Nov 30
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When is a Blog not a Blog?

In our new school websites, it’s important to put the right kind of information in the right place, and to do it consistently so that readers always know where to find it (no matter which school site they’re looking at). Your new school website has distinct places for news, events, and a blog: how can you decide which of these to use in any given situation?

In the past, some schools, principals, and teachers have used a blog to communicate a wide variety of information, including school news, events, and reminders, as well as topics more closely related to the blogger. A blog is a place to share your thoughts and ideas, but we have often called them all “blogs” because they’re in a blog format. That’s a bit like calling something a car just because it’s been kept in your garage. Sitting in a garage doesn’t mean that your dog is a car, and being posted on a blog site doesn’t mean that your announcements are blogs. To get it right, we need to focus on what it is, not where it’s been kept.  

News: “we’d like you to know…”

News should go into the News Centre page, and most of it should also be displayed (temporarily) on the news sections on the home page (“Spotlight” for newer or higher-profile news, “More News” for older or lower-profile items). This includes announcements about activities at the school, reminders about policy, highlighting upcoming events or reporting on special events that have just happened. News has the most prominent place on the home page, and so should showcase your most important or most time-sensitive information.

Calendar: “be ready for…” 

Upcoming events should go into the Calendar (Dates to Remember), and will show up on the calendar page as well as the Dates to Remember section of the home page. This can include everything from non-instructional days to athletics events, exams, or parent-teacher conferences. You can’t add events in the past – if you want to talk about an event that’s already taken place (like how the drama performance last night was a huge success) you can create a news story, instead.

Blog: “think about…”   

More personal opinions or messages from school leaders should go into the Principal’s Message blog. This is the right place for updates on professional development your teachers are engaged in, and how that’s informing your teaching practice, or how your school’s focus on the environment this year is impacting what you do with waste and recyclables from lunchtimes, or why you’re emphasizing the value of respect this month and what that looks like at your school. Usually, your blog should have content that’s still relevant and engaging even months after it’s posted. ​

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