Blogging Getting Started

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Things to consider when you're just getting started with blogs

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  • Best piece of advice for you: Start out simple - don’t feel like you HAVE to have everything on your blog at once. Trial and error - try it if it doesn’t work for you, don’t do it again, try something else. Ask, ask, ask! Send me an email, ask your tech integrator, ask someone on the web. \n
  • Will you start with a class blog or will everyone have their own blog? \nClass blog: great way to introduce blogging, gets parents used to going to one place, can eventually link individual blogs here, controlled environment to begin with, only one place to monitor, encourages good commenting - graduate to posting on the class blog, then introduce individual blogs. No ownership, teacher controlled;\nIndividual blog: student ownership, more motivating, more work for teacher to “oversee” & track individual blogs; will need an RSS feed; possible potential of student portfolio - moves with the student. Teacher needs to be more pro-active in encouraging content publication/expectations\n\nIndividual versus Class Blogs\nFor StudentsGreater sense of ownership\nMore motivating (Research backs this up)\nGreat record of their school life.\nFor TeachersLittle difference in the monitoring and managing\nBUT\nneed to relinquish some control.\ni.e. cannot O.K. everything before it is published\n
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  • Knowing you’re writing for a global audience is incredibly motivating for students.\nRealizing people from other countries are reading what they’ve written increases their interest, excitement and motives them to blog.\nIt also provides built-in geography lessons — as most students constantly check for new visitors and enjoy finding out more about the countries where their visitors are from.\n\nClustrmaps; feedjit; flag counter; revolving world map;\n\n
  • Bloggers commonly use blogrolls to list their favourite blogs.  Blogrolls help readers locate other blogs worth reading — you are saying “these are some blogs I like – which are worth checking out!” Building a quality blogroll is a good first step in building readership in that it can help grow a community feeling that is often achieved by the best and most influential bloggers. Blogrolls on class blogs are used slightly differently.  The blogroll on your class blog is what links together all the blogs — helping you, your students and others locate the student blogs easily. You can categorize the blogroll links too and separate them by using a theme that allows you to activate and customize blogroll widgets.\n\n
  • Sidebar clutter is a good way of convincing first time visitors NOT to subscribe to your blog. Trouble is sidebar clutter creeps up on all of us. The key is to focus on ‘What are the most important things you are trying to achieve when some one visits your blog?” The main aims on your personal blog should include:\nMaking it easy for readers to know what you write about and to find content\nEncouraging readers to subscribe to your blog by RSS and email\nHow do you do this? Always put the most important widgets at the top of the blog.\nMy recommended ‘must have’ widgets for classroom blogs\nSearch widget\nSubscribe by RSS  \nSubscribe by Email  \nCategories widget\nVisitor Counter\nOther widgets include:\nShelfari / Good reads - book recommendations Flickr photostream\n\n\n\n
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  • Blog pages are displayed independently of post history and are more static. They remain the same from day to day since they are rarely updated.\nYou normally use pages for information that you want to share with your readers but don't expect to update frequently.\nPages don't have time stamps so don't show the date they were published.\nBlog pages can appear anywhere on your blog depending on your blog theme.\nYou can change the order pages appear.\nPages are normally displayed in alphabetical order but their order can be changed using Page Order.\nYou can't assign tags and categories to pages.\nPages don't appear in RSS feeds so readers need to visit your site to view the latest updates to pages.\nYou can't embed posts into a page.\nYou can create sub-pages which you assign to a parent page to build a more complex site.\n\nBlog posts appear in reverse chronological order so that the most recent post is the first post that your readers see.\nPosts are dynamic (updated regularly) and have time stamps which displays the date published.\nYou can assign tags and categories to organize blog posts to make them easier to find.\nPosts appear in RSS feeds so readers who subscribe to your blog will receive your latest post in their feed reader or by email notification.\n\nLook at other class/student blogs - get ideas - try things out - it’s easy to make changes.\n\n
  • Writing good blog posts is more than just the words. So here’s some tips: #1 Use attention grabbing titles: Titles on blog posts are like titles on books.  The better the title, the more it’ll grab the attention of readers and the less likely they’ll read what you’ve written. Captivating and intriguing titles draw readers every time.  Back that with a well written post and you won’t look back.#2 Use Short Paragraphs: Posts with really long paragraphs are really hard to read making it less likely for them to be read and more likely your readers will miss the point of your post. It’s really simple:\nBreak your posts up with paragraphs\nThe more paragraphs the better\nShort paragraphs are better than long\nIf you need to make some paragraphs one or two sentences long so they are visually easier to read online then do it!\nMake the first sentence of each paragraph make your readers want to read the rest of the paragraph\n#3 Use Headings: Use headings, and where appropriate bullet points and number lists, to break up the post into manageable bit size chunks.Creating a heading is as simple as:\nHighlighting the text you want to change into a heading\nSelecting the Heading Style you want to apply from the Advanced formatting toolbar (for most themes your best option is heading 3)\nPreviewing your post to make sure that headings you’ve used has broken your post into manageable chunks\n#4  Remember to hyperlink: If you write about an article or another blogger’s post link to it! Why? Because your readers often want to check it out in more details. Linking is a really important part of being a blogger and linking isn’t hard but a common mistake of new bloggers is to forget to link!It’s good blogging etiquette to link to:\nA person’s blog if you mention a blogger\nThe post if you are talking about a particular post on a blog\nArticles and websites when you write about them\n#5 And finally advice on what to blog about: For many bloggers, blogging is a bit about their readers and a lot about their own personal needs to reflect on what they are learning or what they want to share. One of the commonest mistakes made by new bloggers is focusing on what they think their readers want to read. Forget about your readers and focus on your own needs. You’ll be more passionate and it’ll come through in your posts. And never assume that someone’s already written what you’re saying.\nA picture tells a thousand words. Effective use of images grab your readers attention and encourage them to read your posts. Opportune time to teach students about copyright and creative commons. Some blogging platforms allow you to embed media like slides, videos, comic strips, quizzes, polls into your blog posts. These take your posts to the next level; providing opportunities for readers’ engagement and interaction in ways not achievable using plain text and images. \n\n\n
  • Blogging is about connecting with others!\nReading other people’s blog posts\nInteracting and commenting on other people’s blog posts to challenge each others thoughts and views\nWriting posts in response to other bloggers’ posts\n\n\n
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  • It’s important that you and your students are able to quickly read the latest posts from all student blogs because:\nYou need to encourage your students to be reading and learning off each others’ posts (and comments)\nLearning as part of a community leads to greater knowledge gain and innovation than working independently of each other\nIt makes monitoring what’s written less time consuming and easier\nGoogle Reader,(dual) NetNewsWire, (mac) Shrook (mac); Newzcrawler (PC), Feeddemon (PC)\n\nAlternatively, you could use google docs to edit/keep track of student writing - then it can’t be copied to the blog until the doc gets teacher approval\n\n\n
  • http://search.creativecommons.org (uses a search engine to search for images/audio/video)\nhttp://compfight.com (has safe search - searches the flickr database) - have a cheatsheet for students if you’re interested\nwww.wylio.com (gives the attribution automatically - only in embeds) - need to make an account first\nhttp://johnjohnston.info/flickrCC/index.php simple CC flickr search - “stamps” attribution on image - no safe search\n(Consider banning “google images” to encourage searching for creative commons images)\n\n\n\n
  • Flickr - photo/video storage (100 free, pro: $24:95 - videos must be less than a minute http://flickr.comYouTube - video storage - completely free (videos must be public to embedded in a blog but can be unlisted) http://youtube.com\nBlip-tv - video storage - less known than YouTube - not as much rubbish on their - still, could find inappropriate content http://blip.tvPod-o-Matic - audio file storage - completely free http://podomatic.com\n\n\n\n
  • 1. Mrs Yollis’ wiki set up to help teachers that want to blog with their students\n2. Sylvia Tolisano’s guide to blogging in the classroom with students\n3. A google doc of ideas for K-6 teachers on what they can write about for their classroom blogs - contributions from educators around the world.\n4. Comments4kids - great place to make connections, get people reading/commenting on your blog, perfect place to try quad-blogging (partnership with 4 classrooms, spreading the load so to speak about posting and commenting)\n5. If you’re going to read a professional educators blog - make this the #1 blog you read\n\nWhen you’re ready - find a classroom teacher (or a teacher that teaches the same course as you) and follow their blog! “Borrow their ideas - leave them a comment, establish a connection with that teacher - try what they are doing.\n\n
  • Blogging Getting Started

    1. 1. Image by Chrissy H: http://www.flickr.com/photos/room18tis/5084791985 B L O G G I N G Getting started C H R I S S Y H E L LY E R Classroom Teacher/ES Technology & Learning Coach
    2. 2. class or individual blogs?Image by Mixy: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ladymixy-uk/4059898026
    3. 3. Image by iwouldstay: http://www.flickr.com/photos/iwouldstay/55636695Back-end Image by Martyn@Negaro: http://www.flickr.com/photos/42000933@N02/4015841674Front-endTools Image by L.Marie: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lenore-m/2515800654
    4. 4. Image by Laurie: http://www.flickr.com/photos/96221617@N00/167291992 rules and guidelines
    5. 5. Image by iwouldstay: http://www.flickr.com/photos/iwouldstay/55636695Back-end
    6. 6. motivation
    7. 7. using a blogroll
    8. 8. sidebar widgets
    9. 9. Image by Martyn@Negaro: http://www.flickr.com/photos/42000933@N02/4015841674Front-end
    10. 10. Image by ZeRo’SKiLL: http://www.flickr.com/photos/xanxhor/4021390649posts vs pages
    11. 11. Image by quinn.anya: http://www.flickr.com/photos/quinnanya/2964733848 effective and engaging posts
    12. 12. connect with othersImage by Marco Michelini http://www.sxc.hu/photo/624339
    13. 13. Image by L.Marie: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lenore-m/2515800654Tools
    14. 14. Image by craig1black http://www.flickr.com/photos/adrianblack/3358661327 set up RSS feeds
    15. 15. finding Creative Commons images
    16. 16. Image by dolescum: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dolescum/3567689465storage ofMedia files
    17. 17. USEFUL LINKShttp://educational-blogging.wikispaces.com/Homehttp://www.scribd.com/doc/58478853/Blogging-Guide-Blogging-with-your-Studentshttps://docs.google.com/document/edit?id=1yyy9W1fylB291-OifEwZ7MtOVGXz21IzCLiZ8rXtsZQ&pli=1#http://comments4kids.blogspot.com/http://langwitches.org/blog/

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