Learning protocols takes patience and time. If students don't get protocols instilled in them at the beginning of the year, the rest of the year will be a struggle. It's worth the beginning-of-the-year lag to do it right.
Students have been having difficulty understanding how to post, tag, and add pictures. Since I've been trying to assess their understanding, and they have not posted, I took time today to go through the steps once again, but this time on the whiteboard in class with students, not at computers. It seems that repeat, repeat, repeat is necessary for the students to get the hang of posting their work. Some students were making a new blog each time they were supposed to make a new post. Most students were not labeling with key words. Each week for the past month I increased the blog reflection requirements. Today was a good time to review the entire scope.
- Where the blog name is: It's not the student username. It's not an email address. It's not the title at the top of the page. It's not the url when in edit mode. The blog name IS the url when in "view blog" mode, and is followed by "blogspot.com".
- Add a new post, NOT a new blog. Each blog has to have a unique name (see above) so adding a blog every time you want to say something is going to get complicated when it comes time to keep track of your posts. It is much easier to put all of one topic (or course) under one blog.
- Compose or HTML? Know which format you are typing in! Compose is a "what you see" format where html requires coding for formatting bullets and numbers and such. You can work in either, just be aware! I recommend you keep you options (see image below) clicked to"Interpret typed HTML" and "Press enter for line breaks".
- Record labels. Labels are "key words" that help others find your awesome discoveries. Key words are often the major points or topics of your post. Key words are separated by commas. In blogger they are called "labels" and are in the settings choices on the right. (In wordpress they are called "tags".)
- Include pictures to add interest. Cite pictures you did not take. Give pictures a descriptive or interesting caption. Pictures are added by clicking on the little picture frame at the top and following the directions that follow. The school library computers may have blocked you from doing this, in which case you will need to complete at home or on my computer after school.
- Include links. Links are helpful for sending a reader to the definition of a technical word you use, and for directing the reader to more information and/or your sources of information.
- Publish when done. No one, including your teacher, can read what you did not publish. If you go back and edit your post, then you must "update" to save. How does it look?