Saturday, July 30, 2016

My Font Changes have a "Mind of Its Own!"

Have you ever felt like the "Font Editor" has a mind of its own? I'm talking about when you choose a font style, size, color , paragraph alignment and then save. After saving you preview the post only to discover it didn't save anything you did. You try adjusting everything again and discover the post editor has a mind of its own! Don't get discouraged! Instead use the "Remove Formatting Tool!"

The above scenario happens quite often especially when one copies and pastes from a document into a post. This is very common to occur when copying and pasting a Microsoft Word Document into a post. When one does this the copy retains the Microsoft styling codes. In this case you have one of two choices to remove formatting. When you go to paste the copy into a post use the keyboard shortcut of Ctrl+Shift+V to remove the source code. Don't worry if you can't remember the keyboard shortcut because there is a remove formatting tool in the post composer's toolbar.

TRY KEYBOARD SHORTCUT FIRST


If this doesn't work then use the formatting tool found in the Post Composer's Toolbar


Directions for Using Text Formatting Tool

  1. Highlight the text in the composer window
  2. Select the text formatting tool
  3. Click the Post Save Button
That's all Folks! Now pick out a font style, size, color and etc... Once done composing the post don't forget the Save followed by clicking the orange publish button.

This is a useful timesaving tip to share with students who are just beginning to learn how to blog!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

How Do I Create a Blogger Post?

Thanks to themes and layout features setting up a Blogger blog is a breeze. Now how does the student or teachers post?

Of course click the orange new post button,
but what happens after that?

The post editor opens with a toolbar with all the familiar icons you've seen in text editing programs such as Google Docs or Microsoft word. Let's take a look:


Once the user is finished creating the post then it is time to click the save button followed by publishing to the web.

NOTES: 
  • SAVE BUTTON: Saves a draft for future editing
  • PUBLISH BUTTON: Publishes the post to the blog (public on web can view)

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Sometimes NO Comments are Better!

If an educator is using a blog as a public classroom newsletter they may consider turning off comments. 

Why would a teacher want to do this? 

The internet is a vast global place not limited to the parents and students within their school community. Also maintaining a blog could become time-consuming when having the need to moderate comments. 

When comments are moderated this sends a notification to the educator's email inbox. There is No reason why strangers should have the ability to flood a teacher's inbox. Not when parents and student already have the educator's email address and/or contact phone number. 

Thank you Blogger for providing the "hide a comment" feature. This supports teachers with some of the new challenges provided by the digital world we live in!

How to Hide Comments

  1. Sign into the Blogger Dashboard
  2. Select the Blog you want to update
  3. In the left menu, select 

    • Settings > Posts, Comments and Sharing

  4. Scroll down to the comments section and look for "Comment Location"
  5. Click the button to the right of "Comment Location"
  6. Select "HIDE"
  7. Click the Orange Save Settings Button
    • Located in the upper right corner of the page


Saturday, July 16, 2016

Posting Comments Easy as 1,2,3

Sometimes the most obvious seems to be the hardest thing to do. What do I mean? Well posting a comment of course! It is not uncommon to hear this phrase, "How can I post a comment if there is NO Comment Button?"  Well sometimes buttons can take up a lot of space or may not be esthetically pleasing. It isn't uncommon to just find the word comment at the bottom of a blog post

Next time you read a blog post and want to share a few uplifting words with the author just click on comment and start typing. You just may brighten someone's day!

How to Post a Comment

  1. Click Comment to start typing
  2. Start Typing & preview what you wrote
  3. Click Publish to post the comment 

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Teaching Students Blogging Where to Start???


The Art of Social Media by mkhmarketing, on Flickr



Recently I had a discussion about teaching students how to blog. "Where to begin?" was a question we pondered upon. Blogging plays an important role in teaching students about curating and sharing of information. Students are already accessing information instantly on a daily basis. In this instant gratification society it is very easy for a person to carelessly blurt out what's on their mind without thinking about the impact. This is a "Big NO, NO!"

For this very reason students need to practice the skills of "Good" digital citizenship when starting to blog. It is easiest to start by having the student use the "Comment and Reply Section". This provides a perfect opportunity to practice digital citizenship under supervised conditions. 

First responsibility is to teach the student how to provide positive feedback in the blog's comment and reply section. 

EXAMPLE:
  • Never state someone is wrong.
  • Use terminology such as you might want to try...
  • What would happen if...
  • I like what you said but what if...
It all boils down to reinforcing this simple word: 
RESPECT 

Tips for Maintaining a Respectful Blob

  1. Students can post comments by email
    • Post needs teacher's approval
  2. All Comments & Replies can be set for moderation
  3. Teacher has the ability to delete or edit posts
  4. Use privacy setting to share blog with students
    • Provides an opportunity for a small authentic audience
      • Invited by the teacher
      • All Grade Level Students
      • Parents
      • Other teachers
  5. Teacher can share authorship or administrator responsibility
    • This lessens the workload for everyone
If you start out small and introduce new steps little by little the students will become creative and critical curators of blogs.

Friday, July 01, 2016

Community Building with Blogger


Community building
 in a classroom is key for a positive learning experience. Have you ever thought about using Google APPS for Education (GAfE) along with Blogger for presenting community building activities? The community building could start before summer vacation ends.

A savvy teacher can start with sharing one of their favorite summer activities via a blog. The blog URL (website address) is included in the welcome back letter sent to the teacher's new students and their families. In the welcome back letter the teacher asks students to read the blog entry and in the comment area to share their favorite summertime activity.

Some Simple Rules to Include

  1. Students only uses their first name
  2. No photos allowed
  3. Only include activity information
  4. Don't include personal details
  5. Explain the activity and why they like it
  6. Only share positive comments if replying to another students activity
  7. Don't include anyone's name unless you ask permission
  8. All share should be positive
When the students return to school they could use this information for positive conversation starters.

Examples:

"I see you like ....I enjoy doing this too!"

"I went to.....and would love to know what you liked best about your visit there."

"I never did that and would like to know....."

This is just one small suggestions of how community builders could be started by using a Blogger blog. I look forward to hearing some of your ideas in the comment area.

Happy Summer!

"Oh yeah my favorite summer activity is 
going on small adventures with my bicycle."

What's yours?


Look Out for New Posts about 

Using GAfE with Blogger for Building Community