Share Your Advice on “Must-Have” Widgets for Class and Student Blogs

Image of Widget signDeciding which widgets to add to your blog sidebar is hard!  There is just TOO much choice…

So when Chrissy asked for advice on any “must-haves” widgets to include on her students new Room202’s class blog I thought this is an excellent opportunity for us to share ideas to help make the task of choosing widgets easier.

So can you please share with us:

  1. What are your “must-haves” widgets for class and/or students blogs? And why?
  2. What other features do you and your students like to have on your class blog  e.g. type of blog theme (2 column, 3 column, custom header, links to pages)
  3. Your Class blog URL so students from other classes can visit your blog for ideas.

Can you please also drop past Room 202’s class blog — leave a comment and your class blog URL so that Chrissy’s students can check out your class blog plus get excited by the dots increasing on their ClustrMap.

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28 thoughts on “Share Your Advice on “Must-Have” Widgets for Class and Student Blogs

  1. @Idelia Your Shelfari widget looks really cool and such a great idea especially for library blogs. My favorite ways of relaxing are going to a movie or reading a good book — into thrillers and mysteries.

    @Arandaa I’m sorry you are finding it hard. Can we do anything to help?

    @Rob Berry It is on my list to provide a how-to-guide for embedding the calendar. I will try to write it this week.

    @Mrs C Your ClustrMap is looking really good. I love how ClustrMaps inspire students to blog due to the global connection. Sorry about the Virtual Pet not working on Learnerblogs. I like — I had never tried it but it is a good idea. Wonder if I have room on the sidebar of The Edublogger to add it?

    @Ryan7e09 I agree the ClustrMaps are really good. Hope you are getting lots of dots from around the World.

  2. Our ClustrMap is our favorite widget, and our hit counter. So much so that all of my grade installed them on their own blogs as well.
    Recently I added cyberpets to the class blog – not sure of the educational value (except in getting code and installing it, I guess) but the kids sure are enthusiastic about these. One problem – they don’t work on Learnerblogs, so the kids are installing them on their wiki pages instead.
    I also added the button to our blog – I had to demonstrate it to the grade but some of the kids who find reading a challenge are really making good use of it. It doesn’t take much space so I think I’ll keep that one.

  3. Hi I really like the idea of embedding the Google calendar onto our blogs as a reminder tool for students and staff.
    Can anyone provide some steps – how to add to our blog?

  4. @Bryan I checked out your calendar with agenda and it looks really good. I definitely have to play with this as I love using Google Calenders because it converts time zones for me.

    @Nancy I like how you are bringing in the news feeds and student posts using widgets embedded in your page. Which widgets are you using?

    @Angela Checked out your blog and it looks great. Happy to send people past your blog and say hi to your students. Was thinking — and just an thought you don’t have to do — but perhaps if you write a post saying you are trying to teach your students more about where other people live and ask readers to say where they are from and tell your students something about what the country they are from is like. Then the readers could respond and the students could ask the people who write the comments some more questions about where they live.

    @tc65 I hadn’t thought of using Voki like that. Great suggestion.

    @Mrs Cunningham That is excellent — look at how much more they are learning and thinking about.

    @Ines Flag counters? Yes it would be much easier up front if developers stated the age limit without you having to search.

  5. Hi Sue!
    I really love Clustr Maps, and I’m glad my kids will be able to keep them. I also appreciate Feedjit maps and Flag counters: anything that helps young students to keep in mind that our blogs are open windows to the world and that every visitor is a world neighbour.
    I’m thankful to @Bryan McDonald for the suggestion to use Google Calender as an agenda.
    I would like to know all the widgets allowed to under 13 years students and I hope that developers can create new widgets specially designed for these kids (and even forbidden to elder ones!) 🙂
    We will soon be at

  6. I have found that our voki is of more interest than the actual blog…in particular I have one six year old boy who not only understands writing html code but also java script…..his dad is a programmer ….and when he explains how the voki works everyone is totally in awe. So now they ask me if the voki is not really on the page where is it? Or even better will cyberspace ever get full?try answering those questions………

  7. For my Primary School Class I change my Voki Widget often as they love to listen to the reminders for the week. They are so easy to create and embed

  8. I love the idea of the calendar app for assignments and simple announcements and reminders! My school district provides us with VERY basic websites where we can do this, but last year, when I tried it, no one used it.

    Now, my kids are ALWAYS on the blog, reading eachother’s comments and ideas.

    For me, I HAVE to have the most recent comments. It helps me keep track of changes to my blog, and it lets my visitors know when someone has commented on an older post.

    I also like ClusterMaps and Feedjit.

    Check out my class blog at

    Anyone is welcome to comment. My kids love hearing from others all over the world and realizing their ideas are being read by others!

  9. We use RSS news feed as possible blog topics, it’s hard to find feed which is good for young kids K-6. Don’t want murders and other “icky” stuff fed into our site, since I’ve actually chosen to bring the news in I want it to be OK for kids. You can see our student blog at My blog is on the front, go to recent posts to see kids postings and go to news feed to see RSS. .

  10. Many of you have mentioned adding a calender widget to your blog. I have found one that I LOVE! It is not a “wordpress” widget per say, but it is so easy to use and it is pretty useful too! If you have a Google account, you also have a Google calender. You can add the calender to your blog as an agenda. Each time you add something to your class calender it will appear on your blog! I use it to add homework assignments. You can give a more in depth description in the Google cal app. It is a must have for all classroom blogs.

  11. @Britt I agree ClustrMaps shows students they are part of a global voice plus the students love seeing the red dots increase in number.

    @Sarah Definitely the Flickr Badge is good except for when I’m demonstrating the integration of Picnik with Flickr and do evil stuff to my hubby’s photo.

    @Kimberly Which Calendar Widget do you use to display these dates? Can you give us a link to check out how you use?

    @Maire I also love the Feedjit maps because they provide extra info in addition to ClustrMaps.

    @Jenna Can you give us an example of a calculator widget to check out?

    @ahsmedia Which RSS feed widget are you using? Can you give us a link to your blog that uses it so we can check out?

    @tdeponte You need to first activate your Widget Pack. You do this by clicking on Plugins (right hand side of dashboard) then click on Activate next to Widget Pack. When you go to Design > Widgets you will now see a series of extra widgets in your available sidebar. Then you just need to add your ClustrMap widget to your available widget area and set up your ClustrMap account.

    1. Hi Sue

      I tried following the instructions you gave to @tdeponte regarding activating the Widget Pack from Dashboard. Unfortunately, I can’t find it .. can you please post an image of the area that you are referring to?

      1. Unfortunately unless you are an Edublogs supporter you don’t have access to the plugin tab which is where you need to activate the Widget Pack. However there are work arounds depending on which widget you want access to.

  12. I want a cluster map on my sidebar, but the design I have doesn’t have it as a choice under my widgets. Does that happen to anyone else?

  13. The most useful is a widget that displays an RSS feed. Nice to showcase one of my tags from del.ici.ous, so that links I’ve specifically selected for a topic are viewed. I’ve also used this type of widget for presenting results of a refined search string (lots of limiters) via Google. (Ex. student contests) The fact that the feed comes from sites that are automatically updated keeps it fresh without any additional effort on my part.

  14. This may be fairly mundane, but for k12 class blogs, I think having a calendar widget that displays important due dates is a must-have. It’s a great way to fight forgetfulness and to let parents know what is up.

  15. I’ll start this off by suggesting ClustrMaps as a must-have. It reminds students that they are part of a global voice and demonstrates how interconnected we all are.

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