Monday, May 29, 2017

Adding Readers to Edu Blog

When a teacher or student creates a blog there are many factors which one may need to be considered. Some of the decisions are based upon the student's age, along with the school districts acceptable usage policy. It is in the best interest of an educator to be mindful of CIPA, COPPA, FERPA along with using good digital citizenship skills when integrating technology. Keeping all the above mention in mind does a student or teacher always want the public to view their blogs?


Depending upon the above factors mentioned some blogs may be kept private limiting the viewing of the blog contents to selected readers. Who might the blog readers be? A teacher may decide to limit a blog to students, parents, other teacher and their classrooms. One way a teacher or even a student can do this is by inviting other people as readers. A reader will need to sign into their account to access the blog. This helps to support a secure safe climate where students and parents are protected from the comments of unknown outsiders. I totally agree with the authenticity of a global community but also understand in some instances it is okay to restrict the participation to a limited audience.

How to Add Blog Readers

  1. Sign into Blogger Dashboard
  2. In List on Left Click Settings
  3. Scroll Down to Permissions Section
  4. On Blog Readers Line Click Edit to Left of Public
  5. Select Private Only These Readers
  6. Add Readers Email Addresses or Choose from Contact List
  7. Click Save Changes


NOTE: 
The readers will must accept the email invitation to participate as a blog reader.


Sunday, May 21, 2017

Creating Labels Supports Student Organizational Skills

Blogger is a rather versatile platform for students and teachers to use. When I first started integrating Blogger for a support it was as a virtual binder. I really like this idea and am planning on resurfacing the binder blog this coming school year. One of the "key organizational tools" for creating a virtual binder is the use of labels. 

Labels help with organizing the post contents for a blog search. This makes it possible for a teacher or student to use a blog search to narrow down the posts containing the exact content. Label searches may help students prepare for an upcoming assessment or quickly find information to answer a homework question. Labels used in student blog posts may support teachers with obtaining post content for quick assessment. I do believe labels are one of those "win win" features use when creating an educational blog.

Label Search Example


How to Create Labels

  • Type Labels, Separated by Commas
  • Click Done Button


Saturday, April 29, 2017

How Do I Pin an Old Blog Post to the Top?

There are times when a Teacher or Student may want to pin an older post to the top of the page. You may be wondering how this is done if there is no pinning feature. No sweat because post order occurs due to the dates a post was written. What does this mean? Well if you replace the old post date with a future date this will move the post up to the top of the page. If the new date is placed far enough into the future any newly written post will appear under the "Pinned Post".

Directions for Pinning a Post

  • Under Post Settings List Select Published On
  • Edit the Date
  • Click Done Button
  • Click   Update   Button

Sunday, March 26, 2017

WooWho Tomorrow's Sketch 50

This evening I saw a "Tweet" for the opening day of "Sketch 50"! After visiting the blog and noticing the start date of tomorrow it immediately hit me this was "Kismet" and meant to be! Upon seeing this I decided to devote a Page of my Blog to my "Sketch 50" doodles. 

In a sense the "Sketch 50" Concept is connected to my blog about Blogger Tips for Educators. When students and teachers create their own artwork there is no need to worry about copyrights or licenses. It simplifies on-line life and supports meeting the criteria of supporting digital citizenship when using image in the "Social Media Arena".

So let's get a pencils, paint, digital devices and etc... ready to make and share some awesome creative commons clip art.


Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Yes! Teacher's Can Delete Profiles from Class Blog...


Imagine this scenario! The students are maintaining a private project blog shared with a younger classroom. It is a blog where students are showcasing the digital books they created for younger students to read or listen to. The students are the "True" owners of the blog. 

When profiles are used on blogs it is to display ownership of the content. However this isn't always necessary depending upon the situation. If a group is maintaining a blog then the group owns the blog not an individual. Now the question comes up, "Can a Teacher remove their profile from a blog?" The answer to this is, "Of course they can!"

How to Remove Profile Gadget

  1. Sign into Blogger Dashboard
  2. Select the Blog
  3. In List find and Click Layout 
  4. Look for Profile Gadget in Sidebar
    1. Click Edit
  5. Pop-out Window Opens
  6. Click Remove
  7. Click OK
  8. Click Save Arrangements

Sunday, January 08, 2017

Use Instagram with Blogger to Display a Student Image Gallery

One way of sharing student's creative works is by using an image gallery such as Instagram. When using Instagram as an image gallery to display students works make sure the students are over 13 and that you have followed the school district's policies for displaying student's work online. It is easy to link out to an Instagram account by adding a badge to the Blogger's sidebar.


How to Create the Instagram Badge

Please go to the Instagram Badge Generator: https://www.instagram.com/accounts/badges/ .
This will provide you with the code to place in a blogger sidebar html/javascript gadget.

  1. Select the Badge Style followed by Copying the Code.
  2. You will need to Save the Code for pasting into the Blogger HTML/Javascript Gadget




Steps for Adding the HTML/Javascript Gadget 

  1. Sign into the Blogger Dashboard
  2. Select the blog title
  3. Under New Posts select Layout
  4. Click Add a Gadget
  5. In the Pop out Window select html/Javascript Gadget
  6. Paste the Instagram Badge Code
  7. Click Done
  8. Click Save Arrangement










Saturday, December 24, 2016

Fun Cultural Study Blogger Project

It's the December Holiday Break and I'm thinking about different ways a blog could be used in the classroom. After mulling through "Pinterest Holiday Recipes" a brainstorm for a blog project evolved. Why not create a classroom recipe blog? It is one small way of providing an authentic writing experienced to be shared with the world. 

Wouldn't it be fun if two classrooms from totally different parts of the world shared a "Recipe Blog"? The student's would have an authentic opportunity to learn about each others culture by sharing the foods they eat. Both classrooms would have the opportunity to post recipes and use the comment area to ask and answer questions. 

They can share photos of the foods along with family traditions. One tradition my family does is we like to grill our hamburgers and mainly eat them during the late spring and summer due to the warmer weather. Have you ever wondered what other families around the world eat and why?
  •                                                                    bbq picnic by jridener

How Would this Project Benefit Students?

  1. Due to maintaining a recipe blog students may have opportunities to learn about places and cultures they never heard of.
  2. This provides an engaging reason for students to write beyond daily classroom activities.
  3. Students will learn the challenges of communicating and collaborating due to global linguistic issues.
  4. The students will be presented with an authentic opportunity to practice digital citizenship beyond the walls of the classroom.


Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Oh! Teacher Where Did the Classroom Blog Go???

Sometimes students may need to relearn some simple steps like finding their blog in a new dashboard. Moments like this aren't unusual when integrating technology. The "Digital World" is forever moving forward and sometimes it can be challenging to keep up with the changes. Recently Blogger updated it's dashboard and this "Simple" changed confused many users.

So when your student says, "Teacher Where Did the Classroom Blog Go?" You can respond with it is still there. Just follow these directions to find the blog.

  1. Sign into your Blogger Dashboard
  2. Click the down arrow next to the title
  3. Select the blog from the dropdown list
Yup! It really is easy as all that!


Sunday, November 13, 2016

Maintaining a Classroom Vlog is Easy and Fun!!!

I don't know why Vlogging hasn't become very popular in the "Education World". A Vlog provides a format of curating and sharing which can meet all learning styles.  Students can write and produce digital stories to support content learned in the classroom. The students can curate and maintain a screencastings collections as a tutorial support site. This sounds like a "win win" situation where struggling students are provided the tools to succeed in a less restricting environment. Teachers become facilitators guiding the students as they create and curate the help content.

Students can use the tools their familiar with when first starting to vlog. The teacher and the class may maintain a YouTube Channel to make uploading of videos to the vlog easier. If the school district is a gSuite for Education School District this may make it easier to keep the blog and YouTube Private for School District eye's only.  It is important to know your school districts Acceptable Use Policy before publishing student created material for everyone in the world to see.

How to Insert a Video from YouTube

Inserting a YouTube video into a Blogger post is very simple to do. Even an older elementary or primary student can handle this task. 
  1. Sign into the Blogger Dashboard
  2. Click the Blog Title
  3. Select  New Post 
  4. In the Post Composer's Toolbar Click Video icon
  5. A New Window Pops Open
  6. Select which option you prefer to insert a video
    1. Upload
    2. From YouTube
    3. My YouTube Videos
    4. From Your Phone
  7. Click My YouTube Videos (Your YouTube Channel Video List)
  8. Select a video from the list
  9. Click the Blue  Select  Button
  10. Click the Orange  Publish  Button


Once the post is published it is added to the live blog. This is a very simple way to maintain a blog providing younger students with the opportunity to both create and curate information for supporting the academic content they are learning.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Start by Choosing a Template

Sometimes the easiest way to maintain a blog is by using an already custom made template. Templates are guides to support both the new and old blogger with creating and maintaining a blog.  A Blogger can start with a template and make custom changes to personalize the blog.


How to Choose a Blogger Template

  1. Sign into the Blogger Dashboard
  2. Click the Blog's Title
  3. Select Templates from the listing
  4. Choose a template
  5. Click Apply to Blog

Thursday, September 01, 2016

Have Students Create Custom Headers

Have students design a custom header for a classroom blog. Choices and opportunities for personalization provides ownership for the blog. Both Teachers and students become excited as they journey together building a classroom blog.

The classroom will decide upon a theme based on a monthly or quarterly basis. They will brainstorm topics which support the theme. Once there is a list students will split up into small groups focused upon one topic. They will use Google Drawings to create the Header Design. This will provide them with the opportunity to combine both digital and paper designs. Remember photos can be taken and inserted into a Google Drawing where the student can type the blogs name.

Using Google Drawing to Create Blog Header

FIRST STEP:
  1. Open a Google Drawing
  2. Click File Select Page Setup
  3. Use the arrows and select custom
  4. Enter a width of 1250 pixels and height of 350 pixels
  5. Click the  Okay  button



SECOND STEP:

DESIGN THE HEADER

  1. Insert a textbox
  2. Type a Header Name
  3. Insert, images, shapes, change color & etc....
THIRD STEP:

      DOWNLOAD FILE as a PNG

       
       1. Click File
       2. Followed by Selecting Download
       3. Click PNG




Insert the Header Image In the Blog

  1. Open Blogger Dashboard
  2. Click the Blogs Title
  3. Under the  New Post  Button Select Layout
  4. Scroll to Header Section and Click Edit in the lower right corner
  5. In the Pop-up Window Choose Image from computer
  6. Decide how you want to place it
    • Behind title and description
    • Instead of title and description
    • Have description placed after the image
    • Shrink to fit
  7. Click the  Save  Button
  8. Followed by Clicking  Save Arrangements  (upper right corner)

Use Blogger's CSS Editor to Resize the Header

Copy and Paste this snippet into the CSS Header to correctly size the image 


#Header1_headerimg{
width: 100%;
height: auto;
}

Please continue by following these directions:

  1. Open Blogger Dashboard
  2. Click the Blogs Title
  3. Under New Posts Select Template
  4. Click  Customize  Button
  5. Select Advanced (bottom of list)
  6. Click Add CSS (bottom of 2nd list)
  7. Copy and Paste this Code in window
    • #Header1_headerimg{
      width: 100%;
      height: auto;
      }
  8. Click  Apply to Blog  (Upper right corner)