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

 

Some disappointed students

Disappointed http://www.flickr.com/photos/24932870@N04/2501616262 by: Katy

I noticed as I was checking blog posts from the last two challenges, that some students had tried to embed Vokis and pets on their blog posts or sidebars, but they hadn’t worked properly.

The main reason for this is that Edublogs free blogs (which most students have) often get a lot of spam from bots reading embed code. So Edublogs last year took off the chance to use embed code in these free blogs.

But they realised that most teachers pay for one of the PRO Edublogs blogs. So they allowed a PRO user to disable ads for up to 50 of the free blogs. This then means students can use embed code on those upgraded blogs.

Another way to get the ads off and be able to use embed code is to watch out for Sue Waters who writes the “Edublogger“. She often has competitions to take part in where you get a year’s subscription as a PRO user.

On this post about the student blogging challenge, she tells of two ways you might be able to get a free subscription, so check it out.  (Look for the hand pointing on a yellow starburst)

Original image: ‘Disappointed‘ http://www.flickr.com/photos/24932870@N04/2501616262 by: Katy

Challenge 2 – Sept 2010

Lots of choices again this week in the challenge.

1. Create an avatar for your blog and for you to use when leaving comments.

Avatars are a representation of yourself. Check out this post about avatars.  Create your avatar using one of the websites below. Sue Waters from ‘The Edublogger‘ has written a great post about avatars, including giving instructions on how to save them and then upload to an ‘Edublogs’ blog. Many of the sites mentioned below are included in her post. If using Blogger, here is a link to show how to add a photo to your profile.

Most important is remember to save as a jpeg file if using Edublogs.

MyHero[1] avatar2 avatar3 avatarbig

Any age can use these avatar sites:

From abi-station:

But over 13, need parental or guardian permission for these.

14 or older with parental permission

2. As a class, put together a post, movie or slideshow including your avatars.

Mrs Yollis’ class made lucky hat avatars last year.  Here is an example using animoto.

3.  Create a quick brief tour of your classroom or school (walking around showing the grounds/playgrounds/classroom) and then  embed it or upload it to the classroom blog. You might use vimeo , a slideshow, photopeach, YouTube, Smile Box etc.  Next week visit other classes who did the same activity and compare your schools or classrooms.   Thanks Mr Webb for this suggestion.

4.  In a post, please answer this question: When do you think it is appropriate for students to use real photos of themselves on their blogs and why? See if you can research this on the net and find responses from other educators. Remember to link to their post if you use information they mentioned. Hyperlink as well to this challenge post, so I can read your answers. Andrea wrote a great response in March this year.

5. Visit this website and leave a comment on the topic posted.  Look at the other topics to write about at Ignite to Write.  Create a couple of these to put as posts on your blog.  Thanks Tatiana for this suggestion.

6.  Create a Voki to put on your blog sidebar or post. Have the Voki talk about a place you would love to visit. Give at least three reasons why. Try to use an appropriate background for the Voki relating to that place. Don’t actually tell us the place eg Egypt, let your readers guess from the information you mention.

7. Visit Mr Pepper’s blog and leave a comment on this post.  If you are a new blogger, answer the grade 7 question.  If you have been blogging for a while, answer the grade 8 question – you might want to create your own ‘Commandments of blogging’.

Remember, whatever activity you choose to do, create a hyperlink back to this post somewhere in your writing. That way I can visit your blog and add you to one of my ‘Visit these’ posts in the future.

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 < Status: 200 OK\r
    Content-type:text/html; charset=utf-8\r
    \r

    PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN"
    "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd">



    ' };

    Wildfire.initPost('204321', 'divWildfirePost', $gigyaWidth, $gigyaHeight, pconf); });




    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