3heads-gear3headschatchecklistglobehead-lockhead-plusimaclife-ringlogo-cornelllogo-melbournelogo-northhamptonlogo-portsmouthlogo-small logo-vancouverlogo-yokohamamail-line mail-wings pdf pie-chartplayplugprinter skype website

Welcome to the Teacher Challenge!

This is the second post in 30 Days to Kick Start Your Blogging. You don’t have to have ever published a “post” before, or maybe you’ve started to blog once or twice but haven’t quite yet stuck with it.

Wherever you’re at — we’ll step you through the tasks designed to increase your skills while providing mentors who’ll support your learning. Don’t stress, have fun and remember to ask for help, by leaving a comment, any time you need assistance!

This series is focused on helping educators set up their own personal / professional educator blogs.  Check out Blogging with Students if you want to work through our series designed to help you set up student and class blogs!


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

The aim of this activity is to help you understand how posts are used on blogs and to teach you how to publish your first posts.

Click on a link below to go to the section of this activity you want to work on:

  1. Intro to posts and why are they used on educator blogs
  2. Who writes posts on the educator blogs
  3. Examples of posts on educator blogs
  4. How to write a post
    1. Introduction to visual editor
  5. Tips for writing better blog posts
    1. Use attention grabbing titles
    2. Use short paragraphs
    3. Use Headings
    4. Remember to link
    5. Enhancing posts with images and other types of media
    6. What to blog about
  6. Common questions we’re asked about posts
    1. My homepage has a message saying “Not found”   How do I get rid it and replace it with information?
    2. Is it possible to publish posts to different pages on my blog?
    3. How do you delete the Hello World post?
  7. What now?


Back to Top

Introduction to posts

Your posts are where you’ll publish your main content such as your reflections, what you’ve learnt and information you want to share with others.  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.



Back to Top

Who writes posts on Personal / Professional Educator blogs

If you look closely at educator blogs you’ll see some are group blogs where several individuals publish posts on the blog while on other blogs the posts are published by just that educator.  Individual educator blogs are more common because most people are more motivated to post on their own blog due to personal ownership.

The Connected Principals is an example of a Group blog.  You can check out other group blogs here!


Back to Top

Examples of posts on educator blogs

So what do you publish as posts on your blog?  Pretty much anything you want to share you’ll publish as a post.  Your reflections, what you’ve learnt, how-to’s and cool information  — there’s so much you can share!

Here’s some examples of posts to check out for ideas:

You can also check out more educator blogs and what they post about here!

Please note the posts I’ve shared have been written by some of our well known educational bloggers!  Starting out your posts don’t have to be perfect — blogging is a work in progress!

The key is to take the first steps!  Here’s my very first post ever — if I never wrote my first posts I wouldn’t be here helping you today!


Back to Top

To write a post all you need to do is:

1.  Go to Posts > Add New.

2.  Give your post a Title,  add your content, your tags and categories and when finished writing click Publish.

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



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.

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

Back to Top

Introduction to your 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 formating 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.



Back to Top

Tips for writing better blog posts

Reading online is different from reading in a text book.

The easier 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:

Back to Top

1. Use attention grabbing titles

Titles on blog posts are like titles on books. The better the title, the more it’ll grab the attention of readers and the greater the chance people will read what you’ve written.

Captivating and intriguing titles draw readers every time. Back that with a well written post and you can’t lose.

For further tips on writing post titles refer to 15 Ways to rework your next blog post title.

Back to Top
2.  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.


Back to Top
3.  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



Back to Top
4.  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


Back to Top
5.  Enhancing posts with images and other types of media

When you look at blogs you’ll notice they enhance their posts with images and other types of media including videos and by embedding web tools.  We’ll show you how this is done later in this professional development series.

However,  if you can’t wait and want to start now here is some information to get you going:

  1. The Educator’s Guide to Copyright, Fair Use, and Creative Commons
  2. Inserting images into your posts
  3. Embedding videos from video sharing websites into posts
  4. Enhancing your posts by embedding media including slides, quizzes, comic strips, polls


Back to Top

6. What to blog about

For many edubloggers blogging is a bit about their readers and a lot about their own personal needs to reflect on what they are learning or what they want to share.

One of the commonest mistakes made by new blogggers is focusing on what they think their readers want to read.

Our advice is forget about your readers and focus on your own needs. You’ll be more passionate and it’ll come through in your posts.

And never assume that someone’s already written what you’re saying.

Remember:

Starting out your posts don’t have to be perfect — blogging is a work in progress!  The key is to take the first steps!  Here’s my very first post ever — if I never wrote my first posts I wouldn’t be here helping you today!

Back to Top

Common questions we’re asked about posts

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

Back to Top
1.  My homepage has a message saying “Not found”   How do I get rid of it and replace with information?

The Not Found message is because the home page is your blog post page and this message it means you’ve deleted all posts or changed them to draft mode so there is no content that it can display.

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.

Back to Top
2.  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.

You can see it in action on CES Music Blog.   If you hover your mouse over Music Classes it displays links to the different Grades and all you need to do is click on a Grade to view all posts published for that grade.  For example, here are all the posts for Grade 5.

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.

Back to Top

3.  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.

Back to Top

What now?

How did you go?  We hope this has helped get your posts started and the information has helped!

Now it’s time to write a post on your blog.

It’s entirely up to you!

Here’s some ideas on what you could write about:

  1. 7 things you don’t need to know about me
  2. My passions – often a lot easier to write about something you are really passionate about whether it be reading, cycling, genealogy or crafts
  3. Review or share a favourite learning or technology tool that you use

Leave a comment below with a link to your post and let us all take a look!

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

Or go to Activity 3: Setting Up Pages – About and Contact!

95 Comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. Pingback: The ultimate guide to get started with blogging! | Edublogs - education blogs for teachers, students and institutions

  2. okay I’m blogging. I’ve added a link and everything, better late than never in the challenge to get a blog going…thanks for the help and the great tutoring in the process…

    http://technologyisablessing.edublogs.org/
    my posts thus far…. feel free to comment and follow me

    • technologyisablessing
    • /
    • /
  3. Here is my post for Activity 2 – 7 things you don’t want to know about me. Running a little behind these days. Cheers!

    http://lstryker.edublogs.org/

  4. I keep forgetting to add my comments after finishing the activity and trying to play “catchup” is difficult. Word of advice…stay on top of things and the task won’t be so daunting!

    I have changed my theme a couple of times just to see what looks good with my post. I don’t like the advertising, but will have to deal with it until I decide if paying for a blog would be worth it in order to avoid the banner. Only time will tell…

  5. I’ve tried to answer the discussion question 3 times, and edublogs won’t accept the anti-spam word. Any ideas?

    • Jessica Tipton
    • /
    • /
  6. Pingback: Kick Start Activity 1 – Advanced – Down Blog’s Memory Lane! | Judi's Blog

  7. Pingback: Why Blog???? | Judi's Blog

    • Hi, I liked to read about your competing, I also did that earlier, but only show-jumping.

    • I liked reading your 8th item because I love sign language too.

      • Christine Archer
      • /
      • /
  8. Hi everyone,
    I might have previewed what activity 2 would be and then have written a post on VOKI, a technology tool I think is good. So, activity 2 is ready. Take a look and comment to help me improve my posts.
    Cheers!
    Luciana

  9. Pingback: tech tools I like to use | imstillearning

  10. I posted a new post a couple of days ago which encompasses a recent great experience with one of my passions and a neat tool for playing with abstract math concepts.

    I tweeted about this a couple of days ago and have already received several hits on my blog and the post.

  11. Looking forward to learning about trackbacks and ping backs since after my first post I received a Pingback…I hope this is good?

  12. Yay! I have post number two which includes a chatchy title, short paragraphs, headings and a little of my own humour. Not to mention the content which is my pros and cons to blogging.
    Check it out!
    http://soarthinkers.edublogs.org/

    • Love your “license to blog”!

  13. I’m so excited, I might be doing it “right” — “Our advice is forget about your readers and focus on your own needs. You’ll be more passionate and it’ll come through in your posts.”

    I thought being ego-blog-tric was a big frowning face, but since it’s true to the heart it’s encouraged. Thanks Sue Waters for shining light in this unknown territory. Much appreciated!

    • Tracy Watanabe
    • /
    • /
    • PS Since I blogged this question after Activity 1, but now found an answer to my question, do I go back and edit that blog with a link back here? Or, just leave it and write a new blog with what I’ve learned?

      wwwatanabe.blogspot.com

      Just wondering what someone else would do. =)

      • Tracy Watanabe
      • /
      • /
  14. Hi All ~ I completed blog challenge 1 and have added a post on my blog called “Never Stop Learning”, here is my link: http://classtapkids.edublogs.org/ I am not sure how to get you to the post directly in the address of my blog. I must have missed this somewhere in the directions. I am also not sure what a trackback and ping is above, so I am hoping I am leaving this reply in the right place.

  15. I wanted to post this in the DQ3 but for some reason I can’t post there (it won’t accept my Anti-spam word…) Anyone have any ideas why not?

    In any case:
    I learned about this challenge just this morning so I am busy catching up on Assignments 1 and 2 and preparing to look at #3.

    I spent a lot of my Christmas break reading other blogs and trying to determine what I liked about some and what I didn’t like about others. One thing that surprised me was how much I appreciated when people didn’t try to be too private. I liked knowing the names and seeing the faces of the folks who were blogging. I also enjoyed those who said what they really thought (whether or not I agreed with them).

    I tend to write too much and want to remind myself include appropriate visuals with my posts – but not so many that they distract from the content.

    Lara
    http://learningissocial.wordpress.com

  16. This is my post for Activity 2. I’m so behind!!!

    I had a bit of trouble in the editing phase. Even though I went back and tried to create a few extra paragraphs and saved the draft it didn’t seem to understand this command and get posting the incorrect changes. Weirdly it changed all my spelling and word additions. I’ll add my extension activities as well.

  17. I got my first post up. I decided to write my first message for the students and teachers at my school. I talked about what I hope the blog will do at our school and hope to get people interested in blogging along with me. It took me a long time to get things sounding just the way I wanted. I kept going back to it and saving drafts. Find it at…

    mskirwin.edublogs.org

    Thanks for the great directions and help in getting started.

  18. I enjoy reading the comments. I forgot to add my blog to my comment from the first activity. It is http://blogs.everettsd.org/waltersscience/. I don’t know how to link it (I don’t see a hyperlink icon).

    This a good way to get me started, but I won’t have lots time to spend. My goal is focus on some short and sweet success that occur throughout the week.

    Thanks for the hints – there are so many details I need to learn!

  19. Hi,

    I decided to write about a lesson I did with my small book groups this week. Lately, I’ve been feeling like I haven’t been as effective in reading instruction as I could be, and then my students showed me the way. They are always the best teachers.

    http://schooled-essays.blogspot.com/2011/01/two-small-miracles.html

    Also, is anyone else having trouble posting? I keep getting a request to return to the previous page and enter the anti-spam word when I already entered it. I’m sure there is a quick fix for this. . .

    Thanks!

  20. I was already thinking about starting a series on my favorite organization tool, Remember The Milk, and how it can be used by teachers to organize tasks, student work, etc.

    Check out the first post in the series at my blog.

  21. Greetings all!

    For my second beginning assignment, I did a post about how I create chants in my Chinese language class. It includes an mp3 file of a chant that I wrote and recorded.

    I didn’t know a free way to host my mp3 files for a blogger blog. A Google search showed me that I could use a free dropbox account to host audio, which I did and it seems to work great.

    Please check it out: http://teachinghanyu.blogspot.com/2011/01/chants.html

    • Your link works perfectly and I enjoyed your post!

      Glad to hear you are enjoying the challenge!

    • Excellent list! I hope those crocodiles keep their distance!

    • I didn’t think you overdid the hyperlinks! I thought it was a great idea to link to more information on the points you made 🙂

    • Shawn,
      This is Miss W also a Sue but not the Sue Waters who wrote the post for the challenge. I just clicked on that link and it opens fine for me.

      • Hi Shawn, I’ve also checked the link and is working fine for me. Can I get you to try again?

        • Hi Sue (both of you),

          I tried the link again and it works. I’ve noticed the same problem on other sites and found the links worked later. Not sure what is happening.

          Thanks,
          Shawn

  22. Pingback: Teachers make all the difference! | Room 6 - Inside and Out

  23. A suggestion from Miss W led to my post for this Challenge. I have tried to write a post about making my custom header using by favourite program – ArtRage
    . This Challenge definitely gave me something to write about.

    • Hey Rachel. I was in a hurry, between classes, trying to catch up with Teacher Challenge, and *misread* the assignment. I *thought* we were to write “7 Things You Don’t Need to Know About Me” Hmmm. Now where did I get THAT topic? Bet you can’t guess what I posted about? Sorry about *taking* your topic. BUT, on another note…your post was very good! 🙂
      Joanne

  24. Pingback: 7 Things You Didn’t (or Didn’t Want to) Know About Me | Learn for a Lifetime

  25. I have been trying to add some widgets to my blog but wasn’ very successful. Besides I have deleted the link that takes me to the Admin Page. Can anyone help?
    Luciana

    • Luciana,
      If you have deleted the Meta widget, where you can log on, you can still get to your admin, by logging in at Edublogs first. From there, you have a link to your dashboard.

    • Hi, I always access my dashboard by adding wp-admin to the address of your blog. I find that is the quickest way to get to it. It just means you are a word press administrator.

      • Hi Mel, thanks for sharing your tip! That is what I do all the time as it is the fastest method.

        So Luciana in your case if you go to http://teacherluciana10.edublogs.org/wp-admin/ it will take you immediately to your blog dashboard. If you aren’t currently logged in then you will be immediately redirected to the login screen where you’ll be asked to enter your username and password.

  26. Pingback: 7 Things You Don’t Want to Know About Me | Put Your Hands Up (In the Air)

    • G’day Lauren,
      I tried the link and it says nothing found.

      • Sorry folks…I had scheduled my blog entry to post today rather than when I had actually written it. If you check the entry again it is live. Thanks for the feedback

    • I went to your link and got side tracked on your web page. You have so much cool content there. I was “stealing” everything I could. I also joined Classroom 2.0. Thanks for making that post.

      Colby

  27. Pingback: Kick Start Activity 2 – Advanced – Posts! The heartbeat of the Blog. | Teacher Challenge