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!


  1. Thanks for sharing this.

    Blog Backgrounds Templates

    I like the ease of adding these flash backgrounds to Blogger.

    I had a play in one of the classes little blogs as a practice run.

    Kaurangi Blog

  2. Great tip thanks! I sometimes wonder if I stuffed up by switching to Edublogs - especially when I read tips like this :-)

  3. My students often have trouble finding the 0 comments link. It seems much more easy to find it when it has a number other than 0. Kind of weird, but so are my students!

  4. @Allanah, Suzie and Wm
    Thanks for your comments. I was driven to look for a solution as I have sat beside so many teachers now trying to teach them to respond to blogs and finally realised that if you are not yet speaking this 'blogging' language, then it actually is very difficult to know where to click to respond. Especially if you are first up.
    However, it is Vin the Blog Doctor dude who is the genius. I just know how to Google and find him :)

    Glad it helped