Tagged: Wordpress

The Curator

From what I deduced from the Wikipedia article, a Curator is someone who preserves and maintains a collection of sorts. While it doesn’t always have to be something cultural or historical, usually the curator is in charge of keeping these things organized. I guess you could say a blogger is the same in that they can preserve a large mass of information through a blog. However, not all blogs do this, as I see blogs as more of a creative outlet than an archive. Speaking of archives, WordPress does keep an archive for you, but that doesn’t automatically make bloggers into curators. There is an aspect that I think is overlooked in this subject, and it has to be that bloggers are also creators. We don’t just take things that are already out there and turn them into something different or new. Bloggers create things of their own design; a curator strictly collects information. This is the defining argument that forces me to say that bloggers are not just another form of curators. Bloggers can go out and create new pieces of art that might be archived in their own blog, but it is still not something taken from history and stored in a way that a curator would. It also depends on the type of blog the person has. While I would normally think a curator as someone who might work at a museum, bloggers are extremely diverse in the types of blogs they maintain. The forms of media presented and topics discussed are just so different that saying a curator of bird skeletons is similar to a blog about how to barbecue is just too different for my mind to grasp. Maybe others will disagree, but I can only think of bloggers as curators in very specific situations.

Live Blogging, The New Trend

“Live blogs provide commentary and analysis alongside breaking news rather than summarizing the event after it is over” is the description of live blogging as defined by Roy Greenslade. Live blogging has become a huge trend especially to this new generation where the majority is always on the go and multi tasking.  In other words, Live blogging is a quick and easy way to get current information about what is happening in less time rather than wait a few hours to read a large text and this is exactly why is has be shown the high demand and the popularity of live blogging.

Roy brings a great point up describing that Live blogging provides the reader with quick and accessible news at any place more specifically at work where reader are supposed to be working instead of reading the news.  I personally see this happening to many friends when they are in class and there is a very important soccer game on. Many of them access live blogging websites where they provide live news in of scores and key moves that is happening during the event. This type of website allows one to do two or more things at the same time such as writing an essay using half the screen and the other half of the screen reading quick phrases of scores and special actions taken during a certain game.

A second point that Roy brings that is extremely important that makes live blogging so popular is the idea of “involvement”. What does he mean by this? He states that readers don’t just simply watch or look at live blogs they also tend to get involved a lot of times by their comments.   Most live blogs that I have visited have a chat room on the side of the news where users are constantly chatting with one another and bringing up different comments and different ideas that have been just presented on the live blog.  This brings massive interaction and involvement between users and in addition it makes people more connected in a way.

Of course there are many advantages to live blogging, but we cannot forget the downsides of this new type of delivery information.  Roy emphasizes that the downside of this type of blogging is that the information a lot of times are not fully complete. Since the main goal is to provide quick and accessible news features, one might not get the full scope of the information like they would if they were live at the location or reading a full text on the topic.

I believe this type of blogging should not be the only source of information one should be reading. Instead readers should use live blogging as a foundation for the most recent information and latter read more about the news to fully understand what is happening and get the full insights about the information that they are reading.  If you haven’t tried yet live blogging, you should definitely experience this new way of getting quick and short information throughout the duration of an event or a news story that supports such platform.  You can even create your own live blog when doing a presentation and incorporate this type of tool. WordPress has its on plugin and below are a few websites that incorporates live blogging.

Thank-you,

Jordanna Oliveira

wtfstuff.wordpress.com

This blog consists of anything in regards to the question of why.  For example, why would you use a mouth guard to brush your teeth or why would you make a tanning bed out of a coffin? I believe that the right response is why the heck not. Either way wtfstuff.wordpress.com is a really fun and interesting blog to look at. What makes this blog really interesting is its content. It has a really good topic to write about and then it capitalizes on it with good writing in general. The vocabulary used isn’t too big nor is it too small. Wtfstuff uses a very relaxed and simple, but at the same time formal style of writing. In other words they keep it professional while also allowing the reader to follow along and understand the concepts. Most of the time the articles aren’t all that long with is really good because its a site for fun and interesting news, not for gaining boring knowledge. Wtfstuff likes to keep their word posts short and simple while filling in the reader to a vast variety of interesting tid-bits. However if you feel like you’re missing something and you need to read on, then there is a Read More button at the bottom of their post that links you directly with the original article. Overall the writing on wtfstuff might be short and a lot less than what the average reader would care for, but it gives you vital info on the topic at hand and allows the reader to credit the original article by linking to it at the bottom.

What Platform to choose for classroom learning?

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Sue Walters who develops workshops on E-learning and web 2.0 and is also a Support Manager for Edublogs conducted  a research study of 259 educators such as middle school teachers (72%), students (12%), professors (5%), librarians (4%), trainee teacher (4%) & other (5%) were interviewed on various topics about blogging in the classroom such how blogs are been used & different platforms that they used.  The results of this research came to show 50% of the educators believes that using Edublogs is the best platform to interact, create and use blogs in the classroom. The second best platform would be WordPress with 21% of the votes.

Both websites are great for blogging; however, they both have very different approaches and different tools that allows the users to do different things depending what are they priorities and what are they looking for. One hand you Edublogs, which is a great, easy and convenient tool that is used in many schools. An educator who prefers Edublogs over WordPress states that it has an “Excellent and fantastic support. The support given is wonderful when you are in a jam.  Support is reliable and prompt, it is reasonably priced and specifically focused supporting students and teachers. Lots of help and support material available as well as the incredible support team which are only a tweet or email away”.   As a WordPress user, the support that is offered by Edublog is not found at WordPress and it may take sometime until you can get a response from someone of their team in case an educator is having technical difficulties.  Having always someone to help is a priority for an educator there is no doubt that Edublogs would be a better fit for their classroom then WordPress.  In addition, Edublogs allows many features to be added to students or educator blogs such as “widgets, online tools and different types of media into posts, pages and text widgets”, which can all enhance and create a better communication platform between students and teacher. But, the price for this great platform is not free! Edublogs is a paid platform that needs a payment in order for a school or for a classroom to have access to it. The fee starts as low as $500 a year, but it depends how many access codes will be needed. If money is an issue around a school, Edublogs would not be the best decision since it requires a fee payment in order to use the service.

On the other hand, WordPress with 21% of the educators using it becomes the second most used platform in the classroom.  As a WordPress user I find it very user friendly, but the user will need to play around with it a little bit in order to understand its full functions and what you can and can not do with WordPress. An educator best described WordPress as a “powerful, easy to learn, easy to use, mobile device friendly” account that can be used in the classroom.  One concept of WordPress that is very important to take into consideration when deciding which blog would be the best for your own classroom is how the platform chosen can be integrated with other technologies. The technology world is constantly changing and it is very hard to keep up with it. WordPress is very phone friendly. It allows students and educators to post through their phones and their emails at their own convenient time without the need to sit in front of a computer or laptop in order to post or create something. Another positive attribute of WordPress is the fact that is free of charge. Teachers can create countless amount of profiles for their students or request them to make it their own, the only requirement of creating your blog at WordPress is that it only needs  unique email for each blog that is created new. The downfall of WordPress is the limitations of interaction that an educator can have with a students in terms of posting and controlling comments on the webpage. In addition,  widgets and really customizing WordPress is not the best since it requires an upgrade and that is paid.

Finally, this study comes shows that choosing a platform really depends on what type of tools an educator is looking for and what is their priories when it comes to the blogs that they want create. Both tools Edublogs and WordPress are great tools for teachers to start improving their classroom and adapting to the 2.0 Elearning system.

Waters, Sue, and Ronnie Burt. “The State of Educational Blogging in 2012.” Web log post. The Edublogger. N.p., 26 July 2012. Web. 26 Sept. 2013. <http://theedublogger.com/2012/07/26/the-state-of-educational-blogging-in-2012/#respondents&gt;.

The Effects of Technology

How can a person adjust his/her level of blogging based on his/her experience with technology?

Well I mainly believe that by being technologically savvy, one could greatly increase the aesthetic appeal of the blog. By making the blog more professional and theme based, it could attract more people. Also with ones experience with technology, people could change the format of the page to make it more reader friendly or more interesting to look at. It gets boring to see the same solid color format and I personally would stay on a site longer if it had something attention- getting like a background with pictures or animations. Another way that experience with technology can help is with the adding of multimedia. It gets boring looking at words all the time and with my attention-span, I’d lose interest quickly. By having at least some knowledge of technology one could add visual aids that would keep me entertained and focused.

In terms of actual content,I believe that technology has very little influence. Honestly, I feel that someone without the experience of technology can write posts just as informative or witty as someone who has experience. Really it all comes down to presentation and how interested the audience will be when they see it.  Overall, I don’t really think that technology is really the deciding factor of if the blog is good anyways. In this day and age almost everyone has the basic background and knowledge to make a site on a blogger’s platform as simple and user-friendly as WordPress. WordPress especially makes it easy to make an interesting background and upload your images and videos easily. So really, you don’t need to be a pro at technology to make a successful, good-looking blog.

Despite this, I am not discouraging  people to learn technology. You can make a good blog with the WordPress platofrm, but you can make an even better blog if you are technologically knowledgeable to know coding. Unfortunately, more often than not, even with this knowledge it would cost more money to implement. However, if one were to want to become more technologically advanced, there are plenty or resources such as Youtube tutorials or tutorials on the platform itself (depending on which one you use). Ultimately, although being savvy with coding and other features, it is the content that determines the quality of the blog. I would rather read a blog that is thought provoking or incredibly entertaining rather than one that is ridiculous but aesthetically pleasing. If you can put the time, creativity, effort, and money into learning the technological skills while not affecting the content, then you have yourself a homerun blog.

Knowledge & Blogging

A person can adjust his or her blogging based on their experience with technology many way.   First, before an individual starts blogging they should be aware of the different blogging platforms that are out there.  They should be aware of its personalization capability, the type of readers that might go to that platform, how simple or complex it is to use the website, is accessible anywhere and also does it allow you to do what you want to achieve with your blog.  Everyone has different technology experience some people knows how to code, so they might choose a blogging platform that allows them to use css codes and really customize and play around with it. But, there is people like me that do not know much about technology and prefers a straight forward blogging tool like WordPress, Tumblr, Blogger and etc.

In addition, I believe that I person should never use only one type of blogging platform or one type of technology, because that leaves no room for growth or room for them to expand their knowledge.  This can be done by one day trying to add an image to a new post or a music. Doing different things on different posts allows one to become an expert at that platform and that is how a person can adjust and grow with their experience on technology.  In today’s world, there is no such excuse of ” I dont know how to use it”, that is what a lazy person would say. There is so many videos and tutorials and explanation in the internet that allows one to understand it better and get a hands on tutorial on any platforms.  After trying and not been comfortable use it that is another thing, but one should always try to Google for tutorials or watch some videos on Youtube about the blogging platform that you choose to use in order to grow your level of expertise.