If you’re wondering why to use links in yours posts, have a read of Zemanta’s post on it.  This is another in my three steps series -helping my friends with their blogs.

1. Go to the web page you want to link TO and copy the exact URL from the address bar in your browser.

copy the exact URL from the web page you want to link TO

2. Select the word you want to use as the clickable link and click on the link button -it looks like a chain with three links

select text and click the link icon

3. Paste the URL you copied in step 1 into the Link URL field (1), then set the link to open in a new window or the current window (2), and finally click on Insert (3).

paste the URL, click on insert

That’s it for now, please feel free to comment and let me know how you went or if there is anything else I should’ve included.  You will find more information about using links on Wikipedia

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I’ve been asked by a couple of people how to add a picture to their blog, here’s what I told them…

There is lots of information about why and how to include images in your posts and a great place to start reading is Lorelle on WordPress

This post is a few simple steps to get you started, I don’t want to reinvent the wheel here, you will find many more detailed instructions here and elsewhere on the web.

One more thing, these instructions are for simple images to help illustrate the point you are making in your post.  Artists using their blog to display their work will want to do more research on how best to optimise and display their photos.

If you’ve taken a really nice photo on your super duper high resolution digital camera you will need to reduce its size before you can upload it to your blog.  There are numerous tools both online and off you can use to achieve this including many that come with your computers operating system.  Look for the imaging or picture manipulation tools you have on your computer and once you have your picture open in it, look for an option to export or if you can’t find that save as.  Try web small or web medium first, see if it meets your needs – if not adjust your settings.

Once you have exported your image to a location you can easily find then;

1. Position your cursor at the point in your post you want the image to appear and click the small square box next to upload/insert

2. Click browse, and navigate to the location of your image, then click upload

3. Scroll down and enter values into the fields you wish.  Most are self explanatory, there is a description of Alternate Text on Wikipedia.  If you have saved your image as web small, you can set the size to Full Size(a) (see diagram below).  Leaving the link field(b) at the default will let your visitors click on the image (generally to view it full size), You can leave this field empty or enter a link to another page on the web.  Alignment(c) affects the wrapping of the text around your image.  Finally -when you are happy with the settings- click on Insert into Post (d).

If the image is not quite right you can change the settings by clicking on it and then on the little lanscape picture.  To remove the image click on the image and then on the circle with a line through it.

There are absolute basics – if you need it you will find lots more info out there in on the web, click here.

I’ve been asked by a couple of people how to remove comments from their blogs.  This is what I told them;

1. login to dashboard
2. click on comments (there are two places you can click, see pic)

Click on comments

3. hover the mouse over the comment you want to remove.  Some options will appear. Clicking on ‘unapprove’ will make it invisible to visitors but leave it in your dashboard, ‘trash’ will remove it completely.

Click trash to delete

That’s the technical aspect taken care of.  The reasons for removing a comment or not are too numerous to list here.

I guess it could be any instrument or even any discipline but I’m using piano because playing one is something I learned to do during my school years.  Like many people, I also learned to write during this time.  Lately I’ve had a number of things I’d like to write about buzzing around in my head. They never get any further than a heading on my whiteboard and a few sentences promptly forgotten as soon I’m near a keyboard (or a pen).

It occured  to me that I might have lost the ability to write in the same way as I have lost the ability to play the piano.  I haven’t practised either for quite some time.  I do write of course – emails, shopping lists, notes to the teacher, even instructions – but all those things have a practical purpose; none expand on the thoughts in my head or make for very interesting reading.

I plan to test my theory.  I’ll hire a piano and start practising  – I’m know my playing will improve because I’ve tried it before.  Writing practice I’m less familiar with; I guess I did it while I was at school but it wasn’t called practice…  Seems like a blog is a great place to practise too, I may even get some help from people liek you as I go along.  Certainly it’s a lot cheaper than a piano.  I wonder which one will come more easily?

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I guess it could be any instrument or even any discipline but I’m using piano because playing one is something I learned to do during my school years.  Like many people, I also learned to write during this time.  Lately I’ve had a number of things I’d like to write about buzzing around in my head[R1] . They never get any further than a heading on my whiteboard and a few sentences promptly forgotten as soon I’m near a keyboard (or a pen).


[R1]Suggest full stop here and then new sentence beginning

They never

I wrote to the NSW Minister for Education, she hasn’t replied yet.  Could be because I emailed instead of using  traditional methods?  Maybe I should send it to Julia too.  I’ve spoken to a few parents about this and a couple of teachers.  I’d really like to hear what you think about the filters in NSW public schools.  Here’s what I wrote …

Dear Minister

I am writing to request a serious review of the internet filtering policy in place in NSW public schools.  I also want; an explanation of how NSW public school students are learning about new ways to research, and, a definition of the digital education revolution.

My children tell me they can’t use any of the new visual search engines that are becoming available everyday on the internet at school – they are blocked (eg; spezify.com).  This means they have to rely on me at home to help them work out which website is accurate and relevant to the topic they are researching.  I enjoy getting involved in their learning and I can certainly help them decide what to do with objectionable content but I can’t help them decide which physics/english/geography websites are the ones they need.  I really want them in a classroom talking about it (online or off) with one (or more) subject experts taking part in the discussion and advising/leading where necessary.  I think they need as many people around them as possible when they’re trying to work out whether the person talking to them online really is a physicist/interested person/predator – they don’t get that in their bedroom, which is why their computers are in the lounge room, but when it comes to their education, I need them talking to, and showing their teachers what they have found.

I understand there are many more sites blocked than just search engines and the policy is to block anything we don’t know about.  I have to ask how we expect our public school students (and teachers) to stay abreast of and take advantage of new technologies.  It now does seem like the laptop program is just about getting votes.  I was really excited when I found out my kids were getting laptops but now it seems they’re just being treated as electronic exercise books.  Where is the revolution?  I am particularly concerned that children in catholic and independent schools are not subject to the same filters.  I applaud those schools for embracing technology but I am worried about the disadvantage to my public school kids.  Can you tell me how public school teachers are able to provide the same guidance on researching online that catholic and independent schools can?