Share your Blogging Experience and Tips For Educators New To Blogging

Image of a tip jarWhen you’ve never blogged it can be hard to visualise how to use blogs with students.

I like to stress that the most important aspect of blogging, and where the most learning happens, is in the conversations. So I’m hoping you will write a comment on this post or write your own post (which links to this post) so we can show educators new to blogging:

  1. How these conversations work
  2. Plus provide tips and links to resources that will help them work out how to get started blogging with their students

So can you please share with us:

  • Why you blog? How does it benefit you or your work?
  • How you use blogging with your students and how it has helped them (if applicable)
  • Examples of class and/or student blogs for them to check out
  • What are your 3 most important tips for educators, new to blogging, who would like to blog with their students?

If you are enjoying reading this blog, please consider Subscribing For Free!

Photo uploaded to Flickr on May 3, 2006 by thoth92 licensed under Creative Commons ShareAlike 2.0.

Share This Post:

62 thoughts on “Share your Blogging Experience and Tips For Educators New To Blogging

  1. I am just starting to use a blog as a part of my online class. Would anyone be able to tell me how to link other blogs to mine?
    TY:)

  2. Hello Sue and the Bloggers United (in edu),
    I’m Altan. I teach grade 5. We started blogging in term 2 of this year. I initiated blogging via a class blog and set up student blogs through my class blog. Each pupil now has their own blog (links via my blogroll).

    Much of the structure and approach I’ve taken was inspired through the tutorials and comment streams via Edublogs. I’ve essentially set my role as moderator for my students and am currently trying to inspire greater collaboration.

    Since commencing blogs, I’ve established a focus on digital content. My students are encouraged to add pretty much what they like. Anything they think would be worth adding… digitised copies of their work, links to other sites, ‘About Me’ sections etc. The idea is that they seek social comment regarding academic interest through their own blog (a sense of ownership). Needless to say, all design elements become their choice and may aspects of curriculum are addressed in a contemporary and exciting manner. Most pupils love blogging.

    Enter Web 2.0, the social network. Now that I’ve come to understand the implications, I sought to explore blogging further. I’m now involved with the DET Web 2.0 Innovations and Excellence Department’s project in developing Web 2.0 implementations for Victoria (and beyond). This is happening in the Knowledge Bank:Next Generation branch.

    My particular focus is on blogging in the classroom context. I’m exploring cyber safe issues and ideal blogging tools for classroom bloggers.

    Much of the work will go to development i.e. We’re looking at the total package. My role is part of the picture (typical of a software design… maybe one object/class for developing ideal blogging tools etc). Needless to say, Edublogs, Global Teacher and WordPress are great platforms.

    I,ve 2 blogs essentially. My first is the class blog. My second is my research blog. The research blog seeks input from teachers… ideas and issues for discussion. These points would then form part of requirements suggest to the developers.

    The whole blogging experience has taken me from point to place rapidly. It’s been terrific both as a teacher/researcher and for my students. Please check my sites and drop in a comment or two.

    http://altan.edublogs.org

    http://www.kbng.net/ar/

    Regards,
    Altan

  3. @Larry thanks for telling us about the number of schools involved in your blog last year.

    @christiereichel1, debrennersmith and Gary Hemmingway I’ve sent you all an email to discuss in more detail.

    @Diane Thanks for sharing how you find blogs to read.

    @amkulikowski Both your blogs look like they are going really well. You will find as you blog more it does become easier. Regarding advice for others often people new to blogging share some really good tips because they are seeing it all with fresh eyes.

    @tilgunas thanks for sharing your checklist. It’s excellent and great way to develop blogs with students.

    @Seheno Thanks for telling us about your plans.

    @jones9 (Jessica) Glad our blog has been useful to you.

    @N.D. I really enjoyed checking out how you are using blogs with your students. What an excellent idea. Have you checked out how people have used flickr with their students and maths? That might be an interesting addition to their blog posts?

    @mrscg It can be very overwhelming. And @tilgunas gives you some excellent advice. Take it slowly, do it in stages and most of all enjoy yourself.

    @Sciteacher I’ve also sent you an email. Please let me know if you need any advice or get stuck with any aspects.

    @B.Schmidt I’m hoping there are some on this list that will help you. I have mentioned to James about setting up a system for connecting blogs of similar interests and it is on the list.

    @Uptoncross (Beverley) I did go across and check out your blog. Can you tell me where is the best place to leave a comment for the students?

    @poulingail (Gail) Love how you are using your blog to share what is happening in your classroom with the parents. I’ve seen a similar blog where the teacher also was scanning images of student work to share with them (although that can be quite time consuming).

    @Alpertonscience Glad that our blog has been helpful for you. Unfortunately I often write posts that are too long 🙁 . Definitely sign up for technorati. I also encourage people to subscribe to and read lots of posts as it helps you work out what works/doesn’t in blog posts. Must joins are a hard one and very individual. I would suggest Twitter, Classroom 2.0, Facebook.

    @Heathyliz That is excellent how blogging increase their writing in terms of volume and quality. Am looking forward to hearing how it goes with your new lot of students.

  4. I teach freshman and junior English, from standard levels up to AP. Inspired by the eAnthology used by the National Writing Project, I created a blog with all of my students as authors. They post their writing along with a note guiding their classmates as to the type of feedback they hope to receive: praise only (for the reluctant writer), specific help in one area, or full criticism. Other students then leave comments to the post with said feedback. I’m lucky to teach at a school with tremendous technology, so bringing a set of laptops into the classroom was never a problem; however, my students chose to do a lot of blogging at home, as well. What i saw from this exercise was an exponential increase in the volume of writing my students were doing. They wrote more pieces, wrote longer, more thoughtful pieces, and learned about audience in a way traditional writing could never do.

    I also had students create individual blogs to use as a final portfolio. They posted a work and then left a comment on their own post explaining why they included it in the portfolio.

    This year I am having one blog for all levels and grades. I think seeing the writing of my AP students will help my less advanced ones…and the weaker students may teach the top ones a thing or two!

  5. Hi Sue et al.

    I have already written before about why I blog and 3 tips. However, I have found the following useful being a new blogger and can share these further tips with the blogger community.

    1. Make the blog an exciting read and keep it short – provide links to larger texts of information. (I have learnt this from my personal experience. I once wrote one or two long posts that even I may not want to read again! I may go back and amend them).
    2. If you want to promote your blog try visiting other similar blogs and do write a comment if you found something useful. Express your appreciation about that special something you liked about the blog and which you may wish to use in your blog too. Warning though – do not be disappointed or expect a return visit to your blog and a reply comment from everyone – again, experience!
    3. Promote your blog on different sites e.g. Slideshare with a suitable entry. It takes time to do all this, ( I don’t have that much time myself), but it will help. Maybe sign up with Technorati too, etc. ( I haven’t yet – you guessed it – no time!)
    4. And of course for ideas of some of the things mentioned here and before check outmy site at:

    http://alpertonscience.edublogs.org/

    Good Luck!

    ****** **********************************************
    Sue, can you please recommend what you think is/are the “must-join/s” for newcomers, e.g. wordle, incsub, commentpress, wikis, etc.
    *****************************************************

    Kind regards

    alpertonscience

  6. Hi All,
    My blogging began as a way of trying to get the boys who were “anti readers” in my school to read…..as literacy coordinator I was determined to try to reach the 22% of boys in my school who claim to hate reading. I enrolled in Reading Connects did all the usual stuff on sports stars who read, bring your dad in to read, etc etc but the impact was hardly worth mentioning. Then I got the idea from my son who also is an “anti reader” and yet will read the most sophisticated technical vocabulary on playstation and nintendo…not only that but can understand it first time.

    So I created a book club and a reading blog, over half my members are boys and I have acquired quite a few anti readers. The readers; male, female , old, young have all shown interest in the blog and wrote about a book they liked.
    Reading club has opened up a new dimension in reading for many of my children, they want to help participate and design the blog, which is very encouraging.
    As for me I am only at the beginning of my digital literacy but next year I plan to have a class blog with my 6/7 yrear olds and a pen pal club as well as the reading club . The 21st century requires learners who can interact with their own learning and create new learning to add to the global knowledge economy. The use of ICT promotes the higher order thinking skills which will be the requisite of the 21st century learner. Already I see a difference and hope to continue this next year. Thanks to Edublogs and Sue….I could never have done it without you
    Silvana

  7. Hi!
    I am a fifth grade teacher at Tommie Barfield Elementary School in Marco Island, Florida. While studying Universal Design for Learning (UDL) during a summer institute, I learned about the importance of creating flexible materials that are accessible to all students. I designed a classroom Weblog (jmundorf.edublogs.org) as a way of introducing my students to a new technology while at the same time using a medium that is flexible and accessible.

    The students post and respond to questions on the blog about citizenship, math, science and socials studies; they have to read and respond to articles; view and respond to short videos on the internet; all the while sharing their opinions about the various topics as well as their opinions about the opinions of their classmates. The students post their homework assignments on the blog each day and are able to ask questions of one another about the assignments from home. Parents are also encouraged to post comments on the blog.

    My tips for new bloggers:

    1. Take your time. There isn’t a prize for publishing your blog quickly. I waited a few months before sharing my blog with anyone. I wanted to be sure I understood the new technology, as well as figure out how I was going to use it in the classroom, before introducing it to my students.

    2. Decide how best to use this technology in your classroom to fit your teaching style. Look around and “borrow” ideas from the thousands of classroom blogs and incorporate them into your site. Technology solutions must be designed to integrate with your classroom instruction.

    3. Have fun and be sure that your students are having fun. You don’t want it to become another dreadful school activity.

    Sites I find helpful:

    supportblogging.com/Links+to+School+Bloggers

    aimcast.blogspot.com

    udlguidelines.wordpress.com

    rachelboyd.blogspot.com/

    setbc.org/setinfo/BCUDL/

  8. I reading your help pages because I’m NEW NEW NEW and I have a lot to learn. Somehow I followed a trail from your help desk to:
    http://www.eastquad.com/e-books/the-best-websites-for-developing-academic-english-skills-vocabulary.html
    I really really like this site.
    But the links inside the post don’t exist, the comments don’t seem to work, and although the author asks readers to subscribe, I see no way to do it.
    Is something wrong here or do I just not understand what’s going on. Can you explain why those 3 items don’t seem to work. Am I doing something wrong?
    mshanson

  9. Hi Sue

    I have been helping my mum set up a class blog. We’re both teachers but I’m not in the classroom as much. http://wormbins.edublogs.org/

    We made a video of our experiences.

    http://blip.tv/file/830890/

    The kids seem to enjoy being able to share their work with their families. They also enjoy reading and commenting on each others work.

    Using it as an alternative way to communicate homework gives them a reason to keep going to the blog.

    We’ve just started a homework thread on news which seems to be working really well.

  10. Hello Sue et al.

    I am so very grateful for all the informative comments that you have all provided on this page and others. I am new to EDUBLOGS but the helpful advice has allowed me to very quickly develop new ways to try to get my students involved in their learning and research away from school. (Only pity is that we have also just broken up for the Summer holidays and so I cannot inform all the students about this blog !!) Check it out and let me know what you think:

    http://alpertonscience.edublogs.org/

    To be given interesting, sometimes surprising information and be able to see the applications of science in real life, I believe, shall prove useful to the learners and their parents too. To share resources and ideas was also important to me. This is why I started my BLOG. I am hoping to get feedback from students to improve it even more.

    My tips for fellow NEW bloggers would be:
    1. Choose a good design first that will be appealing and look at least semi-professional.
    2. Try to use colour and photos to make it attractive and relevant.
    3. Don’t forget what the blog was for, but to distract from it a little to engage the learners is okay.

    I know there are many more experienced colleagues out there Sue, but I do hope this helps the newer colleagues. Do let me know.

    Regards

    alpertonscience

  11. Why you blog?
    To communicate with parents and familes.

    How does it benefit you or your work?
    Clearer understanding of what is going on in the classroom as well as helping parents see a bigger picture and their own child.

    How you use blogging with your students and how it has helped them.
    Don’t use student blogs. I teach kindergarten.

    What are your 3 most important tips for educators, new to blogging, who would like to blog with their students?
    Give it a whirl, it’s fun!
    You will learn as you go.
    Students will enjoy the interactive learning.

  12. Our blog is entirely maintained by 9-11 year olds in a small primary school. I started the blog to extend my able pupils – appointing two as the editors. They are responsible for keeping a list of the class members and allocating entries for them to add. So if you visit our blog you will see lots of different names. The children love doing this and we now have linked to our Virtual Learning Environment. I am trying to create a forum for them to show and extend their learning. Please visit us and comment – the children are always excited by new comments.
    Go to:
    http://uptoncross.edublogs.org.uk

    Beverley Etherington
    Y5/6 Teacher

  13. I just began a blog in the past week for my new daughter. I figured that it would be helpful to keep family around the country in touch with how she is doing and it will serve as a documentation that she can look back on as she grows up.

    I have been soaking up ideas in the area of education from several blogs including this one, Bob Sprankle’s, Alan November’s and Darren Kuropatwa’s. I’m excited about the possibilities in general.

    However, most of the discussion is geared to middle/high school levels and I teach second and third grade. Does anyone know of discussions and/or resources that deal specifically with the elementary level?

  14. I am new to blogging and I am excited about what I can do with it. I really have not read that many blogs, but I thought it might be a great we for me to communicate with other science teacher. I started looking for science blogs and did not find very many where science teachers help each other. So I began to look into starting my own. I have today and as I was setting up my blog I found this link.

    This has really opened my eyes to what I can do and to what my kids can do as well. I think I will start a blog for my students in the fall as well. For now I want to concentrate on the one and getting ready for the school year. Obviously have have just started (and currently trying to understand how to put everything together), but please check out my blog and leave me suggestions. http://sciteacher.edublogs.org/
    Thanks and happy blogging

  15. I am having trouble adding others to my blog. I don’t understand how to add colleagues and other interested adults. I need to figure this out before I can add students. Anyway, I did the send email thing but those to whom I sent it still could not access the blog. I thought there might be a link for them to open but there isn’t one.

  16. mrscg–About a year ago that’s EXACTLY where I was. I set up an initial simple blog and just played with adding things to it…links, pages, posts, media. After a year I feel I have a pretty good handle (although I still make mistakes!). The addition of great directions to Edublogs was a big help, the forums also.
    An Edublog blog is quick to set up, and easy to add to once you feel you’re ready. I’d say just jump in, and add a little at a time. Maybe decide what the first thing you want the students to be able to do with your blog. Add that element. See if it works. Talk to the kids and get their input. If it’s not working change it up. Add things as you feel more confident. It’ll be fun!

  17. Hi!
    This is so new to me, very exciting, but also I’m feeling overwhelmed by all of it. While I want to use this for my students immediately, I keep spending hours…literally hours…linking to everywhere and everything!
    How quickly can a blog be set up to operate simply, allowing of course, a growth curve in order to get the whole blog up and running with more sophistication?
    Sorry…the answers should probably be obvious…but all of the information so far has me just feeling overwhelmed!

Leave a Reply

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