I received an email this morning which lead me to write a blog post to illicite some responses from people as to how they promote their class blog and get some interactions and conversations happening through it.
“My kids are very eager to share their learning with others and link up with other schools. In your experience with class blogs, how were you able to promote your blogs with other schools and countries?”
- Firstly I would post regular updates on our own blog so that people have something new to read, or look or listen to at on their next visit.
- To promote our class blog firstly I made connections with others teachers who blog.
- To do that in New Zealand I would have a look at some of the blogs from these classes who shared their favourite blog post from last year. https://sites.google.com/site/linklearningexemplars/
- Find like a ‘gym buddy’ – another teacher or class who is keen to link up and learn with you.
- To do that I would read their blogs and leave comments for them on their blog. I would maybe do this first as just a teacher and see if they post regularly and are keen for some kind of dialogue. You don’t want to waste your time leaving feedback on a blog that isn’t being updated and monitored.
- Then I would model with your class how to leave constructive comments on their blog so they know what to do when it comes to leaving comments- how they should look and how they can encourage interaction. This article on how to encourage blog commenting may help. http://primarytech.global2.vic.edu.au/2011/09/23/attracting-blog-comments/
- I would definitely join Twitter and make connections and learn that way. Once on Twitter you can link to your blog and add the hashtag #comments4kids and other teachers/classes may make connections for you.
- I have written this web page to help you get started on Twitter and have a bit of an idea who are some good people to follow and learn from. https://sites.google.com/site/developingapln/twitter
- There is a Collaboration Group on the VLN for those who want to make connections. They are teachers who are reaching out for others to collaborate with. http://www.vln.school.nz/pg/groups/56658/collaboration/
- And I would put links on the side bar of the class blog to the other blogs that you regularly converse with. Not too many because you could loose track but your favourite ones that post and comment often.
- Quadblogging is another cool concept- David Mitchell on Twitter has initiated a project where four classes get together and take turn about being the centre of attention and leaving of comments. The web site links classes together globally but we have just done it informally with a couple of nearby schools with good success and enthusiasm in the participating classes.
- The idea of sending out a travel toy like Kirsten McGhie does in her class is also a great idea to spread news of your blog around. Here is Kirsten’s EdTalk video about here travel toy.
- Generally just think of fun ways to engage children with your blog- make it interactive and interesting. Write posts that incite interest and conversation- leave things open ended.
- Lastly I would make sure that every piece of paper that goes out from your class has the blog address on it so the parent / whanau community know where on the web you are. I would also make sure that your blog is linked from the school web site so that visitors cruising the web can easily find you.
What suggestions do you have for promoting your class blog that you can add to help Katie?