To truly engage students, there needs to be a real audience for their work. The same can be said for teachers who want to showcase student products and share ideas with their peers. Whether your site is a classroom blog or a portal to individual student blogs, the goal is the same. How can you attract readers from all over the globe to comment and interact with your classroom?
Here are a few tips to get you started:
- Make sure you have activated the social media plugin on your site. This will allow your readers to share your posts with others.
- Promote your blog through your Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or any other social channels you belong to. Share each and every time you create a new post. If you are sharing through Twitter, include an educational hash tag. Ask your peers and family members to take a few minutes out their day to comment and encourage your students. They can even share on their own social media accounts to help your posts go viral.
- Add a Google Translate Widget to your sidebar to go beyond an English speaking audience. Educators from all over the world spend hours searching for great ideas to improve their craft. A great lesson can happen in any language.
- Ask other bloggers to add your site to their blogroll. This will increase the traffic flow and hopefully attract regular readers.
- Content should be relevant and engaging. Make sure you include embedded media, images of students in action, and anything else that will make your blog visually attractive.
- Provide examples of unique learning experiences. Sharing lessons that educators have seen a million times will not motivate readers to return to your site.
- Be concise. When readers are “blog hopping”, they won’t take the time to read lengthy posts.
- Invite readers to share their thoughts. Ask readers to comment by finishing your post with some simple open-ended questions on information you would like to know.
- Add your blog to Comments4Kids– Comments4Kids is a way for students and teachers to find blogs to comment on and to get their own posts commented on.
- Connect with other classes.- This resource was brought to my attention by Sue Waters, editor of The Edublogger. Click here for more information on The Student Blogging Challenges.