
  • Family celebrations
  • Animal migration

Activity 2 – More checking your posts

Have you included a link back to the student blogging challenge on every post you have written as part of the challenge activities? If you haven’t then that is probably why Miss W hasn’t mentioned your blog on the ‘Visit these’ posts. Here are some simple links if you want to use them.

Challenge 1 – Who are you?

Challenge 2 – Heads and feet

Challenge 3 – Going global

Challenge 4 – Finding my way

Challenge 5 – Image search

Challenge 6 – Testing time

Challenge 7 – Moving time

Activity 3 – My favourite post

Write a post about your favourite musician or food or computer game. In the post include at least three links and an image, as well as the link back to this post on the student challenge blog. Remember to give attribution for the image. Linking is like giving attribution for the information used in your post.

Activity 4 – Own choice post

Write a post about anything that you are interested in. Might be books, games, knitting, genealogy, Pokemon, WOW, a certain animal – you get the idea!  In your post include a link to a blog about your topic, a link to another website about your topic and an image with attribution.

Remember if searching using Google, put in your keyword in the search area, then when results appear, on the left side of the page under ‘Everything’ click on more and then blogs. Now only blogs on the topic should be on your screen.

Activity 5 – Student challenge meme

What is a meme? It is like a viral video – one person creates the video, puts it up on youtube, others see it and blog about it or like it on Facebook. Suddenly it has millions of viewers.

A blogging meme relies on those people who are tagged responding to the post. If you are not interested in the topic, you probably won’t write about it. A couple of memes I have taken part in early in my blogging life were: Worst job ever meme and  7 things you don’t need to know about me.

One of the students in the March 2009 blogging challenge took part in a meme.  She tagged me and here is my post.

The student blogging challenge meme is:

Describe one of the things you have done in life, that make you glow with pride.

Meme rules:

First paragraph: mention this is a student blogging challenge meme and include link back to the meme post.

Last paragraph: Make links to those students or classes you are tagging.

You may tag up to ten people but only two from your own class – tag students from other countries to make sure the meme is spread globally.

To begin this meme I will actually write a new post so you can see how it should be done.

Original image: ‘070314linked

070314linked

Released under an Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License

Read more

Finding my way -Challenge 4 -March 2011

How do you find your way around a blog?

If I came to your blog and wanted to find a post you had written about your favourite foods or about your digital footprint – how could I find it easily without looking through all your posts?

I would use your categories and tags in your sidebar.

If you want to get to your best friend’s blog and you are not sure of the URL, how could you get there from your own blog? You want to get to your school blog or intranet from home – how can you do it easily?

You could use your blogroll or links in the sidebar.

As you can see from my answers, your sidebar is a very important part of your blog. It helps guide your visitors around your blog. But it can also be a distraction if there are too many games, pets, loud music on the sidebar.

So this week’s challenge relates to your sidebar as well as me finding my way to your community if I were ever to visit.

Students and classes

Activity 1 – Create your blogroll categories

What is a blogroll, you ask? Now that you have started visiting other student blogs, you might start finding some blogs that you really like.  You might visit these every day, but how do you remember their URL?  This is where a blogroll comes in handy.

If you look  on the right  sidebar of this blog, you will notice I have two subheadings such as:

  • Blogs to visit
  • Get Help

These are part of my blogroll.  The subheadings or link categories are alphabetical beginning with numbers.  So you will need to think about what the names are for your categories.

Check out the blogroll categories from these students and classes: Kids in the Mid (left sidebar), Miss T (left), Mr Miller (right), Alanna (left), Daniel (right), Georgia (right), Teegan (left, some are actually images as links too), Bree (far right)

To create the link category headings, go to your dashboard>  links > link category You might include  classmates, overseas friends, class blogs, get help and websites.

To make sure these appear on your sidebar, go to dashboard> appearance> widgets and drag the links or blogroll across to the sidebar area.

Activity 2 – Add some links to your blogroll

To add some links such as the challenge blog and your friends’  blogs, go to your dashboard> links> add new.  Remember to say what category you put the link under and also use http:// in front of the URL. Be internet savvy and only use first names of students.

You might include at least 10 classmates, some overseas friends you have visited,  Student Challenge Blog, Bloggers Cafe, The Edublogger, Help from Edublogs, your class/school blog and/or intranet and  websites you often visit.

Here is a post by Sue Waters about creating a blogroll. Follow the instructions for Step 2 in her post.

If using Blogger, go here to find instructions. Remember to include Bling for your Blog on your blogroll.

You are going to need lots of student and class links on your blogroll ready to play a game in a couple of weeks.

Activity 3 – Creating at least 4 post categories

Just to confuse you, there is also another heading called ‘categories’. Categories are like the chapter headings in books while tags are like the index words at the back of a book.

This though, relates to the posts you write about.  These categories appear in the header area or at the footer section of each post you write. My post categories for this blog are on the left sidebar and named ‘Challenge Sections.’ My tags are in the right sidebar and named ‘What the posts are about.’

What are your posts mainly about?

  • Check out the categories and/or tags these students are using: Daniel (left), Antonio (bottom right dropdown box), Teegan(right), Isabella, Jasper, Matthew, Anna (left)
  • Classes check out Miss T’s categories at bottom of left sidebar – notice it is a dropdown box and she has included names of students in case they write a post on the class blog.
  • Miss W has a moving box for her categories on the right sidebar – need to be a pro blog to use this.
  • Here is a post from Sue Waters at Edublogs for adding categories and tags to your posts.

To  set them up from your dashboard>  posts> categories.

Why are categories and tags important when writing your posts?

Where else do you find tags used in technology?

To make sure these appear on your sidebar, go to dashboard> appearance> widgets and drag the tags and/or categories across to the sidebar area.

Here is another post from Sue Waters about changing widgets in general in your sidebar.

If using Blogger, click here for hints on changing things in your sidebar.

Activity 4 – Write a post about the importance of tags and categories

  • Why should regular users of the internet be using tags and categories whenever they leave a footprint on the web?
  • Where are users asked to use tags?
  • What is geotagging?
  • Why did you decide on those categories for your blog?

Here is a post by Michael Martin about tags and categories. Wikipedia has an article on tag clouds. Wikipedia on Flickr, see organization section.

Activity 5 – Miss W needs to find her way to your community

  • If Miss W were to visit your community, what would you recommend she visit?
  • Where is your community in your country?
  • How is your community different or unique compared to other areas of your country?
  • Would she need to know a different language or would she get by with English?
  • What are some phrases she might need to learn that are typically from your area of the world?
  • When would be the best time of year to visit?
  • Any special clothing needed?

Write an interesting post about your community. You might want to include a slideshow of nearby landmarks or important buildings in your community.

The idea for this post came from some comments on Ms Edwards class blog.

Activity 6 – Where in the world would you like to find your way to?

Be specific – not just ‘I want to go to Australia’.

  • What questions have you got about the part of the country you want to visit?
  • What do you already know about that place?
  • Why do you want to visit there in particular?

Write a post leaving some questions for your readers to answer. Think about the countries where our student blogging challenge bloggers are from. They should be able to answer your questions.

Activity 7 – Create a poll


Survey your visitors by asking about where they would like to visit in your country. Use Polldaddy or a similar survey tool and embed the poll in either a post or your sidebar. Once the poll has closed, perhaps you could write a post about the most popular place mentioned in your poll.

Remember to add this link as a trackback or pingback in your post.

http://studentchallenge.edublogs.org/2011/03/27/challenge-4-march-2011/

Original image: ‘Everything’s Right
Everything's Right
by: Richard James Lander

Released under an Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License

Read more

Challenge 7 – Sept 2010

Facebook for Dummies, anyone?photo © 2008 David Fulmer | more info(via: Wylio)
In the last couple of challenges, you have had to leave comments on other student and class blogs.

When you get to a blog, how do you find a great post to read that is of interest to you? You could:

  • read all the posts on the visible page
  • read every post on the blog
  • check out where other people have left comments by using the comment widget
  • use the search widget if it is on the sidebar
  • use the category widget
  • use the tags widget

The last three choices will get you straight to a post relating to the topic you want. So our activities this week relate to organizing your blog to make it easier for your readers to find interesting posts they might like to comment on. We are going to visit a couple of other teacher blogs who have already written about categories and tags.

1. Visit Teacher Mom who runs a homeschool blogging course and read her post about categories. Follow her instructions about creating categories for your blog posts. If using blogpost, visit Allanah King’s post on labels.

2. Some classes have a category widget on the sidebar, but they have changed the heading for it. What is the heading I have used here at the challenge blog? Check out these blogs and decide if you are going to change your heading or are you going to leave it as categories? All things QuebecKids in the Mid, Grace.  Notice some categories are drop down menus, others are rotating names (need a pro blog for this.)

3. If you are reading a non-fiction book, you have chapters on different topics – eg a book about frogs might have chapters on where they live, their habitat, food they eat, lifecycle.  These are like categories. But you also have an index at the back of the book with words like: frog, tadpole, pond, lilies, swamp, croak  These are what computer users call ‘tags.

The more often you use the word as a tag, the larger it will look in your tag widget. When you use a search engine like Google, they look for keywords and tags that are found on website pages and in blogs. When you use Flickrcc to find an image, they are also looking at tags the photographers have added to their photos. Sue Waters from ‘The Edublogger’ has written a great post about the differences between categories and tags (2 years old though still applicable today)

4. When writing posts, begin adding categories and/or tags. You should only have a few categories – it is like the chapter heading of a book. Go back to your previous posts and change the category. Check TeacherMom’s post about adding categories to previous posts. If writing a post for the challenge, perhaps a category ‘challenge 10′ would be useful.

The next few challenges relate to posts you might want to write about:

5. What is included in having a positive digital footprint? When should you start using your proper name and photo of yourself rather than an avatar? Who is responsible for showing you how to be internet savvy? What information do you include on profiles when you register at a website?  Write a post about your own digital footprint.  Give examples of where you can be found on the web. Note the links go to posts written by my students from last year. You might want to create a comic strip about your digital footprint. Check the links on the internet savvy posts to find some comic making websites. Danni created a comic on being internet savvy.

6. Mrs Smith at the Huzzah blog is making sure her students grab your attention from the very first sentence you read on their posts. Check these out and then create some really interesting sentence beginnings for your blog. Make sure you link back to Mrs Smith’s blog to show where you got the idea for your post.

7. Mrs Braidwood at the Ripple Effect found an interesting social media counter. Make sure you change the counters at the top for social, games etc as well as the amount of time.  What did you find fascinating about this counter? Has it made you think about your use of the world wide web? You might want to write a post about this counter. Make sure you include a link back to Mrs Braidwood’s blog to show where you found the idea for your post.

8. 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 just found by using the count out three game.

Read more
1 2 3