Making the Blog “Easier” for Students

This week, I’ve heard many folks talking about their teacher blogs (teachers, in fact, if that has to be said), and some with an interest in making the blog easier to read. There have been some interesting solutions to this, although I think in the end, it’s best to treat the blog like… a blog.

Here’s one of the arguments for making changes.

I teach 3 different classes, and I’m afraid the students won’t be able to find their information for their specific class when they go to my blog.

My solution has been to use categories. If each class is a category, and it gets applied to your blog posts about that class, all of the posts relating to that one class are one click away.

But they may not see that. Or they may not click. Then… they won’t know what to do.

My experience has been that students who are not blogging on their own figure out the way blogs work. And those that do? Well, they’re another step ahead. My advice to teachers would be not to try and re-invent how your blog works. Why? Your blog, with all of its complexity with multiple categories, tags, and comments, is a teachable moment. That’s right! Spend 3-5 minutes showing your students your blog, point out how categories work. There are now over 750 million blogs out on the Internet. And all blogs are pretty much the same: information appears in reverse-chronological order and they use categories. So in teaching kids how to use your blog, you’re teaching them something about information and media literacy that they can use outside of class, too.

Feel free to argue with me, that’s what the comments are for. :-)