Friday, January 30, 2009

Using Blogger with Students

With school about to start here on Monday I have spent part of this week helping enthusiastic teachers set up web environments for their new classes of students. Voice Thread, Flickr, Animoto and Blogger have been the main ones used this week.
While I have been stepping people through the basics I have spent a bit of time searching for easy solutions to a few minor issues I noticed students coming up against last year. Setting up and using a blogger account is dead easy, but it is surprising how many newbies miss the place to click to make a comment on a blog post. So I did a bit of Google searching and ended up back at the one-stop-bloggers'-help site of Vin, The Blog Doctor. Now his solution is a bit geeky, but as you can see from this blog, it works!
Instead of it saying "0 Comments" at the bottom of this post, it now has an inviting little comment making it clear how many comments have been added and that this is the place to click if you want to read them or make your own comment.
So if you want to know how to do it, then go to his blog post about making user comments link more friendly and follow the instructions.
You might want to take a deep breath before you delve into the HTML, and certainly take his advice and download the template HTML first so you can restore it if you mess it up, but it really isn't rocket science.
Do this to your blog and your students (and more to the point, their parents!) will have no problem finding the place to click to comment on the first class blog post on Monday.

Good luck!