The Edublogger’s First Birthday Celebration!

The Edublogger just had its first birthday which makes:

PS Sorry but celebrations ran a bit due to waiting new birthday clothes — come and check them out! What do you think of The Edublogger’s new blog theme?

Story Behind The Blog

Was The Edublogger my idea?  Nope! It was all James Farmer originating from this email on January 4, 2008:

I’d like to float something with you, and see what you think of it.

As you know I’m a big fan of your work… I love the way you illustrate ideas, communicate with your readers, pick topics and… well, just about everything really.

What I’d like to float with you is the possibility of you doing the kind of stuff you already do so well, but doing it at a central place within Edublogs, and having it promoted throughout the site.  It would entirely focused around you… you’d be entirely independent to criticize, rave or write about whatever at will…

From this The Edublogger was set up, by Edublogs, to share tips, tricks, ideas that help the educational blogging community.  With it my role working for Edublogs increased; from writing posts on The Edublogger to being employed 3 days a week in 2009.

Lets Celebrate!

To celebrate The Edublogger’s first birthday we’re giving away twelve Edublogs supporter 12 month subscriptions which you can use on your own blog or give away to a reader.  Just write a post based on any of the topics themes listed below:

  1. Advice for doing blog makeovers i.e. improving your blog
  2. Tips for using blogs with students
  3. Using tools like VoiceThread, Voki, mystudiyo, Animoto, SlideShows, Google Documents with students and embedding in blogs posts
  4. Advice for writing better blog posts
  5. What makes good comments or commenting tips
  6. Images in blog posts
  7. Tips for building blog audience
  8. Ideas for getting educators involved with using web technology
  9. Favorite blog widgets
  10. Images generators (e.g. sign generators, newspaper generators), avatars, online graph tools etc that you can use with students
  11. Advice on setting up or using class blogs
  12. Tips for connecting with other classrooms

Anyone can enter, including students, but you must include in your post which topic you are writing about and link back to this post so that we receive a pingback advising us that you have written the post (read this to understand What’s A Pingback? And How To Write Links). For example you might copy the following into the bottom of your post and just change the topic enclosed in the qutoation marks:

This post has been written on “tips for using blogs with students” as part of The Edublogger’s Birthday Celebration Competition!

The best post for each topic wins and you can submit posts for as many topics you like.  You have until March 5 to enter.

If you are enjoying reading this blog, please consider Subscribing For Free!


Sue Waters

Edublogs Support Manager @suewaters on Twitter

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105 Responses

  1. Miss W. says:

    Happy Birthday to the Edublogger. It has been a marvellous year learning how to blog with the help of Sue and the Edublogger. Always there with lots of information or Sue prepared to write a post about a problem or question asked by a reader.

    Thanks again Sue for all your help this year.

  2. Happy Birthday, and thank YOU for all the support, guidance, tips, and great ideas!

  3. Happy birthday to the Edublogger! You have achieved a huge amount in only a year. The posts are very well written and I’ve learned so much from the site.
    Thank you for all your help and guidance.

  4. turtola says:

    My students embed voicethread critiques of the books they read during SSR every Monday in class. They post entries every week by using these active reading strategies http://turtola.edublogs.org/ssr-reflection-log/

    and then when they finish reading the book, cull the entries into a voicethread critique like this one:http://kelseyr.edublogs.org/ssr/my-sisters-keeper/

    other voicethread presentations may be viewed on each scholar’s blog, whichcan be found here: http://turtola.edublogs.org/english-1/ and here:
    http://turtola.edublogs.org/language-and-literature/

    • Sue Waters says:

      Hi Paul, I assuming that you want to include your students use of Voicethreads as an entry for The Edublogger’s Birthday Celebration Competition? Can I get you to write post that pingbacks this post?

      • turtola says:

        i’m not sure what you mean.

        • Sue Waters says:

          Hi Paul – As part of the competition I’ve asked readers to write a post on their own blog to enter the competition. All you need to do is write about the topic on your blog and then link back to this post.

          For example, check out to Lisa’s Getting Educators involved in technology. At the end of her post she has said – “This post has been written on Ideas for getting educators involved with using web technology as part of The Edubloggers birthday celebrations”. You could just copy and paste her words into a post on your blog – this way all you have to do is change what your topic is about.

          The reason why I am doing it this way is because it means I can send readers to visit the posts on blogs that have entered the competition. Which is much better for you than sending readers to read a comment. Since hopefully it will bring new readers and subscribers to your blog.
          How I know about your post is by you creating a pingback when you link to this post.

      • turtola says:

        ok, i linked back to this page. did i do it correctly?

        • Sue Waters says:

          Hi Paul, you definitely have done it correctly so I’m not sure why it isn’t pingback at the post. It should!

          But all is good I have placed your post in as an entry.

  5. Paul C says:

    Congratulations on a successful milestone. I also really like the look of your site: the masthead, clean side bar, lots of white, archival use of tags. Gives me ideas… I enjoy returning with each new post.

  6. inpi says:

    Congratulations, Sue!
    I was amazed to know it’s just the first birthday of The Edublogger! I thought it was like “the wise man of the tribe”, very old, I mean.
    I’m learning so much from your blog, I couldn’t explain, but, above all, I treasure the friendship you communicate through your posts and comments.
    And I hope, one day, I’ll know you in person!
    Thank you, Sue.
    Ines

  7. amranaris67 says:

    Happy Birthday & congrate

  8. Suz Arnott says:

    Fantastic effort Sue… and happy birthday… I love the fresh new livery.
    Thank you so much for all of your words of wisdom, hints, tips and tricks which have help me on my path to understanding and exploring ways to use blogs in my classroom.
    thanks
    Suz

  9. Karen says:

    (With apologies to Sandra Boynton)

    Hippo birdies, two ewes,
    Hippo birdies, two ewes,
    Hippo birdies, two ewes, deer Edublogger,
    Hippo birdies, two ewes.

    You’ve be fantastic and gone way above and beyond the call of duty. It has been great. Here’s a toast of chocolate to you, Sue.

  10. Britt says:

    Happy birthday! Nice new look, and Edublogger remains my best source of good tips for blogging! Thanks for those 94 posts last year, and here is to many more this coming year!

  11. Jen says:

    What a shame… I have been edublogging for 2 years on your birthday you take away many of my coveted plugins. It took me a while to figure out why my google analytics account was not working. Well, because I was using a free account the service was taken away. It sure would have been nice to know that this was coming. For 1 year I have using this measurement – and now I have to either cough up $40 or forget the extra service. I really think some things should have been grandfathered in??

    • Sue Waters says:

      Hi Jen, the changes to access to plugins were part of changes to Edublogs supporters.

      These changes happened back on December 9th – you can read more about it here and the reasons why. It had been discussed for the past 11 months in the Edublogs forum here.

      • Jen says:

        Thanks for the reply Sue. Have you read the comments on the “about it” page? There also many frustrated customers. And even though this happened on Dec 9, they didn’t pull the plug on my plugins until Jan 29. (I have the proof) I have referred edublogs to teachers and right now my district is on a spending freeze and making numerous budget cuts. I know they will not be able to get support of the district so will be forced to either spend the $ out of their own pockets or continue to used the scaled down version. I would rather have to deal with ads then this.

        I am totally bummed.. Jen

        • Sue Waters says:

          Hi Jen, yes I read all comments as I’m responsible for replying in the forum (but my names there is dswaters).

          Whatever decision James made was never going to be popular but ultimately it gets back to do the users want Edublogs to continue while being able to provide it’s high level of support or not.

          When he wrote 11 months ago they had to look ways of offsetting hosting and staffing costs he said hosting was approximately $3,500 per month. Since then Edublogs is now hosted by a new company (the same company that hosts YouTube) and hosting costs are considerably more than $3,500 per month.

  12. Sue Waters says:

    Hi Everyone – thanks for all the birthday wishes and glad you like the new blog theme. Please let me know if there are any topics you would like me to write about as I’m always looking for ideas.

  13. Roshi Alan Hogan says:

    Hello Sue: Please check out my blog at…

    http://roshihogan.edublogs.org

    …and tell me what you think.

    Thanks!

    • Sue Waters says:

      Hi Roshi – thanks I have quickly check out your blog. Can you tell me what feedback you are interested in from me?

      • Roshi Alan Hogan says:

        Hello Sue:

        Thanks for checking out my blog. Do you know of any widgets that would flow well with my blog’s background? Should I add more pictures to my posts? Would that make them more enjoyable to read? Thanks a lot!

        -Roshi Alan Hogan

  14. jacmtms says:

    I am quite a neophyte when it comes to blogging. Our computer tech person at my Middle School suggested that I try EduBlogs because it is free and can be accessed by virtually everyone. I am the only person in my building who has a website, but more want to set one up. I was also disappointed (like Sue) that the plugins are no longer free. My District has also frozen the budget. I’ll probably end up keeping my “low end” blog, but would have liked to spiff it up for free.

    I use EduBlogs to post my homework and upcoming events. I have a link to another site onto which I am starting to load class lab, trip, activity photos. I’m learning as I go. The students AND parents really like the ability to access homework information and generally know what is going on in my class on a day to day basis. I have an e-mail link on my site as well. The communication among students, parents and teacher has been FANTASTIC!

    Please enter this in catagories #8 and #11 of your contest. Thank you.
    -Janet M.

    • Sue Waters says:

      Hi Janet, Actually it is Jen that is disappointed by the changes and I recommend you read my latest response to her. I can understand why for both of you and understand not wanting to spend money however as an educator myself I often buy resources and textbooks for my class using my own money.

      To enter the contest you need to write a post on your own blog and pingback to this post. Read my response to Paul – my reason why is so I can encourage more readers to visit your blog.

  15. Ken Allan says:

    Kia ora Sue!

    CONGRATULATIONS!

    Hey, I didn’t realise how young this blog is.

    It’s hardly out of nappies. :-)

    Well done! And good-on-you for keeping this marvelous blog, and to such a high standard.

    All the best
    from Middle-earth

  16. mrlawrence says:

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!!!
    I am a 3rd year student teacher in New Zealand and would SO LOVE to win a subscription for 12 months in the hope that when I begin teaching my very own class in 11.5 months, my very own edublogger teaching and learning system will be LEARNT,LOVED and finally used by my whole classroom full of edublogger, teaching and learning FANATICS!!!
    LOVE EVERY BIT OF EDUBLOGGING!
    THANKS

    • Sue Waters says:

      Well Mr Lawrence, if you write a post about one of the topics and link back to this post you might win a supporter subscription that you could activate in 11.5 months to use with your students.

  17. A big happy birthday to the Edublogger. I am like some of the others and thought that this has been around for a long time. What a big list of accomplishments in a short time. Think you must have avoided learning to crawl and just started running!
    I am sure that the regional and national newspapers would love a readership such as yours.
    I know that I have used this blog so many times for advice, and have eagerly looked for the new postings. The last few months have been extremely busy for me and have prevented me from keeping fully up to date with postings. Still, I have often referred you on to other educationalists and I also love reading the rich conversations that can evolve over postings. Wonder what you will achieve in the next 12 months!!

    • Sue Waters says:

      Thanks Anne, for sure the next 12 months will be interesting with the big change to my working life. Yes you have had an amazingly busy few months. What an excellent trip you had for the Flatclassroom conference! Hope you are safe from the fires?

  18. ruthhoward says:

    Wow this is a remarkable business for a year long service.I love the integrity and integration I’ve found here. I love that edublogs keeps me focused on the immediate objectives.

    People who seek a free service may wish to go to WordPress.com (hosted) or WordPress.org and join in the forums there and DIY.
    Check out new their visual resource…http://wordpress.tv/ wacko!

    I’d prefer to connect with edublogs at this time as I need the community/focus/discipline! Its so powerful to know where to focus initially as distractions and overwhelm abound. I love the tips and how everything returns in great circles inside here prodding poking reminding encouraging!

    Can I add plugins from WordPress.org as a non subscriber and/or can I do this as a subscriber also?

    Can I replace my theme with another external Chris Pearson theme eventually? Thanks James and Sue.

  19. ruthhoward says:

    Whilst I’m here Sue please do you think its worthwhile learning some (X?)HTML and CSS if one is keen or best to put energy into something else (just a few other things in life!)?

    • Sue Waters says:

      Hi Ruth, the main reason why you would want to learn CSS would be to edit themes. That is only possible if you self host WordPress. Understanding the basics on HTML is helpful. If you click on the links to HTML in the tag cloud it will take you to post on HTML.

  20. mrmadden says:

    Sue,

    I have learned 98% of what little I know about creating and maintaining blogs. The Edublogger has been an enormous source of inspiration, ideas, and provoking thoughts.

    I now have a few more teachers at my school who have become believers in the educational value of blogging–for themselves and for their students. They, too, have found The Edublogger to be a fantastic place to learn and share.

    I can only guess as to how many hours you have put into creating The Edublogger and keeping the content fresh. (Not something you want to ponder, I would bet!)

    For what it is worth, thank you very, very much!

    -Tim

    • Sue Waters says:

      Hi Tim. Thanks for your nice words. Yes, even what seems like the simplest post can take time to write – wish I was like Problogger who must just have the words follow out of his head. Please let me know if you have any topics you would like me to cover?

  21. ruthhoward says:

    Thanks Sue thats really clear.

    I’ve been thinking in response to Jen that its very cheap to subscribe to edublogs compared to other similar services. But the critical part (convincing administrators) is that I perceive blogging as an ideal platform for digital and visual literacy skills and critical thinking (critiquing,building upon linking to others ideas as reference etc).

    Seriously this service enables these skills for teachers to pass on like no other that Ive seen.
    Is there a possibility of a similar service extension or existing that is primarily for students. I mean a community of Bloggers aimed at students as the learners rather than teachers specifically?

  22. ruthhoward says:

    Hi Sue oh wow that was a marvelous fest in there thanks for that student friends link! This is an awesome service! Ive been so tail up inside my dashboard…its soo deep in here!

  23. Nathan Toft says:

    Happy Birthday, Sue!

    Thanks for all the work you’ve done.

    I’ve written a post about embedding Jing into Edublogs but see that it hasn’t made it on to your “pingback” list. Maybe I’ve done something wrong at my end.

    Nevertheless you can see the post here:

    http://portablepd.edublogs.org/2009/02/06/how-to-embed-a-jing-screencast-into-your-edublogs-blog/

    • Sue Waters says:

      Thanks Nathan! Not sure why the pingback isn’t working – defies logic as it normally works. Paul had the same problem and I also checked his link and couldn’t get it to ping. Meanwhile I did a pingback using my test blog and it worked fine = weird. Thanks for letting me know and have added your entry.

  24. Jan Smith says:

    Sue,

    I echo what others have said–the direction you have given through this blog, your accessibility through Twitter, and your support via Skype have been absolutely invaluable to me. You are a key member of my pln.

    More than this, though, is your active and personal support of student blogging. My kids treasure your comments on their blogs. It’s a gift you give them across oceans, and also across generations. Would we as kids ever have had such a dialogue with adults? I don’t think so.

    So congrats on a remarkable year. With enormous gratitude,
    Jan

  25. Grace Kat says:

    Happy birthday to your blog Sue. I have learned so much from you and I always send interested teachers your way when they begin a class blog. You are great at explaining how to use them!

  26. Nicholas says:

    Hi Ms.Waters,
    I decided to write a post on my blog about “Tips For Building a Blogging Audience.” I would probably write about how leaving questions at the end of your post is a great idea to attract commentors and that the more comments you leave on others blogs the more comments you will recieve!
    My post is not published yet so don’t bother checking but I will try to get it finished A.S.A.P.
    Bye!

    • Sue Waters says:

      Thanks for letting me know Nicholoas.

      That is a really good topic so I will be interested to read what you write. People often ask me how to build an audience and I struggle to provide a good answer. Can you drop past when you write it to check it has pingbacked the post because not all the posts are pinging the blog for some reason.

  27. Ashley says:

    Hey,
    Congrats one the Edublogger’s first birthday!!!
    I wrote a post on “Advice for doing blog makeovers i.e. improving your blog” and “Advice for writing better blog posts” and a little bit of “Tips for building blog audience”. I hope you enjoy reading it and maybe even get a few ideas (: Once again congratulations!

    ~Ashley

  28. Nicholas says:

    Hi Ms.Waters,
    It’s Nicholas, my post is ready if you would like to have a look. Here is the link- http://nicholash16.edublogs.org/2009/02/12/tips-for-building-a-blog-audience/
    Happy Birthday by the way…… I forgot to wish you a happy birthday in my first comment. What sort of presents did you get?
    Bye

    • Sue Waters says:

      Thanks Nicholas – it was a great post with excellent tips. Presents – well the main was the new blog theme which I really love. James is the bestest for organising a new theme for me.

  29. Tomaz Lasic says:

    Sue – you rock!
    Three cheers for The Edublogger…. Happy 1st

    This may be a good little stimulus for a couple of budding bloggers at our school, thanks.

    Tomaz

  30. Catie says:

    Hello Ms.Waters

    last week for my classes asighned post we had to write one of the tips posts you were talking about in your Birthday Celebration Post, and I chose to do commenting posts and I have just published it. If you wanted to come and see it just click on my avatar and it will take you to my blog, I have just posted it and it is called Commenting tips so it won’t be hard for you to find, you are sure to get a pingback from me anyway.

    Well happy birthday to your blog, and I will deffinitely comment soon!

  31. Miss W. says:

    His Sue,
    Priscila and Stephie in Argentina have written a post but not sure they realise they need a pingback but here is their post http://takingitfurther.blogspot.com/2009/02/favorite-blog-widgets.html

  32. dougbancks says:

    Hi Sue,
    As a rather recently new reader of your blog I am pleased to learn I have not missed out on years and years of posts. Pardon me while I continue to read backwards and keep up the great work.
    Doug

  33. Leo Havemann says:

    A well deserved celebration – I hope you are celebrating this milestone offline too! This blog has become one of my must-reads. Congratulations Sue.

    • Sue Waters says:

      Thanks Leo – yes I should have celebrated it offline but somehow I don’t think my family would understand – but they might have enjoyed a cake? Glad it is in your must read list.

  34. anightinmyhammock says:

    Happy belated birthday edublog. Im a bit late in this but thought I should just say it.

  35. hopkinsdavid says:

    Happy Birthday .. now go celebrate!!

  36. alijoy says:

    Please include me for #8 and #11. I am working with a small group of teachers who want to start blogging and so copied the idea of the 31 day challenge that I was involved in to support them. Will also use this a sa basis for a talk iat a conference n the summer about starting to blog.
    http://literacyresourcesandideas.edublogs.org/20-days-to-better-blogging-with-children/

  37. christian22 says:

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! lets celebrate! I wrote/published the what kids like Question.

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