The Critical Classroom establishes new outposts

The Critical Classroom has been running for a few years now and it’s a bit simplistic to describe it simply as a blog (something I frequently do – sadly). What I’m trying to do is to create a space where teachers can find information, ideas and resources for embedding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives into their classroom practice. This bigger picture is about developing content, some of which our audience can consume freely and some they can purchase.

Part of the job of establishing The Critical Classroom is establishing our outposts in order to drive traffic back to the main blog site. And today, I’m happy to announce that I’ve moved one step closer by creating a Google Plus brand page, on top of our existing Facebook page and Twitter account.

One of the reasons it has taken me so long to create outposts is my reluctance to start something that I wouldn’t be able to finish or maintain. My on-going challenge is to continue to develop original and quality content and not spend disproportionate amounts of time working at the outposts (this is a danger zone for me).

A few of the tools that I’ve used that you might find useful include:

Networked Blogs – this enables me to syndicate my blog posts straight to Facebook and Twitter. I don’t have to manually post – it does it for me. The drawback of Networked Blogs is that if your audience subscribes to a number of different blogs using this application, they can get bunched together as Facebook automatically groups them. Also, Networked blogs doesn’t feed to Google Plus (yet). I’ll be super grateful when they do.

GPlusPic – there are ways of creating the banner style images in PhotoShop. Given that I don’t know how to use PhotoShop, GPlusPic is a must have tool for creating a banner for you Google Plus Brand Page.

An Extras blog – I think one of the reasons I post so infrequently on the main blog is that I want to create articles that are evergreen (that won’t date). The problem of course is that where do I put all the other great content I want to share? I decided to create another blog with a similar look and feel to the main one, but I’ve called it The Critical Classroom Extras (like the Extras/Bonus section of a DVD you buy). This means I still control the space, but I can schedule blogposts as far ahead as I like and have them automatically syndicated using Networked Blogs.

The next outpost I want to establish is video. But that will take a lot of thinking and preparation.

Have you seen our outposts yet? What do you reckon? What outposts have you created or are hoping to create? What tools do you use?

Cheers, Leesa

Update: May 2014 I’m going back and having a look at some of my old posts, fixing them up and updating them. I’m going to leave this post as is despite the fact that I use NONE of the tools/strategies I’ve suggested. I think it’s interesting, that tools are fleeting and change is inevitable.