This blog details the learning journey to complete the Edublogs Teacher Challenge 2011. It is a conversation about being a beginner blogger so it may prove to be a little too self-deprecating at times for some readers!

This blog is about blogging - setting up a brand new blog, making decisions about design and appearance, and learning how to use the Blogger interface as well as the slightly different Edublogs interface. So it will also discuss the decisions made for the design and operation of my professional blog which is Applied Chaos Theory (hosted at Edublogs).

I hope that by journalling about my learning journey in the world of teacher blogging it may provide some small encouragement to other teacher bloggers as they begin their own learning journey in this new collaborative/connected world!

Monday, January 10, 2011

What does my blog look like?

Sorting out the appearance questions for a teacher blog opens up a whole world of questions. My concern is that my blog needs to include a range of elements so that other teachers and, significantly, MY STUDENTS who visit my blog, will get an impression of my own comfort zone with regard to manipulating widgets etc. Some of my favourite teacher bloggers include specific elements that are quite common across teacher blogs. So there are those sorts of elements to find out how to include.
The other sorts of widgets are those that tell the reader something about the individual teacher - like Librarian blogs that include the Shelfari widget, or teachers who are also photographers who include a feed from flickr.
There is also the monitoring of visitors widgets e.g. Clustrmaps... and deciding if these are useful or just indicators that NO ONE IS VISITING!
So I decided to dive in and find out how to incorporate Clustrmaps. Turned out to be pretty easy - just go to their website clustrmaps and enter in the url for your blog and your email address, and the HTML code will be generated for the link to your map. Now, the method for creating the gadget (in terms) or widget that is generated by html is different across the platforms... here in Blogger you copy the code into the html gadget on the BASIC LIST... but once you have sorted it out the first time, then there are all manner of gadgets/widgets to have a play with!
So then all I had to do is decide... how many gadgets/widgets is TOO MANY?

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