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


How will I start blogging with my students?

Class photo
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: Anna M via Compfight

So you have spent many hours of your holidays or evenings getting your blog ready, even maybe taking part in the refresher course. You are overloaded with information and new terminology.

But how are you going to start blogging with your students?

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Start with paper bloggingHere is a post explaining how to do this. A video of grade 3 students doing paper blogging.
  • Why not create a bulletin board in the classroom explaining the terminology (check glossary in this blog header area) and adding the paper blogs in the post area.
  • Talk to students about creating safe, secure passwords. This blog post includes some videos for students to watch on passwords.
  • Check out how this teacher begins blogging with her class – great list of student friendly blogs to discuss.

In class meetings, discuss:

  • blog title and tagline
  • blogging guidelines – create page on your blog so parents also understand – link to post about guidelines
  • quality comments – show Mrs Yollis’ video by her students and check out how she teaches quality commenting – video at bottom of this post
  • ideas for posts
  • monitors for blogging – eg class photographer, class reporters

So far, all this has been done before students even write on your class blog.

Have students leave comments on your posts without having logged in. This will help when they leave comments on other blogging platforms such as blogger, wordpress and kidblogs. Talk about their email address, the anti-spam word, how to change the anti-spam or captcha if they can’t read it.

Now teach them how to login, update their profile and change their password.

Have lots of posts for students to leave quality comments on. Allow them to visit other blogs on your sidebar to leave comments on those blog posts.

Finally allow those students who are commenting well to start writing posts on the blog – maybe working in pairs to start with.

Any thing else students could do early in their blogging?

Old blog is now new blog

Forward Forward
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: Theen Moy via Compfight

Many of you on this new website have had your old blog imported into your new blog here.

There are some things you will still need to do to get your blog looking the same as the old blog.

Theme – if I have had time, I have changed your theme to the old one, but as there are over 220 themes now, many mobile friendly, you might want to look at it and change the theme again for the start of your new blog.

Clustrmap – as you can see on this blog, I have two clustrmaps. A new one for this blog and an image of the map from the old blog. Go to clustrmaps, click on admin and login with your old blog URL eg and the password they sent you in your first email from clustrmaps. If forgotten, they will send in another email to you. Once into the site, go to statistics and you should see your original map, save it as an image on your computer. Come to your new blog, widgets> image widget> add the image and a title.

Settings – like timezones, taglines, privacy, compfight sizes for images – check in the header area for more details in checking settings on your blog.

Links to useful websites – again if I have had time, I have added these in for you, otherwise it is just a matter of copy and paste from your old blog to new blog dashboard> links> add new  Make sure you have set up your link categories first.

Widgets – these I can’t do for you especially if you originally got them from widgetbox. This company no longer works on widgets so you will have to find other websites for class pets, clocks, calendars, translators etc.  I will be writing a post about these in the future though.

Adding student users – I can now add these in one big batch and will send you a spreadsheet to fill in. Just contact me on my gmail email – see image on sidebar.

My Class in dashboard – if you have students as contributors on your blog, remember to create a class and then you can setup the moderation for posts. I will also be writing a post about moderating posts because Edublogs has added a new thing called reader which you can also use to follow other blogs as well as see pending posts.

New term

“Mixed Media Installation by Peter Liversidge: Hello, 2013 (58 Light bulbs, powder coated steel, motion activated sensor)” / Ingleby Gallery / Art Basel Hong Kong 2013 / SML.20130523.EOSM.03963
Photo Credit: See-ming Lee via Compfight

So it is the beginning of a new term at schools in Tasmania.

How are you going to use your blog this term?

  • Did you write a post welcoming students back and asking for some information about their holidays?
  • Are you going to ask what their goals are for this term? Maybe a post about making SMART goals would be good on your blog.
  • What are the main topics you will be studying this term? Maybe write a post giving a general outline and find out what the students think they already know about each topic.

Are you taking part in some international events between now and the end of the year?

Here is the link to a great Australian calendar showing events you and your class or school could be taking part in over the next few months.

For a fun finish to the year, why not join the Hour of Code during December. Here is a great page with lots of links to coding sites. A way for students to learn programming easily on any device they use. Even a planning page for teachers so you know the day will go right and you wont get stressed.

eLearning with blogs

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