Week 10: Farewell from the 19th challenge

Swallow-tailed Kite

Creative Commons License Andy Morffew via Compfight

This is our last post for the Student Blogging Challenge until we start again in March 2018. I hope you have enjoyed the activities and the chance to make connections with other students and classes around the world.

I would like to thank the mentors for taking time to visit and comment on student blogs. I would also like to thank those students aged 16+ who took on the role of mentors.

I would also like to thank those bloggers who allowed me to use their blog posts as part of the visiting challenge.

We have had a great 10 weeks of blogging. You have learnt so many skills to help you improve your blogs. Many of you have improved those writing skills or maybe digital skills with using a variety of tools to embed on your blog. But it is now time to evaluate your progress as well as the progress of the blogging challenge itself.

This week there are two things to do:

  1. Evaluate your own blog
  2. Evaluate the actual blogging challenge

1. This is an audit of your blog since the beginning of October 2017.

  • How many posts did you write?
  • How many were school based, your own interests or set by the challenge?
  • How many comments did you receive from classmates, teachers or overseas students?
  • Which post received the most comments? Why do you think that happened?
  • Which post did you enjoy writing the most and why?
  • Did you change blog themes at all and why?
  • How many widgets do you have? Do you think this is too many or not enough?
  • How many overseas students do you have on your blogroll?
  • Which web tools did you use to show creativity on your blog?

Now ask another student and teacher/parent from your school who might not have read your blog to do an audit.

Sit beside them while they navigate around your blog, record what you observe as they interact with your blog. When finished, ask them the following questions:

  1. What were your first impressions of this blog?
  2. What captured your attention?
  3. What distracted you on the blog?
  4. What suggestions can you give me to improve my blog?

Write a post about your blog audit.

2. Evaluating the challenge.

This is the nineteenth challenge and sometimes I feel like the activities are getting stale especially for those students who have taken part in more than one set of challenges. So there is a new page that you all can contribute to. Every month of the year, there are special events, festivals, birthdays of authors etc. Which ones do you think it would be interesting to write about? Find the post ideas page and add your ideas in the comments. (These are found above the header area)

I would like you to leave a quality comment giving your opinion of the challenge. You might want to mention some of the following things:

  • the most interesting challenge for you
  • how often you visited other blogs and left comments
  • whether you read the challenge flipboard magazine
  • a PMI or plus/minus/interesting point about the challenge
  • the most important thing you learnt while doing the challenge

Thanks again for taking part in this challenge. Hopefully you will take part again in March next year. If you have taken part in at least two sets of challenges, you can also become a mentor, so watch out for the mentor post in late February.

Keep writing, keep reading the magazine, and if you have a great post you would like me to add to the magazine over the summer/winter break, feel free to leave a comment here.

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Week 9: Have I improved?

O, Let Me Ne'er Forget

Mike Trimble via Compfight

As many students are starting to leave the challenge due to end of term, I have decided to publish two posts very quickly for the last two weeks of the challenge. Week 9 is about proving your blogging skills learnt this year and Week 10 is reflecting and evaluating your blog and the challenge.

Now is your chance to prove your skills

Activity 1

Write the very best post you can for your teachers and visitors to read.

Remember essentials for 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
  8. ends with a question to lure your visitors into leaving a comment

Your choice of topics: only write about one of them

  • History
  • Inventions
  • Travel
  • Favourites
  • Science

When you have finished your post and your teacher has published it, then return here to leave a link to the post. We still have some students just leaving a link to their blog rather than the exact post.

Activity 2

Do you have a favourite blog (not from your class though) that you visit often?

Write a post about that blog and why you keep going back there. Remember to include links to a couple of posts they have written. Also leave a comment on their blog to say you have written a post about them.

Still got time left

Visit other blogs and leave quality comments.

Read the magazine and visit posts to leave comments on.

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Week 8: Let’s play a game or two

content-marketing_cover

Creative Commons License Hurca! via Compfight

 

Did you enjoy visiting the students and teachers blogs from a couple of weeks ago?

Did you leave a comment on one or more of them?

Have you checked back if the poster answered your comment?

I know that many comments were left by students and I also know many have been answered. Check these out:

Hello Ms. W,

This week by being one of the students on the list, I noticed quite a lot. Many people like to comment about their own stories and then ask questions to learn more, which is really nice. Their questions typically regarded my travels, so they were fun to answer and talk about, but mostly, I loved to hear people’s stories. It’s so great to hear from people with similar experiences! Thanks for choosing me to be on the list!

Regards,

Caleb

Dear Miss W,

I am very exited to have had participated in this week’s challenge. I received a lot of positive comments and although there were a lot of comments to answer, it was very fun meeting new people and getting to know their ideas. Thank you so much for organizing this week’s challenge.

Greetings,
Alicia

Hello Ms. W,
I have taken the time to answer to most of my comments, I couldn’t answer all of them because 236 comments is a lot.
Thank you,
Agathe

There are five activities this week and two are in the form of a game. They involve visiting other blogs, leaving quality comments and writing a post about the comments you left.

Before playing the games, make sure your blog is ready for visitors.

  1. You have lots of interesting posts for visitors to read and comment on.
  2. Visitors can find posts by using tags or categories on your sidebar.
  3. You have a visitor widget to see where your visitors are coming from.
  4. You have at least five student and/or class blogs from other places around the world on your sidebar.

Game week is all about visiting other blogs.

Remember one of  the main aims of blogging includes commenting and carrying on conversations with the author of posts and their other readers.

A good commenter will have:

  • read the post carefully,
  • checked out the links in the post
  • read the previous comments before they leave one of their own
  • added to the conversation with a quality comment – remember that video from Mrs Yollis’ class.
  • included a link to their own blog or a similar post on their own blog

Activity 1: Game 1 

This is a game we have run for many challenges and allows you to connect globally.  Those who have taken part in a challenge before know the game of  ‘Count Out Three’. Here are the instructions:

  1. click on a blog on the student list or class list– count one
  2. now click on a blog from the new student’s blogroll – count two
  3. finally click on a blog from that new blogroll – count three
  4. leave a comment on an interesting post at this third blog.

Teachers: If you are moderating student comments, please make sure you are up-to-date with that this week as students can be very disappointed when they think they have no comments, yet many are in the moderation queue ready to be published.

Students: Make sure you are also replying to any comments that have been left for you.

Do this activity at least three times and finally, write your own post saying which blogs you visited and which posts you left a comment on. Why did you choose that post? Remember to include a link back to the post you left a comment on.

Activity 2: Game 2

This is a new one I have thought of to add to the challenge. Many great student posts are being flipped to the #17stubc Flipboard magazine, but I am not sure how many of you have actually checked them out. So here are the instructions for this game.

  1. Click on the flipboard magazine link here
  2. Click on the title of the post of what looks like an interesting image or a catchy title
  3. You should now be taken to the actual blog post, read it and leave a comment
  4. Come back to the magazine again and repeat two more times

Write a blog post mentioning the blog posts you read and the comment you left.

 

Activity 3:  Write a post about the commenting you have done this week or throughout the challenge so far.

  • What have you enjoyed about commenting?
  • What is annoying about commenting?
  • How have you found interesting posts to comment on?
  • Are your posts getting lots of quality comments? Why or why not?

Activity 4:  Create a list of great comment starters to help new students to blogging. There are some lists on the web but try to create your own. Here are a couple of examples from Anne Davis:

  •  Another thing to consider is…….
  • I can relate to this…….
  • This makes me think of…….

Activity 5: Write a quick post then include 5 great examples of comments as part of the post – use some interesting comment starters for each comment.

Get to it – start visiting and leaving quality comments that show you have read the post. 

How many quality comments could you leave this week? Can you leave 10, 20 or maybe 50?

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Week 7: Thinking globally

Have you heard of Mahika Halepete? I hadn’t until I attended an online Global Education Conference last week. Who is she and why am I mentioning her?

Look at this post about her as a grade 8 student. Her writing and singing skills have taken her a long way in just one year.

She presented a session at the conference about youth empowerment through design thinking. She has created her own Non profit organization to empower young people (ages 12 to 25) in developing countries to design and implement projects that solve problems affecting them and their communities.

All this before she turned 16 years old!

Think globally, act locally

Locally

  • My recycling bin has more in it every week than my normal rubbish bin.
  • I have a worm farm that chews up any extra fruit and vegetable rubbish I might have left over.
  • Whenever I go for a walk, I pick up any rubbish especially on the beach nearby.

Globally

  • I sponsor a Panda with World Wildlife Fund
  • I sponsor a child in Sri Lanka to improve the lifestyle of the child, their family and community. Have sponsored since I received my first pay cheque as a teacher back in the 1970s.
  • I donate to Kiva with micro loans of $25. I have made 69 loans so far and 8 friends I have invited have also made loans

What could you do about some of these world problems?

Here is a great website with lots of information about many topics below.

There might be some that are more specific to your area of the world. But this week research one of the following topics:

  • hunger
  • water
  • racism
  • use of resources
  • global warming
  • specific aspects of the environment
  • unemployment
  • war and unrest
  • use of land
  • terrorism
  • HIV/Aids
  • child labour
  • women’s rights
  • education and literacy
  • another global issue of your choice

Activity 1: For this challenge we are looking at research skills, attribution, links and creativity in how you have presented the work.

For the topic you have chosen you might want to create two or three shorter posts rather than one very long one.

In your posts, include links to where you researched and some images with attribution. You might also want to include a poll or survey, a collage of images, a slideshow you have created. You may have found a great video you could also include.

Teachers – Here are some links to where you might get some ideas –  Global Concerns Impact, educating for global citizenship, ACEE – student voices, Global Oneness project – bringing the world to your classroom

Activity 2: Global issues in your classroom

Have you or your class taken part in some work associated with a global issue? Create a post about what you were involved in. Check out what some classes did a few years ago relating to Uganda. Here is a wonderful newish website about projects students and classes can join in.

Activity 3: Visit other blogs

Visit at least ten other blogs not from your country. Ask questions about some of the issues they might have in their country. Make some comparisons between the countries taking part in the challenge. Write a post about your findings.

Activity 4: Be creative

Use a web 2.0 tool to be creative about global issues. This might be a poll or survey, a quiz, write a poem, create a poster, draw a picture, write a story or cartoon about a super hero saving the world – just be creative.

Activity 5: Do something

Do something about a global issue. Here are links to games and activities for kids about global issues. What did you choose to look at? Write a review in your post.

Teacher resources – Action Aid resources, Know My WorldiEarn in many countries of the world, World Savvy, Kiva help entrepreneurs around the world

Still more time to spare?

Visit students and classes from the other countries involved in the challenge. Leave a comment or question relating to a global issue that might be affecting them.

Leave a comment on this blog telling Miss W. the global issue you think is most important to be solved. It might not be one of those mentioned in the post. Give reasons why it should be the first issue solved.

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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
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