Last week I had an opportunity to teach the ​​​​​​​Creative Blogging Summer Bootcamp for Students who are attending the Delaware Technical Community College Youth Program in Dover as part of the STEM program.

​​​​​​​The Creative Blogging session was from 9:00 am to noon, for five days and I covered as much as I could during that time, however, the students quickly picked up on everything.

Creative Blogging for Students

The course description stated that this program was designed with the intentions of preparing students for successful opportunities in developing their own blog, whether it was about fashion, sports, current events or any other topics.

The age group was 9 to 12 year olds, 6th, 7th and 8th graders; and there was a mixture of boys and girls; 4 boys and 3 girls as well as an assistant who is a student currently enrolled at Delaware Technical Community College.

Creative Blogging Bootcamp Attendees

I’m pretty sure that the students had no idea what their parents signed them up for; but given the various options for summer camp I guess most of them decided to choose the Creative Blogging class because it would be easy.

Creative Blogging Boot Camp

The curriculum stated that they would be introduced to the basic skills and concepts necessary to discover the ins and outs of creating and customizing their own blog. The camp is based on a developmentally appropriate plan which results in students acquiring specific skills to use in activities.

As a result of this camp students should be able to understand and demonstrate various skills and show understanding in the basic blogging concepts, create original posts, add titles, taglines or design templates.

​​​​​​​They learned the general components of blogging and promotion of the blog via emails or word of mouth. I didn’t include using social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat or Instagram as a way to promote their blogs as none of them had an account on any of these social networking sites. ​​​​​​​

Most of you who have been following me for while know that I started teaching Basic Blogging Workshops at various Public Libraries in 2012, then moved on to became an Adjunct Instructor at Delaware Technical Community College in 2017.

​​​​​​​This was, however, my first time teaching Middle School students basic blogging skills, and if my prayers are answered – it won’t be my last!

Back in the classroom again!

The methods of instruction was hands-on student practice and videos which really excited them. Upon completion of the camp students would:
​​​​​​​1. Learn how to write, think and create a blog
​​​​​​​2. Develop skills of customizing a blog
​​​​​​​3. Build blog posts and titles
​​​​​​​4. Learn the importance of teamwork and influence

On the 1st day we talked about what a blog was; the basics of blogging and why so many people have chosen to blog their brand. I asked them to brainstorm 5 topics, and then narrow the niche to choose only one.

Two of the guys chose sports, Soccer and Basketball respectively, another chose Video Gaming and one chose Crystals, because he wanted to write about their healing powers and even named his blog Crystal Mania.

The girl’s topics ranged from all things Disney to being Invisible and the culture of China. Each had an opportunity to create their own domain name, choose a theme and then I asked them to write down a few topics that they would be posting based on their individual interests.

Day 2 they began to build their About Me page which is the foundation of the blog. It is their introduction to the blogosphere, it’s what’s going to bring readers to their blog and perhaps even keep them coming back for more. People want to know who you are what they can expect from your blog so the About Me page is important.

An About Me page provides a general overview of you the blogger, your interests, the topic of your blog and it helps readers decide if they want to follow you as you continue along your blogging journey.

The About Me page is an informal yet personal bio and I asked each of them to write at least a 150 words. Suggestions of what they could write ranged from where they were born, school they attended, sports they enjoyed, musical instruments they played or hobbies they had. I just wanted them to have fun with it.

To further assist them in creating their own, I read About Me pages from other student blogs as recommended by Edublogs, the platform that we used. They also had an opportunity to read each other’s About Me pages which encouraged relationship building in the classroom and it was also as an introduction to building relationships and engagement with a blog.

On Day 3 they created their first long blog post and after everyone had completed theirs we read each of them aloud. We talked about the Dashboard, Customizing Themes; adding images using Free Stock photo sites; creating an Avatar, sentence structure and breaking up paragraphs.

This camp session was not advertised as an English or Writing class so I allowed them to freestyle write and we made grammatical corrections later.

We talked about the importance of adding images, breaking up paragraphs and they really enjoyed embedding YouTube videos.

​​​​​​​Edublogs is a great platform for teaching students how to blog because once you create the Educator blog you can add in as many student blogs that you wish and have full control over them all using one email address.
Their blog titles and themes were catchy, the images they chose were awesome with each having their own personality and traits which made it fun for everyone.

We read each other’s blog posts, made comments and replies which was also good for building relationships and engaging others.  None of the students knew each other before the Creative Blogging 
Bootcamp but you wouldn’t have known it based upon the bonds they formed.

Creative Blogging bootcamp
My assistant, Nikki

We talked about adding Categories, Tags and Featured images which obviously helps in search engine optimization.

They learned the basics of blogging quickly and all but one said they would probably continue with their blog.

I had such a great week that now I want to “take the show on the road”. I will be putting together a proposal to teach Creative Blogging to Students and present it to various school districts throughout the state!

Day 4, we covered the 3-C’s; the 3-P’s and the ABCs of blogging and I asked them to be consistent at least once a week with their posts during the summer or when they return to school in the Fall. Suggesting that they continue following, commenting and sharing each other’s blogs and to tell their parents as well.

​​​​​​​Edublogs site was down for maintenance so we couldn’t connect, instead they played an online game collectively, again great for team building and fostering relationships.

On Day 5 we wrapped it up and put a bow on it with a video about what not to share online, yes this video showed the consequences of oversharing in a funny way, but it also emphasised that oversharing is not a laughing matter.

We talked a little bit more about the purpose of blogging and why it’s good to have a free style outlet to share thoughts as we all need a way to “clear our heads” in a positive way. They also created a special “Father’s Day post”

I believe the week long Creative Blogging Summer BootCamp for Students was well worth it because they walked away with a greater understanding of what a blog is and most of them agreed that they will continue. But even if they don’t at least they will know how to create a blog and the next time they hear the term blog or blogger they can say, “Hey I’m a Blogger too!”

Let’s Chat > Would you like your kids or grand kids to start a blog?

15 thoughts on “Creative Blogging Summer BootCamp for Students

    1. Yes, and it’s also a way for them to clear their heads which could leave to negative thoughts and behaviors if it builds up and is not released in a positive way.

  1. Sounds like a great camp for the kids and great for you. You certainly will find continued success with this course, Hi-School and why not community college and senior centers? After watching your video of you teaching I know you will be terrific.

I want to know what you think, please leave a comment and share with your circle.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.