Student Blogging Challenge Week 10: Reflect and Celebrate

This is the final Student Blogging Challenge post until we start again in October.

It’s time to reflect and celebrate!

 

Week Nine Recap

Trophy image -- great work

Many students are enjoying sharing their best work or recommending other blogs.

You can find all the submitted tasks here.

Here is just a handful of the excellent work we spotted:

  • Lisa from Kazakhstan made an impressive post that compares Norway to Kazakhstan.
  • Richard told us all about Pokemon Go.
  • Fluffy showed us her wonderful colonial dressmaker diorama.
  • Des shared the instructions for making your own fan (great use of his own pictures too).
  • Josiah has a ‘weird word’ he wants to tell you about.
  • Horse lover Aubrey told us about her 6 dreams for the future.
  • Sienna made a Google Slides presentation about music.
  • Mrs. Hamman’s 5th graders explained how solar energy can improve our world.
  • Serge Galligani’s class reviewed and recommended many of the participants from this round of the STUBC.
  • You can look back at some of the great work on our 2019 Student Blogging Challenge Flipboard.

A Special Project: School Tour

Eric Balak is a 5th-grade teacher in Pennsylvania, USA. For the last few weeks, he has been working on a special project with his students for STUBC.

You might remember during week 5 we asked participants to tell us about their school.

Rather than sharing some text or images, Mr. Balak’s students made a comprehensive VR tour! View it below or click on this link to view it via the web (you don’t need viewers or the app).

Click on the links to visit the students who’ve added this tour to their blog. You might like to leave them some feedback!

Natalie

Jake

Gabby

Kelsey

Sophia

Manav

Logan

The School Tour

 

 

 

Summary Of The Student Blogging Challenge

Let’s look at STUBC by the numbers…

  • Number of registered individual students: 1200
  • Number of registered classes: 140
  • Number of countries represented: 26

Number of tasks submitted

These are the edited numbers after incorrect and duplicate URLs were removed.

The forms for these tasks are still open so the numbers may increase.

Week Ten Tasks

 

Task 1: Audit Your Blog 

Part One: Write a post on your blog reflecting on your participation in the challenge.

These are the sorts of prompts you could answer in your post:

  • How many weeks of the challenge did you participate in?
  • How many posts did you write in the ten week period?
  • How many comments did you receive from classmates, teachers, or other visitors?
  • Which post did you enjoy writing the most and why?
  • Which web tools did you use to show creativity on your blog?
  • What are your plans for your blog now? Will you keep posting?

Part Two: Ask a student/teacher/family member 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?

Task 2: Evaluate The Challenge

Please complete our short survey so we know what you enjoyed most about the challenge and what we could do to improve things in the future.

There is a separate survey for teachers and students.

Student survey

>> Click here to open the student survey

 

Submit Your Post URL 

Student Blogging Challenge Week 9

This is the penultimate (second last) week of the Student Blogging Challenge!

This week we’re putting together all the things we’ve learned throughout the challenge to make a high-quality post!

I’d love to use some examples of high-quality student posts for an upcoming blog post on TheEdublogger.com!STUBC Week 9 Putting It All Together

Week Eight Recap

Trophy image -- great workLast week we had some students publish excellent posts about the world and travel.

You can find them all here .

Let’s take a look at just some of the fantastic work we spotted last week:

  • Stu used Google Tour Creator to show us around his town in the USA.
  • Claire used Google Tour Builder to make a tour of North Carolina in the USA.
  • Adrienne told us about her fabulous trip to Costa Rica (great use of her own photos!).
  • Annelise did some research into Guatemala.
  • Eshaan shared some creative poems about the French Riviera.
  • “Sarah Gold” and “Jodie Bloom” worked together on a slideshow about their (separate) family trips to London.
  • Hay included lots of pictures in her post about her dream destinations.
  • Emily from Australia wrote an expressive post about all aspects of travel.
  • You can view more great work on our 2019 Student Blogging Challenge Flipboard.

Results Of Our Celebrations Poll

Remember two weeks ago we ran a poll to see which holidays our STUBC participants celebrate? We had 365 responses.

Here are the most popular responses in percentages. If you notice anything interesting about the data, feel free to leave a comment on this post.

Graph showing most popular responses in STUBC poll about what participants celebrate. The top 3 celebrations were Christmas, NYE, Thanksgiving

Other responses included birthdays, Eid, 4th of July, Ramadan, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and Vaisakhi.

Tip: Mrs. Morris made the chart above by entering the survey data into a free online tool called BEAM. It’s handy!

Time to begin this week’s topic…

What Makes A Quality Blog Post?

I hope you’ve learned a lot throughout the Student Blogging Challenge! Perhaps if you look back to your posts from a few weeks ago you can see that you’ve improved.

This week we’re going to try to put together everything we know about creating a quality blog post.

Let’s go over some of the essential ingredients of a quality blog post. You might have your own ideas too!

You’re welcome to add this poster to your blog.

10 point checklist showing what makes a quality blog post STUBC

Week Nine Tasks

This week there are just two tasks. Complete one or both depending on how much time you have.

Our graphic summarises the tasks and I will explain them in more detail below.

Week 9 Tasks STUBC -- Putting it all together

Task 1: Write a quality post on a free choice topic

Use the ideas in the graphic above about what makes a quality blog post (as well as your own ideas) to create a fantastic blog post.

Make sure you proofread it really well and try to make it your best post yet!

You can write about anything you like! If you’re stuck for ideas, why not try:

  • A happy memory
  • If you had three wishes…
  • Your pet (or a pet you wish you had)
  • Your hobby
  • Your dreams for the future
  • Things others wouldn’t know about you

Task 2: Recommend a blog

Have you come across a great blog during the Student Blogging Challenge? (Preferably from someone who isn’t in your class).

Write a post about that blog and tell us what makes it special. Include links to a couple of posts they have written.

Add a screenshot of their blog (remember a quality blog post includes a visual!).

When you’ve published your post, leave a comment on their blog to say you have written a post about them.

Examples:

Visit Others

Don’t forget to try to visit a couple of other bloggers once you’ve published your own post. Making connections is the best part of the Student Blogging Challenge!

Submit Your Post URL 

Examples of post URLS for STUBC

Student Blogging Challenge Week 8: Global

There are only 2 more weeks of the Student Blogging Challenge after this week.

This week’s topic is all about where we live and travel. We’re going to learn more about the world while sharing with others. STUBC Week 8 Where in the world

Week Seven Recap

Trophy image -- great workMany students were on holidays over the last week but we still had some great posts submitted about celebrations.

You can find them all here (or click on the week 7 box on the sidebar).

Let’s take a look at just some of the fantastic work we spotted last week:

A Very Special STUBC Post

No doubt you heard about the terrible Notre Dame Cathedral fire in France recently?

Serge Galligani’s class in France are on holidays but 3 students (Anna, Kenzo and Axel) returned to school to make a video about the fire.

Click here to see their post and click on the green box that says ‘comments’ if you’d like to leave them a comment. They’d be very grateful!

 

More Tips For Photos And Blog Posts

Images are a really important part of blogging. We discussed images in week 3, but here are some more tips!

Try Photos For Class

Mrs. Morris has noticed that some of our participants aren’t adding an image to a blog post.

If you don’t have your own image to add, a great website to use is Photos For Class. The photos are free to use, filtered, and students under 13 can use the site.

Mrs. Morris has published a post that includes two new posters. These posters explain how to download an image from Photos For Class and add an image to a blog post.

>>Read the post and get the posters

Find out how to use Photos For Class to get free images for the classroom

Try A Photo Blog

If you really like photography, you could set up a blog to share your photos.

Our commenting team leader, Miss W, has a blog called An Image A Day.

Miss W uses the blog to share her travel photography. If you take a look you’ll see pictures from her recent trip to South Australia.

Miss W's blog An Image A Day

Another member of our community with a photography blog is Mrs. Yollis. She has a blog called Yollis 365 Project which she started 9 years ago.

Mrs. Yollis’ students and community love the blog and find it a great way to inspire their writing.

You can even submit a photo to be added to the blog if you like! Find out more here.

Screenshot of Yollis 365 photo blog

Choosing a good theme for a photo blog

Miss W uses a theme on Edublogs called Magazino. If you’re setting up a photo blog on Edublogs/CampusPress, you might consider looking for a magazine or portfolio theme.

Go to Appearance > Themes in your dashboard and have a browse.

Theme choices for photo blogs

Does your blog theme include a featured image?

If you’re using Edublogs, some themes have the ability to add a featured image.

For example, on my own blog and on The Edublogger you can see a featured image show up with the post on the homepage.

Screenshot of The Edublogger

If your theme supports a featured image, you can find out how to add one here. 

Where In The World?

We have a diverse group taking part in the Student Blogging Challenge.

We had students and classes register from 6 continents and 26 countries (not all are still taking part or are only occasionally submitting responses).

Student Blogging Challenge Participants Oct 2018 - 6 continents and 27 countries

There are lots of ways we can learn about the world:

  • Travel
  • Talking to others from different countries
  • Exploring online resources like maps and videos

Learn more about the world

You might have learned a lot or a little about the world at school. Let’s go over some important facts.

Continents

Our world is broken into 7 landmasses called continents.

The continents are:

  • Africa
  • Europe
  • Asia
  • North America
  • South America
  • Australia (or Oceania)
  • Antarctica

Last year, Mrs. Morris was teaching a subject called Global Studies. Her students enjoyed this catchy song to help them learn about the continents.

Oceans

An ocean is a large area of water between continents.

There are 5 oceans:

  • Atlantic Ocean
  • Arctic Ocean
  • Indian Ocean
  • Pacific Ocean
  • Southern Ocean

This fun song helps them learn about the 5 oceans.

Hemispheres

The Equator is an imaginary line around the middle of the Earth. The Equator divides the Earth into the Northern Hemisphere and Southern Hemispheres.

Which hemisphere do you live in?

I live in Australia so I’m in the Southern Hemisphere although around 90% of the world’s population lives in the Northern Hemisphere. Wow!

One of the big differences between the Hemispheres is the seasons. They are opposite; it’s currently Autumn in the Southern Hemisphere and Spring in the Northern Hemisphere.

World map with equator.jpg
By User:Cburnett – Image:World-map-2004-cia-factbook-large-2m.jpgCC BY-SA 3.0Link

Countries

There are 195 countries in the world today. You can find out more about the countries here.

The top 5 countries by population are:

  • China
  • India
  • U.S.
  • Indonesia
  • Brazil

Each country has their own unique flag.

Image by Gordon Johnson from Pixabay

Week Eight Tasks

This week there are 3 tasks to choose from to share or learn more about the world.

Our graphic summarizes the tasks, and Mrs. Morris will explain each task in more detail below.

Week 8 of the STUBC blogging challenge is Where In The World

Task 1: Tells Us About Your Country

We’d love to learn more about where you live!

This task involves researching and sharing some interesting information about your country.

You might include information like:

  • Size
  • Population
  • Location
  • Landmarks
  • Capital city/Major cities
  • Flag
  • President/Prime Minister
  • History
  • Language
  • Religion
  • Climate
  • Plants and Animals

Ideas for presenting the information in your post:

You might also be able to use some of the fabulous Google tools for this topic like Google Earth and Google Maps.

  • Eleni Kyritsis shows us how to create a virtual tour with Google Tour Creator.
  • Matt Miller explains how to make a Google Map walking tour with Screencastify.

Task 2: Learn About Another Country

This task is the same as task 1 except instead of telling us about your own country you will research and share information about another country.

Be sure to tell us why you chose the country. Why does it interest you?

Task 3: Travel

Have you been lucky enough to travel to another country or city? Or perhaps you have dreams to travel somewhere?

Our commenting team leader Miss W recently traveled to South Australia and took some great photos which she’d like to share with you. Click here to visit Miss W’s website.

Sunrise at Marree by Miss W

This task involves writing a post about travel.

Ideas for your travel post:

  • Write about a holiday you went on that you really enjoyed.
  • Make a list of the top 10 travel destinations you’d like to go to.
  • Create a slideshow of your ideal holiday destinations.
  • Create an imaginary itinerary if you could travel anywhere and had an unlimited budget.

You might have your own ideas!

💡 Safety Tip

It’s fun to talk about travel, but it’s a good idea to avoid mentioning your specific travel plans online.

For example, instead of saying, “I’m going to visit Sydney next Monday” try “I’m planning a holiday to Sydney” or “I’m looking forward to visiting Sydney later in the year”.

Also, remember not to post pictures of yourself or others on the blog without permission.

Visit Others

Don’t forget to try to visit a couple of other bloggers once you’ve published your own post. You might learn a lot about where they live this week!

Submit Your Post URL 

 

Examples of post URLS for STUBC

Student Blogging Challenge Week 7: Celebrations

Some of our STUBC participants will be celebrating Easter this week. Other participants don’t celebrate Easter but have other holidays that are part of their lives during certain times of the year.

This week we’d like to find out about the celebrations and festivities that are important to you. You might learn a few things about different cultures as well. Week 7 of the Student Blogging Challenge looks at festivities and celebrations around the world

Week Six Recap

Trophy image -- great workLast week we had some students publish excellent posts about music.

You can find them all here.

Let’s take a look at just some of the fantastic work we spotted last week:

Celebrations And Festivities

We have a diverse group taking part in the Student Blogging Challenge with lots of different cultural backgrounds represented.

Around the world, people celebrate different holidays and festivals.

It can be fun to tell people about our own traditions while hearing about others!

Want to learn a bit more about just some of the holidays that are celebrated around the world? This video might help.

This resource from ABC Australia also has some useful videos and information.

ABC Education Australia Celebration resources

Celebrations Poll

Just for fun, let’s find out what events you and your family celebrate!

Please take our quick poll below. 

Here’s a link to the poll if you want to share it with your students.

Week Seven Tasks

This week there are 4 tasks to choose from that explore holidays, celebrations, and festivities.

Our graphic summarizes the tasks and Mrs. Morris will explain each task in more detail below.

Week 7 of the STUBC is about holidays and celebrations

Task 1: Family Celebrations

Think of all the holidays, festivals, or celebrations that are important to your family. Write a blog post about this.

  • You could make a list of your family’s celebrations with a short description for each one, or
  • You could choose one celebration to explain in more detail.

Don’t forget to include lots of information about your holiday so your readers can get a clear understanding of this special day/season.

You could include things like:

  • The time of year/date it’s celebrated.
  • What you do to celebrate? Are there special costumes, decorations, music, lights, food, prayers, etc?
  • Do people give each other gifts?
  • Who is involved in the celebration? Do you visit other people or host family and friends?
  • What special memories do you have?

You might even like to do some research into the origins of your holiday.

Examples:

Task 2: Photo Spark

Often, holidays and celebrations include different decorations, food, costumes, or other objects.

Think of a celebration that’s important in your family and share a photo of something that represents that holiday.

Write a reflection to give readers an idea of the significance of this object.

Check out this example on the New York Times — Holiday Memories. 

Holiday Memories NY Times

Thanks to Larry Ferlazzo for sharing this idea. 

Remember, don’t include photos of people (including yourself) without permission.

Examples:

  • Keylee shared a photo that represents Christmas.
  • Gabby wrote an excellent piece about celebrations that included multiple pictures and some fun polls.

Task 3: Holiday Craft

Some people enjoy making a craft for special holidays and seasons.

This task involves creating something and then adding a photo of it to a blog post with a description. Or you could even make a video tutorial for your readers!

If you find inspiration from a website, be sure to include the link in your post.

Craft inspiration:

  • Origami Club has a list of origami (paper folding) objects you can make for a variety of holidays.
  • DLTK has lots of ideas sorted into different holidays.
  • PBS Parents shares a range of craft ideas for different celebrations.
  • Easy Peasy and Fun have lots of holiday craft ideas. For example, there are many Easter ideas. Use the drop-down menu at the top of the site to explore other holidays or adapt the ideas for your own holidays!
Easy Peasy and Fun has lots of craft ideas

Examples:

  • Rhiann made a fantastic video to share a craft idea.
  • Kaylie made a candle and explained how she did it. She also including the link to the site she used.
  • Mia explained how she made some snowflakes.

Task 4: Holiday Poem

A special holiday or celebration can be a great topic to write a poem about.

This task involves writing any sort of poem about any celebration or festival that’s important to you.

Stuck for ideas?

Why not try magnetic poetry or a visual poem?

Magnetic Poetry — This is where you put words together to make a poem. It uses Google Drawings or Slides.

Visual Poem

Explore the fantastic poetry generators on the Language is a Virus website. (I believe this works best on a computer rather than tablet/mobile device).

For example, their visual poetry mosaic tool displays your work as a shape. Take a screenshot of your end result and add it to a blog post as an image.

Visual Poetry Example The Edublogger.

If you don’t want to use that tool, you could display your poem creatively using a tool like Google Drawings or Canva.

Submit Your Post URL 

If you’d like a commenter and others to visit your post about celebrations, fill in the form.

This graphic below should help you understand what a post URL looks like if you’re using Edublogs/CampusPress/WordPress

Examples of post URLS for STUBC

Student Blogging Challenge Week Six: Music

Music is something that can connect people, no matter where you live, what language you speak, or how old you are.

This week, we’re going to discuss all aspects of music — what we like, what we don’t like, how we use music, and using music legally.

Week 6 of the Student Blogging Challenge is about music

Week Five Recap

Trophy image -- great workThere were so many great posts submitted again by classes and students.

You can find them all here (or click on the week 5 box on the sidebar).

Let’s take a look at just some of the fantastic work we spotted last week:

  • Mrs. Ruffing is a teacher in the US who is also volunteering as a commenter. She has written some great posts like this one to share her commenting experiences with her students. She also wrote a post about netball. If you know about netball, please comment!
  • Some of Mrs. Schmidt’s students (Pennsylvania USA) made a survey about school including Sophia and Julia
  • Ready, Set, Blog is a class in Melbourne, Australia with student blogs. I like the way the teacher wrote a post with some recommendations of student blogs to visit. For example, Oliver made a voice recording.
  • Allie in New Zealand also made a Google Form with lots of great questions about school. I like the way she included the links to the blogs of 3 other students she’s connected with.
  • Kalani in New Zealand wrote a great description of her school day. I like the way she broke up her text and used bold words. It makes it easier to read!
  • Pio in New Zealand used bullet points to ask some questions and share some information about school. Bullet points (or dot points) can make posts easier to read!
  • We’ve also had some more week 4 free choice submissions this week. Our friends in Mrs. Matveyeva’s class in Kazakhstan have written about their spring festival called Nauryz.
  • Georgina from Australia wrote an impressive free choice post about widgets.
  • You can view more great work on our 2019 Student Blogging Challenge Flipboard.

Let’s Look At Music

What sort of music do you like?

  • Pop?
  • Rock?
  • Classical?
  • Country?
  • Alternative?
  • Jazz?
  • Dance?
  • Hip hop or rap?

There are so many different types of music enjoyed around the world.

As Greek Philosopher Plato apparently said,

Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.

Music and the Law

Remember back in week 3 we discussed how you can’t just use any image that you find online? Well, the same applies for music.

Most music is protected by copyright. So you can’t use it for your own digital projects without permission or paying for a special license.

Listening to music

Not so long ago, when people wanted to listen to their favorite song, they had to wait until it came on the radio or buy the CD/cassette/record.

Now there are choices but it’s important to know what you can and can’t do with music.

Using music in projects

Normally, you can’t just use any music you like in something you’re creating — like a video.

However, in most countries, you are allowed to copy music to add to a video if:

a) it’s for educational purposes and

b) you’re not sharing your video publicly (or selling it!)

So, if you have a public blog, you aren’t allowed to put a video on there that you made with copyright music. And you couldn’t show your video at a public event. However, it’s okay if you’re just showing the video to your teachers and parents.

Hopefully, you do want to share your work with a public audience. That’s what this challenge is all about! Don’t worry. You can still use music. I’ll share some options below.

Note: This is the case in Australia and the US but if you live in another country you may need to check your own guidelines. 

Paying for music

There are popular sites and apps where you can pay to download music legally — for example, Apple Music, Google Play Music, and Spotify.

You can listen to your downloaded music yourself, but can’t upload it to your blog or to a video or other project you’re working on.

You also can’t use it publicly (e.g. at a school event, store, or public event).

Streaming music

It’s fine to stream music online on sites like YouTube (although remember, YouTube is 13+) but it’s not usually legal to download the audio from a YouTube video as explained in this article.

Also, streaming music in this way is meant for personal use — not for a public broadcast. As Spotify says,

…it’s not possible to use Spotify in public places (such as bars, restaurants, stores, schools, etc.). You may only make personal, non-commercial, entertainment use of the content.

Most streaming services are similar.

Embedding music

Embedding a video from a site like YouTube or Vimeo into your blog is usually allowed.

As Richard Byrne says,

If the host provides an embed and you embed it using their code according to their rules (usually that means not trying to hide branding), you can embed it without violating copyright.

CDs or digital music?

You can also listen to music by buying a CD or borrowing one from the library. Although digital music is becoming a lot more popular than CDs in many parts of the world.

Again, you can’t copy the music from a CD and use it for another project (e.g. upload it to your blog or add it to a public video).

Confused? Here’s a summary of the do’s and don’ts you need to remember

Remember, I’m no legal expert and things are different in different countries so please contact me if you have any extra information. We can all learn together!

Music and the Law Do's and Don'ts. for bloggers

Where to find music and clips that you are allowed to use

Just like with images, there are options for students and teachers who need music or sound clips for a video, slideshow, or other digital projects they’re working on.

Let’s take a look at three …

Dig CC Mixter

Dig CC Mixter offers thousands of hours of free music.

The music on this site has different Creative Commons licenses so you need to check whether you need to attribute the music or not (attribute means saying who made the music and where it’s from etc).

Educational Blogger Richard Byrne’s video below explains how to use Dig CC Mixter and filter by license.

BBC Sound Effects

During 2018, the BBC made over 16,000 sound effects available to use for personal, educational, or research purposes.

You can browse by category to find the sort of sound effect you’re after for your project.

You should put a link in your project or blog post to say that your sound effects were from the BBC and link to their site. 

 

YouTube Audio Library

YouTube also has a great library of music you can use although remember YouTube is 13+.

Visit the AudioLibrary to browse the selections.

If you click on Attribution, you can filter your results to find music that doesn’t need to be attributed.

You can preview the music to see what it sounds like and download the music you like.

YouTube music library

Want more places to find free music?

Check out these sites from Richard Byrne for more sites and details:

Week Six Tasks

This week you can choose from a list of 8 ideas to create a post about music. Complete at least two!

Because the topic of music is a new one for the Student Blogging Challenge, we don’t have many examples to share this week.

Week 6 of the STUBC is about music. There are 8 tasks to choose from

8 Prompts For Your Post About Music

Choose one or more of these ideas to create a post about music. Or, you might have your own idea!

1) Create a survey about music (opinions)

Create a poll to survey your readers (Google Forms is a good way to do this or you could use a tool like Crowd Signal).

Alternatively, you could write some questions that you’d like readers to answer in a comment.

Your survey questions could be about:

  • Your favourite music genre
  • Your favourite artists or groups
  • Would you rather? (e.g. Would you rather Ariana Grande or Billie Eilish? Would you rather classical music or rap?)

Idea: When your survey is completed, you could share a summary of your findings. I love a tool called Beam for making simple charts.

2) Create a quiz about music (facts)

Quiz your readers about anything music related. Perhaps your quiz could include questions like:

  • Facts about artists (year they were born, or first number one hit)
  • Facts about instruments
  • Music theory
  • Questions about a certain genre or period of time (e.g. 1980s music)

Google Forms is great for making quizzes but please make sure it’s public. You could also make a Google Slides presentation. The question could be on one slide, and the answer on the next (or all the answers could be at the end of the presentation).

Remember to please make sure any Google Forms/Slides/Docs etc. are public.

3) Tell us about an instrument

Do you have a favorite instrument? Or perhaps there is an instrument that fascinates you and you might like to do some research and write a post about it.

You might include things like:

  • Construction or appearance
  • History
  • Technique or how to play it
  • Famous works or artists
  • Classification or family of instruments (e.g. strings, or percussion)

Don’t forget to include an image or embed a video.

ExampleAsh wrote a post about the ukelele for her free choice post in week 4.

4) Research a famous artist or group

Find out more about a singer, songwriter, musician, or group. This might be someone who is popular now or performed long ago.

Share some interesting facts in a post.

Bring your research to life with an image or video.

5) Make a playlist

Music lovers have enjoyed making their own playlists for years. A playlist can celebrate a certain artist, genre, or mood.

Write a blog post that includes a playlist of your favorite songs. Don’t forget to explain why you like each song and why it’s part of your playlist.

Example: Principal Meredith Akers made a playlist by embedding YouTube videos into her blog post.

6) Discuss music and the law

Many people don’t realize that by using music illegally, you are putting artists at a disadvantage because they are not getting paid for their work.

Do some research and write an article about the downsides of using music illegally.

Alternatively, you might like to write a post about do’s and don’ts of using music legally. You might be able to teach others who aren’t aware that there are rules we need to abide by.

7) Guess the artist, song, or instrument

Guessing games are fun!

Give your readers some clues as they scroll down the page and have them guess the artist, song, or instrument.

You could put each clue on a slide of a Google Slides presentation if you prefer (just remember to make sure your Slides presentation is public).

Invite your readers to put their guesses in a comment.

8) Make some music

We don’t just have to talk about music or listen to others’ music. Why not make your own. There are lots of apps and websites where you can make music.

One suggestion is Google’s Song Maker 

Play around with it to make a tune and then click Save in the bottom right-hand corner.

Next, you can copy the embed code. Another option is to copy the link to your song if you don’t want it embedded in your post.

In your blog post, go to Add Media > Insert Embed Code

Paste your embed code and press Insert Into Post

Your song will appear!

Another music creation tool that is popular and free for all ages is Incredibox.

When You’ve Published A Post, It’s Time To Visit

As always, an important part of the challenge is to connect with others. You never know what you might learn or who you could connect with!

When you’ve finished your post, choose a couple of blogs to visit and leave a quality comment.

Remember to ask a question and check back to see if they replied to you (most platforms have a box to tick so you can get an email when there is a follow-up comment).

You will find the link to the week 6 participants’ posts on the sidebar of this blog on Tuesday.

Submit Your Post URL 

If you’d like a commenter and others to visit your post about music, fill in the form below.

Important: Please make sure you write a blog post and don’t just submit the link to a quiz or song. Otherwise, commenters and other visitors won’t be able to leave a comment.

This video shows you how to find your URL…

Note, this isn’t a real class blog. Just one I used for testing 😉

 

This graphic below should help you understand what a post URL looks like if you’re using Edublogs/CampusPress/WordPress

Examples of post URLS for STUBC

Student Blogging Challenge Week 5:

We’re almost halfway through the Student Blogging Challenge!

This week we’re looking at the fascinating topic of school around the world. I wonder how your school is similar to or different from others?

Week five of the Student Blogging Challenge looks at school around the world.

Week Four Recap

Trophy image -- great workThere were hundreds of great posts submitted again by classes and students.

You can find them all here (or click on the orange week 4 box on the sidebar).

Let’s take a look at just some of the fantastic work we spotted last week:

  • Serge Galligani’s class in France made a terrific video about Earth Hour which they translated into English.
  • SathePrincess14 from India wrote a post about Holi The Colourful Festival.
  • Alex from the UK told us about his family and he’d love to hear a bit about your own family.
  • Xyza and Mr. Mike’s class from Thailand wrote about planting their own produce.
  • Micah from Panama wrote about a bird called the rufous-crested coquette.
  • Miss Blessing’s young students in Vermont USA have been writing some great poems. Here are some examples from Bunny JumperBee Buzzer, and Lead Dog. I love the way they include photos of their drawings.
  • Mackenna is a third grader who invites you to sprinkle kindness.
  • Sophia from Pennsylvania, USA is rhinestone crazy and is happy to answer questions about rhinestones.
  • Mrs. Yollis and her 3rd grade students continue to be STUBC role models. I encourage teachers to read this post about how Mrs. Yollis helped a student find an audience. Also, check out some of the excellent posts on the blog sidebar.
  • You can view more great work on our 2019 Student Blogging Challenge Flipboard.

Let’s Learn About School Around The World

Whenever my own students have connected with other classes through blogging, Skype, or other projects one thing they’ve been really fascinated is school.

It’s funny how schools can be very similar in some ways but also very different!

What sort of school do you go to?

  • Primary/elementary school?
  • Middle school?
  • High school?
  • International school?
  • Home school?
  • Private school?
  • Public school?
  • Religious school?
  • We even have some participants in college

Let’s take a quick look at how school varies around the world.

Video

This video from INSIDER shows what school looks like in 27 countries around the world. Was your country included? Did it look accurate or not?

Google Earth Show

To learn more about school around the world, check out this show on Google Earth called This Is School. From London to the Himalayas, you can explore classrooms around the world in Street View.

Google Earth School Show

Getting To School

This article on Business Insider shows some amazing photos of how students around the world get to school.

Getting to school photos business insider

Week Five Tasks

This week you can choose from a list of 8 ideas to create a post about school. Or you can come up with your own idea!

Thanks to Sue Wyatt who came up with many of these ideas for previous challenges.

Week five of the Student Blogging Challenge looks at school around the world.

8 Prompts For Your Post About School: Complete at least two!

Safety First!

💡 Remember it’s important to think carefully about what information we publish online.

  • Students should check with their teacher about whether it’s okay to mention their school name. If not, you might just like to tell people your state/country.
  • Another thing to consider is writing about your plans (e.g. instead of saying “I have karate lessons at the town hall at 4pm on Thursdays” try “I enjoy weekly karate lessons”).

Now onto the ideas…

1) Survey your readers about school

Create a poll to survey your readers (Google Forms is a good way to do this or you could use a tool like Crowd Signal).

Alternatively, you could write some questions that you’d like readers to answer in a comment.

Your questions could be about:

  • How people get to school (or work)
  • School starting/finishing time
  • School holidays
  • School uniforms
  • School subjects
  • Anything else that interests you

Idea: when your survey is completed, you could share a summary of your findings. I love a tool called Beam for making simple charts.

ExampleEmma made a survey using Google Forms.

2) Share your school day

Write about your school day or make a slideshow or video to explain it.

You might include things like:

  • How do you get to school?
  • What is your timetable like? Do you have set subjects at certain times?
  • Do you have one teacher or many?
  • What time do you begin and end school?
  • Do you get to choose what you learn?
  • What technology do you have at school?

Remember to explain abbreviations you might use e.g. LOTE, STEM, or ELA

ExampleKayden wrote about her favorite school subjects

3) Do some research

Do a little bit of research for a new post.

Here are some ideas:

  • Research the history of your school and create an “About my school” page.
  • Research a famous person who attended your school.
  • How has schooling changed over the years? Interview parents or grandparents and ask questions about schooling. You could make a written interview, make a video, or make an audio recording (Anchor is a great tool for making audio recordings).
  • Find out more about someone at your school who you don’t talk to very much. Maybe you could interview a student who is older/younger than you. Or you might interview your cleaner, crossing supervisor, canteen worker etc.

ExampleFarrah asked her parents about how school has changed.

4) What happens at break times?

Tell us what you do at break time or what’s popular at your school.

You might write about:

  • The food you eat at school. Do you take your own lunchbox or do you buy lunch? Include some photos if you can!
  • What do you do at break time? Are there any popular games, sports, or activities at your school?
  • What precautions do you have to take from the weather at break times? Hats? Sunscreen? Snowsuits? Is school ever canceled or do you ever have to stay inside?

ExampleVan Anh explained how to play a traditional Vietnamese game.

5) Describe your school grounds

Tell us a bit about your school grounds. You could even draw a map, or make a slideshow or video that gives readers a tour of your school.

  • Is your school big or small?
  • What sort of play areas do you have? Playgrounds? Fields? Courts?
  • What special buildings do you have? A gym? A library?

Example: Mrs. Yollis class made this great school tour video when I worked on a projectwith her for International Dot Day.

6) Tell us about your special events

Does your school hold any special events? Maybe a fair or fete, a dress-up day, a fundraiser, camps or school trips?

Share the details in a post!

ExampleJueun wrote about a sports event held in his district.

7) Compare your school with another

Find a video, photo, or article to shows what school is like in a different part of the world.

Feel free to use the resources I added above.

Write about the similarities and differences as well as the questions you’re pondering.

Alternatively, if you’ve been to more than one more school you might be able to compare them in a post.

ExampleYuyang compared his school experiences in China and Senegal.

8) Share your opinions about school

No doubt you have some opinions about school and we’d like to hear them:

  • What’s your ideal school? You could even include a map of what it would look like.
  • Share your opinion on uniforms, school starting times, homework, recess, or another controversial issue.
  • What do you dream of doing once you finish school?
  • If you were principal for a week, what would you do?

If you have any other ideas, that’s great! Write about anything that relates to schooling around the world.

ExamplesFran wrote about his plans for when he finishes school while Van Anh shared her opinions on school uniforms.

When You’ve Published A Post, It’s Time To Visit

An important part of this topic is to find out about some other schools. You never know what you might learn or who you could connect with!

When you’ve finished your post, choose a couple of blogs to visit and leave a quality comment.

Remember to ask a question and check back to see if they replied to you (most platforms have a box to tick so you can get an email when there is a follow-up comment).

You will find the link to the week 5 participants’ posts on the sidebar of this blog on Tuesday.

Submit Your Post URL ⬇

 

Examples of post URLS for STUBC

Spring 2019 Student Blogging Challenge: Week 1

It’s time to start the challenge!  At this point, we are all veterans so I will post a shortened post of this first introductory week.

The actual post is quite long because there some reminders to go through. Click here to refer to the actual post.  If you do, use the menu on the right-hand side of the SBC page to help you navigate the post (you might not see it if you’re reading this on a phone or tablet).

STUBC Week 1 Let's Get To Know Each Other

Recap

1. Kathleen Morris is the teacher who runs the Student Blogging Challenge from Australia.

 

Collage of emu, kangaroo, and beaches Kathleen Morris

2. So far we have nearly 800 individual students and 115 classes registered.  Our participants represent 25 countries and 6 continents.

STUBC participants by continent March 2019

 

3. Week 1 tasks involve:

  • Making an avatar (and there are a few choices for extra avatar activities)
  • Creating or updating your About page
  • Making connections with other students

4. These are the steps you should take:

 

4 Steps To Participating in STUBC smaller

 

Week One Tasks

Most of us have completed these tasks, but if you did not, please do!  If you would like to do these tasks again on your individual blogs, you may do so.

Summary of week one tasks STUBC Avatars About Pages and Connecting

Stay Safe Online

Remember, as we’re sharing information about ourselves, we need to be internet savvy and avoid sharing too much information or personal details.

Never share your YAPPY online.

Be internet safe -- don't share your YAPPY

Task 1: Avatars

 

 

 

💡 There are many different avatar creation sites on the web:

  • Some tools allow you to save the avatar to your computer to then upload into your blog.
  • Others tools require you to take a screenshot of your avatar and save it as an image. Tip: This article shows how to take a screenshot on any device.
  • The Symbaloo below was compiled by Miss W (Sue Wyatt) to share links to sites where you can make an avatar. If you want to embed the Symbaloo on your own blog, click on the share icon at the bottom and copy the embed code.
  • Some of the tools listed require Flash to work. This means they won’t work on mobile devices and you might have to manually allow Flash if you’re using Chrome (instructions here).
  • Know any other avatar creation tools that aren’t on the Symbaloo? Leave a comment on this post.

Once you’ve made your avatar, you need to add it to your blog so it shows up when you comment.  If you’re using Edublogscheck here for instructions.

💡 Examples:

  • Here is an example of a great post from Naho in Hawaii.
  • Braeden made a Lego avatar and wrote about it here.
  • Josh used a range of tools to make avatars for the members of his family.
  • Amelie-Rose made avatars for her family members.

 

Task 2: Write or update your About Me page.

If you’re using Edublogsclick here to find out how to add an About page, or watch the video below.

 

There are many ways to write an About page.

You might want to include:

  • You first name
  • Your approximate location (even just state or country)
  • Your age or grade level
  • Some of your interests
  • What your blog is all about. Tell us what you’ll be writing about

Remember to be safe online: don’t include personal details like your YAPPY (see above).

💡 Here are some ideas and examples that classes or students could use:

  • Write a poem. It could be a traditional rhyming poem or any other style of poetry. Learn about different styles of poetry here. Here is an example from Daniela.
  • Ms. Mack created a “fun facts” list that links to the students’ blogs.
  • Rina wrote 15 things about me for her About page. Check it out. 
  • Write an A-Z about yourself (e.g. I am an athletic and brave child who decided that saving the environment is one of my future goals). Check out how commenter Dinah created her A-Z About page especially for the Student Blogging Challenge a few years back.
  • Zaprina made a creative About post that’s an acronym of her own name. It includes paragraphs and colored text.
  • Write a ‘Who am I?’ or list of things people might not know about you like Ms.Herring, Mrs. Keane, and Mrs. Lyttle.
  • Students in Ireland paired up to create a line for their class About page and Ms Seitz’ class did the same.
  • Mrs. Moore’s class wrote about their school and where they live on their class blog About page.
  • Huzzah! class included a map to show where they live.
  • Student Rajyashori wrote a creative interview script.
  • Year 5/6 Class at Westwood with Iford School made a Thinglink.
  • If you prefer a traditional style of writing, that’s fine too. Be sure to use paragraphs like in these examples from Grace and Madison.

Task 3: Visit other blogs. Start making connections!

One important aspect of blogging is commenting on other blogs.

Remember: The more you put into making connections during this challenge, the more you’ll get out!

There are two places you can find other participants’ blogs to visit: Student bloggers and page for class bloggers. These are sorted by age. Student bloggers have hobbies listed so you hopefully can find someone who is not only a similar age to you but shares some of your interests.

Commenting advice

We’re going to talk more about quality commenting next week but for now, you might want to remember:

  • Write your comment like a letter
  • Ask a question, make a connection, or give a compliment
  • Leave your blog URL so the blogger can also take a look at your blog

Don’t forget to approve your comments and politely reply to any comments as soon as you can!

 

You need to submit the URL of your post if you made a new one

Examples of post URLS for STUBC

 

Student Blogging Challenge Week 10: Reflection

This is the final Student Blogging Challenge post for 2018. It’s time to reflect and celebrate!

It's the final week of the Student Blogging Challenge. Let's reflect!

Week Nine Recap

Trophy image -- great workThere are already some great posts about coding.

You can find all the submitted tasks here. There will be more added over the coming days.

Here is some excellent work that has already been submitted:

Reminders

There are a number of important reminders this week:

  • Thank you for all your comments for Alex! He is enjoying going through them. Alex is currently traveling so stay tuned for some answers in the future.
  • While the Student Blogging Challenge is coming to an end, we hope this is not the end of your blogging journey. We encourage you to keep blogging and connecting. If you need ideas for your blog posts, check out this recent post on The Edubloggerwith 50 prompts for students.

Thank You

Many thanksThis was my first time running the Student Blogging Challenge and I’d like to thank everyone involved.

To Sue Wyatt…

A BIG thanks goes to Miss W (aka Sue Wyatt/Tasteach). Despite officially stepping down from running the challenge, Sue has played a hugely important role behind the scenes leading our commenting team and tirelessly visiting student blogs. We appreciate you, Sue!

To our commenters…

Another big thank you goes to our team of commenters who provided an authentic audience for our students and classes each week. Your comments made a big difference to the confidence and motivation of our bloggers. We hope you’ll return again as a commenter next year.

To our participants…

It has been fantastic to see such enthusiastic participation from our students and teachers across the world! I hope you’ve all learned something and made some connections.

The Student Blogging Challenge will start again in March 2019. Spread the word!

Summary Of The Student Blogging Challenge

Let’s look at STUBC by the numbers…

  • Number of registered individual students: 1797
  • Number of registered classes: 145
  • Number of countries represented: 27

Number of tasks submitted

Week Ten Tasks

This week there are two tasks to complete.

Week 10 Tasks STUBC

Task 1: Audit Your Blog 

Part One: Write a post on your blog reflecting on your participation in the challenge.

  • How many weeks of the challenge did you participate in?
  • How many posts did you write in the ten week period?
  • How many comments did you receive from classmates, teachers, or other visitors?
  • Which post did you enjoy writing the most and why?
  • Which web tools did you use to show creativity on your blog?
  • What are your plans for your blog now? Will you keep posting?

Part 2: Ask a student/teacher/family member who might not have read your blog to do an audit. In the same post as part one, write about your auditing experience and their answers to the questions below.

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?

Task 2: Evaluate The Challenge

Please complete our survey so we know what you enjoyed most about the challenge and what we could do to improve things in the future.

Click here to open the form in a new tab.

Submit Your Post URL 

If you want a commenter and other participants to visit your final task on your blog, remember to fill in the Google Form.Examples of post URLS for STUBC

Student Blogging Challenge Week 9: Coding

So far in the Student Blogging Challenge, we’ve done a lot of creating and communicating with our blogs. This week, we’re looking at the more technical side of blogging and computers: coding!

I’ll be introducing you to my colleague who is an inspirational young coder and we’ll also be celebrating Computer Science Education Week (December 3-8).

Let's have some fun with coding for week nine of the Student Blogging Challenge

Week Eight Recap

Trophy image -- great workThere were lots of great tasks submitted last week!

Let’s take a look at just some of the fantastic work we spotted last week:

  • A number of students were inspired by Mrs. Vazquez and gave their blog a makeover. Check out some examples from EvelynFraser, and Clay.
  • Rhiann made a fantastic video to share a craft idea.
  • Nandini from India told us about the Holi festival.
  • Erica and Maggie reviewed Google’s Emoji creator.
  • Keylee shared a photo that represents Christmas.
  • Gabby has written an excellent piece about celebrations that includes some fun polls.
  • Kai had a busy week trying 3 different tasks.
  • Cassandra wrote about her favorite festivals and celebrations.
  • Janae tried out a Christmas word search and wants to know if you can beat her time.
  • You can view more great work on our 2018 Student Blogging Challenge Flipboard.

Survey Results

Remember last week we ran a poll to see which holidays our STUBC participants celebrate? We had 1015 responses!

Here are the most popular responses: What do you celebrate?

Other responses included birthdays, Eid, 4th of July, Chinese New Year, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Yom Kippur, Rosh Hashanah, and Vaisakhi.

Tip: I made the chart above by entering the survey data into a free online tool called BEAM. It’s handy!

 

Meet Alex!

I invited a young coder who works for Edublogs to tell you about himself.

  • Alex is a 17-year-old school student in the United States.
  • He became vision impaired during 9th grade and lost most of his sight within 6 months.
  • Alex would LOVE you to comment on this post.

Over to Alex…

My name is Alex and I work as an accessibility developer and system administrator for Incsub which is the company behind Edublogs.

I started here at Incsub in May 2017 just days after I turned sixteen years old. I go to school in the day and work in the night. Although this job can be demanding, I always love the challenge it offers me day by day.

Alex’s role with the company

One of my main roles is to ensure all servers are running properly and respond when automation fails. Basically, I make sure we stay online.

I have helped with building infrastructure components and hosting. This means I built the parts that make our servers work to host our sites and helped with moving networks of websites to our servers.

My other working time is spent ensuring all Incsub sites (including Edublogs, CampusPress, and WPMU DEV) stay completely accessible to visually impaired users who rely on screen reading technology. A screen reader reads aloud the screen for people who can’t see or have other limitations.

Alex’s blindness

Although some would see visual impairment as something you can’t live with, I assure you it’s very possible.

When I first started at Incsub I was hired to provide live chat support for WPMU DEV (a WordPress company that’s part of Incsub). That would later translate into becoming an accessibility developer. (Developer is another word for coder or programmer).

I study our company sites weekly to ensure they are accessible to everyone. The sad news is most sites are not. Just because I cannot see very much, I cannot use a lot of websites.

Now I get to work every day to ensure all sites are accessible within Incsub as everyone deserves the same opportunity for accessing the web.

How Alex learned to code

Learning to code wasn’t all that challenging. I first started learning basic HTML in the 7th grade. It just took off from there.

I found WordPress, signed up for web hosting, and started learning the ways of web development.

It wasn’t until I started to code for accessibility development here that I really learned more of the advanced coding languages. I have taught myself HTML, CSS, JavaScript, jQuery, React JS, PHP, and Shell.

Moving on from accessibility development, I ran into system administration (upkeeping and configuring servers). I started learning with a company called Linux Academy. It’s an online program that allows you to learn Linux concepts, Cloud basics, Docker, and a whole host of other subjects.

I’m still very much in the practice stages but getting better every day. It’s cool what you can do with servers and don’t let your disability stand in your way.

A coding career

It is very important to me that the younger audiences get involved with coding. Without the younger generation, the sharing of information starts to drop. We need to keep this open sharing idea around. That way, everyone can learn from each other. It is truly the sharing of information that makes everyone smarter.

Getting the young involved in technology should increase the chance of them finding a really good paying job in the future, after graduation.

Leave a comment!

What are you curious about? Do you have any other questions for Alex? He’s very happy for you to leave a comment on Mrs. Morris’s week 9 post.

Below is a picture of Alex at work at a big WordCamp event last year (that’s a WordPress conference. WordPress is the software that powers 30% of the web including Edublogs and CampusPress). Alex is wearing the yellow and black hoodie.

Alex and his dadLeo and someone I forgot the name ofMy favourite WP developer and friend Andrea Fercia

Rian Rietveld@RianRietveld

Thanks all the people who were at the table of the contributor day!
Especially @jdelia and Katherine White for testing Gutenberg for a full day.
And a big shoutout to Alex Stine, a 16 yr old web dev that helps with coding and testing with NVDA.

 See Alex’s responses!

What Is Coding?

Coding is basically a set of words that tell your blog, a website, an app, a game, or other software what to do. Without coding, a computer or device won’t do anything.

Here are some videos that explain coding further.

This is a great one-minute video for younger students to explains coding.

Older students might enjoy this one-minute video.

This 4-minute video is also a great explanation for older students with a few more details.

Computer Science Week

Computer Science Education Week runs annually worldwide. This year, it’s being held from 3-8 December.

Many schools, teachers, and students participate in Hour of Code during Computer Science Education Week.

Why is computer science worth celebrating and promoting?

This video shows us how computer science is improving so many areas of our life.

What is Hour of Code?

Hour of Code is designed to introduce young people worldwide to the basics of coding and computer science through one-hour coding activities.

While these activities are promoted during Computer Science Education Week, they can be done at any time throughout the year.

Coding And Blogging

In the early days of the internet, if you wanted a blog or website, you had to know how to code it yourself.

Nowadays, most of the hard work is done for us and anyone can claim a website in minutes. For example, you can go to edublogs.org and sign up for a free blog. You don’t need to make your blog. All you need to worry about is the design and content.

Despite that fact that you don’t have to know how to code to be a part of the online community, there are many reasons why having some basic understandings of coding is helpful.

Being comfortable with coding can help you:

  • Customize aspects of your blog (like adding/editing embed code).
  • Troubleshoot (when something doesn’t look right, you can check the code for obvious errors).
  • Learn important skills like logical thinking, creativity, and communication.
  • Consider a wide range of career paths and explore coding in more depth.

Week Nine Tasks

This week there are three tasks to choose from. We strongly encourage you to complete the first task and leave a comment for Alex. He’d love to hear from you!

All tasks are suitable for student bloggers and I’ve offered ideas on how they can be adapted for classes.

Let's have some fun with coding for week nine of the Student Blogging Challenge

Task 1: Leave A Comment For Alex

Go back and re-read the blurb above about Alex.

Alex certainly has an inspiring story to share. Despite being blind and a school student, he’s an outstanding self-taught coder and a highly valued member of staff at Edublogs.

Leave a comment on Mrs. Morris’s week 9 postScroll down to find the commenting box at the bottom of this post.

Maybe you want to know about learning to code, using a computer as a blind person, managing school and a job, or anything else!

Don’t forget:

  • Introduce yourself briefly — maybe say your age and where you’re from
  • Read over your comment before you submit it and fix up any errors
  • Check back to see if Alex has replied

 See Alex’s responses!

Task 2: Try An Hour Of Code Activity

For this task, try an Hour of Code activity and write a blog post about it.

The Hour of Code website is jam-packed with activities that you can try!

A good place to start is the ‘student-guided tutorials‘. Don’t worry if you haven’t tried coding before, you’ll be walked through what to do. It’s fun!

Be sure to filter your search results to find a suitable activity.

  • You’ll see the ages listed on the bar at the top from pre-readers up to Grades 9+.
  • Along the left-hand side, you can also filter activities based on what technology you have and what topics you’d like to explore.

Screenshot Hour of Code website

When you’ve tried out an activity, write a blog post about it. Make sure you include the link to the activity (a screenshot would be awesome too!). Review the activity. Tell your readers what you learned and whether you recommend it to others.

Task 3: Try Some Code On Your Blog

While you’re creating a post, you’ll notice that there is a visual editor and text editor.

Switch between text and visual when you're writing a post

Switching between the two is easy but we mostly write our blog posts using the visual editor. It’s based on a ‘what you see is what you get’ framework (just like programs like Microsoft Word or Google Docs).

Unlike the visual editor, the text editor requires you to add any formatting such as italics, bold, links, and spacing manually using HTML (although there are some shortcut buttons you can use).

HTML is a computer language that stands for Hypertext Markup Language. It’s the standard language for creating web pages.

This activity involves trying some HTML by writing the code in the text editor. You can also use HTML in comments. When you’ve had a go at trying HTML, write a blog post about it and tell everyone how you went. Was it easy/hard? Did you learn anything new?

The instructions below show you how to use bold, italics, and add a link.

Remember, coding is about troubleshooting. So if something doesn’t work, take a closer look at your code. Maybe you’ve added a space or missed a symbol.

Too easy? More advanced coders can look up the HTML for different functions like headings, lists (bullet points), color, horizontal rule (line), and more. There are a LOT of guides to learning HTML online. You might even make your own cheat sheet and publish it for others!

Submit Your Post URL 

If you want a commenter and other participants to visit your blog, remember to fill in the Google Form below.

Examples of post URLS for STUBC

Student Blogging Challenge Week 8: Celebrations

The year is quickly drawing to a close and for a lot of people, that means the season of celebrations is upon them.

This week we’d like to find out about the celebrations and festivities that are important to you. You might learn a few things about different cultures as well. Week 8 of the Student Blogging Challenge looks at festivities and celebrations around the world

Week Seven Recap

Trophy image -- great workLast week we had some students publish ‘free choice’ posts.

You can find them all here.

Let’s take a look at just some of the fantastic work we spotted last week:

  • Noe is from California and shared some information about the recent fires.
  • Evelyn wants to know what games you play.
  • Amelia shared her experiences being homeschooled.
  • Jayla went back and completed some more tasks from topics she enjoyed including this Emoji Kahoot!
  • Noah told us about his ffavoritesport — field hockey.
  • Izzy wrote an excellent post about a family vacation.
  • Ash shared some information on the Mona Lisa.
  • You can view more great work on our 2018 Student Blogging Challenge Flipboard.

Reminders

  • Some people have put a link to a Google Doc/Form/Slide presentation in their post BUT it can’t be viewed without logging in. This resource shows you how to make your Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Forms public.
  • Do your posts have images? Images make posts much more shareable and they stand out a lot more on our Flipboard magazine. Remember, you can’t just use any image you find online in your blog posts. Re-read the information in the week 3 postto find out free and easy options for images you can use.

Time to begin this week’s topic…

Celebrations And Festivities

We have a diverse group taking part in the Student Blogging Challenge with lots of different cultural backgrounds represented.

Around the world, people celebrate different holidays and festivals. As we learned in week five, there are many benefits to learning about similarities and differences.

It can be fun to tell people about our own traditions while hearing about others!

Want to learn a bit more about just some of the holidays that are celebrated around the world? This video might help.

This resource from ABC Australia also has some useful videos and information.

ABC Education Australia Celebration resources

Celebrations Poll

 

Week Eight Tasks

This week there are five tasks to choose from that explore holidays, celebrations, and festivities.

Our graphic summarises the tasks and I will explain each task in more detail below.

Week 8 Tasks STUBC Celebrations

Task 1: Family Celebrations

Think of all the holidays, festivals, or celebrations that are important to your family. Write a blog post about this. Don’t forget the essentials of a great post!

  • You could make a list of your family’s celebrations with a short description for each one, or
  • You could choose one celebration to explain in more detail.

Don’t forget to include lots of information about your holiday so your readers can get a clear understanding of this special day/season.

You could include things like:

  • The time of year/date it’s celebrated.
  • What you do to celebrate? Are there special costumes, decorations, music, lights, food, prayers etc?
  • Do people give each other gifts?
  • Who is involved in the celebration? Do you visit other people or host family and friends?
  • What special memories do you have?

You might even like to do some research into the origins of your holiday.

Task 2: Photo Spark

Often, holidays and celebrations include different decorations, food, costumes, or other objects. Think of a celebration that’s important in your family and share at least two photos of something that represents that holiday. Write a reflection to give readers an idea of the significance of this object. Don’t forget the essentials of a great post

Check out this example on the New York Times — Holiday Memories. 

Holiday Memories NY Times

Thanks to Larry Ferlazzo for sharing this idea. 

Task 3: Spice Up Your Blog With Mrs. Vazquez

Your house or classroom isn’t the only place you can decorate for the holidays, why not decorate your blog?

Alethea Vazquez is a wonderful teacher who is a commenter and a past STUBC participant. She has been very busy helping us with this task.

Head to Mrs. Vazquez’s “Christmas Fun” blog to get lots of ideas for themes, backgrounds, widgets, countdowns, music, puzzles and more!

Vasquez Happy Holidays Blog Screenshot

Tip: Decorating your blog is fun but make sure your visitors can still read your posts amongst all the colour and action.

If you decorate your blog, you might want to write a post about it telling others what you did. You can then submit your post in the Google Form below.

Task 4: Holiday Craft

The holiday season can be a great time to make some craft!

Create something and then add a photo of it to a blog post with a description. Or you could even make a video tutorial for your readers!  Don’t forget the essentials of a great post!  If you find inspiration from a website, be sure to include the link in your post.

Craft inspiration:

  • Origami Club has a list of origami (paper folding) objects you can make with a Christmas theme. There is origami for other holidays too.
  • DLTK has lots of ideas sorted into different holidays.
  • PBS Parents shares a range of craft ideas for different celebrations.
  • Easy Peasy and Fun has lots of Christmas craft ideas.

Easy Peasy and Fun Christmas Craft

Task 5: Fun And Games

Once you try out at least two sites, write a blog post about it and let others know whether you recommend it. You should take a screenshot of the site and include the link.  Don’t forget the essentials of a great postThere are lots of fun websites online where you can play games, create things, and get in the holiday spirit!

Here are some examples of sites. If you know some good sites, please leave a comment and let us know!

Magnetic Poetry — This is where you put words together to make a poem. It uses Google Drawings or Slides.

Google’s Santa Tracker has a range of different activities from coding to mapping to translating. They are available in December. Check them out here in December. 

Topmarks has a selection of Christmas games. Many are for younger students.

Google’s Emoji Creator that we mentioned in week 4 has had a holiday makeover. You can make your own emoji with a festive look. Check it out. 

Made with code holiday emoji creator from Google
I made this emoji using Google’s Holiday Emoji Creator

Submit Your Post URL 

If you want a commenter and other participants to visit your blog, remember to fill in the Google Form below.Examples of post URLS for STUBC