What are widgets?
The term widget refers to any tool or content that you add, arrange or remove from the sidebar(s) of your blog — these are the blocks that make up your sidebar.
Widgets are used for a wide range of purposes including:
- Help students, parents and visitors find information on the blog e.g. Search widget, pages widget, category widget, tag widget
- Track visitors to the blog. Visitor tracking widgets are used to highlight a blog’s global audience. This can be incredibly motivating for students and provides a built in geography lesson. e.g. Flag Counter, Feedjit Live Traffic Feed, ClustrMaps, Revolver Map.
- Student engagement e.g. Quiz widgets, Pet widgets.
- Information to help other classes learn more about your class e.g. date/time widgets, weather widget
- Latest news e.g. Twitter widget. Lots of classes now have their own class twitter account and display their tweets using the Twitter widget. Here is where you’ll find my list of Class Twitter accounts and School Twitter accounts.
- Links to helpful resources, student blogs and other class blogs e.g. Links widget, Pinterest widget
- Events Calendar for important dates e.g. Google Calendar
- Book lists e.g. Shelfari bookshelf and Gooodread bookshelf
- Email notification of new posts e.g. email subscription widget
- Displaying comments or posts recently posted e.g recent comments widget, recent posts widget
Examples of widgets on class blogs
The most popular widgets used on class blogs are widgets from other websites that are pasted into a text widget in the sidebar using embed code.
Widgets and blog design
There are hundreds of different widgets you can add to the sidebar of your blog using embed code in a text widget but when adding any widget you need to think about the design of your blog. Widgets can be noisy, take up a lot of space and may distract readers.
When adding widgets think about does it add to your blog OR does it distract readers from your posts. You need to have a balance between widgets and your blog content; you want people to read your posts!
How to add widgets
Adding a widget is as simple as follows:
1. Go to Appearance > Widget.
2. Click on the arrow on the desired Sidebar to open up the sidebar (so you can add the widgets).
3. Drag the widget from the Available Widgets into the desired Sidebar.
You drag by click on the widget with your left mouse and moving the widget.
4. Drop the widget when you see a dashed line appear – this indicates the widget is in place.
5. The widget will automatically open — just configure, click Save and then Close.
Widget Video tutorial
Uniontown High School online school newspaper Tomahawk Talk