blogging tips, start blog
What is Blog and Blogging?

A blog (short version of “weblog”) is an online journal or informational website which displays information in the reverse chronological order. Latest posts appear first in a blog. 

It is a platform where a writer or even a group of writers share their views on an individual subject.
Blogging is the many skills that one needs to run and control a blog. 

Equipping a web page with tools to make the process of writing, posting, linking, and sharing content easier on the internet.

Students, be it college or school, can also be bloggers. However, different modes of a student education can also affect his/her blogging activity. For example, a student studying any distance MBA course in Pune can write city specific blogs on MBA course and its related information.

Even different branches of study can also affect a student’s blogging activity. For example, a student doing regular full-time MBBS in AIIMS will write his/her blogs less frequently than a student studying distance MBA from ICFAI.

Blog vs Website

There are two features of a blog that distinguishes it from a website:
  1. Blogs are updated frequently. Whether it’s a cooking blog in which a chef shares adventures in cooking, a brand providing updates about its new products, or a fitness model providing information about his/her workout plans, diet, hygiene etc. blogs have new content added several times a week.
  2. Blogs usually is written in a casual and informal (or even in regional language) language in order to allow for reader engagement. Blogs are often included in social media because of the ability of readers to comment and have a discussion with the blogger and others who read the blog make it social.

Blog Structure

The appearance of blogs changed over time, and nowadays blogs include different items. But, most blogs include some standard features and structure. Here are common features that typical blog will include:
  • Header with the menu or navigation bar
  • Main content area with highlighted or latest blog posts
  • Sidebar with social profiles, favorite content, or call-to-action
  • Footer with relevant links like a disclaimer, privacy policy, contact page, etc.

Basic Blog Structure:

(with the menu or navigation bar)

Main Content
(with highlighted or latest blog posts)

(with social profiles, favorite content, or call-to-action)
(With relevant links like disclaimer, privacy policy, contact page etc.)

Why Students Should Blog?

Blogs promote literacy and sharpen writing skills

Blogs give students the ability to improve communication and collaboration through the features such as commenting, peer review and feedback. People from other parts of the world can also comment and provide a new cultural perspective to our own students’ thoughts and opinions. Since they have to hold the readers’ attention, students’ writing skills are vastly improved through the blogging

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Blogs can serve as a Academic Tool

When used as an in-class assignment, blogs can keep your students on task and focused. The more blogs students post, the more opportunities they have for others to comment on their blog. Creating a classroom blog instead of individual blogs fosters an online community for your students to extend the classroom beyond the 4 walls. 

The learning continues wherever they go and their thoughts and conversations keep going. Blogging is a great tool to create student portfolios, as it can be used both as a “learning portfolio” and a “showcase portfolio”.

Blogs can serve as a different way of learning

As every student has a different leaning method, educators need to teach important materials in several ways. They also need to provide students with multiple ways to engage with assignments, based on their individual talents. Blogging is one technique for doing so. Additionally, this journaling format works great with read-and-write learners as well as visual learners.

Blogging Tips for Students

Start with a simple blog application

Blogger is a Google app and is completely free. It is easy and simple to use if one have a Google account, he/she can set up his/her blog in minutes from a computer or mobile device. 

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Edu blogs lets students easily create and manage student blogs, customize designs and include videos, photos and podcasts. Students exercise digital citizenship within a secure classroom blogging space. Other great options include WordPress, Weebly, and Tumblr (for photoblogs).

Start with a specific writing prompt

If a student is beginning with a class rather than an individual blog, he/she will be responsible for those initial posts, while the students will respond in comments. 

As students demonstrate keenness and responsibility, more freedom will help students earn the right to write posts on the class blog and/or get their own student blog. Students can also be invited to create prompts for the class and use these prompts whenever possible.

Create a rubric

Providing detailed explanations of an assignment using a rubric can help students in both completing tasks and thinking about their performance.

Know your audience

The audience makes the work matter to students as they have an opportunity to showcase their writing and respond to real feedback. Initially, the teacher and classroom peers are the major audiences that provide the feedback. 

Students can also share the blog details with parents through the school website and newsletters to grow the audience to family members and other parents. This can have unexpected practical use.