The 21st Student Blogging Challenge beings on October 7, 2018. Registrations are now open!
After ten years of running the challenge, Sue Wyatt has passed the baton over to me, Kathleen Morris!
I’ve made a short video to give you an overview of what the free challenge is all about. Take a look and share it with others who might be interested.
How Do I Register?
Interested? You can follow the steps below to register or scroll down if you want to read more about the challenge before registering.
Step One: Join Our Mailing List
If you haven’t already, sign up for our Student Blogging Challenge mailing list to stay in the loop!
This isn’t a registration form but you’ll want to be on the mailing list to keep up to date with all the challenge news.
Step Two: Decide How You Want To Register
There are three ways to register:
1) Register As A Class
This means teachers and students participate together and students don’t need to have their own blog (although they can).
Teachers and/or students can publish their weekly tasks on their class blog. Or, the teacher can publish information on the class blog each week (copying/pasting/altering from the Student Blogging Challenge post).
The students can take part by commenting on their own class blog and other class blogs.
2) Register As An Individual Student Blogger
Students with their own blogs can take part by publishing a post each week in response to the prompts on the Student Blogging Challenge blog. They can also comment on other students’ posts.
3) Register To Be A Volunteer Commenter
Commenters need to be approved and need to be involved in some field of education — e.g. teaching, working with children, studying education, retired teachers etc.
If you know someone who might like to volunteer, please ask them to consider registering and joining our mailing list!
Commenters are asked to visit five blogs per week and you can make a big difference in the lives of young people by just dedicating 30-60 minutes a week for 10 weeks!
Step Three: Get Ready
While participants will learn about blogging through the challenge, it can be very helpful to start setting up your blog before the challenge begins.
These two self-paced courses will be helpful if you want to be walked through the process of setting up your blog:
- Student Blogging Bootcamp (for students) — This course guides students through the process of setting up and using their own blog. You might like to assign all/parts of the bootcamp to your students before the challenge begins.
- Blogging With Students Teacher Challenge (for teachers) — We walk you step-by-step through the process of setting up a class blog and blogging with students. You can also sign up to complete this challenge over 30 days if you wish.
I’ve Registered As A Participant. Now What?
Every week on a Sunday (starting October 7), I’ll publish a new post on the Student Blogging Challenge website.
You’ll get an email to let you know about the weekly topic and task.
Then there are four steps to follow throughout that week:
- Read: Either read through the post that’s on the Student Blogging Challenge site with your class, or assign the post to your students to read.
- Task: Complete one of the tasks together as a class and publish a post on your class blog, or instruct your students to complete one of the tasks on their own blog.
- Submit: Enter the URL of your blog post in the Google form on the weekly post on the Student Blogging Challenge site.
- Connect: Take the time to visit another participants’ blog. Leave a comment and strike up a conversation.
I’ve Registered As A Commenter. Now What?
Our commenting team leader, Sue Wyatt, will email you explaining the process by September 20 if you’ve been accepted. Sue will use the URL you provide on the sign-up form to verify your role in education.
Sue will support you as a commenter throughout the challenge.
More Challenge Information
What Is The Challenge About?
The Student Blogging Challenge is about embracing all of the benefits of blogging — from learning digital writing skills, and digital citizenship, to developing an authentic audience and connecting with others around the globe.
The challenge is made up of a series of 10 weekly tasks all designed to improve blogging and commenting skills, while connecting students with a global audience.
Who Can Join The Challenge?
The challenge is totally free and open to students or classes from all over the world. While we’ve had participants from K-12 take part, the tasks are ideal for students around the ages of 8-16.
While Edublogs supports the challenge, you don’t have to be using Edublogs to take part. You will just need to alter the ‘how-tos’ we share throughout the challenge to match your own blogging platform. Our detailed instructions will refer to Edublogs or CampusPress blogs.
Why Join The Challenge?
There’s a lot to be gained from joining the challenge! Of course, students and teachers will learn how to blog and there are SO many benefits of blogging. You never know what sort of learning can take place when you start building connections and finding an authentic audience for students’ work. There is a lot of power in amplifying learning!
The more you put in the more you will get out and many participants have found they’ve gained the most when they’ve spent time on building relationships with other classes taking part. So, reading other students’/classes’ posts and leaving them comments; asking questions etc. Connections can span long after the challenge ends.
Students who join the challenge will have access to a badge for their blog and certificate too!
What Will We Learn?
There will be a different topic each week and a new post will be published on the Student Blogging Challenge site every Sunday.
Some topics will be blog skills — like commenting (the first few weeks will focus mainly on essential blogging skills). Some topics will be important digital literacy skills like images and copyright. Other topics focus on global collaboration — like learning about holidays and celebrations. Some topics will focus on fun and creativity too — like emojis!
After reading through some information and examples, you’ll be presented with a number of options for tasks to complete. The task might be writing a blog post or page, trying out a free online tool, trying an online activity, completing some research, visiting other blogs and leaving comments etc.
Do I Have To Participate Every Week?
No! You can pick and choose what suits you and your students.
Each week there will be a choice of different tasks. Some weeks you might spend a lot of time on a topic. Perhaps opting to complete more than one task. Other weeks you might be busy or the topic might not suit your class, so you can simply skip it. You also have the option to modify anything to suit the needs of your students.
If you need to start late or you have holidays that fall during the ten weeks (October 7 to mid-December), that’s not a problem.
We’ve created two PDF documents of Frequently Asked Questions. One is for participants and another is for commenters. Scroll down to find the ‘download’ button under the document if you want to save a copy to your computer.
Anything else you’re not sure about? Leave a comment and we’ll get back to you!