Across the eight block collections that I’m reviewing (default Gutenberg, JetPack, Advanced Gutenberg, Atomic Blocks, Kadence, Qodeblock, Stackable, and Ultimate Addons), there are a bunch of blocks that perform special functions. A couple show up in multiple collections; others in only one. Let’s run through them quickly.
Ultimate has a fantastic block called “table of contents”. Just like in Word or other word processing programs, the page generates the ToC all by itself by recognizing where else in the page / post you have used headings. I frequently use H4, so I limit it to only grabbing those, and the blue block above is an example of it. I can style the background, width, texts, etc., even make the contents collapsible. Heck, I can even change the colour of the bullets…what’s not to love? » Read the rest
A lot of people would immediately think “meta” would mean blocks that let you do meta information within a webpage or site, but I am using the word more in the philosophical sense that there are a large number of sites that are “self-referential”…blocks that basically say, “Hey, I’m part of a website and here are some ways of looking at other parts of the website”. While most blocks let you add new content in a specific way, these “meta” site blocks are ones that basically pull data from elsewhere in the site and let you show that data within another page or post. For the various collections, I have 19 blocks identified across 9 general functions.
Posts or pages
The most obvious function is a block that lets you show other posts or pages within this post or page. The default collection has options for the latest posts, categories, archives, or even a tag cloud. » Read the rest
All of the block collections ((default ones, JetPack, Advanced Gutenberg, Atomic Blocks, Kadence, Qodeblock, Stackable, and Ultimate Addons) come with multiple block options that let you better organize text on the page. There are lists, tables, columns, forms, tabs, accordions, and speciality tools. Let’s get started, as this is a big area.
For lists, the default block is called simply List. Not much you can do with it — it’s either bullets or numbers, and if it is numbers, all you can do is change the starting value. If it is bullets, you can’t even change the look or feel.
Advanced Gutenberg has its Advanced List. At first, I thought it was going to give me more control over numbered lists, but alas, no. It is about icons — 14 very basic ones, in fact. » Read the rest
All of the main block collections come with a “button” block (default blocks, Advanced Gutenberg, Atomic Blocks, Kadence, Qodeblock, Stackable, and Ultimate Addons). The purpose is simple — add some text, add a URL, add some styling, and when the user clicks on it, it goes to the link.
The default Buttons block is relatively simple, as most of them are…you can choose whether it opens in the same window or a new window, the size of the button (small, medium, large or extra-large), the button shape (square, rounded square or circular — more like ovals), button colour, and text colour, and of course the URL. Easier than using shortcodes as I used to have to do before Gutenberg. They work, they’re functional, but the real challenge is they only really work if you want one. Which is ironic since they name the block in the plural, but do not have any options to put several side-by-side, unless you wrap them in some sort of table or other type grid block. » Read the rest
The final assignment for the course, “Metaliteracy: Empowering yourself in a connected world”, is to create a digital artifact of some kind — a story, video, podcast, etc. — tied to the theme of metaliteracy, metacognition, and the topics of the previous 3 weeks. The goal is to help teach some aspect of it to someone else. For me, one of the most interesting areas of metaliteracy falls into the area of ethics. And I think I have something unique to say.
Metaliteracy and Ethics
It’s quite interesting that so many people talk about the “ethical use of information” on the internet and in journals, on talk shows and in lecture halls. Yet none of them seem to stop to ask themselves what they mean by ethics? In most cases, the explanation is quite simply “do no harm” or “don’t do bad things with the info”. It is akin to Google’s slogan, “Don’t be evil”. » Read the rest