Blogging Experts… Apply Here!

Are you one of those tech savvy students who loves to come to the aid of friends when they’re struggling with their blog? Do you love volunteering to demonstrate technology skills in front of the class? Do you love to write thoughtful blog posts that go above and beyond the expectations?  Are you a strong writer who would like to assist students as they edit their blog after receiving a blog rejection notice?Student Blogging Expert BadgeConsider applying to become a blogging expert. Not only do you get the chance to help your fellow students, assigned a special seat at one of the tables in the class, but you get the honor of having a special student blogging expert badge installed directly onto your blog.

Students who are interested must meet the guidelines below:

  • Up to date blog
  • Strong knowledge of blogging behind the scenes
  • At least a C in LA
  • A willingness to help others

Are you interested in joining a group of BMS students on a June 2018 trip to Italy and Greece?

screen-shot-2016-09-17-at-1-04-14-pm

PARENT MEETING: Group leaders will be available to discuss details specific to the trip, answer parent and student questions, and talk about fundraising ideas.

Wednesday, September 28th, 2016 6:00 pm – BMS Library

Tour Information
Group Leaders: Ginny Hoke & Michelle Olson
Tour Name: Italy & Greece
Dates: June 2018

More information about the trip can be found @ goo.gl/oFQl9s

Blogging Challenge: Week #10 – Time to Say Goodbye

Week 10: Time To Say Goodbye

This is our last post for the Student Blogging Challenge until we start again in September/October 2016. 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 Sue Waters from Edublogs for writing a few of the challenges this time, but also thank the mentors for taking time to visit and comment on student blogs.

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 March 2016.

  • 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 sixteenth 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 over the next few weeks I will be adding new pages 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 for that month and add your ideas in the comments. (These are found above the header area)

I usually have a form to fill in here but this time 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 October this 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 September.

Blogging Challenge – Week #9: Doing My Best

Only TWO more weeks left of the blogging challenge, this week you have four topic choices and some very specific guidelines provided to help you craft your best blog post yet. This one is due Friday, May 13th, by midnight. Write on!

Week 9: Doing my best

From Darkness to Light - please read
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: Evan Leeson via Compfight

Well, this is our second last week in the March challenge for 2016. Over the last 8 weeks, you have learnt a lot about blogging if you have done most of the activities and checked out the links included in my posts.

It is now your time to do your best and show your teachers and myself what a great blog post looks like.

The one and only activity for this week:

Write a post on one of the following topics

  • What makes a great family
  • A global issue you would like to help solve
  • My future
  • Visiting overseas

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

  1. catchy title
  2. includes at least one visual 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, please come back here to the blogging challenge and leave a comment on this post. Mention which topic you wrote about and leave a link to your post. Those posts covering the seven things mentioned above will be added to the flipboard magazine.

Still more time left this week:

Visit other student and class blogs.

Read posts and leave comments.

Decide on a student blog and/or class blog you would like to nominate for the Edublogs Awards in November/December this year. You will get a chance next week to write a post about the blog you have chosen. HINT: Can’t be your own blog nor one from another student in your class.

Student Blogging Challenge – Week #8: Game Time

Week 8: Game Time

Before you start, please make sure you have at least 5 other student 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 around the world, not just those in your class or school. Perhaps have a blogroll or link category called Global students 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.

Game week is all about visiting other blogs.

Student and class blogs – new bloggers and old hands at the blogging – mentors as well as participants.

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.

Game rules

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:

  • click on a blog on the student list or class list– count one
  • now click on a blog from their blogroll – count two
  • finally click on a blog from that blogroll – count three

Leave a comment on an interesting post at this third blog. Remember to include the URL of your blog, so that person can visit you as well.

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.

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?

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?

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…….

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

Still got time left:

  • Have you been checking the flipboard magazine?
  • Is one or more of your posts included?
  • Miss W has included some great examples up to week 5. Remember to include the URL of your POST in the comments here at the challenge blog if you want to be included in the magazine. Miss W checks the posts first before adding them. Sometimes she also leaves you a comment.

Student Blogging Challenge – Week #7: Work then Play

No changes to report for this week’s challenge, but you should know that due to testing, Week #7 is totally optional. However, if you take the time to write the post, it is worth up to 10 extra credit points… So start blogging!

Week 7: Work then play

Monopoly Night 2010

Creative Commons License Jono Martin via Compfight

Once you have finished your work at school, you can often go and play with something in the room.

But let’s also think about people with unusual jobs – what did they do for play or relaxation?

I think about my great great grandfather who was a whaling captain in the 1870’s. He was stuck on a boat with thirty other men, maybe his wife and a child was also on board. What sort of things did the sailors do for relaxation out in the middle of the ocean?

Here in Australia and New Zealand we have just celebrated ANZAC Day and we are thinking about the soldiers of the Great War – World War 1. If they weren’t fighting in the trenches or charging across the open ground, what could they do for relaxation? If they had been injured and were recuperating in a hospital tent, what could they be doing?

Activities to choose from:

1. Research board games – when, where and why were they invented?

2. Create a new game for someone to de-stress from their lifestyle.

3. Your family are stranded on a deserted island, with nothing but your clothes. How will you entertain yourselves?

4. Research ball games around the world – find out the rules and then try playing something similar at school or home. How did it go?

5. Find out the ways soldiers and sea captains used to relax over 100 years ago.

6. The electricity grid went out in your country. What would change in your lifestyle? How would you relax?

7. Survey class members about games they have at home. Are you going to include computer games? Create some interesting graphs about results.

8. Find an image that has a relaxing feel to it. Write a poem remembering to give attribution correctly.

Try to use a variety of web tools to create your post not just basic writing.

Make sure you are ready for our game next week.  To take part in this game, all classes and students will need the following:

  •  a user avatar if possible
  • an ‘about me’ PAGE if using Edublogs or a post if using other platforms
  • a clustrmap or flag counter widget – if your clustrmap is greyed out, check my post here to fix it if using Edublogs widget
  • at least four 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 – Edublogs
  • your ‘Recent Posts’ widget on the sidebar with 10 posts as the choice – Edublogs
  • Your ‘Pages’ widget on the sidebar or pages in the header – Edublogs
  • at least 10 student and/or classes linked on your blogroll
  • at least three overseas blogs on your blogroll
  • posts tagged or categorized to make it easier to find interesting posts on each blog
  • the more students or classes you have linked on your blog, the more fun the game will be

The most important of these are the links to other student blogs on your sidebar. Try to have a couple of different headings like

  • My Friends
  • Class Blogs
  • Overseas Blogs

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

Check out the lists of friend’s blogs on these: Clara, Mrs Rombach has hundreds of links to other blogs for her students, Travis has a page for fellow bloggers, Meghana has other awesome blogs in her sidebar as well as a page of other bloggers

Still have time left this week:

Then keep visiting other student blogs and leave great comments including your blog URL. Find some interesting bloggers then add them to your sidebar links. Write some posts about great blogs you have visited, include a link to that blog in your post.

Read the flipboard magazine to visit bloggers who are writing great posts and are then leaving comments on Miss W’s challenge posts.

Have you and your teacher been checking out some of the class blogs? They are also looking terrific and often have lists of students in the sidebar as well.

Student Blogging Challenge – Week #6: Our Food and Culture

Week 6: Our Food And Culture

An important part of blogging as part of a global community is learning more about each others’ culture.  Food is often one of the first things you notice when visiting another country. (If you completed this activity last year, you might want to change the topic to stories, songs or clothing from your culture)

This week we’re going to learn more about each others’ culture by sharing stories about food popular in our country or asking other participants questions about food in their country.

To help you get started I’m going to tell you about food that is popular in Australia.

Vegemite

VegemiteVegemite is uniquely Australian and most Aussies have a jar of Vegemite in their house.  We even have our own Vegemite song! It’s a dark brown food paste made from leftover brewers’ yeast, vegetables and additives.

Our favorite way of eating Vegemite is on toasted bread with a layer of margarine (or butter) spread with a thin layer of Vegemite.

While some might say Vegemite is an acquired taste — the true secret to eating Vegemite is the thin layer of Vegemite on toast.  Most of the hilarious taste testing Vegemite videos on YouTube are caused by trying to eat Vegemite like you would Peanut butter, Nutella or Jam.

Aussie Meat Pies

The Meat pie is considered iconic in Australia and New Zealand.  These are hand-sized meat pies made up of diced or minced meat and vegetables.

Most Australian bakeries sell a wide variety of meat pies, sausage rolls in addition to bread and cakes.  Meat pies and sausage rolls are a common lunch food here and you can also buy them at most lunch bars and petrol stations.

Pies

Selection of pies and sausage rolls at a bakery

Home made meat piesEach bakery has their own unique recipes.

You might enjoy making meat pies with your students.  It isn’t hard.

Here are some tips:

  • Follow this Curtis Stone Meat Pie recipe.
  • Make the filling in advance and wait until it is completely cooled until you use it to fill the pies (I don’t add the chicken livers).
  • You eat the pie by holding it in your hand.

Food in other Countries

A challenge with visiting other countries is sometimes the food you are used to isn’t available or is hard to get.

Watch Brian Lockwood video where he discusses the challenges of buying bread in China.  Brian is an American teacher who works at a school in Nanjing, China.

Activity 1: 

Write a post on food, songs, stories or clothing that is popular in your country.

In your post, include links to where you researched and some images with attribution. You might also want to a collage of images or a slideshow you have created.

Activity 2:  

Visit Inside Scoops Taco Tuesday post to learn what their students eat for lunch.  Leave a comment on Taco Tuesday post to let them know what you eat for school lunches in where you live and then write a post to share what school lunches are like where you live.

Activity 3:  

Create a poll or survey and embed it into a post to find out more about the types of foods eaten by your readers or songs sung, stories told or clothing worn.

Activity 4:

Visit at least 5 blogs from countries other than your own. Leave a comment on a post at each blog to ask them questions about food, songs, stories or clothing in their country. Now write your own post including the comment you have left and linking to each post you commented on.

Student Blogging Challenge- Week 5: Images and Sounds

Week 5: Images And Sounds

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 17 April while I am away on holidays.

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 the teacher challenge has written a fantastic post about images, copyright and creative commons. I would suggest you all head over there to read the post. She explains about creative commons and the licences, attribution, how to find images for your blog and how to upload images to your blog. Most of this would be appropriate whether you are using Edublogs, blogger or any other blogging platform. This might be very wordy for some students, but Sue uses lots of images and how to do sections in her posts.

……………………………………………….

Have you read Sue Waters’ post yet?

Off you go then come back here for more information and the activities for this week.

………………………………………………

Other places to find information

OK I want to use some legal creative commons images and music in my slideshow.Where can I go to get them?

Do you have compfight plugin for your blogging platform? Follow the instructions from Sue Waters’ post.

Maria, a mentor from 2014, created some lists of tools to use with images and audio.

Other places to get images and music:

You will need to work out how to get the attribution to put on your posts. Check Sue Waters’  post to get more help and more places for images. This post from Edublogs explains how to add media in all its forms to your blog posts or pages.

Images

Make sure you check out the links under creative commons in the sidebar of the challenge blog.

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 Watch this video about sharing work and write a post about what you learned. Include words such as attribution, share alike, licences and derivatives to show you understand what the video was about. Do some more research on the topic 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. Check out this story using remix and fair use of video. What was interesting, positive or negative about it?  Could you and your friends create a 20 second video using remix and fair use? Mrs Miller’s class left some comments on her blog about creative commons

 Activity 3. 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 isFernando’s example, Samantha is confused

Activity 4. Similar to activity 3. 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 5. 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. Image Generators such as ImageGenerator.org
  2. Comic Generators like MakeBeliefsComix.com,  ToonDoo
  3. Photo Editors like Befunkyfd’s Flickr Tools
  4. 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 6.  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

Still got time left this fortnight (two weeks):

1. Visit other student and class blogs – leave some quality comments

2. Reply to comments on your own blog

3. 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.

4. 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

 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.

UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE

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/

Student Blogging Challenge – Week 4: my World

Week 4: My World

Earlier in this set of challenges, we learnt all about you – your interests, your favourite foods, music and lots of other things when you wrote your ‘About’ page. This week we are going to learn all about the area or country in which you live.

When you write your posts or use web 2.0 tools, remember to be internet safe and not give away any personal information. Check with your teacher or parent, to find out if you can mention your school name or town.

But firstly, a few administration pointers.

  • I have started deleting students who have only a Hello world post, or have not written a post yet this year or have no avatar post or about me page.
  • Please check to make sure you have the following widgets visible on your blog’s sidebar: class blogs, pages (if not in header area), recent comments (10), recent posts (10), blogroll or links, categories.
  • In your profile page, do you have your blog URL included? – this links to your name for when you leave a comment.

Categories: You will notice I mentioned having the category widget in your sidebar. This is a way to group your posts eg book reviews, history class, #16stubc for the student blogging challenge. Here is a link to a post about adding categories when using Edublogs.

Rockefeller Center, New YorkCreative Commons LicenseSharon Mollerus via Compfight

Now let’s get to the activities.

Activity 1. Add a widget to find out where your commenters are coming from 

There are many different widgets you can use – clustrmaps, flag counter, feedjit or revolver map.  Have you seen any others while visiting blogs of other students? Write a post about why you chose the commenter widget you have put on your blog.

and Add one or more widgets about your area of the world

This might include a clock or weather or a translator widget in case students who don’t speak your language can translate your post. Write a post about why you selected the new widget about your area of the world.

When adding widgets to your sidebar, copy and paste the embed code into a text box on your sidebar. Save then close. If the widget is too wide, you will have to adjust the number next to ‘width’ in the embed code. This might appear more than once in the code.

Activity 2. Write a post about 3 tourist attractions in your country.

Miss W and Mr Davo Devil will be visiting outback New South Wales and outback Queensland for two weeks in April then at the end of June going to Denver, Colorado USA for 10 days. They enjoy looking at historical places and nature. Suggest 3 tourist attractions in your country they would enjoy visiting. Don’t copy and paste, write about them in your own words. Try to make it a personal piece of writing if you have actually been there.

Activity 3. A year in your town

Write a post, create a glogster, make an audioboo tape, create a Storybird or add a Voki telling Miss W about the festivals held in your town throughout the year. Which festivals do you enjoy the most and why? When are the festivals held in case she can visit one while she is travelling? If under 13, check with your teacher or parent if you want to use a web 2.0 tool rather than writing a post in your blog.

Activity 4. Visit other participants and ask questions

Visit at least five other blogs from students or classes around the world and ask some questions in your comments.

Classes from Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada, Hong Kong, China, Ireland, England, Spain, Philippines, Serbia, Nigeria, UAE and Italy taking part in the challenge.

Students born or living in Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada,  China, Ireland, England, Spain,Serbia, Italy,Mexico. Pakistan, Dubai, Bahrain, Scotland, Holland, France, Denmark, Iran, Korea, South Africa, Vietnam, Brazil, Turkey, Portugal, Zimbabwe, Burma, Puerto Rico, Russia, Thailand and Venezuela.

Then, write a post asking questions about the different countries mentioned in activity 5. Have at least 6 questions in your post.

Activity 5. Where I would love to visit and why

Write a post or use a web 2.0 tool telling your readers about a place you would love to visit and why. Try to include some hyperlinks (links that are underlined in your post area and take your readers to another website)

Activity 6. Create a game or quiz about your town, state or country

A few places to do this include: Quiz Revolution, Class Tools, Scratch

Remember to check with your teacher or parent before using these web 2.0 tools. Sometimes your teacher or parent will create an account that is moderated by them and is therefore safe for students to use. Do you know any other places to create games and quizzes?