I share my classroom with another teacher. We co-teach our lessons together all day. This is the second year we have been together, so I felt comfortable asking for her opinion of my current blog.
- It’s too long, I never read that much!
- Do you have bullet points?
- You should have subheadings.
- Write a summary. It would help readers.
She had a point. There was a lot of text which I tried to break up with pictures and videos, but the format still felt overwhelming. Which is funny because I am not known to be verbose in my communication. This got me thinking about how I could show my blog in a more visually appealing way. Should I shorten how much I write? Is there a layout I can use that is less text heavy? Or a way I can shorten how much is shown for each post?
A title is something I have been struggling to come up with since I created this blog. I pride myself on creative and catchy post titles, most of the time at least. For some reason I have been blocked when it come to the title of the blog. Maybe it is the pressure. I need one short saying that encompasses my journey through COETAIL and onward. When it came time to change the title I sat down and brainstormed many ideas with varying degrees of success, some sounded like a middle school dance group (Tech Infusion), others were more self-help (One Teacher’s Journey), while others were a bit more cliche, “21st Century Classroom.”
For the background photo of the applications, I like to use my own photographs and often will use one that I have a connection to. My blog had a photo of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco because that is my home base now. On Twitter, I have a photo of the Forbidden City because I live in China, and it will change when I move to a different place. I like to do this as it is my way to connect my professional life with my personal in a subtle way. Unfortunately, I have to sacrifice my background photo for the sake of a much more visually appealing layout.
I knew I wanted to change the the look of my blog even before this task. I just didn’t know where to start or what would be the best way to make simple yet affective changes. I went the easy way and started trying new themes. I am pretty sure I tried each layout available on WordPress, some even more than once. I finally found one that I liked, especially because it shortened the posts by only showing the beginning of each post. Before this, I chose a different design that I fiddled with and let sit for a few days. When I looked at it again, I had a fresh perspective. Instead of seeing something unique and different, I saw a website with a design straight from 1995. So back to the templates I went. I finally found the current layout, which is clean and simple. However, converting the website caused me a minor heart attack when, after publishing, none of the videos, pictures or other media showed up on the blog. There were simply large blank spaces. Fortunately, technology sometimes works itself out without human meddling. The following day, all the media was displaying and hyperlink were functioning.
What I want is for my blog to allow the readers to quickly find posts that interest them without have to look through countless paragraphs and pictures. Hopefully, I have accomplished this with the changes I have made. With regard to my previously uninspired title, I knew what I wanted but couldn’t quite pin it down. Then I saw it, the perfect word: brainwave. I am proud to unveil the new and improved: “Brian’s Brainwave.”