During the EdTechWeekly postshow last Sunday, we ended up looking at my blog. A few people commented on the theme, and I explained that I had it custom designed for use in our district. Many of our teachers have expressed an interest in blogging, but were frustrated by the theme choices available. Especially at the elementary level, teachers felt that there weren’t enough kid-friendly themes available. All of the blogs ended up too grownup-looking. They asked for more kid-friendly themes to use with their blogs.
I talked to Darrell McGuire at Pegasys Computer Technologies. They work on a number of network projects with us. I asked them to create some kid-friendly WordPress themes for use in our district that would work with sidebar widgets. They’ve created several, and over the course of the last few months, I’ve tested most of them on my site.
The intention from the beginning was to make these freely available to anyone who has a use for them. Based on the discussion last Sunday, there seems to be some interest in them, so I’m posting them now. Please remember that we’re just starting to use these, and they may have some display problems, especially with some widgets. They have not all been thoroughly tested. Keep in mind that they’re written for WordPress 2.1 or later. That doesn’t mean they won’t work with earlier versions, but I haven’t tried them.
All of these are dervied from styles created by Becca Wei and Michael Heilemann. Their work is GPL, so these are too. Feel free to use them if they fit with what you’re trying to do.
If you work for the Brecksville-Broadview Hts. Schools and you have a blog on our server, you may already have access to these themes. If you don’t, contact me and I’ll get them installed. Don’t try to download and install them yourself, because there’s a good chance you’ll need a WordPress upgrade first.
BBHCSD Simple B
This is the first theme. It’s very simple, with a nice texture in the header. It was more a proof-of-concept than anything.
BBHCSD Terrifying Bee
Bees are our school mascot. In this theme, we were aiming for something Escher-like. I wanted something like the lizards that walk off the page in his work. We ended up with this, which none of our teachers will use because it’s terrifying. It’s only here because Dave Cormier likes it.
This one is probably my favorite of this group. It’s not necessarily kid-oriented or related to the schools in any way, but the color palette and rounded edges make it appealing to kids (at least, they make it appealing to my kids).
BBHCSD Reading Bee
Back to the bees. This one is a lot less threatening, and also has an academic aspect to it. This one was immediately popular with some of our teachers.
BBHCSD Water Lilly
This theme was somewhat inspired by the work of the impressionists.
We’re going to continue to do more themes for teachers, and have a few in the works right now. When I have another batch that are suitable to share, I’ll post them, too.