Sunday, January 17, 2016

5 Tips for Writing a Killer Blog Post via @RossCoops31 @TonySinanis @MsSackstein

I attended an #EdCampNYC session called "The 3Bs of Connection Education (Blogging + Branding w/ Buddies). The conversation was led by @RossCoops31 @TonySinanis @mssackstein. They shared ideas and insights with participants about being connected in general and blogging in particular.  A blog is one important piece of your digital footprint as +Tim Needles Tweeted along with the photo he shared of the session below.
Here are some tips for those who are interested in bringing blogging into their practice that were shared by the innovative educators who were leading the session (along with a few from me).

1) Getting Comments
A concern for participants was that no one would comment on student blogs. Here are suggestions to remedy that.
1)  Write an email to parents telling them what you are doing and ask them to comment.
2)  Ask students to comment on blogs of others in the class.
3)  Ask other classes at your school to comment.
4)  Ask teachers you know have classes at their school comment.
5)  Try Quad Blogging. Edutopia’s Suzie Boss describes it here.  
6)  Make a killer Tweet (see how here) incorporating the link to the post and using the #Comments4Kids hashtag.

2) Giving + Receiving Quality Comments
Participants were concerned their own students might not write quality comments. Participants agreed this is a skill that must be intentionally taught. Here are some ideas for doing that.
1)  I love Mrs. Yollis’s Classroom Blog – Learning How to Comment article and video.
2)  A participant gave this advice: Teach students to be able to identify types of comments and learn how to respond. For example, what happens if they receive and leave a distasteful comment? How about a comment that is helpful? Look at existing blogs and practice. 
3)  @RossCoops31 says to check out Silvia Tolisano's blog, Langwiches. Here are two helpful posts: Commenting Lesson Plan and Preparing Students for Commenting with Wall Blogging. Then he wrote his own post with advice on quality commenting

3) Keeping Up With Student Blogs
Participants were unsure of how to stay current with their student or professional blogs. @RossCoops31 made this recommendation:
Feedly: Is a news aggregator that lets you follow selected blogs, divided into categories you choose. Here’s what it looks like:

4) Knowing When + Where to Post
Participants had concerns about scheduling posts and sharing them across platforms. @RossCoops31 made this recommendation:

Postcron – The site describes it as the easiest tool to schedule and publish posts on your social networks!  With Postcron you will save time and energy because you can publish to your Facebook, Pinterest, Linkedin, Twitter and Google+ accounts simultaneously in seconds.

5) Getting Started
Some people didn’t even know where to begin. @RossCoops31 suggests educators start by reading @mssackstein’s book: Blogging for Educators.

These are five great tips for educators who want to get going with blogging. Which have you (or would you be interested in) trying. Are there any missing tips? Share your ideas in the comments.

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