The Top 10 Ways Blogs and WordPress Are Used in Schools

Edublogs is built on WordPress – which was once just for blogs.

But now, WordPress is used for way more than blogs and powers around 20% of the entire web!

It never stops amazing us when we see all of the different ways that educators are using Edublogs and we don’t get to share them all often enough.

So, here’s a rundown of ten of the most common, along with some examples for inspiration and ideas!

And you’ll find a list of all the different ways universities and higher ed use WordPress here.

1.  School Website

Numerous schools host their entire school website on WordPress.

The more traditional school website look is achieved by Nanjing International School website using their own custom theme on an Edublogs Campus network.

Nanjing International School

Where as Mapleview Heights Elementary uses the more traditional approach we see when schools set up their website on Edublogs.org.  Latest school news is published as posts on the frontpage with important school information in the sidebars and pages.

You can even map your school blog to your own school domain using domain mapping!

Mapleview Heights Elementary

2. Class Website

The Digital Gators Website is a good example of how a blog is used by a teacher as a class website.  The teacher provides links to resources, assignments and information to help students with their middle school computer classes.

We explain how to set up a class website in 30 minutes or less here.

Digital Gators Blog

3.  Class Blog

Class blogs are used in a wide range of different ways.

Some teachers use their class blogs to to post daily tasks, information on what was covered in class and when assignments are due.   Teachers do this to keep students and parents up-to-date,  provide information for students who are absent and provide resources students can use for revision.

If you look at the I^2 Class blog, you can see how this teacher uses this approach for high school maths.  It’s also common to see maths teachers include instructional videos on solving equations and problems like you see in this post.

I^2

Steams Class blog demonstrates this same approach for AP Language and Composition, Senior Composition and Debate.

Steams

Technology classes often post the instructions for what the students have to do during a lesson on their class blog.  Students use the links and information in the post to complete the tasks.  It also enables students who missed class to complete work.

LMS Technology class blog highlights this approach for middle school exploratory class and Guiles Daily Agenda Class blog illustrates this approach for high school technology and computer classes.

LMS blog

4.  Class Blog with Student Blogs

Lots of teachers use class blogs for global collaboration, authentic learning, reflective blogging, collaboration and discussion.  When used for these purposes it’s common for their students’ to have their own individual student blogs.

Teacher’s find that when students are asked to write for an audience outside of their class, they are more motivated, learn more and they write better than if they only wrote for their teacher.

You’ll find our 5 steps for creating up and managing student blogs here.  For more handy tips check out our blogging with class and student series!

All of the following class blogs have links to their student blogs in the right sidebar under class blogs.

Huzzah Class blog highlights this approach with Grade 7 and 8 students whereas Ms Cassidy’s classroom blog demonstrates how a teacher does this with six year old students.

Huzzah

English 10 Class blog use this same approach with high school English students.   Links to her student blogs are the avatars under English 10 Peeps in the right bar.  Watch her SlideRocket presentation which explains why she uses blogs and the process she uses to blog with students.

English 10

And Jurupa Hills High School Photography and Yearbook Class blog shows this same approach with photography students.

Photography

5.  Specialist Subject Area Blogs

It’s also common for educators who teach specialist subject areas for a range of grades to use one blog for all classes.

This is how many art teachers showcase student work.

On SGPS Art Flash the links to the different grades in the top navigation takes you to the art work from that grade (here is the Grade 2 art work).    The links help students, parents and teachers easily find the artwork for the correct Grade.  This was done by assigning categories to posts and using a custom menu.

SGPS Art Flash

Technology Centre @ Cottage blog uses a similar approach to post instructions  for what the students have to do during their weekly session at the technology center.   This blog supports students from kindergarten to Grade 5.  Students just need to click on their teacher’s name in the right sidebar to find the instructions for their class (here’s an example of tasks for Grade 5 students) .

Technology Centre

6. Personal / Professional Educator Blog

The main reasons why educators have personal / professional blogs include:

  • Share information and tips with other educators.
  • Collaborate with a global audience. Increased collaboration with others, leads to greater innovation and ideas, because each individual sees a different perspective – giving all involved greater “food for thought!”
  • To reflect on their learning or their teaching /work practices.
  • To learn how to blog themselves so they can use blogs effectively with their students.

Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the day is an example of a personal educator’s blog.  Check out our personal blogging series to get start with your own blog!

Larry's blog

7. Library Blogs

School libraries and resource centers use blogs in a range of ways.

The MHMS Daring School Library Blog and England Library Blog uses their blog to provide library news for teachers, students and parents: support their reading program; to support teacher’s using technology; and for book reviews.

The MHMS Daring School Library Blog

 

While Reading in the Middle mainly uses their blog for book reviews.

Reading in the middle

8. Group Collaboration and Projects

Group collaboration and project blogs can be as simple as students, or teachers, collaborating on a group blog,  and might involved collaborators from the same school or different schools, to large global projects.

Here are two examples of blogs used for large global projects:

The Student Blogging Challenge runs twice yearly and is made up of a series of 10 weekly tasks all designed to improve blogging and commenting skills while connecting students with a global audience and being supported by a team of blogging mentors.  You’ll find the best posts published by participants on our  Student blogging challenge flipboard Sept 2014  magazine.

Student Blogging challenge

The aim of the School Admin Virtual Mentor Program is to help develop administrators to lead innovative school environments that meet the needs of students today.  Participants are paired with a mentor and encourage to keep an open blog to share their learning openly with the World.   Weekly tasks are published on The School Admin Virtual Mentor Program blog.

SAVMP blog

9. ePortfolios

We’re seeing increasing numbers of educators use blogs as for their own digital portfolio or for their student’s digital portfolios.  The student blogs are used to showcase their work and share their learning, throughout their school life while the educator’s personal eportfolios may be used to document their skills against professional standards.

Paul Heubl’s blog and Jarrod Lamshed’s blog are examples of teachers using a blog as an eportfolio.  On their blogs they document their skills based on the AITSL Teacher Standards  Australian Professional Standards for Teachers).

Paul Heubl's blog

10. Professional Learning

And finally there are the professional learning blogs!   These are the blogs set up to support educators use technology in their school, School District or community; and they do this so they can model how blogs are used.

The Teacher Challenge blog is an example of a professional learning blog.

Teacher Challenge blog

 

That’s it!

Let us know in the comments below if you have any questions and feel free to share links to the favorite ways you’ve seen blogs used.

For more information check out the Status of Educational blogging in 2013.

Sue Waters

Edublogs Support Manager @suewaters on Twitter

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4 Responses

  1. Robert Schuetz says:

    Fantastic post Sue! Timing is everything, as I am putting the finishing touches on a presentation that I am giving at IETC later this week – “Blogs as ePortfolios”. Thank you for sharing these excellent examples! Bob

  2. Victoria Bolton says:

    Thank you for this post! Our program is using blogging, but you’ve just exponentially expanded my vision of what it could be. Great ideas!

  3. John says:

    I really liked this post and all of the tips you offered here. Never thought of these things before!

  4. raymond says:

    great post! i just thinking to use blog in our department, your article give me lots of ideas.

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