Le blogging défi de Sue Waters….

This is my attempt on Sue Water‘s  “Share your tips and win big!” challenge on her blog: The Edublogger. I decided to post about “5 important tips for educators who are starting out blogging with their students” thinking  I would have an interesting perspective- being a student myself.

What are your 5 most important tips for educators starting out blogging with students?

1. Be prepared. Know what your students are allowed to do on their blogs and what they are not. Find out how everything works (e.g. using HTML codes for widgets) so your students will be able to come to you for help. Find cool blogs from all around the world: because being a student I know that I love more than anything to have red dots popping up on my Clustr map.  Having lists of blogs prepared will make it easier for students to find blogs that they would want to comment on.

2. The  teacher should have a blog of their own. It is good to have a model blog: to give the students some ideas of their own and to demonstrate ways to improve their blogs.  Also having the educator create a blog of their own enables the teacher to familiarize with using edublogs:  so when it comes time for them to help their students it will not be new and foreign to them too.  It is fun for students to talk with their teacher via blogging and could turn out to be rewarding- academically wise: my French teacher gives students extra credit if they post thoughtful comments on her blog (even though most do not have blogs of their own) and it could be academic incentive  for some kids. Maybe reluctant at first students might just comment just to help their grade and end up  more interested in blogging!

3.  If you assign posts as  homework or class work do not make them too demanding. You do not want your students to have a fear of blogging because they know they have to write particular posts. Let them have some opinion in what they are posting about. Make them feel like they can be creative: they can post about a subject that fascinates or is important to them. You want your students to like blogging- when you enjoy something you always do better at it.  You want to keep blogging interesting: not something that your students will fear. Maybe give them an idea or subject that the particular post has to be about but then let them come up with the specifics. You do always want to enforce standard writing conventions: since a blog is a very public outlet and so many people view it, proper spelling,

4. Keep your blog current; post consistently…perhaps one every week.  You do not want too much time to lapse between posts- as an avid commenter it always disappoints me when I return to a blog that I like and there are not recent posts.  Having ongoing posts will keep readers interested and make new visitors to your blog come back.  Encourage your students to keep their blogs up to date with new posts regularly.

5. The way you present blogging needs to be fun. Blogging is fun on its own but if there is no free time to play around with the appearance of their blogs students could begin to dread blogging.  By having a healthy mix of fun and school-work blogging is perfect for the classroom. Your students should have some time to play with  blog themes, and widgets. As a teacher you should find out in advance some popular widget sites so you can tell your students about them and they can look at the websites if interested. Your students  could even find some different widgets than the ones you listed and then you can turn it into a learning opportunity: the student can tell the class about the widget that they found. As they say it is good to stay with the times, so when technology updates be sure to find the newest and coolest widgets! Another important aspect of blog appearance is the blog theme. After all who wants the drab default theme that come with your blog? Students should be allowed some  time to look at all the different blog themes. Some blog themes even allow you to put a photo in the header (for example: Mrs. Beal‘s blog). There are so many ways you can personalize your blog through blog themes and widgets and truly make it one of a kind!

13 thoughts on “Le blogging défi de Sue Waters….

  1. Hi there, Meredith! I got this link from my Mom, who’s friends with yours, and she asked me to post here, as I am currently studying abroad in Japan and she told me you liked getting visitors from all over the world, so here I am! 🙂

    Anyway, those are all very good tips! Even though I’m not a teacher, you can check out my Japan blog if you want, at pandainjapan.livejournal.com.

    Happy blogging!

  2. WOW Dominique — you have written an amazing post packed with lots of excellent tips and advice. Thank you so much for taking the time to enter the competition but more importantly to share these great points.

    I agree in many ways the students are the best people to give the advice and that is probably why posts like yours and many of the other student posts have given such great ideas.

    Keep up your excellent work with your blogging and make sure you drop past The Edublogger to tell me how you are going with the Challenge.

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  4. Hi Dominique, here is my response to your comment on my blog in case you didn’t tick receive email responses.

    Pleased to hear you loved the dots and new visitors. While they might not have left a lot of comments but they twittered quite a bit about. As I said great advice for educators.

    Yes I checked out your About page and it was looking really good. The key is to pick and choose the tasks you want to do but most important Enjoy! Don’t worry too much if you don’t finish all task but make sure that you have fun.

    Keep up your excellent work!

  5. @Dominique, here is the comment I wrote back on my personal blog. Thanks for sharing your blogging story. What a great journey.

    Probably more couldn’t relate to why would you blog. Which is why I always tell people that you need to give things a try and that some times take longer to appreciate their impact than others.

    Key is we are each different. And this is a message that I like to remind others of because you have to understand this when using it with students.

    Wrong. I think yours is a great blogging story and you should be really proud of the post you wrote. It was excellent and I know many adults that would love to have written a post as well as you did.

  6. Hi Dominique!
    Sorry I took so long to get back to you; homeschooling’s been really busy! Those are great tips for students and teachers alike. My blog is purely “just for fun”, so I don’t sign up for any blogging challenges, besides reading challenges.

  7. Pingback: Announcing The Winners Of The “Share your tips–and win BIG!” Competition! | The Edublogger

  8. Hi Dominique

    What a great post with some very useful advice about blogging with students. Your post is interesting & well-written and, as Sue Waters, says many adults would be proud of having written a post like yours. A well deserved win in the Edublogger competition.

  9. Hi, i’m cessy (you say it chessy) i’m also a french emersion student I really like your blog! It’s cool how you have your drawings on it.

  10. Pingback: Guest Post by Dominique: J’adore les langues! | The Edublogger

  11. Dominique, your post is inspirational! I am a teacher in Tasmania, Australia. I teach Year 7 – Year 12 and am quite new to blogging – so new in fact, that I eagerly await the next red dot that appears on our class clustr map 🙂 I think I’ve think I’ve got your first tip down pat – I’ve read and re-read the Edublogs ‘how to’ pages a billion times over! But I will certainly take on board the rest of your suggestions. Even though my students are 16-18y/o, I’m sure they’d love it if I made thier blogging activities more fun – always a challenge from the teacher’s perspective 🙂

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