A blog is a sort of online journal about anything you choose, and anyone can create and maintain one. Making your blog useful, however, takes a little more effort. A blog devoted to helping new or student teachers use technology in the classroom can be the perfect project for you if you are a teacher who loves using and sharing the latest educational methodology. The following tips can help make your blog a success.
Possibly the most important part about maintaining a blog is to update it regularly so your readers keep coming back to see what is new. Some people do best when they set a goal of posting once or twice a week on any topic related to the blog. Other may find it easiest to have a more rigid pattern. For example, you might choose to review new products on Mondays, discuss new teaching methods for specific subjects, such as history or math, on Tuesdays, describe ongoing projects in your class on Wednesdays, have a student or another teacher post on Thursdays, and leave Fridays flexible.
You need to have experience with a variety of strategies if you want to give credible advice to your readers about how to use technology in the classroom. To authoritatively recommend which products to choose, you need to be familiar with many of them. Keep trying new methodologies and products. Some manufacturers of software and other technological aids may be willing to let you try their products for free in exchange for the publicity you will give on your blog. Once you have established a reputation, you may even be able to preview new products before they are publicly available.
Involve Your Students
Even the most enthusiastic bloggers can run into writer’s block or time constraints, but as a teacher, you have an advantageous resource: your students. Bright and eager to please, your students can be invaluable sources of inspiration. You can ask them to submit blog posts, and they will likely provide endless ideas. They have first-hand experience of new technology, and they are brutally honest.
By assisting you in maintaining your blog, your students can benefit at least as much as you. Blogging allows them to develop their writing skills. If they leave and respond to comments on the blog, they will improve their abilities to communicate online. They can also perform research online to find new products to review. All of these skills introduce students to methods of learning online. For some students who would not otherwise consider higher education, involvement in this project can persuade them to continue their education in online programs.
Hook Your Audience
Since visitors see the latest post in your blog first, each of your blog posts is critical. Newcomers will judge you based on your most recent post, so each must be worthwhile. Gain and retain regulars by making sure your posts are interesting and have novel content. Guest bloggers, such as your students, other educators, and industry representatives provide fresh perspectives and styles to maintain interest. Encourage discussion about blog posts, and be sure to respond if readers leave comments. Provide practical information in your blog.
Your blog is a commentary of a personal interest, but you can blog with a wider purpose in mind. You can use your blog to share your passion for technology in teaching with new or student teachers who need a strategy or two to add to their arsenal in the classroom. The keys to developing a popular and influential blog are to be consistent with your post frequency, to provide relevant and current information, and to increase the appeal by recruiting guest bloggers.