January 14, 2009

Introduction

Note: Uthink has upgraded to Movable Type 4 since these instructions were written. Not all instructions have been updated yet to reflect these changes. (6/23/2009)

Purpose of this blog
To provide tips and tutorials to aid you in creating websites for your assigned EnHS student website projects.

Click here to view examples of EnHS student websites from previous semesters.


UThink Publishing Tool
The University of Minnesota's UThink web-based blogging tool (http://blog.lib.umn.edu/) is the primary tool we are recommending for the creation of your student websites.

A recent example of an EnHS student website published on UThink can be found here: http://blog.lib.umn.edu/enge/ewaste/


January 20, 2009

Tips for Structuring Website Content

Organization
Decide how you want to organize the information; what links you want to include and what graphics you plan to use. If you are working with a group assign one person to coordinate the overall structure of the site so that all the sections have a consistent structure and organization.

Audience and Purpose
Who is your audience? What is the goal of your site? Define your audience and purpose and tailor your content to that particular group and goal (e.g., a poison prevention website aimed at kids uses a much different graphic and writing style than one aimed at adults).

Content for the Web
When writing for the web "less is more". People tend to do much more "scanning" than "reading" when looking at articles online vs. print. Help your users find the information they need quickly by using consistent headers, plentiful subheaders, shorter paragraphs, and lists (either bulleted or numbered as appropriate).

Student Website Examples
Visit this link to view EnHS student website projects from previous semesters:

http://www.enhs.umn.edu/current/websites.htm


January 22, 2009

Using Images

Copyright Issues
If you are using pictures and/or illustrations, be aware of copyright issues regarding any information you use.

Image Resources
Here are some good copyright free image resources:

http://www.dotgovwatch.com/?/archives/8-The-Best-Copyright-Free-Photo-Libraries.html

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Main_Page

http://www.morguefile.com/

http://phil.cdc.gov/phil/home.asp (The CDC’s Public Health Image Library)

http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/clipart/default.aspx

January 26, 2009

Getting Started in UThink

Go to the UThink start page at: http://blog.lib.umn.edu/uthink/start.phtml

Enter your University of Minnesota Internet ID (X.500 username) and password.

Click Login.

In the Weblog Name field, type the name of your project. Example: Electronic Waste

In the Directory Name field, enter the directory name where your main index file will be located. Example: ewaste

Select the appropriate time zone.

Click Save Changes.

That's it! Your weblog has been created and is ready for your first entry.

Adding/Editing Blog Entries

Adding your first blog entry (and category links):

In the Create section of the navigation menu at the top of the page, choose Entry. A Create New Entry page will appear

Entry Title:
In the Title field-type "Introduction" (this is the header/title of your first entry)

Category Links:
Select Add New Category (in the 'Categories' section at the lower right of the page). A popup window will appear.
In the Category Title field-type "Introduction". Click 'Add' button (green dot with plus sign).

Entry Text:
In Entry Body paste or type your introduction page text.
Click 'Save Entry' button.
You have created a blog entry. You can view your entry (and your entire current blog) by clicking 'View Site' at the bottom of the navigation menu.


Adding/editing more entries:

You can add to or edit your entries at any time by clicking 'Entries' in the 'Manage' navigation menu at the top of the page.

Adding/Editing Web Elements in UThink

You can change the appearance of your blog by adding or editing any of the HTML or graphics. This includes adding elements such as tables and bulleted lists and even changing the entire background/template.

Hyperlinks

To add a hyperlink:


  1. Use the cursor to highlight name of your link in your text.

  2. Click on button with the link icon (3rd from right) above the Entry Body field.

  3. Type or paste the url of the link in the javascript prompt.

  4. Click 'Ok'.



Images

To add an image:


  1. Click on the 'Insert Image' icon (3rd icon from the left in the row of icons above the entry body field). A new window will appear.
  2. Click on upload new image. Use the 'Browse' button to select an image from your desktop. Then click the 'Upload' button. You will then be given a series of options for inserting your new image.


HTML from a Word Document

To add HTML from a Word document (useful for tables, etc):


  1. In your Word document, in the File menu, select Save as Web Page. The document will be saved to your desktop with a file extension ending in .htm

  2. Open your word document in a web browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, etc). In the View menu (IE, Firefox) select Source (Internet Explorer) or Page Source (Firefox). A document will open displaying the HTML for that page.

  3. Find the HTML code for the element you are interested in.

  4. Copy the code and paste it into the appropriate place in your blog entry.


Templates

To change the blog template:


  1. Under the Configure navigation menu on the left side of the page, click Templates.

  2. An Index Templates page will appear. At the bottom of the page, under Plugin Actions, Click the ‘Select a Design using StyleCatcher’ link.

  3. Select an appropriate theme from the thumbnails presented.


April 27, 2009

Categories

Uthink automatically lists the category titles in the category navigation in alphabetical order. A workaround for this is to number the categories in the order you want them to appear. For example:

Getting Started in UThink
Introduction
Structuring Content
Using Images


Now appears as:

1. Introduction
2. Structuring Content
3. Using Images
4. Getting Started in UThink