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


The aim of this step is to:

  1. Explain why it’s important to help parents and students connect with your class blog.
  2. Show common problems parents and students have locating class blogs.
  3. Suggest 21 ways you can help parents and students find and use your class blog.

Why help parents and students connect?

All teachers know that family involvement in schooling is a key predictor of a child’s success.

With many families juggling full time work and other commitments, we need to come up with new ways to keep up the levels of family involvement. Blogging is a great way to do this.

  • Class blogs are an excellent way for parents to find out what is happening in class and what their child is learning.
  • Students love seeing their work published online and adore getting comments from people. Comments motivate students to write as it gives them an audience that is real.
  • The blog opens up a whole new world of people who can offer encouragement and feedback.

If you want to get the most out of your class blog, you need to help parent and students easily find your blog and engage with it.

For those of you who are teaching young adults, one of your main aims might be discovering ways to get your students actively engaged with your class blog.

Educating parents

Education is key when aiming to get families to join in your blogging community. We can’t assume that parents (or students) bring any blogging knowledge or skills with them when they join your classroom.

While it can be easy to educate students about blogging during your face-to-face time (or learn with them), it’s important to come up with different ways to educate parents. Family members won’t be willing or able to get involved in blogging if they don’t know anything about it.

You want your message to be clear, easily accessible, dynamic, and ongoing.

Like students, parents have different learning preferences and it can be a good idea to offer parents a range of different ways to learn about blogging. We offer lots of ideas further on.

Finding your blog on the internet

If you want families to connect with your blog, it’s important that they know how to find it and return to it. This is an important step that can’t be overlooked.

It’s quite common for educators new to blogging to assume their class blog is easily found using Google or that students will write the blog URL correctly in their notebook. There is too much room for error with these approaches.

Searching for a teacher’s website using Google can be a very frustrating exercise. There can be millions of Google search results and many teachers across the globe with the same name as you.

Frustration of Googling a blog

It’s easy for students (or you) to write down the wrong blog URL.

In the examples below the correct URL is mrswaters.edublogs.org. Each example is a common mistake we see in blog URLs sent to Edublogs support.

Mistake 1: First part of the blog URL incorrect

If the first part of your blog URL is typed incorrectly they are redirected to the 404 not found error page.

urlwrong

Mistake 2: Edublogs.org spelled wrong

Missed the s in edublogs

Spelt as edublog.org

Forgot the l in edubogs

Forgot the l

Mistake 2: The URL is written as an email address

Writes as email address

What you need to do

Most experienced educators use several different methods to help parents and students:

  1. Understand what is a blog and how they can participate.
  2. Easily find the class blog online.
  3. Feel encouraged to get involved throughout the whole year. Having regular opportunities in place for education and involvement will ensure a steady pattern of engagement throughout the year.

21 Ideas To Help Educate And Involve Families And Students

The most important tip is to make sure copy/paste your blog URL from the address bar of your web browser into any information you share with students and parents!

It’s really easy to type your blog URL incorrectly — copying/pasting your blog URL ensures you get the URL correct every time!

Copy URL

1)  Include Your Name In The Blog URL

Your blog in the URL name allows you the flexibility to keep the blog if you change subject areas or year levels in the coming school years.

Simple is always best!

http://mrswaters.edublogs.org/ is easier to remember than http://mrswBPSRoom 124.edublogs.org/

Here are some examples of class blogs that have the teacher’s name in the URL.

2)  Business Card Magnet

Create and distribute “business cards” as the start of the year with your class blog URL and email address (plus any other important information such as school phone number, term dates, school website etc.).

You could create business cards with a free template from a site like Canva or Adobe Spark.

After printing and laminating, you could attach a strip of self adhesive magnetic tape on the back which you’ll find at many discount stores.

Example class blog business card

3) QR Codes

A QR code is an excellent shortcut to access a website. You simply create one online using a tool like QR Stuff or QR Code Generator.

People simply open the photo app on their phone or tablet and scan the QR code to be directed straight to the website.

You could:

  • Add a QR code to your business card above
  • Have students create their own QR code and print it for a note to go home about the blog
  • Add a QR code to the footer of all your classroom notes like in the example below.

Sample Note Edublogs with QR Code

4)  Newsletter Links

Include the link to your class blog in the school newsletter or send home your own newsletter (you could even have the class create a dedicated blogging newsletter).

At the start of 2018, parents were told about the class blogs at Beaconsfield Primary School in the school newsletter.

Regular reminders can help! You can mention specific blog posts that families could visit.

5)  Add Links To Your School Website

Many schools set up pages on their school website with a directory to class blogs. Take a look at the example from Berwick Lodge Primary School.

If you have your own teacher blog, you might like to add the link to your class blog there as well.

6) Explain Browser Bookmarks

It’s a good idea to teach students or families how to bookmark a favorite website. This might seem simple to you but could be a skill that’s new to others.

Computer Hope offers some really easy to follow instructions for bookmarking in different browsers. You could even email something like this to families or older students.

7)  Add A Link To Your Email Signature

This simple idea reminds colleagues and parents to check out your class blog whenever you’re in touch with them.

Below is an example from Linda Yollis.

Linda Yollis email signature example

8) Create Detailed Parent Handouts

There is a lot to know about effectively navigating the class blog so you might consider creating a handout for parents.

You could cover information such as:

  • Blog jargon
  • Subscribing to email updates
  • Leaving and replying to comments
  • Using the Google calendar
  • Searching the blog
  • How to become part of our wider blogging community

Here’s an example from Kathleen Morris.

A guide to navigating your class blog is even something students could create themselves. And of course, it doesn’t have to be a paper guide. A digital or email version might work for your families.

Sheri Edwards’ class in Washington State also created a handout for families which you can find on their blog. It’s designed to help parents know what is a blog, the blog URL, and why they blog.

Parent Handout
Example of Parent Handout page 1
Parent Handout
Example of Parent Handout page 2

Want to learn more about consent forms and blogging? Check out our guide to obtaining permission to blog with students.

9) Add Information Pages To Your Blog

Pages are the ideal way to publish static information on your blog. You might choose to help educate your families about blogging through information on a page.

A “learn about blogging” set of pages on a class blog can explain to all readers (including parents) what a blog is, the benefits of blogging, and how to comment.

Kelly Jordan, used these pages on her 2017 class blog if you want to get ideas.

For readers who prefer a more visual description, a video tutorial can explain how to comment. This can be posted on a page of the class blog for easy reference.

Below is an example created for Miss Jordan’s class blog.

Tip: This video was created with a Chrome extension tool called Screencastify but there are many screencasting tools available. 

10)  Hold Parent Information Nights

Many classes hold these events at the beginning of a school year. Why not put blogging on the agenda?

When Kathleen Morris’s old blogging buddy in California, Linda Yollis, held a back to school information night, she skyped in to discuss the benefits of blogging with her families.

Maybe you could get a former student, parent, or colleague to help you with your presentation?

11)  Parent Email Newsletter

Sending a regular e-newsletter to parents can be a great way to offer blogging news or tips (along with other classroom news and reminders).

A newsletter can also be a platform to thank the parents who have been commenting, and invite parents to comment on particular posts. Being specific on what you want parents to comment on can increase participation.

12) Posts For Parents

This idea was originally inspired by Henrietta Miller. You can achieve a big increase in parent participation when publishing a post specifically based around a question for parents.

Miss Jordan’s class have an example post on their blog where parents were asked about old technologies.

13) Host A Family Blogging Afternoon

This is a concept Kathleen Morris created where family members were personally invited into the classroom by the students. Students would teach their special guest about blogging through a scavenger hunt type activity.

Example quiz Family Blogging Afternoon

You can find a post about this event on her class blog.

14) Host A Family Blogging Month

Encouraging parents and families to comment makes it more meaningful for students. It also helps familiarize family and students with how to interact with your class blog.

One way to do this is to have a Family Blogging Month. This is a concept Linda Yollis came up with.

During Family Blogging Month, students try to get as many family members as possible to comment on their class blog. Students record the number of comments by each different type of family member on a class blog chart and the student with the most comments at the end of the month wins a prize (e.g. a donated voucher and/or a guest post on the class blog).

As Linda noted on her blog,

Mrs. Yollis created the idea of Family Blogging Month back on April 1, 2010. The participation, the quality of the commenting, the interaction and learning that transpired via this classroom blog makes Mrs. Yollis beam with pride.

Not only are her students and their family members becoming superior writers, but they are also honing important digital skills like how to communicate and contribute online, how to limit personal information on the Internet, and how to develop a dynamic digital footprint.

Students look through the archive of the blog to find posts that might interest specific family members.

Mrs Yollis' students select posts for Family Blogging Month

Visit Mrs. Yollis’ class blog and her teacher resource wiki to find out more about Family Blogging Month. The wiki also includes a sample note to send home to parents.

15) Students Letters To Parents

Organize for your students to write a letter to their parents to introduce the class blog and explain how the class will use the blog.

Here are student letter examples from Land of Year 4’s Class blog.

Student letter 3
Example 1: Student letter to parents
Student letter 2
Example 2: Student letter to parents

16)  Virtual Volunteers

Linda Yollis has shared the idea of having parents act as virtual volunteers on a roster basis. Rather than helping students in the classroom, they can assist online by replying to students and engaging in conversations.

17)  Parent Blogging Rep

Some classrooms have a parent representative to assist with various tasks and events. Would a blogging rep work in your class?

The rep could organize your virtual volunteer roster, invite families to read and comment on posts, respond to comments, or, depending on skills, assist with tasks like photography and the creation of multimedia.

18)  Blogging Homework

Depending on your homework policies and procedures, you could incorporate blogging into homework tasks that involve family members.

Example task prompts could include:

  • Show a family member a blogging buddies’ site and leave a comment together.
  • Write an invitation to a friend or family member to comment on a specific post.

19) Parent Guest Posts

Parents bring a wealth of information to your classroom community.

Traditionally, some parents might present to the class on their career or hobby from time to time. Why not adapt this format by having parents write guest posts for your class blog?

Alternatively, you could have students interview parents or community members for posts.

20) Don’t Forget Grandparents And Other Family Members

Your ready-made audience doesn’t only consist of parents, of course. There may be other family members, including grandparents, who would love to become part of your blogging community but just need guidance or encouragement.

Linda Yollis has had great success with some grandparents becoming particularly interested in her class blog. Bubbe, a 92 year old great-grandmother guest posted on her blog and Nonno, an Italian grandfather was once a regular contributor.

Bubbe commented on Mrs Yollis' class blog

The role these community members played in the students’ development was priceless.

21) Set Up An Email Subscription

Add an email subscription widget so parents can subscribe for notification of new posts.

Our tutorial walks you through the simple set up process.

Note: This feature is only available on Pro blogs and CampusPress blogs.

Get Parents Involved Infographic

This infographic might be handy to help you come up with ideas throughout the school year. Perhaps you have a colleague you could share it with too?

Infographic with ideas for getting families involved in a class blog -- Edublogs

Your Task

We’d like you to add your voice and ideas to our ongoing conversation about student blogging by completing the following tasks:

  1. Read through our 21 ideas above and choose one or more of these ideas to use with your students and parents. Leave a comment to let us know which ones you are going to try with your class or share a link to any resources you’ve developed.
  2. Read through the most recent comments in reply to this step and leave a response to another person’s comment.

274 Comments

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  1. I really appreciate the examples provided. I set up email subscription on my blog. I will also include a link to my blog on my email signature. When I start having my students blog, I want to send home a parent handout and consent form as I think parental support is essential.

    • How has this step worked out for you? Had any success as far as number of subscribers signing up?

      • mrpthescienceg
    • I think its a good idea to send out a parent hand out and consent form.

    • I am also wondering how successful you were with this process?

      • Mrs. Dominguez
  2. We have a school site where all the class blogs are linked to.
    http://www.epsomps.vic.edu.au/
    When ever I get onto the class blog I google Epsom Primary School and go to the link with our class blog, talking about each step as I do so. Once the students are familiar with this they can save the class blog into favourites. I have also got a closed facebook page for our grade where I send blog links to parents.

    • Michelle Stone
  3. Hi,
    Lots of great suggestions here. I like the newsletter option and adding it to my ‘signature’. Having the students create a class business card with the address on it is appealing too.
    I was thinking about having my students get up and running with the blog first before inviting parents to comment? I would send home the permission forms first then invite parents maybe second term. Thoughts??

    • I liked the idea of adding the blog link to my email signature and have set this up. When I was teaching the junior grades parents would come on and blog but I”m finding in the senior primary years that there is not as much from the parents. What are others experiences?

      • Michelle Stone
  4. I sent home a note regarding permission for my students to commence blogging and create online accounts. It contained the URL and a QR code of my class blog. here’s a link:

    file:///Users/paulinequealy/Documents/2016%20School%20Matters/Blogging/Permission%20for%20online%20accounts.html

    I’m conducting a parent information evening in a fortnight’s time and shall go through the blog with parents.

  5. Since I am teaching a college course, I’m not inviting parents to have access. but I could allow them to be email subscribers if anyone is interested in this. I’m not sure my students would want that, though 🙂

    • stephaniewardrop
  6. Hi there,
    I have the subscriptions widget on my blog, and have the URLs on my schools website. I also plan on having students write it in their planners(more to build parental awareness and interest) and will be sending it as an “alert” through fresh grade. I think it will be fun to do a family blogging month. We are at growandshowwithipads.edublogs.org
    Thank you,
    Lisa

  7. I thought the sample hand-outs were great and something I would definitely look at developing for the beginning of next school year. I have now included our class blog URL at the bottom of my email signature and I do place links to the blog on our weekly school parent portal. Because of the high number of non-Engish speaking parents in my class, I think sending home the QR code could be a great idea, too.

    I liked the idea of the family blogging challenge and, now that I have Google Translate as an option on the sidebar, there is nothing to stop parents commenting in their own language. I might use the letter idea, too, but have the children write a persuasive letter about the benefits of blogging and asking parents to comment.

    http://gillower.primaryblogger.co.uk/

  8. I really like the idea of placing my blog link in my email signature. I plan on handing out the rules/guidelines of blogging, getting the student signature, and then having a QR code and the link on the sheet they get back. Also, I think an email welcoming them to the blog with the live link in the text might help.

    • I have been using about.me to post many things including my blog around the web.

  9. Hello,

    I start the year by sending a note home that invites parents to visit the class blog, share a best email address with me and attend a class curriculum evening within the first 10 days of school. Then I subscribe the parents to post updates from edublogs plus create an email distribution list to email parents with links to posts. I find some parents – especially ones who submit work email addresses – have a strong spam filter that blocks the edublogs notifications. By using edublogs subscriptions and mass parent emails with links, I’m quite confident the notification is reaching them.

    My second class curriculum evening is October 28 and since this is my first year with student bloggers, I will spend a bigger part of the evening than usual on blogging. I find that 2 class nights early in the year and a third halfway though the school year establishes a good family/teacher relationship and provide parents with clarity on what is happening in our classroom and how to best support that student learning.

    I like many ideas presented in this challenge – especially the family blogging month. I anticipate trying that later in the school year when the initial excitement of blogging settles down. I admire the great parent handouts that Ms Morris and Ms Jordan have developed and see value in developing those for the start of another school year. I also like the fridge magnet/business card idea. I can see value in having a QR code on the card.

    Thanks again for all the great ideas!
    Ms B.

  10. My students have been working on their blogs. I am going to get them to create a QR code to link to their blogs and let them take this home.
    Some of them have managed to get onto their blogs from home anyway, but I like the idea of using QR codes for this purpose.

  11. I am currently using several of these connection strategies already. I have my blog link in my email signature, there is a label placed in the front of each student’s planner, I also have a QR code that is posted during our meet the teacher night. Another thing that has helped us connect with parents this year is that we have gone to digital enrollment, so most of our parents were subscribed to our blogs during the enrollment process. One of the problems that I do sometimes encounter since I teach all students in my grade level, is getting those parents of students who are not in my homeroom to subscribe.

    • Hi April, getting parent to subscribe to your blog via digital enrollment is a novel idea.
      Eugene Brown, Edublogs Support

    • Wow, April, you have certainly covered all your bases. There is no excuse for anyone not being able to find your blog. 🙂

    • Hi April, Do you mean that your parents just have to check a box saying they wish to be subscribed to the class blog at the beginning of the year when they enrol their children? Have missed the boat this year but we are all digital now at school, too, so am thinking about next year.

      http://gillower.primaryblogger.co.uk/

  12. I plan to use the Student / Parent Use Guidelines and publish the URL in that. I also plan to give each student a QR code and to add this to paper based material in the class. Unlike many of the contributors here, I actually want to restrict the access, at this stage, to just my students.

    • I don’t know if you are familiar with Symbaloo, but it allows you to create links to content that you want your students to be able to access on a regular basis. I have my blog linked in this way and it makes it easy for my students to access my blog.

  13. I have found it difficult to connect with the parent community for our Science blog. I have given out notes at assembly with the blog address and QR code, placed QR coded posters about the school, added the link to our newsletter and school website, and so much more. The students are very excited about the blog and many of the classroom teachers view it with their class. Our parent community just doesn’t seem interested. We also have poor viewing of our school website and newsletter subscriptions. 🙁 I am thinking of having a subscription competition to try to attract more subscribers to the blog. We are also having a school expo in a few weeks so I hope muster some more enthusiasm for the blog.

    • Hi Mrs Thompson. Parent involvement is one of the most difficult things to achieve and can take time. The key sometimes is parents feeling a sense of ownership in the communication process.
      Eugene Brown, Edublogs Support

  14. I wasn’t completely sure about what the email subscription meant, so I read up about it and have now added the wigit to my blog. I think it’s such a fantastic idea for parents to be informed about the blog.
    I continue to learn a lot of different ways to connect with the parent community.

    Liz 🙂

  15. Hi

    Adding the permission form for parents to give student permission to have their photo, name, work etc on the blog is a great idea. Something that I will have to add in my blog. Also I really like the idea of adding my blog link in my email signature as a little reminder to the school community about my class blog.

    Liz

  16. I’ve added a subscription widget. I’ve also written about our blog and shared our blog address in our newsletter as well as added a blog link to my email signature. I really like the idea of a family blog montly challenge. We’ve had a lot of visitors but not many comments. I was trying to think of a way to increase this so I love the idea of the challenge. My class is working on a blogging idea to get a conversation on school lunches going around the world. The idea started when students were excited on Taco Tuesday at our school saying that it was going to be a great day because it was Taco Tuesday. That got us thinking…kids must eat different things for school lunch around the world. Perhaps they even bring it to school in different types of containers than us. So we are gathering data for our top 5 school hot lunches and our top 5 school lunches packed at home which we call cold lunch. Then we will take some photos of our lunchbags and hot lunches. We are close to ready to post but would love any ideas any fellow edubloggers might have to help this really take off. Look for our Taco Tuesday post soon.

    • Hi kdruckmiller

      Love your idea of school lunches! Please send me a link to the post when you publish it so I can share it via our Edublogs Twitter account. I’m sure other classes would be interested in learning what your students eat and sharing what they eat. The other classes would be interested to see how you collected the data (what tools you used) and to look at the photos to compare with their school lunches.

      We have also added a task on food in the Student blogging Challenge ( http://studentchallenge.edublogs.org/ ) for week 4. If you publish your post before our post I can add your post in as as a task for that week.

      Sue Waters
      Support Manager
      Edublogs | CampusPress

    • Hi kdruckmiller,

      Your lunches around the world project sounds very interesting! I think my grade 4 class would get excited about a project like that. Would you mind sharing what grade you teach and your blog address? I’d like to follow what you are doing.

      Thanks!
      Ms B.

    • What an awesome idea. You have generated such interest for your students. Good job.

  17. The blogging month seems an interesting idea! Actually my students and their parents can easily access the blog through the Moodle Platform that we use on a regular basis in our school. Access to specific sites online was never a problem for us.
    The information leaflets for parents are quite interesting and useful.

    • Maria Carvalho
    • Hi Maria

      Blogging month works really well and is a good introduction to developing commenting skills. Hadn’t thought students and parents accessing the blog via a LMS like Moodle. Are you able to share a screenshot of what they see in Moodle that we could add into the post?

      Sue Waters
      Support Manager
      Edublogs | CampusPress

  18. Thanks for all of the great ideas. Some of the ideas are ones that I am already doing: email subscription, name in blog, link sent home in newsletter. I am really interested in trying out the family blogging month because I find that the parents and students aren’t actually using the blog unless I ask them to. My focus this year is to get the kids to go to and use the blog more often. Thank goodness I’m participating in the teacher blogging challenge.

    • I find I have the same issue. Students are only accessing the blog at home if I ask them to. I have also asked teachers to have their classes access the blog from class to interact and make comments. I hope once we get some started and they see others commenting others will be encouraged.

    • While I’, teaching at the college level and this step isn’t as relevant to me, I want to echo mrsgorley’s words here and say how helpful these tutorials have been for me. I can’t wait to let my students loose to start posting@!

      • stephaniewardrop
  19. These are all great ideas. I had already set up a subscription option and made sure my name was included in the name. I try to keep everything as harrisclassroom to make it easy for my students to find. (stupid twitter, name was already taken 🙂 ) After reading this though, I added a link to my email signature.

    • harrisclassroom
    • Hi there harrisclassroom! Like you, I had already set up a subscription option and made sure my name was included in the name. It is really annoying when our go to usernames or IDs are already taken on the web by somebody else. I’d love to have a look at your blog. Would you mind sharing the link?

    • Hi Harrisclassroom

      I have also added my blog link in my email signature. Having the same name is a great idea to make accessing your blog etc. easy.

      Liz 🙂

  20. These are all great ideas. I had already set up a subscription option and made sure my name was included in the name. I try to keep everything as harrisclassroom to make it easy for my students to find. (stupid twitter, name was already taken 🙂 ) After reading this though, I added a link to my email signature. Great idea!

    • harrisclassroom
  21. The blogging month sounds like a great idea. I would love to use it once I had more content up from the students.

    • maistirscoile
  22. I am really looking forward to setting up a blog challenge month for all grade 3 and 5 students at my school. Thanks so much for the idea!

    • Dominie Paterno
  23. I think the little business card is a good way to promote the blog and I can add blog address to the school newsletter. My blog is open to whole school community so it takes longer to check talent release forms and general whole school event posts. My next one will focus on the Anzac Day display we have built in the Library and that will be the chance to put it in newsletter!
    I have to go back and add more details in guidelines but will do that soon!

  24. I haven’ used my blog yet with my class. I want to experiment with it first and know how to use this tool in the class.
    This means that I haven’t shared it with any students or parents, but this guide was very useful.
    Will use the QR code probably as I know many language teachers use them too.
    Thank you

    • Good idea to experiment and learn the tool. It might, however, be a good idea to send out a survey or something to find out what the parents would want from a classroom blog, depending on the grade you teach. For high schoolers, asking them might be beneficial to you as well. Good luck on your blog!

      • harrisclassroom
  25. Hi Sue,

    My class blog is currently private (as directed by Executive) therefore students are unable to search for or receive comments from other people/students. Bit of a shame because I think the idea of including it in the school newsletter is an easy way to share with the wider school community.

    I liked the 10 steps. Previously I had the students and parents sign a consent form before launching the blog. I have spoken about the blog and its purpose at ‘Meet the Teacher’ in Term 1. Parents are thrilled to be able to see into the classroom. The QR codes are interesting, I have read a little bit about how other teachers incorporate them into their teaching and learning programs. Think this might be my next challenge.

    Thanks for the idea!

  26. I like the idea of sharing the information with parents. I have our students blogs set as private with password access and share the password with parents. That way they don’t feel like their children are everywhere, but it still gives them limited public access which has helped their motivation when writing. I like the QR codes – definitely going to add that too!

  27. I read through the 10 steps to Blogging. I will add my blog to the business cards I already make for parents. I make it into a magnet so they can keep all my contact information on their refrigerator. I plan to add it to my weekly newsletters and on my school teacher page.

    • DeRoxolyn Spencer
  28. I enjoyed seeing all the examples(liked the business card) but as I’m blogging about a central shared library learning centre it would be easier to add the link to our school newsletter that is emailed out each fortnight to all families. I’ll need to finish all the stages and then have it checked by leadership as its going out to the school community.
    The Student Voice page I’m building has a passcode for school members only as it’ll have student work and photos on it.
    There are so many photo opportunities but we have such a strict privacy code that adds a lot of filtering work to publications.

  29. At my school all of our class blogs are found on our school website and that’s our main form of communication. During our beginning of the year Parent Teacher Child Interviews I introduced the parents to our blog and got parents to subscribe if they hadn’t already. When I eventually get around to creating some sort of header image on our blog I’ll have to play around with the email settings, hadn’t realised that I could be change those settings!

  30. Since I’m a college professor, there’s not much call for educating parents 🙂

    I will definitely post the URL on our course website, and list it in the syllabus!

  31. I love all the ideas in the example blogs you show. It demonstrates how blogging can contribute to a vibrant learning environment. And supplies excellent ideas. I will most likely put a link to my class blog in my email signature as well as on our school’s website.

  32. After reading thru the 10 steps — I will start leaving the blog address in our weekly newsletter. I also plan to add it to my email signature. These are great ways to involve parents in your class, and help them know what their children are learning in my subject area.

  33. I found quite a few useful resources from the list that I will be incorporating into my class blog when I introduce it for next school year. I especially liked the business card idea, the linking of your blog to a school newsletter, adding the blog link to your email signature line and the QR code for the class blogs. These ideas I felt were the most applicable to my middle school settings. A lot of the ideas, I felt, were geared more towards an elementary school setting.

  34. I hope that my parents take advantage of the blog. I am revamping my teacher website and will include my blog link on that site as well as in newsletters and notes homes. I will also incorporate a short lesson about blogging at the beginning of the year to teach the parents how to utilize the blog and answer questions. Along with that I will give them a handy guide to follow.

    • A parent lesson and a take home guide…love it. As a parent I don’t know how many times something has been mentioned at back to school night that I promptly forget because it’s so much info in such a short time. Taking the time to walk them through the site and send home instructions for how to do it on their own is a marvelous idea. I think it will definitely have a positive impact on the participation level.

      • Jason Teitelman
  35. I sent a parent permission letter and also sent an email with the link included. Next year, I will probably add it to my brochure for meet the teacher night.

    • I love that you have a brochure for your class; would love to see it. I think adding the link is a great idea and including it in meet the teacher night is great as well.

      • Jason Teitelman
  36. I am looking forward to connecting with parents.
    I will email them with the link, and encourage them to subscribe so they are kept up to date.

    • Tracey Ferguson
    • Good idea. It is probably worth including the link in any emails you send home. You never know which opportunity a parent will choose to connect.

      • Jason Teitelman
  37. I have added the email notification / subscription to my blog page sbharrison.edublogs.org. I also have a link to my blog on my email signature page so every email someone gets from me has my link. What I may do is add a sticker with my blog address to the back of my business cards. I teach at a private school and at this time of year we have lots of tours. I always tell people to check out our class blog by instructing them to get to it through our school website. I think that actually handing them the address would be better. I also plan to get better about emailing parents and reminding them to comment on their students blogs. I think it is easy for parents to forget that their student has a blog. We also send out enews at our school on Mondays and Thursdays – I am going to ask that our blog be included in the news at least once a month. I like the QR code idea but may not get to that anytime soon!
    Thanks, Shane

    • Shane Boland Harrison
  38. I will need to add a subscription link. We often have open nights/ afternoons so could incorporate information about the blog into this. I think it would be a good idea for parents to have written information as well. Hopefully the excitement from students will encourage parents to be involved too.

  39. Since my Third Grade National Park Blog is project based, I plan on sending out an email to parents at the end of our work describing our project and inviting them to view the students’ presentations and posts. I plan to also invite them to add comments and feedback as well. In addition to providing a direct link in the email message, I will also add a link to my Third Grade Teacher Page on our school website. I will refer to my Teacher Page in my email message to let them know that the link will be there for future reference.

    I loved the business card idea! While I’m not sure if I’ll use it for either my third grade blog or my first grade blog, I’m thinking that it would be a great use for my fourth grade digital photography unit. Each student creates a Weebly website using photographs that they have taken with their digital camera during the unit. The business card fits right in since the students act as “professional” photographers while they go “on location” around the school to take photographs. Our unit already takes quite awhile, so I’m not sure that I have enough time to have the kids create their own design, (even though I love that idea!) but I think the kids will still love having their own business card!

  40. I think it is quite useful to copy and paste the URL in a newsletter. If the whole institution backs up the use of blogs in the community (parents/ teachers/ students / authorities), this can be duly informed in a parents’ meeting as well, and a page could also be created to explain why we use the blog.
    For the teacher challenge I created a blog having my primary school students in mind, but I also have a wordpress blog for secondary. There’s a “main” website that belongs to the school that centers all the teachers’ blogs. That’s another way to find the blog easily. We also have facebook groups with students, so every time we post something on the blog, we inform it via facebook by pasting the link on the group’s wall. That helps students and parents a lot.

    Here go the links to both the school and my blogs.
    School’s main page: http://cumbresblogs.com/
    My blog: http://dbarra.cumbresblogs.com/

    See you soon!

  41. Since I maintain the school website, adding the url to the site will be easy–I will add it to both my class website and the links for parents page. For next school year I would like to make a parent information page to include the blog url on. Open House would be a great time to send that out with parents since I have all students in grades K-6 in my class. When I get a little more “meat” on my blog I will have my students who work with my school news broadcast that I film weekly do an advertisement for it as well.

  42. I have copied and pasted the website into a newsletter about starting the blog. I like the idea of the QR code as well as a reminder at the end of the month’s newsletter.
    Your advice about comments has been very valuable and my class have used a few ideas and we plan to do more.
    One question I have is for the widgets. Do you need the pro subscription to be able to use the map widget of who has visited your site?

    • Hi Sherrie,

      I’m glad to hear you’re getting some good tips from the challenge!

      You would need Pro status to use “embed code” in your posts or sidebars, and the ClustrMap widget is a form of embed code, so for that particular feature you would indeed need to upgrade to Pro.

  43. I am definitely going to post the blog url on my teacher website and I’m considering using QR codes as well to show off student blog work.

  44. There are really great ideas in the readings for this session. I think it is important to use a variety of methods to share the link to the blog. The more places that parents and students can find the link the more likely they will visit the site and be able to locate the blog when they want to read or post something.

    I plan to send a flyer explaining the purpose of blogging and a permission slip for parents to allow their child to participate at the beginning of the school year. I will include the blog address in my email signature and on the library webpage. I also think it would be a good idea to make bookmarks with the blog address to stick in the kids’ books when they check out.

  45. Lots of great ideas here! I love doing a blogging month. Since I teach middle school and have five different blocks, I could see picking a different month for each and letting them post work and have parents comment. Currently, I have a homework board where I could post my blog address. I could also include it in the class syllabus. I used a QR code for the supply list this year, so I could do that, as well.

  46. I sent out a newsletter to the parents this past week and hyperlinked my blog URL so it would be easy for them to go to it directly. I like the idea of creating a handout with pictures. Most of my parents are not English mother tongue speakers so having something visual would be helpful. I’ve also placed a link to my blog on my page on the internal school website.

    • Mrs. Ludvigsen
  47. I love the business card idea! It might be something the students can create and share with their parents along with teachers developing this as a project in class.

    For now I settled on creating a headline on our school webpage. You can check it out here:
    http://www.tangischools.org/imms

    In addition our students watch a school broadcast daily, so I will have the address included in an announcement next week.

    • Hi swatkins

      Great idea about students creating the business cards! Had not thought of that! If you do decide to do this I would make sure you check the URL they add to the business card. You would be amazed at the number of incorrect URLs we received daily into Edublogs support.

      The link on your school website looks good!

      Sue Waters
      Support Manager
      Edublogs | CampusPress

  48. I will add the blog address to my email signature and on my school webpage. I will add it as a link and a QR code.

  49. After reading through the 10 steps to help parents get connected with my blog, one of my favorite ones was including my link to my blog in the class newsletter. I send home weekly newsletters, so this will definitely help me to “get the word out” about our class blog. I also like the idea of including my name in my URL. Thankfully, it mostly already is and it isn’t a difficult URL to remember. I also like the idea of having a parent information night. All of my students have a meet and greet at the beginning of the year and it would be a great idea for me to actually have my blog pulled up on my smart board and make sure it looks catchy enough that the parents want to visit it on the own. A little bit of salesmanship on my part will also help to encourage my parents to visit the site as well. I was also thinking about making a flier to send home whenever I make a large update to my blog. Finally, I will definitely be setting up email notifications to let me know whenever a new post has been made.

    • We are just beginning to engage our students with looking at commenting guidelines, not yet at the stage where they will have their own blogs. However parents have subscribed and we do get quite a few comments so we know our parent community is engaged with our posting.
      Once the students have theri own blogs we might do a bit more promotion so girls are clear about access.

      • Heather Davis