- Help you understand how posts are used on class blog.
- Provide tips of writing effective posts.
- Teach you how to publish your first posts.
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:
- 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.
- Date published – all post display the date a post was published. You’ll normally see this displayed at the top of the post.
- Written by – most themes display the name of the post author. Your username is automatically displayed unless you’ve changed your display name.
- Your post content – this is the main information that you want to share or reflect on with your readers
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Here’s a quick summary of the difference between posts and pages.
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:
- Baldock & Charlesworth class blog and Compose Yourself (Teacher and students publish posts on class blog)
- Ms Cassidy’s Classroom blog, Huzzah, Jurupa Hills High School Photography and Yearbook (Class blog with individual student blogs. Student blogs are listed under Class blog list in sidebar)
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:
- You write posts on the class blog.
- Students write comments in response to your posts (you focus on teaching them quality commenting skills).
- Students write posts on class blog or their own student blog.
Most educators with successful blogging programs use the following scaffolding approach:
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.
The progressive model Kathleen Morris uses is as follows:
- I establish the class blog and wrote the posts while teaching the students to write quality comments.
- As students became more familiar with blogging, some students started publishing guest posts on the class blog and learned posting skills.
- Depending on student age and computer access, either certain students who have demonstrated enthusiasm, parent support, and blogging skills, earned their own blog or all students had their own blogs as digital portfolios.
Throughout all four stages, quality commenting and parent participation was taught and encouraged. Starting initially with more of a teacher-controlled blog is a great way to get comfortable and set expectations.
We’ll show you how to teach quality commenting skills, how to connect parents with your class blog 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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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:
- Baldock & Charlesworth Class blog A Sneak Peak at your classroom for 2015
- Lannon Ledger Welcome to 4th Grade
- 5-Peterson Welcome to 5th Grade
- Thinking. Writing. Creating Welcome back
Integrating in your classroom
Integration is key. We don’t have time for add-ons, so it’s a case of considering how can a blog enhance your regular classroom program.
- Can some traditional analogue tasks be replaced (and enhanced) with digital tasks in your classroom? For example, well known blogger, Linda Yollis, swapped a traditional pencil and paper history lesson for a blogging task. Students responded to one another in the comment section from the point-of-view of the biography figure they studied. Helen Keller was responding to Louis Braille and President Lincoln. Neil Armstrong had a conversation with astronaut Mae Jemison. Parents got involved as well. Here blogging wasn’t an add-on but a swap for a more effective activity.
- Can certain tasks be done better or more quickly with a blog?
For example, can you spend less time on things like publishing assignments or parent newsletters by housing all this information on your blog?
- Where can you slot blogging into the day?
Many teachers start the day (or class) with a routine. It might be running around the oval, silent reading, doing a weather report or looking at the news of the day. Are these routines still valuable? Could they be discarded, rescheduled or alternated? Could blogging be slotted into your opening routine?
- Can you add blogging to your literacy block instead of a traditional writing or reading task?
- Could a maths prompt be posted on the blog and students share their explanation through a comment or post?
- Could your inquiry or social studies topic be explored through creating a post or multimedia for the blog?
- Could some physical displays of artwork and other creations become digital displays on the blog with rich reflections?
- Could traditional homework tasks become more meaningful blogging tasks? Eg. working with a family member to share insights in a comment.
Once you get the hang of it, it becomes easier to understand how blogging can be integrated into your classes.
How to publish a post
1. Go to Posts > Add New.
2. Give your post a title and add your content.
3. Add your tags and categories (learn about categories and tags here).
4. When finished writing 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.
Then just go back to your draft and make any changes you want!
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 Toolbar toggle icon 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.
Below is a quick video tutorial on the visual editor:
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:
- Highlight the text you want to change into a heading
- Select the Heading Style you want to apply from the advanced formatting toolbar (you access the advanced formatting toolbar by clicking on the Toolbar toggle icon) – for most themes your best option is Heading 3
- Preview your post to make sure that headings you’ve used has broken your post into manageable chunks
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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. Refer to Add Links support page to see how to add a link.
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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 change the color of text as follows:
- Highlight the text you want to change
- Select the text color you want to apply from the advanced formatting toolbar (you access the advanced formatting toolbar by clicking on the Toolbar Toggle icon)
- Preview your post to make sure the text is readable and you like the color
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5. Enhance 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 to add images, add videos and embed content later in this professional learning series on class and student 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.
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.
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.
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.
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: