by Steve Wheeler on youtube
Students, you are writing and getting readers, but how do you increase the number of readers and bring visitors back on a regular basis to read your blog?
Please read Get to Work! You’ll find that one of the ways to increase the number of readers on your blog is to read other blogs and to comment on them. A monologue doesn’t interest people as much as a conversation does.
Go to the Edublogs Community page. Find a student or class blog that seems interesting. Try to comment on the page. Remember to be a good digital citizen. Remember that with each comment, you represent Incarnation Catholic School. Remember that the comment may be moderated and may not show up on the blog until a teacher approves the comment.
Last Friday, one of my grade 7 students came in during recess to work on his blog. He was shocked to find he had no posts. I knew he had had posts just a half hour earlier, so was surprised myself. Then I checked my blog and I had no posts. What??? I am learning to manage student blogs, so my first concern was that I had accidentally deleted the posts. Since, I’ve been blogging for years, that didn’t seem likely. I realized that as unlikely as it sounded, that there might be something wrong at Edublogs, but what was the most efficient way to find out?
At 12:40, I received this reply, “@rhondacarrier Sorry for inconvenience. We had temporary server hiccup that is resolving now.”
What a relief. I went back to teaching and by the end of the next class, 45 minutes later, the blog posts were back in place.
Thank-you to Edublogs for the prompt reply and thanks to Twitter for being my communication tool.
ClustrMaps help to track the number of visitors to each blog and show the location of the visitors. To add a clustrmap to your student blog, visit the clustr maps website, enter the URL of your blog, copy the embed code and place it in a text widget in a sidebar of your blog. This requires the use of an email account to receive the password
This version in the link below uses built in plugins in the Edublog dashboard but requires an Edublog Pro or Edublog campus account.
Note: I added the clustrmaps to each of the blogs in the class. That way I control the password and the clustrmpas account but the students can see how many visitors they have on their blogs.
The purpose of a blog is to communicate ideas to a wider audience than your teacher or classmates. Tags and categories can help to create and to build the audience.
Tags and categories on posts are used to help readers locate information in different ways.
Categories are like chapters of a book; they provide a general overview of the topics you blog about. Whereas tags are more like the index at the back of the book and explode the topic into a million bits.
You are required to include tags for each post and you will be required to develop and include categories for each post by post #3
For additional information read Adding Tags and Categories to a Post. Follow the directions to add a Tag Cloud widget in your sidebar.
- Log in to your Edublogs student blog.
- Go to your dashboard.
Adding the Class Blogs to Your Student Blog
- Click on Appearance in the left column. Then select Widgets.
- Drag the Class Blogs widget to the sidebar. At the bottom of the Class Blogs in the sidebar, click on Save.
- View the blog to see the links to the other students blogs in the ICS Technology class.
Profile and Name
- In the left column, click on Users, and then Profile.
- Change your nickname to your first name and initial.
- Change Display Name Publicly to your nickname.
- Go to the Voki website.
- Create a Voki. Enter appropriate text. Select a voice and accent.
- When you are satisfied with your Voki, click on publish.
- Give it a title and save it. Use your first name+last initial to save it.
- In the next window select the small size (100 x 133). Then copy the embed code.
- Log in to your student blog. Go to your dashboard.
- In the left column, click on Appearance, then click on Widgets.
- Drag the Text Widget to the sidebar.
- Paste the embed code in the text box. Then Save.
- View the site.
- Bitstrips – good avatar creator but you need to be over 13 years of age or have parent permission
- Or try Poptropica to create the avatar.
- Build Your Wild Self is another fun avatar site (I used this to create the sample student avatar on Ancient to Modern Music ) The avatar can only be 200 x 200 pixels in size, so it was necessary to crop the image down to just a portion of the face.
This method, Uploading files), can be used to upload any file provided:
- Allowed file format Allowed file formats on Edublogs Include: jpg jpeg png gif doc pdf mp3 ppt wmv mp4 xls ins isf te xbk notebook m4a ist kmz kes mov flp avi swf wxr xml wav fjsw docx pptx xlsx xml m4v max kmz zip
- The file is not larger than 32 MB.
- You have adequate blog storage space available. Your storage space allowance is displayed on your My Blogs module in your dashboard.
Note: You cannot copy and paste any media into a blog post. It must be uploaded and inserted using the directions in the link: Uploading files.
As Catholic, Digital Citizenship: We will
- treat others as we want to be treated ourselves.
- only use appropriate language in text and comments.
- only contribute positive, supportive comments.
- be respectful of differing opinions.
- never give out personal information, including names.
- not post anything unless we really want other people to see it.
- not use inappropriate music, pictures or videos.
- only use images or music or videos that we have permission to use.
- not plagiarize.
- Ideas: Express your own ideas.
- Conventions: Always check grammar, spelling and punctuation.
- Read carefully for sentence fluency.
- Think about your word choice.
- Use your own voice.
- Be organized.
- Presentation: Make it neat and appealing.
- I created usernames, passwords, and email accounts for each grade 7 student. I used the gmail system which allows students to be entered into Edublogs without a real email account. I created one gmail account, then added the student username to the email account. For instance, firstname.lastname@example.org becomes email@example.com. Gmail ignores everything after the + so any email sent to firstname.lastname@example.org goes to email@example.com.
- In the Dashboard, under My Class, I added the Student Users.
- The students blogs are set up, so the students will post on their own blogs, not on the class blog. Ms. Whitaker, the English language teacher, and I will approve posts and will approve comments on the student blogs.
- Students logged into Edublogs They completed the information in the image below.
- They had decided last week what the topic would be for the blog. That went into the Blog Title line. From there they went back to the first line to enter a name for the Domain. Since this Domain name becomes part of the URL, students understood it had to be simple to remember and to type and it had to be unique from any other edublogs blog. They left the Blog Language set as English and said the Blog Type was Student.
- They entered the Captcha, agreed to the Terms of Service and clicked on Start Blogging.
- Some students were asked to enter the name of someone in-charge at the school. This should be an administrator or technology person at the school. I didn’t figure out why not all students were asked to enter this information.
- Once the blog was created, they went to their dashboard, then to My Class to search for the name of the class blog (this blog) and sent a message requesting to join the class.
- As the requests came in, I approved each and made some suggestions for changes for their blog titles – adding capitals, etc. I created the list of students blogs in the right column of this blog.
- Student clicked on Appearance in their dashboard and began to experiment with theme templates that complimented their blogs.
- They have questions about adding images for backgrounds and headers, etc. I emphasized that all images had to have creative commons licenses and suggested they look in search.creativecommons.org They will add a link to the website to the original source of the image that they decide to use.
- They are excited that they will write about topics that interest them, and eager to get the right look for their blog topic. Many said they were going home to work on the design.
- We have widget and avatars, etc to develop, and of course have to start writing posts, but that won’t happen until next week.
- We also have to agree to digital citizenship guidelines for the blog before we begin writing. We have had a start on that discussion so should get it finished soon.
See Edublogs: Create Class directions.