Week 1: Let’s introduce ourselves

Miss W or tasteach

Whenever you see either of these avatars or images on the world wide web, you will know it is me. I am a retired teacher who began blogging with students in 2008. I still blog with teachers and students in Tasmania, Australia. I also blog about my family history and whenever I travel overseas, Davo the Tasmanian devil keeps a blog about his adventures with me. I also blog about my travels around Australia.

But the event I enjoy most is running the Student Blogging Challenge twice a year, with the help of the staff at Edublogs.

When you meet a new person or join a group, there are three things you will most likely do.

  1. Look at the outside view of the person – do they look like the type of person you would enjoy being with?
  2. Then you would go deeper by asking some basic questions about the person and their interests.
  3. Finally, you would connect through shared interests.

We are going to cover those three things this week by creating an avatar to represent our outside view, create our about me page to show your visitors the type of person you are and your interests then you are going searching for other students your age who also have similar interests.

Teachers – Remember you can adapt the activities to suit what is happening in your class at that time or you can cut and paste parts of it on to your class blog. Just remember to give credit where you found the ideas by linking back to the challenge post somewhere on your post.

Students – Most weeks there will be lots of activities to choose from. You don’t have to complete them all. But by early November, your mentor or I must see your ‘About Me’ page or post as well as two other posts relating to the challenge. If they can not be found, your name will be taken off the list of students participating, especially if you have been given a mentor. Mentors are there to give you some clues about blogging, reminding you of the challenge as well as carrying on conversations in your posts. Remember to read and reply to their comments politely and in a timely fashion.

This challenge we have many new students and classes taking part so let’s get some admin out of the way before we start our activities for this week. Anything written in bold and blue is a link you can click on to take you to another blog or website.

Admin for week 1

  1. Check that your name appears only once on the list of participating students. Leave a comment on that page if I need to remove your name from the list – give me your name, URL and age so I can find you easily.
  2. If all the students in your class have blogs and your teacher has a section called ‘My class’, you should have a widget called ‘Class blogs’. Make sure this is on your sidebar.
  3. Add the challenge badge to your sidebar.
  4. Can visitors leave comments on your blog posts? If your country is in bright pink, then you might need to change your privacy settings. Check this post for how to do this using Edublogs, Blogger and Kidblog.
  5. Once you have done your activity for this week, remember to come back here and leave a comment on this post. Include a link to your blog post so I can try and visit in the next week. Great posts will be added to our Flipboard magazine on the sidebar.
  6. Teachers: if you are moderating comments, please do this regularly (at least once a week if not once a day) as it is in the comments where the best connections happen between students and classes. I have just visited some blogs where comments I left two years ago are still awaiting moderation.

With so many new students and teachers taking part, you might like to start with this video created by the team at Edublogs. Here is a PDF activity about blogging terms that you might want to use after watching the video.

Time now for the two topics for this week

Looking at avatars

Activity 1: Create an avatar to use on your blog.  There are many different avatar creation sites on the web. I have been to many of them and created lots of different avatars. Some you just save and download to your computer to then upload into your blog. Others you need to use the snipping tool to save a square image of your avatar. It is always best to save as a jpg format.

Here is a symbaloo of websites to use for avatar making. Feel free to add this to your blog. Along the bottom are pages where teachers have listed lots of sites as well as shown examples. The easiest to do are on the right hand side and look like my avatar.

 

To add your avatar to your blog, if using Edublogs, check here. If using blogspot, check here.  Teacher might need to change some settings in Kidblog to allow students to add own avatars.

This was my very first Animoto created back in 2009. Look at the tools page above the header for other slideshow creators.

Did you find a great avatar site not mentioned here? Leave me a comment mentioning the site so I can add it to the Symbaloo.

Activity 2: Write a post about your avatar and how it represents you. Include a link to the website where you created the avatar. Remember to include your avatar as an image in your post. If writing a post about your avatar, choose an interesting title not just avatar as this will cause an error on your blog.

Activity 3: Create a series of avatars to represent your family members. Use different avatar websites depending upon the person’s interests. Write a post about your family and include the avatar for each person.

Remember – be internet safe, no personal information.

Activity 4: For classes – As a class create a slideshow of your user avatars or add them to your header area. Above is an old example using animoto. Or check out how to customize your header – here is a post by Mrs Smith about creating avatars – using shapes,

About me page

 

Activity 5: Write or update your About Me page.

Whenever I visit a blog for the first time, I always check to see who the person is that is writing the blog posts. Do they have similar interests to me?

If you already have an About Me page, you might want to create an About my State or Province page as well. Be creative:

What is the difference between a page and a post?  Check out the information here.

If using Edublogs, below are instructions for creating your page. If using blogspot, check here. If using weebly, check here. If using Kidblog, you will need to write a post.

  1. Login to your blog, go to Settings> Discussion and make sure the default setting is ticked for allow people to leave comments> save the changes at the bottom
  2. Now go to the dashboard>pages>add new
  3. Change the title to About Me or something similar.
  4. If you only have one row of icons above the box, click on the last icon called the kitchen sink or toggle. This opens a second row which allows you to change font colours.
  5. In the box, write a bit about yourself remembering to be internet safe. Make sure you have checked out the pages from other students mentioned – many of them have been blogging for a while.
  6. In the top navigation area is Screen options – open the drop down arrow and make sure comments is ticked.
  7. In the area under the page writing box, you should see a Discussion box – open this and make sure you have ticked Allow comments.
  8. When you have finished click the big  button on the right side of your screen – probably says update or send for review.
  9. Once you have saved your about me page, go back and delete the sample page.
  10. If your theme doesn’t show pages in the header area, then you will need to go to dashboard> appearance> widgets and drag across the Pages one to your sidebar.

Activity 6:  What are some apps or websites you could use to create something interesting to add to your About me page? Tell me about them, costs, age to use etc Perhaps a word cloud or glogster – brainstorm as a class.

Finished the work for week 1?

Visiting other blogs

One important aspect of blogging is commenting on other blogs. Classes and student participants are grouped according to similar ages. Visit some other blogs, read posts, get ideas from them, leave a comment. Make sure you include your blog URL so they can come to visit your blog.  Are there any students with interests the same as you? Do you have a mentor yet? Have they left you any comments?

325 thoughts on “Week 1: Let’s introduce ourselves

  1. Dear Ms. W

    I finished my post for week 1 of SBC. I introduced myself by saying what were my hobbies, where I come from and what sports I enjoy playing…

    Best regards, Jasmine

  2. Miss W, i have worked hard on a blog that tells everything about me and I really want you to read it, sincerely candace.

  3. Miss W. you should come to see my post it is about My Avtar :)http://lukerabegms24.edublogs.org/2017/09/25/my-passion/

  4. Miss W,I like my about me page because it tells what i like and what I look like.You should go and check it out.

  5. Dear Mrs. W,
    Please check out my about me page
    i could not really get the post so you can only see it on my page.
    but i would really appreciate it if you check it out.

  6. Ms. W,

    I visited my students’ blogs during Week 1 of the challenge. The student blogs are set. I introduced myself to them, left comments & link to my blog for them. Does the students have my contact info? I did not want to leave my email address on the comment section of their blog.

    I decided not to create an avatar in order to keep my blog sidebar tidy. http://trivediziemba.edublogs.org/

    Please come & visit the blog & let me know what you think of it.

    Best wishes.

    Mrs. Trivedi-Ziemba

  7. Hi Miss W. I’m a middle school technology assistant and grad student in Virginia, USA. Our school is just getting started with blogging, and I am following along this time to learn more about the blogging challenge. I’m also working on a grad school project about global collaboration, and I’ve chose the blogging challenge as my topic. I may have some questions for you along the way. 🙂

  8. Dear Miss W,
    I managed to add the new badge to my page and I completed “Activity 5” where I wrote about myself on my “About Page”. I modeled one of the ideas you suggested of writing an A-Z paragraph and to make it a little more creative I wrote about myself in third person. I would love for you to check it out when you have time.

    Link: https://gankalisd21.edublogs.org/

    Kind Regards,
    Sally

  9. I’m a little late in commenting, but our students have written their posts to introduce themselves. They shared these posts using padlet.
    http://mcdowellmedia.edublogs.org/2017/10/02/meet-the-2017-2018-authors/

    They also created avatars to represent themselves. You can see their avatar in a slide presentation on our page titled 2017-2018 Authors:
    http://mcdowellmedia.edublogs.org/2017-2018-authors/

    We are excited about this year’s Blogging Challenge.

  10. Dear Miss W,

    This is my first time doing the student blogging challenge. I was wondering if I needed to do all the activities listed for each week.

    Thank you,

    Emma

    • Hi Emma,
      Somewhere on the first post it mentions you can choose which activities to do; you certainly don’t have to do them all. But for this first week, I would suggest create an avatar and your About Me page.

  11. Hello Ms. W,

    I have finished my activities for the Student Blogging Challenge Week 1, activity 2 & 5. This weeks activity was very fun-filled and I am excited for more. 🙂 Please check out my posts.
    Check out my blog!

    Aloha,
    Naho 🙂

    • Hi Kyla,
      Loved your about page, but I couldn’t leave a comment.
      Go to your dashboard> open your about page again and in the top right corner you should see Screen options.
      Click on the dropdown arrow and make sure Discussions and/or comments is ticked.
      Close screen options.
      Now under the writing area you should see a discussion area. Make sure you have ticked the box about comments.

  12. When I finish my first post, will I have to delete the first post. I do not know how to add future things to it. Can you help me please

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