In the 21st century, it seems like every educator has a blog. Whether you teach in a traditional, blended or flipped classroom, a classroom blog can be used to improve student engagement, increase communication and more.
However, with an already full plate, it may seem like you’ll never have time to get a blog set up. Luckily, it doesn’t take more than one afternoon to get all the hard work out of the way. With the set-up and design all set, you can focus on writing and sharing throughout the year.
Here’s your quick and easy guide for setting up a classroom blog in just one afternoon (2.5 hours to be exact!).
The first step in creating your classroom blog is choosing a platform. There are a variety of options to choose from, but the standout blogging websites are:
WordPress: This platform is used around the world, with more than 53 million blog posts published each month. Because of this, it’s easy to find others who use WordPress, both within your own network of friends and online, who can help answer any questions you might have.
Edublogs: This platform was designed specifically for teachers and classrooms. However, their free account offers less features and design options than a free WordPress account and help may be harder to come by.
I recommend WordPress, which is user-friendly and easy for new bloggers to understand. It’s also a platform you can grow into, adding more design elements and features, without paying money to “upgrade.”
With your blogging platform chosen, it’s time to get it set up. Follow the steps below.
Choose a blog name: Despite what your blog will be used for, you want to choose a name that can evolve with your blogging. Stick to “Mrs. Smith’s Classroom” or something simple to be safe.
Choose your design: If you chose to use WordPress, search through their themes catalog (with hundreds of free options to choose from) to find a design that you love.
Add widgets: If you navigate from Appearance to Widgets in your WordPress dashboard, you’ll see that you can add a variety of things to your sidebar, including social icons, a calendar, an “about me” section, a list of top articles, a list of websites you like and more (for example: see the sidebar on the right).
Add pages: Use pages to share important, unchanging information with your students or their parents. For example, you could create a “Resources Page” where you share links to important documents, your contact information, an assignments calendar and more.
Use the following teacher blogs as inspiration throughout the design process. You may not realize how much fun you can have with imagery, colors and fonts.
With your design and information set, you can write your first blog post. What it will be about is up to you!
With your blog finished and a first post published, you can share on social media. Invite all of your teacher friends to check it out; ask for advice on how you can use it in your classroom, what you can write about, and how you can improve the design.
A classroom blog can be set up in as little as 2.5 hours, and has many uses in your classroom, whether students use it for blogging or you keep parents up to date with classroom-update posts. If you take time to create your blog now, you can figure out how you’ll use it later.
Written by: Jessica Sanders
Jessica Sanders is the Director of Social Outreach for Learn2Earn. She grew up reading books like The Giver and Holes, and is passionate about making reading as exciting for young kids today as it has always been for her. Follow Learn2Earn on Twitter and Facebook, and send content inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.