March 20

A look ahead for the Blog Challenge

HEADS UP

The post next week is all about global issues but there are some interesting events happening this week that you might want to take part in ready for the activities in next week’s challenge.

This is an excellent website showing what happens every day of the year. These are some for this coming week:

Students have taken part in Earth Hour since I began the challenge in 2008. Make sure you visit their website and perhaps add a widget to your blog.

Teachers here is a link to their school starter kit.

 

 

 

 

 

March 20

Week 3 Blog Challenge

Week 3: Images, Videos And Music

 

Admin for this challenge

  1. Thanks to all those students, teachers and commenters 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. Commenters and I have visited hundreds of blogs recently. We 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 fill in the form each week for one of us to visit and comment.
  3. You can also visit the posts each week as I now have a link to them on the sidebar – any with a yellow cell has not been visited yet by an official commenter, so please go to these first.

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, videos, 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, public domain 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

Video

Check out Sue Water’s post from the student blogging bootcamp where she shows how to create and upload your own videos as well as where to find videos and how to embed on your blog posts.

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 week

Activity 1. Do some more research on the topic of attribution and licenses and perhaps create your own class videoabout 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. Take a photo or 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. Take a photo or find an interesting landscape image (include attribution) or create the beginning of a video.  Write the beginning of a story relating to your image or video. 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. MakeBeliefsComix.com
  2. ToonDoo
  3. Befunky
  4. Big HugeLabs
  5. PhotoFunia
  6. 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 week:

  1. Check out posts from other students and classes – see link in sidebar – any with a yellow cell has not had an official commenter visit yet
  2. Check out some good avatar posts I found in the list and I mention below
  3. 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.
  4. Reply to comments on your own blog
  5. 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.

Student posts

RajyashorilHaileeYasha17KofiNicholasClaire LouiseJudeJordan,

Some class posts

Mrs ScalesWindy Woods Farm homeschool, Mrs Vazquez,

If you speak and write Spanish or want to use a translate widget, why not visit Doctora Merrills blog to leave some comments?

 

Here are the instructions for adding links to your sidebars.

Have at least five other student and/or class 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 link categories like

  • My Overseas Friends
  • Other Class Blogs

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

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

Flipboard magazine – are you in there yet?

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.

Most important learning from this week’s challenge is:

Use creative commons images or public domain, 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.

 

If you do lots of activities this week, only include the best 2 on the Google form, otherwise we will not have enough commenters to visit.

READ MORE

March 20

Week 2 Blog Challenge

WEEK 2: MAKE COMMENTS

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 and pages.

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. Also if you want a comment left on the page make sure you have followed the instructions in the admin area for this week about ticking boxes for Edublogs blogs.

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, Hunter created a PowToon,  Alane has some commenting guidelines,  Sophia included extra info about commenting, Alicia has written in a great format for easy reading, Kate has used two web tools to create her commenting post, Pinky created a commenting recipe, Summer was very creative, Fiona explained her tips in detail.

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.

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/2018/01/19/looking-back/

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 , Sally 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.

Got more time to fill this week?

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

Check out other student and class blogs located in the participant tabs in the header area.

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

If you want a commenter to visit your blog, remember to fill in the form below for only one or two activities  you complete this week. Make sure it is a post link as I will be deleting any that are just blog links.

 

March 5

Week 1 Student Blog Challenge!!!!

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 copy 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.  When you complete an activity, remember to fill in the Google form at the bottom of this post.  A commenter will visit 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 fill in the Google form.
  6. You can also 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.
  7. 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 Edublogscheck here. If using blogspot, check here.  Teacher might need to change some settings in Kidblog to allow students to add own avatars.

Activity 2: For classes – As a class create a slideshow of your user avatars or add them to your header area.  Or check out how to customize your header – here is a post by Mrs Smith about creating avatars – using shapes,

Other classes:

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 3: 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 4: 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 and explain how it represents that person.

Remember – be internet safe, no personal information.

 

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 blogspotcheck here. If using weeblycheck here. If using Kidblog, you will need to write a post.

If using Edublogs, here are instructions for creating your page.

  1. Login to your blog, go to Settings> Discussion and make sure the default settings are ticked to 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 writing 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?

If you want a commenter to visit your blog, remember to fill in the form below for each activity you complete this week.

 

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February 14

Google Visits Blue Ball Elementary!!!

Learners at Blue Ball Elementary in Eastern Lancaster County School District were recently given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to participate in a Google pilot program for new technology. Mr. Adam Geiman, former Blue Ball Elementary teacher and current ELANCO elementary technology coach, applied to the Google Expeditions Augmented Reality Pioneer Program, which allows Google to visit a school and present new technology to the students. Out of thousands of applications, Blue Ball Elementary was selected as a participant.

VR in the ClassroomGoogle visited Blue Ball Elementary on January 31, 2018. Students and teachers in grades 2 through 6 experienced Google Expeditions, which transported them from the limits of the solar system to the depths of the Caribbean through virtual reality field trips. Teachers led the field trips, created by Google, through the use of a guided lesson plan and content-related notes on a tablet. Students used virtual reality goggles and monopod to travel to places they may never have experienced in their lifetime. The teachers, who had volunteered for this opportunity, were excited at the potential applications for their classrooms through this new technology. Mr. Arena a 4th grade teacher at Blue Ball says, “This new technology is a fantastic educational tool which helps create excitement and engagement for a vast amount of topics.”  The district welcomed technology coaches from other area school districts to observe this pilot program. Many left with new ideas to bring back to their schools. “I loved seeing the excitement in each student and hearing the wows over and over again from class after class.  Students were wowed by what they saw and experienced! Talk about bringing the real world into today’s classrooms. These expeditions provide students with virtual opportunities to travel to places they might never have the experience to see in reality” says Ken Zimmerman, Instructional Technology Specialist at Lancaster-Lebanon Intermediate Unit 13.

Unbounded Classroom VR

The learners were thrilled at the chance to travel into the solar system, go under the blue waters of the Caribbean, observe volcanoes, visit historical monuments as they learned about the American Revolution, watch dinosaurs in their natural habitat, and fly through the clouds. “My experience using virtual reality was breathtaking. When I was standing on hot lava looking at an erupting volcano, I knew that I was part of something special! This revolutionary technology has enhanced my learning beyond extent. Being able to explore where George Washington once stood without getting out of my seat is unimaginable. With virtual reality my learning has become more fun and impactful” says Jackson Custer, a 5th grader at Blue Ball Elementary.  The visit from Google enhanced and contributed to the district’s global initiative.

Google is not yet done at Blue Ball Elementary. The innovative tech company plans to revisit Blue Ball Elementary later in the school year to pilot yet another new technology program – augmented reality. Stay tuned for another update!

VR Classroom

December 4

Student Blog Challenge Week 10

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.

December 4

Student Blog Challenge Week 9

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.

December 4

Student Blog Challenge Week 8

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?

November 20

Student Blog Challenge: Week 7

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 voicesGlobal 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 SavvyKiva – 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.

November 14

Week 6: Student Blog Challenge

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