Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Your attention, please!

Unless you love wasting your time, don't spend another minute working on your classroom blog or website without reading these tips to get your audience reading and coming back!  Who wants to spend time getting information online only to have it passed over?  There are ways to get your audience to notice your online presence.
  1. Determine your audience.  Is it students, parents, educators, or people interested in a particular topic?
  2. Learn what gets their attention.
    • Students might look for bonus information/questions.
    • Students like lists of links that are helpful and fun.
    • Students, depending on the age may be attracted to widgets--little gimmicks that move and appeal to their desire to interact. Want to get a widget?  Here's a good place to start:  http://www.widgetbox.com/widgets/  Code for these widgets goes in the HTML section of your website or blog. (See 8 ball widget below.)
    • Parents want new information--updates about your classroom that they won't find elsewhere.
    • Parents are drawn to pictures of students, videos or pictures of students in action (with permission, of course).
    • Topics of interest should be fresh, not a repetition of what they've already seen on the web, but a new take on what's important or trending.
  3. Write like a pro.
    • Use the appropriate language for your audience.  Write conversationally, but with correct grammar and spelling.  Do not use texting codes or educational jargon even if it's very tempting to LOL about the STAAR.
    • Titles should be catchy--draw the reader into your classroom or topic.
    • Invite comments from your audience if possible, and respond to them.
    • Consider inviting guests to write or make a video for you whether it's a student, a parent, an administrator, or an interesting community member.
    • Post a survey that gives your audience the feeling that you care what they think.
    • Check and double-check your facts before publishing.
  4. Get your site out to the public.
    • Link your web/blog in your email signature.
    • Post a link to it in your social media online profiles where appropriate.
    • Look at other classroom websites and blogs.  Comment on them and include a link to yours in the comment.
Waste your time?  Never!  Create an online presence that is fresh, helpful, and a resource to be appreciated.