Our WordPress Class Blogging Tool: Now Yours Too

Our WordPress Class Blogging Tool: Now Yours Too

This entry is part 7 of 44 in the series Teaching Transparently

The Class Blogs. Yours for the taking :-)

 

For the past 5 years, I have had the extraordinary good fortune to work  with  creative and talented people who value not only the need to create tools that facilitate learning, but tools that also are open, available for sharing, and heck, are danged good looking too.  And for those of you who have followed LLU and the Teaching Transparently tag/thread here, you will know that creating a class blogging tool has been a work in progress.

Until now. :-)

My colleague Justin ,  a man of many extraordinary talents, is an accomplished musician and photographer and programmer. He has added to that list of talents “WordPress Wrangler” and as such has developed The Class Blogs Plugin.  What is nice about this tool is that it creates a front page “mother” blog as an aggregator of the student generated content (each student has hs or her blog as part of this package as well).  Unlike most blogs that display posts horizontally (the newest one at the top and pushing the older posts down…) this tool takes feeds from the students blogs, and pulls them to the front page such that the most recent post is in the upper left corner of the page…with all of the other posts still being displayed, albeit shifted slightly  to the right and down.    The effect is that of a newspaper, I think.  Also any images posted on the students’ blogs percolate up to the sidebar in the “mother” blog (with links back to the posts).

The tool is free and available for download off of the plugin page on the WordPress.org site.  Please download it, check it out, try it out, and let us know (and others!) what you think.  I would love to collaborate with others using this tool, with the hopes of thinking new and fun ways of using it for learning.

Happy Blogging!

 

 

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Barbara has been working for a small liberal arts college in the cornfields of Ohio for about 15 years. In addition to teaching Spanish she runs a somewhat unconventional language center. Prior to this adventure in higher ed she taught high school Spanish and loved it. She wishes she had more time in her life to write, read, swim, and watch the Red Sox. And sometimes she blogs over here and here as well...

4 Comments

  1. Pilar Munday · April 26, 2012 Reply

    This looks great. I have been an admirer of your class blogs for a while now. I use Blogger, as I find it very simple, both for me and my students, but I have been wanting a main page, where everything is together like this one. Considering I have never used WordPress and that I don’t have a lot of help/time, would you say that this is too difficult a project for me to learn?

  2. Barbara · April 26, 2012 Reply

    Hi Pilar,

    What would be required is a “box” with WordPress installed and then this plugin suite added to that. It’s not heavy lifting by any means but yes it would require a local installation of the blogging tool to make it work. Do you anyone with server space that might like to let you play around and explore? Let me know!

    B

  3. Pilar Munday · May 2, 2012 Reply

    Thanks, Barbara. No, I don’t know anyone with server space, so I think I’ll stay with Blogger. In any case, thank you for making this available to everyone. It’s a great platform.

  4. Stefanie · May 7, 2012 Reply

    Hello,

    The Top 100 Language Lovers 2012 competition hosted by the bab.la language portal and the Lexiophiles language blog has started and your blog has been nominated in the category language learning blogs. Congratulations! The nomination period goes until May 13th. Feel free to spread the word among other bloggers writing about languages or to suggest one blog yourself.
    For further information on the Top 100 Language Lovers 2011 competition, visit http://www.lexiophiles.com/english/top-100-language-lovers-2012-nominate-your-favourite-now

    Best wishes,
    Stefanie for the bab.la and Lexiophiles team

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