Social media in schools

I went to a meeting yesterday run by Roger Stack from the Marketing Services of the Tasmanian Department of Education. His presentation was about how the DoE is using social media now to connect with families and school communities. He mainly spoke about Facebook, looking at groups and pages, statistics you can find through a Facebook page. I have included his presentation as an embed on this post. I will also be adding links in the sidebar to relevant documents about various social media you might want to start using in your schools and classrooms.


Online Presence in the DoE

More PowerPoint presentations from Roger

If you have been looking at some of our other class blogs, you will notice some classes have their own Twitter feed, where students or teachers can add a tweet throughout the day. Like blogging, these are moderated by the teacher owning that Twitter name.  Here is link to 5/6 Clark/Smith from Montagu Bay Primary School. Check out how they use twitter.

How do you get parents involved in your class blog? Again check out 5/6 CS – their teacher Mrs Smith has been blogging nearly as long as me and has now started getting comments from the local community.

Do you have a subscription widget on your blog to allow parents and community members to have your posts sent immediately to their email accounts?

Here are some other things you could be doing to get parents involved in your blog. This is part of the Teacher Challenge being run by Edublogs at the moment. Feel free to join us.

Leave a comment mentioning ways your students can think of to get parents involved on your blog?

Children’s rights

This week I have been following a Twitter chat all about children’s rights. The leader of the chat is Mia who is from UNICEF Australia. She has been sharing lots of links relating to the rights of children around the world. The reason is that this year celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Convention of Rights for Children. I have included some of the great links she has shared with us as well as a post written by one of my online grade 6 students who had only learnt how to use the comic website that afternoon.

Here are the students Mia mentors – notice there is no one from Tasmania


What do you think about that quote? What do your students think about it?


Resources to check out

Here is a photostory to introduce the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child to your class.

Tomorrow 19 August is World Humanitarian Day – what is your school doing to participate?

Links for children’s safety and values – mind matters, stronger/smarter schools, Alannah/Madeline Foundation, Plan organization

Newspaper article about students protesting re children in detention

Resources from UNICEF on children’s rights

Photostories to download explaining different children’s rights

Great books for children to read – especially since it is Bookweek this week in Australia


Projects to take part in

Create your own video challenge – ends soon so check out right now

UNICEF day for children in October – get resources here.

Project about Things that Matter with the young ambassadors

Your students could create comic strips like Ebony has here – use this post to learn how to make the comics using Make Beliefs


Videos to show students and staff

Creating a rights respecting school – video from Canada


Morris Gleitzman is an Australian UNICEF ambassador for children

UNICEF’s year in review video


Creating an avatar

So that you are known globally, you need to have an avatar that represents you.

But can’t I use a picture from Google?

No, most pictures on Google or other search engines are copyright and belong to someone else.

I have included below some avatar creation sites suitable for students in primary school. Just click on the image and it will take you to the website.




doppelme avatar  

Step 1. Create your avatar

Step 2. Using printscreen or snipping tool to save your avatar – make sure it is saved as a JPEG file

So you decided to create an avatar like “Hero Factory” or “Build your wildself” or “Mini Mizer” where you can’t download it easily. You need to take a picture of the screen first. Most computers have a printscreen button on the keyboard or if using Windows 7 you have an icon called “snipping tool”.

When you press printscreen an image of your screen is now copied to your clipboard. If using snipping tool, try to get only the part of the avatar you want to use. You will still need to crop and resize to get an avatar that fits well on your blog.

Here is a video showing how to find and use the snipping tool. When saving, make sure it is JPEG.

Go to your drive where you saved your avatar, right click on the icon for your avatar image and choose “Open with” choose Microsoft Office Picture Manager.

  1. In the icons at the top, go to View> task pane.  On the right go to edit pictures > crop.  Now move the black bars on the side of your image in, to crop your picture to what you want in your avatar.
  2. Click OK, then back to edit pictures. Now click on resize. In the box “custom width and height” put  200 in both boxes. Click OK.
  3. Back up to file>save as> call it sueava2 or similar> make sure it is still JPEG. Make sure you have saved it to your drive again.

Here is a post  explaining how to upload your user avatar to your class blog.

Instead of using one of the avatar sites above, you might want to draw your own image or use another drawing tool.

Want to create an avatar using Publisher? Read Mrs Smith’s post about how her class did this activity. PS Make sure you read the hints in Mrs Smith’s comment linked here before using Publisher to create avatars.

2014 Teacher blogging challenge

Left Hand Green
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: Arielle Nadel via Compfight

Are you thinking of having your class take part in the student blogging challenge in September this year?

But you have never blogged before and want to learn some more?

Or maybe you want a quick refresher course for blogging on a personal blog or a class blog?

Well why not join the

2014 Teacher Challenge run by the team at Edublogs.

Head over to this link and read all about the challenge. Then register to join. By the time the student challenge starts in mid September you will be a very accomplished blogger.

Where it asks for URL put in the link for your class blog eg