Virtual School Meanderings

July 21, 2010

Day 2 – 7 Days To A Better EduBlog

Due to the Guest Blogger Entry on Online Education Takes Off In The UK yesterday, I was not able to post this task until first thing the morning (note that the Day 3 task will be posted this evening). Anyway, Stephanie has posted the second task in her 7 Days to a Better EduBlog mini-course.  It is:

7 Days – Day 2: List Posts

The basic task was to “create a list post on a topic relevant to your blog audience.”  In her actual entry, she asked us to create a list post for today.  Since I have two general ones already in the queue for later today, I wanted to reflect on this task instead.

In her entry 7 Days – Day 2: List Posts, Stephanie provided the following pieces of advice for list posts:

  • Keep your lists focused on one topic
  • Break longer lists into “chunks” of sub-topics (for example, a list of “Top 50 Web 2.0 Tools for Teachers” might be sub-divided by tool type)
  • Order lists logically (in a hierarchy, alphabetical, timeline, etc.)
  • Invite readers/learners to add to the list (What else would you add to this list?)
  • Keep list items short — use either short phrases or just a few sentences for each item
  • If your list is focused on items that are external to your blog (tools, websites, people, other blogs, etc.), be sure to include hyperlinks to those external items in your list
  • Write eye-catching headlines, but use “hype” words sparingly

As I think about this blog, I would suggest that I have two types of list posts: general list entries and specific list entries.

General List Posts

This is probably the more common of the two kinds of list posts that I have on this blog.  I define a general list post as one that appears on a regular or semi-regular basis and is thematically tied together, but not necessarily that focused.  The “Blogging About Virtual Schools” and Blogging About Generational Differences” entries that will appear later today are good examples of these general list entries (see the May editions here and here, respectively).  In fact, I have a lot of general list posts that appear on a monthly basis.  For example, here are the June editions of some of those:

And then there are also the other thematic ones that pile up in my Bloglines from time to time.  In many instances I realize that most of the readers of this blog likely subscribe to TADO and Clovis Online School in their own RSS readers.  But I think these entries have gotten to be a habit of mine and I suppose there are some out there who would prefer to get 10+ or 20+ entries in a single post on my blog, as opposed to having to weed through the entries individually in their RSS reader or on someone else’s blog.

Specific List Posts

This one is newer to me.  I define the specific list post as an entry that provides a specific number of items around a thematically related, but very specific topic (and often that aren’t links).  I believe it was something I began after seeing Dangerously Irrelevant post a couple of entries that he entitled “Top # – [some topic here]”.  This gave me the idea to do a monthly Top # entry – although I’ve only done six in the past thirteen months.  Thus far the topics have included:

The funny thing is finding items to include one I decide upon a topic is the easy part, it is coming up with the topic that is the difficult part.  For example, if I know that I want to focus on cyber charter school readings or countries whose K-12 distance education programs haven’t received a lot of ink that I’d like to know more about, crafting the rest of the entry is the easy part…  Which actually brings me to the reflection question that Stephanie asks:

What kinds of lists might be appropriate and relevant to your blog’s audience?

And let me ask my readers…  What topics would you like to see these Top # entries include over the coming months? To get you started, let me suggest:

  • Top # Non-Virtual Schooling Books That Impact Virtual Schooling
  • Top # Virtual School Blogs To Follow
  • Top # Non-Virtual School Blogs to Follow
  • Top # Readings You’d Recommend To Someone New To Virtual Schooling
  • Top # Readings I Assign Graduate Students Interested In Virtual Schooling
  • Top # Readings I Assign Teachers Unfamiliar With Virtual Schooling

What about you?  What topics would you like included?

Note that I have tried to incorporate the use of bullets, bold headings, and bold and italics to highlight text; all as a way to break up text – as suggested in the Day 1 – 7 Days To A Better EduBlog task.


  1. I like this one: Top # Readings I Assign Teachers Unfamiliar With Virtual Schooling

    This is a good one to go with.

    Comment by Michael M. Grant — July 21, 2010 @ 12:13 pm | Reply

  2. Thanks Michael… Any ones that I haven’t mentioned that you’d recommend?

    Comment by mkbnl — July 21, 2010 @ 12:23 pm | Reply

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