Refreshing your blog and the blogger toolkit

It might be time to give your learning diary blog a new look, particularly if you have not visited it since completing the learning 2.0 course. If you used Blogger, as most people did, you can find many ready-made templates that will give your blog a new look. You can go sophisticated, sedate, colorful, or wild.

Before you begin please complete our quick self assessment check list. We will ask you to complete the self assessment again at the end so we can measure our progress as a group.

When you complete each week, write a blog post that discusses your experience—good, bad, or other—on that tool. You can offer your opinions on how you might use it in your library. You don’t need to write a lot about each tool, but be thoughtful and reflective.

In the original course, the pit crew at the State Library of New South Wales tried to read and comment on all of the blogs.  We know that feedback is important - you told us this in your evaluation of the first course. We strongly encourage you to read others blogs and comment on them. Interacting with others via their blogs is a way to strengthen this learning community and meet others like you.

Here is an interesting SlideShare presentation to remind you of why people blog is it called The 25 Basic Styles of Blogging ... And When To Use Each



If you are new to this course, you can learn how to set up a blog by following the instructions in week 2 of the New South Wales public library learning 2.0 course.

Explore
1. Find a new look for your blog. Once you have logged on to Blogger, click the Layout tab. From here you can choose a new template and/or change the fonts and colors of your old or new template.
 2. Take a look at Page Elements. Blogger has added new Gadgets (called widgets on other sites) since we started the first course.
 3. Update the information on your profile. From the Dashboard click Edit Profile and edit, or add to the information. You don’t have to reveal all there is to know about you.
 4. Consider your display name (Under Identity on Edit Profile page). Best practices indicate that in a learning community such as this one, knowing who the participants are contributes to the cohesiveness and collegiality of the community. You don’t have to put in your entire real name you can still remain anonymous.

Now you are ready to start posting.

Whenever you complete a week, write a post commenting on your experience with the tools you learned about and used. Read and comment on each others blogs, too.  Everyone likes feedback.

Each of your posts should provide insights into what you’ve discovered and learned. Share what worked for you, what didn’t, what you’ve shared with your colleagues, any surprises, frustrations, and eureka moments. We will offer some blog prompts to get you thinking, but don’t feel limited by those.

Prompts for your first blog post for this course
1. How much have you blogged since you finished the original course?
2. What do you like about blogging?
3. Have you found other blogs to read?
4. Do you comment on others' blogs?

Adventure  (optional)
You can really change the look of your blog using third party sites that have developed Blogger templates. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of these from the silly to the sophisticated. Some sites might require free registration to download the templates:

    * http://mashable.com/2008/05/17/70-plus-new-and-beautiful-blogger-templates/
    * http://www.bloggingtips.com/2008/07/14/the-top-10-blogger-template-resource-sites/
    * Pyzam templates
    * http://blogger-templates-directory.blogspot.com/

Be sure to blog about your experience rejuvenating your blog.

Ellen and Mylee

14 comments:

Lake Learning said...

Thanks for the refresher. I found the nicest template and you can view it @ http://lakelearning.blogspot.com/

Renee @ Lakemac

Martin said...

Redesigning the default blogger template was on my list of must-do's that never got done.

I hadn't explored 3rd party blogger templates until prompted by learning 2.1 but I have now.

Colquhouns said...

Yes it was nice to give my blog a facelift and it was surprisingly easy to do - just one drawback is that the Sign In/Dashboard/New post menu at the top isn't there in the new template so it's not so easy to flick back and forth between writing posts and seeing how they look - or even logging in - that has to be done via the Dashboard.

Joanne - Youth Librarian @ Marrickville Library Service said...

It is always good to try something new :)

WillC58 said...

New course, new start, new broome, etc etc etc.

Whoever said you can not teach old dogs new tricks was wrong. This old dog not only learnt a new trick, but refreshed his memory and had a good look ahead.

So lets go.

tracy24 said...

It's been a while since I used blogger, but am glad I got the prod I needed to get back on.

Shell said...

I am glad this refreshing is helping me to keep up to date with new developments.

thanks
Shell

megp said...

I'm loving my blog's makeover. There is an overwhelming choice of templates. Can't say I've been bitten by the blogging bug but it is good to know how it all works. I thought I posted a comment here last week but it is nowhere to be found. It would have been approved (or not) by now wouldn't it?

pls@slnsw said...

We are checking for comments every few days and approving them. A comment posted last week would have been approved by now.

Ellen

twinsplusone76 said...

It had been sooo long since i had logged onto my blog page that i had forgotten the passwords. I have now created a new blog page so that i can complete this round. By the end i fully intend to be a wizz.

bloggersbeware said...

As I continue to use blogger, it becomes easier. It is a powerful tool, but I don't have the time or interest to up keep the site. I read a book recently where there was a tradgedy, and the family used blogging to keep everyone informed about the situation. That helped me relate to how effective blogging can be. I'm keeping at it, as I do like learning new things and not be kept in the dark about things on the computer and the web.

pls@slnsw said...

Really glad that you keep enjoying learning new things - I hope you enjoy working your way through learning 2.1

Ellen

cooljusher said...

Had to create a new blogspot as my original one had been de-activated as I had not used it since doing the 2.0 course. I enjoyed creating new looks to my blog. Have only used the design options on the blogsite however will explore some of the thrd party sites.
My new blogspot is cooljushermrl.blogspot.com

Wendy said...

Just updated my blog so now it looks fresh and you can see what one of my friends is doing in her move to the country.