You’ve set up a classroom blog. It has an eye-catching theme, and you’ve included tons of pages to help the students and parents know the expectations of the classroom. You even write a post updating the latest happenings. Maybe, you have your students writing posts, too. So how come no one is reading it?
- Have a blog launch party. Invite students and parents into the classroom either during or after school for a live demonstration of the blog. Kids love a party, and what better way to build excitement and curiosity about the blog! It is the perfect opportunity to go over how to access the blog and give a tour. Also, expectations for posting and commenting can be explained and clarified. (Thanks to #ETMOOCer, Michelle Cordy, who suggested the party idea during Sue’s session!)
- Make a detailed direction sheet (with screen shots) about how to find the class blog. On this sheet, also explain guidelines and expectations for using the blog at home.
- Make a QR code for your blog address. Typing in a long email address from a flyer can be frustrating. By making a QR code for your blog address, parents/guardians with QR readers on devices such as SmartPhones, iPod Touches and iPads quickly can scan the code and jump right to your blog. This code can go right on the direction sheet as well as on business cards or any paper that is sent home. Why not tape the code to the inside cover of a homework agenda book?
- Add a subscription by email option to your blog. At Edublogs, this is a widget that easily can be added to your blog. What happens is when a person visits your blog, s/he can choose to supply an email address and then will receive a notification when there have been changes made to the blog.
- Sign up for a Twitter account for your class. Let parents/guardians know so that they may follow your class. (Please see a previous post that explains a little more.) Essentially, when there is a new post or update to the class blog, you would tweet it out. That way caregivers will receive notice in real time on devices. Perhaps, accessing and reading your blog will be a good use of time while in line at the grocery store?
- Use the #comments4kids hashtag if your students are writing posts. What will this do? It sends out a tweet to people who are interested in leaving comments for students. (Read a previous post about how this works. Interested in being added to the #comments4kids list, go here.)
- Choose a month to be family blogging month. During this time, have students invite specific family members to visit the blog and comment. Here is a link that was shared during the #ETMOOC session about how one class took this approach to getting more people involved in their blog.
- Get a buddy class. We comment on yours; you comment on ours. Start a partnership to increase readership. This could be another class in your own school or town, or you could find one via another network such as the Student Blogging Challenge or the Global Classroom Project.
For more ideas and inspiration, check out Activity 6 of the Edublogs Teacher Challenges on Blogging with Students and/or watch the archived #ETMOOC Blogging with Students session.