Let's Begin


Edu1-Start.jpg Open a new window or tab and then:
Go to http://edublogs.org/ (but keep this page open!)
On the left side you will see "Sign up in seconds..."
- click on start here.
Fill in:
• A 4+ letter/number username
(keep it simple) - I use my name.
• Your e-mail (*If possible don't use your district e-mail)
• The verification code (USE CAPITALS!)
Then hit Next


Edu2-BlogDomain.jpg
Now choose a domain name (a web address): It can be your username from the first step (as shown when you first get to this page), or you can change it (as I did). Again, keep it simple/easy to remember. *You can NOT change this, it is the web address that everyone uses to get to your site... so choose it well! Before you choose, think: Will you link this to your school/students? Will you like it next month? Do you want anonymity?

You can change the Blog Title at any time, so pick a fun one now and move on.
Note: I suggest keeping the √ in the Privacy box - this allows you to interact more with others on the web ('in the blogosphere' will be the term I use throughout this presentation).
Click on Signup».


Activation:
If your Blog Domain is available, then you will be told that it 'Is Yours' and you will be asked to check your e-mail for the activation e-mail/link.
If your Blog Domain name has been taken, you will have to try another one.
Edu3-Email1.jpg
In the other window (not this one):
Go to your e-mail account and open the Edublogs e-mail.
Click on the first link:Edu4-Email2.jpg

You will be sent to a page "All set!" and given both your
Username and Password... you will also be sent this information in an e-mail.
Remember your username, copy your password and... Click on Login.
Enter your username and password... Note: You are logging into a
Wordpress login page. Edublogs is part of Wordpress.

CONGRATULATIONS!

YOU ARE NOW THE PROUD OWNER OF A BLOG ON EDUBLOGS!
external image 20061023-400.jpg


Share Your Site

Please give me your web address (URL) so that I can put it in our feed reader... and then you will already have people reading your blog!
If you prefer not to share, your wishes will be respected.

Your Dashboard


After you pat yourself on the back, take a look at your Dashboard. Familiarize yourself with the tool bar across the top of the screen:
First things first, proud blog parent, click on (View site») and take a look at your new baby.
This space is YOURS! You own it, and what you create there is up to you!
Now click 'Back' to the dashboard...
Edu5-Dash-Menu.jpg
Click on each of the options, after Dashboard, from "Write" to "Wikispaces".
I will briefly summarize these menu options below. There is a lot here... relax and just have fun exploring.
In time these will all make sense... it doesn't matter that you don't know everything right away... I'm still learning too!

Write: Here is where you write posts. We will look at the buttons here later.
Manage: This has a rather large sub-menu. You can explore these on your own... but later, let's move on!

Blogroll: Easy to use, after you have been here a while... right now, just know that you have one.
Presentation: We will return here later to change the 'look and feel' of your blog - and make it your own.

Plugins: "Subscribe to Comments" is a good one. So is Akismet, but you will need a Wordpress account first.
Users: We will be coming here in just a moment.

Options: Change your blog title/tagline here. More sub-menus: note options in Discussion (do you want e-mail notices?)
Wikispaces: This site is made on a free wikispaces wiki. Note the links in the navigation bar on the left side of this page.
FYI:
Forums opens a new window, you can find help, hints and advice here.
Premium also opens a new window, use this to pay for an upgrade. (...on a teacher salary... ummm no thanks!)

Later, if you would like a great video tutorial, check out this MSU (Michigan State University) video tutorial #2 Looking at the Dashboard.
This is great for visual learners.

Change Profile/Password

Go back to Users and click the sub menu option of Your Profile:
Edu7-Users-Profile.jpg
You can add your name, change your nickname and display name and change your e-mail address.
I do not recommend trying to change your website address!
Update Your Password: (I recommend this, the one they give you is usually difficult to remember.)
Scroll down and on the right hand site you will see that you can change your password. I suggest doing this now. Remember your new password!!!
Click on Update Profile


Your First Post


I wrote a post about writing a post. Since I am not a regular Edublogs user, I went through the process of writing a post in order to make sure that the instructions were clear. Some of you will probably find large portions of this easy, and you will be ready to post right away. For those of you that would like more information visit Making a Splash with Your First Post. It's time to get your feet wet... remember that this is your space to do with it as you please. Start blogging! Challenge #4: Post your first entry by the end of the weekend.

Or watch the MSU video #3 titled, How to write a post and a page.

Or move on and follow the instructions to change your comment moderation and theme in the next two sections.

Or, if you wish, you can take advantage of the fact that I am here to help you... go back to the Home page and choose some tools to add to your page, such as a ClustrMap and/or Site Meter... put them on your blog while you are here... or sign up for an RSS feedreader or any of the other web2.0 tools.
Note: Edublogs starts you off with your first post. I suggest either editing this post (making it your own), or deleting it.

Remember: If you would like some instructions on adding Hyperlinks, images and videos to your blog, check out Making a Splash with Your First Post.

The next two sections are worth doing at some point.


Comments Moderation

MSU Video tutorial #4 - It also shows you how to change the Name & Tagline at the top of your page.
This video advises two things that you may not need to worry about right away.
1. Clicking that you must be logged into Edublogs in order to comment (blocking anonymous comments)
2. (Strongly encouraged to) Moderate comments before they can be posted.
Both of these are good suggestions - especially if your blog will link to your school or students read your blog!
However, it also discourages comments from people without edublog accounts. You decide - I have received a little spam on my blog, but I get e-mail notification and remove the spam very quickly... if it gets worse I will make it more difficult to comment, for now I just deal with it. (My blog does not make any specific references to my school or my district.)


Changing the Theme

This is easy to do on your own, or check out MSU video tutorial #5 - Simple and easy to do... but important... Make this your space.
I have seen some bloggers change their theme from week to week trying to find the right one. Fauna is a theme where you can change your header image, as I have done on the Start Your Own Blog on Edublogs page. This blog has one post in it that tells you how to add hyperlinks, images and videos, and also provides you with valuable tips before you make your first post.


Challenges


I offered up some challenges today. Here they are:

Challenge #1: By the end of today, comment on a blog. (Tell me about this Pro-D session here.)

Challenge #2: When you get home today Sign up for Delicious!

Challenge #3: Put this link to all our blogs in an RSS feed reader on your Bookmark Bar or in your favorites and check out what others in our group are writing about in our new blogs. You can also make this the first thing in your del.icio.us account and/or your first feed in your feed reader!

...and most importantly
Challenge #4: Post your first entry by the end of the weekend.
The biggest challenge now is figuring out how you will use your blog. I had my blog for about 7 months before really seeing its potential.
Here are some ideas for posts... these are suggestions, not obligations.
• Why I wanted this blog
• A positive experience I have had with technology
• A memory I will always cherish
• A profound learning experience
• A teachable moment
• I was recently tagged with a meme tag: "What are your secrets to a successful life?" Here is my post. Now I am tagging you!

...and finally

I will be blogging about this Pro-D session today. In the coming weeks I would like to highlight some 'new voices' to the blogosphere, just like Kelly does in his Just Walkin' Down the Street posts. Would you like me to do this with your blog?



Questions

How can I help you?
Contact Me: Notice that there is also a contact link in the Navigation bar.

Feedback

What worked?
What was challenging?
What suggestions do you have?
Contact Me.

Thank You

And welcome to the Blogosphere!