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Widgets (sometimes known as gadgets) are self-contained, mini-applications. These mini apps can be downloaded and run on your desktop or embedded on your web page. If you maintain a blog or participate in a social network, you've probably seen widgets at work displaying the current weather, showing a world map of users, or offering a game of Suduko. Particularly popular in Facebook, widgets can easily be placed in any web page.

Check out The Big House Library page from Casa Grande High School to see examples of many widgets embedded on a page.

There are many ways to use widgets. For instance, you might add the LibraryThing widget shown the the right. This widget shows books for children from my LibraryThing library.

Two other popular book widgets are from GoodReads Widget and Shelfari Widget.

readRead Widgets to the Rescue by Ellyssa Kroski in School Library Journal (2/1/2008).

There are many sources of widgets. If you find a widget you like, look for a link to the developer's website. They will generally describe the terms of use and provide the code.

Wolfram/Alpha has lots of cool widgets on topics from mathematics and history to education.

Many websites provide the source code for their widgets. For instance, The Weather Channel has a weather widget you can put on your web page or blog.

To use a widget, look for the HTML code that has been provided with the mini app. This code can be copied and pasted in your website, blog, or social network. If you're a YouTube user, you've probably seen this code before. Keep in mind that you can also embedd TeacherTube videos.

Keep in mind that some widgets are associated with particular websites or software applications. For instance, you may not be able to use a Facebook widget in another website.

Lists of Widgets

If you can't find the widget you seek, try doing a web search for a topic and add the word widget such as "weather widget".

If you're using Google Sites, there's a built-in option for embedding Google Gadgets.

Widget Development Tools

There are a number of services that let you create your own widget. Just follow the directions, then embed the code provided.

Learn more at Widget Engine or Widget Toolkit from Wikipedia.


Widgets in Learning

Many widgets are used to embed student projects into a web page. For instance, it's possible embed a Glogster project into a wiki or web page.

readWatch the video How to Embed a Glog in a Wiki from YouTube (on the right).

Links to the materials in this section can be found in the navigation bar on the left side of this page. Continue to the arrow means an internal linkLearning Spaces: Interactive Technology: Apps page.

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