One of the possibly unwanted tasks on return to school is to get your school blog up and running again. Assuming that it’s been in hibernation over the summer break, no doubt you’ll want to start posting again as soon as possible. It may be hard to think about what to write about when you have a zillion other things to think about at the beginning of term. So here are some ideas to get the creative juices flowing again.
Changes over the summer or since last term
For example, new buildings or renovation, new members of staff, or new technology. Now, I think you have to be a little careful here, because there are two traps awaiting the unwary.
First, the changes are only worth blogging about if you make them relevant to pupils and their parents. I come across tons of news items on corporate blogs which say something like “We have just appointed a new director, which brings the total number on the board to six.” My response is, “And you are telling me this because…?”. Don’t let your school blog become just another corporate blog! If you’ve just appointed a new music teacher, say how that is going to enhance the education of your pupils. You have to make the blog useful and interesting, and taking that approach is one way of trying to do so.
Second, writing about technology recently acquired by the school not only falls into this “So what?” trap but can also read like an open invitation to the local burglars. Far better to focus on what the school hopes to do with the technology, which you should be able to write about without even mentioning what the technology is or what has just been brought in. As Doug Woods said recently,
21st century education is not about equipment, it’s about approaches. It’s about putting the learner at the heart of their learning and allowing/enabling them to use the equipment you have in creative and collaborative ways.
(From Working with what you’ve got)
Recent examination results…
The local paper may well have reported on this, but will it have included all the fine detail? For example, have some of the pupils obtained qualifications which would not have been reported on, such a certificate in a particular skill?
… and other achievements
For example, have some pupils been accepted for a national soccer team, gained a green belt in karate, passed their stage 2 piano test – you get the picture: it’s not all about traditional examination or test results.
“My summer vacation”
This is the standard essay topic set by teachers in the first week back to school, but what if a special one were to be written as a blog post? By “special” I mean, did any pupil or teacher do anything out of the ordinary, which a wider audience may gain some benefit from reading about?
“My summer reading”
Another popular essay topic, but have you or any of your colleagues read some interesting books or articles which you could review for the benefit of pupils and parents? For example, I recently read and reviewed a book called Building Parental Engagement in Schools. You might ask what parents think about what you’ve said, and how they think the school could engage parents even more. (Note: it would probably be best to discuss this idea with the Principal first.)
How about a blog post reminding parents and pupils of the school policy on cyberbullying? It doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom. For instance, it could remind pupils who they can see and what they can do if they experience it.
Take the opportunity to tell parents, in an upbeat way, of some of the events planned for the new term. This is not just a substitute for a school newsletter. For example, if it’s a concert you’re writing about, how about doing a video interview with the music teacher and some of the pupils and staff taking part? A five minute video which includes snippets of rehearsals could be a great way of generating interest!
Well, I hope you found one or two of these ideas useful. If you have any others, do say what they are in the Comments section.
Collabor8 4 Change, a great new-style unconference, is running again on 17th November. Click the link to find out who has already registered (for free!) and why you should sign up too! Why not volunteer to host a 20 minute round-table discussion on a subject of your choice, and/or give a 10 minute talk on something that’s important to you?
For a great evening of discussion about educational ICT, leadership, collaboration and learning, sign up now!