Adding links to your posts is really simple, and it’s also a wonderful way to share resources with the class and to engage in dialogue with other authors/sources. To add a link into your post:
- Copy the URL of the webpage you want to link to
- Highlight the text in your post that you want to become hyperlinked
- Click the “Insert/edit link” button (the icon resembles a paper link or chainlink, above the post screen). You can also choose “Insert/edit link” from the “Insert” dropdown menu.
- Paste the URL into the “URL” textbook
- Click the “gear” icon to access more “Link options.” Type in the name of the link into the “Title” space. From here, you can also choose to link to an already existing piece of content (page or post) on our OpenLab course site (instead of an external URL).
- Click “Add Link”
And you’re done. It’s that simple! And you can always edit or remove the link later on, if you need to do so.
*Click here to view the OpenLab Help section on adding links
Here’s a quick tutorial about how to add images:
- To add an image to a post, click on the “Add Media” button with the camera/music notes on the top left of the editing box. You can also choose “Media” from the “Insert” dropdown menu.
- Remember that your image will show up within the post wherever your cursor is when you click “Add Media.” So if you want to insert the image in the middle of your post, make sure to put it there.
- If you are choosing a file from your device, you can then browse for it, the same you would if you were uploading an attachment to an e-mail, by clicking “Upload Files.” If you add to the Media Library first, you can also select your image from there).
- Once you find the image you want, click “Select.”
- You can then edit the image (e.g., to rotate it) … make sure to click “save” after editing it.
- You should re-title the image to make it easier to manage/find later on (ex: Jill Belli, Introduction Photo). If you wish, you can also add a “description” and “caption.”
- You should add “alt text” to make this image accessible to screen readers.
- Remember to follow copyright guidelines for images.
- At the bottom of the screen you can change the “alignment” and “size” of the image
- Don’t forget to click “Insert into Post” (NOT “Save Changes”) at the bottom. If you don’t click “Insert into Post,” the image won’t show up in your post when you publish it (it will just be added to our site’s “Media Library” … more on that later in the semester).
- You can always click “Preview” before you click “Publish” to see what the post will like like after the images are added. Make sure, however, once you are satisfied with your post, to click “Publish” (you can also click “Save Draft” to continue to work on the post later, but no one else will be able to view the post–and I won’t be able to give you credit for it–until you hit “Publish”).
*Click here to view the OpenLab Help section on adding images (and other media)
Adding a video to your post from a site like YouTube is about as simple as it gets. Simply copy the URL of the video into your post, and click “Publish” (as with links and images, don’t forget to contextualize the video a bit, and tell us whose it is and why you’re including it in your post). It will automatically appear (and can be played) right from your post. Woohoo!
*Click here to view the OpenLab Help section on adding videos
Editing / Revising your Posts
*Remember, if you don’t like something (either the post or the image), even after it is published, you can go back and change it (just click “Edit” and revise revise revise). That’s the nice thing about blogs … you can keep revising. Well, for this course, at least until the assignment deadline 🙂
If you’re unsure how to get started posting (blogging) on our OpenLab course site, below is a quick overview:
- Once you’re logged into OpenLab and on our course site, you can easily make a post.
- Simply click the plus sign (+) on the dark menubar (the admin bar) at the top of the screen, and from the dropdown menu that appears, choose “Post.”
- You can also go to your “Dashboard” from the same top menubar, and this will take you to the “back end” (the control panel) of the site.
- From there, you can post (in the left side menu, click “Posts” and then “Add New”) and do a number of other things.
- Don’t forget to “Categorize” your post before submitting it (see below for more details on that), and then to “Publish” your post (if you only click “save” or “preview” it won’t be public). Happy blogging 🙂
*A quick note about categorizing blog posts:
- Make sure to “categorize” your posts so that the site says navigable and organized.
- A category acts sort of like a folder for posts (or like “labels” in Gmail). It groups all posts categorized the same way together, so they can be easily accessed/archived. Without categories, everyone’s posts will just get dumped into one general place and our course site will become very disorganized/chaotic as we produce a lot of content throughout the semester.
- To categorize, after you finish typing your post up, choose the appropriate “Category” from the right side of the screen (e.g., after you create your “Introduction” post, you should make sure to check off “Introductions). If you forget to choose a category, you will be prompted to choose one before you are able to publish your post.
- I won’t be able to easily locate or grade your work if it is not in the right category, so make sure to categorize correctly in order to get credit for your posts.
*Also, you should chat one another up! How do you do this? By commenting on your classmates’ posts. Some more details about this:
- One of the great things about the blog is its interactive, networked nature … people post, others read and make comments, and then conversations happen and ideas get exchanged!
- Read through everyone’s posts and drop comments if you feel inspired. Your comments can serve to affirm what someone has said, ask clarifying questions, provide an alternate viewpoint, add more details, etc. You can now even leave images in comments.
- To comment, simply type in a short comment in the “leave a reply” box at the bottom of the post.
- You can respond either to the original post or a specific commenter (commenting on someone else’s comments).
To sign-up for an OpenLab account, create your profile, and become familiar with the system:
- Sign in to your City Tech email account
- Sign up for an OpenLab account ASAP (no later than Thursday 8/27)
- If you have trouble clicking the confirmation link in the email from the OpenLab, try cutting and pasting it into the address bar of your browser
- Log in to the OpenLab
- Join our course, Science Fiction (ENG 2420), by clicking on its Course Profile (here is more info. about joining courses)
- Browse through the OpenLab (even if you’ve used it before, check it out again as there are always new sites, people, and feature), noticing how people use it and what kind of materials they include
- Click on People & browse through a few pages of OpenLab’s 34,000+ (!!!) members, looking at the avatars and reading about the members in their profile sections
- Now create your own profile, uploading an avatar and including a bio/profile (remember, this info. is available to the public).
Questions? If you need technical support, you should check out the (very detailed/helpful!) Help section of OpenLab, &, if you still have questions, attend an office hour or contact the wonderful OpenLab Community Team via email.