You should see a “Log in” button at the top left of the screen. Click this to log in to Sites at Penn State. You may need to enter your Penn State login credentials.
Once you have logged in you’ll see several options in the toolbar at the top of the screen. Hovering over “My Sites” will give you a list of all Penn State Sites for which you have access. Look for “Mathematics for Sustainability: Fall 2017” if you are not already on it and select “Visit site”.
Please contact Russ deForest if you have trouble logging in to the Course blog.
Hover over “+New” and click on “Post” to create a new post. A new screen will open, titled “Add New Post”.
Near the top you’ll see the title field with the helpful hint: “Enter title here”.
Below this is the main editing area, with a collection of formatting tools. On the right are several smaller windows: “Publish”, “Format”, “Categories” and “Tags”. We’ll revisit these a little later.
Now you can use the editor to write your post.
- Enter the title of your post in the single line at the top, above the toolbar (it says “Enter Title Here”). Some writing assignments may have specific instructions for the title.
- Start typing your post in the big window (the “composition window”). A word count can be found at the bottom left of this window.
- The toolbar contains icons for the usual word processor functions: boldface text, italic text, various kinds of lists and formatting. If you hover the mouse over any toolbar icon, a popup will tell you what it does.
- Separate pages in this series will cover adding hyperlinks, images, and tables to your post.
- You can cut and paste text from Microsoft Word (or another word processor) to the composition window, using the clipboard. Formatting may not be preserved by the cut-and-paste process; it’s best to keep the formatting simple if you plan to use this feature.
- If you know HTML, the “Text” tab at the top right gets you access to the underlying HTML of your post, which you can edit as desired. The “Visual” tab gets you back to the standard editing mode.
When you have finished drafting your post you need to categorize it – say what kind of post it is. The list of categories is in one of the panels to the right of the main composition area – if you have enabled “distraction-free” mode, you will need to move the mouse outside the composition window to see this. For each blogging assignment a category will be indicated. Check the box for the appropriate category for your post.
Now you are ready to publish your post! Go to the publish panel which is the topmost of the various small panels on the right-hand side of the screen. The important buttons here are those labeled “Save Draft”, “Preview” and “Publish”:
- Save Draft saves the post as it is. You can come back and continue working on it later. It is not made public yet: only you (and the administrators) can see it.
- Preview opens a window where you can see exactly how the post will look when it is published. This is helpful for a final check.
- Publish makes the post available on the blog. This is like sending an email or submitting a homework assignment. You must publish your post in order that anyone can respond to it and in order that it can receive a grade.
- You can leave the “Format” panel set at “Standard”. Below the “Category” panel is a panel for entering “Tags”. Tags are useful in some posts, such as the In the News posts, for indicating topics that a post is related to.