Social Media & Education: Own Blog / Website

social media & education: own blog

This part about using social media covers how to use a blog or website for educational purposes. If you are not familiar on how to set up a blog or website on your own, feel free to check my quick guide on wordpress websites or simply get in touch with me via email or the comments. I’ll try to help as soon as possible.

Short introduction and differentiation

social media & education: own blog Setting up a website for your school can have several very different advantages. I will try to cover some of the more obvious here. Some of them are related to specific areas of studies, some are general. I try to order it in the way a website is usually set up and maintained.

Setting up a  website / blog

This is obviously a more technical thing. However, if you are teaching in this sector or students from this sector this is the first step you could start your teaching from. One example from my experience: I taught English Communication to ‘Computer Business’ students which means the all should have a basic understanding of how websites work and how you can set them up. Their task now was to set up a website (domain and hosting came from me – however this could be part of the task as well. Evaluate where to host and where to buy the domain) in English. I didn’t tell them what CMS they have to use (WordPress, Joomla, etc.) or what functionalities I want to have (despite the obvious ‘Blog’ functionality). While it took some time to set up this website (they never did it in English) it was a good training and they totally understood why it is important to use English here. Furthermore I could see that they sometimes worked day and night on the website. Especially when the deadline came close. Nice to see motivation kicking in. So task one: Setting up a website (register domain, link to hosting service, install cms, get database running: check!).

Design.

Kinda obvious who could be involved here, don’t you think? However it is not only design students who could get involved into this process. Early in 2012 we will have for example a competition among all students for a new header picture (the picture on top of the website). This gets different groups (example: Cheerleader, B-Boys, Dancer, Singer, Art students, etc.) involved and gives them an incentive to be creative and a chance to get featured on wider level. That’s just one idea of course. Another idea was regarding the…

Features

promoting social networks on your website

promoting social networks on your website - a great way to gain a larger audience

promote your social networks prominently

promote prominently - users don't even have to leave your website to like it

What does a website need to be successful? That was one question I asked my ‘Internet English’ (don’t blame me for the course name!) students. This is a perfect start for talks about websites, features and social media as a whole. ‘We need twitter, facebook oh and let’s add youtube…’. Great when students can try in real life what they just heard about in class. And, since we all love circles (not just since google+ came out) here is one that closes: When we know what features we need, we tell the guys (students) who are responsible for the implementation or the backend maintenance to implement those features. Project Management in easy steps. And that in English class. Welcome back to head-fake learning.

See part 2 of how to use an own blog / website for teaching and educational purposes.

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