Blog-gone it- that’s a Great Idea! Print a Blog Post as a PDF in Just One Click

Printing blog posts can be beneficial for a few reasons. Some families don’t have internet access and may request that their child’s work be sent home. At times we also want to print hard copies of the work our students are sharing for display, documentation, or reference. In just a few simple steps, you can instal a print friendly button to the bottom of each blog post and page automatically so you can and your students can print anything anytime.

Here’s what you need to do to install the Print Friendly Plugin:

1. Visit your blog Dashboard and click on Plugins.

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2. Type the word “Print” into the search field. Click on the blue Activate button. That’s it!

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Now when you open a blog post or page you will see the Print Friendly button (green) underneath.

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OPTIONAL: CHANGE YOUR PRINT BUTTON DISPLAY SETTINGS

1. From your blog Dashboard re-open Plugins.

2. Type the word “Print” into the search field and you will see the Print Friendly Plugin appear.

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3. Click Settings from inside the Print Friendly activation box.

4. I only recommend adjusting the settings I’ve captured in the screenshot if you wish to change the look and/or location of your Print Friendly button.

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5. Once you’ve changed your settings scroll down to the bottom of the page and click Save Options

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Blog-gone it – that’s a Great Idea! Widget Ideas for Kids

WHAT IS A WIDGET? 

The term widget refers to any tool or content that you add, arrange or remove from the sidebar(s) or footer area(s) of your blog — these are the sections that make up your sidebar.

HOW WIDGETS ARE USED 

Widgets are used for a wide range of purposes including:

(HOW WIDGETS ARE USED was taken from the Edublogs Help site)

To change widgets visit Appearance > Widgets screen in your blog dashboard. More detailed instructions about adding widgets to your blog can be found here.

WIDGETS IDEAS! 

Visitor Statistics

  1. Flag Counter – lists the most common countries that your visitors are from and shows the flag from each country
  2. Feedjit – displays visitors to your blog in real time and includes: which city and country your visitors are in; which website they arrived from, if any; which page they visited on your website; which external link they clicked to leave your site
  3. Revolver Map – displays all visitor locations and recent hits live and in realtime on a revolving globe of the Earth

Talking Avatars

Talking avatars are great for a wide range of purposes including grammar and fluency reading practices, delivering content and engaging auditory learners.

  1. Voki – add a speaking (and highly customizable) avatar to your blog.  Record your voice, create a character, and much more!
  2. Read The Words – human avatars that will read text or recorded audio right in your blog

MultiMedia 

Images and videos are great ways of sharing visually what is happening in your classroom and class.  They are also a good way of  delivering content and engaging visual learners

  1. Image Widget – add an image with text to your sidebar
  2. Instagram – display your latest Instagrams on your blog
  3. Flickr Badges – add a link to your Flickr account
  4. Flickr – display your latest Flickr photos on your blog
  5. Facebook Photo Gallery – show off your public Facebook photo galleries right on your blog
  6. Gallery Widget – display a photo gallery or slideshow in your blog’s sidebar.
  7. YouTube – grab the embed code from any YouTube video or playlist and add it to a text widget in your sidebar.  Tip – change the custom size to 200 pixels before grabbing the embed code so it fits your sidebar.
  8. RadioTuna – pick a genre and play music for your visitors.

Reading

Book shelf widgets are a good way to share your favourite books or provide recommended reading lists.

The two commonly used widgets for sharing books are:

  1. GoodReads
  2. Shelfari

Miscellaneous

  1. About.me – pulls your About.me profile information, and a small screenshot of it, into your sidebar.
  2. Blogroll – display a list of the blogs you like to read or share links to resources.
  3. Class blog widget – displays a link to all student blogs attached to your class blog via My Class.
  4. Email Subscription – adds email subscription to your sidebar so readers can subscribe to email notifications of new posts.
  5. Feed Wind – display the latest posts from another blog anywhere on the web.
  6. Google Maps – embed a Google map – complete with directions, street views, and more.
  7. Google Translate – instantly translate your blog into many different languages.
  8. Wolfram Alpha – Wolfram Alpha contains hundreds of customizable widgets from a wide range of subject areas, including unit converters, weather tools, graphing calculators, problem solvers, and much more. This might be the only resource math and science students and teachers need for their blogs!

Blog-gone it – that’s a Great Idea: Tagging Posts for the Reader

Screen Shot 2016-03-30 at 12.05.22 PMDuring our last TLLP meeting Nicole King shared her new learning about how she is using tags to filter student posts in the Reader. If you haven’t used the Reader tool in the blog dashboard before, the Reader is the fastest way for teachers and students to quickly read posts and leave comments across a class of students’ blogs. Information about how to use the Reader can be found here.

Tags and Categories:

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.

When your readers click on a categories or tag link on a post or in your sidebar widget area, it loads a page with all posts that use that tag or category. On a post you can add as many categories and tags as you need to make the post easier to locate.

Using Tags to Filter Student Posts in the Reader:

1. The first step is to have all students add the same tag to a post they are writing. For example, if your students are learning about 2D Shapes, as a class you would create a tag that identifies the post (ie./ 2Dshapes2016). All students would then need to add that tag to their posts in the Tags box.

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2. Once the students’ posts have been published, instead of visiting each blog separately, the teacher logs into the Class Blog > Dashboard > Reader

3. Once in the Reader, the teacher would then type the tag in the Search… bar. Next, check the box beside Tag and click Search. 

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4. Posts that contain the tag you searched will then appear in the Reader.

Using tags to filer posts in the Reader makes locating and reading posts much more efficient. It may be helpful to keep a list of tags you create as a class in a Google Doc for future reference.

If you have any questions, or would like to share more ideas about how you are using tags in your classroom, please leave a comment below!

Happy Blogging 😀