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Kurt Hargis's Educational Technology Leadership Portfolio
Southeastern Louisiana University

ETEC 645: Curricular Design and Development for Distance Learning - Spring 2012

The focus of this class was on Distance Learning. Many of the strategies learned in this class could be useful in both a distance learning class that is online as well as in a computer lab classroom in a regular setting.

The project we focused on was making a wiki page that focused on implementing a distance education lesson. I based my model on using Wordpress.com, the free blogging site, as an educational tool. Even though Wordpress.com was created as a blogging instrument, it does allow for static web pages. I like using it in the classroom setting because I created moderated online discussions. This is useful for both the computer lab and even more so for distance education.

Even though I did my original module as a wiki page for the class, I've transported it to this page in it's entiriety.

Of all the classes, this one is the one that shows the problem with using online resources. Slide Rocket no longer works. In fact, you can log in and they inform you they are not taking new customers, and if you need to access your files to click here. When you click the word here, it takes you to a page that doesn't exist. Vuvox has also shut down and removed all data from their site. This was for the caveat section.

Using WordPress in the Classroom

Desired Outcome: The teacher will be able to to create a basic WordPress to drive discussion in their classroom.

Setup: There are two blogging sites called WordPress. They are both owned by the same company. Wordpress.org requires you to find a host since it will be self-hosted. Wordpress.com, the focus of this module, is hosted by WordPress and is free.

Part I: Introduction



Part II: Rationale



Part III: The Caveat

I really wanted to create this using only WordPress. However, WordPress's policy of blocking most embedding caused me to change my approach to this topic. However, you can embed from a few sources such as YouTube and Hulu. If the lessons you are planning on doing are literacy based or using youtube.com videos, then Wordpress.com is a great tool.



Part IV: Getting Started



Part V: Looking At My Website and Controlling Discussions from the Wordpress Dashboard



Part VI: A Video on How to Approve or Deny Comments



Part VII: Review



Part VIII: Conclusion

WordPress Evaluation



Next Steps: Create your own WordPress.com site for your class!