Yes, the bloggers on Stories from School: Policy Meets Practice are wonderful. Yes, the posts are a great mix of classroom practice and state policy. But you want to get more? Excellent. Are you aware of common blog features? Read on to get the most from Stories from School.
Most blogs will have features similar to these. Once you are used to the features, you can use them to your advantage in getting the most out of your blog reading time. I have highlighted some of these features. Additionally, clicking on any image will create a new window with a larger version of the image, another great feature in blogs.
(A) My favorite feature of any blog: the RSS/email subscription. This feature allows you to add Stories from School to your RSS reader, or, what I do, sign up to have the posts sent to your email box. Whichever way you choose, you win. You stay connected with the posts and become a member of the reading community. Why not sign up today?
Also located in this area is the “ABOUT” feature which connects you to information about the Stories from School blog as well as information about CSTP, the organization that oversees the blog.
(B) This spot contains the PAGES of each of the six bloggers. One of the unique aspects of Stories from School is that it is a community blog, maintained by six NBCT teachers in various subject areas, and with various experiences, but all Washington state teachers. What this does is give you a greater breadth of teacher voice. The pages are where you can go to find information on each of the six bloggers.
(C) This header with logo, like most blogs, is the “back button” and no matter how many levels you are into the blog, clicking this will bring you back to the main page of the blog.
(D) RECENT POSTS: a quick list of the most recent posts by title so you can skim and find ones that interest you at the moment.
(E) CATEGORIES is another name for “tags”. All of the blog postings fit into one or more of these categories (tags). If you have a particular area of interest, click that category and all posts in that area will come up. Narrow your searching, increase your reading.
(F) ARCHIVES is where you go to find past posts. If you are new to Stories from School and you want to go through and get an idea of the blog’s history and style, you can. See what was posted in October by clicking October.
(G) This section of the window contains the blog post, whose own unique features are described next.
(1) This is the total sum information bar. You can see who wrote the post (Trav!s); when it was posted (September 25, 2008); you can see the categories (Assessment, Education Policy, Life in the Classroom); the permalink in case you want to link directly to the post, rather than the blog as a whole; how many comments the post has (17…add yours); and the TrackBacks (0). Click on the information that is of interest. For example, go to comments by clicking [comments]. Go to other posts on Assessment by clicking [Assessment]
(2) You can subscribe to this post/blog or get a quick search of related topics from the internet.
(3) The blog post. Typically, for space issues and visual appeal, only a portion of the blog is shown–a hook if you will. Then you can read the rest of the post by clicking the “Continue reading”.
(4) The title. You can also click this to get the FULL TEXT or a permalink.
(5) An image. Something to catch your eye, related to the post topic. Often a unique way of summing up the post with an image as in the case of this post on grades.
Subscribe to our blog with the [Subscribe in a Reader] button, or save yourself some time and do it now; click this link to subscribe to Stories from School. Choose to get the posts in your email box or through your RSS reader of choice.
[ABOUT] button will take you to information about CSTP, the great organization working to strengthen Washington’s education system.