Category Archives: Free Software & Tech Resources for Education

A great resource for understanding HTML and CSS for users

This website will save my life … okay, an exaggeration, perhaps. This may let me avoid the world of plugins, and moving to a .org site, although I don’t know if that is good or bad.

WW3 Schools … I think it is somehow linked to WordPress. It has a cool feature that lets you play with code and see the effect in real time. I used it to build this table when trying to study (read “procrastinate”) for the comps by organizing the 2008 ISLLC standards and compare them with the 2015 draft version.

But what I don’t understand is why the boarders won’t show up on the published version. And I’m not sure why there are these “class” codes in there. I’m wondering if it is because I copied the text from a pdf I got online? Maybe? And the exact same code ends up with a different looking table, when published on my personal blog. Not sure what is happening.

ISLLC Comparison Chart

Standard 2008 2015 Draft

An education leader promotes the success of every student by facilitating the development, articulation, implementation, and stewardship of a vision of learning that is shared and supported by all stakeholders.

Education leaders build a shared vision of student academic success and well-being.

2 An education leader promotes the success of every student by advocating, nurturing, and sustaining a school culture and instructional program conducive to student learning and staff professional growth.

Education leaders champion and support instruction and assessment that maximizes student learning and achievement.


An education leader promotes the success of every student by ensuring management of the organization, operation, and resources for a safe, efficient, and effective learning environment.

Education leaders manage and develop staff members’ professional skills and practices in order to drive student learning and achievement.


An education leader promotes the success of every student by collaborating with faculty and community members, responding to diverse community interests and needs, and mobilizing community resources.

Education leaders cultivate a caring and inclusive school community dedicated to student learning, academic success and personal well-being of every student.


An education leader promotes the success of every student by acting with integrity, fairness, and in an ethical manner.

Education leaders effectively coordinate resources, time, structures and roles to build the instructional capacity of teachers and other staff.


An education leader promotes the success of every student by understanding, responding to, and influencing the political, social, economic, legal, and cultural context.

Education leaders engage families and the outside community to promote and support student success.


Education leaders administer and manage operations efficiently and effectively.


Adding Widgets in the Text Field of Your Side Bar

This one took me a while to figure out … but if I can do it, so can you. A better title might be “The Art of Stealing Code and Modifying It to Suit Your Own Purposes”. Yah?

Craig showed us the “visual” and the “text” side of the WordPress site builder. We do our work in the visual side, using macros made available by the software company in a format that looks close to the publication version, it gets translated into html on the text side, and then into the “prettier” published version when you visit the website as an outsider. Over the years, I figured out that many of the software we use can have more customized output when we publish if we modify the code or enter our own simple code. I found this in SurveyMonkey, Moodle, Atlas and WordPress.

But how do you figure out how to modify pre-existing code?

  • trial and error … you can’t break it. ex, I wanted my embeded YouTube Video to be smaller. So, I went into the Text side, figured out that frame width and height must be the code determining the size, so changed the numbers, trying to keep the aspect ratio in tact. It worked!
  • view the source code of something you want your product to look like and copy/paste the bits that look relevant
  • find an html translator or code cheat sheet or a kind soul who has posted a bunch of code for you to copy and paste to do a certain function

My basic understanding of html coding: all html code starts with <dosomething> has the text or link in the middle and ends with </dosomething>

    • The <> says it is code, the “dosomething” is the instruction and when you put / infront of the instruction, it tells the html decoder that this is the end of the section to which it should apply the instruction
    • so <b> is the instruction for bold and you would code it by <b>hey, read this bit</b> and then it would look like hey, read this bit
    • You can string together html code and it will look for the “pair” of instructions doing what ever it is supposed to do to the content inside the bookends except any bits found in the < > symbols so if you want part of your text bolded and part underlined you could code it as <b><u>This will be the bold and underlined bit</b> while this part just has the pleasure of being underlined</u> and it would look like this This will be the bold and underlined bit while this part just has the pleasure of being underlined
    • You might think I cheated, and just used the macro buttons above. I did, but just to prove that this could be useful, here is the code for somethings not found in the buttons above:

Don’t you want your text to be able to be viewed really small?  Or to be able to write superscript or subscript ? OK, maybe not. But tables can be handy.

Column 1 Column 2 Column 3
Table Cell Table Cell Table Cell
Table Cell Table Cell Table Cell
Table Cell Table Cell Table Cell

From the WordPress Support Page

HTML Tags allows the following HTML code in your posts, pages, and widgets:

address, a, abbr, acronym, area, article, aside, b, big, blockquote, br, caption, cite, class, code, col, del, details, dd, div, dl, dt, em, figure, figcaption, footer, font, h1, h2, h3, h4, h5, h6, header, hgroup, hr, i, img, ins, kbd, li, map, ol, p, pre, q, s, section, small, span, strike, strong, sub, summary, sup, table, tbody, td, tfoot, th, thead, tr, tt, u, ul, var

Check out W3 Schools for more information about what each of these HTML codes are used for.

If you are familiar with HTML, you’ll notice that codes such as embed, frame, iframe, form, input, object, textarea and others are missing from the above list. Those codes are not allowed on for security reasons.

But the bit I really wanted to get to … linking your WordPress site using the text widget in the side bar.

1) From the Dashboard, under Appearance, open the Widgets and drag a Text field into the side bar menu.


Title the Text Field and copy paste the html code below into the text box, modifying it to link to your social media pages.


<div><a href=”yourtwitterURL“><img title=”Twitter” src=”” alt=”Twitter” width=”35″ height=”35″ /></a><a href=”yourpinterestURL“><img title=”Pinterest” src=”//” alt=”Pinterest” width=”35″ height=”35″ /></a> <a href=”yourfacebookURL“><img title=”Facebook” src=”” alt=”Facebook” width=”35″ height=”35″ /></a> <a href=”mailto:youremailaddress“><img title=”Email” src=”” alt=”Email” width=”35″ height=”35″ /></a><a href=”//yourblogURL/feed”><img title=”RSS” src=”” alt=”RSS” width=”35″ height=”35″ /></a></div>


Hashtags, Twitter and Tweet Deck for Teachers

If you are brand new to Twitter, this screen cast is a good place to start, right from how to sign up for a Twitter account and customize it to meet your needs. Beware: 25 minutes long but super easy to follow.

Hashtags are the search engine of the Twitterverse. Not just for tweeting out to the world where you are or a picture of your cappuccino. Connect with educators using hashtags on specific topics. Connect with educators in “chat groups”. Great 8 min. video below on using hashtags in education.


A sample of popular hashtags within the education community.

General Education

#k12 #edchat #teaching

Education Leadership

Connected Principals – #cpchat #edleaders #edadmin #edpolicy #edreform #msadmin

Check out the real authority for Twitter in Education as a PD Resource

Cybrary Man’s Educational Web Sites

Participate in Twitter Chats for learning.

Education Chats

Chat calendar weekly

2015-07-23_1913 2015-07-23_1917                                                                                           Use Tweet Deck and Hoot Suite (mobile device compatible) to keep track of it all.




Pinterest for Education

Pinterest. Not just a place to collect your decorating ideas!


The best things in education come from sharing among teachers.

1) Set up an account

2) Set up a Board and add collaborators who can also add to the collection of ideas and links.

Setting up Pinterest Board

Search for boards and pins with the same or similar focus

Searching for boards and pins


Refine your search.

Refine search

Find something good? An image? A link to a blog? A link to a general website? You can Pin it to your board, visit the website and/or follow this person who pinned the “object (or idea) of your desire”.

Find something good?

Any topic in education … Do you know a teacher who needs resources and ideas? Are you an administrator who needs inspiration?  it’s there.2015-07-23_1431

Be forewarned of the Face Book Effect … it’s a Time Sucker!