Widgets are fun! I think they just brighten up your blog. I remember back to when I put my first widget on my classroom blog. It was a major piece of learning. I think I made it a lot more difficult than it needed to be! My students love to widget. One of the widgets that caught on with them was changing the cursor to a little animal!
My class blog is with edublogs. It is very easy (now!) to add widgets to an edublog. Blogger is good as well. Wordpress is not so easy because it won't take flash type widgets.
So I am looking around at some other blogs and what they have on the side bar. Of course there is the danger that you overload it, and your blog becomes too busy! So a spring clean every so often is a good idea. I think I must suggest that to some of my students.
The first blog I want to share is Teegan's blog. Teegan is a student in my class this year, and from half way through last year. She has a lot on her side bars, possibly too much. However what I really like is the way she has some blogs and websites put in the side bar with pictures. I love that. I am waiting until we go back to school and she has time to show me how she did it!!
Mrs Yollis has in her class blog a widget that shows her class Twitter news. Now if you are a Twitter user, that would be a good idea. I am not sure if I am that in to Twitter yet, but a class Twitter account as opposed to a personal Twitter account is a good idea I think, with the teacher's Twitter posts showing on the widget.
Laurie Fowler, one of the teachers doing this challenge has a personality badge that she has done after doing a test on a web site. I like that, I have that bookmarked and I intend adding one to my teacher blog!!
Here is a class teacher here in New Zealand who always has a very alive classroom blog, and when I was beginning blogging I used to watch to see what he was doing. I see while visiting he won a major New Zealand prize for his blog for 2010. He has a poll in the side bar, another great idea for a widget in a side bar. I will be taking time to think through a poll, to leave on the side bar of my teacher blog and class blog.
The last blog I think I like the best of all the blogs I visited to do this activity. It is another class blog here in New Zealand that I keep an eye on and drop in to visit every so often. I like the weather map on this site, in fact I think I will add one to my teacher blog. I like his world maps that track visitors, he has a number of interesting ones. While I wouldn't have that many I still like them. He also has a link to You T ube, Twitter etc. He has also included a picture in the side bar of their digital learning sequence. That's a great idea too. Yes I definitely like the side bar on this blog!
Lastly I like the idea of making a badge for my blog. However this will go onto the backburner until I have a little more time. Perhaps my students can make one too, and we can all have a go together. They of course will have far better ideas than me, and I will just pick their brains!! As all teachers are geared to do.