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Looking Back

Creative Commons License Javcon117* via Compfight

I am starting to organize our 20th student blogging challenge – Wow ! those ten years have certainly gone by quickly since I first started the challenge back in 2008.

It started with a tweet from Sue Waters asking for some overseas classes to visit my student blogs to leave comments for them. As I had only been blogging for a few months, I didn’t have many global connections in my personal learning network (PLN).

It was a competition the first time it was run with each class awarding a prize but since then it has become a challenge instead. But the main purpose of the challenge has remained the same.

The most important aspect of this competition, though, is the connection formed between reader and writer.  We would like to see students making friends in other countries, finding out they are not so different wherever they live in the world, asking questions and making conversations by replying to those questions.

We didn’t have a blog dedicated to the challenge, instead it was part of my class blog with the challenge being on pages in the header of the blog.

Here is the link to the participants in  September 2008 – I wonder how many are still blogging but maybe not on their student blog?

Here is the link to the activities for that first competition – you will notice many of these are still being used in challenges run since 2008

Sue Waters and the team at Edublogs decided the challenge was going so well that it needed its own dedicated blog and so this blog was started back in January 2010 ready for the 4th student blogging challenge.

There have been some changes throughout the years including:

  • Google forms for registering classes and students – needed once the numbers of participants increased
  • Mentors to help new bloggers
  • Badges for participants
  • Flipboard magazine for great posts

There is going to be a big change again ready for the next challenge in March but I will write about that in a new post – it relates to mentors.

Readers: Have you taken part in one or more of the challenges? Which activities did you enjoy the most? Are there any skills you think need to be taught to students to allow them to develop as better bloggers?

8 Comments

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  1. Hi I’m a student,
    I love to do new fun things and I’m doing this with my class,
    and this is part of my week two daily EDU blog commenting bye.

    • sammymthegreat1
  2. Hi Sue!
    Participating in the challenge both as a class teacher and as a mentor for a couple of years is one of my favourite experiences.
    Thank you for the inspiration!

    Tatyana Chernaya

  3. Hi Miss W.
    Certainly looking forward to participating once again in this Year’s blog challenge and interested to hear about changes to mentors. Keen to mentor again this year.
    Thanks,
    Heather

    • year6wilderness
  4. I would love to explore this as a possibility for my students. How do we sign up? Where can I find more information?

    • alfitzgerald246
    • G’day Al,
      If you fill in the Subscribe by email widget (top of right sidebar), you will receive an email each time I write a post. Registration forms for classes and students will be published on the blog about the 20th February.

      Hope you join us and enjoy the activities.

  5. Hi Sue! My 6th grade students participated in the First Challenge, back in 2008; Ana Clara did it on her own, back in 2012 and I enjoyed being a mentor for a while (I would love to be back).
    My kids and I loved to be in charge of some of the weekly prompts, after the challenges, at “Student Friends” or “Bringing Us Together”.
    I appreciated the generosity of the first participants, hurrying to the computer’s room during lunch break, instead of enjoying games on the playground.
    I loved to give support to Filipa, Madalena and Alberto, in the evenings, through messenger: we felt like a conspiring team, as blogging wasn’t recognized as a classroom activity.
    The present circumstances are difficult yet, but we are getting progressively closer to an innovation turning point.
    On this Tenth Anniversary, congratulations for your awesome work!
    Ines

  6. I am anticipating the information, the “big change” for mentors. I certainly hope to participate as a mentor this spring. Thanks.

    • Patricia Emerson
    • Hi Patricia,
      The form for commenters eg mentors will publish on the 20th February. Will be great to have some new blood in the commenting group.