BEST Toolkit for Blogging Teachers – Teachers and educators are joining the ranks of bloggers because it is one of the best ways of reaching out to their students, communicating with parents, networking with their colleagues from all over the world and improving their skills. Blogging allows them to get their students more involved after class, or to share assignments, intriguing ideas and questions. Furthermore, it is a medium that students are used to, and which seems a lot more exciting to them than traditional textbooks. However, blogging can be very time-consuming, which is why we have compiled a list of tools that can help busy blogging teachers.
Best Blogging Platforms
Based on WordPress, Edublogs is a blogging platform designed specifically for teachers and educators. It is packed with features which will allow you to create professional-looking and complex pages, without requiring you to know HTML, add videos, podcasts, and create password-protected posts, among other things. You can learn how to do all of this via their helpful video tutorials.
Blogger is a good option for those teachers who want to use blogs in the classroom because it is very simple to use. Both students and teachers will be able to set up an account in no time and publish posts containing text, images, and videos.
WordPress is probably the most popular and powerful blogging platform, and those teachers who recognize that blogs and education go hand in hand can count on getting a free domain name and hosting, as well as a multitude of features they won’t find on other platforms. It does have a bit of learning curve, but there is literally nothing you can’t do with it.
While you can write and edit your posts using a blogging platform of your choice, using a dedicated blog editor like OpenLiveWriter to create posts is a much better solution, because of its text-editing capabilities, as well as the ability of writing posts offline, and publishing to a wide variety of platforms, including WordPress, Blogger, and TypePad.
Hemingway app can help blogging teachers make their writing more concise and easier for students to understand, which is where most educators fail, using big words and overly complex language. Every text will be analyzed for complexity, and the app will highlight the most problematic parts, as well as assign a readability rating.
EssaysOnTime offers high-quality writing and editing services, which can come in handy if you are spread too thin, but need to publish brilliant posts nevertheless. Whenever you are short of time, or have doubts as to your writing accuracy, delegate it to professionals.
In order to prevent Google from flagging your blog for duplicate content, and to make sure your content is original and unique, check it using PlagTracker. Capable of analyzing your work in an instant, this app will also provide you with a plagiarism report.
Veeeb is a text editor and a semantic search engine. This means it is capable of analyzing your text for meaning, and retrieving the most relevant information, and even images and videos from services like Flickr, YouTube, Amazon, and Getty.
Using the Readability Test Tool, you can analyze your posts for readability, so that your students always understand the ideas and concepts you are trying to convey. You can check entire pages, or you can paste your text into the app and run a test.
CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer is a simple and effective app which will enable you to write headlines that are more search-engine friendly, which will attract more visitors to your blog. Simply paste your headline, and implement suggestions on how to make it more impactful.
Catch is a note-taking app which you can use to capture all of your ideas, concepts, and blog post topics, so you don’t forget them. You never know when you might think of a great idea, so it pays to be prepared.
Smilebox is a creative platform that will allow you to craft unique and eye-catching content for your blog, such as postcards, scrapbooks, slideshows, and so on. You will be able to create attractive and memorable with it.
With Canva, you will be able to create your own designs, even if you don’t have any design experience. Thanks to a variety of editing tools, filters, effects, and templates, you can create eye-popping graphics for your blog, Facebook covers, slideshows, and posters.
TheStocks.im is a website which curates the best photos from nearly all royalty-free photo places. This means you will never run out of appropriate and intriguing photos for your posts. Plus, it won’t cost you a dime.
At some point, you are going to need to edit the images for your posts, but since Photoshop is too complicated and expensive, Pixlr Grabber is a great alternative. With it, you will be able to perform complex editing tasks, and that includes layering and effects.
We can all agree that static images, no matter how stunning, can often be boring. Gickr will bring them to life, thanks to its ability to create animated GIFs out of images you provide it with. Your students will love it.
You can also use your blog to present video lessons and tutorials to your students. In order to have greater flexibility in terms of video formats, use MPEG Streamclip, which allows you to convert your videos to just about any existing format, also to edit and play your videos.
Podcasts are a very useful medium in education, because they are similar to lectures, and are more easily digestible than text. Audacity is a free, multi-track audio recorder and editor, which will allow you to easily create podcasts for your blog readers.
Miscellaneous Blogging Tools
If your think your posts are useful and insightful, you’re going to want to share with as many people as possible, and to get your readers to do the same. AddThis is a tool that will allow you to create a button that will make your content shareable on over 220 social networks.
In order to reach out to as many students and colleagues as you can, it is also a good idea to maintain a strong social media presence in addition to your blog, and Buffer can do that for you, by allowing you to schedule posts in advance. You will save lots of time that way.
Another useful service you could use as a busy blogging teacher is Ping-O-Matic. It enables you to ping search engines and other relevant services that you have updated your blog. Simply enter your blog’s details, and choose the services you want to ping.
Although FeedBlitz was primarily designed with digital marketers in mind, you can also make use of it as a teacher. With it, you can manage subscriptions to your blog, and send new posts to your students and peers directly to their emails.
TagCrowd is an online service which will enable you to create tag clouds, which are very popular these days. You can create tag clouds from a variety of sources, including plain text, files that you have uploaded, and URLs.
Your blog can also be used to gather student opinions and ideas, but creating forms for your blog can often exceed your expertise and take up too much of your time. But, Wufoo makes it easy to create online forms, such as polls, surveys, and invitations.
Owned by Google, LabPixies allows you to expand your blog’s functionality by adding custom widgets to its pages. For example, you can add various Google apps, such as maps, calendar, games, and so on.
BlogRolling, just like its name indicates, is useful for creating blogrolls, which is something you will appreciate as a teacher because it helps you round up all of your students’ blogs in one place.
As you can see, there is so much more to blogging than just writing posts. These helpful tools and services will help you improve the quality of your posts and save precious time. Try them out today!
Author’s Bio: Sophia Anderson is an associate educator, online language tutor and freelance writer. She believes that learning something new every day is a must. Her inspiration comes from reading books and online blog posts that cover a wide range of her interests. Meet her at Facebook or LinkedIn.