How to Post When You’re Working the Most

A version of this post was originally published last week on my department’s blog. Visit the Cobb County School District’s Digital and Multimedia Department’s blog here to read the original.

I know from personal experience that it is easy to get sidetracked and have life and work-life happenings throw your posting schedule off track. (In fact, this is something I am working to rectify right now.)  With this fact of professional life in mind, below are some tips I have learned from personal experience that will help you (and me) keep our online presences active, even when the going gets busy.

  • Tip #1: Schedule blog posts in advance.
    • Time can, at times, seem like a scarce resource.  When you do have more free time on hand, why not take a moment to pre-write your blog posts?  Some of the most popular blogging platforms offer this feature.  Below are instructions on how you can schedule posts on your chosen platform.
    • Your pre-scheduled blog posts could include student resources for upcoming lessons, PowerPoint notes, test notifications, etc.
  • Tip #2: Jot down blog post ideas directly into blog.
    • Most blogging platforms have their own mobile apps.  Each time a post idea comes to mind, you can jot your ideas down into a new post and save it through the blogging app.  If this gives you some reservations, you can use your phone or tablet’s note-taking app instead or you can email your blog post ideas to yourself.  Whatever method you choose, keeping your notes in a safe place that you can easily access at a later time, will keep you from feeling the pains of writer’s block.
  • Tip #3: Schedule social media (Twitter/Instagram/Facebook) posts in advance.
    • If most of your focus is on other social media avenues such as Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, you can use a few resources to help you schedule posts in advance.  Some resources we found are below:
    • If you opt to use Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook to communicate with students, parents, or your school community, you can pre-schedule updates on school or class, notices, and advertise upcoming events.  Remember, there is nothing wrong with posting advertisements for events more than once.
  • Tip #4: Use an app to “collect” interesting links.
    • You can collect links and organize them with tags by using something like Pocket. With it’s Chrome extension (a little button you can have pop up on your Chrome browser), plus its app, and website, you can save interesting links wherever you are. Then you can revisit your links and look through them according to the tags you included.  Use these to provide support or inspiration for your blog posts or as items to be retweeted or shared on Facebook.
    • Resources such as Flipboard allow for you to create your own “magazine” which is a collection of articles from a variety of sources.  You can organize the magazines by theme, content, audience, and can share them publicly or keep them private.
    • Other resources such as RebelMouse collect content based on topic or hashtag and put them in one stream.  This stream can be embedded into a website and can pull content from Twitter as well as Instagram.  Scoop.It on the other hand, works similarly, however it serves more as a newsfeed for content around a topic.  You can then push this content out to your desired social media channels such as Twitter and Facebook.
  • Tip #5: Automate your online tasks as often as possible.
    • IFTT works a lot like the personal assistant many of us could use (especially in Education!).  Once you sign in online or via their iOS or Android app and grant it access to your social media accounts, you can create what they call “recipes.”  If you do something or some action occurs, such as a new Twitter direct message coming your way, IFTT knows that you want it to follow up with another action, such as sending that direct message to you in email.  Some other recipes include “if I post an image to Instagram, then save a copy of it in Dropbox” or if I receive a comment on my blog, then send it to me in email.”

These are tips for you to use and they are also serving as a reminder to myself.  Do let me know if you have additional tips to share or you just want to reach out to say hello!

Until next time,

Ms. W.

Web Resources to Know (GoodReads)

I hope you all are enjoying your break (even you, parents) and are getting some much-needed rest!

In between a conference and a couple of workshops, I have been working to test out new web-based resources that will make ELA/Reading more interactive within my classroom next year.  Over the next few weeks, I will be publishing posts highlighting some of the resources I have come to know that will be of benefit to you as students, parents, and other educators.  Today’s focus is GoodReads.

GoodReads:  This is a social networking site centered around books.  Connect with your classmates, teachers, and other friends by ranking books you have read and leaving reviews for these books.  You can comment on the reviews of others, but what I love the most is that after you input 20 book rankings (by highlighting stars ranging from 1-5 stars to show how much you liked the books), GoodReads will start suggesting books you may like.

Once you sign up on GoodReads, you can even link your account with your Twitter account so you can let others know what you read and liked, what you didn’t like, what you are in the process of reading, and what you want to read next.  Of course, I welcome you to connect with me.  As I am sure you have guessed, my username is MsWillipedia.

Stay tuned for the next installment of Web Resources to Know!

-Ms. W.

Extra Credit Opportunities

Lately I have been asked whether I will be providing any extra credit opportunities.  The answer is “yes” and “no”.  Any extra credit opportunities I present will either be here online on the blog, or via Twitter, or the will be presented in class in conjunction with an existing assignment.  For example, today’s quiz featured an opportunity for students to gain as much as 10 bonus points on their timed writing if they added additional examples of DRAPES.

My goal is to assist my students in completing their work to their fullest capabilities which is why I don’t prefer to offer extra credit in the form of additional work.  Please continue to use this blog as a means to assist you in supporting your student. Of course I am always glad to clarify any questions that may arise.