September 15, 2017
Why You Should Start Classroom Blogging (and How to Do It)
Editor's note: This is an updated version of our recent article on classroom blogging, featuring new resources to help you and your learners build and maintain your best classroom blog.
There are plenty of reasons to begin classroom blogging with your learners. Aside from being a perfect way to exercise crucial writing and communication skills, it also promotes critical thinking. With classroom blogging conversation on your class content becomes broader since it provides your kids with an excellent peer-to-peer contact platform. It's liberating to share ideas and opinions that awaken your learners' passions. In addition to this, it also builds research and organizational skills.
Here are a few other reasons why classroom blogging is good for learning in general:
- It's a great learning tool when you get feedback
- There's opportunity for teaching digital citizenship
- It's good for building student-teacher community
- It attracts PLN opportunities for teachers
Classroom blogging is hard work, but it's fun work. It creates a gathering place to chat about the class outside of class. You can capture snapshots of the school year via various forms of media. It allows a free flow and sharing of information that's relevant to students and their interests.
Blogging also helps to get the class outside of the classroom and expand the learning space. For example, exposure on the Internet can create funding or support for student projects from sources other than local reserves.
Considerations for Starting Out
Classroom blogging can be done anytime, but class time or after-school time should be set aside for those who are less connected. Another consideration is how often you or your students should be blogging.
At the very least a teacher should blog every week. Students would blog as assigned, and as much as they wish in their free or after-school time. You might want to require a quality comment from each student on the teacher’s weekly thoughts.
Obstacles you may face are the ability of some learners to type well. Some are also less connected than others, and still other students may lack good writing skills. You'll have to iron these things out as you go.
Is SEO Necessary?
SEO stands for "search engine optimization." It's about how search engines are used and involves tactics like using keywords strategically within content to make it more visible. This is in order to get it higher up in unpaid or "organic" search rankings.
So is it important, and also necessary? It absolutely is, but not at this stage of the game. Most education blogs are not concerned with SEO. Nevertheless, it is a worthy skill to teach students in the digital age. Don't think of it as a tactic meant to pull a fast one on web crawlers—it's not about fooling anything or anyone. It's simply about understanding how the Internet works and how information is viewed and shared.
In the digital age, it's a very good thing to know. Professional writers who blog for a living are often wise to consider SEO specifications. Such practices make their writing more shareable and readable. It also maximizes an article's potential for exposure and a having longer shelf life in cyberspace.
The truth is that SEO is an increasingly integral part of the way online writing is evolving. There's really no getting away from it if you're going for a career involving publishing on the Web.
Is it a big deal if your blog goes viral? Sure—at least, it can be. Is this a goal? Sure again, for a few reasons. For instance, you could win an award and be recognized world wide on high-profile lists, articles, and databases. It's additional credibility points, and a notch in your professional cap. Also, students can be proud of a blog well done. Their learning is enhanced when they see their work recognized.
Getting Started With Classroom Blogging
Here's an article from Teacher Challenges on this subject that is highly recommended. It's a comprehensive step-by-step guide for how to set up your first classroom blog. This is part of a whole series on classroom blogging. You've got blog examples, advice, tools to try, and more. Whatever you want to know about classroom blogging, you're likely to find it there.
As an added bonus, get your learners started with a guided writing process with this free article writing template from us here at the GDCF. It follows the 6Ds of Solution Fluency, and it's the process we use to write articles here on our blog. The format is in Word so it's easy to use and edit.
If you're ready to go now, try out these top websites for blogging:
Further Reading on Classroom Blogging
- 10 Classroom Blogging Ideas to Boost Engagement
- Teachers First: Blog Ideas for the Classroom
- Why Every Teacher Should Start A Classroom Blog
- Blogging in classroom: How to get started