This session introduces WordPress as one of many “blogging” platforms that allow individuals to easily create, maintain, and own an online space in which they can plant, cultivate, and grow their digital identity as a component of a larger approach to active life-long learning.
Though perhaps the phrase “digital natives” is hyperbole, it is true that learners in the 21st century must operate in an increasingly connected and digital world. Thriving and excelling in 21c may require learners to develop digital identities that are shared online as part of an explicit or implicit goal of networking with professionals, connecting to information, or showcasing their own work. So-called “blogs” are becoming just another personal web site, but these web sites are still the hub on online personal learning environments, and recent advances in data interaction, syndication, and aggregation increase the potency of blogs for personal development and learning.
This session introduces blogs as a space for learners to plant, cultivate, and grow their digital identity as a component of their personal learning environments, and as one track in a larger approach to active life-long learning. I will describe the affordances of blogging in general, highlight opportunities to leverage blogging for teaching and learning, and show examples from a number of institutions that highlight products of blogging in educational contexts.
Further, we will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of integrated or institutionally-controlled blogging systems versus “outworld” or externally-hosted systems. I will pay special attention to WordPress and WordPress MU, and explain the pilot project that I have been running at Utah Valley University which provides space on a locally-hosted WordPress MU system to any student, faculty, staff, or organization.
Director of Instructional Design Services
Utah Valley University
Jared Stein is Director of Instructional Design Services for Utah Valley University’s department of Instructional Design, Development, and Distance Education.