Fools rush in, foolish fools sign up at the last minute.

I’ve just signed up for Teaching with WordPress

This is an open online course on Teaching with WordPress, running June 1-26, 2015. Join us to talk about and experiment with, among other things:

  • open education, open pedagogy and design
  • WordPress as a highly customizable framework for teaching and learning
  • examples of instructors and learners using WordPress sites in many different ways for multiple purposes
  • plug ins, applications and approaches for creating, discussing, sharing and interacting with each other

Throughout the course, you’ll be creating your own WordPress course site, so that by the end you’ll have a beginning structure to build on with your learners.

If I get through 10% of the above I’ll be doing well. The course is organised by Christina Hendricks who I’ve met on etmooc and ds106.
I’ve not started a new blog for the course as I hope anything I post will be relevant to this blog (which I hope focuses on learning).

The course is obviously based in higher ed, but I’ve learnt a lot fro reading HE blogs over the past few years and I don’t think there are any of the learning objective that are not applicable to primary and secondary education.

The course has a Blog Hub where hopefully my post categorised as teachingWP will end up. (this aggregation of learners blogs to a course hub is something I am very excited about, having seen it in action a few times. I recently ran a 10 week blogging bootcamp for Scottish schools using the same technique.

A Brief Introduction

For anyone who ended up here from a #twp15 tweet or the blog hub.

I am a primary teacher by trade, currently working as an ict staff development officer in North Lanarkshire (121 primaries) and seconded to the Scottish Government as a product owner for Glow Blogs.

Glow blogs is a blogging system for Scottish schools. it consists of 33 instances of WordPress. More information on glow blogs on the Help Blog. I guess one of my goals for this course is to improve that help site.

I started blogging with my pupils in Sandaig Primary on Sandaig otters in 2004 using pivot (not wordpress), and organised various other blogs.

This blog started off on pivot in 2005 and I move to WordPress last year, although I used WP elsewhere for several sites. Two of the more interesting ones being ScotEdublogs, an aggregation of Scots Educational Blogs and Edutalk. I have a DS106 blog, the 106 drop in.

My main technical excitements about blogging are RSS and syndication/aggregation. I am interested in giving pupils purpose through audience.

Now we will see if this gets to the mothership.

8 thoughts on “Signing on to #twp15

  1. Hi John welcome to TWP, Glow Blogs looks incredible I love the range in the Glow Gallery . It is nice to see the primary classroom opened up a bit. I am not sure about in your parts but in Canada K-12 classrooms are often really isolated. I am also a primary teacher by trade and now am in Higher Ed. When it was incredible to see how much students could produce when given a chance. It is off the web now due to the end of a hosting contract, but my grade 5-6 class made a blog about Salmon. Each student wrote a different part of the content. This helped me get around some of the privacy issues we are dealing with here in BC but it was an incredible experience to see what they could do on the web and learn about the content. Do you have privacy issues to deal with in Scotland? How do you get around them?

    • Hi Lucas,
      Thanks. I guess we don’t have the same distance over here;-)
      I think schools are moving towards being a lot more open online. Most schools are happy to have pupils publishing but being aware of Internet safety. Most keep photos and names separate. Some pupils in Glow Blogs use WordPress nicknames to keep their names off the web.
      Complete agreement that we need to give pupils the chance, there is something about publishing to an audience that has a great effect on the output.
      I’ve a strong belief that we need to allow pupils to practise sharing and publishing online safely as opposed just being told about it.

  2. Great to meet you here in this course, too, John! 🙂 The Glow Blogs project sounds great. My own experience in BC is like Lucas’s (we both work at UBC): the primary and even secondary schools are much more closed than higher ed. And we have to deal with a law in BC that says you can’t put students’ identifying information anywhere where it will be stored outside of Canada, without written permission (and for under age students, that’s from their parents). It makes the use of things like Twitter, Google Docs, Dropbox…well, just a whole lot of web tools that much harder. You can’t just get them to sign something that says the students’ names will be stored there, but also exactly what will happen with that information (which, of course, is darn hard to figure out).

    And by the way, there’s a fantastic team of people working on this course, many more than just me. Lucas is one of them!

    • Hi Christina,
      There are a host of interesting laws about Data protection here.
      One of the advantages of having a national system like Glow is we know where the data is and the decision is made once( to a certain extent, the Data controllers are Local Authorities here not the Government). So the Glow Blogs are hosted in the UK. Other parts of Glow satisfy different conditions, wikispaces satisfy safe harbour and the MS O365 tenancy is hosted in the EU. There is a range of attitudes to children publishing across the country but I think the tide is flowing in the right direction.

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