7 Tips to Add Some Punch and Zing to Your Blog Posts

Three Things

After perusing all the teacher blogs in Middle School, a few things stand out:
1. Teachers have  increased the frequency of their posts.
2. The diversity of topics covered has increased

and the focus for this post..
3. many posts lack an engaging look and feel

pic source@Flickr

Here are…

7 Tips to Add Some Punch and Zing to Your Blog Posts

1. Insert a picture per post. Too many posts are large black blob of text. Using a picture sets the tone for your blog post. Be sure to use and show attribution of the Creative Commons photos you use. Two easy way sot do this are by using Compfight and Google Advanced image search.

2. Chunk it. Draw the eye and create a smooth flow for the reader by chunking your text into short(er) paragraphs.

3. Add scanning points. Utilize the bold and text color options to emphasis key words and ideas to your reader.

4. Make lists. Readers like lists. They …

  • draw attention to the most important step
  • emphasis key ideas
  • make it easy to scan

5. Awesome titles and subtitles. Be a student for a second- would you be more likely to click Meet the FlyGuy! or Class Animation Projects.

6. Crisp links. Link the site name itself or a catchy word rather than linking a long ugly URL.

You can check out Mr. Pasamba’s cool class site is a little freiendlier than http://pasambag.ism-online.org

7. Engage your students. Get the students involved by asking a question, creating a contest, requesting a headline to a funny pictur, etc. and encouraging them to respond. Here is a good example of a teacher site that encourages dialogue.


Minimize the large toolbar in MS Word 2007

With the new version of MS Word, you may have noticed the large toolbar (or “ribbon” as Microsoft calls it). On one hand this may provide quick links to a variety of tools. However, it may also be a nuisance if you’re projecting this onto a screen – taking up a large part of the top of the screen.

In order to minimize this toolbar, follow the images below:

1. Click the drop down icon

2. Select, “Minimize the Ribbon”.

3. There you have it – much more space to provide content or view your document.

Google Chrome – Another Browser to Consider


Google has released a new web browser for Windows and Mac, called Google Chrome. It’s been out for Windows for over a year, but for Mac only recently.

It’s fast loading, utilizes less system resources than some other browsers, and has a few very nice features. Some of the power comes from the wonderful integration of Google apps. If you’re a fan of Gmail, Google Docs, Google Calendar, etc, you may want to give this a try.

As with other browsers, it supports extensions – individual programs that can extend the function of your browser. For example, you can easily integrate Gmail right from within the browser, so you can quickly read an email without actually opening Gmail. You can find extensions here.

Download Google Chrome here.

The Mac Manual

Screen shot 2009-10-04 at 3.40.27 PMWith so many teachers being new to the Mac OS, and many buying their own MacBooks, a resource to familiarize yourselves  to Macs is in order. Be sure to download this ebook entitled  The Mac Manual from MakeUseOf.com. This e-book contains over 60 pages covering the basics, applications, 3rd-party apps, plugins, and a great set of tips. This is something that will help everyone with a Mac. Enjoy!

How to password protect a post

There may be times when you wish to keep your posts locked down with a password. Yes, this is possible! Here’s how:

  1. Once you’ve written a new post, simply go to the “Publish” section on the top right
  2. Near “Visibility” click on “Edit”
  3. A drop down menu will appear
  4. Click on “Password Protected”
  5. Enter a password that you wish to lock the post with
  6. Click ‘Ok”
  7. That’s it! Once published, that particular post will only be viewable if the reader enters your password into the form displayedpublish-visibility-password-protect1

Embedding Flash videos

To embed Flash videos on your blog, go to “Plugins” from the Dashboard, and activate, “Kimili Flash Embed”.

You’ll then see an icon for Flash when you add a new post. Click the icon and copy / paste the link to the flash file.

[kml_flashembed publishmethod=”static” fversion=”8.0.0″ movie=”http://highered.mcgraw-hill.com/olc/dl/120074/bio17.swf” width=”400″ height=”300″ targetclass=”flashmovie”]

Get Adobe Flash player