Widgets and HTML code

In this week’s lesson, you each added a clock widget to your sidebar. Here are the steps you followed, in case you need to change the clock:

  1. Open student blogger’s blog and right click open in a new tab on Miss W’s clock in the sidebar.
  2. This takes you to this website. In the top header, hover over free fun and click on  make a clock for your site.
  3. Make any changes you need to the clock and keep clicking on Continue.  You can see what the changes are as you make them by looking at the clock on the right.
  4. When you have finished creating your clock, you need to copy the embed code. This is also called HTML code.

Now come back to your blog dashboard> appearance> widgets to embed the code in a text box which you have dragged across to your sidebar area.

Put in a title for the widget them paste the embed code and save.

There are many different widgets you can add to your sidebar. They all work the same way – create the widget on their website, copy the embed or HTML code then come back to your dashboard and add the code in a text box under widgets. If you can’t find the embed code easily look for these words or icons:

embed code      HTML     publish     share    application,xml,code,html

Try now to create one of these widgets:

Here is a video about how to create a Voki, start at about 1.00 minute.

Visit other student blogs to see what widgets they might have like a flag counter, bookshelf, brainpop riddle, wonderopolis question.

Can you find any other great widgets to add to your blog sidebar?

Write a post about widgets.

Adding widgets

This week’s lesson is all about adding widgets. Some are very easy to do, others are a bit more difficult. I will be writing separate posts for how to add certain widgets like a cyber pet, a clock and the weather widgets.

There are hundreds of widgets you can add to the sidebar of your blog. But you need to think about the design of your blog as well.

  • some widgets are noisy- music, games, pets
  • some take up a lot of space – games, shelfari
  • some distract your readers – noisy games

There are some widgets I would like to see on your blog and these are provided by Edublogs so are easy to add to your sidebar.

How to add Edublogs widgets

  1. Go to blog dashboard> appearance> widgets
  2. Open your sidebars
  3. Now just drag and drop into the dotted boxes
  4. Move widgets around, just drag and drop within the sidebars

Widgets to add: class blogs, links, recent comments (10), recent posts (10), categories  If you can already see it in the sidebar, don’t add a second time.


This week’s lesson was about commenting.

You were asked to do the following:

Make notes using pen and paper while watching this video created by students in Mrs Yollis’ class.

Visit Felix’s blog and check out his commenting page.


Now you need to do the following to get marked off on work finished page.

  1. Leave 2 comments on the student blogger’s blog. You might want to leave a comment on this post and the previous post about the online classroom. Make sure they are quality comments like in the video.
  2. Write a new page (not post) about what you expect when someone leaves a comment on your blog. It doesn’t have to be as long as Felix wrote. Here are some class examples to look at. Remember to write it in your own words.  Huzzah from Canada, grade 5/6 class from Victoria,
  3. Visit three blogs from other students in our online class and leave one comment on each blog. Again I will be moderating the comment, so make sure it is a quality comment. The list of students to visit is on the sidebar of our student blogger blog.

Welcome to our first course for 2014

G’day Kailee, Logan, Angus, Jake, Shakiya, Kirstyn, Ebony, Jack, Mathew, Tom and Cody,

Our first lesson is to find out how the online classroom works.

It is like being in a classroom normally, where you are expected to put up your hand when you have a question or else you can write it in the chat area. In the online classroom, I will often put a timer on so you know how much time you have to complete a certain task.

Here are the icons used in the online classroom.

  1. Online iconsIn this first row, clicking on the drop down arrow at the smiley face gives you more icons including clapping hands. The second icon on this row is clicked if you have to leave the room for some reason, the third icon is putting up your hand if you have a question and want to use the microphone, the fourth icon is if I take a poll in class.
  2. When you are allowed to talk, you need to have your hand up then press the talk button. When you have finished talking press the talk button to turn it off and then turn off the hand as well by clicking it again.
  3. This third row shows what you are allowed to do in the class – microphone, video, chat area, write on whiteboard, share your computer screen, take a web tour. These last two you probably won’t use at all.

Whiteboard iconsThese are the icons when using the whiteboard.

Play on the whiteboard for five minutes to find out what you can do with each icon. Which icon allows:

  • clipart to use on screen – add a cup of coffee or globe or smiley face
  • writing on the screen – write your name in a colour not black and size 18
  • draw a thick line in a different colour
  • take a picture of something on your computer desktop
  • use a star or pointer on the screen

There are 12 activities to be completed by end of Easter which begins 18th April.

Check the work finished page each week to see what else you need to complete. Posts showing you what to do can be found in the Getting Started page in the header.

  1. Be able to login quickly to your own blog and class blog if you have one.
  2. Update your profile including change your password and the display name.
  3. Settings – blog title, tagline, timezone, add teacher as administrator
  4. Plugin – activate compfight plugin and change settings for short side
  5. About me page for your visitors to read – remember no personal information
  6. Left two comments on the main student bloggers blog
  7. Changed your theme
  8. Written at least two posts
  9. Edublogs widgets organized on your sidebar
  10. Make at least 3 comments on other student blogs from this online class
  11. Added your clustrmap, a clock and a pet widget
  12. Create and upload your avatar

Good luck with your blogging and remember the online classroom will be open every Monday from 1.30 until 4.30 so you can also use it at home if you have any questions. You can also email me any time any day of the week.

Leave a comment on this post describing your first experience in the online classroom.

First time blogging

bridging knowledge to health
Photo Credit: paul bica via Compfight

Today I spent time at a school on the North West coast of Tasmania (with a fabulous view), teaching a new group of students how to create their blogs. They looked at the student bloggers blog and the how to get started section.

They learnt to login, change their profile, add the compfight plugin, change themes and write a new post. In the next few minutes they will also add an image from compfight.

After lunch, I headed to another school where five more students will be taking part in the student blogging course. They had blogged last year with their principal so they already knew a bit about blogging. Hopefully they will catch up the activities completed at the first school so both groups are ready for our first formal online classroom on March 17th.

Leave a comment on this post explaining what you have enjoyed most about blogging so far. Remember to address your comment to Sue, be polite, check your spelling and punctuation before submitting the comment.

What makes a great post?

Many of you have been taking part in the student blogging challenge and have been visiting other student blogs.

  • What has made you read a post on that blog?
  • Are there any things in particular, that make you want to stop and read?
  • Are there any things that put you off reading a post?

Your task this week (as I won’t be having an online lesson) is to visit at least 10 of the student blogs nominated for the Edublog Awards in 2012. Link to them here.

Have a new post open in your dashboard and as you are reading the blogs, take note of what made a post great in your eyes.

Add to your blog post by mentioning three posts in particular that you enjoyed and give reasons why. Make sure you link to that post in your post.

Here is an example:

Today I visited Davo’s blog and a post I really enjoyed was when he visited the whaling station at Albany. I like the way he tells a story in his posts and they always have appropriate pictures which Miss W has taken. It was easy to read because it was written in paragraphs. I did notice though that the name of the ship wasn’t in quotation marks or italics. I would love to visit a whaling station to see the huge skeletons left by the whales.

This post should be at least three paragraphs long – one for each blog post you are writing about. You should have a link to the post in each paragraph. You should be giving your own opinion about the post.

How to … add a poll

I notice many of you creating polls, asking for students votes. I have been looking for a great web 2.0 tool you can use easily and embed in your blog.

Here is my poll about blogging.

What do you enjoy most about blogging?

What do you enjoy most about blogging?
pollcode.com free polls

How to create a poll

Step 1. Here is the website to visit.

Step 2. Make sure you make all your changes on the left hand side before hitting the big blue button. You can see on the right hand side what your poll will look like as you make the changes.

Step 3. Once you hit the blue button, you will then have a choice of tower or drop down embed code. Choose tower and copy the code.

Step 4. Return to your blog post which you have already written (including tags and categories), change from visual to text or HTML and paste in your code.

Step 5. Hit the submit button immediately then close your post page. DO NOT change back to visual. Do that next time you open a new post.


I noticed that the poll looks different from the edit post area and what actually appears in your post. I will have to work out how to change this.

How to … add a photo you took

These instructions are for adding a photo you have taken yourself (or your teacher or parents have taken) and is saved on your computer. You need parental permission if the photo actually includes you or some of your family members.

Step 1. Write  your post completely – check spelling and punctuation especially the word I which should always be a capital letter.

Step 2. Add your categories and tags then save the draft of your post.

Now let’s check out the image you want to use – you need to make sure the image is not too large, otherwise it will take up too much memory on your post.

  • Is the image a JPEG image?
  • Are the dimensions smaller than 500x 500?
  • Is the size in kB rather than MB?

Would I be able to use this image? Tell me in a comment and explain why.

Step 3. Hover over your image – is it the right type, dimension and size? If yes, go on to step 4. If no, you will need to resize the image.

Adding image to your post

Step 4. Go to your post and click at the beginning of the line where you want your image to be placed.

Step 5. Click on the Add Media icon above your post icons.

Step 6. A new window opens and you can either drag and drop your image into the area or find and select your image on the computer then click open.

Step 7. A progress bar shows you how far your photo has loaded.

Step 8. Now all you need to do is:

  • Add a title for the image – caption too if you want!
  • choose how you want the image aligned (None, Left, Center or Right)
  • select size of image you want to insert (Thumbnail, Medium, Large or Full Size)
  • and then click Insert into Post

You should now have a great post with an image you, your parents or teacher have taken.

Activity 8 – Widgets

Chumby - TimeThere are hundreds of different widgets you can add to the sidebar of your blog. But you need to think about the design of your blog as well.

  • some widgets are noisy- music, games, pets
  • some take up a lot of space – games, shelfari
  • some distract your readers – noisy games

There are some widgets I would like to see on your blog and these are provided by Edublogs so are easy to add to your sidebar.

How to add Edublogs widgets

  1. Go to blog dashboard> appearance> widgets
  2. Open your sidebars
  3. Now just drag and drop into the dotted boxes
  4. Move widgets around, just drag and drop within the sidebars

Widgets to add: class blogs, links, recent comments (10), recent posts (10), categories  If you can already see it in the sidebar, don’t add a second time.

You want to add a pet to your blog? Follow these instructions.

Here is a post showing many other widgets you could add to your blog sidebar. The instructions for adding the code is found at the bottom of the post.

When visiting other blogs from classes or students, which widgets did you find distracted you from the posts on the blog?
Photo Credit: William Hook via Compfight

Writing posts

Two Bloggers, after Norman RockwellYour blog is looking good now, so it is time to write some posts so other students and teachers can start leaving comments.

Your first post might be about why you are blogging and what you will be writing about in your blog. You might mention any problems you have had so far with the first seven activities in the blogging course.

Maybe a second post about yourself and your family. Remember though to be internet savvy and not give out any private information.

How to write a post

  1. In your dashboard, hover over the +new and click on post.
  2. Make sure you have two rows of icons visible. If the icons are words or letters rather than pictures, then click on the Visual tab at the right.  We only use the HTML tab when embedding – more on that later in the course.
  3. Remember to include a title for each post.
  4. If you have written your post on a Word document and used the spellchecker, then click on the icon with the W. Copy and paste your word document in here, then click insert.
  5. If you haven’t written in a Word document, then start typing in the big post box. There is a spellchecker icon with the ABC on it.
  6. When typing in Word, don’t do any formatting like headings or larger font or coloured words. Do all that once the document is in your blog post area.
  7. When you have finished writing the post, click the large blue button so either your teacher or I can check it then publish it for you. If you still haven’t finished the post, click the save draft button instead. This shows your teachers that you don’t want the writing published yet.
  8. Later in the course you will learn how to include categories and tags as well as add images to your posts. But if you want to get ahead, you can always go to the Edublogs help and support page here. Instructions might be wordy but they do show step by step how to do something.
  9. To get back to a post you saved as a draft, go to your dashboard> posts> all posts.  Find the post you want to edit, hover over it and click on edit underneath. This should take you to your post that you need to finish. Keep saving as a draft or click the blue button when ready to publish.

Photo Credit: Mike Licht via Compfight