Widget Wonders

Widgets are part of blog design. Good design is clean and purposeful. So I choose my widgets for my readers.

I think must-haves include:

  • Short Text About Blog with author’s name
  • Relevant Photo
  • Contact
  • Search
  • Tag Cloud
  • Categories
  • Archives
  • RSS
  • Blog List of Favorite Blogs
  • Badge (Support of others or one’s own)

Other choices would be:

If a blog is educational, include:

  • Links to school-related blogs (other teachers, students, research, etc.)
  • Link to pedagogy and guidelines
  • Polls

Now, that’s a lot already, so an author needs to pick and choose, design and organize, review and revise so that the blog stays consistent, yet current and informative, yet welcoming.

I never thought I would use a Voki, but after viewing many of my fellow challengers’ examples, I’ve decided I enjoy them and so will readers. A Voki can deliver a welcome, a question, a direction that quickly engages readers.

That said, would you consider these marvelously used widgets?

Examples in Teaching Elementary

Flag Counter — Flags of visitors

Blabberize — make your own picture do the talking

Build Your Wild Self — create your own picture/avatar

Answer Garden — Ask a question and watch answers evolve

Examples in Global Student

Tag cloud — visual cloud of frequently used tags
Video of classroom (Vimeo) — embed a class video
Voki — Welcome and directions for how to comment

Examples in aimeeb

Voki — an introduction to the blog for families with suggestions
Shelfari — her favorite books or newest reads
neo planet — a revolving planet showing who’s here

Example in Home School Mom
Twitter feed

It’s a widget world –what do you think? Which are most important?

What is the most important sidebar info on a blog?… at AnswerGarden.ch.


Photo Credit:

Rule of Thirds CC 3.0 by Nevit at http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Rule-of-thirds.gif


Teacher Challenge 7

11 thoughts on “Widget Wonders

  1. Hi Sheri
    I’m sorry I don’t know enough about Picasa to be able to answer your questions about down-sizing your pictures properly. Can you ask Edublogs because I think it is really important from this point to be downsizing any new pictures you put in.

    • Janelle, I do think it’s important to let people know who we are, especially as teachers. We model for our students. Just a word or two about who we are and the goals for the blog. And the photo can be fun, like mine, and still present a visual face for the text. it just sets the tone for authenticity. Thanks for the comment, and your blog is so informative! I’m honored you dropped by.

  2. Hi Sheri
    I think your widgets post is very informative. I am a bit scared of the widget idea. I must look into it a bit more. The flag counter widget looks interesting and the blabberise and build your wild self looks like lots of fun for the kids.
    Oona

  3. Hi Sheri, this is a great post. I love the widget at the top. Where did you get that one from?
    I like your list of ‘must haves’ and the fact that you have linked us to some other widgets that might be of use in class. Some of these I have not heard of, but will certainly research.
    Also, adding the poll in answer garden is nifty. I like interactive blog posts, that do not require much extra work.

  4. Wow, Sheri, you put a lot of work into your widget posting! That’s an amazing list of possibilities. I learned some new things too. In a month, my 7th graders will be starting their blogs, and I think I’ll show your post as they begin to create their own blogs. Thanks again. Denise
    P.S. I like your “What else?” theme and badge you created!

    • Thanks, Denise. I liked this challenge activity because kids want to really put so much onto their blogs, and I want them to think carefully about their purpose and their readers. I’ll remind them that although consistency is important in the look of the blog, it also needs to be current. That way, they can change-up the widgets according to their current needs and those of their readers. For instance, adding a poll or Voki for a certain project they are working on. Thanks for stopping by. Sheri

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