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One problem:

  • Making the case that these tools can thrive in admin

Big picture: thinking in terms of functionality, adjusted as easily as look and feel (ie course, personal portfolio, bulletin board)

  • Understanding limitations of tool
    • using wikis as back-end composition tools
    • sets of functionalities that would enhance course management (archiving comments by semesters, etc...)
      • mapping learning opportunities to functionality

Tech needs:

  • Need for improved student admin tools
    • Pre-populating accounts
    • mass creation of accounts (DD Import Users?)

The schism between what happens in the classroom, and in the world

  • student ownership

How to manage to keep the "subversive" character of these platforms, yet doing enough to preserve their viability within institutional contexts...

  • WP as student-run platforms?
  • How to encourage student engagement?
  • sharing resources
  • Portfolios
    • Buddypress
  • WordPress as CMS

Sit-down with people who have implemented WPMU?

  • sclaing

Discussion/practice - how to frame openness/privacy issues

  • Power dynamic when faculty compels student use on open web


Class Blogs

  • account management + provisioning (groups, etc...)
  • class-wide categories and tags

Individual Blogs

  • batch creating individual blogs - support issues
  • how to tie "course content" together
    • tags? aggregation? wtf?
    • RSS --> netvibes / pageflakes etc...
    • del.icio.us
    • tagging
    • developing basic network literacies by modeling tagging/publishing/etc...
    • site-wide tag clouds (booleans? class tags, topic tags...)
    • prepopulated categories and tags for student to use - defined tag vocabulary
      • core set of categories used by students in a course.

Blog as Content Management System


  • inviting "outsiders" into the course - give accounts separate from campus systems
  • extending the classroom - "blogging invitationals"
  • how to track threads and discussions? comments across different posts on a single blogsite, and comments/posts on different sites on same (or related) topics?
    • how best to manage this? should we manage this? literacy issue? tech issue?
  • archive of learning over student's career - storing term papers etc... as content in a blog
    • personal content management system
    • preserving authenticity of student ownership of the content/site
      • while also being effective as part of a course?
  • digital identity? does it "belong" as part of an institution? should it?
    • do students want to _own_ it? to what degree? how? where?
      • if student owns their blog, hosted somewhere else, how does that fit with archiving/assessment? (see below)

Assignments / Assessment

  • how to track work? where is it?
  • how to archive? (appeals, records, challenges...) - document retention?
    • export each blog into an über-aggregate blog for storage purposes
    • "export this site" button - archive exported dump?
    • revisions - who edited what? when? where?
  • how to demonstrate effectiveness/properties of discourse in blogs? is it "good"? is it qualitatively different/better than "traditional" publishing? vs. Word docs as term papers?
    • nature of writing?
    • individual vs. collaborative?
    • reflection?



D'Arcy Norman ucalgaryblogs.ca

Brian Lamb blogs.ubc.ca

  • http://blogs.ubc.ca/
  • digitaltatoo.ubc.ca - site for students to document themselves issues with privacy, online safety etc
  • http://blogs.ubc.ca/etec522/ - lists 'static' course content in a left-hand sidebar w/ links
    • use the BlogActivity plugin to aggregate discussions across the site
  • michellechua.com - example of a former UBC student who "took her blog with her" when she left
  • supernovak.com - wordpress as front-end to flickr
  • show enej's work with http://enej.test.olt.ubc.ca/ink/ink feed combiner; hooked it up to s5 for presentations
  • wiki inc - http://blogs.ubc.ca/blog/2008/11/19/append-wiki-page-plugin/
  • Andre Malan plugins - AddUsers and AddRSS feeds - allow new people to add content or themselves as authors to a blog, can be password protected if needed; simple way to help people create group blogs
  • feedwordpress (http://projects.radgeek.com/feedwordpress/) used to aggregate course blog feeds into a single blog - could be used as the archival tool too!

Grant Potter blogs.unbc.ca

  • http://blogs.unbca.ca/
  • had a dozen or so courses run through WPMU
  • biology course - started to elicit responses from original researchers (who found them through web stats log); this was not a welcome thing from the students who felt 'outed' (but were talked through it by the professors
  • obvious but often overlooked point - you can tell wordpress not to reveal blogs to search engines, technorati, etc

Enej from UBC (sorry I didn't get his last name

  • showed wpmu stats package (nice! but specific to UBC campus wide login)
  • showed resume and eportfolio plugins

Duncan McHugh, UBC Land & Food

sorry, I didn't capture many of the urls


  • scott leslie
    • problem: openID provisioning via WPMU site - can a blog be an openID? needs to extend the community of campus folks playing with this stuff (blogging etc..)
    • offers: WordPress as Content Management Platform using constrained search engine - "Include It" plugin to include PHP code on any blog page by referencing a file. any page becomes able to embed functionality
  • Barbara Ganley
    • problem: how to make sure the work does not go toward enabling/enforcing bad pedagogy
    • offers: experimenting with how to move out of the walls of academia - how to get students working out in The World™ - relating school to every day life, to do great things in the world
  • Gerry Paille
    • problem: using HTML and extermal content to bring it into a blog post - including regular HTML
    • offers: wordpres as content management system - PageMash - an Ajax page ordering plugin
  • Grant
    • problem: how to get wider adoption? how to celebrate the early adoptors while convincing others to play?
    • offers: experience with buildign on success with faculty members
  • katy
    • problem: administration to look at blogs w/o concern with security/confidentiality.
    • offers: community free lectures through continuing studies - using blogs as a way to get people involved in the content before/after lectures. http://blog.uvcs.uvic.ca/foodsecurity
    • problem: wtf with blogs? scaling?
    • offers: standalone wordpress use - how to manage multiple standalone sites
  • felix
  • michael
    • problem: administration, scalability, refining access levels
    • offers: remember that content is key, not code
  • leslie
    • problem: how to use wordpress to collaborate with faculty. how to create a non-wordpress workflow that winds up with content being stored in wordpress? separate custom forms/apps?
    • offers: encouragement. non geeks can do this. http://trc.ucdavis.edu
  • Grant
    • problem: finding a community of practice around wpmu. needing a good platform for students to host/present their work.
    • offers: ease of use - faculty blogs - how to incorporate media (streaming etc... from other central server)
  • joe
    • problem: how to keep it all interesting and fresh. Feels like things are slowing down, less visible progress
    • offers: time. team involvement
  • jason
    • problem: yet another thing for faculty to learn. again. - overcoming faculty resistance
    • offers: success stories with faculty and students. give them the tools and support them. digital storytelling without need for IT involvement
  • duncan
    • problem: needs to know more WP tech stuff. also creating learning outcomes to make sure it's a meaningful experience for students. getting faculty to blog. modeling good behaviour
    • offers: aggregation...
  • mandy ?
    • problem: to keep the learning activities valuable and relevant for students. blogging as eportfolio
    • offers: optimism. success stories with students and the learnig curve. building networks of teachers - reading each other's blogs - learning community. reflection etc.
  • ron
    • problem: what IT services can provide?
    • offers: better approach community
  • novak
    • problem: more structure with blogs.ubc.ca - easier to get up and running. looks too ad-hoc now. best practices? need to simplify. needs better support/documentation.
    • offers: how to bring wordpress to wider audiences. gaining acceptance. templates vs. themes - functionality not themes.
  • alan levine
    • problem: constant struggle to get people to actually post stuff. spam. not the good kind.
    • offers: templates to do kickass stuff. editing templates to add custom functionality. separating code from theme so stuff can be reused w/o rebuilding it.
  • Byron
    • problem: supporting lots of instructors who don't want to learn how to build websites.
    • offers: case sensitivity of URLs in wordpress - has solution for that. unfocus.com
  • Brian Lamb
    • problem: THE CLOCK IS TICKING! how to solidify the tech to make it more solid while preserving the sense of adventure and subversion.
    • offers: subversion. syndication and content reuse. mashing stuff up.
  • Scott
    • problem: wordpress don't get no respect. blogging platform looked down upon.
    • offers: tribeca of caching - supercache + php opcode caching + database query caching
  • ahmed
    • problem: needs to learn about wp to support it. how to promote wordpress? it's going to involve some guidelines - don't try to do everything for everyone
  • enej
    • would like to work on: creation of courses using wordpress - automating the process/structure? Creating a repository of wordpress courses, making them open and easy to access. Like MIT OpenCourseWare, but not at MIT. Course directory. How to find courses...
  • Dale
    • observation: what you're doing is real cool. don't be discouraged.
  • D'Arcy
    • problem: fostering community of faculty/students
    • offers: will explore for plugins/solutions, and document what works and doesn't.