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

Activity 7 – Avatars

All students taking part in this course should already have created an avatar when you became part of your class blog. But here is a chance for you to create one of your own choosing rather than the type set by your teacher.

I have included below some avatar creation sites suitable for students in primary school. Just click on the image and it will take you to the website.

    

  

   

doppelme avatar 

Step 1. Create your avatar

Step 2. Using printscreen or snipping tool to save your avatar – make sure it is saved as a JPEG file

So you decided to create an avatar like “Hero Factory” or “Build your wildself” or “Mini Mizer” where you can’t download it easily. You need to take a picture of the screen first. Most computers have a printscreen button on the keyboard or if using Windows 7 you have an icon called “snipping tool”.

When you press printscreen an image of your screen is now copied to your clipboard. If using snipping tool, try to get only the part of the avatar you want to use. You will still need to crop and resize to get an avatar that fits well on your blog.

Here is a video showing how to find and use the snipping tool. When saving, make sure it is JPEG.

Go to your drive where you saved your avatar, right click on the icon for your avatar image and choose “Open with” choose Microsoft Office Picture Manager.

In the icons at the top, go to View> task pane.  On the right go to edit pictures > crop.  Now move the black bars on the side of your image in, to crop your picture to what you want in your avatar.

Click OK, then back to edit pictures. Now click on resize. In the box “custom width and height” put  97 in both boxes. These numbers might be slightly different but one has to be 97 and the other smaller than 97. Click OK.

Back up to file>save as> call it sueava2 or similar> make sure it is still JPEG. Make sure you have saved it to your drive again.

Step 3. Upload avatar to your  blog

Now to upload to your blog.  Go to your dashboard> users>your avatar> browse to find your image wherever you saved it>alternate upload.  This is your comment avatar.

If you want your avatar to appear on your sidebar like mine does – Dashboard>appearance>widget> blog avatar drag to your sidebar.  To upload the avatar, dashboard>settings>blog avatar> browse to find your image>alternate upload. Go to your blog page and refresh. Your blog avatar should appear on your blog now.

If it  looks like a black coloured square then you haven’t cropped the image to the correct size in step 2 . Or maybe you didn’t save the image as a JPEG in step 2 .

 Having fun with avatars

Why not create an avatar for each member of your family? Save each avatar then you will be able to write a post including each avatar when you tell your readers about your family members and their interests.

Want to create an avatar using Publisher? Read Mrs Smith’s post about how her class did this activity. PS Make sure you read  Mrs Smith’s comment linked here before using Publisher to create avatars.

Activity 6 – Themes

El patito feoBefore you start week 2 activities, check the list below to make sure you have completed week 1.

  • Know how to login from your own blog, your class blog and this student bloggers blog and how to get to your dashboard .
  • You have updated your profile and changed your original password.
  • You have at least two other users called administrators or teachers on your blog.
  • Added mum or dad if they want to be an administrator – so this is optional – see activity 3 for instructions
  • You have installed the plugin called compfight.
  • You have created a page all about yourself.
  • You have left a comment on 2 posts – the basics and all about me.

WOW! You have worked hard in the first week of this course. To check if I have marked your work, in the header is a page called work finished. Green means I have marked it and it is correct, yellow means you still need to do some work on it, white I have not checked yet. I will be marking your work every weekend, so remember you can work on it at home or at school if your teacher gives you time.  I will also be running an online classroom on Wednesday and Friday afternoons from 1.30 till 3pm for any students or teachers wanting help with blogging. The link is on the sidebar under get help here.

Activity 6 – Choosing a theme

This is an activity that could take you ages to do. There are over 140 themes to choose from.  So before you start fiddling with themes, think about what you want your blog’s appearance to look like.

  • Do you want 1 sidebar or 2 sidebars?
  • Do you want to be able to change the picture in the header?
  • Do you want a tagline?
  • Do you want pages mentioned in the header?

Sue Waters, one of the managers at Edublogs, has written a post grouping themes according to what they can offer you. Check out her post then look at some examples of student blogs below. Also check out the widgets in their sidebars. Take note of any you would like on your blog.

Caitlin uses Cordoba Green Park, Lauren uses Bouquet, Adena uses  Bluebird, Cole uses Mandigo, Elysa uses greenery, Jacob uses Misty Look, Jenna uses Brand New Day, Kehana uses Notepad Chaos, Kyle uses Mystique, Liam uses TerraFirma, Bianca uses Ocean Mist, Bronte uses Twenty Ten, Brooklyn uses Pink Kupy, Jacob uses Grassland, Lily uses borderline chaos, May uses Blak Magik

To change your theme:

Step 1. Blog dashboard, go to appearance then themes

Step 2. Look for one you like then click live preview underneath. If you want this, now click the big blue save and activate button. If you want to choose another click cancel instead.

Step 3. To customise your theme go to appearance and check which options are available for you to change. Sometimes you can change the background image or colour. You might be able to change the header image or colour.  If changing a header image, make sure you write down the number of pixels eg 1200x 450 so you can create your own image the right size in paint or an image editing program.

Themes

You can change your theme as often as you like, but each time check for widgets that might have changed.

 Leave a comment telling me three themes you liked and why you chose the one you have used.
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: Julen Landa via Compfight