Week 6: Visiting others

Blue Heron in Butchart Cove

Jim Hoffman via Compfight

Some students and classes as well as some of the Edublogs managers have given me permission to use some of their posts for you to visit. Leave your comments on their posts rather than mine here. Remember what makes a great comment.

Activity 1

Visit at least three of the posts linked below. Read the post, do an activity if mentioned and leave a comment for the author. If possible carry on a conversation within the comments that might be left by other students as well.

Activity 2

Visit one of the posts below. Read the post carefully. Write a post on your own blog answering the question or the topic of the post. Once your post is approved, go back to the original post and leave a comment mentioning the URL of your post.

Teachers: If one or more of your students is/are listed, please make sure comments are approved daily to help with the conversations.

Blogs to visit – you can do the activities as often as you like

Still more time left this week

  • Read some of the posts in the flipboard magazine – your teacher might want to create a class flipboard magazine to add to your class blog
  • Visit other classes and students in the lists above the header of the challenge blog – add some to your blogroll or links
  • Reply to any comments left on your blog

Week 5: Let’s talk school

I wonder how similar or different your school day is! I know we have students taking part that are home schooled, or are from an international school or have a one room school as well as go to university or a normal school.

So this week’s theme is all about school. I am going to give you some suggestions but what you post about is up to you. Use one of my ideas or think of something for yourself. Check out what these three students wrote last year:

  • Kaiya – lunch time choices
  • Brooke – interview a staff member – make sure they know beforehand you will be putting it on your blog for the world to see
  • Maraya – report on an event at school

I have included a few videos and links  you might like to check to give you ideas for posts.

So what could you do for a post this week?

  • Create polls about how people get to school or work, or favourite school subject or …..
  • What is your weekly timetable like, compare with other students – time you start and finish school, number of lessons each day, breaks during the day, days in year you go to school
  • Choices of subjects at school – remember to explain abbreviations you might use eg LOTE , ELA
  • Your dream of what you will be doing once you leave school
  • If you were principal for a week, what would you do? If you were a teacher for a week, what would you do?
  • Research the history of your school and create an about my school page
  • Research a famous person who attended your school
  • Technology in your school
  • What do you do at break times?
  • School bell has gone – what do you do now?
  • Food you eat at school – what is in your lunchbox or your school meal – good activity for taking photos
  • If you could improve your school, what would you do?
  • Your ideal school – maybe include a map of what it would look like
  • How has schooling changed over the last 100 years? Maybe interview parents, grandparents and ask questions about schooling – use an audio app then embed in blog
  • The view outside your classroom window – maybe explain plants that might be seen, the weather, seasons etc
  • Hold a debate about uniforms or school starting times or subjects or …..
  • Anything else that relates to schooling around the world

If you create polls or surveys, make sure you contact me so I can publicize on Twitter to get other classes around the world to join in. Use #17stubc or #globalclassroom if you are doing it yourself.

Check out this gallery of classrooms around the world Remember to click on ‘i’ to get more information about the country and classroom.

Martha Payne’s blog turned viral overnight – check out this interview and her blog about school lunches  Make sure you read her very first posts on her blog.

Collaborate with some other schools to create a video like these global classrooms did – Dancing around the world

Teachers:

Check out how you can connect with other schools using Skype in the classroom – Here is link to Hello Little World Skypers  Perhaps join in some of their projects.

Make more global connections by listening to the archives of recordings from the Global Ed Conference held in 2016. Maybe join the Global Education Network that has over 24000 members around the world. The 2017 conference starts next week.

New bloggers publishing great posts

I loved the commenting post from Sophia, great A-Z introduction by Elizabeth, a challenge from Alicia,

New class has joined the challenge – Ms Blewett’s Crew – lots of great work in the student blogs on the sidebar.

Remember to leave one comment here including  post URL(s) telling me which activity/s you have done. If your post is great, it will be added to the Flipboard Magazine.

Week 4: Free choice

Cabra hispanica Montserrat

Pedro Luna Guillen via Compfight

The first three weeks of the challenge were mainly learning lots about blogging skills you need when working on public sites on the internet. You should have learnt the following so far:

  • Avatars – what they are, how they are used, how to create one and upload to your blog
  • About me pages – difference between page and post, what is private information and what you can say on your blog, being a good digital citizen
  • Commenting – what makes a great comment, what you expect from a comment on your blog, guidelines for blogging and commenting in your class
  • Images, sounds, video – what is creative commons, how to find safe and usable images, what is an attribution and how to write it, websites with great images, creating your own images, using images for puzzles and games, an image paints a thousand words when writing a story or poem

In a couple of weeks, we will be playing a commenting game. But you need to get prepared for this.

Make sure you have at least 5 other student/class blogs linked on the sidebar of your blog, in a page near your header area or in a recent post that your visitors can find easily. Make sure these are blogs from other students/classes around the world, not just those in your class or school. Perhaps have a blogroll or link category called Global students and/or Global classes. Here is how to add a blogroll if using Edublogs or Blogger. If using Kidblog write a post mentioning at least 5 great blogs you enjoy visiting. Your teacher may be able to add links on the class part of the Kidblog.

Have some visitor widgets on your blog sidebar – maybe a revolver map or a flag counter – this way you can see where your visitors are coming from. Remember only one visitor in 30 will actually leave a comment.

Make sure your blog looks interesting:

  • Maybe change your header to suit what you are writing about.
  • Do your pets make a noise as soon as your blog is opened in a tab? That can be annoying so make sure the visitor can click on the sound button if they want to hear your animal pet.
  • Have you changed the tagline under the title of your blog?
  • Have you included some tags or categories to help your readers find a great post?
  • Does your background image make it hard for your visitors to read your posts?
  • Have you written some interesting posts for your visitors to comment on?

This week’s activity is free choice

Have some interesting posts for your visitors to read when they get to your blog.  I am not going to give any clues as to what to put in your posts but remember the following, especially if you want a post flipped to our magazine. Also take note of the page titled ‘Post ideas’ above my header.

Having read many student posts, I came up with the following essentials in a great post.

  1. catchy title
  2. includes at least one visual (with attribution) whether photo, cartoon, video or another web 2.0 tool like padlet or glogster
  3. interesting topic with the passion of the author coming through
  4. well written and not copy/pasted from somewhere else
  5. shows it has been proofread and spellchecked
  6. written in paragraphs – at least three of them
  7. includes links to other websites on similar topics – at least two of these

When you have finished your post(s), please come back here to the blogging challenge and leave one comment on this post. Mention what topic(s) you wrote about and leave a link to your post(s). Check out how Roman left one comment for all posts completed.

Those posts covering the seven things mentioned above will be added to the flipboard magazine. Many students are forgetting to add links to other websites relating to the topic they have written about. Help here from Edublogs and Blogger.

Mentors:

Can you please check your students blogs this week and get back to me via email or comment with names of students who are not really participating in the challenge activities? By now students should have an about me page or post and at least two other posts/pages relating to images, avatars or how to comment. You might need to search around the blog to find pages or click on the 3lines under each other to find a sidebar.

Also thanks to those mentors who are writing back on student blogs. There have been some great story endings where mentors have joined in the activity. The students really appreciate these comments.

Still more time left this week

  • Read some of the posts in the flipboard magazine – your teacher might want to create a class flipboard magazine to add to your class blog
  • Visit other classes this time in the lists above the header of the challenge blog.
  • Reply to any comments left on your blog especially if from a mentor.

Find student blogs on the sidebar

Work using images

Some great stories to finish are found here: Fiona, Roman, Anusha, Christian, Leon, Idyl, Tristan, Quincy, Nate, Caleb, Layla, Isabella, Emma, Kait, Stefan, Phakamon,

Some jigsaw puzzles to try are found here: Mai Thao, Vince, Van Anh, Brandon, Isma3el, Jori, Anusha,

If using free Pixabay images, check here to see how Mai Thao wrote the attribution links

Caleb used a different comic strip creator

Remember YOU have to visit other blogs, leave comments and the URL of your blog before you will get any comments on your blog. This is how the conversations and connections get made – by visiting and commenting on other student and class blogs.

Enjoying the challenge?

I know you have two weeks to complete the images and sounds activities but thought I might mention a couple of things I have been noticing while visiting blogs.

Images

When you use an image from the web you need to include a link back to where you found the image. I should be able to click on that link and it opens the page where the image is found. It is not enough to just say you got it from openclipart or morguefile.

Commenting

Some students have been leaving great comments on blogs. Remember if you want to know if the blog owner responds to your comment, you need to click the little box – see image. Remember then to check your email.

Have you been visiting student and class blogs and leaving great comments? Have you been leaving the URL of your blog so a person reading your comment can visit?

Have you been leaving the URL to a post when you visit the challenge blog to leave a comment? Miss W only visits, comments and/or flips when the URL is for a post rather than just the blog.

Themes

There are hundreds of themes to choose for your blog. Some blogs I can’t read the post or comments because of the background image. You might need to customize your image by making it more transparent.

Some themes have little boxes in the header area. You need to change the wording in these to personalize the blog.

Categories and tags for posts

If you are starting to write free choice posts on your blog then you need to start using categories and tags. This makes it easier for your visitors to find a post that might interest them.

You wrote a book review on “W is for World” a hardcover book written in association with Oxfam. Your category will be book reviews, your tags could be hard cover, Oxfam, world, alphabet, children, Kathryn Cave

So looking at the tags, your visitor could see this was an alphabet book for children in a hard cover format. It relates to things around the world and Oxfam had something to do with it. The author is Kathryn Cave.

Links to other blogs

Have you found some interesting student or class blogs and you visit them often? Instead of coming to the challenge blog to find them in the list each time, why not add them as a link on the sidebar of your blog? You are going to need some links for the game we play later in the challenge so start getting organized now. Add 3 class links perhaps using the link category of Global Classes and add 3 student links using the link category Global Students.

Student and class list

You might have noticed I have had to delete a large group of students from England as we couldn’t get comments set up on their blogs. Instead their teacher will be adding some of the student posts to their class blog here, so make sure you visit in November as they are on break at the moment.

Week 3: Using images

There is a lot to learn in this challenge so it will be running for a two week (fortnight) period. The next challenge will be posted on 29 October. It is also a chance for classes that have been on Fall break or holidays to do some catching up. These activities also relate to Digital Citizenship week 2017 which runs in USA and Canada over this first week. Ideas from Edmodo as well.

Admin for this challenge

  1. Thanks to all those students, teachers and mentors who have been checking the student list for students mentioned more than once. If you haven’t checked yet, please make sure you are only listed once.
  2. Some students (who already have a mentor) will soon be deleted from the lists if they have not been participating in the challenge activities.
  3. I have visited hundreds of blogs recently. I have left a comment, or flipped the post to our magazine or have mentioned your post in the next blogging challenge post. Have you found one of your posts mentioned yet? Remember you need to leave me a link to one of your posts for me to visit.

Students and teachers please read this before doing the activities

This week’s activities are going to be fun but first there are some things you need to know so please read carefully.

I have been visiting many blogs over the last few weeks. Some students new to blogging have been writing some great posts while others who have been blogging for a bit longer have started adding videos and images to their posts.

Yes, this week we deal with using images, music and sounds in your posts.

But can’t I use any image, music or sound that is on the internet?

No, you must use creative commons or in some cases the fair use rule.

But where can I find these images, music and sounds? Can’t I use anything when I google an image?

No, your blog is public so you must use creative commons images, sounds, music and videos.

Sue Waters over at Edublogs has created a student blogging bootcamp with lots of interesting posts. Check these out (mainly Edublogs but many also relate to other platforms.) Other posts found here for Blogger blogs.

Other places to find information on creative commons

Images

Make sure you check out the links in the Tools to Use symbaloo above the header

Music and sound effects

JamendoCCMixter, post with 14 websites for music, post with 20+ websites for music, post with 55+ sites with sound effects

Now for the activities for this fortnight

Activity 1. Do some more research on the topic of attribution and licenses and perhaps create your own class video about using images, music and videos in class.

This video is the reaction of students in Mrs Yollis’ class when she mislabelled their artwork. How would you have felt?

Activity 2. Find an image or piece of music. Add it to your post (with attribution) and write a poem relating to the image or music. Invite your readers to write their own poems. Here is Fernando’s example, Samantha is confused

Activity 3. Similar to activity 2. Find an interesting landscape image (include attribution).  Write the beginning of a story relating to your image. Remember to include a conflict of some sort between your characters. Invite your readers to finish the story. How many different endings can you get? Which ending do you prefer? You might need to visit some other bloggers and invite them to finish your story. Remember to leave the URL of your post for them to click on.

Activity 4. Write a sentence using just images – no words OR find 5 images that create a story – again no words only the attribution for each image.

Activity 5. Create a slideshow, photo gallery or poster about your interests to add to your about me page or as a separate post. Your final slide should include attribution for each image. Noah created a great gallery with captions

Activity 6. Create your own images and add to a post of your choice. In your post add a link to the website or tool you used to create your image.

Other options for creating your own images include:

  1. Comic Generators like MakeBeliefsComix.com,  ToonDoo
  2. Photo Editors like Befunkyfd’s Flickr Tools
  3. Tag Cloud Creators such as Wordle

Mixing up your images using these types of tools can really spice up your posts! Leave a comment on this post, if you or your class can recommend some other image sites to add to this list.

Activity 7.  Zoom out from an image

We first tried this activity in the challenge in September 2010. Choose a picture, and have your readers zoom out, so to speak, by leaving comments.  Check out the example from Huzzah who finished their story. If doing this activity, include the word ‘zoom’ in your title so I can find it easily. Remember to give attribution. Most important here is to read previous comments, so you can add to the story.

Check out these zoom pictures: BeckyJacquelineAbbey

Activity 8.  Go back to previous posts

If you have used images in any previous posts you have written, then you are ethically obliged to give the correct attribution or take the image out of the post if it does not have the right creative commons license.

Activity 9.  Create a jigsaw from your image. Mrs Schmidt’s class has done this using Jigsaw Planet . Here is her explanation

Last week (2014) my students made some jigsaw puzzles about famous places in our area.  First each student created one Power Point Slide showing a photo and some facts about a location in our area.  They saved the slide as a JPEG and then uploaded it to Jigsaw Planet.  Once the puzzle was created, they published a link to it on their Kidblog. Click on Niamh’s puzzle link. Maggie created a tough jigsaw. Anisha created a jigsaw from her avatar.

Activity 10. Make a game using images. This class in Australia based their game on 4pics 1 word app.

Still got time left this fortnight (two weeks):

  1. Visit other student and class blogs – leave some quality comments
  2. Teachers – have you started visiting blogs listed on the class list of blogs? Maybe pair up your students with those on the other class blogs.
  3. Reply to comments on your own blog
  4. Start using tags and categories with each post you write to make it easier for people to find posts on certain topics. Make sure you have the tags and categories widgets in your sidebar.
  5. Have at least five other student blogs linked on your sidebar – students from other classes and schools – not your own. We will need this for a game we play in a couple of weeks.

Try to have a few different headings like

My Blogging Friends

Other Class Blogs

Having lots of  links to student blogs from other countries will help spread the game.

Here are the instructions for adding links to your sidebars.

EdublogsBloggerKidblog – not sure if this widget goes on the class page or each student page

Still got time to read more posts

Mrs Caudill’s class wrote great introductions then wrote about their avatars

Check out all the interesting links, including student blogs, on the sidebar of the Tech Kids blog

Phakamon created a commenting recipe

Make sure you leave a blog link on Summer’s blog when you comment or it might go in the trash

 Most important learning from this fortnight’s challenge is:

Use creative commons images, not just any image on the net. Always include attribution of where you found the image. Compfight plugin does this for you.

PS If you have done the blogging challenge before, you will find these activities are nearly the same each time. If you have ideas for different activities please leave a comment on this post.

Flipboard magazine

I will only be adding posts to the flipboard magazine that:

  • are written in paragraphs
  • have been proofread
  • include an image, sound or video with attribution

So make sure you have taken note of this week’s learning about creative commons.

Miss W visiting your blogs

From this week onwards, I will only be visiting blogs where students or classes have left the URL to the post in a comment with an explanation. If your teacher is moderating your posts, you will need to wait until it has been published before giving me your URL. Check out the difference between a blog URL and a post URL.

Blog URL: http://studentchallenge.edublogs.org

Post URL : http://studentchallenge.edublogs.org/2015/10/10/raise-your-voice/

 

Great game to play about being internet awesome from Google – found this in a comment on Edmodo

Visitor widgets

As this week’s challenge is all about commenting, it would be a great time to have some visitor widgets on your blog sidebar.

Sue Waters, from Edublogs, has a demo blog for widgets you can use. Check out her post but don’t go overboard putting hundreds of widgets on your blog. To get a widget, click on the widget or the link underneath it in Sue’s sidebars.

  • Perhaps choose a revolver map, clustr map or flag counter.
  • Maybe include a weather widget for the area where you live and a clock widget.

If using blogger, here is a post about adding gadgets to the sidebar in general. Here are specific posts for adding a site counter and revolver map and adding a clock.

Visiting a few blogs over the weekend I have noticed some fantastic conversations starting particularly with the students from Louisianna who are mentoring groups of 5 younger students. Keep up the great work!

Week 2: Let’s learn to comment

Admin for week 2:

When visiting many blogs last week, I noticed your pages in Edublogs often didn’t allow for comments to be written. You might need to do the following:

  1. Go to your about me page and open it in your dashboard.
  2. In top right corner, click on screen options and make sure Discussions and/or comments are ticked. Close screen options.
  3. Now below the writing area for your page you should see a dropdown labelled Discussions.
  4. Make sure you have ticked the boxes about leaving comments.

I also noticed some of the About Me pages and posts have too much personal information such as full names, dates of birth, when and where you go to activities after school. Remember not to include this type of information in your posts.

If your About Me page isn’t visible as a link on your blog, you will need to add the widget called Pages to your sidebar.

 

About week 2: Commenting skills

This is another important week in the challenge. Blogging is all about having your voice heard and connecting with others who might like to read and comment on what you have written. But, as in many things we humans do, there are some protocols bloggers in schools like to follow.

Check out these videos about leaving quality comments. The first video was created for one of the very first blogging challenges back in 2009 by Mrs Yollis’ grade 3 students and it has been seen by thousands of students who have taken part in the blogging challenges since then. This video is suitable for all ages but specifically primary/elementary school or lower. But those in middle/high school or older might like to check out the second video which is more suited to an older age group.

Teachers: You might want to visit the post about teaching quality commenting on the Teacher Challenge blog. It has an excellent video about the possibilities of blogging through commenting. It also includes the videos below and others you might want to share with your class. You also find out about commenting and blogging guidelines, paper blogging and other ways to use your blogs to connect globally.

Using Edublogs? Check out these posts about comments: Comment overview,  managing comments,

Mrs Yollis and her third grade class

Nicolas Weiss – Leaving high quality blog comments

 

Activity 1: Create a ‘How to comment’ page on your blog

Many themes and blogging platforms have different ways to leave a comment. You might need to click on the title of the post, or click on a number in a circle or click on the words ‘Leave a comment’. Write a page for your blog explaining how to leave a comment. You could write it as a set of steps or perhaps create a video showing what to do. Be creative. Here is an example on  my family history blog. Mrs Yollis created a video showing how to comment on her blogspot blog. You might prefer to add the instructions in a text widget on your sidebar instead of a page. Remember, though, if you change themes you might also need to change these instructions.

Activity 2: Make a set of commenting guidelines – you might be able to combine this with activity 1

Explain what you expect when someone leaves a comment on your blog. .

  • What type of comment is acceptable?
  • Which type of comment will you put in the trash?

Here are some examples:

Huzzah commenting guidelines,  a Glogster poster about commenting, WarriorKat used a variety of tools for her guidelines, notice how Sophie included a link back to Mrs  Yollis’ blog where she got her information from, Emme created a PowToon, Darcey included some interesting points, Kyndal has her guidelines here

Activity 3: Leave a comment on this post – you might be able to combine this with activity 4

Each week the best posts published in the Student Blogging Challenge are featured in our Flipboard magazine.

To check your posts we need you to leave a comment with a link to your post on this blog whenever you finish a weekly activity.

So your activity is to practice leaving a comment below with a link to your post for an activity you’ve completed this week or last week.

But first you need to know the difference between your BLOG link and your POST link

  • Blog link: http://studentchallenge.edublogs.org
  • Post link: http://studentchallenge.edublogs.org/2017/10/01/week-1-lets-introduce-ourselves/

If your teacher is moderating and approving your posts, you will need to wait until this has been done before leaving me a link in a comment.

Activity 4: Use some HTML in a comment

Did you check out Mrs Yollis’ blog? She includes a page with some HTML (code) you can use when commenting especially on blogspot blogs. If leaving a comment on an Edublogs blog, here is a post explaining the HTML to use.  If you want to leave a link to your blog that looks neat and tidy, check out this post.

Activity 5: Visit other student or class blogs

Visit 4 other blogs on the lists above the header area. Leave a quality comment on one post on each blog. Might be the About Me page or another post you found interesting.  Write a post on your blog mentioning who you visited, which post you left a comment on and why, then include the comment you left. Hint: make sure you copy the comment before you hit the submit button. Here are some examples from other students: Allegra , Izzy, Callie but try to include a link to the actual post you left a comment on

Will visitors to your blog find it easy to search for a post they might be interested in commenting on? Maybe you need to start using Categories and Tags or Labels (blogspot) or Categories (weebly) or Categories (Kidblog) or make sure you have an archive section.

Let’s visit other blogs

Congratulations to the students from Thailand who wrote some great introductions then were first to leave me a comment on last week’s post. Here is their class blog with their names on the side if you also want to visit them.

I also enjoyed reading an A-Z post from Caleb.

Visit some younger classes and read the student posts:

I have started adding posts to our Flipboard magazine for #17stubc – check in the sidebar.

Got more time to fill this week?

Check out the page above my header called Post Ideas. Lots of topics and special days to write about in your blog.

Next week we look at activities relating to digital citizenship week 2017 particularly images and media.

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?

Nearly there

Just a couple more days and the first challenge post will be published.

Are you ready?

Students, have you:

  • registered for the challenge?
  • added the challenge badge to your blog sidebar?
  • checked you are on the student list only once? If your country is in pink then the URL is incorrect or I need a password to leave a comment – please change privacy settings.
  • written a great first post so your mentor has somewhere to leave you a comment?
  • replied to any comments left by your visitors especially if they have asked a question?
  • checked out the help guides for Edublogs, Weebly, Blogger or Kidblog?

Classes, have you:

  • registered for the challenge?
  • added the challenge badge to your blog sidebar?
  • checked you are on the class list only once?
  • written a great first post so your visitors have somewhere to leave you a comment?
  • added some other class blog links on your sidebar? Remember those in mauve on the list have student blogs also on their blog.
  • is your country in pink? If yes, then URL is incorrect or I need a password to get into your blog to leave a comment.
  • checked out the help guides for Edublogs, Weebly, Blogger or Kidblog?

Mentors, have you:

  • added the challenge badge to your blog sidebar?
  • added the post feeds for the students you are mentoring to a reader such as Feedly?
  • or added the students you are mentoring as links on sidebar of your own blog?
  • checked that you can leave comments on student blogs or notified me that you can’t so I can sort it out with teachers prior to the challenge starting?
  • started leaving an introduction comment to the students you are mentoring?

Register as student October 2017

Before filling in the registration form please read the following:

Who should register 

  • Only students who have their own personal blog can register
  • Students who are going to do the activities otherwise mentors’ time is wasted *** this one is very important
  • Students who want to connect with other students around the world
  • Register only once – I can usually work out incorrect URLs by visiting class blogs or contacting teachers

A few days after  you have registered

  1. Check the student participants page which will appear in the header area to make sure you are there. Check very carefully under your age group as we don’t need names being doubled up – again that would be wasting time of the mentors.
  2. If you are not on the participants page, register again being careful that your blog URL is correct.
  3. If you are on the participants list, start visiting other students your age or with your interests.
  4. Fill in the subscription by email widget so you are notified when posts are published each week – first challenge will be October 1 or if you have Edublogs reader, click on follow then you will be able to read posts in your reader.
  5. Make sure you have some great posts written so others can start leaving comments.

If you have a twitter account, use the hashtag #17stubc to notify others of your posts

Read everything above this line, now is the time to register