Website on Steroids: Creating a Powerful Blog

This is a guest post from Dan Klumper.

topic of using blogs in education is nothing new. One thing I have
noticed over the years is that many teachers use blogs in basic ways,
such as posting a question(s) and having the students respond/answer.
This is good from time to time, but a blog can be so much more than
that. A blog can by one of the most dynamic teaching tools a teacher
could have. It can be a review tool, learning tool, creating tool,
collaboration tool, a sharing tool or all of them. With this post, I
want to give some useful tips and ideas that can be used to make a
dynamic blog. So, let’s go.

  • The Silent Review:
    The silent review video is something I started this past year. This is a
    video that my students and I make together. As you will see in the
    video, it is such a simple way to review, but a very helpful one. The
    video can be posted on your blog for the students to access easily and
    watch leading up to the test. The attached video is a review over Greek
    Mythology. (be sure the students’ answers are the correct ones!)

  • WSG Live!
    My blog is called Water for Sixth Grade, so at the end of each unit, I
    have a WSG Live! review event. This review tool allows me to study with
    the students the night before the test. I am at my computer at my home,
    and they are on theirs at their homes. (How often can a student review
    with the teacher the night before?) For 30-45 minutes, I go online and
    with my blog, ask my students questions on my WSG Live! post. We discuss
    the material we have been studying together.  I take off comment
    moderation which allows the students to answer my questions and have
    their responses post immediately. This is a great way to review

  • Prezi
    Online collaboration: I am sure you are all familiar with Prezi. So
    let’s take Prezi and combined it with our blog. I posted a prezi on my
    blog that could be edited by anyone. I told my students that sometime
    over the next week, they were to add anything they know or learned about
    our topic (ancient Egypt). At the end of the week, we had a ton of
    things posted. The next step was to take what was added to the Prezi and
    organize it into topics such as “Nile River” or “Pyramids” or
    “Religioni.” This forced the students to do some thinking as to which
    category each piece of info went into.

  • Keep it Fresh: There is a multitude of tools that can be used through your blog. Create a comic on Pixton to help students learn/review in a more fun way. Have the students post a thought/comment on Wall-Wisher.
    Have the students create an imaginary conversation between them and
    someone of their choice about a topic. Post some online flashcards for
    them with
    Hold a debate on your blog, which allows everybody to have a voice,
    instead of just one kid getting called on. Share student work, post
    interesting videos. The possibilities are endless!

in mind, you want your blog to be something that the students want to
go to. So don’t “over blog” but try to keep new and useful/interesting
things going. Start building momentum and remind/show the students how
helpful it can be.  Soon, the students will “buy in” to your blog and
jump on board. And when that happens, you shall have a dynamic blog.

name is Dan Klumper and I live and teach in Brandon, SD. I have taught
6th grade social studies for the past six years. I am originally from
Worthington, MN. I attended Augustana College in Sioux Falls, SD. I have
a passion for technology in education because I believe it can make a
huge impact on today’s students. Thank you.

twitter: @danklumper


Thank You Readers for 14 Amazing Years!