My 4th year students have recently completed the first writing task in the IEP course pilot project. I thought I’d post a quick update on the process using screenshots to illustrate how the course is being run. We’re using a free version of WordPress which has certain limitations. For example it’s hard to manage different cohorts of students, but there are many more advantages, which I’ll write about in another post.
My students will keep writing for their portfolios using the course website, which I’ll keep updating and refining based on our experiences. The idea is that by the end of the year we’ll have figured out how to use the site most effectively for students to work through the course for the project.
Hi everyone. For those of you who are using WordPress Reader to follow the posts of other participants, I thought I’d annotate the Reader interface to highlight the components that you might find useful when it comes to interacting with other course participants. Note that Commenting on their posts is one way that you can engage with them, but that Liking and Reblogging are also good.
Obviously if you’re using Feedly, Netvibes or any other RSS reader then this post doesn’t apply to you. I recommend using the WordPress Reader because you’ll be able to do your reading and writing all in one place.
I came across this post by Michael Sean Gallagher, Creating elearning: Using plugins in WordPress, which touches on the idea that we should be paying more attention to the tools we use in online spaces. When Michael posted the link above on his blog, and then shared it to Google+, I commented on it. I realised that my comment would be lost if the service ever went way. Because of that, I’ve moved it here, and associated it with the original blog post.
I’m trying to figure out ways to fold my online activity back into my blog but I haven’t yet found a workflow process that is simple. I’ll update this idea as I spend more time refining the process and experimenting with new tools. For now, I’ll just have to do it manually.
Anyway, here’s my comment on Michael’s post, which I’ve just copied from Google+:
Nice summary of using an open platform like WordPress to create an online learning space. I have similar reservations as the author, especially around using Google’s services, since they shut down Reader. It was the first time I lost a service that I use often and that is deeply integrated into my learning network.
As much as I love using Google+ and Drive, I’m also trying to figure out how to keep add much of my online activity in a space that I control. We use Drive in my department, with about 120 students creating course content collaboratively but at least Drive allows me to export all of those notes in a useful format. Even if Google+ allows me to export my data as an XML file, what can I do with it?
We also use a WordPress / Buddypress combination as a closed social network, which also works well. Again, the reasoning behind this choice was the control that we (and students) have over the data that is generated through activity in the network. I think that as learning becomes more distributed, we should be paying more attention to the code that underlies the platforms we choose.