Are you ready to have your students blog? Here are a few tips to help get you started!
1. Introduce Skills Gradually
Blogging requires students to become familiar with technology they may not have used in the past. Don’t expect them to be experts right away! Gradually introduce students to the environment and tools so that they steadily gain expertise.
2. Establish Guidelines
Blog articles are short and informative. Provide guidelines regarding the number of sentences or paragraphs to emphasize the need to keep articles brief. The restrictions will encourage students to be concise.
3. Provide a Range of Writing Experiences
Avoid boredom. Propose a range of articles for student bloggers so that they face new writing challenges. For example, how-to, opinion, biography, product review, pro/con comparison, top 10 list, personal story, inspiration/quote, useful links, timeline, or interview.
4. Teach Commenting
Commenting is a social skill. Students need to learn how to offer encouragement or state their opinion appropriately. This skill takes time and active teaching to acquire. It is a good idea to provide sentence starters to help students learn appropriate phrasing.
5. Invite Parents to Contribute
Parents can contribute to the class blog by adding comments. Set up a guest account that is password protected. Now parents can offer encouragement.
6. Build a Learning Community
Encourage students to read and comment upon entries posted by others. Once they are familiar with blogging, connect with other classes in the school, district, or from around the world.
7. Manage Security Features
Blogging sites allow teachers to set passwords, user settings, and privacy. This control prevents unauthorized users from posting, reading, or commenting. Learn how to manage the security features.
8. Protect Privacy
A blog can be accessible to the public or only authorized users. As well, posts can be set so that they are only viewable by the teacher or by all authorized users. In advance, determine who can access the blog or post and then take the necessary privacy measures.