Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Classroom Blog Series- Part 1 {Starting Your Blog}

Welcome to our first part in our Classroom Blog Series!  It would take WAY too long to show you how to set up your blog in one post, so I'm going to break it up into several different posts this week.

If you are good with technology- you may not need the step-by-step guide that I'm going to provide, however, you may find some tips and tricks for things you didn't know.  I will also be putting some blog FREEBIES in future posts this week! :)

There are several different blogging sites you can use such as Wordpress, Edublogs, Blogger, etc.  I have tried all three listed, and my personal favorite is Google Blogger.  I feel that it is the easiest to understand and to use- especially for new bloggers! So I will be showing you how to create a blog using Google Blogger.

Starting Your Blog

1.  If you already have a Gmail account- great! You won't need to create a new log-in for your blog!  If you don't already have a Gmail account, click HERE and create one.  

2.  Once you've created your Gmail account, click HERE to log on to Google Blogger.  

3.  You will choose "Start a New Blog."  Then the screen below will pop up.  

I've put a yellow box around the Title- this is where you will choose a Title for your blog (ie: Mrs. Stout's Class Website, Mrs. Stout's 4th Grade, etc.).  

The red box is where you will choose a web address for your blog.  I like to use something with my title in it.  (If my website was Mrs. Stout's Class website, then my web address would be: mrsstoutsclasswebsite.blogspot.com)  If you notice the .blogspot.com is already added and will always be part of your web address (unless you purchase your own domain name... another subject for another day...just go with the .blogspot.com for now!).

The green box is showing you that I selected the "Simple" template.  Whichever template you choose will be highlighted with a light blue box.  I feel that the Simple template is the easiest to work with.  If you don't like it, you can always change it later. 

4.  Click on the orange Create Blog! button. 

5.  Now you will see a screen similar to the screen shot below.  Click on your new blog's title. (Highlighted with a red box). 

6.  Now, you are brought to what's called the "Dashboard."  It's basically the the place where you manage your blog from.  Here you can create new posts and pages, and access any part of your blog.  In order to set up your blog, I always start with the Settings.  Click on the Settings button at the bottom left corner of the Dashboard (highlighted with a green box).

There are several tabs under the Settings button.  You will see them listed directly under the Settings button.  I will go through each tab and tell you where I put my settings.  You may choose to use a different setting than I use.

Settings Tab
7.  Basic
Here you can change your blog title if you ever want to.  You can also add a Description of your blog like:  A website to connect with parents and students.  You can also change who reads your blog to just invited people or however you want it.  I just leave it as Anybody can read it.  

8. Posts and Comments
I leave everything on this page as the default settings EXCEPT for the Comment Moderation section.  I click "Always."  Comment Moderation means that you personally have to ok the comment before it gets seen on your blog.  I choose this setting because I don't want anyone leaving a crude or profane comment on the blog (since anyone can see it, anyone in the world could leave a comment).  This way, I can delete it before my students would ever see it.  You can add your email below the "Always" to get an email notice whenever someone leaves you a comment.  

9.  Mobile and Email
I leave these settings as the Default settings.  No changes are made.

10.  Language and Formatting
Here the only thing you may need to change is the Time Zone section, depending upon where you live in the country.

11.  Search Preferences
I leave these settings as the Default settings.  No changes are made.

12.  Other
I leave these settings as the Default settings.  No changes are made.  (Double check to make sure that the Adult Content box is checked NO.)

Tommorrow we will be talking about the Template and Layout Tabs.  This is when your blog really starts to take shape! :) 

Carpe Diem,