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Today we are starting a three-part series on using Blogger in your classroom. Part I: will focus on how to create and customize your classroom blog. Part II: will cover how to create posts to your blog and all the options for blog posts. Part III: will cover managing your blog, subscribers, and adding authors to your blog.

To get started, you will need to sign up for blogger using your school gmail account. To do this, click on the "more" section of your Google toolbar when you are signed in to your school account and click "Blogger".  You will be asked if you wish to link Blogger to your Google account and a couple of permissions questions (verify you are using your school account and continue thru the steps).

Once you are connected to Blogger, you should see a dashboard like mine, except you will not have any blogs listed:


To create your blog, click on the "New Blog" button on the left side of your screen. You may also be prompted to create a blog the first time you access your Blogger account.

This screen allows you to very simply create a blog:


You will need to create an address for your blog that is available. If you type in an address that is not available, a message will appear on the screen. Keep in mind that the address is what people will type to view your blog so the simpler the better (no special characters work the best).

Once you click "Create blog!" your blog will be created and you should return to the dashboard and see your blog listed.

For each blog on your dashboard, you will see the title of the blog, an orange pencil symbol to create a new post, a paper icon to manage settings, and a view blog button.

Let's customize our blog by clicking on the down arrow next to the paper icon:


First, let's look at Template settings which allow you to easily change the theme of your blog and how it looks.

At the top is a preview of what your blog looks like live and the mobile version as well (do not forget how many parents and students will access your blog from their smartphone). To change the template, scroll down and select one to apply to see the live previews change as you select different templates. You can also edit the template by using HTML code if you so desire. You can also restore your blog to a previous template if things go wrong.

Now that your blog has a style you like, we can work on the layout of the blog by clicking on the layout option.

This is what the layout option looks like and you can drag different sections of your blog to different places. You can also add Gadgets to your blog. Gadgets include adding polls, surveys, subscribe options, videos, slideshows, and more. We will discuss Gadgets in greater detail in Part III of this series.  Once you are happy with the layout, click the "save arrangement" button to save your changes.

At this point you should have created your Blogger account, created your classroom blog, and customized the look and layout of your blog.

Join us next time as we explain the art of blog posting!

Any questions? Please contact me via email at: pamelabatchelor@johnston.k12.nc.us












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Friday, September 20, 2013

Friday Google Tidbit: Blogger Part I: Create your classroom blog

Today we are starting a three-part series on using Blogger in your classroom. Part I: will focus on how to create and customize your classroom blog. Part II: will cover how to create posts to your blog and all the options for blog posts. Part III: will cover managing your blog, subscribers, and adding authors to your blog.

To get started, you will need to sign up for blogger using your school gmail account. To do this, click on the "more" section of your Google toolbar when you are signed in to your school account and click "Blogger".  You will be asked if you wish to link Blogger to your Google account and a couple of permissions questions (verify you are using your school account and continue thru the steps).

Once you are connected to Blogger, you should see a dashboard like mine, except you will not have any blogs listed:


To create your blog, click on the "New Blog" button on the left side of your screen. You may also be prompted to create a blog the first time you access your Blogger account.

This screen allows you to very simply create a blog:


You will need to create an address for your blog that is available. If you type in an address that is not available, a message will appear on the screen. Keep in mind that the address is what people will type to view your blog so the simpler the better (no special characters work the best).

Once you click "Create blog!" your blog will be created and you should return to the dashboard and see your blog listed.

For each blog on your dashboard, you will see the title of the blog, an orange pencil symbol to create a new post, a paper icon to manage settings, and a view blog button.

Let's customize our blog by clicking on the down arrow next to the paper icon:


First, let's look at Template settings which allow you to easily change the theme of your blog and how it looks.

At the top is a preview of what your blog looks like live and the mobile version as well (do not forget how many parents and students will access your blog from their smartphone). To change the template, scroll down and select one to apply to see the live previews change as you select different templates. You can also edit the template by using HTML code if you so desire. You can also restore your blog to a previous template if things go wrong.

Now that your blog has a style you like, we can work on the layout of the blog by clicking on the layout option.

This is what the layout option looks like and you can drag different sections of your blog to different places. You can also add Gadgets to your blog. Gadgets include adding polls, surveys, subscribe options, videos, slideshows, and more. We will discuss Gadgets in greater detail in Part III of this series.  Once you are happy with the layout, click the "save arrangement" button to save your changes.

At this point you should have created your Blogger account, created your classroom blog, and customized the look and layout of your blog.

Join us next time as we explain the art of blog posting!

Any questions? Please contact me via email at: pamelabatchelor@johnston.k12.nc.us












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