You are in the right place. Here you will find general information about UWA blogs and useful instructions about how to start and use a blog. Blogging is really easy and you don’t need to be a computer geek to create a professional and visually stunning website. You can do it in just minutes.
If you still have questions please don’t hesitate to contact Andrzej Gwizdalski, the network administrator: firstname.lastname@example.org
ABOUT UWA BLOGS
Blogging has been used in education with great success for many years. Blogs are used for teaching, assessment, professional portfolios and personal websites – there are no limits. UWA blogs have been set up at UWA as a result of an award-winning grant for Improving Student Learning. While the project started with selected units in the UWA Business School, the success of the project indicates that others will also benefit from using UWA blogs. UWA blogs are now available to all UWA staff and students and we are working on making this service really enjoyable for you.
UWA blogs are special: they meet the latest professional and industry standards for blogging. This is because UWA blogs are based on WordPress the industry leading blogging platform that is in turn powered by CampusPress for safe use in education. CampusPress (Edublogs) provides a professional and safe blogging space for some of the world’s top universities. This is now at your fingertips, just minutes away.
STARTING A BLOG
If you have no previous knowledge of blogging and wish to know where to start please watch this introductory video.
THE FIRST STEPS
You won’t believe how easy it is. Setting up a blog takes 6 easy steps that you can complete in less than 2 minutes. You will then have endless possibilities to personalise the design of your blog using one of the hundreds blog themes (templates) and diverse multimedia functions (adding images, videos, changing design elements and colours). The process is intuitive and fun. And the cool thing is that your blog will be automatically optimised for different devices so that your viewers can enjoy reading your website on their computers, tablets and mobile phones.
Setting up a blog
After hitting the ‘Get a blog’ button on our main page you will be transferred to the SIGN IN site and in a few seconds after choosing your (1) username, (2) providing your UWA email and (3) selecting your password you will have a blog!
Importantly, you can use any username you want (e.g. johnsmith) but you need to use your UWA email because we are operating within our university’s safe network.
After choosing your username, providing your email address and selecting your password you will be directed to the next important step: (4) choosing your site name. This is the short name (one word without punctuation marks) that will appear on your URL address (blogs.uwa.edu.au/YOURNAME), so please make sure it reflects the nature of your blog and that it is not too long and it is easy to remember (e.g. johnsmith, or socialsciences). Please choose this name carefully as you cannot change it later (in fact you can, but you would need to set up a new blog and transfer the content, a time waster). What you can change is your site’s title, which appears in the blog’s header. And this is the next step (5). So you can title it: John’s blog, or Mary’s Research or Fish on a Tree – there are no limits to your creativity here. And this is it, now you only hit the (6) ‘Create Site’ button and you already have your basic blog!
As a next step you can make your blog more personal and engaging by choosing some of the coolest and professionally designed templates and elements to make your blog stand out. You will do this in:
DESIGNING YOUR BLOG
Once you are in your blog’s Dashboard, you can make your blog look really unique by selecting one of the cool themes available, creating pages and making multimedia posts. This is a creative and intuitive process as simple as using the inbuilt text processor (similar to Word) to write your text and using the insert media function to add images and videos.
Remember, by default every new registered blog receives a generic UWA theme which is suggested to be used by staff. However, you can change the theme and design depending on the purpose of your website to better express your personality and the unique nature of your project.
You can decide who will see and comment on your blog. You can do it in your dashboard in Settings. Go to Settings>Reading to decide who can read your blog. The default setting is “Visitor must have a login”, which means that only anyone from UWA will be able to read your blog once they sign in to UWA blogs.
You can go public (make it visible for non UWA staff and students) with your blog if you wish. To make your blog public go to Settings>Reading and tick one of the first two circles in Site Visibility (e.g. Allow search engines to index this site). This will allow anyone to read your blog which may be particularly useful once you have some content and want to generate greater discussion and impact.
Please note if your blog is public you may want to be mindful about disclosing any private information.
PLUG INS and SPAM PROTECTION
Our UWA blogging network is a safe place for educational blogging provided by CampusPress which delivers this service to leading universities world-wide. Still, you may add an extra level of safety by activating the Akismet Plugin in your blog. Plugins are special tools that extend the functionality of your blog.
If you get lost please check the comprehensive user guide provided by Edublogs.
If you still find no answers, just ask Andrzej: email@example.com
Andrzej will offer regular workshops on using UWA blogs from July 2015 onwards. Please check the NEWS page for announcements.