Tag Archives: blog

Top 5 TechnoKids Blog Articles of 2017

This year marks TechnoKids 25th anniversary. TechnoKids has been publishing technology projects and writing about technology education since 1993. In 2011, we published our first TechnoKids blog article, Six Benefits to Project Based Learning and Technology Integration. Since that time, we have written hundreds of blog articles. The posts connect teachers to helpful online resources, provide how-to instructions, review apps or web-based services, and express our opinion about technology integration. Thanks for reading!

TechnoKids Blog Articles – Technology Integration Ideas

Despite writing many new articles in 2017, many posts from several years ago remain reader’s favorites. In case you missed them, here are our top 5 blog posts shared and read by readers in 2017:

Wrap Text into a Shape using Photoshop CC

TechnoKids Blog  text into shape photoshop cc

Detailed instructions explain how to use Photoshop CC to wrap text into a shape. The blog post includes helpful tips with illustrations. This is a great article to bookmark if you are teaching a Photoshop unit.

Create WordArt Online

TechnoKids Blog  online wordart maker

An article that highlights one of our favorite online WordArt sites: CoolText. If you haven’t used this site before check it out! Your students will have lots of fun creating amazing titles and original text for their documents, presentations, and publications.

Color Part of a Black and White Photo using Photoshop CC

TechnoKids Blog History Brush Tool

Step by step instructions explain how to use the History Brush Tool to color part of a grayscale image. In only a few steps your students can create original artwork using Photoshop CC. Read this post if you like easy photo editing lessons.

Custom Bullets in Google Docs

TechnoKids Blog  custom bullets

In 2016, TechnoKids wrote a blog article about how to customize bullets in Google Docs. We explain how to create eye-catching lists with fun-looking bullets or professional headings that stand out with special characters. Since we published that post, Google has continued to improve the gallery of options. Your students will love the emojis!

Survey Questionnaire Ideas for Students using Google Forms

TechnoKids Blog  research question, google forms

So happy that readers love Google Forms and data analysis as much as we do! Our article about generating a meaningful research question for a survey has remained popular for years. People each day read this post. If you haven’t tried it yet, we recommend using Google Forms to collect and analyze data with your students. Designing a questionnaire and interpreting the results makes learning relevant.

Our bloggers like sharing helpful tips and resources. We appreciate that you take the time to read our blog posts. Thanks!

Teach Blog Formatting Techniques to Students

Teach blog formatting techniques to students as part of a blogging unit. This knowledge will guide them when organizing the content of their post. It will also focus students’ thinking towards their audience and the purpose of their writing.

Blog formatting techniques can be used to hook the reader’s interest and draw their attention. You want students not only to think about what their audience wants to read, but also HOW the audience wants to read it. Blog readers want to get information FAST! Teach your students how to format a post to make it appealing to readers.

There are six tricks for formatting a blog post. Explicitly teach these techniques to students to improve their writing. The trick is to use numbers in the title, headings, highlighted words, bullet lists, numbered lists, and pictures.

Numbers in the Title

Numbers in the title is a valuable technique that students should often use when writing a blog post. Not only does it appeal to the audience, but it also provides a helpful framework for organizing ideas. Your students do not need to use a number in EVERY title for EVERY blog post they write. This overuse would eventually reduce reader interest. However, it is a formatting technique they need to know.

Numbers in the title trigger the reader’s attention and provides structure to the post. For example, the title 3 Secrets to Become a Successful Blogger is better than Secrets to Become a Successful Blogger. By including a number in the title, it shows the blogger has included only the most vital information. As well, the number lets a reader know the content in the post will be organized in a logical order that is easy to scan.

Encourage your students to follow these tips for using numbers in the title:

  • Use a digit instead of a word. For example, 7 Easy Ways to Improve Your Blog is better than Seven Easy Ways to Improve Your Blog. The digit is faster to read and attracts attention.
  • Small numbers are better than large numbers when giving advice. For example, 3 Tips to Become a Pro is better than 33 Tips to Become a Pro. The smaller number tells the reader you are sharing essential information and the post won’t waste their time.
  • Large numbers are better than small numbers when sharing resources. For example, 25 Fun Online Games for Kids is better than 2 Fun Online Games for Kids. The larger number tells the reader that there is lots of value in the post and it is worth their time.
  • Odd numbers are better than even numbers. For example, 5 Powerful Reasons to Use Odd Numbers is better than 6 Powerful Reasons to Use Odd Numbers. Odd numbers such as 3, 5, and 7 chunk information into groups that people can easily understand. The only exception to this tip is the number 10. Readers are attracted to this even number.

Headings

Headings organize a post by dividing the information into small chunks. The heading names identify the content of each section. Students are likely familiar with using headings when they write a report. This type of publication tends to have more text than a blog post. However, even if a blog post is short, encourage your students to include at least one or two headings. Not only does this technique improve readability for blog readers, it is also a useful organizational tool for bloggers.

Headings save blog readers time. Instead of reading every word in the post, they can choose to read the part that is most relevant. When teaching this formatting technique, have students practice writing concise, meaningful headings.

Highlighted Words

Highlighted words draw the reader’s attention to the most important content. It makes the text stand out on the page by using a different color or font style such as bold or italic. Highlighted words help a reader to scan a post to find essential information.

Teaching this technique is an excellent way to improve writing style. By choosing which text to format, students are encouraged to think about the main message or purpose of their writing. They must be able to highlight one or two sentences or phrases that capture the essence of the blog post. If a student cannot identify text to highlight, then they need to change their word choice to be concise and clear.

Bullet List

A bullet list displays content in short points. This formatting technique provides lots of information in a concise format, which saves the blog reader time. Instead of reading an entire paragraph, a list can be scanned for key details. This formatting technique is often discouraged from being used in school assignments such as reports, short stories, or essays. Typically, it is limited to the planning and organization stage of writing such as collecting research facts or grouping ideas.

It is a good idea to teach students how to effectively use bullet lists in a blog post as they might be reluctant to use this technique. A bullet list can be used in a blog post to:

  • provide details
  • outline features
  • offer tips

To help your students, you may want to establish the guideline that no point should be more than one or two lines of text. Emphasize that each point should be brief. In addition, the text does not need to be a complete sentence.