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July 15, 2013

Wordpress for Education

The educational world has been changing in recent years. Today, it’s expected that teachers will put a significant amount of their course material online. There are dedicated open source educational platforms, but WordPress, the world’s most popular open source content management system, has many features that teachers can leverage to easily make the most of online educational techniques.

WordPress is easy to setup and manage. Once the site has been configured, it mostly gets out of the way and allows teachers and students to concentrate on creating content.

We’re going to have a look at some of the ways that teachers and students can make use of WordPress to improve communication with their students and provide an interesting and exciting way for students to create and share content.

Blogging For Teachers

Creating a blog as a single point of delivery for course content and communication with students is extremely useful for teachers. A blog serves as a one-to-many communication channel. Basic and supplementary course materials and guidance can be added as needed.

It’s often difficult to anticipate the needs of students in advance and the flexibility of a blog enables educators to constantly update and revise their material depending on the particular needs of the current class.

While social media networks like Facebook or Google+ can be used as the primary channel of communication for teachers, it’s often useful to have a single “hub” where all content can be uploaded before being shared to social media for discussion.

Teachers can blog for the students in their class, but teacher blogs can also be a useful resource for other teachers. Sharing notes, course information, and experiences helps foster a collegiate atmosphere and allows teachers to be more efficient by making use of the knowledge of their colleagues.

Blogging For Students

Blogging is a great way to get students of all ages, from elementary school to post-graduates, actively involved in writing content for their courses. Blogs can be used as part of a class’s requirements, in place of traditional papers. It’s been demonstrated that blogging tends to considerably improve student’s enthusiasm for writing when compared to traditional methods.

WordPress blogs can have tight access controls so that they can be set up to conform to the particular needs of educators. In some cases, teachers can choose to allow their students to read each other’s blogs, to encourage a collaborative environment. However, it’s also possible to restrict blog access to the student, their parents, and the teachers. In some cases, for older students, it can also be appropriate to allow blogs to be published on the wider Internet. WordPress makes it relatively easy to limit access to any level that educators decide.

Multimedia And The Wider Web

Students do most of their research over the Internet. For millennials it’s second nature to draw on the resources of the Internet, whether that’s textual content, social media posts, music, images, or video. WordPress can embed and reference all of these content sources, making the student and teacher blog a natural part of the wider information ecosystem.

WordPress Multisite

This is one of the major features that educators should be aware of. WordPress Multisite enables many individual blogs to be deployed from one WordPress installation. This can significantly reduce the level of complexity that educators experience when creating individual blogs for their students.

Blogging, used correctly, can be an excellent pedagogical tool, and WordPress has all the features that educators need to successfully create and manage rich and informative educational experiences for their students.


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