Week 10: End of journey

Photo Series: Lego @work: "Our family thanks you"

Ken Whytock via Compfight

Thank you all very much for taking part in this ten week blogging journey with me. As something comes to an end, we usually reflect back on what we have learnt, what we will change next time and so on. So this is what the activities will be about this week.

I would like to thank the commenters for taking time to visit and comment on student blogs. I would also like to thank those bloggers who allowed me to use their blog posts as examples in the challenge.

Over the past ten weeks, 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 March 2018.

  • How many posts did you write? How many were school based, your own interests or set by the challenge? How could you improve your posts in future?
  • How many comments did you receive from classmates, teachers, commenters from #stubc or overseas students? Which post received the most comments? Why do you think that happened?
  • How many other blogs (roughly) did you visit and comment on a post? Why choose that post?
  • 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.

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 (97 stories so far)
  • whether you left your post URL weekly on the google form
  • a PMI or plus/minus/interesting point about the challenge
  • the most important thing you learnt while doing the challenge
  • did you use the challenge sidebar to find posts by other students
  • something about the statistics below

Some statistics from this challenge:

  • 964 students aged 8-56 registered for this challenge under 54 different teacher names
  • 78 class blogs were registered with 54 of them having student blogs attached to their sidebar
  • 22 countries represented by students who registered
  • 12 countries represented by class blogs of which 6 were not mentioned on student list

Number of post URLs left each week via the Google form for commenters to visit:

  • Avatars: 366
  • Commenting: 181
  • Images: 120
  • Global issues: 92
  • Free choice: 23 left on blog
  • Quotes: 171
  • Visiting: 31
  • Games: 36
  • My Best: 70

Thanks again for taking part in this challenge. Hopefully you will join me again in October this year. If you have taken part in at least two sets of challenges, you can also become a commentor, so watch out for the commentor post in late September.

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. No Google form to fill in this week. Leave comment here on the post instead.

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Looking back

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?

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Challenge 9 – using language

This is our penultimate challenge – appropriate use of language since this week looks at the subject of English or language arts.

The Australian English curriculum is divided into three areas: Language, Literature and Literacy. Students are assessed in listening, reading and viewing as well as speaking, writing and creative. This week’s activities will include all these things.

Activities to try

Remember to check out the web tools to use section on the sidebar of this blog.

Watch this video about Dove evolution then explain what the producers wanted you to get out of the video. What was their aim in creating this? What techniques did they use? What is real beauty in your eyes?

Create the following to embed on your blog:

  • a comic strip related to internet safety
  • a Voki trying to persuade listeners to read a particular book
  • a collage about social values such as co-operation, sharing etc

Write a book, film or game review. Remember to rate it out of 10 and mention what age group you would recommend it for.

As a class, create a voicethread about a book you have read recently. Dawso also wrote about a book she was reading.

Hand write the first paragraph of a great story – take a photo before you do any corrections. In your post put the photo then type what the paragraph looked like after you had done some revision work.

Write a recount, explanation, persuasive piece of writing. Find an image relating to it and remember to add correct attribution.

Create an A-Z dictionary relating to English – this could be done as a class using voicethread with a different group of letters on each slide. It could be added to throughout the year as students learn more vocabulary relating to English.

Find a very interesting image. Add it to your post then write a description or a set of questions about it.

Create your own images and add to a post of your choice  Other options for creating your own images include:

  1. Image Generators such as ImageGenerator.org
  2. Comic Generators like MakeBeliefsComix.com,  kerpoof, ToonDoo
  3. Photo Editors like Befunky, fd’s Flickr Tools
  4. Tag Cloud Creators such as Wordle
  5. Graph Creators including GraphJam and Crappy Graphs

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.

Tell the story of the picture   From Bill Ferreirae – I sometime find a picture and tell students to use that picture to come up with a story. It can be about the picture, what happened before, what will happen next, etc. So, at the top of this post is the image I have chosen for you to start with. Copy the image to your post, then write the story. Remember to give attribution. If you don’t have your own blog, tell your story in a comment here.

Write some poetry on your blog. Here are some examples: Dawso’s acrostic, Afrah’s 6 room poem, Lilli’s 6 room poem

These pictures tell a story. Visit the website to leave your story.

Next week

Next week is our last set of activities and it will include an evaluation of your blog and blogging skills as well as a chance to nominate some great student and class blogs for the annual Edublog awards. So make sure you have visited lots of different blogs and found those you would like to recommend win an award. You will be able to nominate one student blog from your class, one student blog from the rest of the world and one class blog. You will not be able to nominate your own blog. But more about this next week.

Image: ‘Moonbow = Rainbow at Night

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Time for a break – March 2011

While checking out many posts this week, I noticed some schools have been on spring break or some form of holiday, so I have decided this week is a catch up time. There will be no official activities, but I am sure no-one has done every activity in all the challenges.

Over the first five weeks, let’s look at what you could have done on your blog:

  1. Registered for the challenge as either an individual or a class – checked you were on the list
  2. Changed the theme of your blog
  3. Looked at ‘About’ pages and created your own
  4. Posted about why students or classes should visit your blog
  5. Left comments on other student blogs and recommended at least one to visit
  6. Introduced your class or school to the world
  7. Created avatars
  8. Uploaded comment and blog avatars
  9. Linked your avatar to your blog URL
  10. Slideshow of avatars created
  11. Looked at your digital footprint
  12. Classes looked at commenting guidelines
  13. Classes thought about ways to involve parents
  14. Added tracking widgets to your sidebar
  15. Written in another language
  16. Added translation widget
  17. Posted about global activities
  18. Wrote about Earth Hour
  19. Commented on blogs from other countries
  20. Culture and celebrations from other countries
  21. Created blogroll categories
  22. Added links to blogroll
  23. Created tags and post categories
  24. Post about your community so Miss W can visit
  25. Post about where you would like to go in the world
  26. Created a poll about your country
  27. Finding out about creative commons and using images on your blog posts
  28. Learnt about giving attribution and uploading images to your posts
  29. Wrote a post about your favourite colour
  30. Used different web 2.0 tools to edit images
  31. Zoomed out from an image
  32. Created an image sentence
  33. Wrote a post about an image
  34. Created an animated photo show

My goodness, I think you need a break after all those things were done in just five weeks.

Remember you need to be ready for the game we will be playing next week, as one of the activities. To take part in the game you need the following completed:

  • a blog avatar and a user avatar
  • an ‘about me’ PAGE not post
  • a clustrmap or flag counter widget
  • at least three interesting posts – could be topics of your choice not necessarily from the challenge
  • your ‘Recent Comments’ widget on the sidebar with 10 comments as the choice
  • your ‘Recent Posts’ widget on the sidebar with 10 posts as the choice
  • Your ‘Pages’ widget on the sidebar
  • at least 10 student and/or classes linked on your blogroll
  • at least three overseas blogs linked on your blogroll

The more overseas links you have, the more interesting the game will be.

As we are half way through the challenges, I am starting to run out of ideas for activities. Please leave a comment or write a post about what you would like to see as an activity. If writing a post, make sure you link back to this post so I can visit your blog.

Visit lots of blogs written by students overseas. Leave lots of interesting comments. Get to know our overseas friends. How are they like you? How are they different to you? Ask questions and get conversations going.

Original image: ‘Give me a break…in the pool
Give me a break...in the pool
by: Tommy Wong

Released under an Attribution License

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