Creating a classroom blog is an excellent way to foster interactions among your students through online teaching. As your students read and react to the blog, their reading and writing skills will improve. They will also gain experience in communicating with one another, formulating opinions, and defending them. In addition, requiring your students to participate in a blog helps them learn about using the Internet for social interaction and networking.
Setting up the Blog
There are several platforms teachers can use to create blogs, many of which are free. Some of the most popular free blogging platforms include WordPress, Blogger, and Edublogs. Make sure that the platform you choose is simple for your students to use. After you choose a platform, you can create and customize a profile for your classroom’s blog. You can also use a platform to create accounts for each student, or you can allow students to create their own accounts.
After your blog is complete, you can begin making live posts for your students to read. If you allow your students to comment on your posts, make sure that you choose options on the blogging platform that allow you to read students’ posts before they go live. Taking this precaution will help prevent inappropriate comments. In addition, instruct your students to use only their first initial and last name when making their posts. Students should never give out personally identifiable information on the Internet.
Because you are making posts for students to read, you need to make them as easy to follow as possible. Align all of your writing to the left of the page. Left-aligned text is easier to read than centered text. You should also use paragraphs and subheadings whenever possible. Subheadings and paragraphs break up your text so that students can easily digest it.
When your blog is up and running, make sure that you post often enough to keep your students coming back. However, you should not post so often that your students can’t keep up with reading and commenting. Most teachers find that posting two to three times per week is sufficient. Allow students to subscribe to your blog via email so that they know immediately about new posts.
To keep your students interested in your blog, change your themes regularly. Add some fun widgets, but try not to add so many that your students lose track of the blog’s purpose. To help students find past blog content, add a search box to your blog and teach them how to use it. End each post with a question so that students will be inspired to respond with comments. You should also make sure that you reply to the comments students make on your posts. Interacting with your students is the best way to foster their communication skills.
Blogging for Success
Creating an effective classroom blog takes time and dedication. Don’t give up if the blog doesn’t seem immediately successful, especially if your students are inexperienced in the blogging world. Continue to make your posts and encourage communication, and your classroom blog will become a valuable tool that your students can use to share and defend their ideas.
Lindsey Harper Mac is a professional writer living in the Indianapolis area. She specializes in writing guest posts on social media and education and writes on behalf of Colorado Technical University. Currently, Lindsey is completing work on her master’s degree.