With a pandemic upon us, educational institutions switched to online classes, which isn’t unheard of. But, considering the importance of physical distancing, it may be the new normal for a while, at least until a cure to the virus is found.
In an online class, teachers will still conduct lectures like they usually do and give out assignments. However, many parents are skeptical about it, doubting its effectiveness in making their children learn. The pressure lies on the teachers the most because their students’ parents are counting on them to make online classes worth their money.
Parents’ concerns are well-grounded, though. If students are in their comfort zones, they can have trouble concentrating. Hence, teachers have to step up their teaching game to make their classes more engaging.
Try blogging to engage your students. Even Vanderbilt University teaches with blogs, stating that it can be an excellent balance between formal writing and freedom to experiment with ideas and arguments. Therefore, you can use the same technique and face high chances of success.
How Teachers Can Use Blogs
Teachers can publish assignments and resources through blogs, and keep students and parents updated on class schedules, deadlines, events, and new content. The students can also make their own blogs to improve their writing skills, with the help of their teachers.
Blogging may only sound viable if you teach language or writing, but it can work with math, sciences, history, and other subjects as well. You need to slip a brief lesson on grammar and writing on your posts (if your subject doesn’t directly tackle those) to help your students become better writers.
But more importantly, your blogs have to be aligned with the curriculum. You and your students need to be aware of the school’s guidelines to avoid issues with the administration or parents.
Where to Post Blogs
You will post blogs on a platform, which is a website where specific content is posted. For blogging, you have at least three options:
This free platform is the most popular site for educational blogs. It lets you customize your page’s design and allows other content than blogs, such as photos, videos, or podcasts.
This platform is free for up to 50 students per class. The paid version removes ads, which can be a distraction.
If you wish to make your blogs public, WordPress is your best option. It’s free, and you don’t need to buy a domain name. What’s more, it’s versatile, suitable for sharing personal musings to tips in managing a business, and so on. And if you want to make your WordPress page more appealing and reliable for your class, you can avail professional WordPress management services to make that happen.
Engaging in Blogging Ideas
You can add twists to your blogs to make it more fun and fresh. If you’re teaching STEM courses or social sciences, engage your class through an internet scavenger hunt. Post each of your scavenger hunt questions on your blog, and your students must post their answers on their own blogs before the deadline. Require them to comment on their classmates’ blogs, and to publish their results by another deadline.
And to exercise your students’ writing and passion at the same time, try making a classroom news site. Have your students post blogs regarding current events, from politics to sports to entertainment, depending on their interests. It is a fun project because it allows them to express themselves while improving their skills and marks at the same time.
Encourage healthy commenting as well. Regularly ask them for their feedback so that they can exercise honesty without being degrading. By setting an example and keeping up with online content trends, your online classes will be more fruitful than you, your students, and their parents expect.