Its here! Edublogs has been upgraded to the latest version of WordPress. So lets check out whats under our new Edublogs dashboard and get a quick feel for the main changes!
New Dashboard and Menu Layout
Changes are aimed at making it a cleaner, faster and less cluttered dashboard and you will immediately notice the new light blue, light grey and orange color scheme. If you have several blogs they will be listed across the top and clicking on the name of the blog will take you to the dashboard for that blog.
The main features users interact with (i.e. writing posts and pages, managing posts, managing comments, managing design features and upgrades) are now located on the left side of the screen. While Settings, Plugins and Users, which are used less, are now located on the right hand side. The presentation menu has now been renamed Design i.e. this is where you change your blog theme, widgets or add a custom image header.
Items displayed on your blog’s dashboard are controlled by widgets which you can customise to your personal preference.
Change dashboard widgets by:
- Clicking on Widgets menu on your dashboard
- In the Available Widget Area click on the Add link on Widget(s) you want to add to your dashboard
- To remove a widget from your Current Widget area click on Edit > Remove.
- Changing order of widgets in your Current Widget area is just a matter of drop and drag the widget’s order up or down
- Click Save Changes
- Click on Dashboard menu and view changes
The main widgets I like displayed on my dashboard are Getting into Edublogs, Your Blog, Incoming Links and Recent Comments.
Write Post/Pages Changes
The visual editor has been improved and includes the ability to change to full screen mode when writing a post.
Media is now uploaded to your blog by clicking on the Add media icons at the top of the visual editor. The Add media uses a Flash Uploader — this allows you to upload several items (e.g. photos) at the same time while showing their uploading progress.
NOTE: If your Flash Uploader isn’t working properly try using the Browser uploader instead.
If you are having trouble with the Flash Uploader or getting a white screen when you upload images or media make sure you’ve checked that you are using the latest version of Flash (currently v 220.127.116.11.) Don’t assume that you have this version — go and get the latest Flash player here! (Thanks Trantwoodcrs for reminding me to add this tip)
To ‘Embed code’ we pick up around the web (e.g. videos for video sharing websites, Voki and Google Documents) directly into an Edublogs post you now just change to HMTL editor and paste the code where you want it to appear. All you need to do is:
- Write your post
- Grab the embed code for the item you want to embed e.g. a video
- Click on HTML Tab
- Add the embed code where you want it to appear
- Click Publish
No longer appears to be an issue with breaking the embed code. This means once you have added the embed code you can change back to Visual Editor (by clicking on the Visual Tab) and make changes to your post.
Tags and categories fields are now located below your visual editor. The tag editor automatically brings up a selection of the latest tags you’ve added. Learn more about how you use tags and categories by reading this post.
The way you add and change the widgets that are displayed on your blog is probably the biggest change. The widgets you currently have in your sidebar are shown on the right side of your screen and it only displays one sidebar (you need to selects the sidebar from a dropdown to view the other sidebar). Each widget is listed in a column on the left, you click the Add link to add it into the sidebar (I demonstrate how to add Widgets to your sidebar at the end of my quick video tour).
Here’s a quick video tour so you can see the main changes.
The Edublogs team has been busy creating video tutorials on how to use the new Edublogs interface — you can check them out on the Edublogs Video Tutorial page. Each of the videos is less than 5 minutes long and between 4-8 MB in size (i.e. suitable for most bandwidth).
I’ve tried to give you are really quick overview of the main changes. Please let me know how you are going and what changes you want to know more about.
Remember the Edublogs team is still squashing a few bugs and adding a few more features over the next few days. If you have any complex questions or issues please post them into the Edublogs forum so the team can provide assistance.
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