One of the many great things about blogs is the ability for others to leave comments on your work, this aids collaboration and gives your students a real audience.
Better late than never... Today is Day 10 of 20 Days to BlogTastic, if you'd like to know more about this training please click here.
Here's a few places to start sharing your blog address (refer to Day 1 for how to get your blog address)
- School newsletter
- Class notes home
- School website and other social media - Twitter & Facebook
- In your email signature
- In an email to all staff in your school
- In an email to your teaching friends, family and colleagues
- QR codes on your classroom door and notice board
- QR codes in the office of your school
You can make QR codes by pasting your blog address into a number of different QR Code generators.
I regularly use goo.gl which is Google's URL shortener (makes website addresses smaller) - it also creates QR codes. This video created by misterandrade1 shows how to create a QR code using goo.gl.
This video explains a variety how to use qrstuff.com to generate QR codes.
Creating comments and encouraging others to do so is an ongoing process on your class blog. Here are some ideas for teaching your students about how to make a comment.
Here's an Activinspire Flipchart about commenting when using this with students we talked about:
- what they thought comments were
- looked at a few comments
- decided what made a good/bad comment
- make a few success criteria
- had a go at making comments on their class blog
- made comments on other class blogs
If you've setup your commenting settings as suggested in Day 1's challenge you'll be able to make comments relatively easily. Here's a video that explains how to comment on a blog post
I've worked through these ideas with year 2 to 6 (6-11 year old) students. However I'm sure you can adapt them to suit whichever year level you teach.
Creating Voice Comments
When you're working with younger students or students who find typing or constructing writing challenging you might want to consider teaching them about using voice comments.
Vocarro and Croak.it are websites used to record quick sound bytes that can then be added as links to comments and posts. These sites can be used on laptops or Chromebooks (not as successful on tablets although Croak.it does have iOS and Android apps).
Here's a post on the blogtastic training blog with voice added through Vocaroo and a couple of comments that include voice using Voacroo.
You could also look at using a voicemail service on your blog, try this one it's called Speakpipe
** Update **
Vocaroo voice messages are not permanent so if you don't want to loose your recordings you'll need to download them to Google Drive or similar storage.
Getting Others to Comment
Add a small gadget or part of a page on your blog that explains your commenting policy. For example -
We'd love to get your comments, please make them Kind, Specific and Helpful. You can comment on a post by pressing the 'no comments' or '# comments' link at the bottom # will change as the number of comments on a post increases.
Remember the more you comment on other class blogs the more likely you are to get comments from them on your class blog. When making a comment on another class blog I'd recommend adding your class blog address at the bottom of your comment.
What to do with comments
As you start making and receiving comments on your class blog you'll get an email to let you know that a comment has been made.
This is a great way to celebrate comments with your class. Perhaps you could setup a comment board in your classroom and have a 'comment monitor' who's job it is to screenshot and print comments that are made to your blog each day or week.
To encourage others to comment on your blog make sure you're adding to your sharing plan something along the lines of 'please visit and comment on our blog'.
Today's challenge has two parts Sharing and Commenting:
Today your challenge is to get at least two comments on your blog and to comment on at least two other blogs with your students. You can use the strategies listed above or if you'd like or create your own. Remember there is a large list of blogs that have been created during this training on Day 2's challenge post
You'll also need to setup a plan to regularly comment on your own class blog and other class blogs with your students, you could make this a writing or reading tumble activity.