Educational technology tips for teachers, librarians and schools.
EdTech

Blogging in the Classroom: An Essential Teacher Tutorial

Blogging in the Classroom: An Essential Teacher Tutorial

By Megan Ray Nichols

Hold students accountable for independent reading with Whooo's ReadingEveryone is constantly connected, whether it’s through computers or phones, and students are no exceptions.

In many cases, school-aged children are actually more connected than their adult counterparts, chatting on social media and reading blog posts instead of news articles.

Educators can use this to their advantage by creating and implementing a blog as part of the classroom curriculum.

The benefits of blogging in the classroom are many. Not only can you make learning more relatable, allowing students to show what they know using a format they’re familiar with, but blog assignments allow students to learn a variety of new digital skills.

Use these steps to start your first classroom blogging experience.

Step 1 – Get Started

Setting up a blog for your classroom is easier than you might think. The first step is to choose a platform—we’ll discuss some of the best places to set up your classroom blog later in this piece.

Once you’ve picked your platform, the task becomes choosing how you’re going to manage the blog’s content. Are you:

  • Setting up a blog where your students can discuss current classroom topics or assignments?
  • Creating a platform where your students can post their own work?
  • Make a place for your students to keep track of the assignments for a given day, week or month?

Whatever your goals, having an idea of what you want to do makes it easier to set everything up the right way the first time.

Next, it’s time to choose a theme. Many blogging platforms, like WordPress, provide you with a variety of themes that you can choose from for no additional charge, and they are infinitely customizable.

With these details out of the way, it’s time to share the new blog with your students and open the forum for discussion. This is also a good time to discuss what will be posted on the blog and how the posting schedule will be handled.

If you’re not tech savvy, don’t worry—take advantage of your students’ skills and offer extra credit to a team of students who can set up and/or maintain the blog.

Step 2 – Set a Schedule

Setting a schedule for when posts will be uploaded and when they’re duestep two blogging classroom sounds like a stressful task. With Google Calendar, however, this process is seamless.

Simply set up events and calendars and share with specific individuals or make it available for all students to see.

If you use Google Classroom, the new Google Calendar integration will make the scheduling even easier. Be sure to include the names of students’ who have tasks to complete and set up reminders so students are alerted as the due date gets closer.

More: 20 Best Google Classroom Tips From Google Pros

Step 3 – Create Ground Rules

Setting up ground rules for your blog is a great way to make sure your blog is productive, eliminating gossip or inappropriate use from the beginning. Some possible rules might include:

  • No profanity in posts.
  • All topics are up for discussion—there’s no reason to shy away from hot-button topics, especially if they’re related to current events. It’s a great way to spark discussion and debate, both in the comments and in the classroom.
  • Always make your comments constructive, even if it’s constrictive criticism.

You can always change or update the rules as the blog evolves in your classroom.

More: 10 Classroom Rules for Using Technology

Step 4 – Content

Now it’s time for the most important part of blogging—your content.

The easiest way to get started with content creation for a classroom-based blog is to publish a few posts about your blog and what it’s for. Use a variety of styles, media and embedding options in these posts so they can be used as templates for students to replicate.

With the introductory posts published, it’s time to transfer the creative control over to your students.

You can use the blog for just about anything, from labs to class discussions and everything in between.

Use these 50 creative blog writing prompts to get your students thinking.

Step 5 – Grading

The best use of blogging in the classroom happens when it’s incorporated into your cucms-265128_1920curriculum. If you only have one student posting every week, then commenting on that post or providing some constrictive criticism either in text or in the classroom should be considered as part of the assignment.

If everyone is posting once a week, encourage peer feedback by requiring students to constructively comment on at least three blog posts a week.

However you use or grade your blog, it should be used as a way to elevate your students, encourage collaboration and teach 21st century skills.

Best Blogging Platforms

Here are some of the best blogging platforms for educators and students alike.

WordPress: WordPress is one of the most popular blogging platforms for everyone, not just educators. Benefits include:

  • You don’t have to buy a domain name, simply create a blog name and it will be paired with .wordpress.com. For example: MrsRingsClass.WordPress.com.
  • The platform has hundreds of free themes, customizable tools, and ways to incorporate other programs like Google Calendar, videos, pictures and social media.

Edublogs: Edublogs is a great education-based blogging platform that uses many of the same tools that WordPress provides, including a free platform. Unfortunately, its free platform only provides 100 MB of storage space, which will quickly run out with frequent posting.

The Pro version costs $39.95 per year, but Edublogs does offer a WordPress-based network that schools and universities can take advantage of.

Kidblog: Kidblog is one of the safest and most secure blogging platforms for kids and students. For $36 per year, this platform offers similar features as the two previously mentioned, in addition to added security and management features that most educators would find helpful.

Creating a blog may seem a bit intimidating, especially if you aren’t tech savvy. Don’t let that stop you from taking advantage of this 21st century learning tool—it’s a smart way to help foster your students’ creativity while using the technology that we take for granted every single day.

Pin It!

blogging in the classroom: a teacher tutorial

WRforSchools
View Comments (3)

3 Comments

  1. Frank Cotela

    April 1, 2016 at 1:38 am

    A really useful guide. Thanks Megan.

  2. Irene Fenswick

    April 5, 2016 at 12:19 pm

    Thank you for your great article, Megan. I totally agree with you that blogging is the interactive platform where students as well as teachers can express themselves. When I was in school my essays were read and evaluated only by teachers. Now students have a possibility to reach out to a larger audience and read their peers’ writing.

  3. Pingback: 10 Classroom Blogging Ideas to Boost Engagement

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

EdTech

More in EdTech

affordable classroom gadgets

6 Awesome Classroom Gadgets That Are Also Affordable

Will KlingerAugust 10, 2017

10 Classroom Tools to Personalize Reading Instruction

Wesley MatlockAugust 1, 2017
learning analytics

8 Things Every Educator Should Know About Learning Analytics

Bob HandMay 25, 2017
think like a coder

7 Ways to Teach Students to Think Like a Coder

Tor Mostrom Johan WendtMay 11, 2017
k-12 libraries

10 Ways Tech Has Transformed K-12 Libraries

Bob HandApril 9, 2017
public speaking lessons

10 Apps for Your Public Speaking Lessons

Hattie JamesApril 4, 2017
More in EdTech, Featured
title 1 programs data
5 Title 1-Approved Programs Backed By Data

By Jessica Sanders Fancy words and catchy images don’t always translate to success—in fact, they almost never do when it...

Close