Creating your blog…

March 21, 2007

  1. Creating your blog
  2. Chosing a theme
  3. Setting up your sidebar (the narrow column which lets visitors navigate your site)
  4. Setting up how your site is managed

Here is a lovely video on how to set up an edublogs acount by Mike Temple:
http://miketemple123.edublogs.org/2007/02/26/first-steps/.

  1. A new window will open up when you click on the link.
  2. Come back to this window, and go to google, or type in edublogs.org in the address bar to get started.
  3. Keep the window to Mike’s blog open, so that you can refer back to it, if you get lost.

You will notice that each blog has a different look.

The backgrounds, color, text, layout, and contents of the sidebar (the narrow column on the right or left) are different on different blogs. The way to control this in edublogs is in with a theme.

Here are the steps:

  1. To change your theme, you will need to get into the editing area of your blog.
    • Login to edublogs, and go to your blog site. 
    • Go down to Meta on the sidebar and select Site Admin.
    • Once there, click on the Presentation menu at the top.
  2. From here, you will be able to see all of the different types of themes available to you. I would suggest you start with the following themes because of their flexibility and ease of use:
    • Andreas09 (my class blog, and edublog tutorials use it)
    • Almost Spring (this site uses it)
    • Leto Prime (Blogwalker uses it)
    • Simpla
    • Freshy is VERY flexible, but has a continental dating convention (day, month, year) which may be confusing to students who are learning the U.S. dating standard (month, day, year).
    • The default template is nice, plain, and reasonably flexible.

Now you are ready to customize your sidebar.

The sidebar is a narrow column that lets your readers navigate your blog/website. Some themes have two columns, some allow you to change the color, header, and whether the column is on the right or left.

There are three tabs under Presentation: Themes, [Your Theme], Sidebar Widgets.

  • [Your Theme] will let you select things like the color scheme, number of columns, column position. Not all themes give you these options.
  • Sidebar Widgets if your theme doesn’t show this tab, you can’t change the sidebar, and I would advise you to choose another theme.
    • As basics, you probably want to add recent posts, links (or blogroll), and categories.
    • Consider adding Pages (some themes will include these along the top header), and Meta (which you can rename).
    • If you can add them, text boxes are great for showing upcoming events.

Here is a link to some other great things you can do with Sidebars.

Next, you need to set up how people will see posts and be able to comment on your blog.

  1. Go into the Site Admin page for your blog
  2. Choose the Options tab
  3. General
    • Fill in the title of your blog
    • Add a catchy tagline
    • Uncheck the users must be registered (this will require you register each and every student)
    • Check the email address listed
    • Fill in the time off-set (-8 for PDT)
    • Set up the date and time defaults
    • Click the Update Options button
  4. Leave the Writing tab for now
  5. Select the Reading tab. You need to decide if you want your front page to change everytime you add a new post, or stay the same.
    • I you  want your front page to be your latest post, select the first option
    • If you want a static page select the second option and select the page you want to be on front. If you haven’t created that page yet, come back here later after you make the page.
    • Figure out how many posts you want to be visible (5 is a good number)
    • Leave Syndications for now
    • Click the Update Options button.
  6. Select the Discussion tab. The settings I’m suggesting will set things up so that you will moderate all comments coming into the site, and will also make it easy for your students to post.
    • Article (Post) settings:  Uncheck the first box for class blogs, and check the next two.
    • Email settings: Uncheck the first box but check the second.
    • Moderation settings: check the first box, uncheck the next two.
    • Comment blacklist. If you start to get spam, get the IP address from the comment, and put it in here. You won’t get spam from those IPs again.
    • Click the Update Options button.
  7. Privacy settings. I would suggest that for a class blog you take the second setting and block search engines, but not visitors.
  8. I’d leave permalinks as they are unless you know about them, and have strong feelings about how you like them setup.

You are now ready to post!

Hello world!

March 20, 2007

Welcome to Edublogs.org. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!