Top widgets for the sidebar of your class or student blog

Note: This post is cross-posted from the Edublogs News blog. If you like what you read, please consider subscribing here.

Did you know that the fastest and easiest way to add new features to your blog is by embedding widgets into the sidebar of your blog?

To help you out, here is a list of the most popular and most useful widgets that can be added to your blog in no time.

Scroll down to the bottom of this post for more instructions on how to add widgets to your blog. Don’t forget, these widgets can also be embedded using the HTML tab in any page or post as well!

Visitor Statistics

  1. clustrClustrMaps - The most popular widget on Edublogs.  Displays a small map with “dots” for each of your visitors.
  2. Flag Counter – Lists the most common countries that your visitors are from and shows the flag from each country.
  3. Who’s Among Us – With an account, includes some nice stat collection tools.
  4. My Web Counter – Simple and free visitor counters with many custom looks and designs.

voki

Talking Avatars

  1. Voki - Add a speaking and highly customizable avatar to your blog.  Record you voice, create a character, and much more!
  2. Read The Words – Human avatars that will read text or recorded audio right in your blog.
  3. Site Pal – A paid widget that can make scarily realistic avatars using uploaded photos of you or students.

Miscellaneous

  1. Clock Link – 100′s of different and unique clocks of all types.
  2. AccuWeather – The most complete collection of weather widgets to show current conditions and forecasts.
  3. Box.net – Create a file dropbox or upload widget for students to submit files for your review.
  4. Feed Wind – Display the latest posts from another blog anywhere on the web.
  5. Sweet Search – Place a search box for a trusted and safe for students search engine.

googapps

Google Apps

*These widgets also will all work with Google Apps for Education users too!

  1. Google Calendar – Embed a list of upcoming events or a month view of a public Google calendar.
  2. Google Talk Chatback – Put a badge in your sidebar that lets users chat with you live when you are online. Your blog’s visitors don’t even need a gtalk account to chat with you. It looks like Google has sense shut this service down :(
  3. Google Maps – Embed a Google map – complete with directions, street views, and more.
  4. Google Gadgets – Choose from hundreds of different widgets, including games, trivia and more.

Multimedia

  1. schooltubeFlickr Slideshow and Badges - Easily add photos from your flickr account to your sidebar.
  2. Facebook Photo Gallery - Show off your public facebook photo galleries right on your blog.
  3. SchoolTube MVP - Share popular videos from SchoolTube.com with easy sidebar access.
  4. YouTube - Place in YouTube channels or top trending videos.
  5. Mixpod – Create a music play list and share it on your blog.
  6. RadioTuna – Pick a genre and play music for your visitors.

Languages

  1. wordofdayGoogle Translate – Instantly translate your blog into many different languages.
  2. Transparent.com Word of the Day – Audio and visual word of the day. Customizable in many of the world’s languages such as Spanish, French, German, Chinese and many more.
  3. Reverso Translation – Translorts, verb conjugators, and more in many different languages.

Reading

  1. Shelfari - Show off your favorite books for others to see.
  2. Education Atlas – Free thesaurus and dictionary widget with many features.
  3. SitePal Widgetbox – Mentioned above, but this widget will allow readers to type in or copy and paste words to be read out loud.

Science & Math

  1. convertScience Score – A science question of the day. Students can even enter to win prizes.
  2. Wolfram AlphaQuite possibly the best resource on this list – Wolfram Alpha contains hundreds of customizable math and science widgets, including unit converters, weather tools, graphing calculators, problem solvers, and much more. This might be the only resource math and science students and teachers need for their blogs!

History

  1. Info Please – Nice looking “this day in history” widget that displays multiple events and updates every day.
  2. Timeline Index – 30 different timelines showcasing several different periods of history – including US presidents, world history outline, philosophers, and explorers.

Widget Sites & Collections

  1. widgetboxWidgetBox.comThe definite go-to place to find and build your own widgets. Edublogs uses several widgets from here on our main site!
  2. SpringWidgets.comAnother great source for widgets from many of your favorite sites on the web. User reviews and comments help you find the perfect widget for your blog.
  3. Widgipedia.comLike the two sites above, wigipedia is a huge and growing collections of widgets of all types and sizes.

How To Embed

1. Choose the widget of your choice and copy the html code for it.

2.  Go to Appearance > Widgets in your blog dashboard

Appearance > Widgets menu item

3.  Click on the desired Sidebar to expand (so you can add the widgets)

4.  Add a text widget to the desired sidebar by dragging it from the Available Widgets into the Sidebar area on the right.

5.  The widget will automatically open — just add the HTML code for your widget, click Save and then Close.

Adding HTML embed code to voki

6.  You should now see the widget in your blog sidebar!

Related Links

Since there are thousands and thousands of widgets to use, we are certain to have overlooked a few of your favorites.

Leave a comment below with any that we missed so that we can add to the list!

Ronnie Burt

Works for Edublogs. Former secondary math teacher and wannabe musician. Follow me on twitter @ronnieburt!

34 Responses

  1. Kerry says:

    Sue, What do you mean when say “Top widgets for the sidebar of your class or student blog?” I think these are great resources for anyone’s blog!

  2. Ronnie Burt says:

    Hi Kerry – Glad you like it! :)

  3. treagan says:

    Sue…This is fabulous and wonderful in every way. I am getting it sent to my teachers (who are fabulous and wonderful too) so they can get some of these cool widgets on their blogs.

    Thank you for teaching us from down under or above over —depending on your perspective. YOU ROCK!

    Theresa

  4. hmm…I must appreciate you for the mind blowing post you have shared.i really like it.thanx keep sharing:)
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  5. Chenk Rahman says:

    Keren sob…
    Salam kenal, From: Chenk Rahman

  6. Kwebb says:

    Hi,
    I am wondering how to add the sidebar widget that allows me to enter/post blogs that we follow on our classroom edublog.

    Can you please help me?
    Krista

  7. TJ says:

    Thanks and I will use those tips for my own blog to create one that is truly amazing.
    TJ

  8. Sue Waters says:

    Testing posting a comment.

  9. Shango says:

    Very useful information! ill keep this post handy. Thank you very much.

  10. toastertyler34 says:

    these all great tips that I will use

  11. dfrick says:

    How do I get the shelfari widget to embed? I never get the picture of the shelf, just a link to the site.

  12. Ronnie Burt says:

    @dfrick On edublogs, the ability to embed in sidebars is only on our Pro or Campus blogs. In addition, one Pro blog can enable embedding on up to 50 student blogs. Thanks!

  13. hasan3d says:

    Hi. Thanks for sharing. Can’t these widgets be used for the free version of edublogs?

  14. Sharon says:

    Hi Sue,
    Thank you for all the amazing information and the way you break it down so simply. I am in the process of setting up my first ever class blog (deep breath) and I am finding your posts incredibly helpful.

    I’m wondering if there is a way to embed an image into the sidebar of my blog (I have a pro account) that will remain there without someone having to go to a different location to view it?

    Thank you,
    Sharon

  15. Ronnie Burt says:

    Hi Sharon,

    If you do a search in the upper right corner of this blogs for “cheats method images” the second post that comes up will be exactly what you need.

    I would just put a link right here in the comment, but links in replies aren’t working at the moment :(

    Thanks!
    Ronnie

  16. Sharon says:

    Ronnie,
    Thank you so much. You were right. That was exactly what I was looking for!
    Cheers,
    Sharon

  17. rags6 says:

    Great job! I really appreciate for the work done and I like it very much.
    http://www.techtipsntricks.com/

  18. Ben says:

    Can you check the link for the google talk chatbalk gadget because it isn’t working for me?

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