How to Increase Engagement on Your Classroom Blog
Everyone needs a blog these days. Blogs are for more than just marketing, news, or expressing an opinion. They’re powerful tools to connect with an audience and enrich an environment, as long as everyone is participating. If you’ve considered starting a classroom blog or you have one that isn’t as lively and vibrant as you wish, consider spicing things up. Use some new methods to encourage engagement, and get everyone a little more excited about learning.
Offer Coveted Guest Post Spots
Most blogs feature guest posts, and there’s no reason why your classroom blog can’t do the same. These guest posts will give your students an opportunity to showcase their intellectual prowess to their peers. No matter the age of your students, they’ll all be excited by the prospect of having their work shown off. Invite your students to come in as specialists of their own academic strengths, and feature their posts on your blog. This will encourage healthy competition that will keep students motivated.
Make Your Blog a Fun Place
The more interactive your blog is, the more likely readers are to engage with it. Fun widgets and tools that enhance the reader’s experience will pique their interest, encouraging them to stick around a little bit longer. It’s easy to hire a coding expert to create these customized interactive features – you don’t have to learn to do it all yourself. Even enhancing comments sections and adding “share” buttons that will allow readers to spread your posts across social media will create a more interactive environment – you don’t have to go all out if you don’t want to.
Encourage Conversation in the Comments
The conclusion of a blog post does more than just wrap up the points you’ve made. It creates an opportunity to keep the conversation going. By ending your blog post with open ended questions that encourage responses, students will feel more inclined to participate. Everyone likes feeling as though their voice matters, and the diversity of thought will encourage productive conversations that will improve everyone’s ability to learn and interact with the information you’ve provided.
Don’t just ask yes or no questions – ask why or why not questions. These encourage thoughtful comments. The comments section may even take on a life of its own, with students responding not only to the blog post, but to each other. You should always moderate these comments to avoid heated debates, but it’s important to encourage people to respectfully disagree. This is a fundamental skill necessary in professional life, and you have the ability to set the foundation for that skill.
Incorporate Videos and Images
While long walls of text may be informative, they’re not very interesting. The average attention span tends to grow much shorter, thanks to the convenience and instant gratification that the mind receives from technology and the internet. Incorporating videos and images to break up these text passages will provide your students with multiple ways to explore the content.
Someone who is disinterested in reading long paragraphs may feel more inclined to click the play button on a video, or explore statistics on an attractive infographic. Since most people are visual learners, you’ll want to accommodate them.
If you’re ever unsure why your students aren’t interacting with your blog as often as you’d like them to, it never hurts to ask. Let them know that you’re open to feedback about what they’d like to see. You may run the blog, but in some way, it belongs to the entire class. Let them know their opinions matter. They’ll feel more like they’re a part of the blog, which will make it a more important part of their educational experience.
Interested in the latest eLearning industry trends and technology in education, Carissa Turner, works as a writer at BizDb.co.nz. Whenever not working, she likes to catch up with the industry blogs or her favorite TV shows.