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Nov 10

Top 10 Widgets For Your Class Blog

1.Box.net

boxBox.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.)
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2. Clustrmaps

clustr 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.


3. Live Traffic Feed

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


4.Google Calendar

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.


5. EcoSafe

ecoIt 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.


6. SiteMeter

sitemeter_logo
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.


7. Voki

voki
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.


8. PollDaddy

logo 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)

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9. VodPod

vodpod[1]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

WeatherBug Cookie LogoIf 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.

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  1. Christina Markoulaki

    Excellent collection of widgets! I have used some of them on students’ or even my blogs, but some others, like the ‘homework box’, sound like a fantastic idea! Thank you so much for taking the time to put all this down for other teachers to benefit.
    .-= Christina Markoulakix´s last blog ..A LETTER OF APPLICATION =-.

  2. Mrs. Gannon

    Thank you so much for sharing! I have a question about your “homework box”. Do your students use this as a dropbox to turn in homework or do you use it as a place to post homework? Or both?

    1. burcuakyol

      Dear Mrs. Gannon, thank you for your comment. I use it as a place to post homework but you can also let your students share files with you and/or each other. I think it depends on how old your students are and how many students you have.

      Best,

      Burcu

  3. Kenny

    This blog post is so good, other people want to copy it. Something to be proud of! Great work Burcu.

  4. Emory

    Very nice list. Well-done.

  5. Henrick Oprea

    Hi there,

    This is a very useful list, indeed! I’ve been looking into all of the things you suggested. Hopefully I’ll have more time to do it in December, when classes are over and I’ll be able to tweak the blog for the upcoming semester. :)

    Oh, just one thing. I don’t think Box.net is accepting free accounts anymore. I couldn’t get one last time I tried. :(

    Cheers,

    Henrick Oprea
    .-= Henrick Oprea´s last blog ..Reflections post-#edchat 11/17 =-.

    1. Burcu Akyol

      Hello Henrick,

      Thank you for the comment. Actually, Box.net still gives free accounts but you get the code in a different way. If you already have an account, just login and click “share”. To get the html code, click “embed folder in your site”.It looks a bit different from the old box.net widget.
      You can see an example here: http://blogs.istek.org.tr/

      Best,

      Burcu

      1. Henrick Oprea

        Hi Burcu,

        I’ll try it out. Thanks for the how-to guide!! :) I’d been struggling with it for a couple of weeks already!

        Cheers,

        Henrick
        .-= Henrick Oprea´s last blog ..Reflections post-#edchat 11/17 =-.

  6. Troy White

    These are great, and a few I currently use myself. I was unfamiliar with box, but it sounds like a more direct means of accomplishing what I currently do with scribd, in terms of embedding files to my wikis and blogs.

    One widget I absolutely rely on is the audio widget. As a Literature teacher, I find the use of audio indispensable. For example, I am able to post on our grade 10 wiki the chapters of Frankenstein. Simply find your mp3 source, i.e. http://www.archive.org/download/frankenstein_shelley/frankenstein_08_shelley_64kb.mp3 , paste into widget generator and embed. It’s great. I use this same widget for my students’ readings, poetry recitals, or commentaries. There are a few I use, mostly at widgetbox.com.
    .-= Troy White´s last blog ..Troy White added a discussion =-.

  7. Seyda

    Hi Burcu,

    These widgets are great! They make the blog look much more professional. I’m working on a blog now, it will be using by the Ss in the second term.

    I get a lot of help from your post. You just do a great job! Congragulations!
    .-= Seyda´s last blog ..APOLLO 11 Fact or Fiction? =-.

  8. Alexia Berater

    I just want to say thanks for this interesting thread about Top 10 Widgets For Your Class Blog | Burcu Akyol’s Blog! Regards, Alexia Berater

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