Adding gadgets to the sidebar is a personal preference. I try to add gadgets that serve an educational purpose.


Here are links to my sidebar gadgets and the reasons why I chose them:



1. The orange Comment Kitty is a Voki, or animated avatar. Visitors had a difficult time knowing how to comment, so the Voki is a cute way of explaining where the comment link is located. When you click on the triangle, she talks.

  • Join Voki using an email address. Follow the directions and make your avatar. Copy the code from Voki and go to Blogger: Layout>Page Element>Add a Gadget>HTML/JavaScript>name the gadget and paste the code in the content box>save.



Get a Voki now!


2. The RSS feed is a way for readers to join your blog. When someone joins your RSS feed, they are notified whenever a post is published. The RSS is also available for comments. Here is a Common Craft video explaining the RSS Feed.

  • Go to Blogger: Layout>Page Element>Add a Gadget>Feed>type a title like "Want to Subscribe?" and save.


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3. Blogs We Follow is a feature to add to your blog if you would like to link to other blogs. We have a few that we follow. I find that it is better to have a few educational blogs that you read and comment with, rather than a long list.

  • Go to Blogger: Layout>Page Element>Add a Gadget >Link List>type a title, add blog links, and save.


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4. ClustrMaps is a gadget that keeps track of who is visiting your blog. Every time someone visits, a dot is placed on the map. Repeat visitors make the dot larger. Students love to see where their visitors are from. It is one of many geography gadgets I love.

  • Copy the code from ClustrMap. Go to Blogger: Layout>Page Element>Add a Gadget>HTML/JavaScript>name the gadget and paste the code in the content box>save.


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5. Flag Counter is another great gadget. Every time a visitor arrives at your blog, their flag is added to the counter. We have use this gadget numerous times with our atlases. It is exciting to find where visitors live. Here is a link to a geography lesson we did using information from our Flag Counter.

  • Copy the code from Flag Counter. Go to Blogger: Layout>Page Element>Add a Gadget>HTML/JavaScript>name the gadget and paste the code in the content box>save.


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Experiment with different gadgets.

Make your educational blog an exciting, but purposeful place for your students to visit!