Unit 1: Start your blog

Step 1: Create a blog

You don’t have to build a blog from scratch. Blogs are created on existing platforms (or web-based software) that provide you with all the functions you need to create and design a blog and start posting, plus a whole range of bells and whistles you can add if you wish. For free.

This PLN website is a blog built in Global2 (provided by Edublogs). If you’re in a Victorian government school or Catholic school, you may be able to use the same system. Not every school can, but give it a go – try using Global2, and sign in with your school email address.

If you can’t get access to Global2, that’s OK – some people won’t be able to use it. You can use WordPress, which is basically the same system. It doesn’t really matter which system you use so long as you use one or the other -they operate in much the same way.

Here are instructions for both:

How to set up your blog (in Global2)

To begin, you will need to set up your own blog through Global2. If you already have a Global2 blog you can add a new blog to your existing account.

First sign in at Global2 with your user name and request a new password if needed.

When you’ve signed in, you can click Create a new blog.

global 2

 

The Getting-to-know-your-Blog document by Silvia Tolisano answers just about any question you might have in regards to your blog.

If you have an edumail address but still have problems signing up with Global2, ask us for help in our Edmodo classrooom or email pln@slv.vic.gov.au as soon as possible (please don’t email edublogs).

How to set up your blog (in WordPress – if you have trouble with Global2)

WordPress is the free blog platform that powers Global2 and many other blogging services. If you need to use WordPress instead of Global2, don’t worry – you’ll have access to lots more design templates and add-ons.

You can set up your blog on WordPress here.

Image of WordPress signup page

There’s lots of information about using WordPress here.

Step 2: Customise your blog

Whichever blog platform you use, you’ll be asked to think of a name for your blog. Make sure it’s something you can live with for 7 weeks, and something not too generic (eg not My Blog or My PLN) so we can tell them all apart.

You’ll also have the choice of a range of templates and colour schemes. You can change these later, if you need to.

All the tools you need to manage and post to your blog are found in your Dashboard. Take a look around and get familiar with some of the options. You can’t break it. Much. (No seriously, go for your life – click on a few tabs and see what’s underneath. We’ll look into many of these features in the coming units, so don’t worry if it all seems like a foreign territory.) Depending which system you’re using, it will look something like this:

Dashboard

But we don’t want you to fiddle too much with your blog right now. You have one – that’s the main thing.

Next time you want to log in to your blog, you can either:

  • Go to your blog address and look for a link in the sidebar that says “Log in” (not all blogs have this)
  • Go to your blog and add this text to the end of the web address: wp-login.php – for example, for this blog, the log-in page is vicpln.global2.vic.edu.au/wp-login.php
  • Go to the log in pages for Global2 or WordPress
  • Then bookmark it so you can find it next time!

Each week, we’ll show you how to add new features or manage functions. All you need for the moment is a blog with a name that you can post on.

All set? Fantastic.

Need help? Shoot us a message in Edmodo.

Step 3: Start blogging

Now it’s time to make your first blog entry.

To make a post from your Dashboard, click on Posts on the left hand side, or + New in the top ribbon.

Image of buttons to create a new blog post

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Assignment:

Your first assignment is to write a blog post that answers the following questions:

  • Who are you and what is your history as an educator?
  • Where are you at currently in terms of your skills and experience with Web 2.0 tools? Are you just getting around to using them, or are you an avid user?
  • Describe your current Personal Learning Network. What organisations, people and networks do you support and in return support you? Where do you get information now? Conferences? Newsletters? Associations? Blogs? Colleagues? Staff meetings?
  • What are your goals in terms of this program? What would you like to achieve this term? What would you like to achieve by the end of the year?

Once you’re happy with your post, please post a link to your blog address in Edmodo as your first assignment. To see the steps involved, you can find instructions on how to submit your assignment in Edmodo in our Help section.

That’s the end of your first unit’s tasks in the course. So kick back, relax, pat yourself on the back and admire your blog. If you like, head over to Edmodo and tell us how you’re feeling about this first – admittedly fairly action-packed – unit.