Understanding WordPress for the Classroom

Framed by the Edith Lando Virtual Learning Center mandate and principles, this series of two, 90-minute workshops are an opportunity to learn as you play with the basic building blocks found within the WordPress box of blogging blocks. There will be opportunities to think critically about why, how, who, when, and where blogging can support K-12 educators, leaders, and learners. Examining your ‘why’ will help build connections to BC K-12 curriculum and important topics such as digital literacy, equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility.  You will experience blogging through unique WordPress sites, templates, and constructions available through UBCBlogs, OpenETC, and WordPress.com. You can build from a template, a pre-set clone-able site or start with a DIY design. There will be building blocks for novice and experienced bloggers. Some digital proficiency is suggested but not required. A playful mindset is essential.

Blogging can be fun and exciting when constructed over time, while exploring the building blocks of web design. These workshops will be ‘facilitated conversations and creation spaces’ where you can begin or continue building a blog while gaining insights into the sometimes complex and complicated digital world of classroom, professional, or personal blogging. Throughout the workshop, you will be asked to ‘find your WHY’ (Sinek, 2020) in order to bring purpose and meaning to the blogging process, production, and product.

Reference: Sinek, S. (2020). Everyone has a WHY. Do you know yours? [webpage/video]. https://simonsinek.com/find-your-why/

Meet your instructor: Helen DeWaard

Helen DeWaard is a learning designer with the University of British Columbia Faculty of Education and teaches online at the Faculty of Education, Lakehead University, Orillia. She holds a Masters of Educational Technology from the University of British Columbia, a Masters of Education from the University of Toronto, OISE, and is a PhD candidate researching media and digital literacies in teacher education in Canada.

Her passions include teaching and learning with technology, digital storytelling, critical digital literacy, mentoring, connecting to global contexts, and digital credentialing. She volunteers and participated with Virtually Connecting, ISTE Inclusive Learning Network, Mozilla Open Leaders project, WikiScholars, GO-GN global graduate student network, and has mentored teacher educators in India through the UNESCO Open Education for a Better World project.

She co-authored Revisioning the potential of Freire’s principles of assessment: Influences on the art of assessment in open and online learning through blogging (2021), Cross Cultural Mentoring (2020), and Intentionally Equitable Hospitality (2019). She can be found at hjdewaard.ca. Helen actively tweets about education related topics (@hj_dewaard) and blogs professionally at Five Flames for Learning and academically at Step By Step.

Helen DeWaard image credits: Title: Humans of the Commons at the Creative Commons Global Summit 2018; Author: Sebastiaan ter Burg; Source: URL link https://flic.kr/p/GutYoM ; and License: CC BY 2.0

Helen encourages you to watch the recording while following along on her blog site Building Blocks for Blogs, which she has created to help you on your blogging journey.