Activity 6: Helping parents and students connect with your class blog

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Welcome to our free professional development series on class and student blogging!

This series consists of a range of activities that take you through the process of class and student blogging.   While many of the class blog examples we’ve included are from primary grades, the same principles apply for class blogs regardless of student age (including adult learners).

The activities can be completed at your own pace and in any order!

Helping parents and students connect with your class blog

Class blogs are an excellent way for parents to find out what is happening in class and what their child is learning.

As Kathleen Morris say’s “You can’t leave parent participation to chance. Parents needs to be educated and regularly encouraged and invited to be part of your class blog.”  If you want to get the most out of your class blog you need to help parent and students connect with and easily find your class blog.

But there’s nothing more frustrating trying to find your teacher’s website and not being able to find it — make it too hard and they’ll quickly give up.

What you need to do!

It’s quite common for educators new to blogging to assume their class blog is easily found using Google or that students will write the blog URL correctly in their notebook.  These aren’t good approaches and decrease the chances they will be able to find your class blog.

Experienced educators use several different methods to help parents and students:

  1. Understand what is a blog and how they can participate.
  2. Easily find the class blog.

Here are some ideas you can use!

1.  Give them a business card or magnet with your class blog URL

2.  Include the link to your class blog in School newsletter or weekly class newsletter.

3.  Post link to your class blog on your teacher website.

4.  Include your teacher’s name in the blog URL e.g. http://mrstinaschmidt.edublogs.org/

5.  Add a link to your class blog in your email signature.

6.  Create a QR Codes for your class blog URL

  • Great for creating a buzz
  • Can create the QR code for your blog at http://qrcode.kaywa.com/
  • Then send the QR Code home with instructions on how to use OR give them the QR code as a task for them to research what it is.

7.  Create detailed Parent handouts

Here’s an example of  2Km and 2KJ Blog information note designed to help parents know: what is a blog, the blog URL, why they blog and their safety guidelines.

Here’s 10 Steps to Navigating 2M and 2KJ blog for helping them understand blog jargon, subscribe to email notification, leave comments and so on.

8.  Have parent information nights.

9.  Set up email subscription so they are notified of new posts.

10.  Use custom shorten URLs for your class blog.

For more ideas check out:

  1. Kathleen Morris’s post on Helping parents connect with your class blog – it’s packed full of ideas you can try!
  2. How do I explain to students and parents how to find my class blog?

What now?

How did you go?

We would love to hear which you’ve decided to try!  Leave a comment below to let us know.

Also feel free to leave any questions you are having (or tips/advice) as well.

Or go to Activity 7: Fair use, copyright, and intro to using images!

12 thoughts on “Activity 6: Helping parents and students connect with your class blog

  1. Hi
    I’ve had the pleasure of attending a PD session at our school where Kathleen Morris, via Skype, gave us great advice about class blogs. How fortuitous that I came across this link – I think the tips for navigating around a class blog and how to subscribe could make a very big difference to getting my class parents more involved with our blog. Here’s hoping!

    Hailey

    • Hi Hailey, Kathleen has lots of great tips for class blogging. She has been blogging a long time with her students and is very successful at it. I’m sure if you follow her advice it will make a big difference.

  2. Hi Sue,
    I made a blog page last year. I am trying to add the students individual blogs to ‘My Class”. Each student is listed as a student on my blog and they are listed under Blog Roll. But when I try to go into their individual blogs and connect them to My Class as a student blog, the URL address doesn’t exist. I have been putting in my blog URL. Is this a feature only of Edublogs Pro?
    Thanks. Vicky

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  7. I’ve set my student blogs to private (at least in the beginning as I get a feel of how parents feel), yet I would like parents to be able to see their own child’s blog. Is there any way to add a parent user under a student user? Thank you!

    • @ttait if you are using private blogs and want parents to be able to view the blog we normally recommend the password privacy option “I would like anyone who provides the following password have access to all blogs” as this is easier for parents than remembering a username and password. You can read more about this option here – http://help.edublogs.org/2013/03/27/student-blog-privacy/#Private_blog_options

      Alternatively, you can add the parent as a user to the student blog by going to Users > Add New and adding them as a subscriber.

  8. Hi Sue,
    Just need some advice on setting up a new blog.
    I wish to have a school ‘sustainability’ blog which keeps our school community up-to-date with what’s going on. It will also act as a platform for committee members to communicate. I would like a couple of our students to manage this site.
    My concern is my personal details are available for students to see in Dashboard.
    Should I approach setting up a space a different way (wiki or something else)?

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