Thursday, January 13, 2011
Seven steps to an effective post.
Are you a blogger/teacher that has an idea that just comes and then you write a post and publish it?
Or are you a blogger/teacher that takes some time to think about how your post can be a really effective one?
If you come in the first category then you are like me, a little harried as a teacher and just to get a post published is an achievement! However like myself you may want to fall more and more into the second category. Er.... and as a teacher wouldn't you just love to see effective posts from your students on a very regular basis. I have listed some steps that I want to incorporate into my posts to make them more effective.
Decide on your audience.
We teach our students in their writing to name their audience. We need to know who we are writing it for as well. This could be:
The Wider Community
Know the Purpose of Your Post.
Once you have decided on your audience, you are then going to need to make sure you write your post so that the people you write for are either enriched, entertained, or shown how to do something. Then again it might be you are giving them the opportunity to share in an experience that you have had, which may touch them or that they can connect with in some way. Possibly they may strongly agree or disagree with you. If you manage to have them disagree with you then that may open up a whole new dialogue.
As teachers I would like you to know that for many of us we spend much time alone in the classroom and we don't see what other teachers are doing. So there you have a purpose straight away, there are nosey teachers like me who want to see a little into your experience. It inspires and teaches and possibly you didn't even set out to do that, but it does!
Have Something Worth Sharing.
If you value what you want to post about, then it is highly likely in my opinion, that it is worth sharing. For example on a classroom blog it may be to share something that you know parents will enjoy seeing or will learn from. From the recent blogs that I have visited some teachers are very generous and share their ideas and resources. As part of the teacher blogging challenge I visited many blogs that had so much to share. Here is one, a relief teacher, willing to share his ideas and resources.
Let Your Personal Voice Come Through.
Do you love a piece of writing where you really get to hear the personal voice of the writer? I can forgive a post that might fail in some of the other areas, but I just love a post with personal voice. I have a student in my class and her posts ooze personal voice. Each one of us is unique, we each have a perspective that no one else has. When we express it, healthily and respectfully, we enrich others. Go for personal voice. Your reader will connect with you. Here is a story I connected to with my heart, just yesterday, as I perused posts from the teacher blogging challenge.
Put Some Thought into Layout.
A bunch of text all squashed together is going to put your audience off. So taking some time to think about how it will be easier for your reader to follow is important. Included in layout is the heading. Put some time into a heading that will draw your audience in. Use bold text for sub-headings. Perhaps a little colour. Make sure though, if you use colour, use one that is easy to read! Before you publish take some time to re-read! Yes out loud!! Take the time to push the preview button. Yes, teachers need to do that too!
Include a Visual.
A lot of text can be off putting. I like to include a photo or clip-art when I post where possible. If you are using someone else's art or photo, just make sure you have the right to do that and show attribution if it is available for your use. The other thing you can do is include a video. Perhaps the video is the post. That can be hugely effective in itself. Here is a post that I find highly effective, its about how to leave quality comments. Thanks to Mrs Yollis' class, my class and I were able to learn from this very informative post.
Draw your reader into dialogue.
Recognise that your reader will have viewpoints, reactions, questions...... so encourage them in some way to express them in the comments, so that the post can become enriched by them. One way to do this is to respond to readers comments, that they have taken the time to leave.
Lastly a question I leave to you my reader. Do you think there is a place for a teacher post that has the 'self' as audience? I didn't include that in my list of possible audiences, is there a place for the post that has 'myself' as audience. Leaving aside of course the fact often many of us only have the self for audience!