Give your students a community for life with WordPress

There is a little community out there in the digital world called the ‘blogosphere’ and it’s massive

Online communities are popping up all the time. They tend to be communities focused around specific ideas, disciplines and interests. These communities are generally self organising and abide by mutually established and accepted set of rules and hierarchies. Some of these communities can be found on Twitter, Facebook or other social network sites. However the strongest online communities are generally identified as a collection of blogs maintained by a variety of community members.

As society progressively moves social interaction online, the need to develop core skills and literacies in the area becomes paramount. It’s not that long ago a time where online communities were exclusive to those who knew the intricacies of the inter-web. However, today, the web is on your phone, and with more capacity then a computer of say 8 years of age.  Such widespread internet brings a sense of ultra connectivity. This ultra connectivity means your online communities are with you all the time. Being a member is becoming less of a choice and more of a practice.

the world before social mediaThe communities you follow and contribute to are only a pockets reach away. All traditional office tools like pens, paper, calendars, and more are all digitised and accessible on your phone. The knowledge and skills to wield this contemporary axe is not innate to those who have been raised without them, but it is for tomorrow’s students. Now is the time to move into the digital world in terms of learning and teaching. One way to do this is to increase core skills in today’s students and educators. This includes focusing on commonly used services and platforms seen across the web for learning and teaching. One such platform is WordPress.

WordPress is a blogging platform. It is contributes to a fifth of the web content. In fact, you are reading a WordPress blog RIGHT NOW. This article was written and published using WordPress. There is a small community of people publishing content on this blog for a larger community of educators. This blog is being shared across the global blogosphere using tools and services such as Twitter and Facebook.

At Macquarie it is possible to develop this kind of community practice in your students as part of their learning and assessment. The LTC has installed a WordPress site where staff and students can register their own blog at blog.ltc.mq.edu.au. The service is here for anyone at Macquarie. Leave a comment if this kind of thing interests you, or if you’d like to attend a workshop about how to use WordPress as part of your learning and teaching practice.

3 thoughts on “Give your students a community for life with WordPress”

  1. I am very interested to hear that there is an internal blog platform for mq students and would like to know more about it. One of the assessment tasks I am devising for a unit for next semester will require student groups to set up and maintain content-rich blogs. One of my questions is: if they set this up internally can they migrate they content at the end of the year if they wish to keep the group collaboration going?

    1. Hi Karen, students can easily migrate their content for sure. They are able to export their work and then import it onto another platform, such as blogger or another WordPress site. There are plans for a WordPress workshop coming later this year. We hadn’t thought to include importing/exporting content, but since you’ve said you’re interested, we’ll include it in the plan – at least a demonstration anyway. Keep an eye out on Teche for further information.

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