Monday, October 4, 2010

Kill the Widget

Kill the Wabbit! Elmer Fudd shouts at Bugs Bunny, his archenemy in Looney Tunes cartoons.

After my widget war, I too, have a battlecry:

Kill the Widget!

Let me explain.

I've been working with a grade 5 teacher who wants to create digital portfolios with his students blogs.  The teacher wanted to create a blog page with students titled, My Reads, which launched me on a quest to find a website that students could use to track books they have read and write reviews. 

I didn't want it to be a quest.

It should have been easy. I've used Shelfari and Library Thing. But it wasn't easy and during my quest Elmer Fudd phrases kept popping into my head: Bewieve it or not, I'm hunting a certain wascawwy wabbit /widget.

I tried putting Shelfari's shelf widget on my blog. Pwetty cwafty, eh? Wrong! This is where the wabbit/widget outsmarts me. No matter what I did the Javascript kept deleting when I'd try and post, leaving me only a link. The teacher wanted the visual so students could show parents their digital portfolios during conferences.  Check out Jeff Utecht's great posts on digital portfolios. I  tried the only other social network I know for reading books called, The Library Thing. This too has a widget but the javascript would delete when I embedded the information into my Word Press blog. It acted the same as Shelfari. I worked with the IT department and tried all sorts of ways to get the wily widget to work, but no luck. The quest ended in failure. I was told the widget  wouldn't work.

My alter ego, Elmer Fudd, grabs his hunting rifle and pulls the trigger. Blast! I kill the widget.

Elmer Fudd  was always remorseful after he thinks he killed the wabbit. "Oh what have I done?" he says. "I've killed the wabbit. Poor wittle bunny! Poor wittle bunny." I too, am remorseful. I talk to Nancy Gorneau, grade 3-5 IT Coordinator, who tells me to try Good Reads which is supposed to work with Word Press blogs. It works and looks great! Look at the bottom of my column to the right. The teacher is happy. The IT Department is happy. I am happy. I also wearned my wesson... next time I  have twubble wid widgets I'm finding Nancy.

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