Monday, 3 February 2014

Wordpress #2: How to create a WordPress blog

In the last blog post we focused on on how to create a WordPress website. (See this link.) In this post the attention turns to creating a WordPress blog. Have you ever considered creating a classroom blog? Try it! You’ll find that a great and wonderful adventure awaits you! The great news is that WordPress is available as an app for both Android and iPad tablets and both apps are free.


WordPress for Android on Google Play


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The app description says “WordPress for Android puts the power of publishing in your hands, making it easy to create and consume content. Write, edit, and publish posts to your site, check stats, and get inspired with great posts in the Reader. What’s more? It’s open source.  WordPress for Android supports WordPress.com and self-hosted WordPress.org sites running WordPress 3.5 or higher. Visit the forums to get help with the app: http://android.forums.wordpress.org


WordPress for iPad on iTunes


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The app description says “It's easy to manage your WordPress blog or site from your iOS device. With WordPress for iOS, you can moderate comments, create or edit posts and pages, view stats, and add images or videos with ease. All you need is a WordPress.com blog or a self-hosted WordPress.org site running 3.5 or higher.”

Wordpress and Edublogs

Edublogs, the large, well-known to educators,  WordPress-powered network geared specifically to schools, caught on to this opportunity of using WordpPress n the classroom a while ago, and WordPress.com recently showcased their features for classrooms.

How To Make a Blog - Step by Step for Beginners!
 
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Now what about a tutorial that focuses on making a Wordpress blog? Well, I came across this video (fairly lengthy at 1h ) but it seems to be really worth watching if you would like step by step assistance

Involving parents in your  WordPress blog

1. Photo upload

This is a great place to showcase your classroom to parents. You can easily upload photos to a WordPress blog. Parents would love to see what’s happening in your classroom and photos are the easiest way to for them to connect.   If you are using an iPad you can get an app called Simple Transfer  to transfer your photos. On an Android you could use the Photo Transfer App

2.  The newsletter feature

This is a feature I really like about a WordPress blog. You can create your newsletter on the blog and send it off from the blog.


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3. Subscribing to Posts via Email

The Jetpack plugin adds a bunch of useful features to a Wordpress site. One of those features is the ability to subscribe to blog posts and post comments via email. This gives parents an easy way to track specific conversations without having to check the site.

4. Contact Forms

Make it easy for parents to contact the teacher. There are tons of plugins available to do this such as Contact Form 7 (free). 

5. Group Discussion

Get conversations going among parents. The bbPress plugin adds a forum to your WordPress site.

Adverts on your blog
One thing I have noticed about hosting a free blog on WordPress.com is that your visitors could end of seeing adverts if you have't paid the $30 to have an ad free blog.  

Examples of blogs that use the Wordpress platform

1. Take a look at this kindergarten blog called Abby’s Kinderventures. She just has three simple headings and I am sure the class parents love going there!


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2. In South Africa we have Sean Hampton Cole, a Geography teacher at Crawford Lonehill in Johannesburg using a WordPress blog called Ideas out There

3. Another South African teacher blog is Karen Stadler’s ‘All things ICT’. Karen teaches at Elkanah House Primary School in Cape Town.

4. At Elkanah House High School we have Linda Foulkes with her blog called ‘Folklind at work’


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