The Benefits of Blogging in Education – WordPress Review

The Benefits of Blogging in Education – WordPress Review

Blogging in Education

One of my favorite activities is writing and journaling. With blogs, I have found my perfect channel to manage my writing and journaling desire. In this post we will discuss more the benefits of blogging in education and we will do a review of WordPress which is my go-to tool when it comes to blogging.

What is a Blog?  What is a Blog

A ‘blog’ is a website where entries are written in a journal-format. That is, entries are submitted and displayed in chronological order.

Essentially, a blog is an online diary. It is used to record personal accounts, just as a written diary is used. However, a blog can also be used for the reporting of news and fact-based stories.

The term ‘blog’ is a combination of two words:

Web + Log = Weblog -> Blog

The term ‘Weblog’ was then condensed to the term ‘blog’, which is widely used today.

The term ‘blog’ can be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog, or as a noun, as in the website containing the written content itself. The term Blogging has become more popular.

Between news, media, personal logs, current events, popular culture, opinions, product reviews, research, etc., blogging brings about openness and a new free forum for people to voice their opinions.

Blogging in EducationBlogging from Laptop

Using blogs in education have so many applications. In a classroom, for example, the educator can create a blog for the class to share topics and let students contribute in the discussions. The blog can also be the place where educators and students post photographs, videos and articles related to their projects.

Educators can also let parents participate in the blogging experience and see what their children are creating in the classroom.

Blogs also allow students to reflect, form and express opinions, collaborate to create content, participate in a community of practice and build a portfolio of evidence or a place to collect digital artifacts and work.

Blogs are useful tools for information sharing, reflection, collaboration and class management.

Applications of Blogs in Education

Communication
  • Blogs are simple publishing tools that can be used for class management and information sharing.
  • With blogs, students have opportunities to develop written communication skills through blog posting and commenting.
Collaboration
  • Widgets, Add-ons and mashup tools integrated with the blogs provide simple ways to create collective content. For example, you can add buttons to share content on social media channels).
  • Blogging and commenting provide opportunities for students to share, reflect and develop knowledge as a community.
  • You can incorporate highly personalized discussion forums that foster communities of interest or practice.
  • There are options for public protected and privacy spaces.
Motivation & Engagement
  • Blogs are great places for students to engage in debates and discussions while using their creativity to create content.
  • Blogs are tools for publishing engaging content with the use of videos, podcasts and images.
  • Blogs can be personalized with themes, profiles and avatars. This personalization adds a unique identity which supports ownership (really useful for personal blogs that require specific branding).
Creativity
  • Blogs provide authors and readers with an avenue for unedited expression, reaction and connection.
  • Widgets, themes and embedding tools to support creative content creation.
  • Flexible structure, including blog posts and pages which allows facilitators or students to create personalized learning spaces that can be further customized.

Tools to BlogEdublogs

There are many tools to blog: Canva, Blogger, WordPress, Wix.

I highly recommend WordPress because it is really easy to use. It is the tool I use for this site and it powers something like 33% of the entire internet.

Edublogs is a tool created by WordPress tailored specifically for teachers, educators and students. It has some features for classroom and student management. https://edublogs.org/

WordPress Overview

WordPress is a very easy to use platform to create blogs and websites. You can install it locally in your computer or you can use it as a cloud-based tool so you don’t need to install anything and it has so many themes to personalize the look and feel of your site.

You can use it in your phone with their mobile app and it has a reader where you can get all the posts from the blogs you follow that are also built in WordPress. I use the reader a lot to stay up to date with my field and I see what other instructional designers are writing about.

==> Click here to create your free account and build your stunning website <==

WordPress

 The Good

  • You can create blogs for free.
  • Lots of beautiful and responsive themes to customize your site.
  • Many widgets and plugins to add more features to your site such as social media channels.
  • A big community and lots of tutorials.

The Bad

  • If you want to include plugins you need to host your blog on a hosting service platform. WordPress offers hosting services too or you can use external hosting services such as Liquid Web.
  • To get advanced features for some themes you might need to buy the theme. But in general, the free themes are really good.

Who is WordPress For?

WordPress is for everybody, educators, business, students, professionals, writers and just everybody. You just need access to Internet, a computer or mobile device and your free WordPress account.

There are no excuses! It is really easy to create your blog for education, business or simply to start your digital journal.

WordPress Tools, Training & Support

WordPress has a support website where you can find information about how to get started, how to install your site files locally, basic administration, maintenance, security settings and how to customize your site.

There is a free course in Udemy for beginners that is worth checking if you don’t feel 100% comfortable.

Udemy

There are also plenty of forums in the Internet about specific customization. Simply type your question in Google and you will get lots of articles related to your situation.

WordPress Price

There are different plans:

  • Free for life. This is the way to go if you are just getting started.
  • Personal. USD 4 per month. 6GB storage space. Limited free themes.
  • Premium. USD 8 per month. This plan is ideal for freelancers. 13GB storage space. Unlimited themes.
  • Business. USD 25 per month. Unlimited storage space, SEO tools, upload plugins and many other functions to fully customize your site.

WordPress - Plans

My Final Opinion of WordPress

WordPress is a free and open-source content management system. Features include a plugin architecture and a template system (themes). It is most associated with blogging but supports other types of web content including more traditional mailing lists and forums, media galleries and online stores.

  • Name: WordPress.
  • Price: from USD 0 to USD 25 per month (billed annually).
  • Rank: 90 out of 100.

I really like WordPress and I’m going to continue using it for my sites. I currently have 3 blogs, I must confess that I don’t write in all of them with the frequency I would like.

Lets Blog

This site is actually my favorite 😀 where I share what I read, my findings, opinions, tutorials, tools and research I do in the education space and more in the eLearning world.

Additionally, I have 2 personal blogs. One dedicated to my dog Chokito and another one in Spanish where I share my experience migrating to Australia.

As you can see, I use blogs for my professional development, as a journaling tool for personal experiences and to express how much I love my dog.

The only reason I give WordPress a score of 90 out of 100, is because the option to install plugins and to customize your site, you will need to go for the options that require payment or host your site using an external hosting provider.

If your idea is to create an online business from scratch with a blog and you don’t know where to start then I highly recommend you do the training and create your account with Wealthy Affiliate where you can host your WordPress blogs while you learn and build your online business.

I hope you are getting inspired and motivated to get started with your own blog. I’m sure you have so much to share with the world 😀

Feel free to leave your comments below.

See you next time.

Thais

WordPress.com

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12 Responses

  1. Alexis says:

    I am an educator and I have noticed that my students really love using the internet/blogging when discussing a topic, especially those who have a more difficult time speaking in class. Sometimes we even use it in class together and you can see them completely engaged in what they are writing and responding to each other!

    Also, thank you for providing information on where to get help in developing blogs. I think this is a skill that people need more and more. I use wordpress and WA has been instrumental in helping me navigate it!

    • Thais says:

      Thanks so much for your comment Alexis. You are right. It is good to use blogs too for those shy students who are not 100% confident in speaking in the class. I was one of those students. It terrified me to speak in the class but I was happy enough writing and with my assigments.

  2. Jen says:

    Hi Thais,
    This is great, I think blogging for educators is a good thing, but a bigger advantage for students. The way the world is going today I think this would be a valuable lesson to teach students whether in high school or college. Blogging is becoming the way of the world so the information you provide here could serve very useful to people who are interested in starting one. Thanks for sharing your insight. I also think WordPress is one of the easier platforms to use, but as you said, with the extra you will need to know a little more about it because it can quickly become confusing.

    • Thais says:

      When I was in school we didn’t have internet lol. Imagine all this potential application and things students and teachers can do now in the classroom! It is amazing. Blogging in the classroom promotes social learning, collaboration, co-creation of content and also promotes reflection which is a great learning technique.

  3. Such a helpful post! Thank you for sharing the links to the free course and the rest of the great information. Your site will be an inspiration to many. I have spent much (too much?) of my last six months at either Udemy or one of my Word press projects. I couldn’t agree more with your assessments.

    • Thais says:

      Thanks so much for your comment Michael! If i can inspire at least one person, then my job is done 😀 Cheers

  4. Hi Thais, Thanks for all the valuable information. I also love blogging and use word press which I find works wonderfully for me.
    Learning to use the computer has been a huge achievement for me as I did not grow up with computers but with my daughter’s help and by joining Wealthy Affiliate I have a bit more knowledge.
    One is never too old to learn.

    • Thais says:

      Jill your story is so inspiring. I’m trying to get my mum to start a blog and write stories but she is still more confortable with pen and paper. I guess she can write in a notepad and I could build the blog for her. WA has been a wonderful tool for me, they are so helpful. Blogging can be also a good therapy and a distraction. Thanks for commenting.

  5. Dino says:

    Hi Thais,

    This is an excellent piece of work here!

    Starting my career in education officially in about a months’ time, I really feel that I am highly inspired about your post, as I am a strong believer that blogging and education go together so well. I have experienced the results on a personal basis and from my daughters’ school as well, where they do use this great method.

    I love the idea of using WordPress as it sounds to be so reliable and relatively simple to use.

    Thanks for sharing this great post,
    Dino

    • Thais says:

      Good luck in your new career. You will have so much fun. Education is such an exciting field nowadays with all the tools and technologies available these days.

  6. Bill says:

    Hi Thais

    Working alongside you I have seen your enthusiasm for learning and especially for the online space. I’m hoping I get more time on my instructional design over the next little while. I just have to get this ‘little’ RPL project out of the way.

    Cheers

    Bill

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