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Welcome to the third step in our free professional learning series on personal blogging to help you set up your own personal or professional educator blog!

The aim of this step is to:

  1. Help you understand how posts are used on personal blogs.
  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 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.

Watch this video to learn more about pages vs posts.



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Who publishes the posts

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 and The Edublogger are examples of Group blogs.  You can check out other group blogs here!

Here are examples of personal educator blogs:

Watch this video by Steve Wheeler on 3 Things you need to know about blogging!


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Examples of posts on personal 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:

Please note the posts I’ve shared include 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!

Or check out this collaborative Google Doc of writing prompts for Teachers and Preservice teachers for ideas of what to blog about.


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How to publish a new post

Publishing a post is as simple as:

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

5.  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.

Preview

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

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Intro to 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 formatting.

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 formatting 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 personal blogs:


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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.


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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.


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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

Heading Styles

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4.  Remember to Link

Failing to link is one of the biggest mistakes made by new bloggers.

Linking to articles, websites or other blogger’s post when you write about them is an important part of blogging.

Your readers want to be able to easy check out the information without needing to Google.

Links are the building blocks of the web.

When you link:

  1. You are crediting those who inspired your post.
  2. Making it easy for readers to check out resources and information for themselves.
  3. Building community, continuation of the conversation and reciprocity.

It’s good blogging etiquette to link to:

  1. A person’s blog if you mention a blogger
  2. The post if you are talking about a particular post on a blog
  3. Website or article if mentioned in your post

Here’s how simple it is:

Without linking:

Listened to Sue Waters’s session on Intro to blogging.

With linking:

Listened to Sue Waters’s session on Intro to blogging (here’s her post from the session).

And it looks like this:

How to link

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

Heading Styles

When you view your post you should now see the text is now linked in the post.  Remember to check the URL you added is linking properly!

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5.  Enhancing posts with images and media

When you look at personal 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 this professional learning series on blogging.

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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.  Some teachers use this approach on their personal blog if they are setting up an ePortfolio to document their skills.

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.

We’ve set up a demo blog to show you it in action.  When you click on the Geography link in the top navigation of our demo blog you are taken to all posts assigned the category Geography.

If you look at the AITSL Standards sub-menu on Paul Huebl’s blog you’ll see he has used this approach on his personal blog.

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

We’d like you to add your voice and ideas to our ongoing conversation about blogging by undertaking one or more of these challenges:

  1. Watch this video by Steve Wheeler on 3 Things you need to know about blogging! Leave a comment to share what you learned from watching Steve’s video.
  2. Check out tips for First Time Bloggers voicethread created by Nancy Carroll!  Leave a comment to share what you learned from the Voicethread.
  3. 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.
  4. Read our tips on writing better blog posts.  Publish a new post incorporating some of these tips and then leave a comment with a link to the post so we can have a look at how you went.

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

95 Comments

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  1. Is there a way to see the students posts before they are published to the blog? Do not want to see inappropriate blogs. Is there a tool to use?

  2. http://dmss.edublogs.org

    The first posting was well received by the students. They enjoyed responding directly from the computer. However, editing was not so much.

  3. Hello,

    Here is a link to my first post: http://wheelerme.edublogs.org/

    Just a general welcome. I am hoping that my students can start blogging after Christmas vacation! We just got 1:1 Chromebooks for our 4th graders!

  4. The “Three Things About Blogging” video was an interesting watch but not as relevant to my students and our perspective audience. My students are in fourth grade, and we’re going to be focusing first on using blogging to understand Digital Citizenship and second to practice conventions.

    I must not be savvy enough for the Voice Thread because I tried multiple ways to open it and just could not get it to work.

    Here is a link to our first blog post- I tried to use linking, headings, images, and the appropriate writing style. Please let us know what you think!

    http://cozclass.edublogs.org/2016/08/30/the-coz-class-begins/

    • Ms. Courter and Ms. Z
    • Hi Ms. Courter and Ms. Z

      I really enjoyed your first post. You made good use of images which brought context to the post.

      Eugene Brown, Edublogs Support
      @Edublogs_Eugene

  5. I like that Steve Wheelers points out the necessities to making your blog interesting. While I don’t really care to have a large audience, I don’t want to bore my students with page after page of text. I think it is really important to include videos and images to keep my students engaged, but also provide different ways to intake the same information.

  6. Hi everyone,
    I have spent ages checking out your posts and am truly inspired!! I think reading the blogs of others and observing effectives layouts is a great way to be a better blogger. Now that I have written my first post I aim to acknowledge other blogs as a way of sharing great information with the readers of my blog (I don’t expect there are too many just yet, but I’m working on it). I think its always better to get a recommendation or endorsement from someone else rather than self promotion.Here is the link to my post
    http://jenbrown01.edublogs.org/2015/10/01/understanding-the-accreditation-process-as-a-casual-teacher-in-n-s-w/

    • Hi Jen, thank you for your kind words with regards to the showcased blogs! I read through your blog post and was as impressed. You have cleverly used italics and UPPERCASE to get your point across. You infographic is very informative but is difficult to read because of its size. You could always make it available for download by creating a link so it can be easily seen.
      Eugene Brown, Edublogs Support

  7. I loved Steve Wheeler’s comment about blogging, “crystallize my thinking”. Making an outline, and trying to get my ideas across in an organized fashion that others will understand, is sometimes tough.

    • Michele TravelwithMrsT
    • Hi Michelle, I agree, that is very difficult to achieve. The most successful bloggers seem to find a balance between blogging ‘from the heart’ and organizing their thoughts in their posts. It comes across very clearly that you have found your passion in your blog.
      Eugene Brown, Edublogs Support

  8. I’ve just listened to the voicethread. To be a good blogger is very difficult & the key -note to my mind is to have more & more experience doing it. the more the better :-). I wish I would one of such kind of bloggers sooner or later:-).

    • Hi Marina, even the best bloggers had to start somewhere. Find your passion, and your posts will flow!
      Eugene Brown, Edublogs Support

  9. Hello everyone!!
    I completely agree with the 3 things mentioned in the video. Aspecially about the difficulty to attract the audience. It’s really challenging for every blogger. I’m still trying to do my best with my blog but, unfortunately, lack of time spoils all my efforts:-).

  10. I watched Steve Wheeler’s video.
    The main themes were
    Blogging is a public form of communication – open and accessible to all – a global audience
    It is maybe the most important form of unchoreographed discourse available to us at the moment
    It takes time to build your audience
    It could be said “Never has so much been written by so many to be read by so few”
    Blogging clarifies your thinking and allows your topic to be discussed in public debate which then further clarifies your thinking
    I listened to the Voicethread Advice to new bloggers at http://voicethread.com/myvoice/#thread/2130309/11372320/32254226
    If I were going to leave a comment it would be
    Hi! This is Jo Freitag from Victoria, Australia
    At present I have 3 blogs for different purposes
    1. Gifted Resources blog – the blog for my information service for teachers, parents and service providers of gifted students
    https://giftedresources.wordpress.com/
    2. Sprite’s Site blog based on a cartoon character Sprite who is a gifted student who also has learning difficulties and a collection of characters such as the Memory elephant and the overexcitable Dabrowski dogs
    http://spritessite.wordpress.com/
    3. Personas profiles and portraits which is my new blog about the creation of a set of persona dolls representing profiles of gifted students and their background stories.
    https://jofreitag.wordpress.com/
    My advice to first time bloggers is to choose to blog about a topic which you are passionate about or information you would like to share
    Comment on other people’s blogs and share the links to your posts on Twitter using the hashtags of the groups you follow
    Participating in global projects and blog hops on specific subjects can also enhance the enjoyment and value of blogging.
    The first post on my new blog was https://jofreitag.wordpress.com/2015/01/24/hello-world/
    A key post for the blog is
    Could Sprite be a persona doll? https://jofreitag.wordpress.com/2015/01/26/could-sprite-be-a-persona-doll-2/
    This post was imported from Sprite’s Site blog to help set the scene for the blog
    The posts written for this blog begin at
    And now read on https://jofreitag.wordpress.com/2015/02/16/and-now-read-on/
    A recent post https://jofreitag.wordpress.com/2015/05/12/australia-e-series-tech-talk-tuesdays-webinar/

    The blog post about Step 3 is posted at https://jofreitag.wordpress.com/2015/05/27/2015-edublogs-teacher-challenge-step-3/

    • Hi Jo, great summary of Steve’s video, and great advice to new bloggers!
      Eugene Brown, Edublogs Support

  11. I think I’ve completed Step 2 and 3 –> idsja.edublogs.org

    The environment is becoming more familiar, and I am feeling stubborn about learning and making the blog be what I want. More to be revealed!

    Michelle 🙂

    • Michelle Harmon
    • Hi Michelle, well done on completing your first post!
      You’ve made good use of categories and tags too.
      Eugene Brown, Edublogs Support

  12. My blog is now three years old and I use it mainly for my own teaching practice and to share resources with colleagues and making connections. I am going to use tags in my blog to make it more user friendly.
    https://musemafara.wordpress.com

    • Musekiwa Mafara
  13. I respect how Steve supported getting thoughts down more concretely through blogging. I know few see my blog, which has the main purpose of communicating with another teacher/class abroad… I don’t know if many will view/read it just because of this. But…that is my purpose as of now.

    I do understand how these new endeavors do take time…

    • Michelle Swanson
    • Hi Michelle

      It does take time to build audience. We provide tips that will help in Step 4: Connect with Others.

      Sue Waters
      Support Manager
      Edublogs | CampusPress

  14. This is my first post http://stmartinsyear1blog.edublogs.org/blog-wall/page/3/ – which was before this blown challenge started. I have now realised after reading the tips for writing better posts that I should have included links in it to take readers to the website for the book awards which I mentioned. After reading and watching/listening to the videos and voice threads for this challenge I have found that they tend to relate to personal blogging by teachers about their practice etc. however my blog is a class blog – do you have any tips/examples of good class blogs?
    Thanks
    Karen

    • Hi Karen

      Thanks for sharing the link.

      This challenge is set up for educators who want to use blogs to share their reflections with other educators.

      Your best option is to switch to our Blogging with Student series. You’ll find the tasks here http://teacherchallenge.edublogs.org/blogging-with-students/ The blogging with student series includes links to class blogs so you can check out how they are used with series.

      Both challenges work the same way. You read through the step, complete the tasks and add your comment at the bottom of the step. We’re replying to comments left on all the series so isn’t an issue for us if you switch to that series.

      Sue Waters
      Support Manager
      Edublogs | CampusPress

      • Hi Sue,

        Thank you, I’ll have a look at the blogging with student series.

        Karen

  15. I’m having trouble uploading my avatar. When I try to upload, it tells me that the file type is not supported. I have tried jpg, jepg and tiff and none work. It is also smaller than 32 MB. I see that it shows up when I comment, but I can’t get it to show when I put the widget in my Post page. Help please! 🙂

    • Hi Terresa. I hope you don’t mind, I took the liberty of placing your Author widget so you can see how it is done. You can find out more information at http://help.edublogs.org/author-widget/
      Eugene Brown, Edublogs Support

  16. Steve made two comments that caught my ear – calling blogging “a public unchoreographed discourse” and referring to blogging as “so much is written that is read by so few.”
    When I come across a quote that speaks to me, I find that it helps fill in the blanks in looking at a situation/task/relationship. I really want to incorporate quotes into my blog, but not sure the best way to do this. I don’t want a separate page and could use some input.
    Thanks

  17. Not a new post, but I went back to a previous one and incorporated many of the strategies this step included. http://gallaghertech.edublogs.org/2015/05/01/being-inspired/

    – I made sure to link to proper items I’m giving credit to
    – I started with a catchy title
    – I used short paragraphs
    – I didn’t have the ability to put in headings but I tried to designate them with italicized font

    • Hi Dan, the strategies you’ve implemented have indeed been effective! I noticed on the bottom of your text there is a heading, “What does your lock screen look like?”. Should there be a graphic there?
      Eugene Brown, Edublogs Support

  18. Hello,

    1. I liked how Mr. Wheeler said that writing clarifies thinking. Very true.

    2. The Voicethread presentation focused on focus– to maintain presence, to connect with others.

    3. Here is my first post: http://christopherrafalcarter.blogspot.ca/2015/04/test.html

    4. This is latest post, on manuscript format. I use short paragraphs to break up the information, and throw humour in when I can. http://christopherrafalcarter.blogspot.ca/2015/05/manuscript-format-for-short-stories.html

    – CRC

    • Christopher Rafal Carter
    • Hi Christopher. Well done on your first post! Your manuscript post is very informative. I suggest you change the url of your ‘first post’ from test.html to something relevant to the content of that post; to help users more easily find your site via google search.
      Eugene Brown, Edublogs Support

    • Hi Sheriann, I see you made this a page and not a post. I suggest you transfer the information from the page to a post. Creating categories for your posts makes it easier for site visitors to find information on your blog.
      Eugene Brown, Edublogs Support

      • Thank you Eugene. I will try that.

      • Thank you for making that adjustment and thanks for the kind words.

  19. Hi, Just created a new post. One thing I have trouble with, and maybe it is the theme, is getting the right size for a video that I embed. I’m going in and editing the dimensions, but I’m wondering if there is a better way to do it.

    • Hi Donna

      I’ve had a look at your post ( http://sjgslmc.edublogs.org/2014/09/07/save-the-date/ ). I can see you are currently using the embed code option for YouTube and the default size for YouTube is 560 x 315 unless you choose the custom option. The post content area for themes varies and your theme requires a smaller video.

      The alternative option is to embed the YouTube video using the video URL as per these instructions – http://help.edublogs.org/embedding-with-a-url/#YouTube I’ve checked using the video URL and this embeds nicely in your theme. I would probably switch to the video URL option rather than using the embed code.

      Sue Waters
      Support Manager
      Edublogs | CampusPress

  20. Hi,

    1. What I took from Steve Wheeler’s video was that blogging is open and accessible for anyone to access, which allows you to engage with a global audience. It will take time to build an audience but by linking hyperlinks to other blogs, articles and such so people can read more and interest them further. I like the idea that it can clarify your thinking and it can refine your thinking as you write.
    2. What I learnt from the Voicethread was to have a purpose. Know what you are blogging about/for and use that to connect with others.
    3. My first post – it’s long but it sort of grew from a simple short beginning to what it is! http://teachingandlearning.global2.vic.edu.au/2014/09/07/remembering-my-itf/
    4. This is my second post – trying to remember to include more links. http://teachingandlearning.global2.vic.edu.au/2014/09/07/flattening-our-walls-with-skype/

    • Hi Candice

      Both excellent posts! I really enjoyed reading about your year teaching in Colorado. Wasn’t too long and it kept me engaged wanting to learn more about what their school was like.

      Thanks for highlighting the Skype Guides. I hadn’t looked at them closely so hadn’t seen how teachers have been using it to mentor the use of Skype. Very cool and great to see you’ve connected with Anne!

      Sue Waters
      Support Manager
      Edublogs | CampusPress

    • Hi Patricia

      Thanks for sharing a link to your post. I’ve made a quick adjustment to your post. Hope that is okay? I noticed that you are adding two line spaces between paragraphs. The extra line made it feel a bit harder to read. Please have a look and let me know your thoughts?

      I enjoyed reading your post about schedules and language difficulties. My oldest son did several years with a speech therapist due to language difficulties.

      Sue Waters
      Support Manager
      Edublogs | CampusPress

      • Thanks!

  21. Steve Wheeler on 3 Things you need to know about blogging has some very simple, straightforward thoughts on the benefits of blogging. I am really interested in the third thing when he talks about crystalizing my ideas. That is what I am going for with my blog AND what I hope to inspire in my students as they blog this year.

    • Hi Jason,

      I really resonate with that third point as well. I saw the new post on your blog “Back on the Plan.” It’s funny how the school year has a distinct flow to it, year after year, despite the students changing. Though the first month is exhausting, I’d take a few more of those than the winter doldrums where our -30F windchills and middle-of-the-year syndrome deprive students of any motivation 🙂

      Dan Leeman, Edublogs Support

  22. As a relatively new blogging teacher (February 2013), I wholeheartedly agree with Steve Wheeler. Make your blog a destination…and be sure to visit plenty of other blogs during this challenge (thank you, Edublogs, for all the links). I use my class blog both to teach and to communicate, and feel completely blessed by the fellow educators I’ve met along this journey. This global and highly motivated audience has provided countless opportunities for professional development for me–as well as authentic collaboration and feedback for my students. Having launched student blogs last year, I now can’t imagine my classroom without this compelling form of real-world writing. 🙂
    http://mrsrombachreads.edublogs.org

    • mrsrombachreads
    • Once you open up the potential of blogging (both personally and with students) the possibilities for collaboration are endless! I’m so pleased to hear that you’ve had such a great time both with blogging and connecting with other educators online. I really wish more schools were flexible in using online professional development in conjunction with school or district-developed PD. In my experience, I’d learn more in an hour-long Twitter edchat than in a full day of PD in my school.

      Good luck with your first few days of school!
      Dan Leeman, Edublogs Support

    • I enjoyed going through your blog. It’s beautifully written in a way that will engage students. I’m trialing a class blog with my students next term (last term of the year in Australia) and will look at starting another one at the beginning of the year with my other classes.

  23. I also agree with what Steve said about writing helping to clarify your thinking. I often resist spending the time to write down my ideas, but it does help. I’ve changed the title of my blog to reflect my new teaching assignment. I’m practicing with tags and linking to websites in the blog posts.

    http://mrsdonohue3.edublogs.org/

    • I like the new title of your blog!

      I think you might want to consider using categories over tags – right now the categories display as “uncategorized,” and you have a categories widget in your sidebar which could help direct users to similar groupings of posts.

      Just a thought!
      Dan Leeman, Edublogs Support

      • Thanks for this suggestion! I have always kept my posts uncategorized and now see a value in organizing my posts.

  24. I used this prompt as an excuse to blog about the start of the semester; I designed a few memes as well.

    • Shelley Rodrigo
    • Hi Shelley,

      Fun memes you created! My students were obsessed with cat memes and would plaster printed copies all over the ceiling of my office when I wasn’t looking.

      Have you found that creating your own images/graphics leads to more interaction with your blog posts (visits, comments, shares, etc.)?

      Dan Leeman, Edublogs Support

    • Hi Tawnya,

      Nice job on the Google Groups graphic! If you’re planning on adding similar resources to your blog, I’d start thinking of ways you can create more branded content. Maybe include a logo or URL of your blog. This kinds of image-based mini tutorials would work great on Pinterest, and then educators would know to go to your blog for additional content.

      Dan Leeman, Edublogs Support

  25. From Steve Wheeler’s video, I agree with blogging being a crystallization of thinking. My blog actually began as a way for school principals and hiring committees to learn more about me as an educator, since I am newly certified; I find posting about topics helps my opinion to be firmer since I put in the time to write down the reasons I want to do something particular in my classroom. Here is a recent post: http://readlearngrow.edublogs.org/2014/08/07/helping-students-with-independent-reading-choices/ From the tips on writing better posts, I know I need to work on titles and visuals.

    Sarah

    • readlearngrow
    • Hi Sarah,

      It’s funny, we had the opposite transition for our beginning blogging! I (unfortunately) started with very concrete opinions during my student teaching experience and found myself very critical of my educational surroundings. As I continued to blog and connect with others, I found myself much more exposed to a variety of opinions, and I loosened my once firmly-held opinions.

      It’s great to see how we both learned from the opinions of educators around us. One of the parts I love most about networking with teachers online is that the cream rises to the top. Teachers who aren’t passionate about teaching don’t spend time on Twitter edchats, creating new lesson plans for Pinterest, or blogging about their educational philosophies. We might not always agree with everyone online, but I’ve never found an education blogger who wasn’t passionate about lifelong learning.

      Dan Leeman, Edublogs Support

  26. I’ve got a few posts and after looking at others’ blogs, I think I understand tags. I have also been working on my Pocket account (getpocket.com) and have been working more at understanding the use of tags to stay organized. I hope that my posts are interesting to read and are short–which goes with my theme of A Quick Byte.

    Thanks for this challenge. It is opening up opportunities for me to expand my thought process and understanding of the blogging world. I also like looking through the comments and clicking on others’ blogs to see how others are coming along with the challenge.

    http://billpratt23.blogspot.com

    • Hi Bill,

      It does look like you’re on the right track with tags – not too many, not too few, and using them to help organize the content of your website.

      Glad to hear you’re enjoying the challenge 🙂

      Dan Leeman, Edublogs Support

  27. I am a rookie blogger. I have written two posts so far. I am trying to follow the suggestions by the Teacher Challenge and I would say they’re really useful. I would have been lost without these step by step guidelines. Just like the bottom line in the voice thread was to ‘dive in’ and explore , so here I am in the deep, trying to swim 🙂
    Check it out.
    http://aaishazclass.edublogs.org/

    • Hi Aisha

      You are doing an excellent job for a Rookie. I’m adding a link to your first post so others can read your blogging plans and ideas to blog – http://aaishazclass.edublogs.org/2014/08/22/blogging-finally/ I’ve also left a comment and tweeted the post. Hopefully sharing your posts helps gets some more comments!

      Sue Waters
      Support Manager
      Edublogs | CampusPress

  28. Wheeler’s video was short, sweet and informative. One thing that I learned is that to have a good professional blog you have to go pro. A blog that comes for free leaves you with very little to play around and be creative in your posts.

  29. Although I have quite a few posts already on my blog, I wrote this one on Voxer with some of the suggestions in Step 3 of the challenge http://msrodrigues.global2.vic.edu.au/2014/08/24/learning-with-voxer/ One of the challenges with the way I write is that I tend to use a variety of writing styles (being an English teacher and trying to strengthen my writing skills to model for my students). I also write in the styles I like to read which may not always suit other people. In looking at Steve Wheeler’s Youtube clip, he talks about blogging being an area for discourse, to have conversations with others around the world. I don’t know whether I started my blog with that intention – it was a way for me to reflect on my learning and teaching practices with no particular audience in mind. Nancy Carroll’s Voice Thread states that blogging is a good e-portfolio as it allows others to see what you are like as a teacher. I’m hesitant to put my details on it because anyone can access it.

    • Hi Lisa,

      Thanks for sharing your experience with Voxer and the #satchatOC group.
      That’s interesting – I haven’t heard of too many teachers intentionally trying to change their voice in their blogging. Most of us are struggling to identify a single voice for our blogging, but kudos to you for experimenting with writing styles 🙂

      As you continue blogging, have you transitioned from crystalizing your personal thoughts on education to desiring to build a blog audience? It’s personal preference, of course. I started a blog when I was student teaching, purely for compiling my thoughts, but changed my writing style as I found more visitors coming to my blog.

      Dan Leeman, Edublogs Support

      • Hi Dan

        I’m still struggling to find a voice. I think changing my writing styles is a carry-over from a project I do with my year 9s. As for building my blog audience- I find it hard to decide on my post topics. There are so many good blogs out there- it’s not easy to pick my own style. Also I know when I read blogs, I like those that are easy to read and not set out like articles from a published journal. I guess that’s why I write with different styles.

        • Hi Lisa

          Voice is an interesting topic. I’m frequently asked to support educators and preservice teachers in their courses or in MOOCs. I’ve learnt from this experience that the topic of voice can affect their blogging because you can worry too much about other blogger’s styles and concerns about developing your own voice.

          My advice for new bloggers is focus on blogging to meet your own personal needs, to share what you want to share and don’t worry to much about readers. Incorporate our tips for writing better posts but don’t stress too much. Your voice will naturally develop; and if you enjoy what you do it will come through in what you write.

          Hope this helped?

          Sue Waters
          Support Manager
          Edublogs | CampusPress

  30. I enjoyed watching Steve’s video. I have been blogging for a short while and I agree that it can be difficult to draw an audience. The bigger reason for me for blogging at this time is to learn how to set up a blog, learn the many aspects of blogging and reflect on my own teaching and learning. If someone visits my blog, that is a bonus at this point! I have learned so much by following along with these blogging challenges. Point 3 that Steve makes regarding using a blog to clarify and crystalize your learning really made sense to me. It is an excellent place to reflect, share and document learning and then refer to previous posts over the years. My latest post can be found at http://shannonpoulsen.edublogs.org/

    • Shannon Poulsen
    • That’s a great point Shannon! Simply starting out and learning the tools of blogging can be a big step at the beginning. Once we have the fundamentals in place, then we can look towards building an audience.

      Dan Leeman, Edublogs Support

    • Hi Penny,

      Great write-up on steps 3 and 4!
      It’s amazing how far we come as bloggers as time progresses. Looking back at some of my earliest blog posts, I cringe at the formatting. It’s good for newer bloggers to see this progress over time so they don’t feel discouraged getting started blogging with only a couple of posts. Content, formatting, ideas, audience – it keeps growing and improving all of the time. Thanks so much for sharing your experiences with us 🙂

      Dan Leeman, Edublogs Support

    • Hi Heather,

      That’s an awesome long-form post about DonorsChoose and teachers’ supply needs in the classroom. The one really important thing I’d do is link the large image of the owls to the Rafflecopter link. You’ll find that blog visitors often click big images, and waiting until the end of the post to link to Rafflecopter will potentially lose some of the clicks you may have. Link early and link often 🙂

      Dan Leeman, Edublogs Support

    • Thanks for the post! We’re planning on writing a post on ThingLink some time soon for the Edublogger. It’s really a great tool to make media interactive – it seems like we’ve had the standard images/videos have been around for so long, it’s refreshing to have new interactive content.

      Dan Leeman, Edublogs Support

    • Hi Mrs. Creek,

      That was a very well-written post, and a great reminder of the positive impact teachers can make on students. How inspiring to get that kind of feedback, especially when you were feeling rusty as you reentered education. Great story!

      Dan Leeman, Edublogs Support

  31. I have posted a few times this year, just had to do the previous challenges of a “about me” page and trying to sort out the “contact page” now. Thanks
    http://gppsshutterbugs.edublogs.org/

    • gppsshutterbugs
    • The comments form works just fine for a contact page, but since you do have Edublogs Pro, you might consider the Contact Form plugin.

      Dan Leeman, Edublogs Support

    • It’s cool to see how many educators have started using ThingLink! Sounds like lots of people have been taking their Teacher Challenge.

      Thanks for the resource 🙂

      Dan Leeman, Edublogs Support

      • Dan,
        I loved the ThingLink Challenge and learned much. I agree about About Me and might change it up soon.
        Sue

        • Sue Fitzgerald
  32. I strongly identify with what Steve said about the process of writing crystallizing my thoughts on a topic.

    • Penny Christensen
    • Hi Penny,

      I think that’s why blogging can be so refreshing. Teaching is such a busy profession, but taking time to step back and crystalize one’s own thoughts is awesome for personal reflection.

      Dan Leeman, Edublogs Support

    • Thanks for sharing a link to your post! One thing I noticed when checking out your blog is you are currently using the default Edublogs tagline.

      The tagline is a great way of telling readers what your blog is about. I’m wondering if it would be better to change your tagline to something like “Assisting with technology integration and promote reading” You can read more about how to change your tagline here – http://help.edublogs.org/blog-title-and-tagline/

      Sue Waters
      Support Manager
      Edublogs | CampusPress

  33. Well here is my new blog page @special education art and science

    • ellenwernertcom