Methods I have used to increase traffic to my blog:
I have taken several steps to increase traffic to my blog. The items in red are those that I feel have been most successful, while those with an asterisk are those that are recent methods based on recommendations from others in the course.
- Try to make the blog short enough that it doesn’t require too much of one’s time to read, while still informative and interesting
- Use tags that best describe the post, and that will attract others from a Google Search. Check to see if it works!
- Use Twitter to Tweet new posts in hopes that Twitter PLN will visit the site.*
- I chose to rely more on twitter because I can see what others are tweeting, and I can see when/if my tweet about my blog is retweeted or mentioned.
- Post links to Twitter on the blog
- Send emails to friends, colleagues and others whom you feel my find the blog interesting and/or relevant*
- I chose to notify friends and colleagues because many of them are not familiar with the extent that technology such as the iPod Touch can be used in the classroom. I want them to see some of my ideas, how much students enjoy using the iPods and hopefully get excited about using more technology in the classroom. Then, we can share ideas and all become better teachers by having more resources.
- Use Ping-o-matic to send “ping” alerts to search engines that the blog has been updated. Be sure to return to the Ping-o-Matic site each time the blog is updated to send the “ping”.
- I had already signed up for Ping-o-matic, but I didn’t realize I had to return to the site each time I updated my blog. I am interested in seeing how much site growth I have now that I am using the program correctly. *
- Visit other blogs and leave comments referencing your own blog, example Classroom2.0
- Use RSS feeds to allow others to get notification of your new posts, and to read your favorite posts without searching.*
- I like having my own RSS feed reader that allows me to quickly keep up with my preferred blogs about education and technology integration. What I do not like is that some sites, such as my own, don’t allow you to use Bloglines. Some sites allow you to subscribe using Google Friends or save your RSS feed to a file on your internet server. I don’t like this as much, because I would like to have all my feeds in the same location. I am sure if I spend a lot of time looking for the process I may be able to convert the RSS to include Bloglines, so hopefully I will have time to do that in the near future.
Usefullness of blogging as an educator
I believe this has been a very useful project for an educator. Initially I was very concerned about blogging, because I had fears of what others would think about my blog, and I was concerned that I may write something that would be frowned upon by my school system. Once I decided to only write about problem-solving with regards to apps, rather than school-system issues, I felt more comfortable. I also believe that the blogs I write can be helpful to someone new with using iPod touches in the classroom, specifically the middle school math classroom.
What I have found most beneficial about the project are building my PLN and documenting what works and what doesn’t work for my own journal. This will help me improve as a teacher using technology, and help me problem-solve while using the technology. This is definitely a project that has allowed me to apply its use to my needs. I have built a website to organize thoughts, lesson plans, resources, and videos. It also allows me to tie that site into my blog offering me the possibility of more users as my website grows. (It is still in the building phase, although I do plan to continue this endeavor). I have come to feel more comfortable with Twitter, (I am following many- everchanging as I read the posts, and have over 100 following me). Through Twitter I have learned of technology PLNs that Tweet, sites they have, and conferences. For example, someone recently Tweeted me asking if I planned to attend the edcamp in Charlottesville this summer. I have never heard of it, or SlidetoLearn and others that I may now consider in the future. I am thankful for the opportunity to learn of all these new technology resources and know that I will continue to grow in my ability to integrate technology more effectively into my classroom. My goal for next year is to plan and carry-out an augmented reality lesson in my math classroom. I know this is something middle school students would enjoy.