The blog is a great tool for documenting life in the classroom. From written reports, to photos, to sharing comments – it’s time to get your creative juices flowing!
This guide gives step-by-step instructions on everything including:
- Customizing your blog
- Writing an article
- Publishing an article
We’ll also cover some frequently asked questions, such as:
We’ve even got an easy-to-collow guide to the blog for your students! Print it here!
1. Customizing your blog
A) Naming and describing your blog
Welcome to the blog! It’s the essential writing tool for all the budding journalists in your classroom; a treasure chest containing all your adventures. Make it unique!
To customize your blog, click on the cogwheel icon at the bottom left corner of your screen to switch to management mode by clicking on the cogwheel at the bottom left of the screen. Then click on “Customization”.
Now it’s time to think of a name for your blog (1), choose an avatar (2) and give the blog a brief description (3). Don’t forget to save the changes (4):
B) Creating categories
Creating a well-organized blog will help you to move from one article to another.
To do so, you can create categories to classify your articles according to their topic.
To create categories, stay on the “Customization” tab (Management mode) and click on “Category management”. Beneylu Jim will invite you to add your first category, follow the guide!
Note: You can also create new categories from the editorial page of an article. To do so, simply type in a name for the new category and hit Enter.
And that’s it! Time to go ahead and make some beautiful categories for your blog!
2. Writing an Article
A) Getting started with writing your article
Now you’ve customised your blog, it’s time to write an article! Begin by clicking on “Write an article”.
This will automatically switch you into management mode and you’ll land on the editorial page of your article!
Write your text into the text box as shown (2). Don’t forget to add a title, too (1).
The toolbar just above the text box is there to help you format your text: you can add bold characters, italic ones, colored ones, change font or font size, import an image from your Media Library (3)… In short, a whole range of things!
You can categorize your article (5), change its publication status from ‘Draft’ to ‘Published’ or ‘Scheduled’ (4), and save your changes (6).
B) Insert or Add images and PDFs to your article
To insert an image, click on the Media Library icon in the toolbar, as shown above (3).
Once in the Media Library, click on your classroom folder (1) and look for a picture to illustrate your text.
Tick its box (do not click on the actual photo, just tick the box underneath it, as shown) (2).
Tip: The picture must be public. If it has a brown padlock on it, tick the picture’s box and click ‘Make selection public‘ at the top of the screen.
Once you’ve found it, select it and click on “Insert this document” at the top of the page (3).
You can even insert a video (.mp4 .flv format) or audio file (.mp3 .ogg .wav)!
C) Attach a document
Want to add a PDF file that pupils will be able to consult?
Once in the Media Library, select your document (this time don’t tick the box beneath it, but rather click on the file itself, as shown) and click on the green “Join this document” button in the top-right corner of the screen.
You can also attach other types of documents, such as image or audio files.
Tip: An inserted document will always appear within your text/article. An attached document will always appear under your article.
Click on “Display” to preview the document you wish to add from the media library before selecting it. You can also download it on your computer.
Your article is now finished and ready to be published!
3. Publishing an article
In the left-hand menu, you are able to select a status for your article: “Draft,” “Finished” or “To be corrected”. To publish it, select the “Published article” status and save.
Don’t want to publish your article quite yet? No problem; you can publish it at a later date by scheduling it.
To schedule the publication of your article, click on “Scheduled article” in the left hand menu.
Now, you can choose your publication date and time, just below!
If you are working in collaboration with another class or if your classroom is divided into several groups, you will have different blogs. You can choose to publish articles you write in one of them or in several of them instantly, simply by ticking their name on the list.
By the way, you can choose whether or not to allow comments for an article; just tick “Allow comments”, and that’s all there is to it!
Pupils and their parents now will now be able to leave a comment to thank the author of the article!
The publication of your article is now imminent. Your last mission is to save it, and switch to consultation mode to have a preview before you publish it by clicking on the blue arrow icon at the left bottom of your screen.
4. Frequently asked questions
1. How do pupils and parents use the blog?
If you choose to allow pupils access to the blog, they too can channel their inner journalist and write articles.
But don’t worry, you remain in charge when it comes to publication.
When a pupil writes an article, they can put it in their drafts or submit it to you for moderation:
If they decide to save their article as a draft, you can take a sneaky peek by clicking on the “Drafts”category!
Once the article is finished and submitted for moderation, the student can no longer edit it. Then it’s up to the teacher to moderate the article.
To supervise your pupils’ articles, switch to management mode. Those ready for moderation can be found in the “Finished articles” category.
Ready to publish the student’s article? Click on “Edit article” at the top of the screen, and then change its status by ticking “Published Article”, and – voilà! – it’ll be published!
However, if you think that an article needs editing, select the “To be corrected” status, two options below ‘Published article’.
Your pupil will be able to edit their article before submitting it again. A message will show up on his screen to point out that his article isn’t ready yet.
What about parents? They are part of the blog too! They don’t have any access to the management mode but can leave comments, just like pupils.
2. How can I moderate comments?
You can moderate comments before they appear on the blog.
To do so, switch to management mode and click on the “Comments” tab.
On this page, make sure that the “Comment moderation” signal is green.
Comments are organized in 3 categories :
- Comments being moderated: those that you need to read before any publication,
- Published comments: those comments that you have been authorised, and
- Declined comments: those you did not publish after moderation.
A green light means the moderation is active.
Note: Declined comments are not deleted. They are stocked in the “Declined comments” category. By clicking on it, you can edit them, moderate them again or validate them.
3. How can I edit or delete an article?
Want to go back and add a picture to one of your existing articles? Edit it! In management mode, click on your article. From there you can ‘Edit article’ (1), and you can also delete it (2).
4. Help! An article is stuck at the top of the blog!
If one of your articles remains at the top of your blog, it is probably because it has been pinned. To detach it, switch to management mode and click on the button as shown below:
Then, click on “Remove article” at the top of the page. The article will go back to its place on the blog according to its date of publication. Phew!
5. How can I keep a record of my blog?
You can export your blog as a PDF file! To do so, switch to management mode and click on “Export Blog as PDF”.
You’ll then be able to export all of your articles or particular categories. The last thing you need to do is to click on “Export blog as PDF”. Done !
If an error message appears while exporting your blog, it is probably because it is too large. In that case, choose to export it one category after the other.
Now you have all you need to create your own class blog, have fun! Next, why not have a look at the Media Library, too, where you can store all the documents you need for your articles!
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