Getting To Try Some New Things

Tell Your Friends

I’ve been a blogger now for about 408 posts, and I’d like to think I’ve learned a thing or two.  Maybe three.  No, more like two, who am I kidding?  But hey, even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while.

This is Beth’s first year teaching writing at Medway Middle, and she has asked me to come and help teach her students about blogging.  They’re learning about essays, poems, short stories, etc.  This is just another writing style.

This got us talking.  Wouldn’t it be great if the students had an opportunity to share their work?  Maybe they could have their own class blog.  Some place to showcase what they’re working on.  Maybe it could expand, and some faction of the class could do a regular newspaper project.  Maybe all kinds of things.

I started poking around, having the only webmaster-like skills in our family.  We eventually decided that for the options and design she wants, we’d have to self-host.  This isn’t a problem, because I already have  a self-hosted website.  I did a bit more research and found out that there was a domain for sale.  I’m not going to tell you what it is until tomorrow.  Be watching.

We did a bit of crowdsourcing, and realized that a class website would be a great way to not only share the great things that the kids are doing in Beth’s class, but also an excellent communication tool for Beth to speak directly to her students’ parents.

To that end, we’ve created a professional Twitter account for Beth’s site, and put a plug-in of it in her widget sidebar.  This is an awesome way to get info out quickly.  Also, for pictures, especially of science labs and stuff, we’ve created a professional Instagram account too.  It’s also featured on the site.

The way Beth envisions this whole process is that work from each of her four classes gets shared after it’s been written, edited, vetted, and deemed publish-worthy.

To make the whole thing more fun, I’m going in to her classroom tomorrow to teach the kids blogging in real life!  Look for pictures of my teaching debut in tomorrow’s post.  It’ll be good to teach the kids about online etiquette and safety, as well as give them one man’s perspective on what it looks like to write for an online audience.   I can’t wait.  The plan is to have at least one article per class up and published tomorrow afternoon.

If you have any suggestions as to what you’d like to see on your kid’s teacher’s website, hit me up in the comment section below.  I’ll do my best to add things to her web page.  I’ve been able to use much of the research for Beth’s page to better my own site.  In fact, we use the same theme and I’ve changed the layout of my desktop site to match hers, I liked it so much.

Remember, look for me to share Beth’s new site tomorrow.


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