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Welcome to the fifth step in our free professional learning series on class and student blogging!

The aim of this step is to:

  1. Explain how widgets are used on class blog.
  2. Introduce you to the commonly used class blog widgets.
  3. Show you how to change widgets and add widgets to your sidebar.


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What are widgets?

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

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How widgets are used on class blogs

Widgets are used for a wide range of purposes including:


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Examples of widgets on class blogs

The most popular widgets used on class blogs are widgets from other websites that are pasted into a text widget in the sidebar using embed code.

We’ve set up Widget demo blog to showcase the most popular widgets that educators, and their students, like to add to their sidebar so you can check out all the widgets in one handy location.

We’ve gone a bit widget crazy to help you see them all in the one location and you generally don’t see all these widgets together on a class blog.

Widget Demo Blog


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Widgets and blog design

There are hundreds of different widgets you can add to the sidebar of your blog using embed code in a text widget but when adding any widget you need to think about the design of your blog.  Widgets can be noisy, take up a lot of space and may distract readers.

When adding widgets think about does it add to your blog OR does it distract readers from your posts.  You need to have a balance between widgets and your blog content; you want people to read your posts!

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How to add widgets

Adding a widget is as simple as follows:

1.  Go to Appearance > Widget.

widgets

2.  Click on the arrow on the desired Sidebar to open up the sidebar (so you can add the widgets).

3.  Drag the widget from the Available Widgets into the desired Sidebar.

You drag by click on the widget with your left mouse and moving the widget.

4.  Drop the widget when you see a dashed line appear – this indicates the widget is in place.

Add widget

5.  The widget will automatically open — just configure, click Save and then Close.

Widget Video tutorial


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How to remove widgets

Removing a widget is as simple as:

1.  Go to Appearance > Widget.

widgets

2.  Click on the small arrow on the right hand side of the widget you want to remove.

3.  Click Delete.

This returns the widget to the Inactive Widget area.


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Overview of Available widgets

Here’s a summary of the main widgets you’ll find in your dashboard and what they are used for:

Archives Used to organise your previously published posts by month.  Handy for readers who want to browser for older content  To save space change the configuration to ‘Display as a dropdown’
Blog Avatar Used to display your blog avatar (uploaded via Settings > Blog Avatar).
Calendar Displays links to your posts by date on a calendar  Can’t be used as an Events calendar.
ClustrMaps A simple widget for quickly adding a ClustrMaps to your blog sidebar Added when the Widget plugin is activated in Plugins.
Custom Menu Allows you to display pages, categories, and custom links with a single widget.  To use you first need to set up your custom menu in Appearance > Menu.
Email Subscriptions A simple widget for adding email subscription to your blog.Used to notify readers of your latest posts by email.
Links Used to display a list of links in your sidebar.  Commonly used to share your favourite blogs or websites with your readers.
Meta Simple widget for easy log in and log out of your blog, to access your dashboard and to locate your RSS feed.
Pages Displays a list of your pages in the sidebar.  Commonly used for themes that don’t have page links in the top navigation.
Recent Comments Displays the most recent comments left on your blog by readers.
Recent Posts Displays the most recent posts you have published.  Makes it easier for readers to see what’s new on your blog.
Search Adds a search box to your sidebar. Makes it easier for readers to search the contents of your blog.
 Tag cloud Adds a search box to your sidebar.  Makes it easier for readers to search the contents of your blog.
 Text Allows you to add text or embed code to your sidebar.  It’s the most useful widget because you can use it to add content from other sources to your sidebar using their embed code.

Some widgets are also added to your widget area when you activate plugins.


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Adding widgets using embed code in text widgets

The handiest widget you’ll find in your dashboard is the text widget.

You can add any other widgets you find on the Internet by pasting their embed code into a text widget in your sidebar.

This is how you add widgets from VokiShelfari BookshelfFlag Counter,  Feedjit Live Traffic FeedGoogle Calendar and so on!

We’ve added links to popular widgets in our Pinteret cool widgets board and you can see these widgets on the Widget demo blog.  Clicking on a widget takes you to the website where you can grab the embed code.

Adding a widget from another website is as simple as: 1, 2, 3….

1.  Grab the embed code for the widget you want to add.

Copy embed code

2.  Go to Appearance > Widgets.

widgets

3.  Drag a text widget into your sidebar.

4.  Paste the embed code into the text widget.

Paste embed code

5.  Click Save and Close.

6.  You should now see the widget in your sidebar.


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Commonly used visitor tracking widgets

Visitor tracking widgets are popular on class blogs because:

  • Knowing you’re writing for a global audience is incredibly motivating for students.
  • Realizing people from other countries are reading what they’ve written increases students’ interest, excitement and motives them to blog.
  • It also provides built-in geography lessons — most students constantly check for new visitors and enjoy finding out more about the countries where their visitors are from.

It’s quite common to see class blogs use more than one visitor tracking widget as each widget provides different information about visitors to the blog.

Here’s a quick overview of the most commonly used visitor tracking widgets on class blogs:

ClustrMaps ClustrMaps is a thumbnail hit counter map widget that shows the geographical location of all visitors to your blog. Number of visitors from a location is indicated by the relative size of the dot.
 Flag Counter Flag Counter widget shows the total number of visitors from each country next to the country’s flag. Every time someone from a new country visits your site, a new flag will be added to your counter.  Clicking on the flag counter takes you to your Flag counter page which provides more detailed charts and information about your visitors.
 Feedjit Feedjit Live Traffic Feed 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, if anyYour traffic feed is updated as each visitor arrives on your site. This update occurs before it loads so each of your visitors can see their own location displayed.Clicking on the Feedjit Live Traffic counter takes you to your Live traffic page which provides more detailed information including the countries associated with web visitors’ IP addresses, the web browser, computer operating system, and referring website.
Feedjit Live Traffic Map Feedjit Live Traffic Map displays real-time visitor tracking by showing the geographic locations of the last 100 visitors to your blog. If you move your mouse over any point on the map the city and country for that visitor will be displayed.  Clicking on the Feedjit Live Traffic Map takes you to your Live Traffic Map page which provides more detailed information.
Revolver Map Revolver Map displays all visitor locations and recent hits live and in realtime on a revolving globe of the Earth. A click on the widget opens the live statistics page.


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Using link widgets on class blogs

Links widgets are commonly used on a class blog to provide links to other class blogs, student blogs and resources— they are designed to help you, your students and others websites easily.

The most common type of link widget you’ll hear mentioned is a blogroll.  Bloggers commonly use blogrolls to list their favourite blogs.  Blogrolls help readers locate other blogs worth reading — you are saying “these are some blogs I like – which are worth checking out!”

Blogrolls on class blogs are used often used to provide links to student blogs or other class blogs they interact with.

Please note:

Here is how you create links to websites or blogs:

1.  Go to Links > Add New.

Add New

2.  Add the name of the website or blog to the Name Module.

3.  Add the URL to the Web Address module.

Best option is to copy/paste the URL from the address bar of your web browser – as you are less likely to make a mistake. 

4.  Select Blogroll in the Category Module or create a new Category then click Add Link.

You use different categories if you organise your links in different locations in your sidebars.  

Once you’ve created the links you add them to your sidebar by adding the Links widget (via Appearance > Widgets).

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Commonly Asked Widget Questions

Here’s answers to commonly asked questions we receive into Edublogs Support:

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1.  I’m trying to remove a widget and I can’t find it listed in my sidebar in Appearance > Widgets.  How do I remove it?

The most common reason why you may have trouble removing a widget, or see two of the same widget on a blog, is some themes hard code widgets into their sidebar.  Hard coded widgets can’t be removed.

NotePad Chaos is an example of a theme with hard coded widgets.  Pages, Categories, Links and a What is this Place are all coded into the theme.


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2.  Why doesn’t the categories I set up in Posts > Category display in my Category widget?

Categories and tags on posts are used to help readers locate information in different ways.  When your readers click on a categories link on a post or in your sidebar it loads a page with all posts that use that category.

Categories won’t display in your category widget until the category has been assigned to a post.


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3.  Why are some tags in my tag cloud widget larger than others?

When your readers click on a tag link on a post or in your sidebar it loads a page with all posts that use that tag.

The larger the size of the word in the tag cloud the more posts that have been tagged using that term.

The Tag Cloud widget displays a list of your top 45 tags that you’ve assigned to posts.

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4. Why doesn’t my Calendar widget show the correct date?

The calendar widget creates a calendar in your sidebar with clickable links to your blogs posts for particular dates. Dates that appear in bold type indicate dates you’ve posted.

It doesn’t let you setup a calendar of events.  It’s only used is to display links to your posts by date.

If you want an Events calendar we recommend you add a Google Calendar to your sidebar or embed it into a page.

Alternatively if you want to add a simple calendar use this Monthly Caldendar.

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Your Task

We’d like you to add your voice and ideas to our ongoing conversation about student blogging by completing the following:

  1. Check out the Widget demo blog and try adding some of the widgets from the Widget demo blog to your class blog. Leave a comment to tell us which of the widgets on the demo blog would you use on your Class blog and why.
  2. Read through the most recent comments in reply to this step and leave a response to another person’s comment.

 

304 Comments

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  1. thank for the tip about this again thanks

  2. this was very helpful on wigets

  3. I would use the Wonderopolis widget on my class blog because I was personally fascinated by it and I think it would be a cool way to engage students with the class blog. Also, I like the idea of using a countdown timer for big class projects.

  4. I added the Email Subscriptions, Flag Counter and ClustrMaps. One of the goals for the year is to understand digital footprints and how widely it can spread. With having the Flag Counter and ClustrMaps, these are great tools to track how quickly and widely the blogs can be viewed.

  5. I can imagine using Google calendar to highlight important dates. As a World History teacher, I’d like to know more about Dogo Current Events. PJ Liebson (mrsliebson.edublogs.org)

  6. I kept it simple and just added a search feature, while getting rid of the Meta. We’ll see what we need for the student blogs later, I suppose.
    http://forestdweller.edublogs.org/

    • Forestdweller
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    • I think it’s a great idea to incorporate Twitter! Also, more importantly, including student input is a great idea as well.

  7. I added Clustrmaps, Wonderopolis, and pop a joke.

    • I also added wonderopolis! I like to give a little fun and change in the page.

  8. Question: I teach high school, so have multiple classes. I’ve added an option for widgets for each of the students, but ideally I would like a separate page for each class. Do I need to create separate blogs for each class?
    Thanks!
    Kama Almasi

    • Hi Ms Almasi

      The following is a blog that is running multiple classes from one blog – http://sgpsartflash.edublogs.org
      The teacher has set up a Post Category for each Class and added the Post Categories to a Custom Menu.

      Eugene Brown, Edublogs Support
      @Edublogs_Eugene

      • Thanks for sharing the site. It really helps to see how others have handled a problem. PJ Liebson (mrsliebson.edublogs.org).

    • Ms. Almasi, I teach multiple classes in high school, too. I’m using separate post categories, and it works so far, but if I add a student blog, I wonder if I’ll have to find another way to accommodate the increased traffic. PJ Liebson (mrsliebson.edublogs.org)

  9. My site: http://almasiscience.edublogs.org/

    I’m happy to say that now that I’m a paying subscriber, I have been able to add widgets easily. I’ve added Human Calendar, weather for our town, a Visitor Counter, and I’m ready to add student blogs, though that will not come for another week or two. I also plan to add a link to my school website for students and parents. As we go, I’ll add links to useful resources, as well.

  10. What fun! I just added several widgets – Flag Counter and Dogonews among many others. I’m excited to see students using these! I think they will really bring the hype!

    • Hi Mrs. Beard

      Well done on setting up your widgets! Your site is looking really good.

      We created a menu for you by going to Appearance > Menu. You can read more about menus here – http://help.edublogs.org/custom-menu/

      Eugene Brown, Edublogs Support
      @Edublogs_Eugene

  11. http://almasiscience.edublogs.org/

    Hi,
    I’m working on this task, but having a tough time. I was able to attach the Visitor Count widget, but have had two other types of problems. When I tried to attach the Human Calendar (after searching for awhile to find the embed code), when I hit “Save”, the embed code vanishes. I then get the title on my blog page, but nothing is there.

    A second issue I’ve had is that when I hit “Save”, the embed code stays in the box, but it still doesn’t appear on my site. I had this problem with at least two other widget types.

    Help!!
    Thanks,
    Kama

    • Hi Kama

      I had a look at your blog and could see the Calendar widget.
      What browser are you using? Extensions on chrome or Firefox sometimes block embed codes.

      Eugene Brown, Edublogs Support
      @Edublogs_Eugene

  12. http://cozclass.edublogs.org/

    I added a Flag Counter Widget to help my students see the traffic on our site, but I’m having trouble with the Brain Pop Joke widget. The code keeps changing when I paste it in and save it, so it’s not showing up properly. I’m still working on it!

    • Ms. Courter and Ms. Z
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    • Hi Ms. Courter and Ms. Z

      The issue with the Brain Pop Joke widget could be that Free Edublogs subscriptions do not allow the pasting of embed code; for security reasons.

      Eugene Brown, Edublogs Support
      @Edublogs_Eugene

    • I’m having the same problem and just wrote about it. I’ve already requested (of my principal) that we subscribe this week, so I can add student blog sites; I guess I’ll have to wait until then to upload my widgets.

      Just a note – I don’t have a problem with having to pay, but it would have been nice if, when the lessons started, it was made clear that we have to pay to be able to get through all of the tasks and have student blogs attached to ours.

      • I completely agree…

    • I added Clustrmaps, but I wonder if the Flag Counter might have been better. I will have to look into it.

  13. Hello Edubloggers! I have added widgets that show categories and tags as I think this would be quite useful for my students. I would like to add some widgets embedding codes but as I have seen in others people comments it cannot be done with free accounts. I think it will be cool to add a widget to look up words in the dictionary, and to see a Safari account… once I get one. I also feel it is a good idea not to add to many widgets, as it looks cleaner… but I might be wrong!

    • I agree, it’s not a good idea to add too many widgets that may cause clutter in the secondary space. Be sure to have content to fill your post page.

  14. I added the Accuweather widget, and the Revolver Map widget. I may add more later, but that seemed to be enough for now. I don’t want it too distracting, but useful items in one place. It was super easy!

    • Hi Jennifer

      Congratulations on adding your widgets and well done on finding the process really easy!

      Eugene Brown, Edublogs Support
      @Edublogs_Eugene

  15. I added the twitter widget to my blog, http://mrskurka724.edublogs.org/. But it only creates a link to send people to my twitter. Any way there can be a running list of my tweets showing up on my blog? I’ve tried a few different things, but nothing has worked. I also want to add the flag counter!

    • Hi Jenna

      Thank you for sharing your twitter account, and well done on adding your twitter feed to your blog.
      Your twitter feed does not show as Edublogs does not allow the embedding of code on their free blogs.

      Eugene Brown, Edublogs Support
      @Edublogs_Eugene

  16. I really enjoy the variety of widgets available, and I think my students will look forward to learning how to add them. The plan is to begin the year slowly with learning how to write and publish quality posts and comments, and then as they progress add widgets here and there. I think that adding widgets would be a big motivation for students as they learn more about the design of their sites and make each one unique to their own interests.

    • missfellows161
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    • Hi Miss Fellows

      Well done on adding your widgets.
      I suggest you start adding posts to fill up your content area.

      Eugene Brown, Edublogs Support
      @Edublogs_Eugene

    • I bet you are right. If I was a student I would love personalizing my site. Just like they do with their lockers!

    • I think it is a great idea to talk with your students about what widgets would be good for the blog. That’s really an excellent way to make them feel the blog is also their blog. Thanks for sharing!

    • Miss Fellows,
      I really like this idea of not having students add widgets at first. I can see my students spending all their time trying to come up with “cool” widgets to add. Thanks for the idea of making it a motivator!

  17. I’ve been a way from the challenge for a while, we were busy, me and some friends, collecting good links about innovation in schools all around the world. I went to the demo blog and I added a translation widget with several languages; I also followed the instructions to add a twitter widget: I picked an education hashtag; I organised a little better my links, by creating new categories. I would love to change my theme and to have a net, clear blog, but a I dare not do it alone. I’ll ask the advise of my colleague who is teacher of arts. Thank you for the help with widgets!

    • Hi “inpi”

      Welcome back!

      You can find information on changing your theme here http://help.edublogs.org/change-theme/
      We will also be more than happy to help you with this process.

      Eugene Brown, Edublogs Support
      @Edublogs_Eugene

      • Hi, Eugene,
        Thank you for your work. I would like to choose a theme that would be clean and wide, but with two side bars, so that I won’t be forced to put all the widgets back on place again. I would also like to take away my blue background and create something more light and adequate to the new theme. Would you share your advice with me about this? This would be very kind of you.
        Ines http://cadescrita.edublogs.org

        • Hi Ines

          The Awaken, Hueman and Magazino themes are popular and practical themes.

          Eugene Brown, Edublogs Support
          @Edublogs_Eugene

          • Thank you so much, Eugene!
            I’ll try them all. When I’ll be ready, I’ll come and ask what you think about it. I just hope my widgets won’t vanish, for our school year is starting again and I’m crumbling under a thousand wonderful things to do!
            http://cadescrita.edublogs.org

            • inpi
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    • Hi inpi!

      I really liked the way your page was organized. Bright and colorful with many different links. It has made me realize mine still needs some spice! I also like the idea of adding an educational hashtag!

      • Thank you Mrs Kurka! I’m following you on twitter too. As I’m a tutor, I must help my students to study any kind of subject, according to their needs, besides engaging them in the Adventure of Writing, so, I’ll certainly learn from you.
        Ines
        http://cadescrita.edublogs.org

        • I’m really curious about using twitter in the classroom. Does it lead to cell phone abuse?

  18. I plan on adding a class blog widget when I receive my class list! I am hoping that as a class we can decide on other necessary widgets that our class blog will need.

    • Mrs. Dominguez
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    • Hi, Mrs Dominguez! I agree with you that it is much nicer to decide as a class, with all our students, about which new widgets will be interesting to experiment. I hope I will be receiving my students to blog again… Just now, they “hand-write” and I copy and publish their texts; then I print their posts in colours and I give them back to them.

  19. I really like the look of widgets on the page … It really balances the look of things out. I had to stop adding them so I will have room later to add student blogs! :o)

    • Hi Ms. Hubbard!
      I agree, I love many of the widgets but had to get rid of a few because they made my page so long! I am hoping to introduce these features as my students learn how to customize their own blogs. Each week if they are making meaningful posts and comments we will celebrate by learning how to add a new widget!

      • missfellows161
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  20. I really like the widget feature. I have created a blog with Blogger, where Google apps is the focus (only one login to remember for basic computing students). I have embedded Google Calendar where you can change from month to agenda view. Other gadgets (widgets) inserted are Pages, Contact Form, Links to website resources and Archie. The theme I have chosen doesn’t seem to fit all of the calendar for some reason. The Search gadget did not work for me – I will try it again later.
    I have changed my blog to Blogger and have only shared it with current students. Wish there was an option to share via link with Blogger when choosing private settings.

  21. I have added some basics; calendar, recent posts, pages. From reading through the comments I found the flag counter had been of interest/accessible for many students, so I have also included the text widget to include a flag counter. There seems to be many more that could be added as I go along and I like the idea of adding and removing to keep things fresh.

    • Hi Mrs. Ryan

      Your blog is looking good with the widgets added! You might consider placing more widgets on your right sidebar to balance the widgets out between your two sidebars.

      Eugene Brown, Edublogs Support

  22. Went straight for the traffic widget! It’s essential to know where visitors come from because one’s audience affects one’s purpose.

  23. I’ve added the class blog list widget to my site. I chose to add this widget as some of my students are having troubles following the other students in the class, plus it allows them to easily find students in the same class, different period. This allows them quick access to other student blogs. We are an IB school, so the widget flag counter will be a great tool when we take our class blog global. The translate widget would have been a great tool at my previous school, where most of my parents did not speak English.

    • Where is the class blog widget code? I’m having trouble finding it.

      • Ms. Courter and Ms. Z
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      • Hi Ms. Courter and Ms. Z

        My Class is only available on the Pro Subscription in Edublogs

        Eugene Brown, Edublogs Support
        @Edublogs_Eugene

  24. The Widgets are a fun and helpful feature. I added Google Translate as I have students whose families speak a different language and think the translation feature could increase my communication with them. I also added a link to Goodreads (I learned that Shelfari and Goodreads will be merging in March.) because I want to encourage my students to read. Now I need to keep my Goodreads shelf up to date!

    • Hi Tamara

      I love the blue of your blog. It makes for easy reading.
      Please double check your embed codes in your widgets, because it looks as though some are not working.

      Eugene Brown, Edublogs Support

    • I love the Goodreads widget as well. If all the students added that to their page and kept it updated, it could be a powerful discussion tool for the class!

    • Google Translate is an awesome idea! I hadn’t thought of that!

      • Mrs. Dominguez
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  25. I used to have weatherbug, back in Windows XP days. That widget gave me a virus and I refuse to trust it now, though using a local weather widget is a fun way for my students to see the weather every time they visit my blog. It also helps that I am a middle school science teacher, so weather does pertain to my curriculum.

    Clustmaps and Accuweather are two widgets that I wish to use. I like knowing where the traffic to my blog is coming from and I also like for the students to see this as well.

    • mrpthescienceg
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  26. Thank you for your clear and helpful information. I’ll try some of the widgets you have suggested.

  27. I enjoy looking at widgets on other peoples blog. They look good. I don’t want to over run my page with widgets but I would like some on there. I have the twitter and wonderopolis widgets. I have tried adding clustermaps but I had a lot of trouble. I also tried to set up a left sidebar but was unsure how to do this. I ended up deleting all my widgets and had to go back and find the codes again! I’m sure with practice and time I’ll get there.
    http://epsompsgrade45.global2.vic.edu.au/
    I think the kids would like to add avatars to their blogs.

    • Michelle Stone
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  28. Hi Eugene,
    I have tried to add some widgets with mixed success. My blog is at stuartcollings.edublogs.org
    The calendar widget worked (although I am disappointed it doesn’t highlight what day it is); I think the flag widget is working. I tried to add a weather widget, a pet widget and a Christmas Countdown widget using the text widget, but all I seem to have is text on my blog page. Have I added them incorrectly?
    Thanks,
    Stuart

    • I agree. I believe that we need to upgrade to Pro in order to utilize the best widgets available.

      • mrpthescienceg
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    • I retract that previous statement. It’s simply an embed code. This is really helpful.

      • mrpthescienceg
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  29. Hi. This ‘adding widgets’ has been really good.
    I am going to try adding ‘Wonderopolis, and a map or flag counter.
    I also like the idea of the Christmas Countdown calendar and wondered if we could customize one to count down to next holidays!
    Thanks

  30. I’m adding author widgets so that (hopefully!) when I set up individual student blogs here they’ll be easy to find and students can have their own identifying avatar (like the Huzzah! blog).

    • stephaniewardrop
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    • I like your idea to include author widgets!

  31. Hi,
    I’ve added a few widgets to my class blog, a calendar (although I think I will add a google calendar instead) Google search and Flickr. I’ve tried to add Brain Pop through a text widget but I don’t think it’s worked.
    I’m planning to add more widgets when I find some other good ones!
    Jo

    • Thanks for this idea about adding the Google calendar! I’ll try that, too.

      • stephaniewardrop
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    • HI. I might use Brain Pop to, but have used the Wonderopolis on for now, even though it is too wide for the sidebar.

  32. Opps I forgot to put the link! joyinthejourney.edublogs.org

    • joyinthejourney
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    • Hi Jennifer

      You have made great progress on your blog! Your blog is packed with information.

      You might want to include widgets like, “Subscribe by Email” and possibly a custom menu to group relevant information to your Students. You can then create a Main Menu to structure you blog’s menu so there are not so many menu items

      You can also change the order of your widgets so the most relevant and important ones are at the top of sidebar.

      I suggest you group your posts by categories to make them easier to find. The Category Widget would then be effective.

      Eugene Brown, Edublogs Support

  33. Any suggestions of anything else I could add to my blog? I’m going to teach students how to put widgets on their blogs this week.

    • joyinthejourney
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  34. I have added Shelfari with a few of the books which I enjoy sharing with Year 3. I’d like to expand it into a recommended book list for parents and children thinking about what to read next.

    I have added Revolver Map as I tell the children that when their work is uploaded to the blog, ‘the whole world’ will be able to see it. This will be a highly visual way of evidencing this. (Now I just need to persuade people from ‘the whole world’ to visit!)

    I have put on the Google Translate widget as have several parents who speak no English and am really hoping that this tool will engage them.

    I would like to have a Links widget to provide links to the websites which we often use for research or maths practice but I can’t figure out how to do that in Primary Blogger. Any help with this would be much appreciated.

    • Hi Gill

      I visited your blog, and now you have South Africa on your Revolving Map.
      As with the Categories, I suggest you move your “Select Language” widget to the top of your sidebar widgets so that it is immediately visible.
      Your blog is looking really good!
      Eugene Brown, Edublogs Support

      • Thanks, Eugene. I’ve done that now. Good point!

    • I like the idea of Google translate.
      We’ll ‘visit’ if you post a link.
      I’ve only just started with our Blog so there’s not much on it yet!
      http://bowleepark.edublogs.org/

    • Does the google translator translate what’s in the sidebars as well?

      • Michelle Stone
      • /
      • /
    • Hi Gill,
      I like the look of Shelfari. Hopefully it is progressing well for you.

  35. I added the Tag Cloud, Dogobooks: Book Reviews, and Dogonews: Current Events. I tried adding Clustrmaps but it wouldn’t display properly. I also tried adding a text widget, in order to copy and paste the code for Wonderopolis, but nothing would show up. I’m wondering if I can only use the text widget with the pro subscription. I like the Shelfari widget, and plan on trying that one next, possibly in place of Dogobooks: Book Reviews. I would use it to display books we are interested in or readings as a class. It’s another way for parents to get a sneak peak into what we are up to in third grade. It would also act as a visual recommendation to my students.

  36. Hello,

    I use widgets that look nice and help students with literacy skills like DOGO News and Wonderopolis. Shelfari helps me keep track of books that I like to use with my grade level – at the same time, it brings them to the attention of students and their parents.

    I use Feedjit, Flagcounter and Revolver Map to keep students realizing that our audience is global. Using a variety is good since some work better on some devices than others and some have been added at different dates so they are keeping track of varying data.

    Sweet Search is a nice search engine that narrows the focus for children. Translate is helpful for many families who are not English or for visitors from around the world.

    Right now, my grade 4 students are “adopting” many virtual pets. Virtual pets are a great way for students to put a personal stamp on their blog and learn about widgets at the same time.

    • HI Ms B., you’ve really made good use of your sidebars. They in themselves are entertaining and informative.
      Eugene Brown, Edublogs Support

      • Hi Eugene,

        Thanks!

        Ms B.

    • I tried adding Shelfari to my blog and it only shows up as text in my sidebar and not as a shelf full of colorful books. Do you know how to correct that problem?

    • I like the virtual pets too. Thinking of getting our Year 3’s to start with them.
      Impressed that I manage to adopt my pet. Just had to adjust the width a bit.

  37. I found the google calendar very useful. I have used the page option for displaying it. I have put BrainPOP on a sidebar but the jokes don’t seem to be loading. The widget displays OK though. I embedded the code in a text widget; not sure if that is right. More investigating to be done.

    • Hi Tina,

      I believe you’ve done all the right things with BrainPOP. The BrainPOP joke widget has not been working for some time. I thought it might have just been me or technological glitches but since I’ve been in the challenge, I’ve noticed it on quite a few other blogs and it is not working. I moved BrainPOP onto the inactive widget bar for now. I’m hoping it will work again soon. It was a good one!

      Ms B.

      • Thanks for that. I thought I must be doing something incorrectly. I will also move it to the inactive bar. Thanks again for the tip.

        • Hi Tina,

          You are very welcome. Glad to be able to help.

          Best wishes for good blogging!
          Ms B.

  38. Added calendar and pet widgets. Tried to add a clock one from clocklink but couldn’t get it to work. Have used voki in the past but find the adverts really annoying. Have also used clustermap.
    May look into a weather widget.
    Useful ‘How to add a widget’ video.

    • Hi SJM,
      I added a calendar too. I set mine in a page. I have used Voki too, and yes I agree about the advertising. Isn’t it annoying when useful, engaging stuff gets captured by advertising? I do find that the students really like using Voki, but can get very distracted by experimenting with the voices and mashing things up. Good fun, but if that’s not the purpose of the lesson/session focus Voki isn’t worthwhile.

      Tina
      http://tinam.global2.vic.edu.au/

  39. I was already using several of the widgets listed, but added a flag counter. One of my goals this year is to help my student reach a more global audience and I felt this widget would give them a great visual for them to see that global connection. This is also a widget I will be encouraging all of my students to add to their blog as well.

    • Hi April, I visited your blog to add to your flag collection. Greetings from South Africa!
      Eugene Brown, Edublogs Support

    • I love the idea of the flag counter. I might try that one instead of Clustrmaps. I couldn’t get Clustrmaps to work very well. My third graders might be able to make more sense of a flag counter anyway, as it’s more specific. I’m heading to add that one now. Thanks!

      • The Flag Counter worked. Yeah!

    • Hi April, I have added the Revolver Map for the exact same reason. It’s one thing to tell the children that people are visiting from all over, but so much more convincing and exciting for them to see for themselves!

      http://gillower.primaryblogger.co.uk/

  40. I decided to use the Cluster map, search, and live feed. It’s interesting, some of my students found the map “creepy.” They said it was like you are being watched. They are on the internet often, and don’t realize that they are in a public space. We had an interesting conversation from this one widget.

    • Hi Jennifer, it sounds like you have an amazing relationship with your students!
      Eugene Brown, Edublogs Support

    • I would not have ever imagined a simple widget could begin such a powerful conversation with students, but what a great lesson for them. Our students today have grown up with technology being such a big part of their lives, and while it has great power for learning, it also can do great harm. This is something I am always trying to help my students understand.

  41. I love widgets! There are so may fun and interesting widgets to add to our class blogs. I like to change some of the fun ones regularly and get the students involved in deciding what widgets would be suitable. At the moment I am using the revolving tag cloud, google translator, class pet, wonderopolis and the weather widget.

    A question about the weather widget. Is there anyway I can set it a fixed size? It becomes all long and stretches out the text. It doesn’t look very nice like that.

    http://leadascience.edublogs.org

    • Hi Mrs Thomson.

      You blog is looking really good!
      I am not familiar with AccuWeather, but have used http://www.yr.no/ quite extensively. To find your weather data to embed, search for the town of choice, then add data.html to the URL. So for your town, the URL would be http://www.yr.no/place/Australia/Western_Australia/Kwinana/data.html. You can then copy and paste the embed code of your choice into a text widget. I hope you don’t mind, but I added an example to show you how it is done.
      Eugene Brown, Edublogs Support

      • Thank you

      • Hi Eugene. I tried doing what you suggested but it only had the web address in the text box. Do I have to register? I have found using the Sun Smart uv rating and the Wonderopolis widgets to be very useful, especially considering the topic of the blog.

        • Hi Mr Learmonth, please supply your blog URL and I will happily have a look for you. I’ll also need your town and country.
          Eugene Brown, Edublogs Support

      • Thanks Eugene, this was very helpful. I have added the suggested weather widget from Norway because, while the AccuWeather widget looked good, It didn’t render properly. Not sure why.
        My students can now see what the weather will be like for our planned photography walks.

        • Hi Peter. I’m glad http://www.yr.no worked for you. I like that they give three options for weather views, and serve about 6 million towns worldwide.
          Eugene Brown, Edublogs Support