Selecting one or more categories when you create a post is critical to how your WordPress site is organized. Categories allow visitors to your site to easily find what they want. Perhaps you have a category called “Parents”. Parents visiting your site can click on that category and see all posts in the Parent category in chronological order.

“Uncategorized” is the default category and doesn’t say anything to visitors (other than you forgot to give the post a category).  Not only should you select the appropriate category (or categories), but you’ll need to uncheck “Uncategorized” as it is selected by default. Continue reading

If you are just adding a single image to a post or page, here is the simple how-to:

1. Login to your Dashboard.
2. Create a new post or page.
3. To add the image, click on the small photo icon just to the right of “Upload/Insert” in the menu bar of the post or page:

4. You’ll be asked to browse and upload an image. Find the image on your hard drive then click Upload.
5. You can then set the size and justification of the image before clicking on “Insert into Post”.
6. Once the image is there you can drag it to any place in the text you’ve created.
7. To modify the image, click on the image and then click on the small image icon that appears.
On the left of your Dashboard there is “Media”. That’s where your image is now stored and where you can add more images or documents for later use. You can edit your images here as well.

In this American School Board Journal article, North Carolina district official Nora Carr shares this adaptation of the Social Media Guidelines Wiki:

Be careful about what you post. “Online behavior should reflect the same standards as those used for face-to-face communications. Deleted information may be stored and retrieved indefinitely, while information marked ‘private’ rarely is, and may be forwarded easily, even by someone you trust.”

Be aware of your official role. “Ensure that content reflects and is consistent with the work you do for your district. Once you identify yourself as a school or district employee, or former employee, you are automatically connected with colleagues nationwide.”

With students, stick to school business. “Don’t use e-mail, text messaging, instant messaging, or social networking sites to discuss non-school-related issues with students. Homework, class activities, athletics, extracurricular activities, parent nights, choral concerts, and other school activities represent appropriate topics of discussion. Keep relationships with students professional at all times.” Continue reading

****Before you start, make sure you have the plugin Unfiltered Mu activated. This allows html code (the embed code) to be placed in your post or page. Click on Plugins in the dashboard on left when you are editing and then click on “Activate” under Unfiltered MU.****

Just when you thought you’d heard all the great reasons to have a Google account here’s one more. The easiest way we’ve found to add a slideshow to your WordPress site is by using Google’s Picasa. Here are the steps:

1. This assumes that you have taken some pictures and moved them to your computer and re-size them. If you haven’t re-sized them, look at the post below for instructions.
2. Login to your Google Account, go to the “More” menu and select Photos. Don’t see Photos? Click on “even more…” at the bottom of the list.
3. Click on “Upload” and “create a new album”.
4. Give the album a title and select anything but Private.
5. Now click Browse and select your first photo to upload. Continue until you have five photos. Click on “Start Upload”.
6. Once you’ve uploaded all your the photos in groups of five, click on “Link to this Album” at the far right and click on “Embed Slideshow”.
7. Select size “Large” and check or leave checked “AutoPlay”.
8. Copy the embed code.
9. Return to your WordPress post or page and select the HTML tab and past the embed code into the Window.
10. Select a category, preview your post or page and click on Publish.
11. If the slideshow window is too small or too large, go to the embed code in WordPress and change the width and height.

If want to use photos in your WordPress site, you’ll likely need to resize them. Digital camera pictures can be as big as 2 megabytes. Your WordPress site won’t allow you to upload a file larger than 1 megabyte. And even it it would allow it, you don’t want a large photo on the site as it will load slowly and take up too much space. What to do?  Here’s an easy way on a PC to quickly reduce the size of the file before uploading:

1. Find the photograph you want to resize, right click on it and select “Open with . . .”

2. From the menu select Microsoft Office Picture Manager. Your photograph will pop up in the software’s window.

3. Click on “Edit Pictures” at the top of the window.

4. Now at far right click on “Resize”.

5. You have several options to choose from. I select “Predefined width x height” and then “Web – Small”.  You can define your own pixel dimensions or reduce it by a certain percentage.

6. Click “OK” and go to the File Menu and select “Save As . . . ” and rename the file and save it in a location where you can easily find it.

7. Now upload the photo to WordPress.

Google word processing documents can also be imbedded into WordPress. The process is very similar to other Google Docs:

1. From your Google Account, go to Create New and drag down to Document.
2. Create the content for the document. Content can include text and graphics.
3. When finished, go to the Share button in the upper-right and set the document to Public.
4. Now that the document can be shared, go to the File menu and drag down to Publish to the Web and copy the embed code.
5. Return to WordPress and create a new post or page.
6. Select the Text tab and paste the embed code into the text window.
7. To change the width and height of the document as it appears in WordPress, put the cursor right after “…embedded=true” (to the right of the second quotation mark) and type width=650 height=600 so that it now looks like this “…embedded=true” width=550 height=600>
8. Click on Publish and you’re done.

Google Docs includes Google Forms – Think survey or quiz. Here’s a Step-by-Step:

1. In Google Docs, go to Create New and select Form.
2. Enter a title for your form and any explanation.
3. Type a question (or survey comment).
4. Add the type of response (multiple choice, check boxes, etc.) and response choices if needed.
5. Click Add Item a the top to add another question.
6. When you are done, Select a Theme by clicking on the Theme button at the top.
7. Save the form and then click on More Actions to find the embed code and copy it.
8. Return to your WordPress site and create a new post or page.
9. Click on the HTML tab and paste the embed code in the text window.
10. Publish the form.
11. Wait for users to fill in the form, or better yet, send the post via email (or Subscribe2) requesting users to fill out the form.

You can view the submissions live as they come in (really!) or just view submissions by going to the form in Google Docs and clicking on See Responses.

Once you’ve collected your data, you can post the results in graphic form. Click here for an example of graphed survey results (but it could be just as easily the results of a student quiz): Administrator Survey Results

Here’s what a sample quiz looks like:

If all you need to do is add an existing YouTube video to a WordPress post or page, skip down to section A.

A. Here are the steps for uploading your video to YouTube in preparation for embedding it into your WordPress site:
1. Sign in to your YouTube account.
2. Click on Upload (upper right).
3. Click Select File from your Computer.
4. Give the video a name and select “unlisted” at the right.
5. Once the video is uploaded, go to the video link at the top of the screen and follow the steps on the link below.

B. Adding a YouTube video to WordPress
1. Create a new post or page in WordPress.
2. Open a new tab in your browser and navigate to YouTube.
3. Find the video you’d like to embed in your post or page. Click on Share and then the Embed tab under the video.
4. Uncheck Include Related Videos.
5. Select size.
6. Copy the embed code.
7. Return to your WordPress post or page.
8. Click on the Text tab.
9. Place the cursor in the text window and paste.
10. Click on Publish and then view post or page.


Because Google owns YouTube, adding video to a Google Presentation is equally as easy. Here’s how:

1.On the appropriate Google Presentation slide, go to the “Insert” menu and select video. By default, it opens to YouTube.
2. Find the video you want and double click on it. Resize the video as needed.
3. Now go to the Share menu’s small black triangle and drag down to Publish/Embed and select Publish. Copy the embed code.
4. Go to WordPress and your new post (or page), click on the HTML tab and paste the embed code into the page or post.

You’re done! If you want to have the window of the presentation larger or smaller, change the height and width in the embed code. To show the presentation, click on the single arrow to automate it. To move one slide at a time, click on the double arrows. To enlarge the presentation full screen, click on the enlarge icon just to the right of the “slides 1/6”:

Sharing a Google Docs presentation in your WordPress site is a snap. Here are the steps:

1 Log in to your Google account and go to the more menu and drag down to Docs.
2. If you have a PowerPoint presentation, click on the Upload button in the upper-left. Follow the prompts to upload the file. This converts the presentation to a Google presentation.
3. You can also create a Google Presentation from scratch. Google Presentations works a lot like PowerPoint. Go to the Create New menu (upper-left) and select Presentation.
4. Add slides with text and/or images as you would with PowerPoint. You’ll notice that Google Docs save automatically.
5. Once you are finished, click on the small black triangle next to Sharing in the upper-right and select Publish/Embed.
6. Select the Player Size. For most of our WordPress sites the largest size works.
7. Copy the code in the box at the bottom of the screen.
8. Go back to your WordPress site and your Dashboard. Under Posts, click on Add New (You can also add any Google Document to a WordPress Page as well.).
9. At the top of the text area click on the HTML tab.
10. Click in the text area and paste the embed code you just copied from Google Docs.
11. Click on the blue Publish button at the far right. If you have already published once, the button will say Update.
12. Click on View post to try out the presentation.

If you want to have the window of the presentation larger or smaller, change the height and width in the embed code. To show the presentation, click on the single arrow to automate it. To move one slide at a time, click on the double arrows. To enlarge the presentation full screen, click on the enlarge icon just to the right of the “slides 1/6”:

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