How to set up a class blog

All classes at Lowerplace have access to their own blog. For teachers this is a great place to share ideas, celebrate success, collaborate with others and for older children, post their own content.

This page will provide you with a step by step guide to accessing your blog, personalising your blog and adding content as well as some suggestions for content and how you can use your blog.

I will also provide links to the relevant sections of the excellent Creative Blogs Knowledgebase, who host our blogs.

To Access Your Blog

The address of your blog is your class name, followed by 2016. So, for example 1h2016.lowerplace.net.

Once you have navigated to your site, you will see a generic blog page. If you scroll down there is a login link on the right of the screen. Alternatively, you can add /wp-admin to the end of your blog address – e.g. 1h2016.lowerplace.net/wp-admin. This will take you to the login screen where you enter your username and password.

How to personalise your blog

Once you’ve logged in, you will now be on your blog’s dashboard. This is where you can personalise your page and add content.

The first thing you can change is the theme of your blog. To do this, click on ‘Appearance’ on the left of the screen and then ‘Themes’. You can now choose your own theme. The only guideline is that you choose a a theme with a wide main section and one sidebar. These themes are best for displaying content whist ensuring the screen is not too busy.

Next, you can personalise the sidebar of your blog. The sidebar consist of a series of ‘widgets’ which are basically tools to display content which you want visible when people first visit your blog. They can be as simple as text widgets, which you can use to display text, pictures or links to other websites or can include more interactive content such as visitor counts or twitter feeds.

To change or add a widget click on ‘Appearance’ and the ‘Widgets’

A nice one to start with is a globe so the children in your class can see from where around the world people are visiting your blog. Revolver Maps do a great free counter. Once your are on their site, choose a small or medium sized globe so it will fit on your side bar, then copy the code in the box. Rather than adding a new widget I suggest you edit the text of the top widget – simply delete the existing text and paste in the code. You can also edit existing widgets – see if you can update the link to our website on the links widget. The tagged learning widget is a good one to leave on, as is a twitter widget which Karl will help you set up.

For more ideas on widgets check out any of the class blogs from the last couple of years or the computing blog, or have a look at the Widgets section of the Creative Blogs Knowledgebase.

How to add content to your blog

The most simple way to add content is by posting text. To do this, in your dashboard, click on Posts, add new. It’s then a simple case of typing your post and clicking ‘Publish’. It’s as easy as adding a status on any social media site. I would encourage you to use ‘tags’. These are on or two word phrases which sum up what your post is about – they are great because they make content searchable, which can be useful when you have a lot of posts.

Once you are comfortable adding text posts, you can begin to experiment with more advanced tools such as adding links or embedding pictures and videos. I will update this page throughout the year with more ideas and suggestions.

Content for your blog

Here are some suggestions for content you can include on your blog:

– Newsletters
– Homework help/ideas
– Spellings
– Examples of good work/celebrations of success
– Topic overviews