A Teacher’s Guide to Choosing Interesting Blog Topics for Students
The typical millennial student is easily distracted online, and as a teacher, you want to write something that competes effectively with other exciting activities online.
While trying to pick a ‘cool’ topic, it is important to keep it educative as well, because that is the purpose of the blog post after all. The trick is to find a midpoint between the two qualities. Of course, not every student thinks this way, as there are some who will always engage no matter the topic.
Bernard from Royal Pavilion says your educational blog post should appeal to all audiences, not just some.
This is a short guide to help you choose something interesting.
- Make your post relevant
Consider a trending topic that has got everybody talking. Remember that black and gold dress or is it black and blue? We’ll probably never know. For such topics you can wing an interesting angle, perhaps on deep thoughts or self-reflection. Discuss how perception is varied and why people have differing views. You can take it a notch higher and talk about the role it plays in life in general. Topics like this make for interesting discussions at class social experiments.
- Discuss a recent field trip
Students are usually excited about any opportunity for outdoor learning. It takes away the monotony of the four-walled classroom. Why not transfer this association to your blog? If you have recently had a field trip, identify the learning points during the event and put them up on your class blog for reflection and further learning.
You could even make it more interesting by including pictures you took at the excursion. If it was a trip to a local pond, to study aquatic life or other biological fauna, insert clear images of each animal identified. Remember it’s all about creativity, so make it as interesting as you can for them to engage.
- Consider Listicles or Photo-posts
Buzzfeed is successful because it takes advantage of the fact that internet readers are impatient, and focuses on listicles/photo-posts (listed articles with more of images). While this shouldn’t be encouraged (too much) for learning blogs, it doesn’t hurt to borrow the style once in a while.
Start with the usual “10 ways to…” Listicles are interesting because they go straight to the point in one or two sentences. They also make the content structure readable by using shorter paragraphs, bullets and appealing images. I guarantee you will get more engagement when you use this format.
- Use Video Vlogs
Video Vlogs are just as interesting as photo-posts, if not more. Studies have shown that videos have the ability to engage people more online. You can use video to explain a process or experiment in detail, just the same way ecommerce stores use them for product demos.
You will get more dwell time (time spent on your blog) if your videos are interesting and educative. Another advantage of this is the SEO benefits. If your blog has a high dwell time, Google can rank it higher, which means exposing it to a wider group of audiences, not just your school.
- Do Something Out of the Ordinary
You can pique students’ interest by doing something different once in a while. It doesn’t have to be obviously ‘educative’. If you are a literature or creative writing teacher, you could pick a new hit movie and review it on your blog. Nothing excites students more than a topic they can all relate to.
If there was a conflicting ending to a film like ‘Inception’ for example, you could deconstruct it for your students to understand. You could also explain why certain theories in physics prove a movie like Interstellar right (or wrong), but don’t ruin it with too many details. Movies are just one example but you could focus on other disciplines as well.