Monday, June 22, 2015

5 - 4 - 3 - 2 - 1 Blast Off into the Blogosphere Week 3

Can you believe it?! You've made it to the third and final week of the Blasting into the Blogosphere online course. Hopefully, your blog is up and going and you've made a minimum of five blog posts prior to this week's task, and if you're participating in the course you've also left feedback and comments on other blogs from this course. Comments are always appreciated by the blog owner, as it signals that someone is actually reading your blog. It's also just as important as the blogger to respond to those comments left by your readers! This keeps people coming back to your blog.

As you approach the final week for this course, I hope you will truly discover and fine-tune your niche for your blog. (This was discussed more in week one.) Determining the purpose for your blog and then setting a goal for a minimum number of posts per month, week, etc. will help keep you focused. I encourage you to open your calendar and set "appointments" to make a new blog post each week, bi-weekly, monthly, etc. If you would like for me to send you a Reminder, please join my "Blogging in the Blogosphere" Remind class and I will send out reminders via text message. Hopefully, this will help hold those who truly intend to blog regularly accountable beyond this course!

As far as your blog posts for the final week of this course, here are the topics for each of the required posts this week: 
  • What is your favorite professional book that you have read? Blog about how it has impacted you. Be sure to include a picture of the book cover and a link to the author's website or the book on Amazon for your readers to quickly explore more about the book. 
  • Share one organizational tip or strategy that you use to help you manage the daily tasks in your role as a classroom teacher or administrator. Describe your strategy and include a picture if applicable or to provide your readers with a visual. 
  • What is your plan for your blog beyond this course? Will you maintain your blog as a tool to communicate to students, parents, and/or other educators? How often do you plan to post on your blog? If you don't plan to continue with your blog beyond this course, explain why (include what you learned and didn't learn that has impacted your decision to stop blogging). If you do plan to continue, make a plan and set some goals. Research shows that by writing your goals down and sharing those goals with others,  you are more likely to succeed at achieving and following through with your goals. Don't forget to join my "Blogging in the Blogosphere" Remind class and I will send out reminders via text message. 
  • Bonus blog post: write a post about a topic of your choice. Whatever you decide to write about should inspire, humor, or provide a glimpse of empathy for your readers to connect with your through your blog. 
Your final tasks for this course are to leave a comment on two different blogs from the list of Course Participants and to leave a comment below here on my blog post to reflect on the following question: On a scale of one to five, 1 being I only gained flex PD credit hours and 5 being I gained lots of inspiration and ideas to continue blogging beyond this course, how would you rate your "Blasting into the Blogosphere" course experience? Provide a brief reason to support your rating and any other feedback or thoughts you'd like to share about your experience. 

NOTE: Throughout this course, I wanted the focus to be more on your blog's content and your interaction with other bloggers and less about the "how-to." However, I do plan to post some blogging how-to video tutorials in the future here on my blog. As I post these, I will share them via my "Blogging in the Blogosphere" Remind class if you choose to subscribe. 


  1. April I really enjoyed learning more about blogging. I feel like this as helped me tremendously with getting started. I think it was very overwhelming to me and this has helped me learn how to maintain a blog. This is something I hope to keep up professionally and personally for my family. I would rate this experience as a 4 and really that is my fault for being out of town and missing out on the first weeks conversations. I would like to learn more about how to make my blog more appealing to the eye but I think that is something I need to play around with. I have enjoyed looking at blogs from different perspectives (teacher, parent, administrator, counselor) and I truly see the value for all involved. Thanks for your support through this course!

  2. I'm feeling a little more confident than when I started this process, and that alone means that I've learned a few things! I would give this experience a strong 4. I know that it can't be a 5 because there is still much for me to learn, but I definitely feel like continuing this blog is very doable. I look forward to learning how to make my blog even better. Thank you so much for this flexible opportunity. It really was the perfect fit for me!

  3. April, thanks for the challenges and support as I learn how to blog effectively. I have tried blogging before and feel much more capable this time. I think having weekly goals was the push I needed to stay the course. I will continue to blog - eventually adding tabs or pages to organize and my blog into specific areas of interest. I also would give the course a 4- definitely worth my time! Thanks again.~Cynthia

  4. I rate this course 5 Stars!! Blogging is something that I was interested in to begin with, however, I came in with a rather limited view of how I would use blogging. By going through the assignments, I have really seen the value of blogging professionally. Summer is the ideal time to spend extra time trolling other educator's websites to pick up wonderful ideas!

    I realized something else that was somewhat surprising during this process. Even though I am a teacher of writing, my own writing skills have become a bit rusty. Providing feedback to my students has made me a good editor, however, I have let my own writing become a bit stale so being forced to write somewhat quickly on a more regular basis will hopefully bring my writing up to snuff!

    On a different note, I love being able to take classes online. I have been able to read the assignments and then have time to really reflect before I respond. Of course, a bit of procrastination was involved, but I did appreciate being on a more flexible schedule.

    Thanks for a great experience!

    1. Dawn I agree that online learning has been a great experience....especially for traveling and having little's in the home. I allows for more flexibility!

  5. April, Thank you so much for hosting! I loved this class! It motivated me to begin & keep an educational blog going!! I'm so excited to begin my new blogging journey! It also helped me get motivated to update my personal blog! I give this class 5 Stars!! I enjoyed the exposure I got from exploring new blogs & articles that you referenced! I'm excited about following & collaborating with fellow Aledo educators on our new blogging journey!!

  6. I would rate the course as a 5, as it accomplished everything I was hoping that it would. I wanted to be exposed to different ideas and by practicing blogging, it encouraged and built confidence that this is something I could do without it being a big burden. By providing this course on-line, it also gave me the flexibility I needed to focus on this class at times that were good for me, which I needed with two elementary-age children at home with me during the summer. Thank you!

  7. I am so glad this class was offered during the summer. It has been nice to work on the assignments from my hotel room, living room and porch! I have enjoyed reading everyone else's blogs and learning along with them. Some of the professional blogs I have read online are so polished that I was a bit intimidated. This class has given me the jump start I needed to try blogging. I am looking forward to continuing this fall.

  8. April, you exceeded my expectations yet again. I would give this course a 5+. I had no idea that setting up a blog would be as easy as you made it, and I was caught quite off guard when I realized that I actually enjoyed and looked forward to your assignments each week! Great work! Thank you so much for all you do for the teachers and students of Aledo ISD!!

  9. Um.. I would give the course a 10!!! I extended the course a bit longer than was scheduled but I believe that I have gained valuable knowledge, insight and inspiration to become the blogger I always wanted to be!

    Riley, you created an online culture for this class that made me feel connected with others going through the same process, safe to explore and encouraged to experiment with the many ideas that you provided for us to blog about.

    I am still perfecting my last few posts but I would love your feedback on what I have so far and hopefully my future posts. Thanks again for all you do!