Sorry for the multiple emails

Those of you who subscribe to the Teacher Challenge blog will have received a few emails over the past few days notifying you of new posts; and you may have noticed that some of the post titles are similar.

We’re currently updating both of our blogging series and are publishing new posts as part of the update.  We’re taking what we’ve learned from the previous blogging series — remixing it, adding content we didn’t include but feel we should have and making sure all our examples of how blogs are being used are still relevant.

We’ve decided to update both blogging series at the same time as it is easier and this is why the titles are similar.

Unfortunately we forgot that we had email notification set up on this blog.

So we’re deactivating email notification, after this post is published, while we update the series and will activate it again once we’ve completed the update.

And for those of you who are subscribe by RSS you now know why the post titles are similar.  You weren’t seeing double!

Below is a quick outline of what will be covered in the latest version of each series.

While both series look similar the content for each series has been customized depending on if you are setting up a class blog or personal/professional educator blog.

We’ve just published the posts on ‘Step 1: Set up your blog (or class blog)’ and Step 2: Set up pages.  Key changes on ‘Step up your blog’ are we’ve now included how to upload your avatar, change settings and provided examples of how educators customize their theme to personalize it for their situation.

Blogging with student

Guides you through the process of class and student blogging.

Personal blogging

Guides you through the process of setting up your own personal or professional educator blog.

Is there any thing else you would like to see in these series?  Or any other ideas you have.

Sorry again about the multiple emails and we’ll let you know once it is finished.

How to Share the Teacher Challenge posts

Educators have contacted us asking for email copies of our Teacher Challenge posts as they’re finding email is the best way to sharing them with their local teachers.

It’s great to know you’re finding these posts helpful!

So we thought you might like to see how easy it is to send emails of our posts from the Teacher Challenge blog.

Here’s how you do it:

1.  Go to the post you want to email.

For example, to send an email copy of  ”Activity 1: Getting your class blog started – Create blog and customize look” you go to:

2.  Click on the Print PDF icon.

3.  Click on PDF.

4.  Click on “Download your PDF” to save a PDF copy of the post on your computer.

5.   Attach the PDF to an email to share with others.


The alternative is to use the email option on the Print PDF screen however emailing it as a PDF is more obvious than teachers realising they need to click on the link in the email.

Below is what the email option from the Print PDF screen looks like:

The plugins we use to help teachers easily share our posts are:

  1. Print Friendly and PDF plugin - Optimize your pages for print and let your readers download or email a PDF version of your posts or pages.
  2. AddThis Social Share plugin – Places Facebook like, Twitter, email and other sharing icons on your posts.

These can be activated in Plugins and you can read more about other plugin options here.

Here are links to all the posts in our latest series on class blogging:

You’ll find our other Teacher Challenge series here:

Blog with students – Visit these Weeks 3/4

commenting_and-parents Made with My Cool Signs.Net

More blog posts to read relating to blogging with student activities. As many of the activities relate to actually doing something with a class blog, there have not been as many reflective type posts.

Creating and using class and student blogs

Kathleen, Janelle, Malyn, Anne,


Google docs – Mrs Krebs, Widgets and bling – Penny,

New bloggers

Drawn to Art, Ms Z, Ellen and students, Charles, Mrs Powell and students, Deb and her students, Mike, Heather and her students, Ben and PE, Miss Goodey and students, Ale – student of Ellen,

Ideas from visiting other participants

Sheri, Ruary, Mrs Allen, Penny, Marsha, Mr Carson,

Staying safe with social media

Jennifer, Scott,

Promoting your blog and parents

Penny, Sheri, Rorey, Marsha, Janelle, Kathleen,


Mrs W and Mrs M, Serge, Janelle, Tracy, Mrs W, Jana, Sheri,

Do you have a favorite free web tool?

As we continue on with the current Teacher Challenge on class blogging, preparations are already underway for the next series.

This time, we want to introduce users to as many of the best free web tools as we can!


And that is where you come in. Do you have a favorite web tool of any kind that you would like to share?

We’re looking for guest bloggers to:

  • Write a post that provides an overview of the tool
  • Include a “challenge” where readers are encouraged to use the tool and somehow demonstrate the end result
  • Help answer any questions that might come up from challenge particpants

No need to have a blog or even be an Edublogs user to participate. This would be a great way to help fellow educators from around the globe – and maybe add more twitter followers or blog readers to your list as well. :)

What do you think? Any takers?

Leave a comment below or contact us here and we’ll get you hooked up with all that you need!

Final posts of the week #ksyb

It is nearly 10 days since the last ‘Kick start your blog’ activity was posted and on Monday, we will be starting another 30 day Professional development on ‘Blogging with your students’.

So this will be the last official post for the #ksyb, but I will include any links that still come in on a post for the student blogging PD.

First posts

Heather, Dee, Paula, Megan, rspoling,

Widgets and sidebars

Pam, Jane, Jana, Anne, Penny, Jodi, Sheri,

Images and media

Bev, Shelley, Sandra, Ashley, Mr Alton, Kami, Collette, Kim, Michelle, Ellen,

Pages and posts

Sara, Lucia, Jenn, Jill, Lisa,


Irina, Jana, Malyn, Jee, Malyn, Karla, Russell,


Kirby,  Penny, Pam, Lyn, Shawn, Malyn, Sheri, Carol, Kay, Kevin, Tracey,

Starts Monday! 30 days to get your students blogging!

worldWe hope you enjoyed our first Teacher Challenge series with 30 days to kick start your blogging. We’ll be monitoring the comments and anyone is welcome to continue with the challenges even after we’re officially on to another one.

And now, starting this Monday the 14th is 30 days to get your students blogging!

This challenge is open to anyone and everyone – and you don’t need to be a user of Edublogs at all or have participated in the first challenge.

Especially geared for those that want to have their student participate in the Student Blogging Challenge that is starting in March, gear up and get ready to learn:

  • The educational and curricular benefits of student blogging
  • Choosing a blogging platform
  • Setting up the accounts
  • Managing and following student bloggers
  • Teaching blogging skills and etiquette
  • And much, much more!

To keep up with the challenges and tasks as they are announced, just do one or more of the following:

  1. Like Edublogs on Facebook
  2. Follow Edublogs on Twitter
  3. Subscribe to the RSS feed by email

Happy blogging!

Getting all the information from your Teacher Challenge email subscription

Many of you have signed up to be notified of our latest posts by email.

Unfortunately some of you have been having trouble because we didn’t warn you that things like images and objects that we embed are removed in emails.

So if you are currently reading this post by email we need you to immediately visit the Teacher Challenge blog NOW and read the post online!

We want to:

  1. Show you the difference between reading this post online and reading it in an email
  2. Give you tips for getting more out of reading our email subscriptions

The great thing about email subscriptions is your automatically sent an email when a new post is written on the Teacher Challenge blog.

But when you receive the email we need you to:

  1. Read the content
  2. Look to see if there are any images or embeds that might be missing
  3. Check out the hyperlinks that send you to websites where you can read  further information

Here’s an example.

Below is a portion of the email subscription asking if bloggers want a mentor.

In this email the Google Doc we used to sign up for a mentor was an embed and it was automatically removed from the email.

What you needed to do in this case was visit the post on the blog.

Here’s how to visit the post:

Look at the heading of the email. It is in blue and underlined.

Anything that is blue and underline indicates it is a hyperlink.  When you click on a hyperlink in the email it will take you to that website.

To visit the original post you just need to click on the heading at the top of the email.

In this case you would click on “Do you want a mentor for this challenge?”

Links in email newsletters
Links in email newsletters

And you would see this post:

teacher challenge website

Then to find the form and ask  for a mentor, all you need to do scroll down until you see the Google form and add your details.

scroll down for form

Click on the submit button, when finished filling in the form.

And have you noticed?

While reading this post on the Teacher Challenge blog we hope you’ve been comparing it to the version you received by email!

Have you noticed how the images are missing in the email?  And you can see them in the post?

When in doubt always drop past the post to make sure there isn’t any important instructions in images you need to see.

And off course, if you are now reading our posts by RSS — you no longer need to worry :)   Images and most embeds aren’t removed when you read posts by RSS using Google Reader.

Do you want a mentor for this challenge?

We have had a fantastic response to the first activity in our ‘Kick start your blogging’ challenge. Lots of participants have been leaving comments in the discussion tab; many others have been responding to those comments.

But maybe you want some more one-to-one help. This is where a mentor will come in. As you can see from the mentor signup page, we have about 30 people from around the world prepared to help answer your questions.

So, we will be allocating a mentor to every five participants who sign up on the Google form below. The spreadsheet created from the form will then be embedded on the mentor page. You will be able to see who else your mentor is helping. Email addresses will be given to the mentor but will not be published on the embedded document.

So you are joining the first challenge

I’ve been sitting here at my computer for the last couple of hours since Ronnie from Edublogs sent out the newsletter. We have had over 70 new educators say they would like to participate in the first challenge starting next Monday.

A few asked about whether you need to have a blog already – the answer is NO.

The ‘Kick start your blogging’ challenge on Monday will actually walk you through signing up for a blog and then customizing the theme and settings to suit you and how you are going to use your blog throughout the challenge. We will explain the different blogging platforms to choose from as well.

If you want to be notified by e-mail whenever a new post is added to this blog then please follow these instructions.

  • If you look in the right sidebar you will see a box that says ‘Enter your email address’.
  • Simply enter your email address, a pop-up box will appear and you just need to enter the anti-spam word and then click on “Complete Subscription Request.”
  • You’ll receive an email asking you to activate your subscription, click on the link to activate your email notification.
  • Now you’ll receive an email notifying you when new posts or information are added to this blog.

Subscribing by email

If you are on Twitter and have some questions about the challenge, feel free to use the hashtags #ebshare (connects to Edublogs) or #ksyb (initials for this challenge).

Once everyone has signed up for a blog, we will be asking you to fill in a Google form with your name, your blog URL (begins with http://), whether you are a beginner blogger or advanced and the country you are in.  We will then allocate a mentor to help you with your blogging. By the time I write my first review post, you should be able to find your name and your mentor on the updated mentor’s page.


Original image: ‘Yoko working late…

Yoko working late...

by: Matt Ravier

Released under an Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License

Challenge reminder

Our first set of challenges ‘Kick start your blogging’ begins next Monday 10 January 2011.

Every Monday and Thursday for the next four weeks there will be both beginner and advanced blogger challenges. Choose which one you want to participate in. Every Saturday there will be a week in review post – not necessarily an activity to do, but maybe visit other blogs mentioned in this post.

Also check out our mentors who are there ready to help you if you get stuck with the challenges.

If you are blogging for the first time, it will be a steep learning curve, but the journey is made easier when you have friends helping you.

You can also see a page in our header called ‘Why blog’. Check this out before next week as it will give you descriptions of lots of jargon used in blogging. This page will be very helpful over the next few weeks.

Original image: ‘Free Two Happy Girls Holding Hands Walking to School at Sunrise Creative Commons

Free Two Happy Girls Holding Hands Walking to School at Sunrise Creative Commons

by: D. Sharon Pruitt

Released under an Attribution License