Widgets and Avatars

As part of our EduBlogs Challenge, we were asked to explore the use of Avatars and Widgets.  While our blog does not support dynamic widgets, we do have a couple of buttons in our sidebar that we like.  Our favorite is our ClustrMap.  It keeps track of the number of visitors to our site.  In June of 2011, we reached 10,000 visitors.  It looks like this June will find us approaching 50,000 visitors – that’s a HUGE increase!

Earlier this year we did create avatars at MyWildSelf.  They came out REALLY cool.  We planned on putting them on our individual student blogs, but then realized that they would take up a considerable amount of our allotted memory. So, instead, we used Photovisi to create a collage:

We also installed each Wild Self onto a USB drive, and inserted it into our classroom digital frame. It has become a portable bulletin board, where we can view each others’ artwork without hanging it on the wall.  Now we just need more frames so we can display more student work!!

  • We love your avatars, we are getting ready to make our own. Here is some info about our hometown and a few questions for you:

    Our school is located in the town of Florissant, Missouri. We have a population of 50,533 in our community. We have many festivals in our town including the Valley of Flowers Festival and the Old Town Fall Festival.

    Our school district is the Hazelwood School District. We have 20 elementary schools, five middle schools, and three high schools. Our school district is the second largest district in the St. Louis area and we cover 78 square miles. We have a total district enrollment of 18,837.

    We are located in the suburbs of St. Louis. Fun things to do that are located nearby include:
    -The City Museum
    -The Science Center
    -Six Flags
    -Upper Limits
    -The Gateway Arch
    -Laumier Sculpture Park
    -The Mills Mall
    -The St. Louis Zoo
    -The St. Louis Cardinals, Blues, and Rams sports team
    -The Art Museum
    -The History Museum
    -The Magic House
    -Plus tons more! We would love to learn more about your town. Here are some questions we have for you:

    1. What is the name of your town?
    2. What is the capital of your state/country?
    3. How big is your town (population/area)?
    4. What are some fun things in your town to do?
    5. How big are your homes?

    • Suzy Brooks:

      Dear Mrs. Heckstetter,

      Hello! Thanks for visiting our blog again, it is very nice that you gave us so much information about your town and community. It sounds like a fun place to visit.

      The name of our town is Falmouth, and we’re in Massachusetts. There are many villages in Falmouth (West Falmouth, Teaticket, North Falmouth, East Falmouth, Woods Hole, Hatchville, and Waquoit).

      Boston is the capital of our state, we are about 70 miles from Boston, and it takes a little over an hour to get there, but sometimes can take a whole lot more if we hit traffic.

      The population of Falmouth changes. During the summer, it is full of tourists, as it is a beautiful place to visit. The population then is about 108,500 In the off-season, the population goes down to about 31,000. The area of our entire town is 43 square miles.

      Some fun things to do in our town….

      Most people enjoy the beaches here, we have lots and they are beautiful.
      We have many local sports teams, and we are one of the towns in the Cape Cod Baseball League, so there’s always games to see in the summer.

      There are some summer camps in town that the kids attend.

      There is opportunity to fish – both saltwater and freshwater.

      Boating is a very popular activity in the area.

      There are some bowling alleys and movie theaters in the area.

      You could visit the Cape Cod Potato Chip factory.

      The Historical Society has some great museums to learn our history.

      You can visit Woods Hole, where there is a museum and an aquarium.

      You can visit Nobska Lighthouse, or go hiking at the Knob.

      Our homes, after we talked about it, are really all very different in size. The ones near the water are actually quite enormous — some of them are summer homes, and some people live in them year-round. The rest of the houses in town vary in size from cute little cottages to regular old houses.

      We’re headed to recess, but hope this answers your questions! Thanks again for stopping by, and we’ll be sure to check out your site, too!

      Dream Big,
      Mrs. Brooks and her Spring Fevered Third Graders.

  • G’day Mrs Brooks and the big dreamers,

    In your email to me you mentioned trackbacks. In this post, in the first sentence where you have mentioned the avatars and widgets, you could have put a link back to the post in the blogging challenge where you got the idea eg week 2 activities.

    In your post about ‘Set up for success’, you have included many links or trackbacks.

    A link like that back to the post in the blogging challenge means I will know your class has written a post and I will then come to visit and leave a comment and/or I will include you in the ‘Visit these’ posts I write.

    Keep up the great blogging.

  • 5N:

    Dear Third Graders,
    We love the look of your collage. Thank you for telling us you used Photovisi to make it. We will check it out and see what creative collages we can make. We have used Microsoft Autocollage to create photo collages but they look quite different to the one you have made.
    from 5N

  • georgia,leah,riley,noah and emma:

    we are room15 we really like your avatars. We might try using the website.

  • Wow! Amazing avatars! We might use the website as well…great job.