Thing #3 Create your own blog & avatar, then post about it

#3 (WEEK 2) Create your own blog & avatar, then post about it

Now that you’ve done some exploring around this website and understand how this program will work, it’s time to set up your very own personal blog to begin recording your thoughts, discoveries, and exercises. For this program, you may use any one of several free online blog hosting services including Blogger, Edublogs, Wordpress, or Typepad. (Although we are recommending Blogger, you may find that your school district may block websites with the name "blog" in them or your district may have a preferred blog service.)

Discovery Exercises:

1. View this short Common Craft video, "Blogs in Plain English."

If you cannot see this video, try viewing it at Common Craft.

2. View this PowerPoint created by SpringBranch ISD library staff for an overiew of a blog's format and see samples of library-related blogs.

Create Your Blog

3. For this Discovery Activity, you may use Blogger, Wordpress or Typepad, but remember that we recommend Blogger for its ease of use and documentation available. Take a quick look at Blogger's Quick Start Tour before you begin.

4. If you do not have a Google account, create one. This account is good for all Google services, including Blogger, Gmail, Google Reader and more. Go to, click on "Sign in" on the top right side of the screen and follow the prompts.
->You do not need a Gmail account.
->Remember to write down your Username and Password.
5. Create your blog on Blogger.

6. Name your blog.
Remember that the whole web world can see your blog title and blog address. You probably don’t want to use your real name. Consider creating a blog name that’s anonymous, yet uniquely you. The URL for your blog will look like these examples - or or
(These are real blogs so of course you need to give your own blog its own unique name). The format is when you use software. Note: There are no www in the address when using software. Please remember your URL address and/or bookmark it.

7. Select your template.
Blogger has several templates - have fun choosing one for you! On the Dashboard, click on Layout and select Pick New Template. If you run into problems, check out Blogger's Help file and Tutorial or post your question in the comments section at the end of this section.

8. Edit your settings. Be sure to allow everyone to post.

9. You will create a discovery post for each of the "23 Things."
Please clearly label each entry in your blog in the following way: Week 1, Exercise or Thing #1, subject. Each of your posts should provide insights into what you’ve discovered and learned. Feel free to share what worked for you … and what didn’t … what surprised you … what frustrated you … what amazed you. For example: Your ‘Thing 2’ post will talk about which habit among the 7 and 1/2 lifelong learning habits is easiest and which is hardest for you and why. TIP: This is a good time to "bookmark" your blog for easy access throughout the course.

10. Create an avatar -- a representation of yourself. Go to ; design an avatar with and select the background. (You will have to set up an account if you don't use Yahoo!) Save your avatar and export to your blog.

Yahoo! Avatars

HELP: Here's how to export your avatar to your blog.

a) When you are on the page, go to "home" tab and look to the right column.

b) Find the box labeled "Download/Export your Avatar" and click on "Export."

c) In the Center of the page, one option is your avatar's HTML code. Copy the code (Control-C), go to your blog (Sign in. When you first sign in, there is an option to add a post OR manage posts, settings, or layout; Go to "LAYOUT."

d) Click on "Add a Gadget" in the sidebar area.

e) Select "HTML/Javascript." Add a title, and then copy (Control-V) the code in the gadget box. Preview the post to make sure you have the avatar in the desired location. You can drag the gadget to a new location if you wish to move it.

Another option is to copy the avatar as a .jpg file and add it to your blog.

a) In the "Export/Download your Avatar" page, click on DOWNLOAD, found uder the words "Yahoo Avatars." Click on the Download button under JPG. When the popup window comes up, choose SAVE and save the file to your desktop.

b) Click on the Layout tab, select "Add a Gadget" on the sidebar. Select "Picture," add a title, browse for your picture that you saved on your desktop and add your picture.

The advantage of copying the HTML code is that the picture will change every time you edit the picture at Yahoo Avatars and the JPG picture will be static.

11. Write about the process of setting up your blog and your avatar in the Thing #3 post. have you looked at anyone else's blog? Now is a good time to explore what the others are doing or have done and to post questions and comments.
These exercises are all about discovery! Have fun … and happy blogging!!
IMPORTANT NOTE: How you choose to identity yourself on your blog is up to you. You can blog under a screen name, anonymously, or with your real name. Either way, in order to qualify for CPE credit, you will need to register your blog with Region One by sending an email with your blog URL to Guest participants (non-Region One) are welcome to register but will not be eligible for CPE credit.

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jan519 said...

I enjoyed creating an Avatar to add to my blog page!

luz said...

This is like Barbie sans the mess on the floor!

Maggie said...

I have to admit, this Thing was frustrating me. I don't like to leave things unfinished and I couldn't bear the fact that my Avatar wasn't exporting over properly. I finally found some instructions after googling the question and got it done in seconds. It was really a matter of finding the HTML code and transporting it over to Blogger. Now moving on to the next Thing, finally!

ACavazos said...

Thing #2: Setting my own blog was revisiting something I had done with Maria E. Ovalle from Region One. I am glad that I will be using this blog again.

ACavazos said...

I just exported my avator as jpeg. Please let me know if I need to export it differently so that it can show everytime I post.