Ideas for other posts

Thinking
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: null via Compfight

I have just been checking what work has been done while I am away. I noticed Angus is keeping up and only has to add some links to his blogroll. Some of you have added comments and widgets as well. Keep working on that checklist. Leave a comment on one of my posts if you have a question about what to do.

But here are some other ideas for posts:

What is your favourite colour and why? Write a poem about it maybe. Add an image of that colour.

Our world in danger – I notice this week UNESCO is meeting in Doha to make a decision about the Great Barrier Reef. Research this and write a post about the result.

Your relatives are coming to Tasmania for a two week holiday. Plan where they are going to visit and how long they will be in certain places. Remember to add a hyperlink to some places like Port Arthur. Here is a post about how to add hyperlinks.

If you could be any animal in the world, what would you be and why?

Who is your favourite musician, singer, band etc? Write a post about them but remember to write in your own words. Don’t copy and paste from another website. Add one video to your post – find this in youtube. Here is a post explaining how to add a video to your post.

I wish, I wish ….

Happy Saint Paddy's Day
Photo Credit: Faith Goble via Compfight

As Miss W or Sue is travelling overseas at the moment, each week she will write a post for you to complete during your normal online classroom time.

Week 1 post

What is a country you would love to visit?

Write a post about this country. Include 3 places you would visit in this country and why.  Write three questions you would like answered about this country.

Find an image using the compfight plugin to add to your post.

What is compfight plugin? Check out this post to make sure you have activated it on your blog. If you have, you should see these icons on your post dashboard.

compfight icon

If you want to follow my journey, I will be adding to my travelling blog most days with Mr Davo Devil who I take away with me on my journeys.

You will also notice I have added two other clocks to the blog – one for Ireland time and one for the place where I will be in America.

 

Widgets and HTML code

In this week’s lesson, you each added a clock widget to your sidebar. Here are the steps you followed, in case you need to change the clock:

  1. Open student blogger’s blog and right click open in a new tab on Miss W’s clock in the sidebar.
  2. This takes you to this website. In the top header, hover over free fun and click on  make a clock for your site.
  3. Make any changes you need to the clock and keep clicking on Continue.  You can see what the changes are as you make them by looking at the clock on the right.
  4. When you have finished creating your clock, you need to copy the embed code. This is also called HTML code.

Now come back to your blog dashboard> appearance> widgets to embed the code in a text box which you have dragged across to your sidebar area.

Put in a title for the widget them paste the embed code and save.

There are many different widgets you can add to your sidebar. They all work the same way – create the widget on their website, copy the embed or HTML code then come back to your dashboard and add the code in a text box under widgets. If you can’t find the embed code easily look for these words or icons:

embed code      HTML     publish     share    application,xml,code,html

Try now to create one of these widgets:

Here is a video about how to create a Voki, start at about 1.00 minute.

Visit other student blogs to see what widgets they might have like a flag counter, bookshelf, brainpop riddle, wonderopolis question.

Can you find any other great widgets to add to your blog sidebar?

Write a post about widgets.

Adding widgets

This week’s lesson is all about adding widgets. Some are very easy to do, others are a bit more difficult. I will be writing separate posts for how to add certain widgets like a cyber pet, a clock and the weather widgets.

There are hundreds of widgets you can add to the sidebar of your blog. But you need to think about the design of your blog as well.

  • some widgets are noisy- music, games, pets
  • some take up a lot of space – games, shelfari
  • some distract your readers – noisy games

There are some widgets I would like to see on your blog and these are provided by Edublogs so are easy to add to your sidebar.

How to add Edublogs widgets

  1. Go to blog dashboard> appearance> widgets
  2. Open your sidebars
  3. Now just drag and drop into the dotted boxes
  4. Move widgets around, just drag and drop within the sidebars

Widgets to add: class blogs, links, recent comments (10), recent posts (10), categories  If you can already see it in the sidebar, don’t add a second time.

Commenting

This week’s lesson was about commenting.

You were asked to do the following:

Make notes using pen and paper while watching this video created by students in Mrs Yollis’ class.

Visit Felix’s blog and check out his commenting page.

 

Now you need to do the following to get marked off on work finished page.

  1. Leave 2 comments on the student blogger’s blog. You might want to leave a comment on this post and the previous post about the online classroom. Make sure they are quality comments like in the video.
  2. Write a new page (not post) about what you expect when someone leaves a comment on your blog. It doesn’t have to be as long as Felix wrote. Here are some class examples to look at. Remember to write it in your own words.  Huzzah from Canada, grade 5/6 class from Victoria,
  3. Visit three blogs from other students in our online class and leave one comment on each blog. Again I will be moderating the comment, so make sure it is a quality comment. The list of students to visit is on the sidebar of our student blogger blog.

Welcome to our first course for 2014

G’day Kailee, Logan, Angus, Jake, Shakiya, Kirstyn, Ebony, Jack, Mathew, Tom and Cody,

Our first lesson is to find out how the online classroom works.

It is like being in a classroom normally, where you are expected to put up your hand when you have a question or else you can write it in the chat area. In the online classroom, I will often put a timer on so you know how much time you have to complete a certain task.

Here are the icons used in the online classroom.

  1. Online iconsIn this first row, clicking on the drop down arrow at the smiley face gives you more icons including clapping hands. The second icon on this row is clicked if you have to leave the room for some reason, the third icon is putting up your hand if you have a question and want to use the microphone, the fourth icon is if I take a poll in class.
  2. When you are allowed to talk, you need to have your hand up then press the talk button. When you have finished talking press the talk button to turn it off and then turn off the hand as well by clicking it again.
  3. This third row shows what you are allowed to do in the class – microphone, video, chat area, write on whiteboard, share your computer screen, take a web tour. These last two you probably won’t use at all.

Whiteboard iconsThese are the icons when using the whiteboard.

Play on the whiteboard for five minutes to find out what you can do with each icon. Which icon allows:

  • clipart to use on screen – add a cup of coffee or globe or smiley face
  • writing on the screen – write your name in a colour not black and size 18
  • draw a thick line in a different colour
  • take a picture of something on your computer desktop
  • use a star or pointer on the screen

There are 12 activities to be completed by end of Easter which begins 18th April.

Check the work finished page each week to see what else you need to complete. Posts showing you what to do can be found in the Getting Started page in the header.

  1. Be able to login quickly to your own blog and class blog if you have one.
  2. Update your profile including change your password and the display name.
  3. Settings – blog title, tagline, timezone, add teacher as administrator
  4. Plugin – activate compfight plugin and change settings for short side
  5. About me page for your visitors to read – remember no personal information
  6. Left two comments on the main student bloggers blog
  7. Changed your theme
  8. Written at least two posts
  9. Edublogs widgets organized on your sidebar
  10. Make at least 3 comments on other student blogs from this online class
  11. Added your clustrmap, a clock and a pet widget
  12. Create and upload your avatar

Good luck with your blogging and remember the online classroom will be open every Monday from 1.30 until 4.30 so you can also use it at home if you have any questions. You can also email me any time any day of the week.

Leave a comment on this post describing your first experience in the online classroom.

First time blogging

bridging knowledge to health
Photo Credit: paul bica via Compfight

Today I spent time at a school on the North West coast of Tasmania (with a fabulous view), teaching a new group of students how to create their blogs. They looked at the student bloggers blog and the how to get started section.

They learnt to login, change their profile, add the compfight plugin, change themes and write a new post. In the next few minutes they will also add an image from compfight.

After lunch, I headed to another school where five more students will be taking part in the student blogging course. They had blogged last year with their principal so they already knew a bit about blogging. Hopefully they will catch up the activities completed at the first school so both groups are ready for our first formal online classroom on March 17th.

Leave a comment on this post explaining what you have enjoyed most about blogging so far. Remember to address your comment to Sue, be polite, check your spelling and punctuation before submitting the comment.

Using comics in your blog

There are many different comic creation websites on the internet, but we are going to use one that has no registration. This means it doesn’t save your comic. You will need to use the snipping tool to save each frame into a folder on your computer drive.

The website we are using is called Make Belief Comics. First you need some playtime to find out what you can do at this website.

1. Choose how many frames for your comic. You can also choose a background colour but I think all the scenes are just black and white drawings so you could end up with everything blue or green. Test this out during the lesson before actually creating your comic.

2. Check out the background scenes and objects you can use. Use the arrows to move through all your choices. Think about what you can be adding to your scenes in your comic.

  

3. Look at the different characters available. What types of expressions do they have? What do they look like? How are they dressed? What gestures (hand movements) do they have? Scroll along the line to view your choices.

4. Make sure you look at the other tools available like moving in the scene, making bigger and smaller (scale), bringing item to front or back, flipping, dialogue boxes and prompts for each frame.

   

OK playtime is over, now to the serious stuff.

What is your comic going to be about?

  • retelling a story – something that happened at home or school – don’t use real names though
  • showing your understanding of something – digital etiquette, lifecycles, a book you have read
  • having a character telling the news

Here is a list of 21 ways to use a comic if you can’t think of one of your own.

Bill Zimmerman, the creator of Make Beliefs Comix, also has lots of ideas if you check out the links at the bottom of his home page.

Time now to get started

  1. Create a quick storyboard showing roughly what your comic is going to look like.
  2. Choose number of frames.
  3. Create 1st frame remembering to use the extra tools and speech bubbles.
  4. Continue creating the other frames.
  5. When finished, click on print/email.
  6. At this screen, use your snipping tool, to crop and save each frame as a separate image and save in your folder at school or home. Rename each image as com1, com2, com3 or something similar.
  7. Write your post in your blog, including tags and categories.
  8. Click on add media icon next to the compfight icon.
  9. From computer, find your images and upload them. Hold down control if you want to load more than one at a time.
  10. If you have loaded all of them at once, they will form a gallery of images.
  11. Make sure they are in ascending or descending order and click on one gallery column so images will appear underneath each other in your blog. Finally click on insert gallery.
  12. Now it is time to save draft again and then hit publish.

What makes a great post?

Many of you have been taking part in the student blogging challenge and have been visiting other student blogs.

  • What has made you read a post on that blog?
  • Are there any things in particular, that make you want to stop and read?
  • Are there any things that put you off reading a post?

Your task this week (as I won’t be having an online lesson) is to visit at least 10 of the student blogs nominated for the Edublog Awards in 2012. Link to them here.

Have a new post open in your dashboard and as you are reading the blogs, take note of what made a post great in your eyes.

Add to your blog post by mentioning three posts in particular that you enjoyed and give reasons why. Make sure you link to that post in your post.

Here is an example:

Today I visited Davo’s blog and a post I really enjoyed was when he visited the whaling station at Albany. I like the way he tells a story in his posts and they always have appropriate pictures which Miss W has taken. It was easy to read because it was written in paragraphs. I did notice though that the name of the ship wasn’t in quotation marks or italics. I would love to visit a whaling station to see the huge skeletons left by the whales.

This post should be at least three paragraphs long – one for each blog post you are writing about. You should have a link to the post in each paragraph. You should be giving your own opinion about the post.

How to … add a poll

I notice many of you creating polls, asking for students votes. I have been looking for a great web 2.0 tool you can use easily and embed in your blog.

Here is my poll about blogging.

What do you enjoy most about blogging?

What do you enjoy most about blogging?
pollcode.com free polls

How to create a poll

Step 1. Here is the website to visit.

Step 2. Make sure you make all your changes on the left hand side before hitting the big blue button. You can see on the right hand side what your poll will look like as you make the changes.

Step 3. Once you hit the blue button, you will then have a choice of tower or drop down embed code. Choose tower and copy the code.

Step 4. Return to your blog post which you have already written (including tags and categories), change from visual to HTML and paste in your code.

Step 5. Hit the submit button immediately then close your post page. DO NOT change back to visual. Do that next time you open a new post.

STOP PRESS     STOP PRESS     STOP PRESS

I noticed that the poll looks different from the edit post area and what actually appears in your post. I will have to work out how to change this.