a) What Widgets and Plugins did you choose?
Custom CSS, Embed Any Document, Supreme Google Web-fonts
b) What are their strengths?
CSS lets students who want to become more comfortable with coding and web design do so on an easy-to-use website already created for them.
Embed Any Document does wonders in posting assignments and maintaining the blog’s aesthetic. It also helps assure that documents you post can actually be seen by visitors to your blog (a common issue when you simply try to add it with the Media tool).
Google Web-fonts has Times New Roman, a font that I am impartial to because I love it.
c) What are their weaknesses?
The CSS does not include a preview option, so unless the user has an in-depth knowledge of coding, then it is difficult to use. Also, as far as I can tell, there is no way to specify exactly where you want to change or add code.
Embed Any Document does occasionally experience glitches where it only shows the embed code. However, it is still infinitely better than the basic WordPress Media tool.
Web-fonts has Comic Sans. ☹
d) Can these programs be used in a classroom setting to enhance student learning? Would you use it and/or recommend it?
CSS would be excellent for the programming/ICT classes for a website design unit. If I were a teacher, I would definitely try to format a lesson around it. However, I cannot see it being used in any other context.,
Embed Any Document should be used by every student who ever needs to add a document to their Edublog. Definitely should be activated on every blog.
Web-fonts is helpful for those of us who are picky about their fonts or like to change it up a bit, but not really that vital to educational success.