Box.net is my favourite widget. It is a great tool to share files. I call it ‘homework box’. First you need to set up an account. Choose the ‘Lite’ plan which is free. Follow the instructions and finally embed the code to your blog. When you want to upload a file, just go to your blog, click the blue arrow next to the name of the box and choose ‘upload’.
Check out the ‘homework box’ on my class blog. (The files in the box are sample documents, the blog is not active at the moment.)
Clustrmaps is a great widget for class blogs. With Clustrmaps your students can see where the visitors are coming from and locate them on a map! The growing red dots remind them that they are part of a global voice and demonstrates how interconnected we all are. If your class blog is on edublogs, you can easily add Clustrmaps widget on your sidebar. (You have to be an Edublogs Supporter to activate the widget pack) Adding A ClustrMaps to Your Blog Sidebar Using The ClustrMaps Widget
Another option is to go to the Clustrmaps website, create an account, get your code and paste the code onto your blog.
This widget provides a real-time view of visitors to your blog. Your students can see where in the world your visitors are, which websites they arrive from, what pages they are viewing and which links they click to leave your site. It doesn’t require any registration. Just click the link, customize its look if you want, get the code and paste it onto your blog. See the one on the right sidebar of my blog.x
Google Calendar helps you keep track of all your life’s important events. You can create an account for your class blog and embed it on your blog so that your students and the parents can follow the important events from your blog. First you need to create an account on Google Calendar. Then follow the instructions on “How To Embed A Google Calendar In Your Blog Sidebar” article written Sue Waters. Here is a class blog (gwagrade5) where you can see a Google calendar on the sidebar.
It allows bloggers to make a positive impact on the environment by simply placing it on their blogs. I think it looks good on a class blog and the idea helps to raise environmental awareness.
The Merit Badge offers website guests alternatives to printing pages. Just go to their web site, choose from one of the different styles and paste the code onto your blog.
Sign up for the basic site meter, get your code and paste it onto your web site. Site Meter sends you weekly updates of the number of visitors. It is amazing to see how students are proud of the increasing number of visitors.
It is a free service that allows you to create personalized speaking avatars and use them on your blog. Read this article on the Edublogger for ideas about the use of Voki in the classroom and instructions for adding a Voki to your sidebar. See this class blog for an example.
You can create online surveys and polls for your class blog and put them into your sidebar. Just go to the web site, create a free account, create your poll, choose a style for your poll, get the code and paste it onto your web site. See my class blog for an example. (blog not active)
You can embed videos in your blog posts. But if you want your students to be able to view videos from the sidebar of the class blog, you can sign up to Vodpod, create a collection (it is a way to put your videos into different categories on VodPod), get the code for the widget and share a specific collection (e.g. class videos) via this widget on your sidebar. You can see the example of a VodPod widget on my class blog. (blog not active)
10. World Time Zones & Weather Bug
If you are planning to build global connections via your blog, it can be a good idea to display current time and weather conditions of the countries you collaborate with.