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Welcome to the third step in our free professional learning series on class and student blogging!

The aim of this step is to:

  1. Help you understand how posts are used on class blog.
  2. Provide tips of writing effective posts.
  3. Teach you how to publish your first posts.


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Introduction to Posts

Your posts are where you’ll publish your main content such as what’s been happening in class. assignment information, documents, and more.  They are commonly displayed in reverse-chronological order with the most recent post at the top of the page.

By default, your home page is your blog post page and this is where you’ll see your new posts published.

If you look closely at a post you will see it is normally made up of:

  1. Post Title – tells the reader what the post is about.  A great post title grabs readers attention and is more likely to encourage them to read your post.
  2. Date published – all post display the date a post was published.  You’ll normally see this displayed at the top of the post.
  3. Written by – most themes display the name of the post author.  Your username is automatically displayed unless you’ve changed your display name.
  4. Your post content – this is the main information that you want to share or reflect on with your readers
  5. Comments – all themes have a link to comments.  This is where your readers can click to write a comment in response to your post.  Comments allow students, and other readers, to engage in discussions, share their thoughts and connect with your class blog.
  6. Tags – are used to help readers locate posts on your blog.  Tags are more like the index at the back of the book and explode the topic into a million bits.
  7. Categories – are used to help readers locate posts on your blog.  Categories are often used like chapters of a book; they provide a general overview of the topics you blog about.

Watch the following video to learn more about the difference between pages and posts.


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Who writes posts on class blogs

If you look closely at class blogs you’ll see on some blogs only the teacher publishes posts while on others both the teacher and students publish posts or the students publish posts on their own student blogs.

Here are example of the different approaches:

It’s really up to you which approach you use.

If you do decide you want your students to publish posts we recommend the best approach, regardless of student age, is to introduce blogging slowly in the following order:

  1. You write posts on the class blog.
  2. Students write comments in response to your posts (you focus on teaching them quality commenting skills).
  3. Students write posts on class blog or their own student blog.

Most educators with successful blogging programs use the following scaffolding approach:

Introducing blogging to students

As Jan Smith says:

 The big idea is to go slow to go fast.

If you don’t lay the groundwork by building a community of trust, risk, support with your kids they fail big.

Reading and commenting have to be the core, or else a blog is just a digital bulletin board.

We’ll show you how to teach quality commenting skills and how to add students to blogs so they can publish posts later in this professional learning series on class and student blogging.

For now we’ll focus on teaching you how to write your first posts.

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Post examples

What do you publish as posts on your class blog?  Pretty much anything you want to share with students, families and other educators you’ll publish as a post.  What’s been happening in class. student work, assignments. homework information, documents — there’s so much you can share!

Here’s some examples of first posts, or posts for the new school year, to check out for ideas:

Check out The Edublogger’s Class Blog list for more ideas on what the teachers post on their class blogs!

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How to publish a post

1.  Go to Posts > Add New.

Add New

2.  Give your post a title and add your content.

Add your content

3.  Add your tags and categories (learn about categories and tags here).

Add your categories

4.  When finished writing click Publish.

Click Publish

3.  Presto! Your post will now display on your blog so others can read!

Below is a quick video tutorial on publishing a new post:

Previewing your Draft

Before you publish your post it is a good idea to use the Preview option to see what it looks like to your readers.

You preview a post by clicking on Save Draft and then click Preview. This opens up a draft version of your post in a new tab.

Preview

Then just go back to your draft and make any changes you want!


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Introduction to the visual editor

The area where you write your post is by default in Visual Editing mode which uses WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) option for formating.

It works similar to any Word processing software.

Simply write your post, highlight any text you want to format and then click the appropriate button in the toolbar to add formatting such as bold, italics, number list.

The Show/Hide Kitchen Sink button is used to view the advanced formating options including heading styles, underlining, font color, custom characters, undo, redo.

You switch between Visual Editing mode and HTML editing mode by clicking on the Visual or Text tab.

Visual Editor
Below is a quick video tutorial on the visual editor:


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Tips for writing better blog posts

Reading online is different from reading in a text book.

The easier to read and more engaging your posts are the more likely they’ll be read and the better your message will be conveyed.

Here’s some tips to help you write better posts on class blogs:

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1.  Use short paragraphs

Posts with really long paragraphs are harder to read online.

Best options are:

  • Break your posts up with paragraphs.
  • The more paragraphs the better.
  • Short paragraphs are better than long.
  • If you need to make some paragraphs one or two sentences long so they are visually easier to read online then do it if needed!
  • Make the first sentence of each paragraph make your readers want to read the rest of the paragraph.


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2.  Use Headings

Use headings, and where appropriate bullet points and number lists, to break up the post into manageable bit size chunks.

Creating a heading is as simple as:

  1. Highlight the text you want to change into a heading
  2. Select the Heading Style you want to apply from the advanced formatting toolbar (you access the advanced formatting toolbar by clicking on the Show/Hide Kitchen sink icon) – for most themes your best option is Heading 3
  3. Preview your post to make sure that headings you’ve used has broken your post into manageable chunks

Heading Styles

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3.  Remember to Link

When you write about a website you should link to it as your readers often want to check it out in more detail.

Creating a link is as simple as:

  1. Highlight the text you want to link to a website, blog or post
  2. Click on the Insert/Edit Link icon in the standard formatting toolbar
  3. Paste the link URL
  4. Then click Add Link

Adding links
Below is a quick video tutorial on how to add links:


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4.  Using colored text

While you’re less likely to use colored text in posts on a personal / professional blog it can engage students and draw attention to specific information on posts on a class blog.

You’ll see examples of it used in posts on Miss Jordan’s Class blog and the Student Challenge blog.

Changing the color of text is as simple as:

  1. Highlight the text you want to change
  2. Select the text color you want to apply from the advanced formatting toolbar (you access the advanced formatting toolbar by clicking on the Show/Hide Kitchen sink icon)
  3. Preview your post to make sure the text is readable and you like the color

Adding color

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5.  Enhancing posts with images and media

When you look at class blog you’ll notice they enhance their posts with images and other types of media including videos and by embedding online tools.

We’ll show you how this is done later in Step 7: Images.

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Common Asked Post Questions

Here’s answers to commonly asked questions we receive into Edublogs Support:

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1.  What does the “Not found” message on my homepage mean?

By default, the front page of your blog is set to display your latest posts.

If you delete the default “Hello World’ post before you publish a new post then your front page will display ‘Nothing Found’, ’404 – Not Found Error’ or something similar depending on the theme you are using.

This message is displayed because there is nothing to display on your front page.

Not found message

All you need to do is go to Posts > Add New and publish a new post.

Once the new post is published you’ll see it displayed on your homepage.

You’ll find more detailed step by step instructions on how to fix a Not Found message here.


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2.  How do you delete the Hello World Post?

Every newly created blog is the same default lay out with posts displayed on its home page with a ‘Hello World’ post and an ‘Sample’ page.

You can delete this post at any time by going to Posts > All Posts.  

Hovering your mouse over the title of  the Hello post brings up four action links.

Now just click on Trash.  This sends it to your Trash folder where it is permanently deleted within 30 days of when you trashed it.

Remember if you delete all posts, and your homepage is your blog post page, you will see a “Not Found” message.

To remove that message you just need to publish a new post by going to Posts > Add New.

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3.  How do I change font type and size?

We’re often asked how to change the font type and size in post.  This is really easy to do.

Just go to plugins and activate the Supreme Google Webfonts plugin.

Now when write your post you just highlight the text you want to change and then select the Front family or font size from the drop down menu that has been added to your advanced formatting toolbar in your visual editor.

Google Web fonts


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4.  Is it possible to publish posts to different pages on my blog?

We’re often asked if it is possible to add posts to other pages, rather than just the front page of the blog.   This is commonly asked by educators who want to use one blog for multiple classes or subjects.

And yes you can!  But it does involve slightly advanced blogging skills.

You do it by sending posts to different pages on your blog by assigning different categories to posts, based on the class or subject, and using a custom menu to create link to the categories from your top navigation.  When students and parents click on their category they’re taken to all the posts for that class or subject.  Check out Mr Cartlidge’s Science Blog to see how it works.

You’ll find step by step instructions on using categories to organize multiple classes or subjects on your blog here.

It does involve slightly advanced blogging skills — so leave a comment or email us at Edublogs Support if you need our assistance.


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Your Task

Blogging is about sharing, collaborating, and learning from each-other. Here’s your chance to ask a question, comment, and get involved!

Complete the following tasks:

  1. Check out the post examples and then publish your First post.  Leave a link to your first post in a comment so we can have a look at how you went.
  2. Read through the most recent comments in reply to this post and leave a response to another person’s comment.

368 Comments

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  1. done done and done! check it out! dmss.edublogs.org

  2. Here’s a link to my first post, which is just a general welcome post: http://wheelerme.edublogs.org/

    I was thinking about linking my blog to my Bloomz page. Has anyone else done this or think it’s a good idea? Or should I keep their contents separate?

    Mrs. Wheeler

    • Hi Ms. Ives

      Thank you or sharing your post. I look forward to the pictures as they are added.

      I really like the widgets you have added t the sidebar. My only suggestion is moving Search to he top of your widget list so it’s more visible and easily accessible.

      Hi “ramseykimberly”, and welcome to the Teacher Challenge.

      Your blog, http://ramseykimberly.edublogs.org, is coming along nicely.

      I suggest you read through the following article on User Roles to see the way forward in allowing student to contribute to your Library Blog – http://help.edublogs.org/what-are-the-different-roles-of-users/

      Eugene Brown, Edublogs | CampusPress
      @Edublogs_Eugene

    • Hi,

      I went around on your blog and found your Guidelines page. I really love all of the guidelines that you have set up for your students! Thanks for the great idea!

    • Wow! That looks great!

    • Hi ‘mrsgollings’, and well done on creating your first post. I really enjoyed the video.

      I suggest you only have one search box on your right sidebar, and move it to the top of your right sidebar so it is easier to find.

      Eugene Brown, Edublogs Support
      @Edublogs_Eugene

    • Hi Ms Layne, and thank you for the positive feedback.

      I really enjoyed reading your first post. You made great use of the image and YouTube video.

      Eugene Brown, Edublogs Support
      @Edublogs_Eugene

    • Hi Mrs. Beard

      Thank you for your first post. We suggest you create Post Categories to ad context to your post and make them easy to find.

      Eugene Brown, Edublogs Support
      @Edublogs_Eugene

    • Thanks for sharing the Class Dojo app. I noticed that you shared the website link and used a bold format for some of the post content. I hope your blog will encourage the use of technology in your school.

  3. I’ve been trying different ideas for posts to see how it looks. This is my second post: a gallery with some words that were spelt wrong in Spanish:
    http://tiradelalengua.edublogs.org/2016/07/14/cuidado-con-la-ortografia/
    I tried other things too, however I had some problems trying to do a post with a power point, I hope I find some help in forthcoming steps! (The file is actually not uploaded). Finally, I found really helpful the instructions to publish posts to different pages and will probably use it when classes start. I can’t wait to learn more!

    • Hi “sacalalengua”

      I really enjoyed your post on spelling. The images really shed some light on the importance of spelling.

      Eugene Brown, Edublogs Support
      @Edublogs_Eugene

    • Hi Ms. Bocklage, and thank you for sharing your post.

      Sticky posts can be useful for highlighting announcements and not loosing important posts on your home page. You can read more about sticky posts here – http://help.edublogs.org/sticky-post/

      Eugene Brown, Edublogs Support
      @Edublogs_Eugene

    • I really like the subheading you created for your blog: “A long long time ago…” I am sure your student will feel really welcome thanks to your nice welcoming post. It looks all quite interesting!

    • What a fun start to the year – and I love that you’ve linked twitter comments. Nice blog!

    • Great beginning to blogging. I taught ELA for 15 years and then switched to Title I Math three years ago. Using blogging to help with writing would have been a great blessing to the classroom. Please keep us posted on your progression.

      My school allows edublogs to open but all other blogs are locked out.

      • Mrs. Baumgard
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  4. I created a very basic first post for my classroom page at http://missfellows161.edublogs.org/. I also created a blog for my rabbit because my students absolutely love hearing about him, and he also visits school a few times a year. I will post to BB’s blog the same way students will post to their own, and also leave comments on student posts through BB as a user. I thought it would be a humorous addition that still encourages all of the skills and thought. http://bbthebunny.edublogs.org/

    • Hi Miss Fellows

      I love the idea of your Bunny Blog, and that your ‘Bunny’ is blogging alongside your students.

      Eugene Brown, Edublogs Support
      @Edublogs_Eugene

    • I like the first post. That’s a good way to start.

    • It looks good. I may add our school mission statement as well.
      I’m in Minnesota too but teach 8th grade Earth Science, plus others.

    • Melly – I love how you ended your post with a challenge/question to the students. I might steal that idea!

    • I like the idea of categories, too, especially for a teacher of multiple subjects. This year, this feature will not be necessary for me, but I will definitely keep it in mind for the future!

    • Very friendly and inviting and it leaves the reader with something to think about.

  5. Here is a link to my first post, I had written it before starting this. I don’t see this being a classroom blog, but instead a blog for educators since I’m going to be a tech coach.

    https://pullittogether.edublogs.org

  6. I created a brief Welcome post. I will be adding to this as the school year approaches. tdominguez/edublogs.org

  7. Thank you to Mrs. Yollis and all of the other great teachers who provide wonderful models for classroom blogs. I have yet to meet my students but this is what I have so far. https://msbabb84.edublogs.org/

    • Hi Ms Babbs

      You blog is coming on well!

      Please consider adding Post Categories. This will group your posts and make them easier to find and navigate.

      Eugene Brown, Edublogs Support
      @Edublogs_Eugene

    • Hi Julie.

      You blog is coming along nicely. It’s great to see that you have added Post Categories and the Post Category Widget.

      Eugene Brown, Edublogs Support
      @Edublogs_Eugene

    • I really like how you used different color text for your first post! Happy 800 years! I’m excited for you!

      • Kate Bocklage
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    • You are ready to start. The class will learn with you from now on . Good Luck

    • I am the same way! I am trying to learn now so that I can walk my students through the process when the school year begins.

    • Have a great first day on Thursday! Can’t wait to hear how the students react and use the blog once the year begins.

    • I think it looks great. Short and to the point. That seems to be what they recommend!

  8. I decided to create a private class blog where the adult learners created their own private blog where comments were active between student and teacher. This approach was successful since many students were apprehensive about creating a public blog and sharing their learning journal comments. I have since changed the class blog to public and am not sure why the url is not an active url here http://prepareforcomputing2016.blogspot.com.au

    • Hi Dearne

      This is a great approach, and I am sure it was successful.

      I also like the idea that you have published course content as Posts.

      Eugene Brown, Edublogs Support

    • Hi “mrsunthank”

      You may want to create post categories by going to Posts > Categories. Assigning Posts to these categories will help your site visitors better find information on your blog.

      The categories widget in the sidebar will then come into play.

      Eugene Brown, Edublogs Support

    • LOVED IT!! I teach third graders and we give the BIG TEST in April. They all come in terrified of the BIG TEST we have to take in third grade, because IF YOU DON”T PASS THE TEST YOU DON”T PASS TO FOURTH GRADE!!! All year we work on how to work cooperatively, how to find an answer if you don’t know it, how to discuss/argue/give your opinion, and then in April you sit in a cubicle with nothing to use for a reference (not even the ABC chart above the bulletin board), no one to bounce ideas with and take a 50 question test that is supposed to tell the world you are a fit fourth grader. Really? Give me a break!!! Anyway, sorry to rant…..your post was awesome!

    • Very good! I like how your students responded; especially the one who said they new understand why you teach like you do.

  9. I am primarily using the blog as a way for students to think about ideas we will be discussing in a text or a check in on the reading of text. I plan to post some video that I recorded on my ipad but I am having trouble moving it from my ipad to my blog. The edublog app is not easy to use. Do you have any suggestions.
    http://rrodgers.edublogs.org/2016/01/07/physical-landscapes/

  10. It’s a work in progress, but here we go!
    http://krocquin.edublogs.org/

    I could get really wrapped up in this. Just have to find some time to let the magic unfold….

    • Great start! I think I have been spending more time than my students updating the look of my blog! I’m totally getting lost in this! 🙂

      • Michele Coultas
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  11. I have managed to write my first post and put link to school website.
    I wanted to change the font but couldn’t find where to do this?

    http://bowleepark.edublogs.org/

    • Hi Mrs C A Smith

      To change font you need to activate the Supreme Webfonts plugin. Once activated you see the option to change font type and size in the advanced formatting toolbar on the Visual editor.

      I’ve activated the plugin on your blog.

      Refer to these instructions to use – http://help.edublogs.org/supreme-google-webfonts-plugin/

      Sue Waters
      Support Manager
      Edublogs | CampusPress

    • Hi Michelle

      Thanks for sharing a link to your new post. You are able to embed the videos from Twitter directly into your post. Would you like me to show you how it is done?

      Sue Waters
      Support Manager
      Edublogs | CampusPress

    • I like the look of your page. It has interest without being too busy!

    • I was glad to know how to use different fonts, as well. After seeing how attractive some of the other blogs are, I wanted to know how they were able to achieve the looks they did.

    • This is my second year utilizing a blog. Having played it safe last year, I’m looking forward to playing around with color, fonts, and images. PJ Liebson (mrsliebson.edublogs.org).

  12. I have managed to write my first post. I used some colour just for the practice!

    My blog is at stuartcollings.edublogs.org.

    Thanks.

    • P.S. I am not sure I understand categories and tags just yet.

      • Hi Mr Collings

        The color works really well with your post and the colors in your theme.

        Categories and tags can be very confusing initially. Categories and tags are designed to make it easier to find information on your blog. The easiest way to visualize them is to think of categories like the Table of contents at the front of a book and tags as the index at the back of a book.

        Examples of categories you might use on your blog could be Class News, Maths, English, Reading, Blogging. If you assigned the category Maths to a post you might add tags specific to the Maths topic such as fractions.

        I’ve assigned the category Class News to your Welcome post so you can see how it works. When you click on the category Class News you’ll see all posts assigned the category Class News.

        Sue Waters
        Support Manager
        Edublogs | CampusPress

        • Okay, thank you. I think I am a bit clearer now. I will experiment with using categories and tags as I continue to post.

          Stuart

      • It’s an easy way for readers to search your blog. Tags help the blog categorize and easily bring up in searches.

        • mrpthescienceg
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    • Hi Stephanie

      Congratulations of your first post!

      As with conventional writing, it is better to keep font and font colours the same throughout the post as this may detract from the message of the post.

      We suggest you create Post Categories and assign your posts to categories, to help your blog visitors easily find the information they are looking for.

      Eugene Brown, Edublogs Support

  13. So far so good! I really want to set up blogs for each student the way Huzzah! ans some of the other edublogs do. I’m excited to get to it.

    • stephaniewardrop
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    • I have set up student blogs. I’m hoping to introduce them to the students this week. One student has already discovered his personal blog through playing online at home. He changed his blog by adding yayyyyyy!!!!. I think he is very excited to get started!
      http://epsompsgrade45.global2.vic.edu.au/student-blogs/
      cheers Michelle

      • Michelle Stone
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    • I also wanted to set up a Year group Page with 3 different class blogs. Then if I can do that I can make more pages for other year groups.

    • I really like the student blogs too, and it would be a great resources for end of the year projects!