This is the seventh video in our online learning series called “Kidblog: An Introduction to Blogging with your students”  My name is Jeff Bradbury and I am the host of the TeacherCast Educational Broadcasting Network.

About This Lesson

In todays look at Kidblog.org we will discuss the newly designed Sidebar area in Kidblog and demonstrate how you can customize it for your individual classrooms.

There are two things that really can make your class blog stand out.  The first of these is the content which you blog about.  The second is the visual goodies that are placed on your sidebar.  This area is now completely customizable in Kidblog and there are endless possibilities for you and your students to share dynamic content and web tools with your readers. 

Default Sidebar Widgets

Lets take a look at the default settings for your sidebar. Here in my blog, you can see we have a sidebar section featuring several sections.  On top, we have a list of the custom categories that we are writing about in our blog.  Under this is a map showing how many visitors have visited our website. Below the map is a list of the members (or students) actively writing in our blog. You can see that the Members section showcases our custom Avatar photos.  It’s important that you show your students how to insert custom graphics for their account like we discussed in a previous video. Lastly, our sidebar has a group of links we are choosing to share with our readers.  

As discussed in a previous video, the sidebar can be visible or hidden at anytime by selecting this button above the search box.

To customize our sidebar, we must click on SETTINGS and then on Theme/SideBar.

On the right side of our menu, we have the options to activate or deactivate any of these widgets individually, or if needed, we can deactivate the entire sidebar section.  

You can see here that because we deactivated the sidebar, we no longer have it available to us on our blog, and the button has disappeared.  

Customizing Widgets

Before we learn how to add a widget to this section, lets look at some of the ways to customize the existing widgets.  In the Map widget, you can customize whether you wish to see the entire globe, or just a specific region of the world.  

The LINKS section can be customized by simply clicking on the EDIT tab and adding a new link title and URL.  To remove a link, click on the X to the right of the previously saved links.

The Custom Widget is the method of choice for those wishing to add something to your Kidblog page.  Custom widgets can be used to add photos, audio, video, text, or anything that has a basic HTML embed code.

Clicking on the EDIT button brings up a screen that is very similar to the Post Editor.  To insert a photo or your class logo, click on the UPLOAD button and select a photo to insert into your widget.

The complete video series to this online course can be found on our website TeacherCast.net/LearnKidblog. I hope you take a moment to browse this and all of our online tutorials over at TeacherCastUniversity.com and TeacherCast.net

About our Online Course

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