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What makes a great blog?

Started by Emma Watts 24 Aug 2012 8:14pm () Replies (7)

As lead e-learning teacher at my new school with the staff we identified that social media (blogging) was a good way to share our students' learning and to be the 'fifth' wall in our classrooms.  

We are off to a great start...but what makes a great blog?   My class and I have been discussing this and think that visual posts make a great blog - that includes a variety of multi media and frequent use of images and photos (preferably with multimedia/Web 2.0 tools chosed by and created by the students).   We also decided that regular posting and academic commenting (online conversations about our learning) would make our blog a great read and be sustainable.  

We want to spread these ideas across the school!  What are your opinions on what makes a great blog?  What student and class blogs would you recommend following to gain inspiration from?


  • Fiona Robertson (View all users posts) 25 Aug 2012 5:50pm ()
    • First think about what the purpose of your blog is going to be? 
    • Is it to show what your class/ school are doing or is it a place that is also to share students learning?
    •  Is it a teacher or student blog? 
    • Who is going to be doing the post? 
    • I think that all great blogs are updated at least once a week. 
    • It is not a good look when teachers set up class blogs and they are only update every couple of months (Make sure that teachers are on board with blogging and there is support for them).  
    • I have a statement at the top of my class blog to explain the purpose of the blog.that says 'Our blog is to show you what we have been doing. Sometimes Room 12 students may post a piece of writing. This writing may be our first draft and therefore have mistakes.  But it is showing our learning and progress.'  
    • Once blogs are up and running invite parents to comment on the learning, also look at quadblogging this invite others to look at your blog and comment. Children enjoy seeing comments and it gives them a wider audience.
    •  I also think that sharing of students work whether they publish it online or if it is a photo of their work. 
    • I often use vocaroo.com to record my students reading their stories that we are publishing on the blog. 
    • A great blog shows eveidence of students learning. 
    • I also like looking at blogs that are visual with photos and videos of what has been happening within a class or school and an explanantion of them. 
    • The integration of web 2tools also shows different learning that students are doing and makes a blog more interesting. 
    • For ideas and inspiration visit other class blogs. have a look at my class blog at http://www.thelearninghive.blogspot.co.nz/ (I may be biased, but I think my class blog is very good) also check out http://www.carltonbloggers.blogspot.co.nz/ it also has links to their student blogs. 
  • Emma Watts (View all users posts) 25 Aug 2012 6:27pm ()

    Thanks Fiona great response Smile 

    I totally agree with you - and love your class blog.  Thanks for sharing.

    My next question is: How do you inspire other teachers to think along the same line!  

    My class blog is: http://www.r4umo2012.blogspot.co.nz/

  • Fiona Robertson (View all users posts) 25 Aug 2012 8:11pm ()

    How do you inspire others?

    I believe you can only inspire those who want to be inspired. I set my first blog up 4 years ago after attending a workshop at ulearn on blogging. I went back to school and set up my first class blog with my class (Back then it was a year 3/4 class) the  children were excited and enjoyed using it even though it was very basic. I shared my own enthusiasm with another staff member  and then she went and set up her own blog. The year after that we shared with our staff our blogs and how successful they were, as well as how much the children enjoyed sharing their work on them. We also shared with staff ‘why to have a class blog and the purpose. Throughout the past 2 years we have encouraged and supported our teachers to set up blogs as well as sharing with them web 2 tools, ways they can use them in class with their students and then embed onto their blog.  Even though two of us were really excited and passionate about our class blogs and sharing our students learning only a couple of our staff members have really got on board with class blogs.  It is often banging your head against a brick wall. I also think that there are many teachers who are still 20th century teachers and don’t see the value and importance of e-learning and the benefits of it for our students.  As I said you can only inspire those who want to be inspired no matter how passionate, enthusiastic , inspirational  you maybe.  ‘You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them drink it’

    I would like to know how other schools get their teachers inspired and on board with e-learning. 

  • Carol Kendall (View all users posts) 25 Aug 2012 8:47pm ()

    Fiona, something that fascinates me is that some people you just have to show and give a little information and they just 'get it'; and others with all the explanation and modelling and excitement and PD, just don't 'get it'. Some of us see an idea and can immediately see the wonder in something and run with it - why is that? Different horses for different courses I suppose, but we all need to be backing this horse!

  • hbmartel@gmail.com (View all users posts) 30 Aug 2012 10:21pm ()

    Hi Emma,

    I love your blog - very cool pictures. Your kids have obviously worked hard and produced some awesome projects!!  I am going to show my class tomorrow!!Laughing

    Our blog is  room17pinehill.blogspot.co.nz   I started with a class blog, which has now kind of turned into my professional one, but links to the children's own wikipages where they keep all their work.  We have only been doing the wikis this term, so it's all a bit of work-in-progress!

  • Jeanette Hinerangi Eruera Murphy (View all users posts) 04 Sep 2012 9:38pm ()

    Tena koutou katoa.

    Over time I have created a number of personal and professional blogs using online spaces like Edublog, Blogger, Wikispaces and Weebly. 

    I have also critiqued certain sites, reflected on my own learning along the way, discussed with different groups of teachers and students (in some depth) blogging etiquette and come to the conclusion that ANY online webspace is only as good as the purpose (and often the audience) for which it is intended.

    I have worked alongside teachers who have become quite enthused then, 'jumped the gun' and created web pages that can now be regarded as outdated repository spaces.

    I have watched schools set up websites that are content driven and work...and also schools where websites have  'fallen by the wayside'.

    In my own opinion what I consider to be a great blog will most certainly depend on 'what's in it for me....HOWEVER in saying that what I may choose to think is great right now may not serve me a purpose in maybe 2-3 years down the track.  Perhaps 'great blogs' are based on the premise that there are and will always be..different strokes for different folks...Undecided

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