[THIS IS THE 4th PART OF 7 PARTS IN A SEQUENCE OF LESSONS FOR THE FIRST "MINI-UNIT" OF THIS SEMESTER.]
So ... students have a blog, a profile, and some content ... now we want to add two "gadgets" to each student blog. Gadgets are bits of .html programming that add functionality to blogs and Google Sites (among other web environments). As the name implies, a "gadget" is an easily added feature for a blog that allows the end-user to perform a function, like subscribe (via RSS or email) to a blogger's postings or search a blog for specific content or easily connect to other sites via specific defined links (the type of gadgets we are adding in this lesson).
The really great feature of gadgets is that they allow a blogger (esp. a student-blogger) without any real programming knowledge to add nifty functions to his/her blog, thereby improving the user experience -- all within a few clicks!
After I guide students through the process of adding today's two gadgets, I share this post with them. While the article is particularly relevant to "fashion bloggers," I think the post of ten gadgets is a great, working list for additional, possible gadgets to add.
After adding these two gadgets (for today's lesson), student blogs will be ready -- in functionality -- for the first "formative assessment/check" (which I discuss in the following lesson).
Before adding the first gadget, the Link List, you should ask students to load their four or five favorite websites in fresh tabs, one site per tab. These sites can be anything really -- twitter, ESPN, your local paper, reddit, etc. The point is simply to have links at the ready for the Link List!
Here are the steps to add the Link List:
After adding the Link List gadget, students will want to add content to the list. First, as is outlined above, save the gadget and place it in the desired location of the layout. Then,
Before adding the second gadget, the Blog List, you should ask students to load their four or five (new?) favorite blogs in fresh tabs, one blog per tab. (I elaborate on this point in the "reflection" for this lesson section.)
Here are the steps to add the Blog List:
After adding the Blog List gadget, students will want to add content to the list. First, as is outlined above, save the gadget and place it in the desired location of the layout. Then,