Student Blogging Challenge – Commenting

In this week 2 challenge students are asked to think about what it means to comment on blog posts.  I’ve found a few articles on the subject that might be of interest to readers.

I applaud the Student Blogging Challenge for bringing awareness to the importance of teaching commenting skills.  I’ve started a Padlet to share ideas on what goes into making a good blog comment. Feel free to add your comments.

Week one – Student Blogging Challenge

Student Blogging Challenge 2015

Student Blogging Challenge 2015







Once again I have the privilege of participating as a mentor in the Student Blogging Challenge #sbc15.  The challenge has three parts: create an avatar,  update my all about me page and visit other blogs.

I’ve updated my student blog list and begun to visit them.   For this challenge I’ve a group of 15-year old students and I look forward to getting to know them. 

Sometime ago I was introduced to Tellagami.  “Animate your life. Tellagami is a mobile app that lets you create and share a quick animated video called a Gami.”  I’m excited to learn how I can use this tool in my job.

Samantha Morra at has some great ideas for using Tellagami in the classroom.

EdTechSandyK shared her thoughts on Tellagami.

Steve Woods has created a tutorial on how to create a gami.

Check out my gami and feel free to share ideas on how you might use these types of avatars.

Challenge about the number 10

In the first week of the Edublog’s Student Blogging challenge: Who Am I? students were encouraged to name 10 people, alive or dead, and and think of a question to ask each individual.  There have been many wonderful responses from the student bloggers so far.  I thought it might be fun to give the challenge a try.

Like many of the students I would like to meet some of my relatives.

1. My grandmother: I’d ask her how she made her wonderful Walnut Bread.  Every Christmas we looked forward to visiting her home and sampling this sweet treat.  I’ve since learned that the official name is Potica.  I haven’t tried to make it yet; someday I will- in honor of her.

2. One of my distant ancestors: Genealogy interests me.   I’d like to meet one of my ancestors and discover what we have in common.  I suspect that some of them were nomadic wanderers.  I’d like to ask one of my relatives if he or she could explain why I have a deep need to tote all of my stuff everywhere I go.

Some of my favorite people are no longer with us.

3. John Denver:  I’ve enjoyed his music every since I was a teenager and I admire his passion to protect nature.  If I could meet JD I’d ask him what one thing I could do to continue his dream.

4. Lady Diana Spencer: Lady Di has always been one of my favorite royals and I’ve always wished that I could have met her and become her friend. As many people as she had in her life, Lady Diana seemed lonely.  I’d ask her how would she define true friendship.

Some people I’d like to meet.

5. Donald Trump:  I’d like to sit down and share a cup of coffee with Mr. Trump.  After sharing a bit of my life, I’d ask him for one piece of advice that would help me become a more successful person.

6. Cesar Milan:  I have a Lab-Great Pyrenees mix dog.  He’s over 100 pounds and loves to bolt after geese, deer, squirrels, etc.  I’d ask Cesar  to tell me what I can do to do to stop this behavior.  We’re tired of being dragged across yards or into ponds.

7. Diana Gabaldon: She’s one of my favorite authors. I’d like to know what inspired her to create the main characters (Jamie and Claire) in her Outlander stories.

8. Bobby Flay: He’s one of the America’s Iron Chefs.  I’d like to find out what he considers to be the one dish that every good cook should know how to make.  (And perhaps he’d volunteer to teach me.)

9: Dale Earnhardt, Jr.: Jr. is one of my favorite NASCAR drivers.  I’d ask him what one piece of advice would he give to rookie drivers.

And finally…

10.  One of the places I’d like to visit someday is Stonehenge.  There’s some mystery surrounding the purpose of this structure.  So to the individual who designed the monument…Why?

Popular Educational Twitter Hashtags

I came across a tweet about this infographic and wanted to share it.  Personally, I find Twitter to be one of the best professional development tools around.  I’ve learned so much from the people I follow.  Many times I’ve needed some feedback on an issue and my Twitter support system has been there.

A recent comment from a follower sums up my feelings about this social network:  “Twitter is like sitting next to all the smartest kids in class.”  It’s a great place to hang out.

Popular Educational Twitter Hashtags
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In the second week of the Student Blogging Challenge students were asked to create avatars and write about them.  The students were given several options for sites that they could use to build an avatar.  Some used DoppleMe, Clayyourself, and Voki.  My personal favorites are Voki and Meez.  Voki avatars speak giving the students a voice; whereas, Meez avatars can be animated.

Student bloggers from a previous challenge used the avatars in a variety of ways.

I found a site that provided links to several different avatar creation tools.   It’s called Web Tools for Kids.  It’s part of an educational project that introduces technology as a classroom teaching tool.
Some of the sites I particularly liked were:
Wimp Yourself  With so many of the younger crowd enjoying the Diary of A Wimpy Kid series it’s “time to get wimpy.”

Claymation  Create an avatar out of clay.  This site brought back memories of childhood cartoons.


Build Your Wild Self  Embellish your avatar with animal parts.  Who doesn’t like Where The Wild Things Are?


Reasonably Clever.  Visualize yourself in plastic.  These avatars remind me of the Lego toys.


Honest Johnny  A text to speech avatar.


As you look at my different avatars I wonder if you can notice some similarities?  Let’s play 20 questions.  Leave a comment and guess what I really look like and what I like to do.

The first thing I think about when I’m introduced to a new technology tool is how can this be used with students.  One education student used avatars in his lesson plan on bullying.  Each of the students created an avatar in the image of what they perceived a bully to look like.  They then used the images as a springboard for a discussion on stereotypes.


How can educators use avatars in the classroom?  Check out these articles for more information.






Image credit:

Student Blogging Challenge – Round 2

And so, a new season of the Student Blogging Challenge begins. This time I took the suggestion of one of the participants and created a Prezi as a means of introducing myself to the students.  Enjoy.   About Me 

For many years I wasn’t a fan of Prezi. Being a diehard PowerPoint user, I wasn’t all that excited about the movement, zooming in and out and around.  It made me dizzy. (In fact, I’m spinning just thinking about it.)

Over time I began to rethink my opinion of the tool.  I found some really good resources to help people create effective presentations.

Student blogs worth visiting

Week one activity in the Student Blogging Challenge suggested recommending three blogs and reasons for it.  I thought I’d complete the activity along with the students.

Blog 1:  The first thing that caught my attention was Hagan’s title.  Here’s a kid with a positive attitude; and it intrigued me enough to want to visit his blog.  So lesson learned…a title is important.   The next thing that I noticed was his use of pictures to tell a story.  The angle shot in his images is interesting.  After exploring the blog a bit I noticed that others must have felt the same way; Hagen’s blog was nominated as one of the best student blogs of 2011 by Edublogs.

Blog 2:  The title grabbed my attention first; the blog design kept me there.  Luis chose a deep blue background that makes you feel comfortable.

Blog 3:  Morgan has a way of getting you to participate in her blog.  The latest blog post has the reader answering questions to find out what jobs they would be good at.

While completing another challenge I came across Jaden’s blog   His blog was the winner of the Best Student Blog of 2011.  Interestingly, he uses screen shots to enhance his blog.  I especially like that he has developed a blog mascot.  Makes me think that I should resurrect one of my bulletin board characters as my mascot.





Student Blogging Challenge

Last week I was given the chance to become a mentor for a group of students participating in the Edublogs Student Blogging Challenge.  It’s my responsibility to visit their blogs at least three times and post comments.  This week I worked on my first “All About Me” blog posts.  I’ve managed to leave an all about me post on almost all of the blogs for my participating students.  After spending some time reading the posts I must say that I’m fairly impressed with what these individuals have written.

I’ve never been much of a blogger before this.  However, since beginning this mentor program I’ve spent more time with my own blog in two weeks than I have in the last two years.  This has inspired me to take a leap of faith and plunge into blogging.  I plan to experience the program the way the students are.

Week one challenge students were to do the following:

  • Update or create an ‘all about me’ page or post.
  • Visit ten blogs and leave a comment on one of their posts.
  • Write a post suggesting/recommending at least three other blogs and why.

Personal goals include creating a blog roll.

Thank you to the Edublogs team for giving me this opportunity.