Making your blog truly YOURS!


This post is about going into your blog for the first time and making it yours by:

  • “customising” it with a theme that you like;
  • making an avatar (image for yourself);
  • uploading the avatar into your blog profile;
  • using “widgets” in your sidebars.

Logging in to your blog

You will have been given a link for your blog. Click the link and this will take you to the public view of your blog.

Next you need to login to your blog so that you can change it to suit you. For this you will need your username and password. You should have an email with those. If you don’t know them then contact your lecturer. Click here for a reminder about how to log in to your blog.

Once you have logged in for the first time it is a good idea to change your password. Make sure you choose something that you will remember!

  1. Go to the top right of your blog dashboard screen where it says “Howdy, yourname”;
  2. Click the arrow for the drop-down menu Click “Your Profile”;
  3. Scroll right down to the bottom of the profile page;
  4. Type in your new password and then re-type it in the second box – this helps you to be sure you haven’t made a “typo” in your password.


Your blog theme

Your blog theme is one of the things you can change to make your blog very personal. All of our blogs have the same theme when they are first set up. They also have the same example blog post and example comment. Once you get going it is a good idea to delete the example post and comment. Changing your theme is a big step in feeling that you own your blog!

Our blogs are hosted by Edublogs on a CYOC Edublogs Campus site. One of the best known bloggers worldwide in education works for Edublogs. She is an ex-TAFE lecturer from WA – Sue Waters. Sue writes many excellent blog posts in her role for Edublogs. They include “how to” posts, information posts, ideas sharing and many others. One of her “how to” posts is this one about changing your blog theme. This is just one of several Edublogger post links that we will use to help you learn about blogging.

Making an avatar

An avatar is an image you use to represent yourself online. Some people use a photograph. I do so myself because this works for me as an educator with a large global network of colleagues. However as a student – especially if you are under eighteen – we prefer you to use another image for your CYOC blog identity. This is for safety – we will discuss this later in the course during the Digital Safety project.

There are many different sites where you can create avatars, some use a photo as the base, others give you a series of features that you can make into a cartoon. You can also use your own images as long as they are not of other people. You MUST NOT take images from the web – these belong to the persons who created them and using them may be theft! On the left is an image made with FaceYourManga. This is one that is free and also lets you save the image as a file. Some avatar sites need you to capture an image from the screen and edit it. You will learn how to do this for projects later in the course.

To create your Mangatar avatar checkout the Slideshare below:


Widgets are the things that sit in the sidebars of your blog. They have many different functions, you can choose the ones that are most useful for your purposes and you can also move them around within and between the sidebars. Checkout this Edublogs post on widgets including the most important ones to have on your sidebars. I love to know where my blog visitors are from so some sort of graphic of this is really important for me and I always have a ClusterMap in my own blogs.

Conclusion – One last thing for you to do on this post

Once you have uploaded your avatar and added one or more widgets  add a comment to this post to tell us what was easy and what was hard about making your blog truly yours, and why this was so!

A Plan to Learn With

Where Do You Want To Go Today?

Suppose you needed to get something from your local shop. It could be some bread, or milk, or a jar of your favourite jam, or anything else that you usually buy. I guess that you would go towards the shop, rather than just walking around in circles:

A man walking in circles

Illustration By Frits

What you have inside your head is a PLAN! It says to you how you can get to that shop. Think about it:

  • You know where you want to go (the shop)
  • You know how to get there: walking, driving, catching a bus
  • You are aware of any potential problems (Is it raining?)
  • You know when you want to go (Now? This afternoon? Tomorrow?)

Image courtesy Thomas Cizauskas

Not a Shop, But a Something Else!

If you want to learn something (instead of buying something) you still need a plan. Here are the same four items:

  • What do you want to learn about?
  • What are you already good at (try “walking” 🙂 ), and how might this help you?
  • What problems might there be, and who can I ask for help?
  • By when will I have learned it?

What we are really talking about here is goal setting – there are a variety of different strategies to help you set goals. Checkout the Slideshare for more about gols and goal setting.

Just to help you, there is this Word document that you can use to write down your initial ideas. It is a blank template.

If you want to see a template with some of the spaces filled in for “Underwater Basket Weaving”, you can see it here.

Credits: Basket image: Vilseskogen, link:
Underwater image: photohome_uk, link: