For a teacher, starting a blog or educational website is one of the most beneficial steps you may provide for your students, or even your career.
In this post, we’ll discuss what course blogs are and explain the benefits of using one. Then we’ll walk you through seven simple steps you can take to start your own.
An Introduction to Course Blogs
It’s hard to define what a course blog is because, ultimately, it can be whatever you want it to be. The ease of setting up a blog and the versatility of the platform is one of the main draws of using blogs in the classroom.
A popular use of blogs in the classroom is as a communication tool to keep students, parents, and other faculty informed about classroom happenings. This might include school news, classroom events, or course updates:
Some blogs are more specific and may function as a digital archive for course materials that students can use for reference throughout the year.
These could include syllabi, assignment outlines, resource links, and blogs posts that expand on lessons covered in class:
Using a course blog for student blogging is one of the most popular uses and the one that benefits students the most. Many course blogs allow, or insist, that students contribute their own posts to the blog and participate in discussions:
To better understand how a blog can help create an enriching educational experience, let’s look beyond what they are used for and explore why to use one.
Why You Should Consider Developing a Course Blog
There are myriad benefits to starting a course blog that are worth considering. However, we’re going to narrow it down to highlight the main advantages.
A classroom blog lets you provide your students with a platform to exchange ideas and participate in thought-provoking discussions. You might find that some students tend to be quiet in the classroom, but are more comfortable opening up and sharing their ideas virtually.
Plus, a blog can be more engaging and interactive than traditional, text-based learning materials. Students can play with multimedia forms such as video, images, and links.
While enhancing your students’ education may be reward enough, there are other ways a course blog can benefit you as well. For example, you can enjoy a more organized and personalized digital space separate from the school’s main school website.
How to Start a Course Blog (In 7 Simple Steps)
If you’re interested in starting a blog for your course, it is easy to get started. Here are seven simple steps to creating your own class blog.
Step 1: Decide the Purpose of Your Course Blog
The first thing you’ll want to do is spend some time thinking about what you want to use the course blog for. Deciding on the purpose of the blog will make completing the subsequent steps easier because you’ll know which settings and tools to use to serve your purpose.
Some helpful questions you might consider asking include:
- Who is the audience (students, parents, or both)?
- How will it be used (new and updates, distribute and collect assignments, student blogging, etc.)?
- Will you want students to contribute to the blog and, if so, in what capacity (creating their own blogs or commenting on posts)?
- What are the course objectives and can these objectives be enhanced or better accomplished using a class or student blogging platform?
- Does my school have and existing rules or preferences about how course blogs are used?
Step 2: Choose a Blogging Platform and Create Your Website
Once you have a better understanding of what you want to use the course blog for, you can begin the creation process. The blogging platform you choose is important because it influences usability.
WordPress is the preferred blogging platform for many educators. It’s the most popular Content Management System (CMS) available, and it is incredibly intuitive and easy to use.
To create a single class website or a small group of student blogs, This blogging platform is designed to make it as easy as possible for teachers to get set up quickly and it is free to get started.
To begin, head to m3lm.com and sign up for an account:
There, you’ll choose a blog title and URL. While you can always change the title of your blog, you can’t change the URL (not without creating a new blog, anyway). Therefore, you want to give it some thought.
Ideally, the URL will be the same if not similar to the title. It doesn’t need to be anything fancy. Sometimes simple is better. For example, you can use your name such as “Mr. Smith’s Class Blog.”
Once you’re done filling out this information, click on the Create A Blog button. It will bring you to the dashboard of your new WordPress blog.