Welcome to HKA’s GCD Blogs

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What is a GCD blog?

author: Mr. Reilly

In order to be recognized with the qualifications of the GCD, you will collect and reflect on relevant learning experiences in an online portfolio, your GCD Blog.  When you feel that they you have collected enough learning experiences to be described by an element of the GCD, you will submit that category of their portfolio to the GCD Reading Committee, who read the reflections and approve those that the GCD elements describe.  Any single learning experience can be considered simultaneously for two elements of the GCD, as long as both elements are not at the advanced level.  You can collect learning experiences over the four years of their high school career, and are not limited to experiences that take place at school.  As a result, it is the your responsibility to provide evidence of the learning experiences, and of their participation in them, in your GCD portfolio reflections.  Over the next few weeks we will share a set of guidelines to guide you through writing reflections.  These guidelines are shared with the IB CAS program so that if you wish to have a learning experience recognized in both programs can do so by writing one thoughtful reflection.  

Prior to graduation you will create a category in your GCD Blog containing no more than five reflections you feel represents the most profound learning experiences of the GCD.  The link to this GCD Showcase category is shared with admissions officers at the universities you wish to attend.  This Digital portfolio not only allows you to earn the GCD but will also provide direct access to your reflections on your learning.

You will be notified of the approval of a reflections by readers in a comment left on your GCD blog. Similarly, if a reflection does not yet demonstrate the learning described by the element, readers will give you feedback about how the reflection might be improved and you may then  re-submit the reflection.

HKA GCD Blog Intro Video from HKA on Vimeo.

So that is why we have given you a GCD blog, now the fun technical stuff.


What is a blog?

Blogs are composed of two main structures: posts and pages.

Your posts are where you’ll publish your main content such as your GCD reflections, and more. They are commonly displayed in reverse-chronological order with the most recent post at the top of the page. By default, your home page is your blog post page and this is where you’ll see your new posts published. Pages are more static and that should remain present on your blog at all times, that does not  mean you cannot update them but they will always be from and centre.  Over the next few days we are going to make both your first page and your first post.


Your first page (About Me)

Your first page on every blog should be biographical and tell a story about who you are, what your aspirations, passions and interests are.  Remember, this is not social media. This is a blog that will potentially be used to get you into university maybe an internship. Think very very carefully about how you wish to portray yourself on any page or post.  See the links below about using common sense with your digital footprint.

https://www.commonsensemedia.org/video/educators/digital-citizenship

https://www.commonsensemedia.org/videos/oversharing-think-before-you-post

Watch the video below to see me playing around with my ‘About me’ page and now try your own.

HKA GCD Blogs – About Me Page from HKA on Vimeo.


Your first post

(What to think about when writing blogging for an outside audience)

Every newly created blog has the same default lay out with posts displayed on its front page (‘Home’) with a ‘Hello World’ post and an ‘Sample’ page.

Read: Introduction To Posts And Writing Posts

There are lots of elements to creating a successful blog. Your first post is going to be the summary of our discussions this week about best practice around writing for an audience.

My first post:  What should I think about when blogging?”  Think about content, think about look and style, think about media.


GCD My First Post from HKA on Vimeo.


Appearance & Themes

Now for the really fun staff.  The look and style of your blog.

How should your blog look to show your personality?

We have picked 8 themes for you to play with.  Once you pick a theme there is a lot you can do to customise the appearance.  Watch this video of me choosing a them and doing a bit of personalisation, then try on your own blog.

HKA GCD Blogs – Themes and Appearance from HKA on Vimeo.


Categories & Tags

To help filter content there are two clever filters use, categories and tags.  We have already created tags for the GCD, that does not mean you cannot use others for your own purposes but GCD posts must be labeled with appropriate tag.

See links below on how these functions work on Edublogs.

Categories vs Tags

Adding and Editing Categories

Adding and Editing Tags