March 7, 2020

Be There with Blogging: A Guide for Teachers

I'm writing this on March 7 2020, when a lot of people are thinking about the possibility of moving classes online. I've been teaching fully online courses since 2002 (not a typo), and I thought the best contribution I could make would be a guide for how to Be There with Blogging. This will be an evolving guide for beginners about how you can use the power of blogging to create a fun, friendly, helpful, and encouraging space online where you can be there for your students.

I believe that every class — any subject, any age level, on any online platform — can benefit by having a blog as one of the communication channels. Not a fake blog inside the LMS, but a real blog that you can configure in your own way, making it visible both inside and outside the LMS. For an example, here is the Daily Class Announcements blog I use with my classes, which is also the homepage in our LMS space also, as you can see here (this is a link to an open Canvas class, so you can click and look):

So, this post is my first post for my Be There with Blogging guide. I'll be using Blogging as the label here (to identify just the blogging guide posts since I also publish other content here), and I'll use the hashtag #BTBGuide at Twitter. I've set up a Google Form for questions and suggestions which you will see embedded below (I'm covering topics pretty quickly, so you can let me know what I need to cover in more detail, for example), and I've also set up a short URL for this page:

Here's a Table of Contents for the posts so far:
I have kept the focus here on a Daily Announcements blog from the teacher, but of course there is so much more: blogging is a great tool for all kinds of content development and things get even more exciting when the students start blogging too.

I'll stop here for now, though, on the assumption that teachers might benefit most from a Daily Announcements blog if they are faced with a sudden switch to online. I'll use this Guide as a jumping off point later to write up some more thoughts about being-there-with-blogging, and what it means to build connected courses online.

Happy Blogging, everybody!