An education blog can be a great way to support classroom learning. It can also serve as a great resource for students and parents alike. However, education blogs are fairly uncommon, so you have to do a convincing job in getting the students to follow the blog regularly. In essence, you need to use the right strategy to make the blog work. Here are some of the best strategies you can use to create a successful education blog for your classroom.
1. Keep the Design and Technology Simple
The idea behind the blog is simple – you want to support classroom learning. Don’t put up an unnecessary obstacle by making your design complex. There are also many simple design themes and templates that look great and are mobile friendly. On the technology side, you can’t go wrong with buying a domain name, setting up WordPress and finding a WordPress hosting provider. If you describe yourself as technically challenged, there’s no need to worry because there many WordPress hosting providers have tech support staff that can help you get set up.
2. Integrate the Blog to the Classroom
Don’t make your blog an option for your students. Make it a part of the classroom and learning experience. For example, if you want to help your students to stay on top of everything, offer helpful resources on your blog. Make your blog a place where students can find homework assignments, project details and test dates. By integrating the classroom objectives in the blog, students will start to follow the blog to stay updated on important announcements and changes.
3. Share or Create Valuable Content
You need to do more than make your blog a helpful resource. You want your students to get some kind of value from following the blog. This can be achieved by creating or sharing valuable content on the classroom blog. For example, if there is a particular math topic that students are having trouble with, you can post supplemental content to help them outside the classroom. This is especially helpful when teachers are not given enough time to go in-depth to a topic in a course material. You can also integrate content from YouTube in your blog and share additional resource to support their learning.
4. Use Social Media and Blog Commenting to Be Accessible
Feedback is important if you want to improve your teaching curriculum, teaching skills and support student success. An easy way to collect feedback is to open up your blog posts for commenting. This allows students to provide valuable feedback that can improve your blog and curriculum. For example, students can ask for clarity on your posts, request additional resources and seek general advice. It’s also a time saving to reach many students.
Social media can also serve as an important channel for interacting with students, especially since they’re already using social media. Just make sure that you set up a separate social media account for this kind of interaction for privacy reasons. You may be wondering why you should use social media over email. The answer is that social media is instant, anonymous and relevant. Many students will feel more comfortable reaching out through social media or through the blog comments than through personal emails.
5. Create an Email Announcement List
While social media and blog comments make it so that you are accessible to students, you still need a reliable way to reach most of your students. This can be easily done by offering a subscription to an email list on your blog. The email list will probably be the most reliable way to update students on new blog posts and important announcements.
You can build an email subscription box and manage the list by using a service like MailChimp. The service is free if you have under 2000 subscribers. Some schools will set up private in network email announcement lists for this task. If you’re managing your own email list, make sure to keep your email announcements to a minimum level as sending out emails whenever you make a blog post can be annoying and lead to people unsubscribing.
6. Make Your Blog Parent Friendly
Your blog should be focused on the parents as well. You want the blog to be a helpful resource that allows them to keep track of what their children are learning in your classroom. It’s also a great way to reach out to parents about important announcements and events. Most parents only find out what’s going on in the classroom when they come in to discuss grades or attend PTA meetings. That’s why they’ll appreciate it if your blog creates content and resources to keep them updated.
Those are some of the many great strategies you can utilize to build a high-level education blog for your classroom. Remember, it’s not about creating a blog and posting helpful content. You have to integrate the blog into your classroom so that the students and parents start following it.