A WordPress Widget Perfect For Building Your PLN

If you’re an education blogger using WordPress, Dell has a pretty sweet new tool for you. It’s a widget that displays a curated list of your favorite education blogs and websites. <shameless plug> We at Edudemic are honored to be featured in the widget. </shameless plug>

Here’s how it works. You go to this Dell website and / or search for a ‘dell edu’ plugin in the plugin search area of your WordPress site. It’s like a 20-second process to download, activate, and install the widget. What you get is an elegant way to display the latest posts from your favorite sites. You can see it towards the bottom right side of Edudemic if you want to see it in action!

It’s free and a great way to show off the work of the bloggers and writers in your PLN. I was lucky enough to have the chance to chat with the Dell people so I asked them a few questions on your behalf:

1. Is the widget free and available to everyone who has a blog?
The widget is and will always be free. Currently we only offer the widget for WordPress but we are working hard to expand its capabilities to blogger and typepad.

2. Who controls which websites are featured in the widget?
Currently we control the list of blogs that feed into the widget. However, you as a user can select which blogs from the list you want to include in your widget. You can also submit your blog for inclusion at http://marketing.dell.com/education-widget We are also adding a few additional features this week that will allow the installer even greater flexibility. These features include the following:

- The ability to add any blog to your own wordpress widget installation.

- New feature that will auto import your blog roll to the widget. The widget will go through your blog roll and auto adds them to the widget on your webpage only.

A look at the option screen for the widget.

3. How flexible is the widget? Can you adjust the size (width and height) to fit your particular theme?
The widget should always conform to your blog settings. Therefore depending on the style of your blog the widget will adopt those settings and size limits.

4. What prompted you to create this widget?
We created the widget because we wanted to provide a way to better connect educators across the Globe. There are hundreds of fantastic EDU blogs online that are regularly posting great articles on every EDU topic imaginable. Our hope is this widget can help aid the EDU community in connecting and discovering new information.

5. How has it been performing? Any numbers you can share?
We just launched the widget last week and it has been downloaded 87 times. Over the next week we will be talking more about the widget in our own Dell EDU social media sites. Through discussion on Dell’s social media properties and blogs just like this we hope to increase those numbers.


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