A school blog makes it easier than ever to share unique content with your school community. It is important however, to ensure to include your school website blog within your main website. Using a separate blogging facility gives conflicting style, a lack of branding and separate content. Keeping your blog on your website gives a professional consistent feel. It also gives you the ability to present additional content to your visitors. If you are a Schudio client, blogs are included as part of your website software.
An important feature to remember is to have a good platform with a responsive admin area. So, if students are using a desktop, laptop, tablet or phone they can blog from all of them.
If you’re going to involve your students in blogging on your website then you’ll need to be able to check and approve their work. This is important before it gets published for the world to see!
So, we’re going to look at some key areas on how blogging can add impact to your school.
A school blog is one of the easiest ways to effectively engage with your school community. A number of short informative blog posts can provide a deeper insight into your school than a lengthy page of text. Blog posts can be regularly updated and can be written in a different way to the more traditional, formal documents. Student blogs or teacher blogs, both are useful in sharing the great work your school does.
Besides telling stories of life in school, it’s also a great way for students to write for an audience and with a purpose. Blogging can extend the audience that your pupils write for beyond your classroom walls. To help give a real sense of purpose to children’s writing, a blog that can be seen by more than their own class teacher is important and therefore it can increase their motivation and enthusiasm to write. It raises challenge levels; enables IT-skilling; lets students see their own progress and differentiates well; means more productive and accelerating learning-talk over rote-writing.
Integrating blogging into the literacy curriculum, not only does students’ literacy skills improve, but engagement levels increased. Reluctant writers wanted to write for a purpose and students were using blogs to purposefully communicate and converse with others.
Blogging can be done in the classroom, as homework or as an extra-curricular club. But make sure you encourage your students to blog regularly and make it something that’s done or reviewed in lessons.
Blogging can be approached from so many ways. It can suit all sorts of learning styles which means that blogging is great for your able, gifted and talented students as well as those with special needs. For those with specific learning difficulties, screens can be adapted to high or low resolution. Support and encourage writing at all levels as translators can be used for those with English as an additional language.
Many children nowadays are surrounded by technological devices from a young age and most arrive at school being experts in handling these devices. Blogging is an excellent way to combine what they already know in handling devices and writing in order to develop a love of writing itself. Boys are known to be reluctant writers but are keen users of technology so why not combine to two? Consider the world of blogging as a creative, fun way to bridge literacy and the rest of the curriculum.
The age, ability, interest experience of the student should be no deterrent for blogging – it is their safety that is always paramount in any form of online activity that we engage them in. As teachers we should have this in the forefront of our minds in all areas of computing when we work with our students. Blogging, provides a great forum for teaching children online safety skills. Demonstrating how we should write, comment and interact safely and kindly in public is vital.
When I think of online safety I think about my childhood – the road outside my house was where I played and interacted with my friends. My parents did not just let me go outside one day to play. They will have spent years educating me about road safety and strangers. For me, blogging in school can be one of those ways we can help children learn the little things that will help protect them when they eventually venture into the World Wide Web to socially interact alone.