Blogs can be used for so many different reasons and Knowsley CLCs like to use blogs when we’re in the classroom as children love writing on them and we really believe they help improve writing skills as well as increasing awareness of writing and publishing content on the web. There are many different free platforms that you could use and there are a few that we use such as Edublog, Blogger (by Google), Kids Blog and Weebly but we really like Wordpress so we’re going to use WordPress as the example for this post.
If we have previously created your website (we only charge £450 to create a new school website by the way – I know, cheap right?) then you could just add a blog page to your website as we would have used WordPress to create it. If you haven’t got a WordPress website or you would simply prefer to set up your blog as separate to your website then follow these simple steps:
Set up a blog using WordPress
- Go to www.wordpress.com and click ‘create website.’
- Step 1 – Choose an address for your blog – this is the URL that you will give to people so they can view your blog. Once you have chosen a Site Address that is available, click ‘create your site and continue.’
- Step 2 – Next you will need to enter an email address, username and password. Then select next step.
- Step 3 – Find a custom address – ignore this step by clicking on ‘no thanks’ at the bottom.
- Step 4 – select a theme for your blog. There are lots of free themes to choose from. This can be changed at a later date if you like.
- Step 5 – Which plan would you like to use? – Select the WordPress Beginner option – this is free and offers all the functionality that you will need for your class blog.
Creating your first post
- Your admin page (where you can create and edit posts) can always be found at yourchosenaddress.wordpress.com/wp-admin
- On the left hand menu, click on ‘add’ next to blog post.
- Complete the boxes – your post will need a title and some content. You can use the add media button to add pictures or embed videos.
- When you’ve finished, click publish and your post will be live.
- You can either click ‘view post’ or go to the URL of your website to view your published post.
- If you see a mistake or want to add anything else to your post then just click edit post.
Adding Students as Contributors
- Click on ‘wp-admin’/go to your dashboard area.
- Hover over Users and click on ‘invite new.’
- You have two options – you could set up one student account that all your children can use to add to the blog. The posts will just show as created by ‘student’ though so you will need to make sure the children include their first name within their post so you know who wrote it. Alternatively, you can set up a user account for each student.
- To add a new user, you will need to add a valid email address – tip, if you don’t have email addresses for each child, you can
- Choose ‘contributor’ as the role so children will not be able to publish a post direct to your blog, you will need to authorise it first.
Once you explore WordPress, you will see their are many options and settings which enable you to customise your site to suit your needs. A couple of options that you may want to review at the beginning though are:
You may wish to remove the ability for people to comment on your blog. To do this, when in your dashboard, hover over ‘settings’ and select ‘discussion’ and do the following:
When in your dashboard, hover over ‘settings’ and select ‘reading’ to see the options for site visibility.
Lesson Ideas using Blogging
- How to Use Blogs in the Classroom – includes Top Tips To Use Blogs in the Classroom
How to Create a Blog on WordPress – Step by Step Tutorial
Creating a free WordPress blog – tutorial for beginners